Monday, November 28, 2011

Less Tolkien more Howard, Vance, Lovecraft, Burroughs (Part 2)

Rethinking my previous post, now that I have more than 15 minutes to consider what I'm doing. I'm starting to lean more towards OD&D and adding in more from the supplements as well as AD&D. In order figure out what to include and what not to include, I need to look at the sources:

  • Howard's Conan stories
  • Lovecraftian Mythos
  • Vance's Dying Earth
  • Burrough's Barsoom
Now, I don't want to bore you by dissecting these authors right here on the blog. One idea, is to go all out weird fantasy with a bit of Carcosa mixed in. Let me brain storm some ideas before moving onto studying for my German oral final.

No pseudo-medieval Europe. Honestly. I'm a little bored with setting games in a pseudo-historical world. Either I was to go with something akin to Jeff's Wessex camping or something of my own design. I'm thinking an alien world of barren deserts, icy wastes, and teeming jungles.

Character Classes:
 Magic-users, Fighters, Clerics, Thieves, Assassins, Monks are in. Druids and Paladins are out. I might retool Rangers into some sort of reptile rather than hunters, ditching the good alignment requirement.

AD&D Spells for Magic-Users. Illusionist spells also become part of the MU list.

Gods are Malfunctioning AIs and Super-Intelligent Blobs, but it's up to the players to figure this out. A hint should be the redesigned spell lists to include spells from the Book of Eldritch Weirdness in additional to the more traditional line of spells.

Carcosa-Style Rituals for clerics and magic-users any brave enough to sacrifice everything for the sake of power.

No Monsters  Tolkien or Greek/Norse/Christian Mythology. Orcs, goblins, dryads, devils, dragons are out. Eels, oozes, fungi, giant animals, psinoic monsters, anything with tentacles, robots are in.


  1. I was going to comment on your last post that it really sounded more like OD&D than AD&D, but it seems you beat me to it.

    Recently, I was also thinking of a human-only sword & sorcery version of Dark Sun. That ticks a lot of the boxes you set out here, too.

    Oh, and I wouldn't be bored by a blog analysis of those sources.

  2. Well, it's also because I just don't have to time to go through each source thoroughly right now, the whole term paper/finals thing and all.

  3. Sounds delicious! But you can use Orcs, Goblins, etc. as well. It's only a question of definition. Orcs could be some prehumanic, primitiv cavedwellers like the Morlocks from "The Time-Machine", Goblins could be used as strange, non-humanoide Pygmy (or some undead one like in "The Mummy Returns"). Dryads mustn't be the love tree spirits. They could be some devlish daughters of Shub-Niggurath or like the tree-people from D. Wandrei's "The Tree-Men of M'bwa". There are many options to use "classical" tolkien/greek/norse creatures in a different and strange way.

    And mix some Clark A. Smith in your Howard-Lovecraft-Vance-Burroughs-Mixture. It can't be wrong. ;)

  4. Of course, that's a possibility. I would go ahead and just use some FF creatures, make some pygmies, devlish daoughters of Shub-Niggurath are good.

    Overall though, I don't want to confuse players be take traditional creatures and making them something they aren't. I'd rather just make new monsters.