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William Hostman
United States
Alsea
OR
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No. Well, only for pregame or post game.

During actual play? NEVER!!! I find it problematic to listen through music.

That said... I've tried it a few times, and the effort was unrewarding. It not only didn't help, it actively hindered play. Heck, even the neighbor's music was a problem.
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Paul Dale
Australia
Moggill
Queensland
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Generally we have no music during sessions.
On occasion music has been used to create more tension in a session.


Pauli

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Michael Ink
United States
Mundelein
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philip.dutre wrote:
Sometimes, but very hard to get right for the entire group. Even with fairly neutral easy-listening music that fits the game period, it usually gets on someone’s nerves.


Agreed. That's why I like the intro only version.
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Caroline Berg
United States
Washington
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No, never.

I cannot focus when there is music playing. I don't even write with music on.

I can't filter out sounds, I hear everything at once. Which means if a player tries to talk and there is music playing, I can't hear what the player is saying, no matter how soft the music is.
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Caroline Berg
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...124 to run fleeing from the mountain. ...125 to use a rope to climb the cliff. ...126 to quickly cast "summon stairs." ...127 to dodge under the falling rocks.
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lorddillon wrote:
No, never. It creates an auditory distraction that I find very difficult to overcome.

If music is on in the background I have a hard time hearing anything, no matter how low the music is. My brain picks it up and tries to make it important, and it ends up getting my attention and distracting me in a way not intended (I'm positive) by the GM or player putting on the music.

This is the same reason I don't like crowded areas (sporting evens, pubs, restaurants, parties) - because if there is a bit of background noise I cannot hear the people I am talking to very well due to the very distracting background.

As a professor this serves me well, at times, because I can pick up on things the students are saying to each other that they think no one can hear - I hear it! It's not because my hearing is all that great, it's because the background gets picked up and becomes the forefront in my brain. In short - sometimes it is a bug and sometimes a feature.

Oh wow, this sounds precisely what I have... where I hear too much... but not always what I'm meant to hear...
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Alan, "Son of Hett"
United States
The Triangle
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Paolo Robino wrote:
I've used Tabletop Audio.


OOoooh! very cool! Bookmarking that now.
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Chris Tannhauser
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San Diego
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I like to play something thematically reinforcing in the background, softly. Brains doing what they do, the music will aften line up with the action. (Or at least we remember the few times it has, making it seem significant.)

In the past I've put together campaign-appropriate mixtapes for the players, complete with clues in the titles and liner notes...
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Club Squirrel
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Brierley Hill
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No. I'd like to, but I game either at a games club where playing music would be inappropriate.


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Peter Robben
Belgium
Antwerp
Antwerp
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Yes, I have a ton of classic, jazz, soundtracks and ambient on my laptop, and a bluetooth speaker to play it. I find it helps with mood setting.
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Ryan Ahr
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South Carolina
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sos1 wrote:
GeoffreyB wrote:
... Star Wars music for Star Wars Saga Edition.

I admit this makes sense. Likewise LOTR soundtrack for any game set in Middle Earth. And other licensed games with decent soundtracks in the source material.


If you ever want to do that for D&D, check out the complete digital editions of the Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, Neverwinter Nights games, as well as Planescape torment. They come bundled with the soundtracks as separate files so you don't have to extract them from game files. I use those, plus fantasy/D&D themed albums from two groups that do ambient music for haunted houses, called Nox Arcana and Midnight Syndicate, in conjunction with Soft Rope and sound effects files I've found on the internet to create soundscapes. Once again, I really miss having a laptop
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Rob Doupe
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Calgary
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For the longest time I put on general background music of a suitable type, but have recently been selecting and preparing ambient sounds and scores (loads of them on Youtube) tailored for the session I'm running. I'm finding they help with mood, in the same way a radio drama can be enhanced.

MWChapel wrote:
...From Basil Poledouris to Black Sabbath.


The Conan Soundtrack and Masters of Reality are easily my two most played pieces of RPG background music.
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Chris Abbott
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GTA
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Nope, it would be horrible.

I used to love having music on in the background while I was writing or programming.

Over the last 10 years, it's become extremely difficult for me to follow a single speaker's sentence if there's more than one source. Not because I can't hear, but because I hear everything at the same level and my brain can no longer sort out the individual streams.

Very disconcerting.

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Patrick Zoch
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Kansas
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This reminds me of an event back in the early 80's when my friends and I were excited by Jethro Tull's album "Broadsword and the Beastie" which we felt was tailor made for D&D. We played it during one of our sessions and found it WAY too distracting (and inconsistent with the scene and mood of the scene in the game -- the music mood and game mood were never in sync).

Mood music was relegated to our character generation sessions. But never again in our game sessions.
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Rebus Carnival
United States
Da Burbz
DC METRO
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Mostly bongos.
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Strike Force was robbed!
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Allen Park
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We don't any more. We used to sometimes play western soundtracks when we played Deadlands.

When we were much younger, we'd always have the radio on in the background. During one summer we had a party member betray us and the game became one of hunting him down. The hunt was punctuated by the song "Lonely is the Night" which seemed to be on the radio every few minutes. I think that means it must've been in 1981, since that's when the song was at its peak.

It was probably the best time we ever had music during a game.

Lonely is the night when you find yourself alone
Your demons come to light and your mind is not your own
Lonely is the night when there's no one left to call
You feel the time is right, say the writing's on the wall

It's a high time to fight when the walls are closin' in
Call it what you like it's time you got to win
Lonely, lonely, lonely your spirit's sinkin' down
You find you're not the only stranger in this town
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Trencher for Life
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Slidell
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All. The. Time. It sets the mood and adds immersion.
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Alan, "Son of Hett"
United States
The Triangle
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I have been thinking of this thread again. For those who utilize music for their campaign settings, it occurs to me that the sudden absence of music could add tension to a scene, as it is occasionally used in film.

For several hours the players have guided their characters, navigating the landscape and social milieu, battling minor threats where necessary. The GM has been playing scene-appropriate music the entire time. At long last, the characters find the location of the last informant or clue that will finally lead them to The Villain. They enter the location; everything seems rather ordinary. The door closes behind them. Suddenly the music stops. The GM declares, "Make a perception check."

Or something like that.
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Tom B
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Leander
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Yes.

I'll usually have an opening theme to signal the start of the game, and a closing theme to mark the end. (The reaction to the closing music at an unexpected cliffhanger is very satisfying.)

In between, I'll usually have ambient music. Low volume, it helps cover up more distracting background noise (the television upstairs, dogs barking, etc.) I'll occasionally have more prominent music if appropriate, but that's rare.
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