I had quite a shock when I picked up the Judges Guild’s “City State of the Invincible Overlord” for the first time in well over 20 years. Like Proust’s famous madeleine, the maps and the booklets transported me back to the last time I played it – sitting in my dining room in New York, the afternoon sun pouring through the windows facing West in our kitchen, with my old friend Noah plotting his moves across from me.
As the whole D&D scene became more popular, and the commercialization frenzy grew to its inevitable breaking point, whole sections of the cruder, earlier phase of the hobby drifted out of view. In my estimation, the most important tertiary aspect of the original hobby were the supplements, game aids, and adventures produced by the late Bob Bendslaw and his company called “The Judges Guild.”
Duncan, over here, suggested an OD&D supplement that, in his words, would be:
“a toolkit for running sci-fi games in a trippier vein suggested by early Heavy Metal comics, Metabarons, Jodorowsky’s abortive attempt at Dune, stoner metal, psychedelic rock, (Hawkwind’s Space Ritual, etc.) movies like Zardoz, etc.”
This prompted me to go back and think about these motifs and source materials again.