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Tag Archives: Music

[Tools] Tavern Soundset for Syrinscape

Medieval Tavern

Medieval Tavern

Remember when I wrote about Syrinscape last week? It’s a soundscape program for RPGs that allows to create background noises for your RPG sessions. It already comes with a nice amount of different soundscapes that can be used for different uses, but at least one was a blatant omission: there was no soundset for a tavern or inn. The place where the whole adventure starts in, or at least stops by at one point or another.

But do not fret, I was sick the last week and spent a lot of time playing around with my computer. So here it is: the Tavern soundset.

Download (zip) 42mb (downloads from Dropbox)

Some notes about it:

1. To use it in Syrinscape it has to be unpacked  into the Syrinscape folder. After that it can be chosen as normal from inside the program

2. I originally created this with the Tavern music from Dungeons and Dragons Online in the background. Of course I can’t put that one on here for copyright reasons. If you want to use it then just download the DDO tavern music into the folder, maybe convert it to .ogg, and rename it so the additional files start with “e4”. The program then uses them in the music channel.

3. the soundset does use sounds found on freesound.org and CC-licensed music found on Jamendo.com (specifically from Fatzwerk, ENoz, and The Racoons, check them out!)

WARNING: as of the latest version of Syrinscape this does not seem to work anymore. It might actually work for you with some skilled trickery, but I can’t even get the new version to work, so there is that.

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[RPG Music] More RPG Ambiance Music

EVE Online - Caldari Freighters

EVE Online – Caldari Freighters (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I haven’t really been playing MMORPGs lately, not since I switched over to a Linux system in 2006, and so I am not really current with a whole lot of things here. MMORPGs never really caught my interest that much anyway. The only thing I ever played for longer was The Empire of Martial Heroes, and that one switched off it’s non-Korean servers in 2010. So there is that.

But I have been sickand bound to my bed for two weeks, and during that time I played a lot with my PC. Well, playing in this case was more trying to see if I can get Windows games running on Linux and then losing interest once it works.

I never said I was exactly normal.

Anyway, one of the things I found during that time was that there are a lot of games which put the music from their game online. Maybe for marketing purposes, maybe just as a bonus for fans, but the fun thing is: these things are wonderful for normal roleplaying games as well. Most of them are loopable to some extent, a lot capture the whole fantasy world sound quite effectively, and they are free. What more do we want?

Dungeons and Dragons Online: especially the tavern/bar sounds here are really nice for some unobtrusive background music in bar scenes. There are even different sets of those for different styles of bars. And the rest isn’t bad either. Will definitely use that one.

Star Wars – The Old Republic: made a large part of it’s soundtrack available for free just before their launch. Sounds pretty much like a Star Wars soundtrack should sound like

Eve Online: something more futuristic, synth sounds for space ambience; quite good as well

Lord of the Rings Online: the made the soundtrack available for a while, and it still is online. One of the most impressive ones around actually, I can definitely see me using that one in the next session

Allods Online: this one is a bit strange, as the official website links to a fansite and a torrent because they themselves can’t get to the files themselves. Huh? How is that even possible? Anyway, some nice atmospheric music.

Anarchy Online -Shadowlands and Anarchy Online 2: I don’t know much about these games, but the soundtracks are online and might be useful

Planeshift: well, I wasn’t too impressed the last few times I tried this game. But the soundtrack is quite nice.

Space Pilgrims

A while ago I noticed an interesting trend in the search terms people used to get to this page: the most common search term so far is “Space Pilgrims” whcih of course leads people to that small Traveller table I whipped together a while back. But of course there are not really any space pilgrims (yet) so why actually search for something like that and land on such an obscure blog as mine? I had to remember this one 80s movie with the teenager who believed he was an alien and wanted to get off Earth, but the only persons that claimed to be able to help him were nutters and madmen. I don’t even know how that ended, or even how it was called, the movie was just so bad I gave up on it after 30 minutes.

But could these people maybe know more than the rest of us…?

Turns out no, Space Pilgrim is a fledling/obscure space rock band. Ah well.

[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 🙂

[RPG Music] Fantasy Ambient

Music for roleplaying games in my opinion should be setting moods but be as unobtrusive as possible. Everything that breaks the concentration of the players instead of enhancing the mood is bad. This means: No vocal tracks except for some sinister chanting because vocals distract too much, no famous or easily recognizable tracks because they  distract as well (if you don’t play Star Wars it will so break the players’ concentration if they hear the Imperial March, instead of the game they’ll think of the movies), no soundtracks with too many changes of mood.

Most film soundtracks are geared to exactly the film they were written for, they often have a wide variety of moods, which also will become distracting if played in the background.

One easy way of getting good roleplaying music are computer games, especially computer roleplaying games, because  most of them are easily loopable so one can key one single track to a special scene or location and just have it repeat over and over again. My favourite example for this is the soundtrack for Diablo I. I played this game for days and never noticed the background music that much, but it definitely was there, setting different moods for different parts of the game (Crypt, Cavern, Hell…). Lately I got around looking at the game soundtrack again and lo! there only were 5 tracks in the whole game! One can get a lot out of 5 tracks.

For my next game I am still undecided how to use this music: Do I just loop one track appropriate to location and mood? Or do I just use different playlists instead?

Film  Soundtracks

  • Conan the Barbarian/Conan the Destroyer by Basil Poledouris, if you get one get the first, it is THE best soundtrack for RPG I have ever found and covers a wide area of stuff, on the other hand it will make your players slay the high priest of the next temple
  • Red Sonja by Ennio Morricone

General Music

Roleplaying Music

Computer Games

  • Diablo II, wonderfully loopable, atmospheric tracks, covering a whole lot of ground [example]

Free Computer Game Soundtracks

Other Free Music