Wednesday, February 17, 2016

How I Introduce Adventures, or "Hey Guys, You Should Totally Check Out This Band"

Whenever I announce an upcoming gaming session in our Lamentations of the Fallen Lords campaign, I do it via Facebook post in our private group, using a format something like this:



THEMATICALLY RELEVANT SONG (Please listen to this while you read the preview text below for maximum effect.)

OVERWROUGHT ADVENTURE PREVIEW (written by me, so I can feel like I'm putting that Creative Writing degree to use)


The whole thing is kind of like a "Next time on..." segment from a TV show. The purpose is not to control what happens or what the players chose to do during the adventure. Rather, the music is provided just to get everybody pumped up, and maybe to give a few hints about the atmosphere I'm going for (unless the players take everything off the rails, which is perfectly fine), the background story of the adventure or NPCs, etc.

I almost always use songs from the band Swans. Their official website is here, their Youtube channel is here, and there is a lot of info about them at Wikipedia and TV Tropes. If you're wondering why I chose this particular band (besides the fact that they're just one of my favorites), check out their Nightmare Fuel page in particular.

EDIT: On November 3, 2016, I updated the lists below to match the songs I've used since originally writing this post. Everything on the first list after The Bloodsoaked Boudoir was added at this point. Also, I should note that I don't post a song for every single session. Both The Seclusium and Towers Two ran for multiple sessions without any new songs, for example.

Updated again on February 3, 2017 (from World of the Lost on).

Here's are some of the songs I've paired with various adventures so far:
A Stranger Storm - Helpless Child
Tales of the Scarecrow - Weakling
Tower of the Stargazer - A Piece of the Sky
In Heaven, Everything is Fine - Killing for Company
The Pale Lady - (She's A) Universal Emptiness
The Flayed King/Oil & Water - Some Things We Do
Fuck for Satan - Sex, God, Sex
No Salvation For Witches - Volcano
No Salvation For Witches part 2/The Tower/The House of Snails - You're Not Real, Girl
No Salvation For Witches part 3 - The Seer Returns
The Monolith From Beyond Space and Time - The Great Annihilator
A Single, Small Cut - The Sound
Death Love Doom - You Fucking People Make Me Sick
The Stygian Garden of Abelia Prem - Love of Life
Lamentations of the Gingerbread Princess - Just a Little Boy (For Chester Burnett)
Forgive Us - Hypogirl
Hammers of the God - Eden Prison
The Bloodsoaked Boudoir of Velkis the Vile - Where Does a Body End?
Thulian Echoes - Screen Shot
The Idea from Space - Stay Here
Beyond Mere Lotophagi (Green Devil Face #6) - Like a Drug (Sha La La La)
The Seclusium of Bostu the Necromancer - Coward
Death Frost Doom part 1 - Animus
Death Frost Doom part 2 - 93 Ave. B Blues
Scenic Dunnsmouth part 1 - She Cries (For Spider)
Scenic Dunnsmouth part 2 - Mother of the World
The Gem Prison of Zardax - I Was a Prisoner in Your Skull
Towers Two - The Apostate
Deep Carbon Observatory part 1 - God Damn the Sun
Deep Carbon Observatory part 2 - Why Are We Alive
Deep Carbon Observatory part 3 (featuring bits from Thulian Echoes) - Please Remember Me
Deep Carbon Observatory part 4 - No Cruel Angel
World of the Lost (dungeon only, featured as Deep Carbon Observatory part 5) - Song for Dead Time
Deep Carbon Observatory aftermath (featuring Vornheim) - God Damn the Sun (Dresdon Dolls cover)
Better Than Any Man - All Lined Up
Broodmother SkyFortress - M/F (there's another version of the song, "Mother/Father," that would also work)

And just for my own future reference, here are some other songs I'd like to reference if I use the corresponding adventures/books:
A Red & Pleasant Land - Lunacy
Blood in the Chocolate - Power For Power
Carcosa - A Little God in My Hands
The Cursed Chateau - Jim (if there's a part 2, use Heaven)
The Doom-Cave of the Crystal-Headed Children - I Am the Sun
Dungeon of the Unknown -  I Remember Who You Are
England Upturn'd - Bring the Sun/Toussaint L'Ouverture
The God That Crawls - I Crawled (if there's a part 2, use The Final Sacrifice)
The Grinding Gear - Freak
Isle of the Unknown - You Know Nothing
Narcosa - Mind/Body/Light/Sound
No Dignity in Death - Reeling the Liars In
Qelong - Avatar
The Squid, The Cabal, and the Old Man - Yum-Yab Killers
Vornheim -  Kirsten Supine
Weird New World - Failure (also consider using God Loves America)

Lamentations of the Flame Princess and Swans are like two rancid tastes that make you puke blood together.

I mean that as a compliment.

Anyway, I'd love to hear how other people use music in RPGs. To introduce adventures? During the game itself? (Heck, it would be interesting to know how other people set up their games in the first place. Phone? Email? Social media? Semaphore?) Feel free to leave a comment if you'd like.

EDIT: Originally, I had "Stay Here" as the song for The Grinding Gear and "The Apostate" as the song for The Idea from Space, and Towers Two was not on the list because I did not have it yet. I decided to switch things around so the lyrics would more properly match the themes of the adventures.

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