Where To Put Immersion; Lilja Dalgaard Adventures

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With all switching styles articles talking about immersion, there isn’t a lot explaining how it’s used when it’s more than just ambience. Here are some more details on how to employ immersion in your RPG, board, or card games. whatever story you’re leading your characters through, music and sound effects can make the game seem more real. That’s what immersion is. Below we dive into the story of Lilja Dalgaard, a barbarian were bear created by Switching Style’s main writer, Dylanna Fisher for a GURPS game played with her family and friends.

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Introduction To Immersion

A game’s immersion draws you in. The act of immersing yourself in something or having a profound mental interest is referred to as immersion. It’s not only about playing the game and getting lost in the dream. It’s about being inside the world itself. Whether you’re in a world of fantasy and magic or a world of science fiction and robots, there are sound effects and tunes that make it seem all that more realistic. We know it’s just a game but they’re called escapes from reality for a reason.

Music is a perfect example of immersion. To get a deeper look into using music to immerse your players into your game, we’re using a direct example. Here’s a character’s (Lilja Dalgaard) first-person perspective of the first game of the story arc. She’s never met these other people before in her life, but fate has brought them together for a reason. Accidents don’t happen in her mind.

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We’ll be going through her adventure and adding in points to change to a different ambience or soundscape. This is a story for Lilja Dalgaard, which will be different than your stories and characters. Remember these are just suggestions inside of a very specific example. Make sure that you tell your story your way. Let us know your playlist by tagging us on social media!!

Lilja Dalgaard’s Prayer in The Tower to Freyja

A generic fantasy setting or a quiet night with crickets is a wonderful place to start. Some fantastic options include “A Forgotten Path 🍃 Chill Lo-fi Beats” By The Bootleg Boy, “Misty Forest ✢ Acoustic Celtic Harp Lullaby – Binaural Rain And Thunder And Ambience” By Blissful Existence Or “Relaxing Zelda Music With Campfire Ambience” By Sam Cisco. Our favourite one for here is “Position Music – Fantasmagora” By Trailer Music World I.

In the following write-up, we’ve added some background music where there is a change of scene. This is one of Lilja Dalsgaard’s very first travels.

I placed the symbols of Freya by my head. As I kneeled, I began to recount my past adventure to her. I told her of the great storm brought down by Thor. At the time I grumbled over the inconvenience. I admitted to Freya that it was a great occurrence.  Without the intervention, I would not have begun this new journey. At the time, I was between contracts. I was heading east, in the direction of wind when the storm hit. It was abrupt and got very violent extremely fast. It forced me to abandon my previous journey and head south. I kept going through the storm attempting to reach a town before it got too bad.  There was a run-down tower ahead of me. It was sketchy and I was sure of my ability that I could make it to a town in one piece.

“Relaxing Ambience Music – Fire Camp at Midnight” By Musiki

Something changed my mind. I strode towards the crumbling building. While there, I met four very odd, different characters, an elf and three humans. All short compared to me. I still can’t remember their names. I am sure I will in time. At first, I was unsure what to think of them, the small one the most. Besides me, she was the only other woman. She was ridiculously small and made me think of Loki. She makes me a bit nervous. Not that she is unhonourable, merely mischievous. The elf didn’t share much about himself, however neither did I. The next male came in with a lavish cloak. He was obviously of some wealth. I was not surprised when he shared the fact that he was a well-to-do merchant.  The other human was excitable. It reminded me of my brother when he was younger. I chuckled at the Comparison.

“Medieval Lo-Fi Vibes” By Llamaloops

Later, he would perform a sleep spell on me. I only picked up the ring by chance. He assaulted me even though I had no intention of keeping it for myself. I was not outraged that he had assaulted me, but rather why he had attacked me. In retrospect, I might have been too harsh on him. He later informed the shopkeeper that he had misplaced the ring. It didn’t matter to me who possessed the ring, but I’m concerned that the short man lied about its whereabouts. I shall, of course, treat him with courtesy, but how can one be honourable if he lies?

“Mighty Vibes Vol 5: Zephrah Radio” By Critical Role

We weren’t there for long before we were attacked by a group of rats. There was one for each of us plus a few. I took one out with one hit. It made a smear on the stoned walls. It was admittedly an underwhelming attack. The event wasn’t all bad though, I had a hearty laugh. One of the rats had spun around and attacked one of its own. I shook my head at them and giggled.

Next, I helped the elf barricade the door at the suggestion of the tiny girl of Loki’s. The elf was taken a bit off guard by my battle axe. I chuckled to my self. I barely noticed the merchant’s absence until I heard a scream. If I hadn’t shoved past the only other female, I would have thought that she was screaming. I burst into the room where he was being attacked by a lesser vagul. I shoved the shocked man to the ground, not causing too many bruises and attacked the beast. It, like the rats, was finished in a moment.

D&D/RPG Combat Music” By Michael Ghelfi Studios

At that moment, I was coming down from berserker. Of all things to ask at a time like that, the merchant offers me a job as a sort of bodyguard. Even funnier than that was his face at my response. I felt no foolishness as I laughed aloud at the memory. Next, we travelled down a corridor and were face to face with a pair of hobgoblins. They barely readied their short swords before I attacked. It took one hit to topple the pair of them. Above us was their camp. They had escaped the storm just as we had.

These were all stories of great strength but there was no bravery, or cunning. Then I sighed, we came upon the undead bugbear. This is a truly worthy story of your Valkyrie. We attacked the massive beast head-on. I was content using my human form to banish this creature back to the depths. Then he made an insult my mother, and I could no longer take it. I bashed my chest and turned into a massive bear.  Then I attacked. I took two attacks and he retaliated. He wounded me. Victory was close I was a few swings away when I felt a sharp pain from a backstabbing arrow. I fell to the ground as the sounds of battle raged around me. The worst part was that I knew I could have defeated him if I had only more time.

“Gladiator | Tranquil Ambient Soundscape with Iconic Music from The Epic Film” By Ambient Worlds

Then I launched an assault. I took two attacks, and he replied. He hurt me. Victory was within reach. I was only a few strokes away when I felt a stinging ache from a backstabbing arrow. As the noises of war erupted around me, I slumped to the ground. The saddest thing was that I knew I could have defeated him if only I had more time.

“D&D Ambience – Generic Dungeon” By Sword Coast Soundscapes

I could tell that he did not intend for his arrow to pierce my pelt. He looked genuinely apologetic. Instead of scaring him like I did to the magic user, I merely called him a runkisse. My mother used to scold me for my mouth. I have learned that there is a place and a time for cursing. Anyhow it is usually difficult to use a bear mouth for human speech, but I had a lot of childhood practice. I chuckle at the memories of Yorick and Karine. As siblings, we would have many play fights where we would taunt each other in bear form. I chuckled

“Nordic Mythical & Pre-Viking Ancestral Ambient” By Paleowolf

I pawed and felt the blonde handprint on my head. I knew what happened that day. The Valkyrie did not choose me. You came down as Val Freya. As a goddess with seidr, you respun my destiny. My life was changed. With that handprint permanently on my brow I will continue to gather stories that can compare to the best of your Valkyrie. The stars are out now Freya. Soon, I will speak to you again. I finished my prayer and opened my eyes. That’s when I came face to face with the small girl. She attempted in vain to make me a pillow, I refused. She kept insisting, eventually, she was satisfied with my undershirt as a blanket. I turned into a bear and snuggled against my cloak for a long night’s sleep.

“8 Hrs Soothing Lake Waves & Birds Chirping for Relaxation – 4k Summer Ambience at Mt St Helens” By Nature Soundscapes

Concluding Thoughts on Lilja Dalgaard

Let me know what you think in the comments below about these examples of immersive background music for the adventures of Lilja Dalgaard. Do you have a favourite song to suggest to us? Thanks for reading switching styles today! It means a lot to the writers. Follow the blog on WordPress or our social media and never miss an update or contest!

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Inspiration Songs of my Were-Bear Barbarian GURPS Character

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I created a character that’s as fierce as a mama bear and twice as big. This is her story and the music that she uses for inspiration. Read below for the Inspiration Songs of my Were-Bear Barbarian GURPS Character!

Introducing Lilja Dalgaard

My name is Lilja Dalgaard. Some people call me half-fish. I was born in the north in a village called Oland. It had short harsh winters, mild summers, and long rainy seasons. I remember playing in the rain as a cub. Our village bordered a river. We had an abundance of ships and an almost endless supply of fish. My mouth waters just thinking of a great white tuna. I know that it may seem as if we just open our doors to pillaging, but what can I say we welcomed a challenge. Our village is one of were-bears. We weren’t concerned. Since we are all bears, we have a sense of community that no other Norse village could have. We belonged and were understood with more than just mere understanding but a twin-like empathy.

Family Life

They say home is where the heart is and with our village it couldn’t be truer. I lived in the longhouse with my parents and my siblings. My brother, Yorick, is just as strong as I am. We are about the same age give or take a few moon cycles.

We always got along like we were best friends. He is the darkest were bear of our family, with a pelt as dark as cold molasses. My father says that he gets the color from his father. My sister has a light tan coat just like my father. She has proven herself as a skilled archer. She is the baby of the family, for now. On my last visit home, my parents told me they are preparing for another baby. The child should be born in about four moons from now. My mother and father met during one of my father’s pillages. He went Viking and came upon her village. Their eyes met and it was love at first sight. She went with my father willingly, and they have been madly in love ever since. I and my mother share the same deep red pelt. Father says that her deep red is one of the things that he fell in love with. My mother, Ronia, and my father, Henrik, are the best that I could ever have asked Odin for.

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I chose to leave my village, not because something was wrong with it, but because I wanted more. I found less and less challenges and inspirations. Freya and Thor aren’t impressed with meagre stories of an easy victory. I needed a new spark. That spark came at the ceremony of my second decade.

Celebration of my Second Decade

There were many others in the village celebrating their second decade. The whole village gathered around the fire and had a feast. We took turns telling stories while we passed around delicious food. It came time for my parent’s story of me.

Story Time: The Monster Under My Bed

When I was little, I was convinced there was a monster under my bed. I was a bit afraid, but I was mostly annoyed.

My parents went back and forth, telling the story. They finished each other’s sentences. They spoke together, with one voice. I found this fascinating. I wanted a love like that; I was convinced I would not find it here.

Anyway, my father had tried to tell me there was nothing there; he tried to scare it away. Still, I was sure it was there. My mother then came in and sat down and told me about a place to the south where girls are told they are weak and need to be protected by men. She laughed and said that we are not those women. We will be handmaidens of Freya and we can’t be afraid. They left and I was alone. Unknown to me at the time, they had stayed by my door to see what I would do. They heard me talking to the monster, telling it to get out from under my bed because it was bothering me and my brother’s sleeping. I put my hands on my hips and told it that if it didn’t stop bugging us, I would turn into a bear. So, I did, I turned into a bear and growled at my bed. With the minster vanquished, I went to bed in bear form.

The circle roared with a chorus of chuckles and cuteness noises. I was a bit embarrassed but there were worse stories.

On The Way Home

While we were on our way home father handed me a leather strap. Dangling from the strap was a large cleric gobbling tooth. It was polished and tattooed with goblin magic runes. He said that when I was a wee babe, a large party of goblins raided the village. In the heat of the battle, I was separated from my mother, who was pregnant with my brother. They found me after the fight was over. I was contently sitting between corpses. holding the tooth and one of the eating knives from that night’s feast. There I was, waving them around, and occasionally sticking the dagger hilt in my mouth. He told me that this was the first of many Freya-worthy stories. From then on, I knew that I wanted to gather honour and victories. Unfortunately, I did not know where.

Starting my Adventures

I had heard of adventurers of distant lands, but I didn’t dwell on them. One day that changed. I met a traveller one day; he was in the inn of our village. We had taken a liking to him even though he was a foreigner. He told such grand stories; the entire inn was listening. I heard tales of ferocious creatures I had never encountered. I had found a spark. There was a land beyond our borders full of stories worthy of Freya and I was going to get them.

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Inspiration Songs for Lilja Dalgaard, my Were-Bear Barbarian GURPS Character

There’s a long list of adventuring music that all adventurers share. There are battle songs and clerical hymns that all characters can relate to. But we’re not talking about any adventurers here. The playlist below is curated for a hardened Norse barbarian with everything to prove.

“If I had a heart” by Colm McGuinness

“Surface Pressure” By Our Last Night Originally By Jessica Darrow

“My Mother Told Me” by Peyton Parrish

“Wolf Totem” Originally by the Hu

“Carry on my Wayward Son” covered by Anthrax Originally by Kansas

“Far over the Misty Mountain Cold” by Geoff Castellucci

“The Call” Originally by Regina Spektor


Final Thoughts

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What are your thoughts on these songs? Are these the songs of a Were-Bear Barbarian GURPS Character? Whose battle ballad held the most pizazz for you? Let us know in the comments below!

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Reviews

High Fantasy Themed Background Music

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What’s a High Fantasy Themed RPG game without high-fantasy music to accompany the party? Even the most basic ethereal high fantasy games are brought to life with ethereal and immersive background music.

Introduction To High Fantasy Games

“With the rapid advancements in technology accompanying video games, soundtracks have changed dramatically and have become an important part of the storytelling process,” Explains the writers at Anara Publishing.

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Consider fantasy films like Lord of The Rings, The Dark Crystal, Maleficent, Jumanji, Enchanted, Alice in Wonderland, and The Spiderwick Chronicles. All of them have a fantastic soundtrack that adds to the film itself. With fantasy elements intertwined in the sound effects, ambience, and music soundtrack, there’s so much immersion. Now consider immersion in a role-playing game.

whether you’re playing The One Ring Roleplaying Game: Second Edition, Pendragon, D&D, Pathfinder, Warhammer, D6, GURPS, Zweihander, Ryuutama: Natural Fantasy Roleplay, Journey Away, there’s always a potential for music to add to it. Follow this fantastic topic on Switching styles by signing up for our newsletter or visiting here.

High Fantasy Themed Musical Immersion

How can audio help RPG immersion? Audio, whether it’s music or sound effects or soundscapes, adds to immersion by interacting with another sense. Typically, in a tabletop RPG game, you’re engaged visually and mentally. Adding another sense makes it easier to ignore the ‘outside world’ while you’re playing the game. Music like the ones we’ve compiled below is a great way to add a sense of realism.

Mana Storm By Michael Ghelfi Studios

 

Isverden By ASKII

 

Underdark By Cthulhu Mythos Music


Branches By Dreamhop Music

 

Cursed Forest By Michael Ghelfi Studios

 

A New Adventure By Blue Turtle

 

Spirit Of The Wind By Brunuhville

Streets Of Eroa By CIRI

 

Dancing With The Elves By Sundew Baggins

Astray By Space Wave

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Let me know what your favourite was in the comments below! Thanks for reading Switching Styles today! It means a lot to the writers. Follow the blog on WordPress or our social media and never miss an update or contest!

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LARPing; How Music Improved Immersion for The Players

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Immersion is the act of immersing yourself in something or having deep mental involvement. It’s what most LARP games strive to achieve for their players.

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Why Is Immersion Important?

During a research project, study authors, Associate Professor Tom Van Laer from the University of Sydney and Dr. Davide Orazi from Monash University followed three different LARP groups. This ethnographic study collected 52 pages of field notes, 2,496 photographs, four hours of GoPro videos, 29 interviews, seven diaries and 2,936 screen captures from four LARPs.

They said their research demonstrated three main reasons LARPing leaves a stronger impact than traditional media or tabletop roleplaying gaming.

Associate professor Van Laer explains the impact that LARPing has on its players.

“When you watch tv, vision and sound are basically the only two senses that play a role. In a LARP there’s touch, smell, and taste, so all your senses are there. It’s not just in your head, it’s everywhere, there’s no border from reality.

“LARPs also allow more freedom and agency than is possible with traditional media and tabletop games. Rather than the showrunner, game designer or dungeon master ‘writing the book,’ LARPs give consumers a lot of involvement in creating the story.

“And finally, you know you can stop a movie. If people get too scared, you stop it. You cannot stop the LARP because the social pressure to be there is the same as the social pressure of a meeting at work—you can’t just stop if you’re not liking it.”

LARPing immersion statistics

Associate Professor Van Laer isn’t the only person looking into the immersion of LARPing. This is a topic that’s been highly studied throughout the world. Switching styles has found some immersion statistics for you and your local LARPing community. Check them out!

It’s not just about the game and being immersed in the fantasy. It’s about being a part of the world. Immersion into a game involves solving problems through cognition, strategic thinking, abstract reasoning, and tactics (First Person Scholar).

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the LARPing craze has blown up throughout the world, including in China. The number of LARP studios across China is also rising, with nearly 12,000 shopfronts as of 2019 (CGTN).

Data shows LARP game’s market value in 2019 has doubled in only a year. The market value exceeded 10 billion yuan in 2019 (Meituan Research Institute).

A survey shows that nearly all of the LARPing respondents felt that background music and sound effects increased their overall sense of immersion (The Computer Games Journal).

Background Music to Help the Immersion

One aspect that adds to the overall immersion is music or sound effects to improve the ambience. Here are examples of several types of music immersion background music to use in your LARP game.

Darkest Dungeon Composed By Stuart Chatwood For Red Hook Studios

The Hellion Tavern By ASKII

Finding Pandora By The Vault of Ambience

Tranquil Atmospheric Ambience Enchanted Lands By The Guild of Ambience

The Yōkai CompendiumBy Realm of Dementia

H.P. Lovecraft Music By Cthulhu Mythos Music

Deep Within the Forest By Dreamhop Music

Dungeon Ambience By Arondight Studios

A King’s Remorse ByArondight Studios

Sunset In the Mountains By Blue Turtle

Let me know in the comments below which one is your favourite!

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Reviews

24/7 D&D; Dungeon Crawl Music

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Even the most basic of dungeon crawl campaigns are brought to life with a lively and immersive background music playlist. Read below for more information and inspiration and a list of Dungeon Crawl Music.

Introduction To Dungeon Crawl Games

Dungeon crawls are one of the most traditional forms of RPG games. Background music has an impact on in-game immersion even in an RPG as classic as Dungeon crawls. Immersion is vital whenever you have an otherworldly setting whether it’s futuristic or in the past or anachronistic, or even on a whole other plane of existence. Tiamat, we’re looking at you.

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“Video games consist of three components. The first two, visuals and interactivity, form the essential core of games, but the third component, sound, and specifically music transform a game into something beyond an activity. Music can turn games into unforgettable experiences,” Writes Kellen Beck, a writer from Mashable.

Regardless of whether you’re playing The One Ring Roleplaying Game, Pendragon, D&D, Pathfinder, Warhammer, GURPS, or Zweihander, there’s still an element of audio or music to it. Follow the nerd Dom topic on Switching styles, by signing up for our newsletter!

Dungeon Crawl Music

How can audio help RPG immersion? We’re glad that you asked! Music can be used as a tool to control emotion, establish tone, and further the plot. “Music is a tool that can control emotion and can establish the tone of the story being told. Within the film, many fans look at the soundtrack as a foundation to set the scene. This is no different in the video game industry,” Explains the writers at Anara Publishing (https://www.anarapublishing.com/the-importance-of-music-in-video-games/)

Cinematic Trailer Background Music By Elysium Audio Labs

Into The Depths Of Dungeon By Naegi Ki

RPG Dungeon Ambience By ASKII

D&D Ambience – Catacombs By Sword Coast Soundscapes

LOTR The Shire By The Vault Of Ambience

Castle Raven Loft By Cthulhu Mythos Music

Dark Forest By Martia’s Muses

Crystal Dungeon By Michael Ghelfi Studios

Epic Instrumental Music – Powerful And Dramatic By Fred Bouchal

Forsaken Temple By Ambience Lab

Let me know what your favourite Dungeon Crawl Music was in the comments below!

Thanks for reading Switching Styles this spooky season. Follow our Blog on WordPress, social media or throughout our email newsletter. Don’t miss an article and stay updated on events, contests, and interviews. We’ve got many more fantastic articles to keep you on the edge of your seat. Check out articles like Refuge LARP Calgary, Hug your Hound Day Playlist, The Hunchback of Notre Dame; Hellfire Cover Songs, and so much more!!

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Interviews Reviews

Introducing Refuge LARP Calgary

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Live Action Role-playing is a wonderful way to enhance practical skills, social skills, and overall creativity. One example close to home is the Refuge LARP out of Calgary.

What is LARP?

LARP or live-action roleplaying is an immersive game with the storytelling of traditional role-playing games such as D&D, Pathfinder, Gamma World and D6.

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Like traditional roleplaying games where one creates a character within the specifications of the game rules, and plays out that character’s thoughts, actions, and phrases. However, in a LARP, it’s merely live action. This means that you act out the motivations, and actions, roleplaying what your character would do in any given situation. From combat to diplomacy to adventure to friendship, there are all kinds of situations to advance the characters’ storyline.

No matter where the thrill of adventure and imagination can be found. There’s a story for everyone in a LARP game.

Introducing Refuge LARP Calgary

“Being a Hero is what LARP is all about,” explains the organizers, “Take on a role as a daring fighter, a dashing rogue, a powerful scholar casting magic or a combination of the three!”

The LARP website explains, “Our story focuses on our players as high-fantasy heroes pitted against seemingly insurmountable odds. Many times, they are victorious, but other times, well, that remains to be seen.”

LARP or Live Action Role Playing Games are an immersive roleplaying game played in person instead on paper. Refuge LARP Calgary is one of the longest running campaigns in Alberta. Starting the LARP in 2011, they’ve gained quite a following for the immersive fantasy game.

The Story of the Game

The story that’s the background for all roleplaying within the game is based on the mythical land of Calandonia. About the size of Europe theoretically, it provides a huge level of exploration for the characters. This land is the main area for game play and the most prominent of the world’s realms. It’s the seat of power.

There’s an overarching storyline with many different facets. There are many ways to engage with the storyline. From simple encounters with a goblin in the woods to more intricate engagement with the arch mage and grand council. The political ties between them makes it even more interesting including arch mage, grand council, and the Dwarven Enclave to name only a few of the participating rulers.

Joining meta organizations or Organizations that your character may join provides another way to engage with the material. These include  The Home Guard 2.0: The Arcane Sanctum 2.0: The Silken Refuge: The Uruzaries:  and Hammer Outfitters:  to name a few.

Refuge LARP Calgary Prep Playlist

Don’t hesitate to check them out. If you want some inspiration, here’s a LARPing playlist to get you in the LARPing mood!!

Medieval Fantasy Background Music By Realm of Dementia

Epic & Powerful Fantasy Music By Mortifer V.

Dark Chocolate and Classical Music By Sundew Baggins

 

Medieval Fantasy Tavern By Daydreaming of Persephone

An Epic Ride By Blue Turtle

Magic Bookstore in The Woods (Iroh’s Bookstore) By The Vault Of Ambience

Tree Temple By Ambience Lab

Exoplanet Nature II By Michael Ghelfi Studios

Dark Atmospheric Music from The Shadowlands By Cryo Chamber

Up To the Mountains  By Unwind Station

Share your larping inspiration with the Switching Styles community by tagging us on your socials.