06-26-2009, 06:43 PM
The Rage Of Gaia’s Chronicle Music Guide
I’ve been working on this for some time, and though it is tailored to the World of Darkness (because that is my first love) I have included a couple of extra categories for “other” systems. This is by no means an exhaustive list of anything, nor am I any type of expert. But here it is.
General Tips on Using Music in Session
1.) Think about the mood/atmosphere you’re trying to create with the music.
2.) Steer clear of popular music, you want the players to feel the music, not sing along.
3.) A useful trick is to choose a “theme” but don’t tell the players, then whenever something important is about to happen, play that track. After a while, the players will hear the opening notes and know something big is coming.
Music List (by Game)
General (fits any game) – Ambient, Classical, Industrial, New Age, Soundtracks, Techno, Trance
Changeling: the Dreaming – Blues, Country, Folk, Nature Sounds, Celtic
Changeling: the Lost – Blues, Celtic, Folk, Gothic, Hip-Hop/Rap, Metal, Punk
Demon: the Fallen –Gospel/Soul, Gothic, Metal, Opera, Punk
Hunter: the Reckoning – Blues, Country, Gothic, Hip-Hop/Rap, Metal, Punk
Hunter: the Vigil – Blues, Gothic, Hip-Hop/Rap, Metal, Punk
Mage: the Ascension – Blues, Celtic, Folk, Gothic, Hip-Hop/Rap, New Age, Punk
Mage: the Awakening – Blues, Celtic, Folk, Gothic, New Age
Promethean: the Created – Blues, Country, Folk, Gospel/Soul, Gothic, Punk
Vampire: the Masquerade – Gospel/Soul, Gothic, Metal, Opera, Punk
Vampire: the Requiem – Gospel/Soul, Gothic, Hip-Hop/Rap, Metal, Punk
Werewolf: the Apocalypse – Blues, Celtic, Country, Folk, Metal, Punk
Werewolf: the Forsaken – I don’t know this game, and I don’t much care to.
Wraith: the Oblivion – Blues,Celtic, Folk, Gospel/Soul, Gothic, Metal, Opera, Punk
Now for those “other” games:
Medieval Fantasy: Celtic, Folk, Gospel/Soul, Gothic, New Age, Opera
Science Fiction: Gothic, Metal, Punk
Recommended Artists (by Genre)
Ambient – Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, Brian Eno, Michael Stearns, Biosphere, Aphex Twin
Blues – John Lee Hooker, Bessie Smith, B.B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf
Celtic – Loreena McKennitt, Celtic Woman, The Chieftains, the Dubliners, the Pogues, Derek Bell
Classical – Beethoven, Wagner, Tchaikovsky, Vivaldi, Bach, Mozart, Baroque, Romantic
Country – Willie Nelson, Whitey Shafer, Patsy Cline, David Allen Coe, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Garth Brooks
Folk – Woody Guthrie, Phil Ochs, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Alison Krauss
Gospel/Soul - Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Al Green, Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder
Gothic – Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus, Joy Division, Fields of the Nephilim, The Cure, Lycia
Hip-Hop/Rap - Atmosphere, Heiroglyphics, Jedi Mind Tricks, Aesop Rock, Del tha Funkee Homo Sapien
Industrial – Nine Inch Nails, Front 242, Ministry, KMFDM, VNV Nation, Depeche Mode
Metal – Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Slayer, Motorhead, Anthrax, Lacuna Coil
Nature Sounds – N/A
New Age – Enya, Enigma, Clannad, Vangelis, Yanni, Adiemus, Libana
Opera - You’re on your own, I’ve never actually used it.
Punk – the Sex Pistols, the Clash, Bad Religion, Minor Threat, Rancid, T.S.O.L., Pennywise
Techno – Paul van Dyk, DJ Mystik, Paul Oakenfold, Daft Punk, Sash!
Trance – Armin van Buuren, Tiësto, Faithless, Solarstone, Binary Finary
A Note On Soundtracks: This really depends on the kind of game you are running. Figure out your genre and your theme, as well as your moods, and then look for movies that are similar. For example, the Conan the Barbarian soundtrack would work well for Werewolf or Medieval Fantasy, but not so much for Vampire’s political intrigue. Nevertheless, here are some suggested soundtracks :
The Silent Hill Games, Resident Evil, the Blade trilogy, Conan the Barbarian, the Matrix, the Harry Potter Movies, Labyrinth, stuff by Philip Glass or John Williams, Lord of the Rings, 28 Days Later, the Scorpion King, etc. etc.
In my experience, the best place to get music for Role-Playing (legally) is internet radio. I haven’t actually tried this, but I bet there are programs that would allow you to record internet radio, though, this is most probably illegal. Compilation CDs by various artists, like the ones you see on late night infomercials are good, and if you don’t mind the risk, you can pirate just about anything that anyone has ever made… ever.
It is important to have a wide array of musical styles and artists to keep from being boring or predictabl, however, there are some must-haves on any game soundtrack. A good high energy trance song, a fast brutal punk song, and a grungey industrial song will make sure you have something for every style of combat. A few ambient or classical tracks to lay down for background noise, and a good theme for ending the scene are really all you need .
Sound effects can be used to great effect as well. “You open the door to your apartment, when all of the sudden [gunshot(s) from the stereo]” might be a cool way to introduce a scene.
Lastly, remember to time out your dialogue and the music, practice your descriptions a couple of times, it’s not a big deal to run out of song before you’re finished talking, but if you have your timing right, the music is much more effective.
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