Monday 5 September 2011

Crib your adventures from music {Ideas}

Most of us crib our adventure ideas from some place, whether it be books or film, but I bet few of us look to music for inspiration. 

As I've said before, I'm a huge metal fan - a genre that's rife with fantasy/sci-fi/speculative fiction. You only have to peek into the power metal section of any music store to see that most of these bands are utter nerds like us.

Throughout my own D&D 4e campaign I've made allusions to certain bands that I love; the Forest of the Blind Guardian for instance. Band names are great to use as names of people or places. One of my bad guys was called Marduk, for example - the name of a black metal band.

But if you look in the right places, names aren't the only things you can steal from bands. Take a look at Rhapsody of Fire, an epic symphonic hollywood power metal group known for their bombastic sounds and albums woven around a fantasy narrative. Hell, they even have Christopher Lee on a few of their albums! These guys sing songs concerning the Steelgods of the Last Apocalypse and Akron, the tyrant. Just listening to one of their albums can give you a wealth of cool ideas. Few bands have such a strong fantasy theme, which makes Rhapsody of Fire a great go-to repository for ideas.

So next time you're stuck for an NPC or city name, look to music, or more specifically, metal, for some inspiration. After all, The White Towers of Gehenna or Khold or the Blacklands do sound pretty damned cool.


  1. Great insight. One of the first campaigns I ever played in my friend had a fighter he names Bytor. That was my introduction to Rush. I was never a big fan of Rush but it taught me early on that Rock and eventually metal was a great source of inspiration for gaming. I have often conjectured that the reason metal seems so popular with gamers is largely in part because their songs tell stories.

  2. @Wymarc that's awesome. Yeah, metal/rock tends to have more of a narrative than other forms of music (with the exception of classical and some folk). Bytor is a cool name.