Welcome to the music section of Lair Of The Geek, this article I (killminus) will offer suggestions of music to listen to while roleplaying in certain genres/backgrounds.
To begin with, we’ll cover the world of darkness in general, and then I’ll offer some more specific suggestions dependant on games.
Ok, here goes… I find that reading through any of the WOD main rulebooks (werewolf, vampire etc) that white wolf suggest their specific “World of darkness” is a Gothic-Punk background, which in itself conjures up a multitude of soundscapes ranging from intense violent in-your-face punk/hardcore to introspective Gothic ballads, but a little thought must go into choosing your background music to reflect the in-game action, well-chosen music can bring a game to a higher level and help players to feel more involved by drawing them in and helping to block out external sounds which may cause distraction. Be careful with the volume of music, too loud and players will not be able to hear each other (although if your characters are in a nightclub this may add to the atmosphere somewhat) while if the music is too quiet it may draw away your player’s attention and allow external sounds to become distracting. Right… I may well delve into the more technical aspects of ideal speaker placement and suchlike at a later date, but right now let’s focus on the music. It must be noted at this point that my roleplay group as I suspect is the case with many groups out there, have a fairly varied taste in music, so I can’t guarantee that these recommendations will be everyone’s cup of tea, but hopefully there will be a couple of groups you can agree on between yourselves.
Dead can Dance – A very varied group, their music ranges from standard sisters of mercyesque goth through to majestic full-on orchestral arrangements, I highly recommend DCD as roleplaying music in general as their back catalogue is so incredibly varied. The work of Rhys Fulber and Bill Leeb – Fulber and Leeb are a phenomenally productive duo, responsible for more projects than you can shake a stick at. Here is a list of a few, along with a brief description: Delerium – Reminiscent of a slightly dancier Enigma, making good use of various ethnic samples and rythmns as a backdrop to soaring female vocals. Frontline Assembly – Abrasive dancey industrial, mixing edgy synth sounds with metallic guitars, extremely apocalyptic. Cyberaktif – The mutant offspring of Frontline assembly and Skinny puppy, cyberaktif can be fairly disjointed at times, lending a nicely chaotic atmosphere.Noise Unit – Futuristic sounding ambient electronica.Pro-Tech – Similar to Noise unit, yet more polished and epic.Mortiis – Described by the man himself as dark dungeon metal, the music of Mortiis is actually very atmospheric, ranging from sweeping grandiose orchestral instrumental pieces all the way to Industrial/goth tunes.Sisters of Mercy – One of the founding bands in the Goth genre, finely penned songs of lost love and social discontent, perfect for any world of darkness game.Bauhaus – Writers of the original “Goth” song (Bela Lugosi’s dead, an absolute must for Vampire players).Anathema – Fantastically depressing melodic Goth/rock From the grim north of England.Depeche Mode – Excellent 80’s Synth-pop with a gothic twist. Heartfelt vocals combine with inventive sampling/synths to form one of the best bands to come out of the ’80s. Nine Inch Nails – My personal favorite band, the work of NIN is very varied, from guitar-laden angsty industrial metal, through synth-pop right the way to beautifully twisted ballads, there is something to match almost any mood you could want to create within WOD. Cypress Hill – The early works of Rap crew Cypress Hill were dark, brooding and claustrophobic, perfect for if your party take a trip into the “hood”.Tool – Hypnotic and emotive rock/metal, tools epic sprawling songwriting can provide a very good backdrop to a more volatile plot. Right… here are some recommendations to keep you going. Next time I’ll aim for a more in-depth look at specific WOD games, and possibly I’ll do a tracklist for a compilation CD for each Game..’Til next time…