“I was delighted to be asked to write original music for Night’s Black Agents. The game is truly a masterpiece backed up by some incredible research and it just oozes atmosphere. Superspies vs Vampires? What’s not to like?
For this project I assembled a crack team of amazing composers who each brought something unique to the table. Everyone was very inspired by the source material and that really comes across. I consider myself honoured to be surrounded by so much talent here.
The music itself is made up of tracks which are each designed to work for specific situations but also can be played together as an album for a general mood of tension, action and horror. I hope this creates the perfect mood for your games!”
– James Semple
Dust and Mirrors contains the following tracks, specifically composed for Night’s Black Agents:
1. Main Theme
Mysterious and dramatic music sets the scene for the game ahead!
Hidden surveillance and gathering evidence during dark hours of the night.
3. The Brief
A meeting, telephone call, email or letter is the catalyst for a series of events where danger lurks in the shadows.
An overall sense of dread envelopes you when you discreetly enter the state-of-the-art facility.
A moment to reflect where secret agents become ambivalent when their duty to the mission conflicts with their consciences.
A dangerous chase in a network of power and crime.
7. Suit Up
The final battle approaches, and only you have what it takes.
8. Urban Parkour
Desperate pursuit across rooftops in a city where death is on the line.
9. Purging The Demon
A desperate struggle between human and vampire.
Heavyweight direct brute force is sometimes the agents’ only recourse.
Conspiracy theories take a horrific turn after uncovering an ancient and dangerous secret society.
12. Covert Ops
Behind enemy lines sometimes subterfuge is the best approach.
13. The Great Escape
Confrontation is futile, all you can do now is run for your life. How will you get out of this one?
Emotionally draining circumstance of being trapped in a fiercely unpleasant and smelly environment.
15. An Eye For An Eye
An all out horror piece where the character is alone, vulnerable and miles away from any other human being.
The unfortunate and unforeseen event of meeting with blood-thirsty Vampires.
The true nature and power of the Vampires is revealed. Few can stand against it!
You can feel them watching, waiting patiently for you to come out of your hiding place.
A final reflective moment when the agents examine the life they lead and the choices they have made.
Share a link to your online playlist for Night’s Black Agents (or just your suggestions) on Twitter with the hashtag #nightsblackagents — or leave a comment below — and we’ll pass it along. We can always use more cool spy music in our lives. And if you listen to cool spy music and haven’t ordered the [REDACTED] Edition yet, for heaven’s sake fix that right away.
In a spy thriller, sometimes it’s the music that makes it all work.
The 1996 movie Mission: Impossible is a good example. In one scene, Ethan Hunt’s team discovers that they’re going to have to steal something they need from a secure room in CIA Headquarters . The scene instantly shifts to Langley, Virginia and the famous theme song blasts on the soundtrack, letting us know that we’re about to see the Impossible Missions Force swing into action.
Music can also be a great mood-setter for role-playing games. Groups playing Night’s Black Agents have no shortage of evocative music that can take them from ominous to ass-kicking and back again. Here are a couple of online playlists for your enjoyment:
Mathey’s Night’s Black Agents mix on 8tracks.com combines music from spy movies such as The Ipcress File, Ronin and Léon: The Professional with indie rock to pulse-pounding effect.
When I took a break from promoting 13th Age and started reading The [REDACTED] Edition, I assembled a Night’s Black Agents Spotify playlist to conjure the high-tech menace of the intelligence underworld, with music from the soundtracks of Taken, Spy Game and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy.
James Semple and his team have mastered over 70 minutes of original, fully orchestrated music of amazing quality for Trail of Cthulhu, and in particular, our mammoth campaign Eternal Lies
The Complete Eternal Lies Suite (now more squamous!)
At last, the entire recordings of the Eternal Lies Suite are released. The complete suite includes all of the original tracks plus an extra seventeen minutes of entirely new music and original voiceover recordings from the legendary Wil Wheaton. These new tracks cover the incredible climax of this world-spanning campaign with orchestral music of truly epic proportions. This soundtrack is now designed to be both used in game and as a separate listening experience. The narrative from Wil Wheaton sets the scene and evokes the perfect atmosphere for all Trail of Cthulhu games.
The musicians have been working closely with Jeff Tidball and Will Hindmarch, the authors, to create a thematically consistent soundscape which works both as music in its own right, and as an atmospheric background to the campaign itself in actual play.
If you have the Strange Aeons edition of Eternal Lies, you’ll be able to select the music in context from the ebook itself.
While it was written with Eternal Lies in mind, it can be used in any period horror game. There is simply nothing comparable in the RPG world in terms of quality, and it holds its own against the best film and television music.
It combines live instrumentation with the best samples available. All music is carefully planned so that it loops unobtrusively, and the action tracks can be randomly shuffled and blend seamlessly.
The music is available in CD + download, or download versions, and you can listen a sample here.
For the pianists amongst you, here is one of the main themes of the Eternal Lies Suite, which I think has an echo of Chopin about it.
The Complete Eternal Lies Suite is available as a bundle with the hardback print edition from the store at a discount.
Author: Wil Wheaton, James Semple, Marie-Anne Fischer, and Yaiza Varona with Mike Torr
Cover art: Jerome Huguenin
Format: 39 tracks, 70 minutes of music, mastered at 24 bits
The music of Eternal Lies is split into three categories: ambient music to play during most of the game, short stings to be played at specific instants and ‘action loops’ to be played during combats, chases and other stressful scenes.
These action loops are each 2 minutes long and generally of a frantic disposition to help increase the tension in appropriate scenes. They have also been designed to not only loop but to smoothly follow one another in any order. This means that they can be put into a player software and ‘shuffled’ in any order for a 20 minute action track if desired. Sometimes a Keeper may wish to use a specific track as some are specifically more about tension and apprehension, some are slower and more menacing and some are faster reflecting chase scenes.
Without further ado, here is an action track specifically for chase scenes.
The music in the suite varies from adventure through sentimental to horror. This is probably the most sentimental piece in there and although there’s an element of surreality, the theme feels familiar and comfortable.
Hopefully we’ll have a chance to give out more previews in the coming months. After all the suite will be around 70 minutes in total!
This is the last of the introductions to the composers for the Eternal Lies suite.
My name is Yaiza Varona, I’m Spanish, born in Barcelone but lived most of my life in Tenerife,
Canary Islands. I am a musicologist and composer.
When James Semple offered me the chance to be part of this project, even before he had finished to
fully explain what it was about, I knew I had to do it, because even with first words “Eternal lies”
sounded so interesting and because of the chance of working with all three such talented composers.
Writing music for a Roleplay game means for me to create a subtle musical background that can
help boost the play´s emotions and contribute to “taste” more effectively all the experiences that
shall bring with it. This, in a way, offers the composer the chance to share that same experience as
well, and in that respect it is absolutely useful all the information we are provided about the game.
My personal approach to the project tries to focus on translating the character´s feelings into sound.
The weariness, solitude, concern or responsability weight that can appear during the playing in the
different scenario possible can be conveyed musically in a way that becomes part of the game itself,
or at least that is what I intend to achieve.
It is a huge pleasure for me to be here. I am really excited to be part of this, and am enjoying the
project since the first minute.
Great emotions can be expected from “Eternal lies”, and I will try my very best to make the perfect
music for it.
Yaiza’s website is here, and you can listen to a sample of her music here.
Following on with the music blog, I’m going to let Mike Torr introduce himself…
I’m a composer with a broad spectrum of experience and influences. A long history as a keyboard performer (and one-time double bass player) has taken me through a landscape of Electronica, Blues, Classical, Jazz, and Rock; via the usual grind of touring and recording with bands; and landed me on the shores of media music land. Writing music is always an adventure, and I’m attracted to it because it feels like a back door into the human subconscious. Perhaps I was a necromancer in a previous life…
I live and work in Southampton and I’ve known James for a few years. He’s already written some great material for Eternal Lies and I’m going to be joining his team and helping him to express his ideas in a variety of ways. With Marie-Anne and Yaiza on board, I’m in the company of a great group of talented and creative people, and I’m really looking forward to discovering where this is going to lead!