I’ve had an ear out for amazing soundtracks that are just instrumentals for use in tabletop roleplaying games for years. Most of the time, I’ve had to build custom playlists or pick soundtracks from movies that don’t have big name rock stars headlining their soundtrack (which usually means vocals that will interrupt the game). Another good source has been video game soundtracks.
However, the problem with soundtracks from movies, TV shows, and video games is that they cover the entire story arc and the whole emotional curve from apex to antapex, zenith to nadir. I’ve found that often the trumpet fanfare of an upbeat piece will come at EXACTLY the wrong time in the game.
There was a humorous moment, though, when the Mel Gibson screamed “Freedom!!!” on the Braveheart soundtrack at precisely the right moment in a D&D game. It usually doesn’t work out that way, though. You pays your money, you takes your chances.
How to solve that problem with minimal effort and still have fabulous ambiance music for a dark game of contemporary occult noir, you ask? Simplicity itself. Midnight Syndicate to the rescue!
These amazing albums (use another word if album makes you feel old) are chock full of great mood music that’s dark, energetic, and mysterious.
They have provided me much inspiration and motivation as I’ve been writing the novels in The Seraphim Conspiracy and the Modernity Roleplaying Game. Thank you, Midnight Syndicate!
There are more, but those are ones I’ve listened to and use for game purposes. I’ll post more RPG soundtrack options in the future.