Sunday, January 31, 2010

DJs and Dragons: Music in Your Game

I love to use music in my D&D sessions. I really feel it helps establish an atmosphere and sets the tone for the game. This isn't something we did in the 1908s or 1990s, but it's an aspect of the game I really enjoy.

We D&D players are what Henry Jenkins calls "Textual Poachers." We take the things we find useful and mix and match them to create something new. This is the case with our musical choices. We setup playlists in three categories

1. Background (music we play during the beginning, during character generation, etc)
2. Combat (For fighting scenes inbetween dungeon-creeping)
3. Dungeon (for dungeon-creeping)

Each of these three we break down into music taken from video games and music taken from soundtracks.

Here's an example of some of the video game soundtracks we use:

Icewind Dale
Icewind Dale 2
Baldur's Gate
Baldur's Gate Shadows of Amn
Daldur's Gate Dark Alliance*
Neverwinter Nights Trilogy
Oblivion: Elder Scrolls IV
Dragon Age
The Battle for Middle Earth*
The Battle for Middle Earth 2

*I highly recommend these two albums. Also, anything by composer Jeremy Soule or Michael Hoenig will be great for D&D sessions.

In terms of soundtracks, here are some of my favourites:

Planet of the Apes (brilliant)
The 13th Warrior
Conan the Barbarian
Conan the Destroyer
10,000 BC
Army of Darkness (surprisingly good!)
300 (select tracks)
The Golden Compass (again, select tracks)
Ralph Bakshi's Lord of the Rings (love this)
Sleepy Hollow
Van Helsing
The Mummy Movies (select tracks)
9 (quite a few good tracks here)

I am quite specific with my music lists, but this will give you some ideas if you tend not to use music in your game.

Also, I would also like to bring Syrinscape to your attention. This is a program designed to run D&D style partially-randomized soundscapes as background. The program is customizable too! Check it out.

Please let me know what you use in your games!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Labyrinth Lord Society Sneak Preview: AEC

Just this morning I received a sneak preview copy of Goblinoid Games' Advanced Edition Companion.

The intent is to add advanced options to the Labyrinth Lord Game.

I've had a preliminary review. Dan Proctor has taken great care in the layout and aesthetic. Even without the art, it is a fine looking document.

I really like the options available and intend on incorporating them right away into my game.

The public copy should be available in the next couple weeks.

Well done Dan!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Help: Gamers in/near Orlando and Albuquerque

I have to attend two conferences in February, one in Orlando and one in Albuquerque.

I will have a little time to check out some gaming stores in both those cities.

I'd be looking for gaming stores with out of print D&D stuff, or places that sell a good selection of D&D single miniatures. Good used book stores that specialize in fantasy fiction would also make the list.

All suggestions appreciated. Thanks!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Hireling Name Generator REVISED

Dungeons and Dragons Random Hireling Name Generator v2.0

I've revised and updated my hireling name generator with a second page for female hirelings.

Let me know what you think or if you have suggestions for improvement.

I've created pages (upon pages) between the hireling generator and hireling name generator. When I get a chance to type them out I will post them here as well.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Apologies for Brief Layoff

During the month of December I managed to catch a terrible flu. It made Christmas and New Years brutal. That, on top of exam grading, made the last month difficult in terms of getting to the blog.

I have also been hesitating while we wait for Golblinoid Games' AEC to be released here shortly.

I have a few post ideas. You will see these in the coming days.

Again, sorry for the layoff.