Sunday, April 28, 2013

Dungeons and Dragons and Spurs

So, our new car has a stereo that will play music directly from a thumb drive and finally there aren't any more CDs flipping around the passenger compartment. Wonder Wife downloaded a bunch of her tunes onto one little drive and that's all we need for hours of music. I love it.

An album that she included just for me, as a break from all her big-glasses-indie-girl-vocalist tracks, was TV Theme Songs of the Past. This was a collection of music from all sorts of shows, lovingly recreated by "The TV Theme Players," or, as I like to think of them, a bunch of studio musicians with a talent for musical impressions. The arrangements, orchestrations, and interpretations of theme songs are all dead on.

Of course, allowing for my OCD tendencies, I re-structured the files on the thumb drive into genres - one folder for detective shows, one for comedies, and so on - so I can get thematically coherent chunks of music. Today as I drove out to an appointment, I was listening to the Westerns.

Okay, now here's where worlds collide.

Dungeons & Dragons players have a tendency to use the lens of Alignments - Lawful Good through Chaotic Evil - on everything. I have even used them to suss out office politics. So, when I heard the line in the theme from Maverick "wild as the wind in Oregon, blowing up a canyon, easier to tame," I idly thought "Hunh, Bret Maverick was kind of Chaotic Neutral." Well, that's all it took and I was off to the races.

The result: my very first D&D alignment chart, based on TV Western Theme songs. Now, I used to watch some of these shows and some I have never seen; I assigned the alignments not on the shows themselves but on the impression the theme song itself gives. (In reality, because of the networks' Standards and Practices, just about everyone leaned toward Lawful Good.) This approached viewed "evil" as "having selfish motivations" - a common D&D interpretation.

Here they are!

No comments:

Post a Comment