I don’t usually listen to music while I play RPG’s. The issue of becoming distracted is the most obvious reason. However sometimes music can perfectly enhance the tone. In grittier fantasy settings – black metal is usually the way to go.  A couple years back, (when DnD 4 was new) my friends and I decided to play-test the game in an “Underdark” campaign. We wanted something sweeping and epic.

Ulver’s Kveldssanger fit the bill perfectly. Ulver has genre hopped a lot in their career. Some of their  black metal is the absolute rawest desecration. However, Kveldssanger is Ulver’s folk album. And it  has become my go to album for fantasy settings. These guys sound medieval (and I mean that in the  best way).

However when I’m playing a sci-fi, I’ve had the most success with Cloudkicker. This guy writes uber-  prog on his computer – and man, is it exciting. I thought I was over my “prog-metal phase” after I  graduated from high school. But Cloudkicker’s album, Beacons brought me back in.

The relentless severity of some of these songs added a real height to drama in my “SWN” campaign  (see my earlier review for more on “SWN”). My buddy Mike’s first response was a drawn out,  “Whoooa.” And I think that his comment adequately describes the feel.

I’ve got a metal radio show on Skidmore College’s WSPN (shameless plug, I know) that plays from 8-  10pm on fridays. You can listen here.

Much of the music I play might be useful in your own campaign, so give it a listen if your interested.

It’s worth mentioning that Cloudkicker gives away his entire discography for free. So get on that!

Who do you listen to while you game?

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