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Monday Music: Town Themes

Something that makes me want to punch gnomes is the sound of cliche "medieval" music. You know the kind - bagpipes wailing, cheery flute you'd associate with celtic dancing or medieval fests. (It is also used in many RPG games, and every terrible fantasy TV show/movie ever invented.)

I hate this music! Not the music itself, but what self-respecting evil DM has a happy little town deserving of a theme song like that? No, our villages are besieged by bloodthirsty goblins, situated atop ancient gnoll burial grounds, or unknowingly participating in vile rituals which will summon Yok'Thrykrr the Devourer. No, my fellow DMs, we need appropriate town music.

A few "village that is totally effed and may even be aware of this fact" themes that I have used are as follows:

Tristram Village

Source: Diablo OST (No longer available for purchase on Amazon)

Castle in the Mist

Source: ICO OST (aka ICO-Melody in the Mist) (Import only, it seems. Sadness.)

Mood: Loneliness, determination, meager resources, hardship, helplessness

Summary: These songs perfectly capture the "points of light in the Darkness" theme that Wizards is pushing so hard in 4E D&D. In fact, the games themselves follow this theme exactly as well - in Diablo you are one hero against thousands of demons in a corrupted land, and in ICO you are a boy all alone in a monstrous castle fighting...the Darkness (no, seriously!). No wonder their music fits so well.

I would guess that not many would listen to these songs and think "Wow, this sure is a nice place to live!" Instead, I hope players would grit their teeth, sharpen their blades and prepare themselves for difficult struggles ahead.

It would be perfect for:
• Any town/village where there is hardship and people who need help (aka EVERY D&D TOWN EVER)
• Castle in the Mist - an elegy (I visualize it playing while sending someone's body drifting off to sea, something like that)


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