Creating the Right Ambience for Your Game Night | Rollacrit

After you’ve picked the perfect game and decided what food to serve, there are some other things to consider to make your tabletop game sessions as immersive as possible. Granted, you don’t want to do something too immersive—playing Dungeons & Dragons in a literal dungeon would be depressing. But there’s a nice balance between practicality and immersion that you can achieve that won’t take that much effort.

And if the word “practicality” isn’t in your vocabulary, we’ve even included some ways to take these suggestions to the next level. Go all out!


Play Some Music

Creating an epic soundtrack to accompany your gameplay is a lot easier nowadays, especially since there are so many great sound scores available. Just remember, the soundtrack you create should set an undertone for the gameplay. For example, you don’t want a lot of pop music playing in an intense boss fight—unless you’re into that sort of thing. Instead, go for more instrumental music at a soft sound level. That way you can turn up the volume for dramatic effect. 

Want to take things to the next level? Queue up a soundboard of sound effects. Then, whenever something dramatic happens in your game, play the sound. Don’t forget the Wilhelm scream—it’s a classic.


Dress for the Occasion

Have some extra cosplays in your closet that you haven’t worn in a while? Try dressing as your character for game night. It helps you literally get into character. Plus, if everyone participates, it can add an extra level of immersion to your game night. There’s nothing like seeing your bard friends in period attire with a lute. It’ll change your life.

Want to take things to the next level? Throw yourself into the world of costume design by recreating authentic pieces yourself. Learn how to cut chainmail or dye fabrics. Then you can embrace a true one-of-a-kind outfit that you made yourself.


It’s All About Lighting

You’d be surprised how a simple thing like dimming the lights can affect your game night. Much like a movie theatre (remember those?), when the lights go down, reality seems to fade into the background—eliminating all distractions. Just make sure everything is still legible when you’re choosing a lighting level. Nothing breaks immersion like someone taking out a cell phone to read something.

Want to take it to the next level? Pick up some color-changing LED lights to create some special effects. Just be careful with strobing lights—they’re not for everyone.


What do you do to create an ambiance on your game nights? Share your game night setups with us on social. We want to see how creative you are.


About the Author:

Michael Baker is the main content writer at Rollacrit with a flair for haiku. He previously wrote for ThinkGeek (and a bunch of other places). In his spare time, he enjoys playing tabletop games, writing about comics and pop culture, and cultivating his dog’s Instagram presence.


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