I've long been a fan of background music for gaming. I don't use it every time I run a game, or even most of the time. But when inspiration strikes, I don't hesitate to lay down some tracks on the trusty MP3 player and let 'em play, soft and low, in the background.
Primarily I've utilized background music for horror-type games, but thanks to a recent post over on The Society of Torch, Pole, and Rope I had a revelation. Here's what I wrote in the comments:
Oh. My. God. ...That's a great theme song not just for encounters with oozes, but dungeon crawling in general. In fact, now that I think about it, "elevator music" might just be the best mood music for descending into the depths. I am completely serious about this.
Last night Alex came over and he, Des, and I had another exciting installment in our City State sandbox game--but first I played them the themes from The Blob and The Green Slime and explained my mad scheme. And they totally bought into it!
So, after a trip to my local library, I am now hip-deep in 60s lounge music, wading through the tracks and selecting only the choicest cuts to include in my "Dungeon Lounge" mix, which will now play in the background whenever my intrepid players descend into the depths.
I'm surprised by how "right" this feels. What that says about me and/or my players we'll leave for the analyst's couch. In the meantime, just picture yourself proceeding down a dank, darkened corridor, ten foot pole extended ahead of you, as this gem plays in the subliminal background...
And wouldn't making a saving throw against mold spores be much more palatable if this was accompanying your dice roll?
And don't get distracted when you're listening at a door by accidentally listening to this gem instead...
If you want to follow in my footsteps, I heartily recommend the "Ultra-Lounge" compilations that were put out about 10 years ago. In particular, the volumes "Mondo Exotica," "Organs in Orbit," "Bossa Novaville," "Space Capades," and "Bachelor Pad Royale". And anything by Juan Esquivel is pretty much golden too.