Friday, June 22, 2018

Music to Game to: Eight Trails, One Path

I listen to a lot of music (over 40 days worth in 2017 according to last.fm) and I find that few things help me keep the mood of a game foregrounded in my mind like a good soundtrack. Plus, I’ve discovered that when I’m playing music to a speaker via Bluetooth, I’m less likely to be on my phone, lest my players hear any stray sounds, letting me better model engagement during a game. To that end, I want to share some of my favorite music to game to; the albums that inspire and inflame my imagination and that I’ve found work well as background music for games as well. I’ll do a mini-review and cover the basics of what mood it helps me set.

VARIOUS – EIGHT TRAILS, ONE PATH

A compilation album celebrating “the various styles, approaches, and concepts used by eight contemporary guitar masters.” The album is mostly solo acoustic guitar, lending itself naturally to an American Wild West feel, but there bits and pieces of other instruments as well. The album feels surprisingly unified for a compilation, with the focus on the guitar helping each song to sound as part of the whole.


  • Vocals?...Distorted vocals low in the mix on “Stranded on Io”
  • Music Genre(s)…Psychedelic Rock, Folk, Acoustic
  • Perfect for…Wild West games or any game you want to add a Western flair to.
  • If you only grab one track, make it... Stranded On Io”, which adds a slight sci-fi ambience, for a melancholic explorer lost in space feel. Though if you were going to run a more straight-forward or authentic Wild West game, this might also be the track you skip.




Sunday, June 17, 2018

Antagonist Relations Podcast 37 - The Bear's Entourage

Antagonist Relations Podcast 37 - The Bear's Entourage


The third of three parts of our June 2018 Beyond the Wall Actual Play Episodes, now separated into bite size chunks for your audio enjoyment (or at least, not an listenable 3 hour podcast).

The party continues their search for a basement, visiting the mill, purchasing a sack of flour, then they visit the ruins of the Foaming Mug Inn where they finally encounter a basement… a basement full of a familiar rancid, musty stench… Also featuring Hugen’s further descent into blood vengeance...

Starring Ben as Hugen Coldhands, the New Watchman, Christy as Ziska Forespark, the Student of the Dark Arts, Mike as Jasper (Jape) Sweetberry IV, the Gifted Dilettante and Cassandra as Tulip, the Village Bear.

If you want to know more about Beyond the Wall, check out the Antagonist Relations reviews:


Friday, June 15, 2018

Music to Game to: The Gate - Island Virus

I listen to a lot of music (over 40 days worth in 2017 according to last.fm) and I find that few things help me keep the mood of a game foregrounded in my mind like a good soundtrack. Plus, I’ve discovered that when I’m playing music to a speaker via Bluetooth, I’m less likely to be on my phone, lest my players hear any stray sounds, letting me better model engagement during a game. To that end, I want to share some of my favorite music to game to; the albums that inspire and inflame my imagination and that I’ve found work well as background music for games as well. I’ll do a mini-review and cover the basics of what mood it helps me set.

THE GATE – ISLAND VIRUS

Right out of the gate, the first track of this album is titled “Black Bird of Death Spewing Death Puke,” to give you an idea of what you’re in for. This is deep, apocalyptic tuba rumbling, backed mostly by double bass and drums. Having been a high school marching band tuba player, I’ve a deep fondness for the instrument, and Dan Peck, who leads the The Gate and blows the horn, uses it to create skull-vibrating and sinister tones. With the double bass and more uptempo drumming, the album draws more on free jazz than doom metal, but it cannot help but be thunderously deep. While many doom jazz albums can tend towards the ethereal and haunting, Island Virus is grounded and sinister. Perfect for any game where unlucky investigators wander foggy seaside towns and face down horrid fish people.


  • Vocals?...No
  • Music Genre(s)…Doom, Tuba, Doom Jazz,
  • Perfect for…Early 20th century horror games, any game where you want to add a rumbling darkness.
  • If you only grab one track, make it... The doleful and deep, “Back to the Sea,” where the tuba functions as a bringer of mysterious doom and gloom like a mammoth reptilian creature plodding back to the oceanic depths.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Pietro's Pocket Pole - Weird Magic Item #8


Inspired by the incredibly excellent Weird Magic Item generator over at Donjon.bin.sh, I've been coming up with a few of my own system agnostic weird magic items to put in the many games I run, be they 13th Age or Beyond the Wall...

Eventually I want to try and put them into a randomizer, but I need to generate a few first. I'm going to try and post one every other Wednesday. Please let me know if you end up using an item I've created in your own game. You can find the entire series here...

Antagonist Relations Weird Magic Item Generator Presents...

Pietro's Pocket Pole

Created by a minor archmage, Pietro the Practical, this six inch long dowel can be transmuted into a ten foot pole by holding it in your hand and uttering the command phrase "Better safe than sorry" which is burnt into its side. Once it has become a ten foot pole it remains so for at least ten minutes, for up to an hour. Other than being unusually sturdy and resilient, it is in every other respect a simple ten foot pole useful for finding pits and pushing rafts. Once the pole has reverted to its six inch form, either because the user has ended the effect or because the hour duration is up, the pole requires ten minutes to regain its charge and be transformed again.


Monday, June 11, 2018

Antagonist Relations Podcast 36 - "Can we see the stench?"

Antagonist Relations Podcast 36 - "Can we see the stench?"


The second of three parts of our June 2018 Beyond the Wall Actual Play Episodes, now separated into bite size chunks for your audio enjoyment (or at least, not an listenable 3 hour podcast).

The party takes leave of wizard and weasel to visit a widow in Orlane and then having found signs of foul undertakings, march on to the Temple to determine if it is the seat from which all sinister doings in the village emanate.

Starring Ben as Hugen Coldhands, the New Watchman, Christy as Ziska Forespark, the Student of the Dark Arts, Mike as Jasper (Jape) Sweetberry IV, the Gifted Dilettante and Cassandra as Tulip, the Village Bear.

If you want to know more about Beyond the Wall, check out the Antagonist Relations reviews:


Friday, June 8, 2018

Music to Game to: The Comet Is Coming - Channel the Spirits

I listen to a lot of music (over 40 days worth in 2017 according to last.fm) and I find that few things help me keep the mood of a game foregrounded in my mind like a good soundtrack. Plus, I’ve discovered that when I’m playing music to a speaker via Bluetooth, I’m less likely to be on my phone, lest my players hear any stray sounds, letting me better model engagement during a game. To that end, I want to share some of my favorite music to game to; the albums that inspire and inflame my imagination and that I’ve found work well as background music for games as well. I’ll do a mini-review and cover the basics of what mood it helps me set.

THE COMET IS COMING – CHANNEL THE SPIRITS

With the band name, member pseudoynms (King Shabaka, Danalogue the Conquerer and Betamax Killer), and song titles (“Journey through the Asteroid Belt”, “Slam Dunk Through a Black Hole”) you can easily deduce that this is an album well suited for Sci-Fi games. With a skillful blend of Sun Ra inspired jazz, space funk and psychedelic rock, Channel the Spirits is a fantastic fit for any psychedelic science fiction RPG or a superheroes game with a more Cosmic Kirby feel.

  • Vocals?...Yes, largely on one song, “Lightyears”
  • Music Genre(s)…Jazz, psychedelic rock, electronic
  • Perfect for…Psychedelic science-fiction games.
  • If you only grab one track, make it... The propulsive and groovy “Star Furnace”.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

RPG Inspiration Twitter Bot List - Sword Names Table

Instead of posting another table of surnames I've made, I figured I'd put this up. I made a list of RPG Twitter Bots I find interesting/inspirational. If you have any suggestions to be added, let me know.

RPG Inspiration Bots - a list by @antag_relations


I'm hoping to have a Magic Sword/Weapon name bot set up later this summer. I've been thinking about the few swords in Thomas' al-Qadim AD&D Church game, like Angel's Fang and Wizard Death. I created a little table to generate Sword names and then couldn't stop myself after, so I started randomly generating thousands of interesting magic sword names that will eventually go into the bot. But for now you can enjoy sword names like "Ghost Shaver" and "Moon('s) Edge".


d20 Sword Name Prefix Sword Name Suffix
1 Foe Wrath
2 Adversary Slicer
3 Spleen Vengeance
4 Death Fang
5 Moon Blade
6 Blood Render
7 Weakling Breaker
8 Gore Shard
9 Shining Wound
10 Silver Shaver
11 Dawn Death
12 King Ender
13 Angel Edge
14 Heart Skewer
15 Ghost Piercer
16 Sharp Slasher
17 Widow's Ache
18 Sir Carver
19 Steel Bane
20 Mountain Tickler



Also, last month I converted my old Zombie Twitter RPG account into a twitter account just for my RPG nonsense, which you can follow at its new handle: @antag_relations


Music to Game to: Eight Trails, One Path

I listen to a lot of music (over 40 days worth in 2017 according to  last.fm ) and I find that few things help me keep the mood of a game f...