DM Advice: Immersive Audio

October 29th, 2021

As a DM, my goal is to not only provide fun and entertaining content for my players to experience but to also put my players in the world. If a DM can immerse their players into the world, you raise the stakes for players. They are able to feel even more connected to the landscape they are in and not just feel like they are sitting on someone’s couch with a pen and a piece of paper or a laptop. They are in the world you designed. Situations like a final boss fight or a character’s death can be granted so much more meaning and depth when you immerse players. Today, I will be discussing the tactics I have learned over the years to immerse myself and players into the worlds and campaigns I create.


One of the easiest ways to immerse any player into a world is to provide natural ambient sounds for their environment. If your party is spelunking within a cavern, then provide them with the noise that would be in that environment. You can include quiet groans from a distant enemy, a gunshot for dramatic flare during a descriptive scene, the sound of a nearby waterfall within a forested landscape, songs of birds. The smallest details allow players to feel like they are in the world, and thus feel more invested within your campaign.


Music can serve a similar purpose to ambience by providing character to an environment. Music, unlike ambience, has the ability to set tone. You can use whimsical music in a tavern scene to make a situation less ‘dry’ and more lively and fun. You can also suddenly change to tense music once the party starts messing with people they probably shouldn’t have. I always like seeing my players squirm as soon they hear one of the “tenser” tracks. They know something bad could happen if they aren’t careful. Whereas using music that is calming or maybe even whimsical, the players will feel less tense, less pressure. This can be used to build a false sense of security between the players and the environment.

Where to start?

At this point, you probably are wondering what to look for or where to start when finding audio and sound for your future games. Lucky for you, I have already compiled several ambiences and music tracks for you to use as reference when finding immersive audio.