As previously mentioned, one of the many things I like about D&D and tabletop RPGs is the ability to become immersed in a fantasy world. There are many ways to improve and create an immersive environment for your players. Ambient music and the well timed use of sound effects are sure to liven up the game. Today, I wanted to highlight some of the music and audio resources that exist for tabletop gaming.
SoundCloud was one of the first resources I began using when I got into Tabletop gaming. Roll20 allows you to search SoundCloud and play various sound files within the Roll20 interface. This is a great way to bring your online gaming to life. You’ll find classic tracks from your favorite games (as well as remixes). There are also plenty of ambient tracks made specifically for tabletopping. Unfortunately, SoundCloud is a large platform that hosts a variety of audio from many different sources. Because of this, it can be difficult to find the perfect track for your dungeoneering.
Tabletop Audio is a step up from SoundCloud in that it was specifically made for Tabletoppers and provides a large variety of resources for Tabletop gamers. Obviously, its library is a bit smaller than SoundCloud, but it’s a lot easier to find tracks for your gaming session. They’re sorted into useful categories- Fantasy, Scifi, Historical, Modern, Nature, and Horror. You’ll find 75 tracks of both ambience and music. The site has a built in player and while all of the tracks are only 10 minutes long (this is usually good), they can be looped. The built in player allows you to create playlists and switch between tracks as needed. It couldn’t be easier. You can even share these playlists with your friends. The best part is that, all of these tracks are free to use.. though if you do use them, you should definitely consider donating so they cover their hosting costs and keep making great tracks. The only downside is that it doesn’t include a soundboard with short sound effects (think lightning bolts, and dragons roaring).
If you want to make your own music. Syrinscape is for you. This premium resource (not entirely free) allows you to sort through SoundSets so that you can create a unique aural experience. The Syrinscape player can be downloaded to your PC, Mac, iOS, and Android devices. It includes a couple SoundSets to start with and you can purchase more $3.99 each. If Tabletop Audio, doesn’t have enough options for you or you have a DIY attitude.. Syrinscape is an option. Personally, I’d like to see more free SoundSets to start off with, but I can’t blame them for wanting to make some money.
Brought to us by the Orange County Gaming Group, Battlebards is freshly funded Kickstarter campaign that should be available soon. What sets Battlebards apart from the fore-mentioned options is that it includes a soundboard that aims to provide both background music and sound effects. They’re also going to have voice overs for NPCs and useful tools for customizing these tracks and making your own. While it isn’t available yet, it certainly looks like it will be the best all-encompassing resource for tabletop audio. We do know that it will be a pay per track service, which again isn’t my favorite thing in the world. I would prefer a subscription service that allows unlimited access and I hope to see Battlebards adopt this model in the future as I’d be more likely to subscribe than to buy hundreds of individual tracks. Nevertheless, it looks very promising and I will definitely be posting a full review once it is available to the public.
Thanks again for reading!