Music for the 13th Age

If you are reading this, it is for one of two reasons: first, you know what this is and you want to download it. The second is that you don’t know what this is, and you want me to tell you why you should download it.

13th Age is Dungeons and Dragons without all of the bullshit, as I like to refer to it. You don’t have to deal with stuff like your size, or how fast you go, or class skills. Rob Heinsoo and Jon Tweet threw all that crap out the window and just focused on making a really fun, moderately complex game. I never ran a single Dungeons and Dragons game, but within a few weeks I was throwing monsters and challenges around like I was a boss.

If anyone knows me, they would know that I am insane about my playlists. I easily have game soundtracks several hours long playing in the background as I narrate a scene, or pump my players up for a fight scene. So really, was it any surprise that I made a soundtrack for 13th Age?

No. The answer is no.

I went into this with the intention of making the ultimate High Fantasy playlist, something that any GM would love, and something that any player could use bring and use to bribe some sweet loot from his GM. Wouldn’t matter if you were doing any variation of D&D or Pathfinder, Dungeon World or Atlantis: The Second Age. This would be the soundtrack for you.

13th Age made the formatting easy. 13th Age has this mechanic called Icons, who are the world movers of whatever setting you play in. The default setting, the Dragon Empire has 13 (surprise surprise), and all of them are homages to classic fantasy archetypes. From the Archmage to the Emperor to the Orc Lord could essentially be found in every high fantasy setting.

I decided from the beginning each Icon would have two hours of music. The first hour would represent all of the themes of the Icon; the factions, areas that correlate with it, etc. The second hour would be devoted to combat.

Some were easier for others. Finding combat music for the Emperor and the Great Gold Wyrm was easy as pie; doing the same for the Prince of Shadows was a heartrending experience.

However, it should be noted that my intents behind easy playlist doesn’t coaling 101% with how Heinsoo and Tweet perceived their Dragon Empire. Around the same time I started arranging this soundtrack thing, I went ahead an expanded on the default lore found in the corebook. My interpretation of many of the factions and races was a very John Wickian turning on their heads – Halflings make fantastic spies as secrets just fall in their laps, for instance.

And Orcs are more like the guys you would find in Warcraft rather than Warhammer.

So as you could expect my soundtrack is aligned with the lore that I wrote up. The good news is that means more or less the soundtracks can still be used with whatever high fantasy setting you play with. The not so bad news is that you may feel some of my reasonings may not align with your world or interpretation of the Dragon Empire. The worst you will have to deal with is that you decide to switch things up.

And that is in the spirit of the game anyway so no worries there mate.

Now at this point you guys are probably thinking “Matt! The fuck you put the download link! I wanna take up 3 GB of space with music already you overly talkative fuck!” Well , overly talkative or not there are a few things I want to go over. Essentially, I want to talk about what my intents and reasonings were behind each playlist. This is more for your sake than mine, as this gives you an idea of how to use each pile of music effectively.

Archmage-symbol

 

ARCHMAGE

Area

  1. Koyaanisqatsi from “Koyaanisqatsi” by Phillip Glass (3:27)
  2. Organic from “Koyaanisqatsi” by Phillip Glass (4:57)
  3. Just Imaginings from “Beauty in the Beast” by Wendy Carlos (12:10)
  4. Tha’s Just It from “Beauty in the Beast” by Wendy Carlos (3:39)
  5. Pruit Igoe from “Koyaanisqatsi” by Phillip Glass (7:50)
  6. Life In The Mountains from “The Illusionist” by Philip Glass (4:31)
  7. Part I from “A Madrigal Opera. Cameo. A Symphonic Poem” by Philip Glass (13:13)
  8. Part IV from “A Madrigal Opera. Cameo. A Symphonic Poem” by Philip Glass (12:08)

Combat

  1. Dancing With Domz from “Beyond Good & Evil Soundtrack” by Christophe Heral (4:36)
  2. Titel 03 from “Violin Concerto” by Philip Glass (9:40)
  3. C’est Afrique from “Beauty in the Beast” by Wendy Carlos (6:16)
  4. Pruit Igoe Coda from “Koyaanisqatsi” by Phillip Glass (1:17)
  5. Caliban’s Pit from “Prospero’s Books” by Michael Nyman (2:56)
  6. Dignity (Piano) from “Berserk: The Golden Age Arc III – Descent” by Shiro Sagisu (3:09)
  7. Hive Mecha/Incinerator Drone Boss Theme from “Metroid Prime” by Kenji Yamamoto and Kouichi Kyuma (2:57)
  8. Mogenar Boss Theme from “Metroid Prime 3: Corruption” by Kenji Yamamoto, Minako Hamano, Masaru Tajima (4:32)
  9. Space Pirate Main Theme from “Metroid Prime 2: Echoes” by Kenji Yamamoto (4:16)
  10. Southern Hospitality from “Requiem for a Dream” by Clint Mansell (1:23)
  11. Meltdown from “Requiem for a Dream” by Clint Mansell (3:56)
  12. Amorbis Boss Theme from “Metroid Prime 2: Echoes” by Kenji Yamamoto (3:54)
  13. Emperor Ing Boss Theme 2 from “Metroid Prime 2: Echoes” by Kenji Yamamoto (4:34)
  14. Metroid Prime Final Boss Theme from “Metroid Prime” by Kenji Yamamoto and Kouichi Kyuma (6:44)
  15. Twilit Cargo Game from “The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess” by Toru Minegishi, Asuka Ohta, Koji Kondo (2:36)

You are looking at the tracklists above and you are most likely very, very confused. You are thinking this is High Fantasy. That means orchestra. Symphonies and choruses, adagios and requiems.

So why the hell are we seeing electronic music here? Sure it’s done by classical musicians like Phillip Glass and Wendy Carlos – but that is still pretty damn weird, right?

That is kinda the point. Magic is weird. Magic lets normal people do things. Create life, form rifts to other dimensions, summon things that were never meant to be. Turn the landscape sideways.

If you are dealing with a wizard in his tower, or entering the plane of Air, or entering the Astral Planes, shouldn’t you be listening to music that describes how out of this world it all is?

That’s how I see it, at least.

Crusader-symbol

CRUSADER

Area

  1. Toho Logo ~ Mothra In Flight from “Godzilla – Tokyo S.O.S.” by Michiru Oshima (5:02)
  2. Messenger from España from “Onna Nobunaga” by Joe Hisaishi (1:30)
  3. The Intersection Scene from “War of the Worlds” by John Williams (4:28)
  4. Impatience from “Zetsuen no Tempest” by Michiru Oshima (3:30)
  5. La’cryma, the Underground World from “Noein Original Soundtrack 1” by Hikaru Nanase (2:06)
  6. Passacaglia – Allegro moderato from “Symphony No.3” by Krzysztof Penderecki (6:46)
  7. I Was There from “The Omen” by Jerry Goldsmith (2:27)
  8. Shiver from “Zetsuen no Tempest” by Michiru Oshima (2:50)
  9. Diviner’s Theme from “Lair” by John Debney (2:09)
  10. The Nuclear Submarine Is Atta from “Godzilla – Tokyo S.O.S.” by Michiru Oshima (1:07)
  11. Dungeon 1 from “Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir” by Andrew Barnabas and Paul Arnold (2:06)
  12. Nobunaga is Born from “Onna Nobunaga” by Joe Hisaishi (1:40)
  13. Margulis from “Xenosaga Episode I” by Yasunori Mitsuda (4:29)
  14. The Dwarf Commoner from “Dragon Age: Origins” by Inon Zur (1:23)
  15. To the Capital from “Onna Nobunaga” by Joe Hisaishi (1:55)
  16. The Warsworn from “Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning” by Grant Kirkhope (1:23)
  17. Jungle (Ambient) from “Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir” by Andrew Barnabas and Paul Arnold (2:14)
  18. A Scene from Hell from “Onna Nobunaga” by Joe Hisaishi (2:13)
  19. Domination, the Sith Empire from “Star Wars: The Old Republic” by Mark Griskey & Gordy Haab (0:59)
  20. The Umbragen Main Theme from “Dragonshard” by Lennie Moore (2:03)
  21. The Battlefield of Eternity from “Diablo III: Reaper of Souls” by Derek Duke (8:15)
  22. Gifts from the Dark from “Dragonshard” by Lennie Moore (2:06)

Combat

  1. Esper Battle from “Final Fantasy XII” by Hitoshi Sakimoto (3:23)
  2. Diviner Battle from “Lair” by Kevin Kaska (4:17)
  3. The End of the Insurrection from “Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom” by Laura Karpman (2:15)
  4. The Paladin of God from “Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 ” by Oscar Araujo (4:57)
  5. Words of Pride from “WoW 5.4 “The Siege of Orgrimmar”” by Edo Guidotti (1:06)
  6. Sky Fortress Bahamut from “Final Fantasy XII” by Hitoshi Sakimoto (3:21)
  7. Godzilla X Ground Self Defens from “Godzilla – Tokyo S.O.S.” by Michiru Oshima (3:48)
  8. Upheaval (Imperial Version) from “Final Fantasy XII” by Hitoshi Sakimoto (3:13)
  9. City Battle 3 from “Neverwinter Nights” by Jeremy Soule (1:27)
  10. Tokyo Tower Collapses ~ Godzi from “Godzilla – Tokyo S.O.S.” by Michiru Oshima (2:21)
  11. Return to Mokai City, Pt. II from “Lair” by John Debney (3:44)
  12. Steam Giant from “Lair” by John Debney (1:32)
  13. Final Attack from “Lair” by Kevin Kaska (2:09)
  14. Lair Battle from “Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 ” by Oscar Araujo (3:36)
  15. Carmilla from “Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 ” by Oscar Araujo (2:06)
  16. Carmilla’s Fight from “Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2” by Oscar Araujo (6:02)
  17. Powers from the Dark from “Dragonshard” by Lennie Moore (2:01)
  18. Overwhelming Calculation from “Dragonshard” by Lennie Moore (2:02)
  19. Whatever is Neccessary from “Dragonshard” by Lennie Moore (2:02)
  20. Vanquishing the Inferiors from “Dragonshard” by Lennie Moore (2:05)
  21. Lady Aribeth Battle from “Neverwinter Nights” by Jeremy Soule (1:33)
  22. A Champion for the Witcher from “The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition Expanded Soundtrack” by Adam Skorupa and Krzysytof Wierzynkiewicz (3:39)

The Crusader represents war. But not war for good reasons. The Crusader goes to war against the Demons so that Valheus Mora, the Dark God of Tyrants, can have a world to rule. So obviously there had to be a military slant here, but we couldn’t go heroic with it. There also had to be a sense of sinister intent here. Cues like John Williams’ “The Intersection Scene” and Michiru Oshima’s “Mothra in Flight” achieves a good balance of my desires.

Now, a lot of the combat cues definitely take a dip into more optimistic portions every now and then, and that’s okay. This is from the perspective of the heroes – we can have some fanfare when you kick the Crusade right in the teeth.

Diabolist-symbol

 

DIABOLIST

Area

  1. Melodien from “The Ligeti Project” by Ligeti, György (1923-2006) (13:12)
  2. Kyrie from “A Polish Requiem” by Krzysztof Penderecki (4:16)
  3. Lontano from “The Ligeti Project” by Ligeti, György (1923-2006) (11:45)
  4. Requiem: 1: Introitus: Sostenuto from “The Ligeti Project” by Ligeti, György (1923-2006) (5:39)
  5. Requiem: 2: Kyrie: Molto espressivo from “The Ligeti Project” by Ligeti, György (1923-2006) (6:35)
  6. Requiem: 4: Lacrimosa: Molto lento from “The Ligeti Project” by Ligeti, György (1923-2006) (5:32)
  7. Above Acheron from “Dante’s Inferno” by Paul Gorman (3:26)
  8. Philopator from “Dante’s Inferno” by Paul Gorman (1:32)
  9. Storms Of Lust from “Dante’s Inferno” by Garry Schyman (1:56)
  10. Ciacco The Pig from “Dante’s Inferno” by Paul Gorman (2:08)
  11. Flaming Tombs from “Dante’s Inferno” by Paul Gorman (1:01)
  12. The Lair of the Gorgons from “Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 ” by Oscar Araujo (3:17)

Combat

  1. Dies Irae from “A Polish Requiem” by Krzysztof Penderecki (1:38)
  2. Dante, Casarma Treloch from “Dante’s Inferno” by Garry Schyman (2:01)
  3. Libera Me, Domine from “A Polish Requiem” by Krzysztof Penderecki (8:29)
  4. Vivace from “Symphony No.3” by Krzysztof Penderecki (10:58)
  5. Rex Tremendae from “A Polish Requiem” by Krzysztof Penderecki (2:02)
  6. Minos from “Dante’s Inferno” by Garry Schyman (1:59)
  7. Ingemisco Tanquam Reus from “A Polish Requiem” by Krzysztof Penderecki (12:10)
  8. Whores Of Babylon from “Dante’s Inferno” by Garry Schyman (1:56)
  9. Cerberus from “Dante’s Inferno” by Garry Schyman (2:02)
  10. Greed Minions from “Dante’s Inferno” by Garry Schyman (2:05)
  11. Excessum Alighiero from “Dante’s Inferno” by Garry Schyman (1:51)
  12. Jas Davos Cha Dante Va from “Dante’s Inferno” by Garry Schyman (2:06)
  13. Push Them Back! from “Dragon Age II” by Inon Zur (2:04)
  14. Magnificat III: Passacaglia (Deposuit potentes) from “Magnificat” by Krzysztof Penderecki (9:07)

You can tell I had some fun with making this soundtrack. I went all avant garde classical here. I brought in Ligeti and Porkofiev to bring out music that will make the players’ faces melt off in unadulterated terror. These are DEMONS we are talking about here. When you encounter them, they shouldn’t be some cute little thing with crimson horns and a sharp tail. This isn’t the Screwtape Letters.

This should be the stuff from the imaginations of Wayne Barlowe. When you tell your players they have entered Hell, and you start playing this music, they will believe you.

This won’t be the last time we heard from Penderecki before we’re done, but it won’t be where you expect him.

Dwarf King-symbol

DWARF KING

Area

  1. The Home of Conan – Conarch Village from “Age of Conan: Hyboarian Adventures” by Knut Avenstroup Haugen (2:59)
  2. Cimmerian Logic from “Age of Conan: Hyboarian Adventures” by Knut Avenstroup Haugen (2:22)
  3. The Great Mountain from “Age of Conan: Hyboarian Adventures” by Knut Avenstroup Haugen (2:31)
  4. About Eleny Cymbaty from “Brute” by Michaê Lorenc (1:41)
  5. The Town of Lothering from “Dragon Age: Origins” by Inon Zur (2:56)
  6. Sweet Savour from “Noah: Music From the Motion Picture” by Clint Mansell (4:27)
  7. Every Creeping Thing That Creeps from “Noah: Music From the Motion Picture” by Clint Mansell (5:46)
  8. The Flood Waters Were Upon The World from “Noah: Music From the Motion Picture” by Clint Mansell (3:00)
  9. And He Remembered Noah from “Noah: Music From the Motion Picture” by Clint Mansell (4:18)
  10. The Volcanic Fortress from “Risen” by Kai Rosenkranz (4:06)
  11. No Tree Grows to the Sky from “The Banner Saga” by Austin Wintory (2:41)
  12. Huddled in the Shadows from “The Banner Saga” by Austin Wintory (3:02)
  13. Three Days to Cross from “The Banner Saga” by Austin Wintory (2:03)
  14. Walls no Man has Seen from “The Banner Saga” by Austin Wintory (1:55)
  15. Dragonsreach from “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Gamerip” by Jeremy Soule (2:20)
  16. Masser from “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Gamerip” by Jeremy Soule (6:04)
  17. People of the Iron Hills (Iron Hills Good Build) from “The Lord of the Rings: War of the Ring” by Lennie Moore and Chance Thomas (2:13)
  18. Investigating the Poisoning of Saskia (Vergen by Night) from “The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition Expanded Soundtrack” by Krzysytof Wierzynkiewicz (7:29)

Combat

  1. The Battle On The Ice – April 5, 1242 (Peregrinus Expectavi) from “Alexander Nevsky Film Score” by Prokofiev (6:18)
  2. Northern Steel from “Battleforge OST” by Tilman Sillescu (2:07)
  3. Shores Of Wintershade from “Battleforge OST” by Tilman Sillescu (2:25)
  4. Xardas – Fight from “Gothic 3: The Complete Score” by Kai Rosenkranz (1:35)
  5. Combat – Fortress from “Heroes Of Might And Magic V OST” by Rob King & Paul Romero (2:47)
  6. Water Temple Battle from “Kameo: Elements of Power [The Complete Recordings]” by Steve Burke (3:34)
  7. No Life Goes Forever Unbroken from “The Banner Saga” by Austin Wintory (2:49)
  8. Thunder before Lightning from “The Banner Saga” by Austin Wintory (2:49)
  9. Into Dust from “The Banner Saga” by Austin Wintory (2:43)
  10. Of Our Bones, The Hills from “The Banner Saga” by Austin Wintory (10:18)
  11. To Dance with Daedra from “The Elder Scrolls Online” by Brad Derrick (1:39)
  12. Tooth and Claw from “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Gamerip” by Jeremy Soule (1:45)
  13. Striking Against the Darkness (Iron Hills Good Battle) from “The Lord of the Rings: War of the Ring” by Lennie Moore and Chance Thomas (2:13)
  14. Relic from “Too Human” by Steve Henifin (5:10)
  15. Epoch from “Too Human” by Steve Henifin (5:15)
  16. Gods And Chaos from “Too Human” by Steve Henifin (4:09)
  17. Path To Attrition from “Too Human” by Steve Henifin (5:16)
  18. Natsumura from “Zetsuen no Tempest” by Michiru Oshima (1:53)

The Diabolist was easy. Oddly enough, the Dwarf King was hell. It’s tough enough trying to find music that says Dwarf – their halls of stone, the roaring fires of their mead houses, their stubbornness and pride.

But how do you say all that, on top of a race that has fallen from glory, is desperate to find it, admist all the shame? That’s what I had to do with here, and I’m still not sure I did a good job with it. Austin Wintory’s Banner Saga soundtrack fits that criteria like a glove, but I never had any other soundtrack anywhere close like that in my collection. So I had to be creative. I often chose tracks that focused on one or two elements – pride, or bitterness, pride or defeat.

So that’s why you will have stuff like “Cimmerian Logic” sitting right next to “The Great Mountain” – both done by the immaculate Knut Avenstroup Haugen, by the way. One just says pride and nationalism, while the others talk of hopelessness and defeat. Both applies to the Dwarves of my Dragon Empire.

Elf Queen-symbol

 

ELF QUEEN

Area

  1. The Hollin Gate from “The Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria” by Chance Thomas (3:26)
  2. Love Theme from “Lair” by John Debney (4:01)
  3. Majula from “Dark Souls II ” by Motoi Sakuraba (6:23)
  4. The Golden Wood from “The Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria” by Chance Thomas (4:01)
  5. Ending Chorus ~ Beginning of the Universe from “I.Q FINAL PERFECT MUSIC FILE” by Takayuki Hattori (1:34)
  6. Feast of Starlight from “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” by Howard Shore (2:48)
  7. The House of Ballads from “Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning” by Grant Kirkhope (1:25)
  8. We Will Carry You from “Anno 2070” by Tilman Sillescu (2:17)
  9. Elf King Solon from “Kameo: Elements of Power [The Complete Recordings]” by Steve Burke (4:22)
  10. Gilraen’s Memorial from “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” by Howard Shore (5:01)
  11. The Twin Trees of Escalus from “Romeo x Juliet” by Hitoshi Sakimoto (3:44)
  12. Caras Galadhon (Featuring “Lament for Gollum” performed by Elizabeth Fraser) from “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” by Howard Shore (9:20)
  13. The Silver Doe from “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1” by James Hannigan (2:39)
  14. Underground Forge from “Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 ” by Oscar Araujo (2:38)
  15. Guardians of the Wild from “The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar” by Chance Thomas (3:11)
  16. God Smiles Vocal (Italian Vocals) from “Anno 2070” by Tilman Sillescu (2:28)
  17. Ballads Oratory from “Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning” by Grant Kirkhope (1:14)
  18. Jaesa Faces the Truth of the Sith from “Star Wars: The Old Republic” by Mark Griskey & Jesse Harlin (1:15)

Combat

  1. Clash of the Alchemists from “FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST Original Soundtrack 1” by Akira Senju (3:45)
  2. The Horn and the Spear for Chorus from “Child of Light” by Béatrice Martin (4:04)
  3. The Battle of Your Soul from “Xenosaga III: Also sprach Zarathustra” by Yuki Kajiura (3:07)
  4. Grove from “Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust” by Marco d’Ambrosio (3:46)
  5. Defying the Tuatha from “Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning” by Grant Kirkhope (1:12)
  6. Samon from “Zetsuen no Tempest” by Michiru Oshima (1:59)
  7. Conflict from “Zetsuen no Tempest” by Michiru Oshima (2:17)
  8. Battle from “Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch” by Joe Hisaishi (2:22)
  9. Recovery from “Romeo x Juliet” by Hitoshi Sakimoto (3:35)
  10. Castle Fight from “Kameo: Elements of Power [The Complete Recordings]” by Steve Burke (2:33)
  11. Battle II from “Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch” by Joe Hisaishi (2:16)
  12. A Serpent of the Twilight for Chorus from “Child of Light” by Béatrice Martin (4:14)
  13. Last Battle from “Xenosaga Episode I” by Yasunori Mitsuda (5:04)
  14. Surprising the Necromancer from “Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning” by Grant Kirkhope (2:09)
  15. Encounter Variations (Dance Version) from “Zetsuen no Tempest” by Michiru Oshima (3:06)
  16. The Hymn of Light for Chorus from “Child of Light” by Béatrice Martin (4:36)
  17. Usurping the Tuatha from “Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning” by Grant Kirkhope (1:56)
  18. Garth Agarwen from “The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar” by Chance Thomas (3:18)
  19. The Fires of Jeyne Kassynder from “Dungeon Siege III” by Jason Graves (3:33)
  20. Preservation from “Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning” by Grant Kirkhope (2:22)

The Elf Queen could easily have been one of the hardest. Take into account as the Dragon Empire is another of those Forgotten Realms-eqsue High Fantasy settings, there are multiple races of Elves (High, Dark, Wood and Half). That means I could have had an 8 hour playlist here, with 2 hours devoted to each race.

But that would be kinda crazy for all sorts of reasons. Although all of the Elves are very different, musically they share a great deal of similarities. Think about it – what is the musical difference between a High Elf and a Wood Elf? You could argue that a Dark Elf is completely different from the other Elven races, but enough for them to have a new musical motif? They aren’t the Drow of the Forgotten Realms, where each member of their race is an embodiment to tyranny, Machiavellian politics and moral decay. The Dark Elves of my Dragon Empire are the soldiers and the engineers of the Elves, not their cruelly twisted brethren.

For the music here I wanted to capture a sort of timeless beauty. The Elves aren’t quite the immortals you would see in Lord of the Rings, but from the perspective of the other races they aren’t on quite the same. Even an Elf that hasn’t been granted immortality by the Ballads is still going to a mythical air around them, and nobody has a city quite like any of the Elves.

On top of the Elves, I would also use the music here for Forests that could be attributed as “good”. If you really want the Dark Elves music to sound drastically different from all their other Dark Elven brethren, I would suggest the Dwarf King or the High Druid. For Half Elves, I would use either the Elf Queen or the Emperor, depending on whether they are more Elf or Human.

Emperor-symbol

EMPEROR

Area

  1. Tragedy in the House of Capulet from “Romeo x Juliet” by Hitoshi Sakimoto (2:06)
  2. Adventurer’s Guild from “Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir” by Andrew Barnabas and Paul Arnold (2:11)
  3. Reminiscence from “Zetsuen no Tempest” by Michiru Oshima (3:01)
  4. Eveningstar 1 from “Dungeons and Dragons Online: Menace of the Underdark” by Chance Thomas (3:13)
  5. Order of the Flame Main Theme from “Dragonshard” by Lennie Moore (2:04)
  6. Coruscant, the Capital from “Star Wars: The Old Republic” by Lennie Moore (1:00)
  7. Know the Gods from “Dragonshard” by Lennie Moore (2:03)
  8. Neverwinter from “Neverwinter Nights 2” by David Fraser and Neil Goldberg (2:02)
  9. Relief (Orchestra) from “Berserk: The Golden Age Arc III – Descent” by Shiro Sagisu (3:00)
  10. Qeynos from “EverQuest II: The Complete Soundtrack” by Laura Karpman (4:53)
  11. Commoner’s Dream from “Dragon’s Prophet Soundtrack” by Alex Pfeffer, Alexander Röder, Mindy Lo and Rmoney Chen (2:26)
  12. Lair Main Menu from “Lair” by John Debney (2:24)
  13. Rohn’s Theme from “Lair” by John Debney (2:06)
  14. Men of the Anorien (Anorien Good Build) from “The Lord of the Rings: War of the Ring” by Lennie Moore and Chance Thomas (2:01)
  15. Return to Mokai City, Pt. I from “Lair” by John Debney (1:51)
  16. Plains (Ambient) from “Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir” by Andrew Barnabas and Paul Arnold (2:03)
  17. Tempest from “Zetsuen no Tempest” by Michiru Oshima (2:13)
  18. Castle Music from “Neverwinter Nights” by Jeremy Soule (1:12)
  19. The Grand Chapterhouse from “Dungeon Siege III” by Jason Graves (4:06)
  20. The Meisters of Stonebridge from “Dungeon Siege III” by Jason Graves (5:27)
  21. Aquilonian Strings from “Age of Conan: Hyboarian Adventures” by Knut Avenstroup Haugen (2:10)
  22. Hamlets of Aquilonia from “Age of Conan: Hyboarian Adventures” by Knut Avenstroup Haugen (1:52)
  23. The Earth Fed Us from “Diablo III: Reaper of Souls” by Derek Duke (1:52)
  24. Balmorra, the Forge from “Star Wars: The Old Republic” by Lennie Moore & Jesse Harlin (1:59)
  25. Alderaan, the Throne from “Star Wars: The Old Republic” by Lennie Moore (1:07)
  26. House Organa from “Star Wars: The Old Republic” by Lennie Moore (1:11)

Combat

  1. The Heroes from “Broken Blade” by Yoshihisa Hirano (2:02)
  2. The Shadows of Pluto from “Child of Light” by Béatrice Martin (2:05)
  3. Airship Assault from “Dragonshard” by Lennie Moore (2:04)
  4. Chaotic Battle from “Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2” by Oscar Araujo (4:30)
  5. Demonic Servants of the King from “Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom” by Laura Karpman (2:23)
  6. Titanic Struggle from “Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2” by Oscar Araujo (4:54)
  7. Blood River from “Lair” by Kevin Kaska (3:33)
  8. The Light of Jupiter from “Child of Light” by Béatrice Martin (1:32)
  9. Lodan from “Lair” by John Debney (1:52)
  10. Knives in the Light from “Dragonshard” by Lennie Moore (2:04)
  11. Mokai Camp Attack / Reach Mokai City from “Lair” by John Debney (4:30)
  12. City Battle 2 from “Neverwinter Nights” by Jeremy Soule (2:04)
  13. City Battle 3 from “Neverwinter Nights” by Jeremy Soule (1:27)
  14. Plains (Combat) from “Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir” by Andrew Barnabas and Paul Arnold (1:03)
  15. The Sword of Mars from “Child of Light” by Béatrice Martin (1:57)
  16. Battle for Asylia from “Lair” by John Debney (4:24)
  17. Dungeon Battle 3 from “Neverwinter Nights” by Jeremy Soule (1:30)
  18. Shock and Barrel from “Star Wars: The Old Republic” by Mark Griskey & Gordy Haab (1:57)
  19. Captured from “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1” by James Hannigan (2:09)
  20. Phalanx of Conquest from “Age of Conan: Hyboarian Adventures” by Knut Avenstroup Haugen (3:13)
  21. Battle in the Streets from “Dragon Age: Origins” by Inon Zur (1:00)
  22. Protecting Imperial Interests from “Star Wars: The Old Republic” by Lennie Moore, Mark Griskey & Jesse Harlin (1:19)
  23. Persuasion Via Superior Firepower from “Star Wars: The Old Republic” by Mark Griskey & Lennie Moore (0:55)
  24. Covering Fire Without Much Cover from “Star Wars: The Old Republic” by Gordy Haab & Mark Griskey (1:32)
  25. The Duel With Gadflow from “Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning” by Grant Kirkhope (1:55)
  26. Fghting the Hanged Men from “Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning” by Grant Kirkhope (2:12)

Humanity was an interesting challenge to cover, as we had to deal with a simple problem: in Fantasy gaming, Humanity is boring. Humanity is the jack of all trades, decent at everything and good at nothing, widely populated denizen of just about every DND setting ever devised. Besides the fact that we are everywhere, there is nothing interesting you could say about us.

I obviously changed that when I wrote up the lore for the Dragon Empire. Drawing upon John Wick, using Houses of the Blooded and Wicked Fantasy to create a Humanity that is obsessed with progress and earning your keep. Nobles don’t earn their holdings – they must fight for it. Granted, they can still be funded by their Houses, but money can’t buy away ignorance and stupidity. This is a Humanity obsessed with Tragedies – which are the most beloved of dramas. Vengeance is also considered a holy, sacred rite as well.

With all this in mind I set out with the core themes the music had to state: nationalism, pride, optimism, and a little bit of darkness. Humans are fallible, after all. If anyone is imperfect, it’s us.

However, if the music does tend to be better suited for cities and nobility rather than the peasantry and villages. For the lower class I would advise using the Dwarf Queen, and maybe the High Druid or Elf Queen.

Great Gold Wyrm

GREAT GOLD WYRM

Area

  1. Main Title: Shogun Mayeda from “Shogun Mayeda” by John Scott (2:36)
  2. A Call To Arms from “Glory – Complete Score” by James Horner (3:41)
  3. Bellum Infinitus (Theme from Supreme Commander) from “Supreme Commander Original Soundtrack” by Jeremy Soule and Julian Soule (1:22)
  4. Lair Main Title from “Lair” by John Debney (2:13)
  5. Parade of the Athletes from “A Symphony of British Music: Music For the Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games” by David Arnold (4:11)
  6. Ruins from “Neverwinter Nights 2” by David Fraser and Neil Goldberg (2:20)
  7. Olympic Anthem from “A Symphony of British Music: Music For the Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games” by The London Welsh Male Voice Choir, The London Welsh Rugby Choir & London Symphony Orchestra (2:48)
  8. Arboran Kingdom from “Dragon’s Prophet Soundtrack” by Alex Pfeffer, Alexander Röder, Mindy Lo and Rmoney Chen (2:58)
  9. An Old Idea Made New from “Supreme Commander Original Soundtrack” by Jeremy Soule and Julian Soule (2:30)
  10. Ship of Hope from “Space Battleship Yamato” by Naoki Sato & Yasushi Miyagawa (4:18)
  11. Press Conference (M4) from “Godzilla – Tokyo S.O.S.” by Michiru Oshima (1:31)
  12. The Gears That Turns the Republic from “Star Wars: The Old Republic” by Gordy Haab & Wilbert Roget, II (1:02)
  13. Dying for a Drop of Blood from “Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2” by Oscar Araujo (3:47)
  14. The Blood Ravens from “Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War” by Jeremy Soule (3:37)
  15. March of the ‘Men of Harlech’ from “Zulu” by John Barry (2:44)
  16. Rebel Camp from “Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of The Underdark” by Jeremy Soule (2:10)
  17. Gabriel Angelos from “Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War” by Jeremy Soule (3:22)
  18. Lady Marryn from “Dragonshard” by Lennie Moore (2:05)
  19. Prayer from “Dragonshard” by Lennie Moore (2:06)
  20. The Self Defense Force Goes I from “Godzilla – Tokyo S.O.S.” by Michiru Oshima (1:20)
  21. Tython, The Wellspring from “Star Wars: The Old Republic” by Wilbert Roget, II (1:13)
  22. The Siege from “Star Wars: The Old Republic” by Gordy Haab & Mark Griskey
  23. Republic March from “Star Wars: The Old Republic” by Mark Griskey & Gordy Haab (0:57)
  24. The Fortress of the Unicorn (An Army Lying in Wait / Henselt’s Camp Theme) from “The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition Expanded Soundtrack” by Krzysytof Wierzynkiewicz (3:53)
  25. Corellia, the Shipyards from “Star Wars: The Old Republic” by Gordy Haab & Wilbert Roget, II (1:12)

Combat

  1. Breaking the Ice from “Lair” by Kevin Kaska (1:31)
  2. Beach (Combat) from “Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir” by Andrew Barnabas and Paul Arnold (1:04)
  3. Crisis Visit from “I.Q FINAL PERFECT MUSIC FILE” by Takayuki Hattori (2:08)
  4. Firestorm from “Lair” by John Debney (3:56)
  5. A Calculated Assault from “Dragonshard” by Lennie Moore (2:03)
  6. Bridge Battle from “Lair” by John Debney (3:31)
  7. Godzilla X Ground Self Defens from “Godzilla – Tokyo S.O.S.” by Michiru Oshima (3:48)
  8. Battle for Freedom from “Final Fantasy XII” by Hitoshi Sakimoto (8:51)
  9. Crossroad Keep Siege Battle from “Neverwinter Nights 2” by David Fraser and Neil Goldberg (2:10)
  10. Imago Mothra X Godzilla I (M1 from “Godzilla – Tokyo S.O.S.” by Michiru Oshima (1:26)
  11. Breakthrough from “Dragonshard” by Lennie Moore (2:04)
  12. Bridge of the Ancients / The Ice from “Lair” by Kevin Kaska (2:43)
  13. Hunter and Prey from “Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 ” by Oscar Araujo (5:26)
  14. Trap from “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1” by James Hannigan (2:39)
  15. Kiryu Repaired (M34) from “Godzilla – Tokyo S.O.S.” by Michiru Oshima (1:43)
  16. Neverwinter Woods Battle from “Neverwinter Nights” by Jeremy Soule (1:28)
  17. Kiryu In Flight ~ Yoshito Res from “Godzilla – Tokyo S.O.S.” by Michiru Oshima (6:06)
  18. Bellatrix from “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1” by James Hannigan (2:06)
  19. Glory! from “Star Wars: The Old Republic” by Mark Griskey & Gordy Haab (1:08)
  20. Naval Fury from “Star Wars: The Old Republic” by Gordy Haab & Mark Griskey (1:04)
  21. Imperial March from “Star Wars: The Old Republic” by The Old Republic Music Team (1:06)
  22. The Mandalorian Blockade from “Star Wars: The Old Republic” by Mark Griskey, Wilbert Roget, II, Gordy Haab & Lennie Moore (0:55)
  23. HK Battle from “Star Wars: The Old Republic” by Gordy Haab & Wilbert Roget, II (1:11)

The Emperor and the Great Gold Wyrm (GGW) are, in the musical sense, very familiar to each other. Along with the Priestess, they form the Heroic Trinity of Fantasy. The Emperor is the King of Humanity, the Great Gold Wyrm is the good dragon that every fantasy series has, and the Priestess represents all of the good religions that populate every world of orcs and elves. It could easy to confuse the Emperor and the GGW, as both would represent armies. However, the Emperor was more broad in his subject matter of humanity, which would include not just the armies, but the politics, the economics, the political factions. The GGW was more focused on essentially an army – the Golden Order, to be exact, and with the GGW being a good entity it seemed reasonable to have his playlist be the “Good Army” playlist, a counter to the Crusader’s Dark Army theme.

Going into that, I wanted the GGW’s Area themes to sound like a medieval military base. Military drums are prominent, as in John Scott’s Main Title to Shogun Mayeda, James Horner’s Call to Arms from “Glory”, and Michiru Oshima’s Press Conference for “Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.”. Horns are prominent as well, most of all in John Debney’s Main Title theme for “Lair”. I really wanted to create a sense of optimism wrapped around a military motif. This music says we are going to war, but for all the right reasons.

For the Battle themes, I wanted to represent a huge, epic struggle. Something that would fit in the final hour of The Return of the King. None of my combat music is subtle, but perhaps the GGW least of all. There will be chorus, there will be percussion, there will be woodwinds along with French horns, and it will be as loud, as melodic, as agitato as it can get.

And if this doesn’t get your players’ hearts racing, I don’t know what will.

High Druid-symbol

THE HIGH DRUID

Area

  1. Main Theme from “Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons” by Gustaf Grefberg (4:19)
  2. Faerie Dragon from “WoW 4.1 Rise of the Zandalari” by Derek Duke (2:12)
  3. Father from “Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons” by Gustaf Grefberg (3:17)
  4. Fire Keepers from “Dark Souls II ” by Motoi Sakuraba (5:16)
  5. Swamp from “Neverwinter Nights 2” by David Fraser and Neil Goldberg (1:59)
  6. Mirkwood (Extended Version) from “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” by Howard Shore (5:31)
  7. In the Forest from “The Secret of Kells” by Bruno Coulais (3:12)
  8. Myrtana – Forest from “Gothic 3: The Complete Score” by Kai Rosenkranz (2:01)
  9. Labyrinth from “Castlevania: Lords of Shadow” by Óscar Araujo (4:09)
  10. Lost from “Lair” by John Debney (2:09)
  11. Defenders of the Marsh (Wetwang Good Build) from “The Lord of the Rings: War of the Ring” by Lennie Moore and Chance Thomas (2:03)
  12. The Ruins of Cair Paravel from “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian” by Mark Griskey & Lennie Moore (4:12)
  13. The Dalish from “Dragon Age: Origins” by Inon Zur (1:21)
  14. Mokai Theme from “Lair” by John Debney (2:15)
  15. Waterfalls of Agharta from “Castlevania: Lords of Shadow” by Óscar Araujo (2:40)
  16. Hakaze from “Zetsuen no Tempest” by Michiru Oshima (2:29)
  17. Second Acolyte from “Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 ” by Oscar Araujo (2:14)
  18. Nektulos Forest from “EverQuest II: The Complete Soundtrack” by Laura Karpman (2:51)
  19. Inevitability from “Diablo III: Reaper of Souls” by Derek Duke (2:27)
  20. The Spire from “Dungeon Siege III” by Jason Graves (4:10)

Combat

  1. Mononoke from “Mononoke Original Soundtrack” by Takanashi Yasuharu (3:19)
  2. Isamashige from “Mononoke Original Soundtrack” by Takanashi Yasuharu (2:47)
  3. The Thanator from “AVATAR” by James Horner (1:59)
  4. The T-Rex Cometh from “Peter Jackson’s King Kong” by Chance Thomas (2:17)
  5. Tides of Battle from “Divinity II: Ego Draconis” by Kirill Pokrovsky (2:28)
  6. The Dons’ Camp – Fight from “Risen” by Kai Rosenkranz (3:10)
  7. Stormclouds on the Battlefield from “Mororwind Original Soundtrack” by Jeremy Soule (2:11)
  8. Forest (Combat) from “Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir” by Andrew Barnabas and Paul Arnold (1:01)
  9. Sting Of The Giant Scorpion from “Peter Jackson’s King Kong” by Chance Thomas (2:10)
  10. Battle of the Heartstone from “Icewind Dale II & Heart of Winter” by Inon Zur (1:37)
  11. Stampede from “King Kong” by James Newton Howard (3:44)
  12. Fray Within the Forest from “Castlevania: Lords of Shadow” by Óscar Araujo (2:21)
  13. Jungle (Combat) from “Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir” by Andrew Barnabas and Paul Arnold (1:15)
  14. Golden Gate Bridge from “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” by Patrick Doyle (5:21)
  15. Outdoor – Fight from “Risen 2: Dark Waters” by Tilman Sillescu (1:09)
  16. Bats from “King Kong” by James Newton Howard (4:35)
  17. Charge of the Orcs from “Heroes of Might and Magic VI: The Complete Score” by Jason Graves (3:00)
  18. Boss Fight from “Risen 2: Dark Waters” by Tilman Sillescu (3:08)
  19. Final Confrontation from “AVATAR” by James Horner (5:25)
  20. Caught off Guard from “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Gamerip” by Jeremy Soule (1:06)
  21. Battle Score 02 from “Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn” by Michael Hoenig (1:04)
  22. Battle Score 05 from “Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn” by Michael Hoenig (1:09)
  23. Spirit Army Battle from “Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer” by Rik Schaffer and Jeff Dodson (2:12)

The High Druid was one of the last playlists that I finished, right before the Prince of Shadows. In both cases it was the combat folder that I languished with the longest, just simply because what I wanted to accomplish with each. The High Druid had to represent the forests of the world that were not tamed by man. The domains of the High Druid belonged to the beasts and the birds of the world. That is very hard to distinguish musically from the music I had already chosen for the Elf Queen.

For the Area themes, I wanted an impression of a feral landscape. The High Druid is not a member of the civilization – her court are the wolves and the birds of the forests; her nobles are the beastly gods that lay within the deepest corners of the forests. I didn’t want to create an impression of evil, but I also wanted to say “You are not welcome here”. So you will find cues from “Brothers”, “Dark Soul II”, and “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” to set that tone.

But I also needed to express some beauty as well. Something we have forgotten with all our technogizmos is that the natural world is a beautiful place. So you will find a cue from “World of Warcraft”, “Lair” and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow to create that atmosphere.

The Area themes were easy. Combat was hard. How do you find music that says “Fighting the wild” that also doesn’t say “Fighting Orcs” or “Fighting the Criminal Underworld”? In our minds, they would all probably sound very similar. As in, percussions.

Going in, I didn’t have any idea what cues to go with. I was going off of my gut. Some cues were easy to go with – the scores for King Kong the movie and its videogame had quite a few cues that said “fighting animals”. Lords of Shadow also had a cue that I felt fit what I was looking for.

The rest though were a result of lots of iterations – I probably deleted a dozen files just because on reflection I felt they didn’t fit. But at the end of the day. I feel like I got exactly what I wanted.

Lich King-symbol

LICH KING

Area

  1. Derek Duke – The Forest Path (1:47)
  2. Michiru Yamane – Prologue to the Black Abyss (1:51)
  3. John Williams – A Woman Named Anne Lively (1:13)
  4. Derek Duke – Harvesters of Souls (1:58)
  5. Laura Karpman – In Strowbil Wer 1 (3:30)
  6. Laura Karpman – In Strowbil Wer 2 (3:13)
  7. Laura Karpman – A Hundred Dede (2:01)
  8. Laura Karpman – Forsaken (Choir) (3:07)
  9. Paul Gorman – Crossing The Styx (2:28)
  10. Derek Duke – Skatsimi (3:32)
  11. Derek Duke – The Gidbinn (3:04)
  12. Derek Duke – Path of the Drowned (6:05)
  13. Laura Karpman – Sunken Cathedral (Chorale) (1:53)
  14. Laura Karpman – Machine (2:13)
  15. Derek Duke – The Great Dragonblight (5:26)
  16. Mark Griskey, Jesse Harlin & Gordy Haab – The Beasts of the Jungles (2:39)
  17. Derek Duke – Scavengers (2:28)
  18. Derek Duke – In Arius (3:42)
  19. Derek Duke – Heaven and Sky (3:33)
  20. Derek Duke – The Realm of the Lich King (5:36)

Combat

  1. Laura Karpman – Title Screen (1:36)
  2. Laura Karpman – Mychty Person (3:23)
  3. Krzysztof Penderecki – Allegro con brio (10:27)
  4. Laura Karpman – He Courth Nocht (1:47)
  5. Laura Karpman – Completyn (2:01)
  6. Krzyzystof Penderecki – Si oblitus fuero tui, Ierusalem (5:17)
  7. Derek Duke – Falling Rocks (2:07)
  8. Russell Brower – Assault on New Avalon (Album Version) (2:15)
  9. Laura Karpman – Ofter Terandry (1:05)
  10. Laura Karpman – Dark Waltz (Choir) (1:52)
  11. Laura Karpman – Golem Arena (Choir) (2:33)
  12. Laura Karpman – The Golem (1:35)
  13. Óscar Araujo – Vampires (2:33)
  14. Óscar Araujo – Carmilla (1:56)
  15. Russell Brower – Alleyfull of Zombies (2:05)
  16. Russell Brower – Mal’Ganis (1:07)
  17. Krzysztof Penderecki – Magnificat III: Passacaglia (Deposuit potentes) (9:07)
  18. Krzysztof Penderecki – Magnificat IV: Sicut locutus est – Gloria (15:03)

 

The Lich King was fun as hell to do. He’s kinda the Diabolist in that I got a really good chance to flex my fingers and get the most evil, over the top, atmospheric music I could find. Maybe it’s because I listen to a lot of dark and moody scores, but it was really easy for me to put this playlist together. Diablo III: Reaper of Souls was one of my prime candidates – Derek Duke just fit perfectly for what I wanted. His score just oozes with atmospheric dread that is perfect for the Lich King.

Penderecki also makes a return for several of the combat cues. It’s not much of a surprise – his style of classical music fits the Diabolist just as well as the Lich King.

Orc Lord-symbol

 

ORC LORD

Area

  1. Doyle W. Donehoo – March of the WAUUUUUGH (Ork Theme) (8:35)
  2. Jeremy Soule – Stealth (1:09)
  3. Tilman Sillescu – Slaves No More (2:06)
  4. Derek Duke – Warsong Hold (5:51)
  5. Alexander Roeder – Wrath Of The Sun Elves (2:01)
  6. Alex Pfeffer – Brannoc At The Forge (2:07)
  7. Russell Brower – War (3:49)
  8. Andrew Barnabas and Paul Arnold – Hills (Ambient) (1:08)
  9. Russell Brower – Overlord (3:28)
  10. Hans Zimmer – The Might of Rome (5:18)
  11. Markus Schmidt – Fluid Gold (1:18)
  12. Andrew Barnabas and Paul Arnold – Chult (Ambient) (2:10)
  13. Knut Avenstroup Haugen – Spiders and Snakes! (2:04)
  14. Inon Zur – The Dalish (1:21)
  15. Lennie Moore – Lizardmen Main Theme (2:00)
  16. Lennie Moore – Wowen the High Shaman (2:04)
  17. Kai Rosenkranz – Orc Mine (1:38)
  18. Lennie Moore – The Yuan-Ti (2:04)
  19. Lennie Moore – Devotion to the Dragonshard (2:07)
  20. David Arkenstone – The Mulgore Plains (2:43)
  21. David Arkenstone – Greenskins (5:27)

 

Combat

  1. Shinji Hosoe – Major Boss Battle (4:03)
  2. Oscar Araujo – The Siege Titan (5:15)
  3. Óscar Araujo – Goblins (2:30)
  4. Jeremy Soule – Medium Battle (2:05)
  5. Tilman Sillescu – A Storm Of Fire (2:16)
  6. Jason Hayes and Glenn Stafford – Jin’rokh the Breaker (2:44)
  7. John Debney – Serpent Strait (2:28)
  8. Andrew Barnabas and Paul Arnold – Hills (Combat) (1:03)
  9. Óscar Araujo – Fray Within the Forest (2:21)
  10. Knut Avenstroup Haugen – Conflict of Destinies (3:17)
  11. Kevin Kaska – Defenses Overrun (2:32)
  12. Oscar Araujo – Clash in the City of the Damned (3:19)
  13. Michiru Oshima – The Mothra Larvae Land (M30 F (2:03)
  14. Inon Zur – Fighting the Darkspawn (1:09)
  15. Knut Avenstroup Haugen – Hill Fight (1:37)
  16. Inon Zur – Climbing the Tower (1:02)
  17. Inon Zur – Push Them Back (1:03)
  18. Jeremy Soule – Neverwinter Woods Battle 1 (1:32)
  19. Jeremy Soule – Neverwinter Woods Battle 2 (1:42)
  20. Óscar Araujo – The Ogre (1:39)
  21. Óscar Araujo – The Ogre II (3:37)
  22. Grant Kirkhope – Niskaru Tyrant (2:20)
  23. David Arkenstone – Orgrimmar (3:18)
  24. Adam Skorupa and Krzysytof Wierzynkiewicz – Blood for the Crowd (3:27)
  25. Adam Skorupa and Krzysytof Wierzynkiewicz – The Dragon (2:56)

 

For the Orc Lord, I wanted there to be a sense of an overwhelming force. Whether you go with my interpretation of the Orc Lord, or go with the more Tolkienesque one as described in the book, the Orcs are bad news for the Empire. When you are in Orchish territory, I wanted a sense that things to go wrong at any time. That everything was lying on the tip of a knife, and just a wrong breath could tip it over.

I wanted to avoid the stereotypes of the Orcs, though. I didn’t want percussion to be a major factor in their musical identity. For one, I wanted to save that for the High Druid, but mostly because I didn’t want to go for stereotypes. That would be boring.

Instead I went with pretty much any orchestral cue so long as it followed a single criteria: that it seemed massive. I wanted each cue to be intimidating in some way. I even used cues that made big use of the piano.

Priestess-symbol

THE PRIESTESS

 

Area

  1. John Tavener – God Is With Us: Christmas Proclamation (5:28)
  2. Yoko Kanno and Ayako Otsuka – Pandora, Pandora (1:32)
  3. Tavener – Slave Tebie Kontakion 1 Ikos 1 (7:31)
  4. Richard Einhorn – Illness – Letter From Joan Of Arc (4:17)
  5. Krzysztof Penderecki – Benedictus (2002) (3:29)
  6. John Tavener – Funeral Ikos (7:15)
  7. John Tavener – Mother and Child (12:38)
  8. Yoko Kanno and Ayako Otsuka – Holy Angel Academy Song (2:10)
  9. Warsaw Chorus – sal (2:03)
  10. John Tavener – The Lord’s Prayer (3:34)
  11. Richard Einhorn – The Final Walk (3:00)
  12. GRIFFIN Chorus – LILIUM ~Saint Version~ (2:54)
  13. Bear McCreary – Prayer to Saint Michael (feat. Raya Yarbrough) (3:06)
  14. Inon Zur – The Chant (2:45)

 

Combat

  1. Yoko Kanno & Hogari Hisaaki – Aquarion (3:56)
  2. Carl Orff – Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi – Fortune plango vulnera (2:40)
  3. Richard Blackford – Canticle of the Furnace (3:14)
  4. Yury Poteyenko – Battle Theme – “Dies Irae” (5:42)
  5. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Rex tremendae (3:13)
  6. Richard Einhorn – Torture (5:20)
  7. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Confutatis (3:50)
  8. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Domine Jesu (4:40)
  9. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Atto II – Don Giovanni a cenar (7:11)
  10. Alan Menken – Sanctuary! (6:02)
  11. London Philarmonic Orchestra & Metro Voices – The Miracle (1:52)
  12. Richard Einhorn – The Fire Of The Dove, Epilogue (3:56)
  13. Yoko Kanno – Exodus (5:06)
  14. Yoko Kanno – BLAQARION (4:08)

 

For the Priestess, I went classical as fuck. The Priestess represents the Church; she represents the Gods of the Dragon Empire. And when you have D&D Gods, you know you need to go big or go home. So I had very classical minded, chorus music.

And this wasn’t going to be quiet chorus music. This was going to be in your face, Soprano filled chorus.

For the Area themes, I wanted something that represented religion, faith, the divine. More often than not, this music would be played when the party of heroes entered a Cathedral or Church, so I wanted the music to sound like as if it was literally coming from a Church. So Sir John Tavener makes several appearances through this playlist.

But of special mention is Richard Einhorn’s work for “Voices of Light”. His most recognized piece of work was made as an artistic contribution to a rediscovery of “The Passion of Joan of Arc”. It is absolutely gorgeous, but even more importantly it uses a great deal of chorus. The chorus is the star here, it is front and center, and it fits the Priestess to a T.

Prince of Shadows-symbol

THE PRICE OF SHADOWS

Area

  1. Bronislaw Kaper – Alexey/Katya (3:53)
  2. Jesper Kyd – Secret Invasion (8:23)
  3. Alexandre Desplat – The Bank (2:24)
  4. Bronislaw Kaper – Night Watch (2:04)
  5. Kai Rosenkranz – The Harbor City at Night (2:52)
  6. Hitoshi Sakimoto – Disaster (2:38)
  7. Lennie Moore – Conspiracies (1:05)
  8. Marco d’Ambrosio – Poke’s Story (2:18)
  9. Howard Shore – Bard, a Man of Lake-town (Extended Version) (3:18)
  10. Laura Karpman – Mysterious Underbelly (2:07)
  11. Howard Shore – Protector of the Common Folk (3:37)
  12. Jeremy Soule – City: The Slums (Day) (1:35)
  13. Michaê Lorenc – Rain (1:58)
  14. Jeremy Soule – City: The Slums (Night) (1:46)
  15. Michiru Oshima – Strange (2:29)
  16. Oscar Araujo – Void Power (4:43)
  17. Michiru Oshima – End (3:26)
  18. James Hannigan – Godric’s Hollow (4:01)
  19. Derek Duke – The Old Faith (4:34)
  20. Wilbert Roget, II & Jesse Harlin – Nar Shaddaa, the Playground (1:47)
  21. Wilbert Roget, II & Jesse Harlin – Alleyways for a Soapbox (0:57)
  22. Wilbert Roget, II & Jesse Harlin – Living On the Streets (1:15)
  23. Wilbert Roget, II & Jesse Harlin – The Might of the Hutts (2:01)

Combat

  1. Nick Arundel & Ron Fish – Enter Catwoman/Sorry Boys (2:06)
  2. John Williams – Speed Boat Chase (1:50)
  3. Jonny Greenwood – Proven Lands (1:51)
  4. James Peterson – Grease Monkey Brawl (3:00)
  5. Koji Endo – Ten (2:59)
  6. Adam Skorupa and Paweł Błaszczak – Fighting Through Kaer Mohen (Salamandra Battle IV) (0:55)
  7. Koji Endo – Twelve (3:27)
  8. Adam Skorupa and Paweł Błaszczak – Ambushed (Salamandra Battle II) (1:01)
  9. Michaê Lorenc – Medication Portsmouth Rifles (2:35)
  10. John Williams – The Blimp and The Bomb (3:12)
  11. Larry Groupé – Janice Dies (1:04)
  12. Tilman Sillescu – Kaldera – Fight (1:37)
  13. John Williams – Air Chase, Parts 2 and 3 – The Blimp Hits (7:19)
  14. Larry Groupé – Man Up (2:31)
  15. Larry Groupé – Not On My Watch (3:16)
  16. Nick Arundel & Ron Fish – Mr. Hammer (1:25)
  17. Larry Groupé – Amy’s Revenge (1:29)
  18. Adam Skorupa and Paweł Błaszczak – Helping Zoltan (Human Battle I) (1:01)
  19. Nick Arundel & Ron Fish – Rooftop Fight (3:14)
  20. Nick Arundel & Ron Fish – Underground Upperhand (2:25)
  21. Gustaf Grefberg – Pb Beautiful Bat1 (2:12)
  22. Adam Skorupa and Krzysytof Wierzynkiewicz – The First Wave (4:11)
  23. Adam Skorupa and Krzysytof Wierzynkiewicz – Blood for the Crowd (3:27)
  24. Adam Skorupa and Krzysytof Wierzynkiewicz – The Dragon (2:56)

The Prince of Shadows is the underworld – or at least that is my interpretation. Heinsoo and Tweet left much of the Prince a mystery to be solved by the players. I saw him as a Genghis Khan of Crime, controlling all of the kingpins and dons from the shadows.

The playlist is designed to be used when the heroes have to go into the underbelly of the Empire. So there is nothing cheerful here, and instead use music that have an insidious and dastardly side to them.

The Prince was challenging, because the musical line between him and the Three was not a big one. To accomplish this I bent my rule on classically inspired pieces and went with a few tracks that employed electronics. Surprisingly enough, The Old Republic has several cues that work with the Prince. Arkham City makes a few appearances in the Combat section.

The Prince’s music needed to sound filthy and shady. So I went with cues that could be described as “off beat”. So I had music from “13 Assassins” and “There Will Be Blood” to set the tone.

When you step into the Prince’s domain, and especially when you challenge him, you should never be safe.

The Three-symbol

THE THREE

Area

  1. Krzysztof Penderecki – Nachts (3:43)
  2. Alexandre Desplat – Inside The Mines (2:22)
  3. Krzysztof Penderecki – Bei einer Linde (2:50)
  4. Alexandre Desplat – To Q Zone (2:53)
  5. Andrew Barnabas and Paul Arnold – Cave (2:39)
  6. Edo Guidotti – The Sha (4:27)
  7. Michiru Oshima – Beached Kamoebas (M9) (1:27)
  8. Adam Skorupa and Krzysytof Wierzynkiewicz – Sewers Beneath the Keep (3:48)
  9. Jeremy Soule – Crypt Music 1 (1:58)
  10. Derek Duke – The Gidbinn (3:04)
  11. Mark Griskey & Gordy Haab – Traitors (1:10)
  12. Mark Griskey & Gordy Haab – The Machinations of the Empire (0:54)
  13. Mark Griskey & Gordy Haab – The Temple (2:05)
  14. Mark Griskey – The Land of the Dead (1:26)
  15. Mark Griskey – The Dark Side (2:01)
  16. Mark Griskey & Jesse Harlin – Deception, the Sith Warrior (1:27)
  17. Mark Griskey & Jesse Harlin – Lord Baras (2:40)
  18. Mark Griskey & Jesse Harlin – Treachery, the Sith Inquisitor (1:38)
  19. Gordy Haab – Nal Hutta, the Glorious Jewel (1:30)
  20. Gordy Haab – A Hostage Situation (1:12)
  21. Adam Skorupa and Krzysytof Wierzynkiewicz – The Darkened Field (4:18)
  22. Krzysztof Penderecki – Symphony No. 4 – Tempo I (13:01)

Combat

  1. Krzysztof Penderecki – Nachts (3:43)
  2. Alexandre Desplat – Inside The Mines (2:22)
  3. Krzysztof Penderecki – Bei einer Linde (2:50)
  4. Alexandre Desplat – To Q Zone (2:53)
  5. Andrew Barnabas and Paul Arnold – Cave (2:39)
  6. Edo Guidotti – The Sha (4:27)
  7. Michiru Oshima – Beached Kamoebas (M9) (1:27)
  8. Adam Skorupa and Krzysytof Wierzynkiewicz – Sewers Beneath the Keep (3:48)
  9. Jeremy Soule – Crypt Music 1 (1:58)
  10. Derek Duke – The Gidbinn (3:04)
  11. Mark Griskey & Gordy Haab – Traitors (1:10)
  12. Mark Griskey & Gordy Haab – The Machinations of the Empire (0:54)
  13. Mark Griskey & Gordy Haab – The Temple (2:05)
  14. Mark Griskey – The Land of the Dead (1:26)
  15. Mark Griskey – The Dark Side (2:01)
  16. Mark Griskey & Jesse Harlin – Deception, the Sith Warrior (1:27)
  17. Mark Griskey & Jesse Harlin – Lord Baras (2:40)
  18. Mark Griskey & Jesse Harlin – Treachery, the Sith Inquisitor (1:38)
  19. Gordy Haab – Nal Hutta, the Glorious Jewel (1:30)
  20. Gordy Haab – A Hostage Situation (1:12)
  21. Adam Skorupa and Krzysytof Wierzynkiewicz – The Darkened Field (4:18)
  22. Krzysztof Penderecki – Symphony No. 4 – Tempo I (13:01)

The Three represent the “bad guy Dragons” of the setting, and are a natural enemy to the Great Gold Wyrm. They are conspirators, they are traitors, and for their music I wanted to establish a sense of dread. Penderecki makes his final return, with me employing pieces from his Fourth and Eighth Symphonies. A good portion of the Area playlist is made up of themes from The Old Republic.

When we get into the Combat section, I wanted the playlist to focus on fights against dragons (or possibly even a Terrasque itself!). So for that I took plenty of cues from Alexandre Desplat’s “Godzilla”. That score fit what I was looking for to a T. “Lords of Shadow 2” by Oscar Araujo is the next runner up. I wanted the music to show the absolute fear and colossal scale of what the party was doing. The heroism is swallowed up by the fear. Dragons are destruction given form: they are walking natural disasters and their music should represent that.

If you want combat music to represent when the party is fighting the Blue’s servants, I would suggest using the Orc Lord.

 

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