“Wouldn’t That Song Just Make a Great RPG?” Tunes & Lyrics to Get your Creative Juices Going

 

Have you ever been listening to some tunes and thought to yourself, “OME, this would make a great RPG plot/story line/character concept”? If you have then you know what this is going to be about – and if you haven’t, dudes, you need to get your musical mojo on because music is a great source of inspiration for all sorts of things! These are things I have been thinking about for some time, so, forgive me, but some of these ideas are a bit more developed than others. In any case, I hope you can see how they could work.

Oh, and prior warning, this includes, a fair amount of METAL! :8

Rhapsody of Fire – The Emerald Sword & Dawn of Victory

If you are in for some high-fantasy stuff, this is perfect. Both songs are really fast paced and they scream epicness. Starting with Dawn of Victory, I think it is pretty obvious but here is a lot of stuff for a very cool battle/fight.

Fire is raging on the battlefield
While Arwald is fighting the war of the kings
The army of Dargor, the thunder, the storm…
So people are calling the brave and his sword
No time left to save the wise throne!
Shades of a past not so far to forget…
The rise of the demons from their bloody hell!
So come mighty warrior to light the lost hope
For Tharos the dragon and your cosmic soul…
Now handle your emerald sword!
For Ancelot
The ancient cross of war
For the holy town of gods
Gloria, gloria perpetua
In this dawn of victory

It may be worth mentioning by know that, Rhapsody, being cool and all that have created this epic legend of the Emerald Sword Saga through their different albums, so there is a lot of back story throughout the different songs that you can “appropriate”/”modify” for your own story. My thoughts with this was to essentially recreated something of the likes of what David Gemmel does with the Legend series about Druss – Dros Delnoch, about to fall, all depending on this one die-hard guy to turn the very unlikely odds in your favour. So, if you are thinking of a perilous war, right on the edge, pulling off a Helm’s Deep sorta thing, this could give you plenty of juice (and soundtrack). It complements nicely with Emerald Sword:

With lyrics of the type “On the way to the glory I’ll honor my sword
To serve right ideals and justice for all”, this, to me, reflects an amazing embodiment of your classic DnD paladin. In fact, I recall that we did use such throughout our Dragonlance campaign for our Knight of Solamnia. So if you are struggling to shape up your LG champ, here is some more:

For the king for the land for the mountains
For the green valleys where dragons fly
For the glory the power to win the black lord
I will search for the emerald sword

Only a warrior with a clear heart
Could have the honor to be kissed by the sun
Yes, I’m that warrior I followed my way
Led by the force of cosmic soul I can reach the sword

I mean, if I would find a cleric preaching this on my way to the market, I think I’d be sold.

Blind Guardian – Skalds and Shadows

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3_S1Q40HZo

 

Would you believe in a night like this
A night like this, when visions come true
Would you believe in a tale like this
A lay of bliss, a praise in the old lore
Come to the blazing fire and
See me in the shadows
See me in the shadows
Songs I will sing
Of runes and rings
Just hand me my harp
This night turns into myth
Nothing seems real
But you soon will feel
The world we live in is another skald´s
Dream in the shadows
Dream in the shadows
 
I actually have what I consider to be the ideal set up for this song. If you play either Mythic Iceland, Yggdrasil, or Fate of the Norns, I think this gives you a nice little Segway into starting your adventure with the following setting: “You are all having your meal in the hall of the jarl/godi of the area. The Skald is playing such tunes like this, you’re enthralled by the music and the lyrics. The fire seems to speak to you…And then it all seems far to contrived to be a coincidence, perhaps the fire is actually speaking to you, and the seemingly coincidental words of the skald are a call for your attention, because what is about to happen will change your life…” …Or something like that.
 
Suzanne Vega – The Queen & The Soldier
We can get a bit mellow to, no need to be all epic. Because as we all know, RPGs change mood and different occasions require different inspiration. Now you may be the type that likes this romantic confrontation of what should be against the reality of events. And if that is the case, well, here you go a master piece on its own. I mean the song is word by word appropriate of any story of the fantasy type I would say, but even if you have moved into a more historical set up – still pre-industrial I would say, I reckon it could still work in the context of Steampunk – I would think this would be appropriate.
 
 
You kinda need to listen to this one as a whole to get it.
 
I reckon the way to play this one is in one of these two ways. Either you have an epic character you need to give a ridiculously glorified yet solemn and emotional farewell; a good soldier, hero, champion of the realm, whatever that has had enough and cannot and will not deal with the political circumstances anymore. Then you use the song’s dialogue as a way of letting him/her go. Or perhaps if you have an entire party, you can use this set up to make them try to fight their epic way out of it. Think of it as one last stand-off in system like Pendragon where chivalry and female characters do have such powerful imagery.
 
The other way I thought to use this was as the back story for a rebellion that will, indeed, try to dethrone the queen. Give that queen some melancholic background rather than your typical “Oh I am so powerful and filthy rich” sort of vibe. Let the actions taken against the soldier sink in a few months or even years down the line, and see how the rebellion championed by your party plays out. I would like to think she would give up, not without a poetic end.
Well, I feel like there is yet more to come with these songs and RPG influences and ideas, so keep tuned for more on this subject soon 🙂

 

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