13 April 2014

Rhialto the Marvelous

Last summer I read the original Dying Earth short stories, and re-read The Eyes of the Overworld and Cugel's Saga. thoroughly enjoyed them!  Just this past week I finally got around to reading (for the first time) Rhialto the Marvelous, which I also found, well, marvelous.  I think that I slightly prefer the Cugel tales, simply because Rhialto is a bit too competent and powerful.  But all of the Dying Earth tales are magnificent, and well worth reading by anyone who loves fantasy and appreciates dark humour.

I am looking forward to reading the anthology Songs of the Dying Earth: Stories in Honour of Jack Vance in a few weeks!

11 April 2014

Not *this* Akrasia

Oh my.

Apparently there is a 'role-playing game' out there in the internets called 'Akrasia'.  It is about role-playing magical wolves.  Or something like that.  (I couldn't bring myself to read much, but the focus definitely is on wolves.)

Needless to say, I have nothing to do with this game.  (And why it would be called 'Akrasia' is baffling.  Do wolves suffer from weakness of the will?)

I refuse to link to it here.  If you're curious, google it -- but brace yourself with a glass of whisky first.


07 April 2014

Worlds Collide

This fine comic was taken, shamelessly, from Existential Comics...

Kudos to Kant!  He should start a different group with Hume, Rousseau, and Rawls.  (Just keep Schopenhauer away.)

28 March 2014

Dave Trampier RIP

I am very sad to report that it looks as though the legendary artist Dave Trampier has passed away.  Anyone familiar with first edition AD&D will recall many of Trampier’s amazing illustrations.

A few years ago I started posting my ‘top-5’ FRPG artists of all time.  I only got through numbers 5 (Russ Nicholson), 4 (Peter Fenlon), 3 (Erol Otus), and 2 (Angus McBride).  

For some reason, I never posted my #1.  That spot goes to Dave Trampier.  Here are some samples of his work.  

Emirikol the Chaotic.  
I remember gazing at this picture for hours as a teenager, wondering who exactly Emirikol was, why he was going through this town zapping people, etc.

The 1e AD&D Dungeon Master's Screen. 
(I believe that the fighter strongly resembles Trampier himself.)

These guys aren't goody-goody heroes!  They're temple raiders. 
(And here is another Trampier-resembling adventurer.)

 I loved this picture in the Players Handbook when I was a teenager (and still do).  It conveys the mystery and spirit of old school dungeon delving better than any other picture I can think of.

The Tomb of Horrors

Best Lizardman ever!

A magnificent cover!  No flashy heroes 'posing' here.  Just gritty, weathered, and greedy adventurers looting an evil temple.

This cover of Gamma World used to give me chills when I looked at it during the Cold War 1980s. 

Against the Giants!

A Trampier-resembling adventurer, departing a dungeon with some hard-earned loot.

Thanks for all the imagination-expanding artwork, Dave Trampier.  Rest in peace, mighty Emirikol!

Addition: there is a brief tribute at Tor.com.

05 March 2014

Aaron Allston RIP

I haven't been paying attention to the RPG-verse at all over the past couple of weeks, so I only now learned that Aaron Allston passed away on February 27th.

Allston's contributions to RPGs, and in particular Dungeons & Dragons, are too numerous to list here, but I will note my particular fondness for the Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia and The Grand Duchy of Karameikos, copies of which occupy privileged positions on my gaming bookshelf today.

Rest in peace, Mr. Allston.  You're an Immortal of Mystara.

23 February 2014

Interview with Jon Peterson

Here is a short (~10 min.) interview with Jon Peterson, author of Playing at the World, on the origins of D&D.

Call of Cthulhu 7th edition covers

Here are the mock-ups of the covers for the core 7th edition Call of Cthulhu books.  I think that they look pretty solid, though I slightly prefer the 1st and 6th edition covers.  (Also: I'm not sure how that tiny steamship managed to put even a dent in old Cthulhu's head!)

About Me

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I'm a Canadian philosopher, fantasy gamer, and procrastinator extraordinaire, who divides his time between Milwaukee WI and Toronto ON. I lived in Dublin Ireland 2005-2008, and still miss it very much! At least I still have Guinness.