Good afternoon, I wanted to share with you some of the blog posts that I really enjoyed this past week.
First up, Fen Orc has a good one about his supplement to the Zenopus Dungeon:
Holmes’ introduction to the dungeon links it to the mysterious fate of the wizard Zenopus, who created a Tower overlooking Portown, near to the sea, neighbouring the graveyard and above the ruins of an older, pre-human city. This triptych – the pre-human city, the graveyard, the sea – rings through the dungeon like the tolling of a bell. The sea hints at the wider geography of Holmes’ world, where rascally pirates kidnap beautiful noblewomen for ransom and hide them in sea caves where they are menaced by giant crabs; this is the world of adventure romance of H. Rider Haggard and Edgar Rice Burroughs. The pre-human city alludes the fiction of Robert E Howard and H.P. Lovecraft and the like, with their horror-inflected influence on fantasy. And the graveyard speaks for itself: horror served up straight, with a tincture of existential mystery: the “undiscover’d country” as Hamlet says, “from whose bourn no traveler returns.
Next, a beautiful piece from Daniel Ionson at Eudaimonic Geekery, on Primeval Fantasy:
Primeval Fantasy is much more than a primitive technological world looking like the early Dark Ages (or even earlier). It actively pushes away from the Modern world in every way, aiming at the psychological/sociological paradigms of Premodern people.
This isn’t about recreating versions of specific historical eras. While Primeval Fantasy certainly needs to be in a pre-industrialized world (at least pre-1400, and preferably far earlier, in my opinion), that’s not sufficient for obtaining the feeling we’re seeking in this subgenre. For example, the feeling can be achieved in a setting that resembles the year 500 AD in (what we now call) Britain because of the chaos in that time & place.
And finally, a piece from Sword & Shield (it’s an old one, but the codes check out), John Eric Holmes reviews Moldvay’s D&D:
Character alignment: This is the most difficult of the D&D concepts to get across. The new rules spend more space on alignments and do a much better job of explaining them, using practical examples. Alignment is Law, Chaos and Neutral. Good and Evil are not discussed as separate alignments at all, which I think makes better sense. The first Basic Set had one of those diagrams which said that blink dogs were lawful good and brass dragons were chaotic good. I never felt that this was particularly helpful. I am sure Gary Gygax has an idea in his mind of what chaotic good (or other “obscure” alignments, etc.) may be, but it certainly isn’t clear to me. Without meaning to be irreverent, I am also sure that Buddha knew what he meant by nirvana, but that doesn’t clarify it in my mind either. I think the new rules simplify the issue appropriately.
Thanks for looking I hope I helped you find a resource you needed.