I was joking around with my Magical Commando Engineer thread and I droped in a Castlevania reference that got people thinking about Castlevania.
And well, one of the classic dungeon running themes is basically the Castlevania plot with more characters. I can't tell you the number of times I've pulled out Rondo of Blood & Dracula X's theme music to get my players in the mood for a good old dungeon craw.
My Commando Engineer games really benefit from 80's action themes. It fits the mood of the group. Metal Gear Solid's various themes also fit. The high action impact fits the sneaky stabby mentality of my players.
I've dabbled with Final Fantasy themes (pre 10) to meet my needs as well as a wide range of music form videogame RPGs. (Sega tends to be the most robust interesting enough.)
I've got some top selections and the themes they help generate:
Grandia 1&2 - Exploration (It fits Kingmaker so well.)
Metal Gear Solid (1&2) - Espionage (So many APs this fits with. Vs the ninja parts of Jade Regent benefit from this.)
Wild Arms (1-5) - Frontier adventure (Exploring Varisia, running in the mana wastes, all great themes for this.)
Castlevania (Dracula X, SoTN, the gba/ds games) - Dungeon exploring with spoky beat (Carrion Crown or any spooky dungeon themes a must.)
Ar tonelico (Any) - The series themselves are kinda weird, but get the soundtracks. So epic it HURTS! if you want epic otherworldly chanting, this is where you go.
Suikoden (3-5) - Empire (If you want to play up poltical power and sweeping changes in nations, this is the set to go for. If you can find it.)
I also like some Anime themes:
Escaflowne (4 original CDs) - A mix of jpop, but the rest of it is great for grand epic battles and deep exotic chanting.
Record of Lodoss Wars (again, good luck finding these 3 CDs) - The series was inspired by a D&D game, It's very fantasic, very sombere but just perfect for setting a classic adventure mood. I consider this my default "go to" for mood setting.
Too many to list but recently-
Brotherhood of the Wolf - Action (So fitting, and very dark. Fits my style games a lot better than airier fantasy themes.)
So, I ask you GamerTalk?
What themes and music do YOU use as inspiration with your groups? What soundtracks and what themes do they evoke?
When ever I have a party visit an open air market, I play a little Gealic Storm
Here's a few gems from my gaming playlists...
- Midnight Syndicate has a pretty good D&D album with lots of thematic tracks.
- Blackmore's Night and Loreena McKennitt are both great choices for a folksy, melodic sound such as exploring taverns, 'gypsy' carnivals, or when the party's bard strums to everyone after a long day.
- Enya is good for druidic and fey-based encounters.
- The old Conan the Barbarian soundtrack sees a lot of use as well.
- The soundtracks for Bleach, Fairy Tail, Evangelion, and The Big O have gotten a lot of play in battles, and both tension-building and introspective scenes.
- E.S. Posthumus and Globus have good tracks for majestic courtly scenes, and wrath of God style encounters.
- Therion has a lot of good tracks for occult, ancient, and exotic locales.
- Alestorm for anything pirate related.
I'm enjoying the soundtrack to the game "Bastion" for Pathfinder and Gamma world mostly for exploration/combat. Likewise, the Firefly series soundtrack.
For sci-fi I listen to the Deus Ex game soundtrack and Tron: Legacy Reconfigured soundtrack, not the first Tron Legacy soundtrack which was kind of dull.
Here is some good ones you can find on youtube...
Conan the Barbarian Soundtrack (1982)
Mortiis: The Stargate
Dargaard: Eternity Rites
Therion-Secret of the Runes
Karl Sanders: Saurian Exorcisms
Dol Ammad- Star Tales
Blind Guardian-Nightfall in Middle Earth
Bal Sagoth-Battle Magic
Blackmore's Night-Shadow of the moon
Type O negative-Bloody kisses