Dynasty Zero

Saturday, June 13, 2015

The Eldritch Dark

Clark Ashton Smith was one of the earliest writers to produce Sword & Sorcery stories.  He set stories in the imaginative lands of Averoigne, Hyperborea, Zothique and Poseidonas.  Like many early S&S stories, his were a melange, often containing and combining Lost World, Dying World, SF, Horror and Fantasy elements.  Until comparatively recently, I didn't know much about his work and had read none of it.  It doesn't seem to be widely available in print anymore.  Fortunately, for those who are curious about his writing and for long standing fans, there is an authorized website that contains a large number of his works.  The site is The Eldritch Dark.  A list of his stories that most resemble S&S (according to the website's author) can be found here.  Click on the links and enter the realms of CAS.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Barbarian Lord

http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/9780547859064_hres.jpgI ran across this in the library.  This graphic novel was published last year and has been around longer but I hadn't seen it before.  I really like it.  This is what I want a sword & sorcery rpg campaign to look like!  This is the story of how farmer poet Barbarian Lord (that's his name, apparently, not a title) had his farm stolen from him by his skull faced enemy and his adventures on the road to getting it back.  Very grim but it doesn't take itself to seriously.  The author drew on a host of inspirations from legends and sagas to cartoons.  Barbarian Lord is drawn in a cartoony style black and white.  I really like this kind of illustration, probably as a result of reading to many issues of The Savage Sword of Conan as a kid (though, of course SSC was drawn more realistically).  Savage Sword had such an impact on me that whenever I envision a sword & sorcery story in my head it is in black and white.

If you get a chance, read Barbarian Lord.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Savage Worlds - Lankhmar: City of Thieves

I am rather excited about this.  My son recently read a bunch of Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser and so he's interested in it too.  Maybe a game will actually hit our table! 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Good News!

My character, Arak-Aree, was selected by Simon Washbourne for inclusion in the Mythic Edition of Barbarians of Lemuria!  I'm so excited!

For more info you can see the Kickstarter website.

Thursday, October 9, 2014


So, I have neglected this blog again.  I spend too much time reading G+ apparently.

I haven't been doing much gaming-wise.  I spend a lot of time thinking and pondering game campaigns but other pressing matters and the fact that I have the attention span of a gnat mean I don't actually do much.

My son and I are trying get in a session or two of Weird Wars Rome but haven't managed to so far.  My schedule combined with his consuming love of computer games has made it difficult.

Two bright points.  My wife's laptop crashed and I not only saved all of her data but my meager tech skills managed to resurrect it!  I was surprised!

The second bright point is that my Barbarians of Lemuria character Arak-Aree was selected as one of three finalist for inclusion into the new Mythic Edition.  Simon Washbourne, the games creator, will choose which of the three will be included.  Just being a finalist is exciting.

Last but not least I want to mention one of my favorite blogs.  Tommy Brownell over at The Most Unread Blog on the Internet...Ever produces quality stuff relating to RPGs.  I particularly enjoy his informative reviews.  They have guided several of my RPG purchases and I have never been disappointed with the result.  An example of this is his review of Servants of Gaius.  Having read some Roman history in my time I was very skeptical about the setting of this game.  However, I took the plunge and have been very pleased with the results.  So, if you haven't read Tommy's blog, I recommend that you do.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Elak of Atlantis

Over the last several years, I have been trying to read the key works of sword and sorcery.  I was introduced to this genre as a teen through the Ace paperback version of Robert E. Howard's Conan.  I enjoyed those books immensely, both Howard's stories as well as those written by L. Sprague de Camp, Lin Carter, et al.  (I really like the non-Howard story "The Thing in the Crypt" for example.)  For quite a while this was the entire sword and sorcery universe for me.  I met Elric during high school but I wasn't overly impressed with the stories.  Then my interest faded for a long time as it did with roleplaying games. 

When my interest in RPGs revived about 14 years ago so did my interest in these type of stories.  (Odd how that worked out, isn't it?)  I began to reread many of the Conan stories and started seeking out other stories, also.  I read the Kull stories and moved on from there.  I've found and read at least some of C. L. Moore, Clark Ashton Smith, Fritz Leiber, Lin Carter, John Jakes, and even Gardner Fox.  Some were easy to find, Leiber for example and surprisingly Clark Ashton Smith.  There is a website dedicated to CAS with many, if not all, of his stories.  (It's at Eldritchdark.com.)  Other's were not so easy.  Gardner Fox published several S&S stories in early issues of Dragon Magazine.

One author I couldn't find in ebook form until recently was Henry Kuttner.  His Elak of Atlantis stories followed the Conan stories and are considered some of the founding stories in the genre.  I recently discovered that an ebook collecting all four Elak stories is available on both Amazon and B&N for a reasonable price.

Happy reading!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Cthulhu Mustache

My 14 year old son's take on Cthulhu:

People don't go insane when they see Cthulhu.  They're just crazy jealous of his stylin' mustache!

Then he makes a Cthulhu mustache with his hands.