Freebie: Ultima X Odyssey Soundtrack

I love using music in my games. A well-chosen soundtrack can massively improve the atmosphere in most games. Especially horror roleplaying games benefit a lot from background music. So it’s no surprise I am always on the look-out for new music.

Recently while reading up on the canceled Ultima MMO called Ultima X Odyssey I’ve found out that the soundtrack had already been produced by the time the game development was stopped. And composer Chris Field was kind enough to provide the blog Video Game Music Daily with a copy they were allowed to share freely.

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The music is perfectly suited for any fantasy roleplaying game and most tracks can be played in the background without diverting too much attention from the actual game. There are a couple of more dramatic pieces which work well for combat scenes.

Chris Field has done a great job with the UXO soundtrack. Each track – there are 31 – is a pleasure listening to, even when you’re not gaming. Kudos to Mr. Field for sharing his music with us freely!

Check out Video Game Music Daily for more details and a download link.

Update: The FLAC version download link doesn’t work, but the MP3 version is still available. Click here to download the soundtrack.

Musings of a D&D 5th Edition DM

Last year I started playing D&D 5th Edition with one of my regular groups. Actually we just created characters and did a short introductory adventure set into a campaign setting of my own creation. Things went pretty well, everyone had a lot of fun and it was very easy to run D&D 5th Edition.

But my homebrew setting caused some issues. Initially I wanted to create an open sandbox for the characters to explore, but in the end things turned out differently. The frontier town turned into a metropolis and all the ideas I came up with were of the “save the world” variety. And the worst problem of all: it didn’t feel like D&D. I can’t really put my finger on it, but the setting just felt wrong.

My players didn’t mind changing the setting, since we just started, and I thought starting with “Lost Mine of Phandelver” would be a fun idea. Heck, I could even run them through the whole Tyranny of Dragons campaign.  So I did some research and found a lot of less than flattering reviews. Especially Hoard of the Dragon Queen seems to be pretty bad. Continue reading Musings of a D&D 5th Edition DM

Kickstarter: Packs!

Today I want to point out to you the Packs! Kickstarter campaign. Packs! is the English-language version of the German indie RPG Ratten! (engl.: rats) in which you play … rats. Personally I am not so fond of games in which you play anthropomorphized animals of any kind, but a lot of my friends just love the game.

The upcoming English version will contain rules for two systems: Savage Worlds and the original rule system which has been developed for Packs! in the first place. Especially the original rules are very easy and quick to learn and play.

08a49ebfd899c16e1c313fff9dd11015_largeThe pledge levels of Packs! are pretty reasonable. You can get the PDF version of the rules for a $10 pledge and for just $40 you get all the digital stuff funded plus a nice hardbound book. There’s even a limited leatherbound edition! Shipping is free to the EU and the US. Everyone else has to add $50 to their pledge for shipping, which sounds pretty high, but is probably unavoidable.

Packs! is definitely a solid game, and the new support for Savage Worlds may be interesting to fans of the system, so if you love playing rats and experiencing weird and creepy adventures from a new perspective, then have a look at the Packs! Kickstarter!

A Roleplaying Games blog