23 August 2010

Music to Game By: The Sword

There must be music when gaming. This is an absolute, can not be denied rule. Without music or some other sort of background noise, player and DM voices alike tend to get swallowed up into the void and everybody's hesitant to say something, like they don't want to break the silence. It make voices sound alternately too loud, and too silent. There absolutely must be music for a game.

Plenty of people simply play whatever it is that they're listening to at the moment, and that's cool too. When I was running a game of Descent: Journeys in the Dark (the game 4th edition is trying to be), I would play Static-X, Pantera, that sort of thing. Also when we were playing Warhammer Fantasy Battle Roleplaying Game, since it was at least one person's first game. 

But even better than random metal is something that fits the theme. Let me give you a quick tip:

If you're running an old-school game (and if you're reading this then you probably) are, you deserve to take a look at the Sword.

Their songs are epic in the Black Sabbath sense, with a mixture of doom metal and power rock- awesome vocals over a deep guitar, shaking and moving with the awesome stride of giants. Their subject matter alternately references Conan (Beyond the Black River), post-apocalyptic fantasy (Fire-Lances of the Ancient Hyperzephrians), and George R.R. Martin (To Take the Black.) Every single song is about cold wastelands, evil wizards, ancient pacts, and the mysteries of the deep forest. 

And it absolutely fits the atmosphere. If your gaming is anything at all related to any of those, you owe it to yourself to at least try and give the Sword a listen. I did, and it really helps the atmosphere of any game.


  1. If there was a poster-boy band for the OSR, then the Sword is it.

    As someone that normally plays modern horror I love the Sword, "Maiden, Mother and Crone" is pretty much a "WitchCraft RPG" song.

    Good call here.

  2. They've a new album coming out this month. :)

  3. LOVE THIS BAND! Great taste you have there! ;-)

  4. @Tim: Thanks for the kind words. :)

    @ JG: Really? I have to admit, I've been lax on keeping up with any sort of music- for example, I didn't know that High on Fire had a new album until it already came out! Talk about embarrassing...

    @DRANCE: Glad to see that I'm not alone. The Sword always inspires me, and I figured that the least I could do was to get the good word out the only way I can. :)

  5. By the by, Warp Riders is out.:)

  6. Another The Sword fan! Most Excellent! : )