Monday, July 6, 2009

My Fiction Foundation

Unlike many (older) RPG bloggers my youth wasn't filled with fantasy books. The Hobbit was the only one I can think of. Wanting to "duplicate" that book was why I got into D&D. Maybe trying to read The War of the Ring turned me off fantasy (Sorry, those books really just suck). I basically quit reading novel fantasy when I started reading RPG modules and making my own fantasy. [Oh, I read The Witch, The Lion and The Wardrobe and probably several forgotten others.] I mostly remember sci-fi, Asimov Foundation trilogy and "robot" books, various double sided sci-fi's I found on dad's bookshelf. The man who Japed [holy cow that's a PKD! don't remember it one bit, just the cover of course], bunch of Kurt Vonnegut in later teens. And I didn't really read all that much of them either. Still haven't read 90% of the DMG's Appedix N. Although they're high, esp Vance, on my list for next time I get the reading bug.

I watched but don't feel that influenced by Saturday Morning cartoons such as Thundar, Thunder Cats, Masters of The Universe, and esp GI Joe which I absolutely hated! Even back then I knew no character death was fail. Instead I spent my Saturdays watching Kung-fu Theater and the rest of the time day-dreaming about wearing double breasted outfits with the fold up sleeves and jumping through the air! Asian fantasy has held me ever since. I even prefer Hong Kong cop & yakuza over cop & robber genre. Oriental Adventures is the one 1e book I never sold/lost/gave away (I since repurchased a DMG for nostalgia/reference). Sadly I've never found another gamer who has the same love as I. Just hordes of BESM and anime fanboys that are so not like minded fools.

My other major TV influences were more Sci-Fi. Dr Who, Star Trek TOS, Battlestar Galactica (good version), and Carl Sagan's Cosmos. Huh, non-fiction Cosmos? I joyously blame Cosmos for instilling in me the desire to learn, to ask why and to revel in the awesomeness of knowledge. All of which I've found indispensable in life and DMing. Less joyously for solidifying my analytical, simulist gamer attitude which I've been trying to drop recently.

D&D is my fantasy foundation. When I write fantasy I think of it in terms of a D&D adventure, with a party and all the other D&D trappings. Not the other way round.

This post was inspired by this video I happened apon. Not a super great scene, just normal everyday kung-fu. I want to game this scene and a thousand others. I've never found a system that captures this kind of combat. Over the top wushu is easy, Jackie Chan style acrobatics could do in 1/2 dozen systems. But intricate, strike, block, grab, bind escape Kung-fu, no so much.

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