“Wouldn’t That Song Just Make a Great RPG?” Part 2

Hello everyone and welcome once again to ManaBurnt. Firstly I would like to apologise for our sudden quietness in the last week or so. With the snow hitting England “unexpectedly” apparently our internet connections are not prepared for the freezing cold – And I am still waiting for my WiFi to work as there was some serious damage done to the green box outside of our flat where the connection comes to?! In any case, I managed to steal someone else’s connection to bring you this: my part two on “Wouldn’t that song just make a great RPG?”. You can find part one here: https://manaburnt.wordpress.com/2017/10/22/wouldnt-that-song-just-make-a-great-rpg-tunes-lyrics-to-get-your-creative-juices-going/


I was trying this time to make it something other than metal. So then I started looking for other things, and even used them on RPGs we have had recently to test the effects of them. However, I am afraid that the metal component will still be strong with this one, but here are some other things 🙂

Ed Alleyne – Oxford Suite

So, this is something that came to me recently, and I don’t really know why because I have been playing Vampire: the Masquerade like my entire life. But it must have been because we recently attended a LARP (thought’s on that at another point, but they weren’t terribly positive). Now, I realised that Vampire is perhaps the one game where I am always less inclined to play music because it breaks the intensity or something? I don’t know. But it’s never really stick. Now, as we walked in this room the other day, and the silence and lack of general noise became quite deafening in my ears, my brain just decided to fill in the gap, and came up with this:

I don’t know if it’s the cringing electric violins or the way it builds up like a funerary march that it seemed the perfect scenario for this room full of insufferable Toreador (I am sorry never been a fan). A lot of Ed Alleyne’s work is often quite vibrant but this was particularly entrancing and dark in ways I cannot really comprehend. And I think that is why it made so much sense for Vampire (and this particular LARP). Any good game of VTM should be not just dark, but obscure. It should feel dense, but in a good way, like a good noir novel or a TV series. I think that is precisely what this LARP was missing and what my head decided to provide for my own sake. But in a way it is also appropriate. I think we often think of World of Darkness and Horror/Gothic games in very pure terms. I could have just knocked up something from my gothic music playlist, but that would have seemed far too cliché. And that wouldn’t have been appropriate. Any good game of VTM would move away from such thing and seek to thrill, in ways disturbing to ones very own essence. And for that reason, this piece is so appropriate. I imagine a crazy Malkavian just grabbing the violin somewhere and dementing everyone as a consequence, and then the headline in the news papers the following, recording this event of all these people going nuts, and the Masquerade about to be discovered. Excellent premise.

Pendulum – Watercolour

Finding a good Sci-Fi dystopian future game to which you can add a decent soundtrack can be difficult. A lot of the things that may seem appropriate may get you more in the mood for dancing than for playing and shoot’em up. But then I remembered the great and only Pendulum – that I could use. Watercolour is essentially the song for every antisystem punk that is trying to hack their way into anyone’s computer.

“When I’m falling down
Will you pick me up again?
When I’m too far gone
Dead in the eyes of my friends
Will you take me out of here?
When I’m staring down the barrel
When I’m blinded by the lights
When I can not see your face
Take me out of here
Take me out of here
Take me out of here
Take me out of here”

This is the moment when you have been caught, red-handed, in something like Corporation or Cyberpunk and you are the runner and you are, essentially, screwed. The song has everything, the slow build up to the fair intensity of what an adrenaline boost would feel like when you’ve been tracked, found and about to be blasted out of your compound for being a dirty little criminal in the eyes of the MegaCorps. At the same time, the rhythm and tone of the music is energetic yet somewhat distant, enough to get you on edge as a player and amused as a DM. I get a very GITS feel from it, from the Laughing Man story Arch, and I think that is the sort of game play something like this should inspire – just from the side of the runners, rather than the cops.

Leaves’ Eyes – King of Kings (Entire Album)

And if you have the special edition that includes the second CD with the instrumental ones, even better. Based on Norwegian history and the conquest of the land by King Harald Fairhair, this is just the right level of epic for any fantasy/medieval scenario that you may set up for your campaign. I think this has now played in both a D&D and the homebrew games with our party. And it just has a great feeling. The epic songs are very epic and if you time them right then the joyful smite of your enemies will be just delightful. The more mellow and sorrowful ones are always handy when things go pear-shaped which IS bound to happen – let’s face it…I mean that is essentially how our last game ended at the sound of Haraldskvæði.

But in terms of game planning, this would be perfect I’d say for something like Mythic Iceland, or Fate of the Norns if you are going for a pretty hard-core campaign. The lyrics guide you through battle, power creeps, defeat and back again to point 1. Victory is optional but Valhalla surely awaits after you’ve sent the party against the biggest fattest army the Viking King of your adventure can summon. Just imagine a “For Frodo” moment. That’s what you want. This is the way you retire all those epic level characters that keep on pestering you about and you want sincerely gone cause you cannot take more of their trolling 🙂

So, with some more ammo to create, craft and play, are you ready to rock and roll? 😉

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