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Author Topic: Looking for "Dying Earth" Alernatives  (Read 2885 times)

Steven Mitchell

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Re: Looking for "Dying Earth" Alernatives
« Reply #60 on: September 14, 2022, 11:32:17 AM »
It's a hard question to answer, because the outcome depends on how and what part of Vance you want in the game.  Vance is a huge influence on my fantasy games.  Heck, some of his science fiction has an indirect influence on my fantasy games.  The attitude of the characters in the Demon Princes series influences my NPCs.  Yet, there is very little that I can point to as a direct lift.  I've never run a Cugel knockoff or a Rhialto knockoff or run a game where most spells kills something dead.  I don't particularly like obvious sci/fi or pulp lifts, such as the old tech in "Ulan Dhor" in "The Dying Earth.  Of course, I've used some of the magic items and spells through D&D, and finding those was certainly fun having read Vance before playing the game.

"Lyonesse" is one of my favorite stories, ever, but all I pull directly from it is an attitude, and sometimes a way of naming characters.  Well, that and it informs (along with Poul Anderson) my interest in fantasy set before the heart of the medieval period.  Dark Age heroic fantasy is a neglected niche.

There is a slice of RPG/Vance fandom that thinks having a Vancian game is everyone speaking like Vance's characters.  Lots of vocabulary used in a witty way.  I don't see the appeal, which to me is more playing at aping a Vance novel instead of role playing a character in a Vancian way. 

So for me, the best game to run a Vance-inspired setting is a game that you already know and like well, so that you can get past the mechanics long enough to engage with the characters.

PulpHerb

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Re: Looking for "Dying Earth" Alernatives
« Reply #61 on: September 14, 2022, 12:11:36 PM »
"Lyonesse" is one of my favorite stories, ever, but all I pull directly from it is an attitude, and sometimes a way of naming characters.  Well, that and it informs (along with Poul Anderson) my interest in fantasy set before the heart of the medieval period.  Dark Age heroic fantasy is a neglected niche.

True...what Anderson are you using? Just Ys or some others?

Quote
There is a slice of RPG/Vance fandom that thinks having a Vancian game is everyone speaking like Vance's characters.  Lots of vocabulary used in a witty way.  I don't see the appeal, which to me is more playing at aping a Vance novel instead of role playing a character in a Vancian way. 

That was the experience system for the Pelgrane Dying Earth RPG and was the weakest part of that game.

Steven Mitchell

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Re: Looking for "Dying Earth" Alernatives
« Reply #62 on: September 14, 2022, 12:37:20 PM »
True...what Anderson are you using? Just Ys or some others?

Ys was eye-opening, but some of his Norse saga style stuff, too.  There is some inspiration in his "On Fantasy" collection (essays and short stories).  "The Valor of Cappen Varra" is an interesting twist, using his Sanctuary character in a world that could fit that setting but hearkens back to something earlier.  It's also a twist on trolls, which is amusing given his more medieval "Three Hearts and Three Lions" is the inspiration for the D&D troll. 

I find those two authors particularly helpful because even when they bring in the more medieval elements (for a later setting or somewhat jumbled in a King Arthur fashion, as Vance does with Lyonesse), they do so almost as if they can see their medieval things anchored in the dark ages.  So much of medieval fantasy today is done as if "Roman empire long time ago.  Nothing happens anywhere for centuries.  Suddenly knights appear on the scene." :D
« Last Edit: September 14, 2022, 12:38:53 PM by Steven Mitchell »

Zalman

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Re: Looking for "Dying Earth" Alernatives
« Reply #63 on: September 14, 2022, 04:14:49 PM »
True...what Anderson are you using? Just Ys or some others?

Ys was eye-opening, but some of his Norse saga style stuff, too.  There is some inspiration in his "On Fantasy" collection (essays and short stories).  "The Valor of Cappen Varra" is an interesting twist, using his Sanctuary character in a world that could fit that setting but hearkens back to something earlier.  It's also a twist on trolls, which is amusing given his more medieval "Three Hearts and Three Lions" is the inspiration for the D&D troll.

High Crusade, despite the addition of sci-fi elements, is pure gold in terms of Dark Ages attitude.
Old School? Back in my day we just called it "School."

ForgottenF

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Re: Looking for "Dying Earth" Alernatives
« Reply #64 on: September 15, 2022, 12:40:04 PM »
It's a hard question to answer, because the outcome depends on how and what part of Vance you want in the game.  Vance is a huge influence on my fantasy games.  Heck, some of his science fiction has an indirect influence on my fantasy games.  The attitude of the characters in the Demon Princes series influences my NPCs.  Yet, there is very little that I can point to as a direct lift.  I've never run a Cugel knockoff or a Rhialto knockoff or run a game where most spells kills something dead.  I don't particularly like obvious sci/fi or pulp lifts, such as the old tech in "Ulan Dhor" in "The Dying Earth.  Of course, I've used some of the magic items and spells through D&D, and finding those was certainly fun having read Vance before playing the game.

"Lyonesse" is one of my favorite stories, ever, but all I pull directly from it is an attitude, and sometimes a way of naming characters.  Well, that and it informs (along with Poul Anderson) my interest in fantasy set before the heart of the medieval period.  Dark Age heroic fantasy is a neglected niche.

There is a slice of RPG/Vance fandom that thinks having a Vancian game is everyone speaking like Vance's characters.  Lots of vocabulary used in a witty way.  I don't see the appeal, which to me is more playing at aping a Vance novel instead of role playing a character in a Vancian way. 

So for me, the best game to run a Vance-inspired setting is a game that you already know and like well, so that you can get past the mechanics long enough to engage with the characters.

Nice to see Anderson getting shouted out. I find him to be one of the most underrated and disregarded of the Appendix N authors, but he's probably tied with Fritz Leiber for being my favorite. The Broken Sword wound up being the single greatest influence on the way I run the Dragon Warriors setting. Working my way through his Flandry of Terra books right now, and then it's probably on to the High Crusade after a brief side trip to read the Vanishing Tower.

With Dying Earth specifically, I was looking for other things with similar core setting elements. Specifically a science fiction setting which, because of the collapse of advanced civilization, looks and acts like a fantasy setting ( the closest literary analogues probably being Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun, and Moorcock's Hawkmoon)

tenbones

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Re: Looking for "Dying Earth" Alernatives
« Reply #65 on: September 15, 2022, 01:34:27 PM »
Book of the New Sun is *sublime*. As is Hawkmoon.

Is there even an RPG for Book of the New Sun??

Zalman

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Re: Looking for "Dying Earth" Alernatives
« Reply #66 on: September 15, 2022, 02:24:10 PM »
Is there even an RPG for Book of the New Sun??

Good question. I certainly wouldn't want to be the one who tried to tackle that level of sublimity.
Old School? Back in my day we just called it "School."

RandyB

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Re: Looking for "Dying Earth" Alernatives
« Reply #67 on: September 15, 2022, 03:08:27 PM »
Didn't GURPS take a crack at it?

ForgottenF

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Re: Looking for "Dying Earth" Alernatives
« Reply #68 on: September 15, 2022, 03:13:10 PM »
Is there even an RPG for Book of the New Sun??

Good question. I certainly wouldn't want to be the one who tried to tackle that level of sublimity.

There is a gurps book, and the "Chronicles of Future Earth" BRP supplement that was recommended earlier in the thread seems to be a bit of an unofficial adaptation.

PulpHerb

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Re: Looking for "Dying Earth" Alernatives
« Reply #69 on: September 15, 2022, 03:17:13 PM »
Book of the New Sun is *sublime*. As is Hawkmoon.

Is there even an RPG for Book of the New Sun??

There was a GURPS 3e book.

https://rpggeek.com/rpgitem/49100/gurps-new-sun

I'm pretty sure it is very OOP as it was licensed, but the usual suspects probably have it.


Tasty_Wind

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Re: Looking for "Dying Earth" Alernatives
« Reply #70 on: September 17, 2022, 10:14:56 AM »
DCC has a supplement based on the Empire of the East series, which is about,  “a long ass time ago everybody nuked each other into oblivion, but now it’s a medieval fantasy world with a few pieces of futuristic tech kicking around”, but the setting is pretty bare bones.

ForgottenF

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Re: Looking for "Dying Earth" Alernatives
« Reply #71 on: September 17, 2022, 10:49:39 AM »
DCC has a supplement based on the Empire of the East series, which is about,  “a long ass time ago everybody nuked each other into oblivion, but now it’s a medieval fantasy world with a few pieces of futuristic tech kicking around”, but the setting is pretty bare bones.

I'll add it to the pile, thanks. All these supplements are a bit skint, so I might end up hodgepodging them all together into a homebrew.