So you want to spice up your living room game or maybe enhance the headphone experience whilst playing a game online? Then there are three options readily available which are:
- Online Music Players
- Sound Engines
Youtube is and easy simple choice for music for your role playing games – there are a small army of creatives producing music suitable for use by your gaming group. Notable examples include:
Adrian von Ziegler – who produces generally short 3-5 theme music which can be very useful for fleshing out a new location or event.
Fantasy & World Music by the Fiechters – who produce short and long pieces of music
Grim Music World – who produce typically hour longer pieces with a celtic or folk style
The Guild of Ambience – The Guild specialises in the production of themed location music. Need a library, tavern, sewer, or campsite this is the place. Compositions last 1 to 2 hours which is sufficient for most sessions and location encounters.
2. Online Music Players
An online music player performs the same same as you essentially play a composed piece of music from the website.
The most popular of these is Tabletop Audio (which is supported by direct donations and Patreon donations).
3. Sound Engines
The final common option is to use a Sound Engine. The two most prominent sound engines are MyNoise.net and Syrinscape.
Less well known is MyNoise.net. Although it is designed to create background white noise for people to help them relax its catalogue include sounds suitable for role-playing games including Dungeons, Medieval Villages, Temples, Space-ship Engine Rooms, or a Minstrel Playing for Coin on a street. MyNoise allows you to adjust the volume or silence each component allowing you a degree of customisation.
A once-time (as little at US$5) or regular donation (your choice) helps fund MyNoise operations and provides you with a range of additional benefits includes:
- easy access to all generators (for the regular visitor, the main index page only lists a selection of sounds)
- bonus features, such as Animation Control, Random Slider setting and the amazing Tape Speed Control (pitch transposition)
- the Super Generators and their ability to play multiple sounds simultaneously or sequentially, in a sleek window.
- the ability to tag favorites generators
- and mp3 downloads
If you are interested in trying to add a little sound to your game MyNoise.net is a great choice along with the demo version of the following sound engine – Syrinscape.
Syrinscape is a Unity based software package developed by an Australian firm (orginally donation-ware) that has now secured licences with both Wizards of the Coast Dungeons and Dragons and Paizo Pathfinder to produce sounds for their respective adventures.
There are three Syrinscape players – fantasy, science-fiction, and board games to choose from with fantasy being the most popular.
The software’s basic building blocks are music tracks and sound samples.
The software’s basic building blocks are music tracks and sound samples. The music is played in a traditional manner but the sound samples are categorised by theme and then played at random internals. The effect of this is that you can play the same track for several hours and not have the feeling of constant repetition (it is also easy for the sounds to be adjusted slightly on the fly to change the mix a bit more or as events unfold).
There are various customisation options and the Fantasy Grounds community has developed a module that allows Syrinscape sounds to be automatically triggered by Game Master or player action (for example when a spell is cast).
Regardless of the subscription options you choose you are granted access to the full catalogue of sounds while your subscription is active and lifetime access (whether subscribed or not) to these sounds that were released whilst your subscription was active. In a year you should have permanent access to around 30-40 sound sets plus the sounds that accessible to all users for free.
Regardless of budget access to sounds to enhance your role playing experience is accessible at zero cost. Our suggestion is to try all options and see what works for you and your gaming group.