1) “Fire on the Velvet Horizon” by Patrick Stuart. Ostensibly a new addition to the “Monster Manual” genre, this complex, dense, and wonderfully illustrated tome is an utterly unique to contribution to the roleplaying genre. The creatures it describes run well past the confines of what we have come to expect and the force of Stuart’s ideas and his descriptions explode all the boundaries of what games like this can and should be like and about. The sheer weirdness of this tome, its fundamental strangeness will, I am certain, render it not only one of the most significant milestones of the OSR, but of all roleplaying literature, period.
The RPG bloggers have been trying to define what the terms “Old School Renaissance” (or “Old School Revolution”) really means. Naturally, there are as many definitions offered as the number of people who have considered the question. I pondered how I thought about the term and began to take pleasure in its sheer indeterminacy. Maybe the fact that it resists easy defining is part of its appeal…
I don’t usually use this forum to support Kickstarter projects, but I am making an exception for this one.
I have a Near Mint copy of the 1st edition myself, but I am still supporting this project because I want more people to have access to it. It’s an RPG classic and deserves a wider, and new audience.
My mom used to read to me at night before I went to bed. We went through many, many books together this way – until I became old enough to want to read on my own. But, before that critical moment arrived, we had been to Oz (all of the Baum books, plus many of his “Non Oz” masterpieces), Narnia, Prydain, Middle Earth (The Hobbit and the entire Lord of the Rings), Green Knowe, and many other imaginary realms.
An influential stop, for me, was Ursula K. Le Guin’s “Earthsea.”
Strange as it might seem to folks, I never wanted to play anything but a human. In my current games, I think I’d have a hard time letting anyone play as anything but human. I haven’t quite got to the point where I have figured out the ecology of too many of the demi-human types in the campaign yet.
I heard about D&D before actually playing it. I was at a play rehearsal in Junior High and one of the other kids there, Kevin, who was a year older than I was, was telling us about it. I kept asking questions and immediately realized that, while he had played the game a few times, Kevin was unclear on the rules and the some of the structure. This didn’t stop me. I started drawing maps on the chalkboard in the classroom we were in while he tried to explain the game to us.
“The sand of the desert of Yondo is not as the sand of other deserts; for Yondo lies nearest of all to the world’s rim; and strange winds, blowing from a pit no astronomer may hope to fathom, have sown its ruinous fields with the gray dust of corroding planets, the black ashes of extinguished suns.”
– Clark Ashton Smith
It was H.P. Lovecraft’s birthday the other day – and the hooplah hasn’t ended. It really never stops, I suppose, over on Facebook. Lovecraft is like Dr. Who and Game of Thrones over there. But no one ever talks about Clark Ashton Smith the same way, do they?