Well, Syrinscape has developed a new tool to help do just that with their Fantasy Player. The player allows you to purchase soundsets which are designed around specific battles or scenes common to fantasy RPGs. For example, in the tavern brawl soundset, you hear the band playing in the background while rowdy patrons fight and shout. Shattering glasses, tables splintering, bones breaking, and the occasional drunken laugh or grunt complete the scene.
Created by composer Benjamin Loomes, the Syrinscape player allows the different sounds' audio tracks to be adjusted to customize the experience, and some soundsets can progress through a mini-story as the fight evolves, or come to an end. In the Dungeon Depths soundset, players will hear wind, feet on gravel, deep growling, and distant screams. Game Masters are also given a series of buttons that allow them to add in fire blast traps, creaking doors, alarm bells, and more as necessary to ramp up excitement in their games. There are variations on this theme that have or don’t have music, or represent being alone and lost in the dungeon.
The Fantasy RPG player is free and comes with a few demo soundsets to test out. Individual soundsets generally cost $3.99, but there are also bundle packs or subscription options. Syrinscape has even teamed with Paizo Publishing to produce companion soundsets to the award-winning Pathfinder Adventure Path: Rise of the Runelords, with soundsets specifically tailored to the encounters from those adventures.
How about that dragon we discussed above? Well, the Red Dragon City Raid is my favorite soundset so far. It begins with a peaceful morning, where players hear children playing, birds chirping, and townsfolk milling about. GMs can introduce the dragon with special buttons for roars, flame attacks, or city warning bells. When the Dragon Fire button is pressed, there are a number of screams followed by a massive roar and a burst of flame. Battle music begins to play, and the fight is on. Players will feel it when the dragon makes buildings crumble and hear every weapon's impact. When the dragon is defeated, there is a cheer from the crowd, but the sounds of burning buildings can still be heard as the town slowly recovers in the Aftermath.
The Syrinscape Fantasy RPG Player can be found at Syrinscape.com. Stay tuned to Fanboy Comics for future Syrinscape product reviews.