I wrote about playing music during roleplaying sessions earlier this week, but I didn’t get into specific music options. In my search to expand my music collection, both for using during Pathfinder sessions and for listening to while doing other things, I’ve come across a lot of awesome music. I thought I’d share some of it.
Just in case it isn’t obvious, I am referring to instrumental scores when I mention ‘soundtracks’ below. I’ve yet to find a use for songs with lyrics in my Pathfinder games!
There are some great film soundtracks out there. It’s a good idea to remove recognisable theme tunes, as these are more distracting than helpful during a session. These are some of my favourites that I’ve used in my sessions.
- Brian Tyler:
- Thor: The Dark World – absolutely fantastic score that fits well into fantasy games; easily one of my favourite sountracks
- Iron Man 3 – another excellent soundtrack, though there are some jarring tracks that don’t work well for fantasy
- John Powell: How to Train Your Dragon – a lovely uplifting soundtrack, mostly on the cheerful side
- David Newman: Serenity – generally good background music
- James Newton Howard: The Hunger Games
- Michael Giacchino: Star Trek: Into Darkness – good selection of tracks; just remember to remove the ones with the Star Trek theme
- Harry Gregson-Williams: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe – has some great uplifting tracks and nice epic battle music
- Michael Andrews: Donnie Darko – dark and eerie music for the most part, though there are some tracks that stand out a bit too much, depending on the situation
- Steve Jablonsky: The Island – excellent soundtrack, though there’s a couple of tracks you’ll almost definitely need to remove for fantasy games
- Murray Gold: Doctor Who – some solid background music from the new series
- Tyler Bates: Guardians of the Galaxy – this score is largely overshadowed by the songs that are used in the film, but there are a few standout tracks here, and the rest is good background.
- Hans Zimmer: Gladiator – fantastic soundtrack
Other Movie Soundtracks
The scores listed below are all excellent, but require more work in terms of removing recognisable themes or jarring tracks:
- John Williams: Star Wars – all six films have strong scores, but they are highly recognisable, even among non-Star Wars fans
- John Willaims, Patrick Doyle, Nicholas Hooper: Harry Potter – another set of excellent scores. The later films make less use of the recognisable theme tune, making them easier to use at the table
- Howard Shore: The Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit – excellent scores, especially for fantasy games, but they do have a lot of strong themes that people may recognise
- Mark Mothersbaugh: The LEGO Movie – this is a fun score but you’ll probably want to choose tracks carefully
- Christophe Beck: Frozen – I bought this soundtrack for the songs, but the score is actually really great too
- Klaus Badelt: Pirates of the Caribbean – fantastic soundtrack with some very strong themes
This list has turned out rather longer than I expected, so I’ll share game soundtracks in a future post.
What are some of your favourite movie scores?
Featured image by orangus on DeviantArt.