Roleplaying music – Bioshock

The award-winning computer game Bioshock takes place in an underwater city called Rapture, where the dream of scientists and artists turned into nightmare. The soundtrack of Bioshock not only featured songs form the 40s and 50s but twelve original orchestrated pieces composed by Garry Schyman. The score (without the licensed songs) has been released for free shortly after the game came out.
In my opinion the Bioshock score is perfectly suited for horror campaigns set in the  first half of the 20th century. I think I will make use of it the next time we play Call of Cthulhu.

You can download the Bioshock soundtrack here (ZIP file; 21.7 MByte).
There’s also a review of the score and an interview with the composer at!

Bioshock – Main Theme “The Ocean on His Shoulders”

Michael Wolf is a German games designer and enthusiast best known for his English language role-playing games blog, Stargazer's World, and for creating the free rules-light medieval fantasy adventure game Warrior, Rogue & Mage. He has also worked as an English translator on the German-language Dungeonslayers role-playing game and was part of its editorial team. In addition to his work on Warrior, Rogue & Mage and Dungeonslayers, he has created several self-published games and also performed layout services and published other independent role-playing games such as A Wanderer's Romance, Badass, and the Wyrm System derivative Resolute, Adventurer & Genius, all released through his imprint Stargazer Games. Professionally, he works as a video technician and information technologies specialist. Stargazer's World was started by Michael in August 2008.

4 thoughts on “Roleplaying music – Bioshock”

  1. You keep bringing up music as a tool for creating mood, and I do like the idea a lot, but do you have any ideas on how to introduce it to the players so that it doesn't just feel like a gimmick to them?

    PS. Thanks for the link to the Bioshock soundtrack.

  2. @Typhinius: Hmm, when I was first introduced to music as a tool for creating mood in RPGs, the GM just told us he wanted to try something new. We were playing CHILL at this time and he used the "Nightmare on Elm Street" soundtrack in the background. And it worked instantly and we never played without music in the future.

    I have no idea on how to introduce it to your players other then just try it out. I haven't met a group that was opposed to playing fitting music in the background.

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