Stuffed Crocodile

Mazes, Martians, Mead

[RPG Music] Dungeon Ambient

Бородатая змея

Dragons like to listen to it too. Either that or Manowar. Yeah, dragons are weird.

I was not aware of Dark Ambient as a music style until I started to look for proper music for roleplaying. And thinking about it a bit better the style really is rather… odd. I know I might sound a bit biased, I just realized that this style seems to have a big following in the goth community, even my girlfriend just told me that yes, she knew that style, she heard it often when she still went to goth clubs.

And it is a highly sophisticated style, with deep philosophical underpinnings, yes. But the only other style of music I can compare it to is, well,  elevator music.

It’s rather effective though, nevertheless, with the interesting ability to evoke quite a range of different moods (well, mostly fear and desperation) while not doing much of anything. And frankly I think this music can make awesome background music for dark and brooding scenes. I know that some GMs prefer not to have any music at all in their scenes because emotions actually might be more intense if there is no disturbing background noise at all, but whenever do we have something like that in real life?

I was actually using Herbst9 as a background in my session yesterday, and it did create a feeling of anxiety and mystery while staying neatly in the background. It would have been a bit more effective though, had our neighbour not started to play Disco Polo while the characters were not even in the dungeon.

The style won’t be the best choice for a busy town or tavern scene, but it certainly sets the mood for a good dungeon crawl,  or some straight horror adventure.

Some examples of usable music in this style:

  • Shinjuku Thief especially the Witch Hammer Trilogy
  • Lustmørd especially Heresy and Purifying Fire
  • Herbst9, so called ritual ambient, a more oriental/temple style
  • Arcana
  • Dark Ages, actually claim to be inspired by medieval history
  • Za Frûmi seem to try to be closer to the fantasy genre, with orc-themed albums and stuff

Yeah, so far only fantasy music. I’ll think about Science Fiction ambience when I run out of Ozric Tentacles CDs 🙂

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2 responses to “[RPG Music] Dungeon Ambient

  1. Cogitation February 8, 2012 at 3:55 am

    Thank you very much for this, I’ve been scouring the internet for good RPG ambient tracks. Didn’t know about this, almost exactly what I wanted. This makes things much easier, again thank you.

    Like

  2. Eric November 4, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    if your looking for good Dark Ambient / Atmospheric / Dungeon Synth music then listen to my project Taramis http://taramis.bandcamp.com/

    Like

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