Thursday, October 27, 2016

Opening and Closing Themes

I've talked before about the kind of music I collect for my game sessions, from action themes to somber dirges. But a couple kinds of music that I haven't discussed as much are the songs I use to open and close sessions. These are songs that I choose more carefully to fit the themes of the campaign and put people in the proper mood for the game. So what better time to explore these tunes than the present?

The Opening Theme

The opening theme song is the one I usually like to keep the same. If it is iconic and recognizable, it is ideal for returning players to the world of the ongoing campaign merely by the association of its melody. I will carefully pick out a theme song that fits the tone I am hoping to create in the game world, and start it up before or during the recap of the previous session. It's like the opening crawl of Star Wars, or the opening theme song of a TV show. It gets the group's attention and hypes the impending adventure.

Sometimes I might change things up and start with a different opening theme. This is a good way to really grab the players' attention and indicate a change in direction for your campaign.

The Closing Theme 

The closing theme could also be the same every time, but I prefer to choose a different song each time to wrap up the session. I think of the ending song like the song that plays during the credits of movie, something that lets the players reflect on the events that just transpired. To this end, I keep a playlist of various lyrical songs to choose from that might make good closing tunes. A good song can have a strong effect on the group as they wind down from an adventure, so I always like to end with a very striking melody.

I strongly encourage you to think about what kind of music would best fit with your own tabletop endeavors. Strike up the proper tune and it will bring your players deeper into the worlds you create in your pen and paper exploits.

Happy ventures!

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