Song lyrics and your campaign

Posted on March 24, 2009 by


It was a wicked and wild wind
Blew down the doors to let me in
Shattered windows and the sound of drums
People couldn’t believe what I’d become

Revolutionaries wait
For my head on a silver plate
Just a puppet on a lonely string
Oh, who would ever want to be king?

I hear Jerusalem bells a-ringing
Roman cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror, my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can’t explain
I know St. Peter won’t call my name
Never an honest word
But that was when I ruled the world

Today I was thinking about song lyrics, and whether or not certain songs would translate well into gaming plots.  Take the song “Lullaby”, by The Cure:

On candy stripe legs, the spiderman comes
Softly through the shadow of the evening sun
Stealing past the windows of the blissfully dead
Looking for the victim, shivering in bed

Searching out fear in the gathering gloom
And suddenly, a movement in the corner of the room
And there is nothing I can do, when I realize with fright
That the spiderman is having me for dinner tonight

Right there, you have a monster, The Spider Man.  He’s a lurker straight out of the Shadowfell,  who uses invisiblity and stealth to come eat his victims.

Here’s a sample from Rush’s epic “2112”:

‘I lie awake, staring out at the bleakness of Megadon. City and sky become one, merging
Into a single plane, a vast sea of unbroken grey. The Twin Moons, just two pale orbs as
They trace their way across the steely sky. I used to think I had a pretty good life here,
Just plugging into my machine for the day, then watching Templevision or reading a Temple
Paper in the evening.

‘My friend Jon always said it was nicer here than under the atmospheric domes of the Outer
Planets. We have had peace since 2062, when the surviving planets were banded together under
The Red Star of the Solar Federation. The less fortunate gave us a few new moons.
I believed what I was told. I thought it was a good life, I thought I was happy. Then I found
Something that changed it all…’

That song could probably spawn an entire Sci-Fi campaign if you were to build upon it’s message. 

While I’ve only given you two examples, the message is simple:  when you are planning plots for your home campaigns, don’t be scared to steal and borrow from every possible source you come into contact with.  There’s no shame in not being creative.  DM’ing should be fun, not frustrating. 

Not everyone of us is a Spielberg, Lucas, or Tolkien.  Sometimes we need a little bit of help, and it could be found in the unlikeliest of places if you look hard enough.

Posted in: Advice/Tools, Gaming