The Scum Soundtrack

Some of the fictional influences come with a strong grounding in music. It might be interesting to play with Roll20’s jukebox feature, or some other way of introducing music to the game.

I think there’s three main genres to look at, if we’re interested in more of that. But also talk about your own favorite genres, music that sells the sort of sci-fi adventure you want to have.

Classic Rock: this is the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack, consisting of charting songs from the 70s and 80s. More here.

Jazz: this comes from Cowboy Bebop, which has a fairly diverse but jazz-centric soundtrack. More here.

Synthwave: this is the retro-80’s-esque synth soundtrack you hear on Thor: Ragnarok’s soundtrack. I posted more about this here.

I’m putting together a random playlist here (VERY MUCH IN PROGRESS):

I also want to recommend Garoad’s VA-11 HALL-A soundtracks, from first to last. Here’s the pitch from that game, which informs its music:

VA-11 HALL-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action is a booze em’ up about waifus, technology, and post-dystopia life.

In this world, corporations reign supreme, all human life is infected with nanomachines designed to oppress them, and the terrifying White Knights ensure that everyone obeys the laws.

But, this is not about those people.

You are a bartender at VA-11 HALL-A, affectionately nicknamed “Valhalla.” Although it is just a small bar downtown, it attracts the most fascinating people this side of dystopia. Keep your clients lubricated and you will be made privy to the most interesting stories.

One of my favorite tracks:

Tracks from the other thread:

And a personal favorite, for the quieter moments - equally good for an endless drift through the void, or a relaxing trip back at your favorite watering hole.

Need to build a YouTube playlist

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Don’t know if anyone is still working on a playlist for the game, but was recommended Walking Across Jupiter’s The Truth Was Revealed and it did not disappoint. Not quite was syncwave-y was other suggestions, but I love the transitions in the song. I’m always going to be a sucker for any song where everything but one element cuts out for a moment and then everything and then some comes back, and this song does that like in like three different ways.

I picked up playlist duties again, and here’s what I’m working with. Comments appreciated.

“Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked” has been my personal theme song since like 2016, but it’s nice to see it shouted out in the game. :slight_smile:

It feels like there’s four main areas for music to appear: outer space (chases and travels), on the job (a stealth and action mix), downtime (music for the places we hang out), and faction music (the sounds of the people we hang with). Here’s a few tracks that I’ve collected so far - there’ll be a “final” playlist link once I’m done.

Outer space

I went with Dynatron here, as the spaciest synthwave I know.

“Intergalactic Highway”: I feel urgency and speed here, someone wanting to get somewhere. It feels like it’s got room to be “get there” and “chase” music at the same time.

“The Outer Rims of Traversed Space”: this is the song of dark hyperspace and lost planets, pirate-ship junkyards and distant space whales. This is where things get weird.


I’m playing around here, because the music should match the mood of the places we visit and I don’t know that yet. I’m trying out what I think are some odd choices: Tom Waits, Sun Ra and his Arkestra, piano-bar stuff and some jazz/synthwave hybrid tracks.

“Plutonian Nights”: I wanted something that’d be the Star Wars cantina music without being the Star Wars cantina music (for that, go listen to anything from Caravan Palace or other electro-swing artists).

“Chasing Yesterday”: I go back to FM-84 when I want something nostalgic and rewarding, but not cloyingly happy. If you want to smile about the things you miss, this song feels like a good fit to me.

Any feedback so far? Any suggestions for songs for the factions your PCs are involved in?

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Some interesting stuff here.

I’m still working on the stealth-and-action song choices. This is hard, because a lot of the genres (synthwave and action jazz) are on the “flight” side of the fight-or-flight response. This isn’t surprising (Synthwave is also known as “Outrun”, after the 1986 racing game, there’s a lot of fast-driving music out there).

The synthwave artists I feel are best fits are Perturbator, Dance With the Dead, and Carpenter Brut. In the meantime, here’s things that give me the feeling i’m looking for.

Saber’s Edge is the FF13 boss battle music. You can hear it switch between two “modes”: the sort of discordant jarring piano at the start (chaos! confusion!) and then the long strident-but-triumphant buildup (we can do this!), and that captures the ebb and flow of a fight scene very well for me.

Blinded By Light is the music for regular fights. The particular mix of instruments feels like a musical dance-duel, alternating between two styles like Saber’s Edge.

Well for action and suspenseful sci-fi music, I’m always partial to Warframe’s soundtrack. For an eccentric game about cyborg alien ninjas, it’s not to out of tone for any sci-fi game. Except when they come up with new songs to fit a “debt-interment colony” level.

Warframe | We All Lift Together

Yeah, there’s a ton of great action-y scifi music. I’ve started close to the zone we talked about (jazz and synth), but I’m slowly spiraling outward. On the other hand, I’ve found some interesting tracks nearby. But as a long-time Warframe player, that whole game is fantastic.

There’s a couple new tracks to share.

“Dance With The Dead - Watching You”: DWTD does a lot of horror-tinged tracks (just look at the video thumbnail to get a sense of what they do), but this one feels like it’s got what I want: uplifting guitar riffs, high-tension drum line, mixed moods. If this was the “fighty” song on the soundtrack, I’d be happy.

“Excision & Space Laces - Destroid 10 Funk Hole”: If this isn’t playing at some dance club in space, I’m in the wrong game.

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The final (“final”…) playlist, incorporating the stuff I’d talked about:

Includes one more song, the sort of thing I’d play over a melancholy montage of space travel and crew introspection:

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