THE ORCS ARE CHARGING! A Gamer’s Guide to Battle Music Curated by Toren Atkinson

So you’re running a D&D game and you want some suggestions for background battle music? I’m here to help. I’ve been running D&D for decades and I think these will help.

Now these are not the songs that you play while the players are plotting their next move at the inn, or tending their wounds between battles. These are tracks to use when the dragon bursts out of the keep or the goblins start poring out of shrubs!

All Drums Go To Hell: “Barrage of Noise”
These are short!
See also “Norwegian Devil” “Armored Cars” “Code of Honor” “Death Came Early That Year” “Guerilla Raid” and “Images of Horror”

Basil Poledouris “The Mound, Part 1” (Conan the Barbarian)

Alan Silvestri “Blain Gets Killed” (Predator)
Spoiler alert! Blain gets killed!

Bear McCreary “Roslin Escapes” (Battlestar Galactica)
Lots of other great stuff from this series such as “Starbuck Takes On All Eight” “Storming New Caprica” and “Escape from the Farm”

Elliot Goldenthal “Bait and Chase” Alien 3
Nice ups and downs, a lot of suspense. This is also a good soundtrack for your horror games like Call of Cthulhu.

 

Steve Jablonsky “Scorponok” (Transformers)

 

Alan Silvestri: Beowulf Slays the Beast (Beowulf)
Thunderous!

 

Christophe Beck “Ritaliation” (Edge of Tomorrow)
This is really a great score all around. One of the best in years, good for both your for fantasy and sci-fi games.

Joseph LoDuca “The Pit” (Army of Darkness)
So much interesting punctuation and movement of emotional cues throughout. Bordering on cartoony but IMO never crosses the line.

Bernard Hermann “The Giant Crab” (Mysterious Island)
Speaking of cartoony
See also “The Fight with the Roc” and “The Duel with the Skeleton” from the 7th Voyage of Sinbad.

The Battle (Master and Commander)

Shigeru Umebayashi: The Echo Game (House of Flying Daggers)
Relentless yet short at the same time.

 

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About Toren

Illustrator, comic artist, voice and screen actor, lead singer for The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets, co-author Spaceship Zero roleplaying game.
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