Monday, April 2, 2007

Inspirational Gaming Music Part 1

That's inspirational as in, "Hey, that'd make a great plot/setting/NPC", not necessarily tunes that "&%*#ING RAWK!". For the first installation of this subject, I'm going with the great grandsire of the type: King Crimson's The Court Of The Crimson King. Pretty much everyone who's ever run a swords & sorcery game has mined this one for ideas. Given access to a time machine, I wouldn't be surprised to find a copy of the album on Gygax & Arneson's turntables back in the day.

This "prog rock" classic is younger than myself by a few months, and has admittedly aged better than I have. The album of the same name was recorded in August through September of 1969, and was released in early October of that year. It's got a fuzzy, dream-like quality that sets the mind going in odd directions. It's almost a legal way to trip. I can only imagine what it's like while actually on mind-altering chemicals.

All that said, most older players will flee at the first mention of chanting black queens, fire witches, & yellow jesters in a D&D-like setting. They've seen it too many times. Therefore, use it in pretty much any other setting. Base the background court politics of something ostensibly mundane on the song. Perhaps in your technothriller, that wisecracking Naval Attache from the Chinese Embassy is the one pulling the strings to bring about a coup back home and part of his plot involves getting Dr. Rice to convince Janet Reno to visit Bejing. For that matter, I shudder to think what a good CoC GM could do with it...

1 comment:

V the K said...

Hmm. I hadn't thought about it, but since my sons and I have decided to make 'City of Heroes' our Family Home Evening activity, I really need to put together a soundtrack.