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Soundscapes: Police Precinct

Police Precinct

I like running police procedural games and even when that isn't the main thrust of my plotline, my players are very good at getting into trouble with the authorities, irrespective of genre. So, a suitable piece for any game set in the 20th century or later, with sirens and telephone conversations in an almost jazz theme...

Dogs bark, whistles blow, radio chatter - did I catch something about a Presidential motorcade? - keys turn and rattle, people shout. And yet another siren.

The music component of the soundscape is in the jazz mode, quite modern, with a string bass predominant. It blends well with the 'sound effect' component, giving a slightly edgy feel.

Games ranging from 1920s onward could make use of this, even if the sirens are a bit modern (not sure just when the police started to use them and too lazy to pull a reference book off of the shelf!). Even a game set in the future could make use of this, although it's probably more for contemporary games. Irrespective of which side of the law your characters are on, there is plenty of scope here - be your game about the Thin Blue Line or New York's Finest, or your characters the sort for whom the song lyrics I fought the law and the law won were written, there will be occasions when this music will be appropriate.

Even I, who usually use music as inspiration when writing rather than in the course of a game, may well use this as a 'theme' to signal to the players that the Law is about to get involved in whatever is taking place!

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Reviewed: 10 January 2011