Post by JB
When all is said and done this is an attempt to contribute to the hobby
we both enjoy and quite possibly your living too.
Thanks. You are right on both counts.
Post by JB Post by Drifter "Bob"
What is it you don't like about Vance, just out of curiosity?
I generally don't like setting stuff although I do have the Forgotten
Realms Campaign Setting as there is good material that can be slotted
into custom campaigns. I also generally don't like Fantasy fiction
(except for LOTR of course) and my Vancian knowledge is limited mai
to the info I've read on this group from time to time.
Ah, I understand. I am in a similar boat myself. The closest thing I ever
get to campaign settings are mostly the Avalanche Press Historical books,
some of which (like their Celtic Age) are brilliant and very useful, while
others (like their book on Vlad the Impaler) are at least informative and
I have a few forgotten realms books to, and for the same reason, to mine for
ideas and what they call "crunchy bits". There are a few good ideas in
those, I have monsters of faerun and magic of faerun, both of which i found
more useful than the WOTC products.
The Primer is similar in design if not content (, if I dare compare it), to
the magic of faerun, it's just a bunch of spells and items and a few
As for Vance, if you liked Tolkein you might like him. He is a very "old
school" writer, like Tolkein very well versed in History. His style is
different but it's worth a look, not perhaps as frivolous as it comes across
in some contmeporary secondary (ahem) reworkings of his ideas.
Post by JB
There's virtually no supplemental material without balance issues out
there and that's not limited to third party publishers. I'd take "there
is some brilliant stuff in there" as a good enough reason to have a
browse through if I ever saw it in a book store.
Well, this is certainly true in an absolute sense. It ties into a trend
within the RPG community which I find depressing. I played D&D and other
games pretty regularly up until around 1990. I got back into it again maybe
3 years ago, so I missed a lot of the evolution of the current RPG world. A
lot of the changes are very positive, but one thing I really don't like is
the obsession with rules that eveyrone has.
It seems like everyone who plays D&D is a rules lawyer. If they roll the
dice they are aware of and considering a million possible modfiers and
interactions with a million possible foes...
Whatever happened to DM's rolling dice behind a screen? What if the player
isn't supposed to know why the spell failed for plot reasons? Whatever
happend to the old sense of mystery I remember, to the attempted suspension
of disbelief, to role playing?
It seems like it's gotten to be more like a video game or some kind of war
game now days. I've gotten to the point where I don't even like having too
many experienced players in my games because they are such min-maxing, rules
lawyer munchkins.... I like the way new people come to the game better,
they seem to feel like they are really there in the moment, walking down
that forest path toward the eerie stillness of the moonlit glade....
To me, the rules should be unobtrusive, like the mechanisms behind the
curtain of the Great Oz, you don't want them in the way, let alone obsess
over and dwell on them. Yes, they should have sensible mechanics and the
players should know what to expect, but ideally they should just describe
what they want their characters to do cinematically, so to speak, the rules,
charts, and dice will determine what happen, and the DM describes it back,
This is also why I don't like running very high level games
Ah, whatever, I'm a grumpy old curmudgeon I guess.
Check out The Primer of Practical Magic,
A new D20 supplement of subtle spells, new classes,
And curious magic artifacts from Jack Vance's
popular Dying Earth genre.
Available on Amazon.com and the Dying Earth website