Need suggestions for a D&D final boss theme

Elvis Starburst

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Late to the party, but for what it's worth when I incorporate music into TT RPG's I make as heavy use of leitmotif as I can, and at least try to ensure music is as thematically linked as possible. So when it comes to the big moments, I have a ready-made library of relevant music I can draw upon when necessary -- or at least can identify for what I'm looking immediately. The last Star Wars D6 game I ran I used lots of musical queues, music, and leitmotif:
I'm trying to think of a good way to get a leitmotif going for my current campaign. Got a few music choices to go with that I plan on using. Though, I don't think I can easily get them into the final boss theme, seeing as there's a specific tone I'm trying to go for with the fight, and any of my leitmotif related options I've got in mind don't fit it very well. It'd help if it was easier to do, but when you've got a fight, a tone, and a setup all in mind, you gotta throw the music in afterwards, lest you re-do everything from the ground up to suit the music theme instead. Hence this thread, since the former is what ended up happening
 

Eacaraxe

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...lest you re-do everything from the ground up to suit the music theme instead. Hence this thread, since the former is what ended up happening
This is just my creative process, but I'll find myself futzing around looking for music or musical cues online when I'm hunting for story hooks, moments, or in some cases just a completely different, unexpected direction to take games. I've gotten an idea from a song and re-written entire game sessions out of it. Some of my players' favorite and most memorable moments out of any game I've run came out of it.

That said, you don't necessarily need a direct connection between two pieces of work to establish a motif -- just enough to maintain that thematic style. For instance I mentioned using Brian Tyler's works, particularly Children of Dune, as leitmotif for the Mon Calamari -- Tyler has a distinct style in that he likes string-heavy composition with strong punctuation, and I used compositions of his from all the way from the Transformers soundtracks, to Modern Warfare 3, as befitting the tenor of the scene. And, knowing what musical cues for which I'm looking, I can find works by other composers and artists that fit the leitmotif and weave them in.

For instance, here's the "score" of one particular game session of that campaign, from start to finish. The game session being one of three about the Liberation of Dac (or Mon Cala, if you're not an EU type). With notation so as to give a sense of what happened in game. For some reason this isn't allowing me to link or share several videos, so if you're unfamiliar with a piece you can easily find it on YT.

The setup being, they're attacking a shipyard in orbit to free the Calamari slaves there, and liberate a certain Calamari ship for use it against the Empire:

1. 20th Century Fox fanfare -- it's Star Wars, can't go without it.

2. Main Theme from Where Eagles Dare -- putting the "war" in Star Wars. Sending the tone for my players that this isn't a happy-go-lucky space swashbuckling game session, they're literally fighting for the lives of everyone on Mon Cala. First time in the campaign I didn't use the Star Wars theme for my "opening crawl" monologue.

3. Heroic Assault from Gears of War 2 -- Rebels board the shipyard on shuttles and seize the hangar bays, and start freeing and arming Calamari slaves.

4. Leto Atreides II from Children of Dune -- Rebels find and free Lee-Char who had been held prisoner there, awaiting transfer.

5. It's Our Fight from Transformers Dark of the Moon -- the final push through the shipyard to board and seize Home One. One of the PC's takes an E-Web shot, avoids instant death on the Strength check by a single point, and has to be evacuated by the NPC medic.

6. Take Off: Ooinaru Yuushi no Kodou from Gundam Seed Symphonic Suite -- Lee-Char takes command, Home One launches and engages a Star Destroyer.

7. Summon the Worms from Children of Dune -- Home One is damaged from intense fire and rams the Star Destroyer, Rebels stage a zero-G boarding maneuver and assault.

8. Overture from Battle: Los Angeles -- On the clock to save Home One, Rebels race through the Star Destroyer to its engineering decks so they can demo its reactor.

9. Sinking Feeling from Modern Warfare -- Rebels flee and board escape pods as the Star Destroyer explodes around them.
 

SilentPony

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Sure Ill throw some ideas in 'cause I haven't seen much in this theme:




As you can tell I prefer the daemonic/unworldly/nightmarish type of bosses. The dragons and invading warlords are always so played out and well...easy.
 

Elvis Starburst

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Sure Ill throw some ideas in 'cause I haven't seen much in this theme:

As you can tell I prefer the daemonic/unworldly/nightmarish type of bosses. The dragons and invading warlords are always so played out and well...easy.
You might be on to something in terms of direction! Unfortunately, I already have the Holy Blade song planned for another boss earlier in the campaign. That one's gonna be toooooons of fun~
 

SilentPony

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You might be on to something in terms of direction! Unfortunately, I already have the Holy Blade song planned for another boss earlier in the campaign. That one's gonna be toooooons of fun~
My thought was always Dragons and Minotaurs and, I dunno, Orc warlords are all well and good, but they're...natural. You're just as likely to find a friendly/neutral Dragon, or a Minotaur who runs weapon shop or an Orc who has a cold or sprained his ankle.

And I think the greatest threats are those that are not natural, daemons, zombies, other-worldly monstrosities etc... Things that don't obey the laws of physics or have powers beyond our comprehension.
 

Elvis Starburst

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My thought was always Dragons and Minotaurs and, I dunno, Orc warlords are all well and good, but they're...natural. You're just as likely to find a friendly/neutral Dragon, or a Minotaur who runs weapon shop or an Orc who has a cold or sprained his ankle.

And I think the greatest threats are those that are not natural, daemons, zombies, other-worldly monstrosities etc... Things that don't obey the laws of physics or have powers beyond our comprehension.
Oh, I meant musical direction, haha. But you're right, which is why the boss that is gonna accompany that song is gonna be an ancient abomination monster summoned via an unholy ritual. Pants shall be shat
 

ObsidianJones

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I just saw this and I'm adding stuff!




... What? I was raised in the 90's. There will be some techno!
 

Elvis Starburst

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I just saw this and I'm adding stuff!

... What? I was raised in the 90's. There will be some techno!
Not quite fitting of the intended tone, but god damn that 3rd song is amazing. It's going right to my album of mish-mash stuff and stockpiles of individual songs so I can jam to it in my car
 

ObsidianJones

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For Fun, pick one person in the group. Lock eyes. Never break. And play this.

*WARNING* Not Safe For Work, language *WARNING*

Also, God, I'm disgusted with myself.

I forgot Tekken.



AKA: The music I'm going to play if my back is to the wall, this is probably the last day of my life and I'm going to make sure some mfs are coming with me.
 

Elvis Starburst

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That last one kinda made me think of this:


Unfortunately, it gets a little too hectic for me to use for D&D. However...


I don't care how hectic this one would be, it's planned to be used somewhere for a very intense battle against an undetermined NPC
 

Fieldy409

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The new Berserk CGI anime was kind of terrible but they nailed some of the music.



Susuma Hirasawa's work in general is good for this sort of thing. Recommend researching his work.



Then theres Two Steps From Hell and Zack Hemsey


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPe4G9BiIc4


Oh and appropriately, Here's some Neverwinter Nights music.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQ3s8ywQlKA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KuVehoofxyY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJiVI9do4O0

And finally dark souls music.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3CTxI_zbeU


I think I'd go for music that conveys, insanity, dread, building horror. Dark orchestra and powerful drums seem appropriate.
 
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Buyetyen

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Gotta give a shout-out to Nox Arcana. Each of their albums is a soundtrack to a movie that never was. They've written albums on themes of a haunted carnival, vampires, witchcraft and folklore, ghost pirates, an insane asylum and even a D&D-inspired soundtrack. You can grab the albums from Drive-Thru RPG for $10 a pop. I've been a fan of theirs for years and every album always hits me with a couple songs that I can build a whole adventure around.
 

XsjadoBlayde

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(Guitar, epic sounding, fighting vast corruption....i dunno, was first thing that came to mind anyway)
 
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