I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.Thomas Edison
Soundtracks of Adventure – Finding Musical Inspiration in TTRPGs
In this Insight Check I’m going explore how my passion for tabletop role-playing games has intertwined with my creative endeavors in music. I’ll delve into how the themes, narratives, and atmospheres within my TTRPG adventures have sparked musical inspiration, influencing the creation of various compositions. Whether it’s a melody inspired by a character’s journey or a composition capturing the ambiance of a fantastical setting, discover how I bring my TTRPG stories to life through music. I’ll also outline my future plans for integrating my TTRPG passion further into my musical craft, teasing upcoming projects that promise to merge the realms of gaming and music even further.
Cacophony of Silence: Navigating the Creative Lull
Being deeply rooted in the world of music since the dawn of my creative endeavors, I began officially releasing my compositions in the early 2000s. These early pieces, while radiating raw ambition, lacked the refined touch of professionalism.
Around 2006/2007, life’s unpredictable rhythms began to clash with my harmonious aspirations. The tumultuous cacophony led to a retreat, culminating in a musical silence in 2008. However, showcasing a chameleon-like adaptability, I re-emerged from the shadows, re-inventing my musical persona. By 2015, this transformative journey bore fruit in the form of the original version of Ambient Highways.
But life, ever the unpredictable composer, had more discordant notes to play. The conclusion of 2019 was shadowed by personal upheavals, accentuated by the global strains of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, in this challenging soundscape, another adaptation occurred. I unveiled “Other Worlds Than These”, my broader brand vision. Dive deeper into its ethos here. Amidst this period’s challenges, a gleaming note of achievement resounded: the remastered and extended version of Ambient Highways on vinyl.
Despite these accomplishments, the crescendos of personal adversities loomed large, muffling the joys. Searching for a cathartic escape from this overwhelming orchestration, 2022 saw me venturing into a long-cherished domain: Dungeons & Dragons. This newfound passion, detailed in My Curriculum Romance, provided the melodic solace I desperately sought, offering a sanctuary during one of the most dissonant phases of my life.
Harmonizing Realms: When Music Meets Fantasy
Delving deeper into the realms of D&D and other TTRPGs, every quest and every character interaction seemed to come alive with a musical undertone. While many of these melodic backdrops were inspired by renowned artists, a significant portion echoed from my own past compositions. The bond between my TTRPG experiences and my musical pursuits became especially pronounced with my album, “Epica“.
Interestingly, “Epica” isn’t just an album; it’s also the very name I chose for the world I was meticulously crafting for my player characters. The lush landscapes, intricate cities, and the diverse inhabitants of Epica were not only shaped by the stories I wanted to tell but also by the musical notes that danced in my mind. As the story of “Blyris Bledsone’s Menagerie of Curiosities” evolved within the world of Epica, the album’s ethereal melodies and grand crescendos became an inseparable part of the narrative.
Witnessing the convergence of my music with the world of Epica in my solo D&D campaign is a unique experience. For those intrigued by how the symphonies of “Epica” amplify the adventures within its namesake world, I invite you to delve into Blyris Bledsone’s gripping journey here. It showcases the transformative power of music and its unparalleled ability to elevate tales and immerse one into fantastical realms.
Harmonious Lore: Crafting Mara Jourdain’s Story as a Musical Muse Example
As artists, we often have muses that nudge our creativity in unexpected directions. Mara Jourdain, initially a mere NPC in the expansive landscape of “Blyris Bledstone’s Menagerie of Curiosities”, quickly transformed from a background silhouette into a key player, showcasing the unpredictable nature of storytelling and gameplay in TTRPGs.
A Melody of Beauty and Beast
Mara Jourdain, once a radiant human woman, now bears the heavy weight of a curse that has transformed her into a hulking Giant Ape. Behind the intimidating facade, however, her eyes still shimmer with a familiar, albeit haunting, human intelligence. This dissonance between her current form and her true self is accentuated when she occasionally reverts to her human guise, revealing a figure of ethereal beauty with cascading blonde hair and eyes of profound green. Those eyes, though deep and captivating, also carry a sorrowful story – a narrative of love lost and an existence cruelly altered.
Before the malevolent sorcery of Odyn Bledstone stole her human form and the love of her life, Mara was a revered figure in her community, evident from the simple yet refined garments she adorns when in her human visage. Her long, flowing gowns, usually in subdued hues, reflect her inherent elegance and grace. The tale of Mara isn’t merely one of tragic metamorphosis; it’s a testament to resilience and unwavering spirit. Despite the immense grief of losing her husband and her own self to a curse, Mara’s essence remains unyielding. She journeys with newfound allies, united in purpose, aspiring to reclaim her true self and rectify the sorrows of her past. Her interactions are imbued with wisdom born from adversity, yet she remains compassionate, loyal, and an undying beacon of hope for her companions.
Every nuance of her character, every layer of her story arc, seemed to resonate with the haunting melodies of “Lilith’s Theme” from my album, Dawn.
“Dawn”, as an album, is more than just a collection of melodies; it is my tribute to the gripping narrative found in the beloved trilogy “Lilith’s Brood.” The trilogy itself is a testament to the strength and resilience of its lead character, Lilith Iyapo, a black woman who grapples with isolation, enigma, and the haunting remnants of a devastated Earth.
The inaugural novel of the series unfolds with Lilith in solitary confinement, plagued by recurring instances of mysterious interrogations by an unseen entity. These initial exchanges are imbued with uncertainty, as she attempts to recall fragments of her past – the haunting memories of a nuclear apocalypse and the tragic loss of her family in a vehicular accident. The narrative slowly unwinds, drawing the reader into its intricate web of revelations. The otherworldly figures that later visit her, despite their benevolent intentions, evoke visceral terror with their alien countenance.
Lilith’s story spirals into deeper complexities as she discovers the stark truth: Earth, having been ravaged by nuclear warfare, had rendered humanity on the brink of extinction. The remnants of her kind were rescued by the Oankali, an alien species with bio-integrative ships, who stumbled upon Earth’s ruins. As she awakens to this reality, a staggering 250 years post-war, aboard the organic ship of the Oankali, her journey of discovery, adaptation, and survival truly begins.
For those seeking a deeper dive into this compelling trilogy, more comprehensive insights can be found here. My album “Dawn” endeavors to encapsulate the profound emotions, challenges, and transformations experienced by Lilith in her otherworldly odyssey.
Mara’s evolution from a supporting role to a pivotal character wasn’t just a result of game mechanics, but rather the symphony of inspirations, of which “Lilith’s Theme” was an integral part. The track encapsulated her essence, her spirit, her journey. As she evolved, the song became not just a background score, but her narrative voice. Every time I needed to channel Mara, to weave her dialogues, or to design her path, this song served as a compass. It’s fascinating how an entity born from musical notes can shape and mold a character in a role-playing game, underscoring the profound relationship between music and storytelling. Whether it’s through the game mechanics of the Mythic Game Master Emulator or the depth of her evolving narrative, the pull of “Lilith’s Theme” remains inextricable, defining Mara’s essence in the grand tapestry of my D&D solo adventure.
Muse in the Void: Channeling ‘Dawn’ for ALIEN RPG Character Creation
In the vast expanse of space, the echoing silence can be deafening. Yet, for a storyteller, that silence can be filled with a cacophony of inspiration. While crafting characters for my ALIEN RPG solo game Havoc Dawn, music once again took a central role in influencing the narrative.
The birth of “Dawn” can trace its origin to a singular piece I had crafted: “Giger’s Chimera.” The composition bore a haunting resemblance to the opening theme of the iconic film ALIEN. H.R. Giger, the mastermind behind the iconic and eerie designs of the ALIEN creature and its environment, was the namesake for this initial track. As “Dawn” evolved, “Giger’s Chimera” was reborn, taking on the new name “Alive!” The metamorphosis of the track felt particularly apt, especially as I found it resonating powerfully with the themes of my ALIEN RPG solo game.
The ALIEN universe is rich with suspense, horror, and moments of haunting beauty. It’s a setting where the unknown lurks around every corner, and survival often hangs by a thread. In this tense backdrop, finding the right emotional tone is crucial. It’s here that “Dawn,” with its origins so deeply rooted in the ALIEN aesthetic, played its part. The atmospheric and emotional depth of the tracks provided the perfect soundscape for my interstellar ventures.
Each character I crafted was not just a set of skills or a role to play; they were souls navigating the vastness of space, driven by their past, their fears, and their hopes. Music has an unparalleled power to evoke emotion and shape narratives. As I delved into the ALIEN RPG universe, “Dawn” served as a constant companion, shaping my characters’ journeys and adding depth to their stories. It’s a testament to the intertwined nature of music and storytelling, and how one can elevate the other.
The Aural Realms Collection
Music has been a constant, an unwavering muse in my life. It whispers tales of distant lands, recounts epic battles, and paints scenes of poignant moments, turning the intangible to the tangible and breathing life into stories that unfold within our imaginations. In my journey, it has acted as a compass, guiding my narrative pursuits, especially in the vibrant world of tabletop role-playing games.
As such, I’m thrilled to present the “Aural Realms Collection” – an anthology of musical pieces, each designed to accompany, accentuate, and elevate your TTRPG adventures. The collection isn’t limited to just one genre or theme; it embraces a vast spectrum. From the mystical lands of fantasy to the neon-lit alleys of cyberpunk cities, from the ominous void of horror to the vast expanse of space in sci-fi epics, “The Aural Realms Collection” has a symphony for every setting.
A Special Invitation for Our Readers
Did You Know?
For those aligned with us as Bardic Inspiration Tier members at “Other Worlds Than These” on Patreon, you’re in for a treat. Not only do you get to journey with me through the creation process of the “Aural Realms Collection”, but you also receive early access to these musical masterpieces, experiencing their magic well before they’re unveiled to the wider world. This isn’t just early access—it’s a front-row seat to the evolution of each piece, a backstage pass to witness the melodies taking shape. And the music is just one facet; the Patreon membership comes with an array of exclusive perks, insights, and privileges reserved especially for our cherished community. If the allure of these musical realms calls out to you, and you wish to be at the forefront of these sonic adventures, consider joining us as a patron. You’ll be immersing in a symphony of benefits.
Whether you’re embarking on a desert journey in the “Dune: Adventures in the Imperium RPG”, chasing replicants in the Blade Runner RPG, exploring galaxies in Star Wars and Star Trek adventures, or diving deep into the magical and monstrous worlds of Pathfinder, this collection promises a fitting backdrop. Beyond mere background music, these pieces aim to become an intrinsic part of your story, heightening tension, setting the pace, and underscoring moments of triumph, tragedy, and discovery.
By weaving together my profound love for music and storytelling, “The Aural Realms Collection” endeavors to offer fellow TTRPG enthusiasts a rich tapestry of sounds, tailored to resonate with diverse worlds and narratives. Let it accompany you, adding layers to your tales, making every dice roll, character interaction, and plot twist even more memorable. Stay tuned for more information as this project unfolds, and as we move forward in our adventures, may the harmonies of the Aural Realms be the soundtrack of our epic tales.
Music, in all its multifaceted splendor, has woven its melodies through the tapestry of my life and stories. From the echoing silence of a creative lull to the resonant reimagining of beloved themes, the journey has been transformative. Our deep dive into the harmonious lore behind Mara Jourdain highlighted not just the interplay between music and character development, but served as an example of how tunes can inspire and shape the narratives we cherish.
“Dawn” stands as a testament to the power of music in storytelling, its origins rooted in the eerie, evocative realms of H.R. Giger, eventually finding a place in the atmosphere of my ALIEN RPG sessions. But the horizon is ever-expanding. As we look forward to the “Aural Realms Collection”, we’re not just talking about compositions, but world-building. It’s an ambitious project that will span across genres from Fantasy and Horror to Cyberpunk and Ambient, catering to a variety of TTRPGs.
To our Bardic Inspiration Tier patrons, your support and engagement mean the world. Your early access to these aural tales is not only a token of appreciation but an invitation to be part of the creation process.
In conclusion, music isn’t just about notes and rhythms—it’s a vessel for stories, emotions, and shared experiences. As we move forward, I invite you to join me in this symphonic adventure, exploring new worlds, meeting diverse characters, and discovering tales that resonate long after the last note has been played.