Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Appalachian Fantasy

What, you might ask, is that?  Well, consider the tales of Silver John by Manly Wade Wellman, which had horrific elements as well, and the Alvin Maker stories by Orson Scott Card.  A few other authors have dabbled with these elements as well, and I'm always up for suggestions as to what to read next (so, good readers, suggest away in the comments).  These are stories of country folk against supernatural circumstances, with plenty of flavorful color about the characters and setting and language.  What I like about them is the reminder that life was once harder in many ways yet simpler in comparison to our modern world.

I was introduced to Silver John in a Wellman novel, and I cannot remember the title at the moment, that I borrowed from Rodman Public Library in Alliance, OH when I was 15 or so.  I loved it instantly.  It had a creepy air about it, and the writing evoked wonderment and fear at the same time.  Silver John is an amazing literary creation.  I even worked up a class for OSR games based on him, called the Silver Minstrel.  Perhaps one day I'll post it here, but it violates all kinds of copyright laws as it's written now and you can never be too careful!  The way Silver John fights off evil supernatural forces and folkloric nasties in the stories is inspiring to say the least.  He doesn't resort to awful levels of violence, and often thinks his way out of problems, knowing that if he takes the problem head-on, he is doomed to failure.  In the stories, most of the beings he faces have an Achilles heel of some sort, and a few times it is music from John's silver-stringed guitar.  

I have wanted to construct a fantasy America that incorporates Wellman's and Card's work for use as a setting for old-school games, but I have lacked the gumption lately to try it.  I also feel that I would need to really become more familiar with American and European folklore from the early to post-colonial periods, as well as history.  It feels like a big bridge to cross.  Magic would also have to be altered.  Outright attack spells would really have no place, and I would definitely re-title existing spell selections to enhance the flavor and feel of magic with a new skin.  Priestly characters would also be a concern, and what real-world religions, if any, to include as an option for the class.

The idea has been nagging at me for at least five years, so perhaps I'll write a post or two to start, and see how they turn out.  How's that sound? 

I'm On The Hobby's Periphery and I'm Happy With That

I have not actively played a role playing game for years.  At least five years, perhaps longer.  But I am happy with this.  I have been able to write setting material for people to enjoy, develop monsters and tweak rules, and just enjoy all the great blog articles out there.  The only downside is I don't get to wipe out parties of player characters with my creations.  I will start up again, perhaps when I move to Michigan at some point in the next couple of years.  There's a fine hobby shop in Livonia, RIW Hobbies, who have crazy amounts of miniatures for a lot of the more popular minis games out there.  Miniatures have become my favorite thing about this hobby of ours.  I'm not an active wargamer, either.  I just love miniatures, and love to paint them.  I've been slacking lately, but I just picked up a bunch of tombstones from Renedra for an undead legion I am slowly cobbling together, for use on their bases.

I'm starting to get back in the swing of posting again, since writing game material seems to chill me out and help me deal with the pain from Crohn's disease.  In fact, if I have surgery, updates during that time would be nearly daily, since I would be down for the count for a while.  I want to get back to creating nasty creatures to destroy PCs' hopes and dreams, but that is taking a back seat to healing and trying to keep this damn disease under control while I maintain my work life at all costs, since I have tons of child support to pay.  It's hard because I have now failed to respond to the three best biologic medicines on the market.  I've even tried supplementing with turmeric extract and a multitude of other things.  Perhaps we will try immune suppressants next.  To try to understand what it's like to have Crohn's disease, just imagine that you are allergic to most things that you eat, and that it brings on nearly immediate cramps and burning pain in your gut, much like some of the worst food poisoning you have ever had.  Then imagine what it's like to have to take six to fourteen dumps a day, most of which are watery disasters.  Gross, right?  Well, that's life with Crohn's.  I just deal with it.  Of course, eventually, I won't be able to deal with it and unless it improves, I'm going to wind up with a colostomy bag of some sort.  But these are all bridges to cross at a later date.

Until those bridges need crossed, I will do my best to keep the flow of posts here going off and on, and will attempt to bring you more party-killing monsters, and most definitely more information about the world I have created.  This world may even become a backdrop for some wargame activity!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Campaign Seeds...

What if the Holy City told of in Revelation is something physical that comes to earth and exists here after the End?  What if it has a subterranean part!?  What if that's the place bad things are kept imprisoned?!

What about a real-world Neverending Story?  What if there is a dimension where mankind's fictional literary creations really live?  Nightmarish and gonzo....  Entire fictional worlds would exist as different layers of the plane.

What if the Ghost Hunters were actually dead.... as in GHOSTS.  But had no clue.