Friday, October 9, 2009

What music should a DM play during a potential TPK?

I suggest avoiding the Braveheart-esque "slow motion sequence of an important character dying in in the midst of a battle while his companions howl and attempt to reach him," not only is that stuff played-out and hokey, but it's also bad luck in the vein of a Bride and Groom's first dance after the wedding ceremony being to Careless Whisper.

You need something epic and blood-stirring, and something that says in no uncertain terms that the chips are down and you are going to have to bring your A-game to the table if you even want a chance of your character surviving.

The Dollars/Good, Bad & Ugly trilogy had a huge influence of my campaigns, both in the Wilderlands and Planet Algol, in terms of atmosphere, the ways of men and also soundtrack-wise. There is something primal and archetypal about the music from these movies and it causes me no end of grief that those sad-sacks has-beens Metallica use this music as the entrance cue.

BTW, my friend's Kevin and Nadine used this as their wedding music in the middle of a sweltering summer, making the audience wait while the music built tension...after stealing the idea from me. 100% class in my opinion.

I would probably cry if I saw this in concert.


  1. That's some great stuff. I've bored people discussing the storytelling in the soundtracks of sci-fi and fantasy flicks, but you don't get any better than this.

  2. "The Ecstasy" is one of my favourite pieces. Another excellent TPK one is the showdown music from "Once Upon A Time in the West".

  3. "Adagio for Strings" from the Platoon soundtrack.

  4. I bought up all of the Za Frumi I could find for fantasy gaming. I also like the 300 sundtrack as it has plenty of great atmosphere, although Vivaldi and Tchaikovsky are superb for ambiance.

    Music is a sticky situation, some people love it, some people are distracted by it, and some people don't care, there are great ideas here.

  5. You win the Internets!

    Morricone Rocks, GBU Rocks.

  6. Just thought of one--

    Bob Dylan "Fixin' to Die"