Bardic Inspiration: Battles

Fast and Chaotic Fighting Music

There are a few fundamental thoughts I use when figuring out how to pick music for a battle. The first is what or who is the villain or force. The second is focused on where the encounter takes place. These two methods will make choosing the best tracks all the more easier.

When it comes to fighting in a tavern or tussling with guards or ruffians in the street, I have one go to song. Assassin’s Creed III‘s Fight Club by Lorne Balfe is upbeat and full of energy. It’s fluid and fun and is for more of a bar brawl or wrestling match.

Whereas Steel for Humans from the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a bit more lively and mysterious. Don’t let the name fool you into thinking it’s a song designed for specifically fighting humans, the song blends well with battles against monsters too. Marcin Przybyłowicz and Percival’s use of hymnic chanting combined with strings and drums evokes fast-paced action combat.

Dragon Age is one of our favorite game series and it’s full of captivating music composed by Trevor Morris, especially Inquisition. Without spoiling the ending to the Trespasser DLC, the Trespasser – Qunari Battle theme is perhaps one of my all time favorite battles songs. It’s full of deep pounding drums and low bassy strings making it feel all the more powerful when facing a massive horde or singular powerful enemy – such as the Qunari.

If you’re looking for a lengthier song to leave on for eight minutes, The Blasted Heath by Stuart Chatwood is a great choice. It is from DLC The Color of Madness for Darkest Dungeon and is absolutely epic. It stands out as a solid pick for larger battles with several enemies or one where the villain can monologue for a few minutes before rolling initiative.

Descent into the Depths by Midnight Syndicate is one that can be used to setup a battle and be used during it as well. It’s ominous slow tones make it perfect for pairing with villains the characters know or ones dungeon masters use a few times before building an encounter focused specifically on them. Perhaps they are in the background while their minions fight the party and then flee during to pursue the characters another day.


Setting up battle music really sets the tone for any fight. Having upbeat and rhythmic tracks allows for a deeper and more thought provoking sequence of events. It makes any encounter feel more epic, like a fantasy movie. Next time we’re sticking with the battle theme but are focusing on boss fights or the BBEG.

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