In a perfect world, I like to think I would play a TTRPG game session two to five times a week! That may burn some people out, but I get so deeply into the mind of my characters and the worlds set before me that frequent play would excite me! However, as I hold other interests (and responsibilities) that frequency isn’t going to be sustainable.
While it is not our only game system, at the moment D&D 5e is our main TTRPG system played within Variant Ventures. For every character I create, I always have a theme song in mind. The longer I play a character the more lengthy their personal playlists become. I’ve been playing a Half-Elf Bard since 2017. Her story arc has had some highs and lows and her track list represents that. In the hopes of getting to know my fellow Variants better, I did some investigating into the songs they use as inspiration for their characters. Continue reading to discover what I’ve found!
If you’d like, there is a Spotify playlist so you can listen along while you read!
For Rory’s characters, it appears that he sticks to the classics in terms of musical choices, as demonstrated on the two characters he mentioned (listed below).
For his feisty Swashbuckler Camilla, nothing quite captures her skill (and bravado) as Joe Espesito’s “You’re the Best”
Rory’s Fire Genasi Brand however, lives on musically through the Jerry Lee Lewis classic “Great Balls of Fire”. I present this without further comment.
The trend with Kait’s characters seems to be taking control of their personal narratives, with thematic songs to match.
Ellidasia, a Human (Vistani) Monk from the dreary land of Barovia is personified by “It’s My Life” by Bon Jovi.
The Elven Rogue Alvea on the other hand exudes the energy of a jaded, old soul trying to redeem some past injustice. This is best captured through Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida”
It can be difficult to adequately pinpoint a sufficient method of describing Rae in a manner that does the complexity of her being its deserved justice. This shines through in her equally sophisticated and seemingly out of place characters she plays.
Niavi Wookriant, an Aasimar druid in a home-brewed campaign setting shared by Variants Rory and J, is a bit of a fish out of water. Nothing says fish out of water quite like the instrumental “Back that Azz Up” by Cash Money Millionaires
Liz is a woman that likes things streamlined, organized, and (whenever possible) profitable. When asked about her character songs she had only this to say.
Simply stunning. Moving on!
J himself could be a D&D 5e character. Not because he possesses heroic level combat prowess or magical capabilities (he doesn’t), but just because he’s the sort of person you might not be too surprised to find out he somehow made it into a dragon’s lair when he had intended to pick up milk from the corner store. His character’s songs tend to hinge on an aspect of the character themself.
One of J’s earliest D&D characters is still going strong years later! Karnik Greywind is a Human Forge Domain Cleric turned Demi-god Oath of Glory Paladin (it’s a long story). His ability to persevere his many trials is best represented in “Through the Fire and Flames” from DragonForce.
A less complex character by contrast, is the Bugbearian Grumf. That’s his whole name, just Grumf. He gets angry, and he kills. That’s it. That the tweet. His song is “Marching off to War” from Motorhead.
Nook Tealeaf, a Halfling Magical Trickster Rogue combined his penchant for making things disappear and his need to do the right thing into a burgeoning mercantile (and smuggling) enterprise. His thematic song is “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’” from Judas Priest.
J’s newest character, Stian Craghammer, is an officially licensed Wizard for the Immortal Empire. If that sounds stuffy, then you’ve got an idea about how Stian sees himself. For a deeper understanding, look no further than Primus and their song “Mr. Knowitall”
Izzie’s Characters tend to be self assured, confident, outgoing, and capable. In other words, the all around feminine bad ass. (Izzie is too, by the way)
Bug tends to explore a complex emotion or thought process within themselves when developing their character. Part therapy, part exploration, part vindication, it can be an effective way to feel out something with little to no risk of consequence (in the real world).
Variant Berry (Me!)
Finally, there’s me! As written above, music is a part of my character creation or growth process. As such, these songs either were the genesis or motivating factor for the characters they are paired with.
One of my first characters is a Half Elven Bard who simply goes by “A”. In her journeys, she has seen the best and worst of humanity and is seeking to find which is present within herself. Her song is “Human” by Of Monsters and Men.
Edana is a Water Genasi Way of the Four Elements Monk was taught at a young age that actions speak louder than words. Edana frequently chooses to intercede where others may hesitate. For her, “Come out Swinging” by The Offspring is a good fit.
Brandy Davenforth is a Human Champion Fighter seeking out her lost love, a seasoned man of the sea. If this doesn’t sound familiar, it will by the time you finish “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” by Looking Glass, which is the song that inspired her creation.
So there you have it! Through different means, each of us have found music that either influenced or were the catalyst of our D&D characters.
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What relationship do your characters have with music? Are there any theme songs for your creations or world?