domingo, 12 de abril de 2015

13th Age Soundtrack Review

Finally I came to buy the 13th Age Soundtrack, not only to use it with 13th Age but looking to use it with other games too. Since I had some doubts about buying it, I'd like to share what I think about it in a track-by-track way.
Before starting, though, you'll want a player that can toggle between song-looping and song play once, and lets you change songs as easily as you can.

13th Age

is a two minutes long song with a bit of epic tones. If everything's right, you should see a player to let you hear it, so you can get your our opinion there. The final smoothness and silence make this song not-loopable.

Dreams of a Lost Age


This song has a certain tint of nostalgia that makes me think about The Shire being look by Frodo after everything happened, kind of a place that you used to know and love, but that you can't really go back to because you've seen too much out of it.

Exploration


This song is really nice to enter some dark catacomb, forest or similar place, where secret scriptures speak of forgotten things and there's something hiding among the shadows projected by the torches. It can be looped, but would have been nice to have it in a loop-ready version

High Dock

It is a serene song, relaxing in a cloud-flying-kind of way. Maybe something from where look at past adventures and victories, and the world you and your companions have saved.

Omen

Is another ominous song that promises problems are near, but not in so a immediate kind of way as other songs in the soundtrack.

Tales Around the Fire

This song belongs to a tavern or maybe a encampment's fire, shared with some other travelers. A way to rest, and relax between adventures or maybe in long rests.

The Demon Coast

It's an ominous song, with whistles beyond the mist, hinting that something bad is going to happen.

The Eyes of the Stone Thief

This song is related to a Champion campaign, starts with a warning that a disaster is about to happen, and ends just as it does.

The Fangs

Feels like the background music an adventure movie would have when taking shots of the main characters traveling from the start of their adventure to the climax of it. Makes me think about a ship's trip, grim determination in their eyes, to fight and be victorious or die trying.

Starport

This song sounds like something mystical and epic is going to happen in some calmed way, maybe the immolation of a beloved hero after being recovered from the fight that saved the world but took his life as price.

Icons

There is a song for every Icon except for the Shadow Prince (go figures...). All are about two minutes long, not loopable (because of ending silences and/or too abrupt changes between start and end, depending on the song), so they're not good for background, continuous music, but they are for the presentation to an Icon's place of power.

Archmage

Includes some magic-inspiring bassoon to bring about imagery of magic, mystical energies doing their work around an Archmage's place of power, and also a couple of thunder to remember there's a promise of very serious power going on.

Crusader

This song is perfect for Crusader, starts with a startle and keeps rolling as a juggernaut crushing its way inexorably, with a few touches of chorus to remind listeners there's some holy in its leitmotiv. 

Diabolist

I like how Diabolist theme has a kind of relation with Crusader's, considering they are the proverbial touching extremes. 

Dwarf King

This song has some epic tones, hammers hammering metal and all you can think of a movie sequence flying over Khazad-Dûm

Elf Queen

Elf Queen's song is a quiet, smooth song with strings and flutes for melody and violin kind in the background. It can make you think about the elven, kind way of nature, but it has a part too that seems a bit more serious, like for the dark elves part. 

Emperor

Emperor's has kind of martial sounds. This is a presentation music too, majestic and all that, but the ending is too sharp to make it background.

Great Gold Wyrm

This song reminds the kind of place Great Gold Wyrm is, and what it does there, starting with a slightly hard bit but transforming it in a melody that speaks of untiring work and epic vigilance.

High Druid

Uses sound from forests, chorus and tribal kind of sounds. The voices and main sounds are simple percussion and woods, as it should for this Icon. It's not loopable, though.

Lich King

Is ominous, with chorus, bells and chains, and a violin tension-rising as the PCs influence, something foreign to the rest.

Orc Lord

His music promise another unstoppable force, not unlike the Crusader, but with a bestial, reckless kind of feeling that separates both songs.

Priestess

Her song's main sound is a smooth female voice leading a chant, with some rising epic thing that makes it another presentation.

The Three

The other icons songs were easy to link to their Icon, but not this one. The Three's song makes you feel there is some danger going on, and that things are going to get serious and hard quickly, but nonetheless it lacks something to make you think about the triad of the world's most powerful dragons.

Loopable songs

They have included these songs kind of duplicated. First, there's the original song, then there's the loop version, made so it can be loop continuously without breaking the feeling. These songs are around a minute long each.

Chase

The chase brings tension and urgency in a way no other song of the pack does. It's not quick enough that makes the rolls and choices seem like dragging the action, but close to it.

Escalation 0

A very slow song, like nothing's happening but something may or may not start. It has a bit of tension, but barely.

Escalation 1

Feels like a version of Escalation 0 with a bit of melody having been added to the Escalation 0, something that feels right when you're going to change from one to the other.

Escalation 2

A new step up, just rising from Escalation 1 as that rose from Escalation 0.

Escalation 3

This song breaks the pace of the previous three. Played just afterwards, it has hints it belongs to the same series, but it's clearly a different level.

Escalation 4

Action rose clearly to a new level from Escalation 3, but doesn't do that as the first three did, adding bits to the previous one.

Escalation 5

This feels like being from Escalation 4. Strangely enough, beat seems to go down a little while tension goes up a little.

Escalation 6

This one feels like another step down in pace but another up in importance. Maybe these last three could be reversed when using them as Escalation Die theme.

To close this, the soundtrack is composed of good songs not only for 13th age, but for probably any medieval fantasy kind of game. The inclusion of loopable versions of action songs is really nice. The only step up I can think off would be a player that could change between songs, repeat none and repeat continuously with one touch and probably something that could merge one escalation level into another.
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