BattleBards -- Sounds and Tools for TableTop Games

Brenda Cass

Today I’m pleased to be telling you about BattleBards, a group that is providing a collection of fantasy language voice-overs, monster soundscapes, ambient music, and more, plus the tools that allow any game master to create custom scores for their games. Having just raised $28,000 on Kickstarter ($23,000 over their original $5,000 goal) it’s pretty clear that gamers are excited about the concept – and they should be!

d-Infinity is lucky enough to have been given a sneak peak at the tools and sounds that will be provided to Kickstarter backers and, after intently listening to hundreds of their sounds and songs, I’m happy to say that each one is of extremely high quality. They also loop really well so that they can be left to continuously play and add to the ambiance of the game. I’ll quote the list of all the great things gamers can expect out of them from their kickstarter page:

BattleBards is the most expansive Tabletop Audio Library and Tools ever assembled to help bring your campaigns a new level of immersion. An ever expanding library starting with 500+ professionally crafted tracks from the get-go to unlock for download and for streaming through your browser on any of your computer-based or mobile-based devices.

Tailor-made background music inspired by fantasy races, voiceover scripts written to bring life to everyday NPC interactions, and a colossal array of bone crushing, spell fire blasting sound effects... this is gaming at its best for the Player and the GM.  

So that is what they are offering, but what do their tools look like and do? Well, I was sent the beta version of their sound board, this one isn't the web based tool that will allow GMs to script scenes by dropping audio tracks into a timeline, but it has many of the features that will end up in the final tool and so will give you a good idea of what BattleBards is capable of producing. The sound board they provided me is really good looking, has a neat fantasy theme, and is very intuitive to use. The app itself does not start out with any sounds in it, I had to import those from the library they provided me, and then organize them into the various categories provided (Music, Sound Effects, Voice Over, etc.). This was probably the most time consuming part of using their tool, but hopefully the web based version will have the sounds pre-loaded and categorized.

BattleBards' sound board has a number of features in it that make it far more useful than just queuing up a bunch of audio files in a media player. The first, and most obvious, is that multiple sounds can be played at the same time, overlapping to create more complex sounds that are suited to the situation.