Music for the moment.

Hello everyone! My name is Ian Dunn, I will be making this week’s content for Music @ the Moment. I’ll be showing how music combines with Dungeons and Dragons. Music is an excellent way to enhance my D&D sessions. Every session I have a Spotify playlist with songs for different situations and moods playing on a Bluetooth speaker. I often find songs from video games as music in games is designed to build atmosphere and to be repeated. Finding the right song in session can be a challenge. It only adds to the struggle that is running a game of Dungeons and Dragons. But if it adds extra work to an already busy job why do I do it? Because music adds so much!

Imagine any movie, or TV series, or video game and remove the music. You notice it’s gone. Music adds so much atmosphere and builds upon what is happening on screen. If you’ve played D&D with music and then the person with the Bluetooth speaker can’t come to session everyone notices it and misses them more.  It can be hard to provide an example but here’s a small exert from my notes for a session I ran a few weeks ago.

“You hear them before you see them. The rustling of leaves, breaking of foliage, the clank of metal armor and the call of a war horn. You and your allies draw your weapons and charge with the warriors emerging from the brush! But as you are about to clash blades you hear a strange clicking sound. All too late you realize your mistake as monstrous ant-like creatures emerge from the forest and from the ground spitting acid at the intruders to their nest!”

This already intense description is enhanced when some music is thrown in the mix. Reread the passage with Volatile Reaction by MacLeod. It’s one of my favorite songs for ambushes and ads to the intensity. Music can also be used outside of combat. When my players enter a city I often play a song from the Pillars of Eternity soundtrack by Justin Bell, one of my personal favorites is Defiance Bay.

 One final song is In Principio by Ludovico Einaudi. I love using it for moments when my players uncover secrets of the world’s lore and history. Speaking of lore, you can hear what Will has to say about some music lore on my blog, the Redstone Alliance. I hope to see you there!

One Reply to “Music for the moment.”

  1. Okay. Wow. This was very enjoyable to read and super interesting. I ended up listening to the songs you linked in here and they each matched the situations you described perfectly. I’m becoming a fan of the Pillars of Eternity. You’re so right about music creating an atmosphere that whereas words can only take you so far. I always think of the movie Jaws and how without the music (da dum da dum) the shark would not be scary. At all.
    Loved this post.

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