Monday, 29 October 2012

Music To Roleplay To: Ravenloft

Today's entry of Music To Roleplay To we're swept up by mysterious mists and deposited in the Demiplane of Dread, the realm of Ravenloft and other domains of horror ruled by the feared Darklords. Steel your nerves adventures, and pray you're pure in heart lest you fall under the influence of the Dark Powers that control this forsaken land, along with the Darklords that terrorise it!

This collection focuses on a single Domain of Dread and it's Darklord in particular, the titular realm of Barovia and it's vampire lord, Count Strahd von Zarovich. The compilation is general enough be used with the campaign setting as a whole, or be slightly adjusted to focus on other specific domains or similar games.


The Expedition to Castle Ravenloft campaign that ran over two years ago, was one of the first games I compiled a dedicated playlist for rather than use a random mix of fantasy tunes that I used to backdrop all my previous games. And actually, what really I meant when I said playlist, I meant playlists; I had them all sorted by location, such as:
  • The Wilderness of Barovia - Svalich Woods, Ivlis Marsh, Tser Pool, Lysaga Hill, etc.
  • The Village of Barovia
  • The Vistani Encampment
  • Castle Ravenloft - The grounds, Main Floor, Court of the Count, Rooms of Weeping, Spires of Ravenloft, etc.
  • The Lower Levels of Ravenloft - The Larders of Ill Omen, and the Catacombs.
Or I based playlists around events or an emotion tied to a scene:
  • Conflict & Combat
  • Encounter with Strahd - (Epic Battle Music)
  • Hope - When the PC's attain a difficult goal or find brief respite.
  • Horror - When they face the truly horrific and terrifying.
  • Sorrow - When the air is filled with despair and lamentations.
  • Suspense - When the tension is thick enough to cut with a blade. 

My music library has grown exponentially since then, and now that we're picking up where we left off I've taken it upon myself to revise and update my collection, which given it's Gothic Horror theme, shares some of the same music from my previous MTRPT entries like the Unhallowed Metropolis playlist. I also added in a good amount of awesome music from the Castlevania video game series to spice things up.


If one is so inclined, you may organise your collection similarly to my own. The following album suggestions tend to have songs that fit around one or more of these themes, although a few don't really suit the atmosphere of the setting. Arrange as you see fit.

Original Soundtracks and Artists

  • Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura by Ben Houge
  • Born of the Night, Dungeons & Dragons, Realm of Shadows, and Vampyre: Symphonies from the Crypt by Midnight Syndicate
  • Darklore Manor, Shadow of the Raven, The Dark Tower, and Transylvania by Nox Arcana
  • Bram Stoker's Dracula by Wojciech Kilar
  • The Bride Of Frankenstein by Franz Waxman
  • Caravan by Kronos Quartet
  • Castlevania: Curse of Darkness by Michiru Yamane
  • Castlevania: Lament of Innocence by Michiru Yamane
  • Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness by Masahiko Kimura
  • Castlevania: Lords of Shadow by Oscar Araujo
  • Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia by Michiru Yamane
  • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night by Michiru Yamane
  • Darksiders by Cris Velasco, Mike Reagan, & Scott Morton
  • Diablo and Diablo II by Matt Uelman
  • Dracula (1979) by John Williams
  • Dracula by Philip Glass & the Kronos Quartet
  • The Gipsy Kings [Vistani Music]
  • Gipsy Love by Kalyi Jag [Vistani Music]
  • Inspired by the Witcher by various artists
  • Mary Shelly's Frankenstein by Patrick Doyle
  • May I Kiss Your Hand by Csókolom [Vistani Music]
  • Nosfuratu by Popol Vuh
  • Sleepy Hollow by Danny Elfman
  • Thief: Deadly Shadows by Eric Brosius
  • Van Helsing by Alan Silvestri
  • The Witcher by Adam Skorupa & Paweł Błaszczak
  • The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings by Adam Skorupa & Krzysztof Wierzynkiewicz
  • The Wolfman by Danny Elfman

And as a bonus, here's a silly animated bat gif:

Leave a comment if you have any suggestions for additional listening! ^١^