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Syrinscape: auditory atmosphere for fantasy roleplaying games

The whole ethos of tabletop roleplaying games is to create an immersive environment that transports players to fantastic realms. A variety of player aids have been developed for games, such as Pathfinder, that now include a complete audio sound app.

Syrinscape is a new sound program designed to conjure up customized background sound tracks to enhance roleplaying game sessions and make them more immersive.

If roleplaying games allow players to create stories and movies in the mind, then Syrinscape attempts to be the soundtrack.

“I can’t imagine going to a movie and not having any audio to go with it,” said Benjamin Loomes, Syrinscape’s creator. “Sound was something that was missing at the gaming table for me, so I created Syrinscape.”

The app provides background sound with movie-quality music and sound effects for fantasy and science fiction roleplaying games. According to Loomes, Syrinscape features "strong algorithm randomization that tells the ear what it is hearing is real. It also runs on a separate machine using a controlled interface that is very easy to use for someone running a game and trying to keep track of everything.”

Syrinscape adds depth and immersion to story-driven roleplaying by transporting players to enchanted forests, stormy seas, icy wastelands and even an Ettin Battle. Some of the available sound sets are the Bugbear Battle, Witchwood, Brindol town, Dragon Battle, Dungeon Depths, Elven Vale, Friendly Tavern and Icy wasteland.

“One of the sound sets I enjoyed creating most was the Ettin battle,” said Loomes. “At one point, this two-headed giant sings a duet with itself, and believe me, Ettins are very bad singers.”

To get the Syrinscape player, fantasy roleplaying enthusiasts download the Syrinscape app to a computer or tablet.

“The way I envision people using this product is to grab their friends for a night of gaming, plug a computer with Syrinscape into a digital audio surround system and play the appropriate sound effects as players deal with corresponding situations in the game,” Loomes said. “For example, you could start the traditional roleplaying adventure in a tavern while playing the Friendly Tavern sound set."

For fans of the Pathfinder fantasy roleplaying game, the Syrinscape app contains content built just for the game. Loomes works with Paizo Publishing, publisher of Pathfinder, to create sound sets that coincide with published adventures such as the very popular Rise of the Runelords adventure path.

“The Pathfinder goblin song was a lot of fun to create,” Loomes said. “But getting the goblins into the sound studio was tricky and after they left there was so much damage we had to almost completely rebuild the studio.”

The app comes with two fantasy sound sets. Additional sets can be purchased and downloaded within the app. A monthly subscription is also available which gives access and unlocks the sound sets available.

Syrinscape is compatible with a range of devices, including PC, Mac, Android Tablets and iPads.