So, I recently joined a Spelljammer (I love Spelljammer and its total weirdness) group on FB and I was scrolling through the posts and I find this post featuring the band Stary Olsa, who apparently remake contemporary music with medieval instruments. In the videos they even dress the part. I’ve never heard of Stary Olsa as my musical tastes remain basically unchanged for the last 25 years (I know that sounds closed-minded, because it is). After listening to a couple songs I kept imagining I was in a tavern and this group was playing and how adventure was just outside the door. Then I thought about how we use music in our gaming group to set ambience and background. Not only can music create a more visual scene, it can add an element of drama, humor, or sadness (which is rare in our group) to what is taking place around the PCs. It also adds that extra layer to the gaming memory – which I really love.
Recently we had an adventure where we went into a bar and we had to fight a drunken dwarf werebear (I think it was a werebear). Meanwhile, the bar’s music is Richard Cheese. The music was perfect for the scene because the bar is rowdy and full of drunks and our PCs are in the middle, in this freaking thunderdome-like arena fighting a werebear naked dwarf. Add in the Cheese version of Gin and Juice and you have a hilarious scene unfold. I enjoyed it thoroughly and here’s why…
I told my GM the other day that I remember our gaming sessions as visual scenes of the PCs doing stuff, not as dice rolls (unless it was a great/really bad dice roll) or rules or really even as the players making decisions. I remember things cinematically and I'm guessing most people do. Our d20 GM is really good at creating a visual scene and mapping out the ambiance of the place where shit’s going down. The reason I really like music in a game is because it adds that extra cinematic element to the scene. No longer do I simply have the visual/dialogue element of the scene but I also have a soundtrack to accompany the whole thing. I’m sure too much music or the wrong kind of music or too loud of music could ruin game play, but that is a pretty easy fix.
If you haven’t heard of Stary Olsa or Richard Cheese, check out the videos below, they are totally worth it.
Also, if you use music/effects in your games, I’d like to hear about it.
For the next month or so I am devoting the majority of my work to completing the Far Away Land Creatures Vol. 2. It's been too long without an FAL release and I figured it was time. There are several books in the works but I am not rushing things. The only deadlines are the ones I create and I hate to pump out a product that is less than it could be. The hope was that Adventures in the Materiosphere would be finished this fall. It is finished but I don't like. My biggest problem with it is the space ships - they are just space ships like all space rpgs have. A lot of the book is unique to FAL and I want the way space travel works and the way starships interact to be part of that uniqueness. Right now it's not and the book won't be released until I like it. It needs more portals.
All that being said, Creatures Vol. 2 will be out this fall. Here's what it has to offer.
This will probably be released though a Kickstarter as those projects let us get some good advertising.
The macabre story of the headmen continues... If you would like to read more stories like this, check out our brand new Far Away Land Patreon project here.
The Far Away Land Stories Patreon has begun! Every month we will release two or three stories dealing with characters and events in Far Away Land. Each story is four to eight pages with two or three full-color illustrations accompanying the text. Backer levels are cheap cheap cheap (starting at a buck and going up to 3). Check out the sample story below to get an idea of what we are offering.
On Monday June 6th we will launch our Far Away Land Stories Patreon project. Each month we will publish three stories from the FAL universe. Each story features new artwork and tons of adventure. Some stories will be standalone pieces while others will be chapters in larger tales. To give you an example of what the stories will look and feel like, we have provided an example you can download below.
We hope you join us in this exploration.
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