Need some music suggestions for a sea battle


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


Here's the situation, players and crew are sailing through the seas on a beautiful tropical day, when they notice the inky blackness on the horizon... A storm is coming. A big one. They're expecting a battle, and have taken precautions but the storm is an added hiccup they weren't expecting. Soon after the storm hits, in the flash of the lightning they see them... Viking raiders in their longships. Soon they hear the raiders singing, striking fear into the hearts of their crew.
Due to the storm even seeing the enemy is difficult, nevermind for long enough to fire the ships weapons at them. Then the tropical storm, with its gale force winds gets worse... The temperature drops and ice begins to form... Rain becomes sleet and hail, everything gets slick with ice, and above it all they can hear the shops closing in, their raiding songs seemingly coming from everywhere... And nowhere. They're outnumbered, and they have one chance. A cove they spotted earlier would give them the advantage, but to get to it they have to navigate an unknown reef in the storm... And the aquatic predators have come out already, waiting for someone to fall in and become their latest snack.
So with the above scene in mind, what songs do you suggest having me playing in the background? So far I've added the black sails theme, Vikings theme, machinehead's beneath the silt, call of kthulu by metallica, and possibly ride the lightning. What else should I add to the play list?


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Two Steps from Hell - Victory
Two Steps from hell - Armada

Those provide some nice background pieces without being too obtrusive. but if you want to go for Pure Pirate, Almost Anything by Alestorm.
ALESTORM - Shipwrecked is a favorite of mine.

Amon Amarth, The Pursuit of Vikings is another good one. Both Alestorm and Amon Amarth are probably a bit heavy for game music but they are Ship Game, if nothing else.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Pirates of the Caribbean OST has some great music for this kind of thing.


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O Fortuna - Carmina Burana It's great battle music all around.


Stuticus wrote:


Those provide some nice background pieces without being too obtrusive. but if you want to go for Pure Pirate, Almost Anything by Alestorm.
ALESTORM - Shipwrecked is a favorite of mine.

Alestorm is awesome, but I'm having a hard time imagining raiders singing . . . no, I'm having a really easy time imagining vikings belting those jaunty tunes. But it doesn't really fit the mood . . .


General epic nautical music list:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLYTdzgc8sH_TOQtEYWWaGIrCUpkCpMV28


Not exactly ship combat music, but background sailing shanties. YouTube: Assassin's Creed Black Flag shanties.


Maybe they are not your cup of tea but in overall the Soul Calibur songs are pretty good.

Those come to mind for that scene:

Soul Calibur III - Approaching Tempest

Soul Calibur II - Eternal struggle

Soul Calibur III - No Regrets


A Night on Bald Mountain.


I would suggest this set for its split between "epic" combat music and slower, roleplay friendly music, (see the tracklist). Between 28:56-44:14 might be best for viewing the oncoming raiders and then moving onto the attack.

ngc7293 wrote:
O Fortuna - Carmina Burana It's great battle music all around.

There is always room for a bit of O Fortuna. ^.^


How do you feel about opera? Wagner specifically, or if you can find it, The Wreckers by Ethel Smyth.

Roger McGuinn has an entire album of pirate shanties.

A Viking metal Pandora station?


Vikings, you say? Then, this one is a must:

Back through time.


Caterpillars wrote:

How do you feel about opera? Wagner specifically, or if you can find it, The Wreckers by Ethel Smyth.

Roger McGuinn has an entire album of pirate shanties.

A Viking metal Pandora station?

Putting my pedantic hat on. There are no such things as pirate shanties. Shanties were sang by sailors of either merchant or military ships for either work or leisure. Either way, singing about pirates would have gotten you in huge trouble (even of the life ending type).

Pirates have had myriad forms, and the ones of the golden age of sail would have indeed sang shanties too, but likely the same ones that were sung in other ships, as that is from where these pirates came.
Any shanties that deal about pirates are usually about sinking them (Coast of Barbary) or hoping you didnt come accross any. So any pirate lyrics are by necessity modern. Worth noting that many shanties even though thought traditional are a modern interpretation of what we have left. Only so many got written and not always by the people that employed them.

You can go as far as saying that train-track layers in the north american west also sang shanties - in fact many were sailors who alternated between sailing seasons and track laying, hence you'll find similar tunes. Song for getting through toil is afterall an old concept for humans.

Furthermore on Roger Quinn...he sings shanty lyrics but the accompanying music, vocals and composition makes them distinctingly not very shanty like. I like his music though!

Pendatic hat off.

Wagner is indeed amazing for an incoming storm!


Errant Mercenary wrote:
Caterpillars wrote:

Roger McGuinn has an entire album of pirate shanties.

Putting my pedantic hat on.

<snip>

Furthermore on Roger Quinn...he sings shanty lyrics but the accompanying music, vocals and composition makes them distinctingly not very shanty like. I like his music though!

Pendatic hat off.

Wagner is indeed amazing for an incoming storm!

Putting on my pedantic hat:

If McGuinn wants to call his own album pirate shanties, who am I to stop him? Cardiff Rose has fascinating album art to accompany it.

Also, there are field recordings of actual chain gangs, riverboat crew songs, and rail gang work songs. Lyrics and tunes are preserved for waulking songs (you know, kneading raw woolen fabric with your feet into felt in a bath of urine with all your friends and family). Good tunes are surprisingly durable. Just not all get the "let's get drunk and sing folksongs on tour" treatment of, say, Bruce Springsteen.

Pedantic hat off here.

Perhaps Col would prefer the pure silliness of Pirates of Penzance. The recording with Tim Curry as Pirate King is fun.


Basically anything from The Witcher 3's Skellige area is good stuff.
Example: Skellige Theme 1


Caterpillars, I had no idea Tim Curry had done Pirate King, I must see this.
As for the pirate shanty thing, I was just highlighting the historical background. Pirate...ness sometimes overlaps and substitutes general nautical themes (in the USA especially) and I feel it is important to know the differences (not specifically you, just to anyone reading about shanties, an often obscure subject), even when enjoying either one. It is very interesting how shanties, or other non nautical working songs, are more prevalent in some cultures than others. For example spanish language shanties (in the english style sense) are basically non existent, but in scandinavian languages they are more common.

A great power metal pirate like album is Running Wild - Under the Jolly Roger. For something more foreboding, impending storm...Cutthroat Island score should have appropriate stuff, it is an excellent composition.


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

How about an old whaling song ? Sung by Stan Rogers ?

Old Maui


Considering that there are still pirates, I suppose one could ask about their musical preferences, but it seems dangerous.

Track down Wreckers, if you can. Dame Smyth did interesting musicological research for it.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

A Vikings battle?

There's always Ride of the Valkyries (one selection from Wagner's opera mentioned by Caterpillars).

For a more generic sea battle, Skull and Crossbones from Pirates of the Carribean is an option.


Up is Down from Hanz Zimmer.

Black Sails Main Theme from the show of the same name.

Norwegian Pirate from Two Steps from Hell.

And the few ones from Vikings that people already linked.


It may not quiiite fit the theme, this theme is kinda neat for an extended battle scene and it's softer tone means it's super easy to talk over.

The following two songs are shorter and way more pirate themed, but I think they're pretty good any way.
Sea Shanty o' the One-Eyed, No-Armed Wench
She's a Sp8der

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