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Theme Music

Started by Tim C Koppang, September 13, 2001, 05:47:00 PM

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Tim C Koppang

I've just posted another new game to my web site.  This one is called Theme Music.  As of now it's only a draft; I haven't even play tested it yet, but I thought I'd post it and hope for some input.

Here's the basic gist: The game is GM-less and works off of the idea of, well theme music.  You play some tunes in the background, and base the current in-game scene off of the mood dictated by the song.  The mechanics are made to encourage fast resolution so as to keep the focus on the action.  Scenes will only last as long as the current song, and so quick playing rules are a necessity.

I'm currently working on a setting for the game too...

A group of people, slightly off of their rocker, all hear music constantly in their head.  Those people tuned to the same frequency, band together.  Driven by personal motivations, they work together for a common good.

Mike Holmes

"Who are those guys?"

"They're my theme music; every good hero should have some."

-I'm Gonna Git You Sucka
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Sounds like a lot of fun, and could provide some interesting games, with a computer, or a multi disc changer randomly selecting tunes, it could be a unique experience... I shudder to think of what kind of game would start with something like Limp Bizkit, and go into a Yanni or Barney song... *grin*
Imagination is the key to inner peace. Do you know which door it lies behind?


Reminds me of the Distant Drummers in Halo Jones.
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Tim C Koppang

QuoteOn 2001-09-15 02:23, Galfraxas wrote:
I shudder to think of what kind of game would start with something like Limp Bizkit, and go into a Yanni or Barney song... *grin*

That's the point...  You take a bunch of vaguely associated songs and force your game to accommodate for them.  In my opinion it opens up a whole bunch of narrative possibilities that most games don't encourage--sort of a free association induced by music, in role-playing form.

Think about it: in most games you follow the action to a logical outcome, but here you have an excuse to alter the game's focus at a whim.  By taking away the GM you no longer have to worry about following his plot, and so the story is much more open-ended.  My hope is that the players will collectively feel a need to create some sort of coherent story, but they do this by working together.  Hence the Scene Linking rules:  everyone gets a chance to contribute and the plot takes twists that no one could anticipate.

That's my intention anyway.  I'm not sure if the rules, as written encourage this entirely, but that's why I call it a first draft.

Mike Holmes

Ever seen "Weather the Cuckoo Likes" a supplement for Over the Edge? It details the cut-ups, who, in-game, use a sort of method similar to what you describe. It might interest you.

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John Wick

I'm actually using a similar mechanic for NEVERLAND which invokes a tape of the game's "soundtrack." Each player has a theme song, and during that song, they get bonuses.

Villains also have theme songs, by the way...

This also keeps the game very episodic: the game session lasts as long as the tape (with an interlude while the GM flips it from Side 1 to Side 2).

Looking forward to seeing what you did with it...
Carpe Deum,


Theme Song was (and will be again) an Enhancement for JAGS characters. The player could buy (for points) the right to play a song once during a play session (or more) and, more or less, while that song was playing would get advantages to things like Stealth (Axel F) Flying Aircraft (Danger Zone), general combat (Mission Impossible), or whatever.

JAGS (Just Another Gaming System) is pretty rules-heavy and simulationist--but the weird enhancement rules make for some interesting additions. We dropped it from the first cut because the description was deemed too complicated for the first cut of rules.

But I've always thought it was a *great* idea.

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