Showing posts with label Appendix N. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Appendix N. Show all posts

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Jack Vance

Unless you have not read all your blog roll today you know that Jack Vance has died.
http://www.jackvance.com/

Vance was one of the Godfaters of D&D to be honest.  The "cast and forget" spell system D&D has used since day one is called a "Vancian Spell system".  The Lich Vecna is an anagram of Vance.  Ioun stones and a whole host of other things I am not thinking of too.

To me though the great contribution of Jack Vance to D&D is his Dying Earth series.  There is a feel to those books are are so D&D.  Even more so than say the worlds of Connan or Elric.
If you want another good source of inspiration, try his Lyonesse trilogy.  I remember these from the 80s and thought they had a style and sophistication above and beyond the dross I was reading then.

Indeed we mark the passing of another giant.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Games You Never Get to Play

When people talk about influences on their games and gaming life they typically mention the works of Fritz Leiber or Jack Vance or Tolkein or the other Appendix N names.

Not me.  Well, yes I have read those, but they were not biggest effect on my games.

My Appendix N is full of Hammer Horror and In Search Of... and any more dozens of bad-wrong-fun horror and occult material from the 70s.  It should be no surprise then that I gravitate towards games that let me do that sort of thing, Chill, Call of Cthulhu and of course WitchCraft.

But just as I am a product of 70's and 80's horror, there were other things going on then.  Still lots of "leftover hippie shit" as I used to call it.  Zodiacs, crystals, psychic powers.  All the stuff that gets mixed in with magic and the occult, plus aliens, Atlantis, secret societies, Erich von Däniken and all that.

Basically all the stuff left over when you take out the horror and the magic from the big occult boom of the 70's.

What has this have to do with gaming?

Lots!

There is one game I have always wanted to play but doubt that I ever will.

It's not a game per-se but rather a campaign.

The game is one set in the 70s where all the characters are teens.  They are also, unknown to them until the game starts, the children of the first successful alien-human hybrids.  They look completely human, but each one has unique pyschic powers.  No magic, all psychic.  The drama comes in when the teens discover what they are and the government comes in to take them to a secure facility.

So you can see where this gets it's genesis.  There were a ton of shows in the 70s about kids with powers or people being chased by the government.  I want to put it in the 70s so I can avoid cell phones, gps and the like.  Plus it was the last time teens could hitchhike across the US without people calling the cops.   I'd work in mysteries of Atlantis, crystals with magic powers, strange MIB agents, aliens out to kill them all that great stuff.  Setting it in the 70s also lets me bring in "future tech" like more powerful computers and things we use today.

The list of influences of this game go on and on.  Basically I'd go to Wikipedia's Psuedoscience category and pick and choose.

My game system of choice would be Conspiracy X since I can use most of the mythos intact.  The Unexplained would also work well as would a low powered Mutants & Masterminds game.  Something like Damnation Decade, but with more danger and horror, and none of the alt-history.

I'd love to play it or even write it.  But I doubt I'll have the time.
If I were to write it all out I'd call it "Star Child" sounds very 70s.

What games or campaigns do you really want to play but don't think you will?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...