Saturday, June 28, 2008

Taking the Lamentations of the Flame Princess challenge

Over at Lamentations of the Flame Princess, James Edward Raggi IV has asked the blogosphere to take up the gauntlet and list the media influences that impact their D&D campaigns. This is a difficult one for me as I'm not currently running a game, but am involved as a player in two long-term 3.5 campaigns.

However, I can't resist taking up the challenge and listing those sources of media that have the most impact on my line of thinking re. RPGs, and perhaps will one day make their way into a campaign run by yours truly. So here goes:

Heavy metal. I think I could write an epic, years-spanning campaign based off nothing except for Ronnie James Dio song lyrics. Hell, maybe I'll do it some day. I'd throw some Manowar in, too.

J.R.R. Tolkien. Tolkien is my favorite fantasy writer so there's no way he wouldn't make an appearance on this list. If any clowns out there actually think Tolkien is "soft," please pick up The Silmarillion and tell me otherwise. There's brutal fate, awesome battles, evil and death enough in those tales to sate even the most Nordic-influenced reader. And who hasn't imagined Moria during a dungeon-crawl sequence, or Smaug when role-playing a red dragon?

Robert E. Howard/Conan. This includes not only the writings of the man himself, but also the great Savage Sword of Conan adaptations of his material. Vine-choked ruins of lost civilizations, corrupt, decadent, wealth-choked, whoring cities, pirates, dark and wild magic, what's not to like?

Bernard Cornwell. Cornwell is a great grim and gritty, historically accurate writer in the midst of a great series called the Saxon Chronicles, which are a must-read if you like dark ages warfare. Shield walls, Viking coastal raids, etc. would all make their way into my campaign.

Malory/King Arthur. I love the old tales of the round table, particularly the holy grail stories, the evil Morgan Le Fay and Mordred and the corruption at the heart of Camelot, a shining kingdom creating a circle of light in the dark ages, and the themes of the rise and fall of kingdoms.

Gary Gygax. Every page of the old Dungeon Master's Guide and Player's Handbook ooze inspiration and ideas, like some great, musty old tomes of lore. I also love Greyhawk and most of his modules, in particular Keep on the Borderlands, the Giants/Drow series, and his work in the S series. Gygax would definitely be at the heart of my theoretical campaign.

And with that list, I'll see you all in a week or so. I'm off on an internet-free vacation for a week or so. Take care all!

No comments: