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Showing posts from March, 2015

Fiction Review: The Old Gods Waken by Manly Wade Wellman

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I was recently flipping through Goodman Games' "The Chained Coffin" adventure. Author Michael Curtis refers to his primary inspiration being Manly Wade Wellman's "Silver John" stories. Manly Wade Wellman appears in the original Dungeon Master's Guide "Appendix N: Inspirational and Educational Reading". I decided to do a quick ebook search and much to my disappointment there wasn't an ebook to be found. I did order a few used books and discovered his first "Silver John" novel, TheOld Gods Waken, available on audible.com. Most people seem to have a preference for Wellman's short stories but I figured "why not" and purchased the audiobook. It's a well done narration by Stefan Rudnicki.

There's two things to discuss. First, what the book is about and second, what it feels like. In this case the feel is more important aspect but I'll discuss both.

The "Silver John" stories (as far as I can tell, We…

A Whole New Civilization Over the Valley

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Games like Dungeon Crawl Classics make the suggestion that one should strive for a smaller scale world - a world where the way to find out what is in the next valley is to go to that next valley. Maybe there's travelers who can give you some hints of what is out there if you're lucky, but if you want to be sure, you need to go there.

I'm a big fan of works like A Song of Ice and Fire which deals with large nation-states, battles for the throne, long distance travel, worldwide threats and organizations. That's pretty far in the opposite direction.

I got to thinking what are some examples of works that focus on a smaller world. Worlds where when you go into a new village it feels different, with a whole new set of traditions. It's been a while since I read Jack Vance's Dying Earth series but that is one inspiration that came to mind quickly. It's also something you see in his science fiction - the novel/collection Ports of Call is a great example of of this,…