At the end of the day these are just games?

I received a comment on this post of mine some days ago.

I am grateful to receive critical comments together with positive ones. They make me grow.

I didn't intend to reply to that post, i had nothing to say but today i was half asleep on the couch and in this state words came to my mind (it happens often to me), so i awake, stood up and began to write down what i saw in my mind.


It's true, i don't take rpg "hobby" as a frivolous pastime, in fact i do not regard them as a mere game, much as i do not consider a fantastic novel just an entertaining account of facts (a mere chronicle or story).

The purpose of a fantasy novel is the immersion of the mind in the fictional setting described therein.
In fact, if the external world doesn't get erased (doesn't fade away) under the spell exerted by a fantasy novel, where is the puissance of the story which is told?

The aim of playing a fantasy rpg is even more ambitious and profound: not only the suspension of disbelief but the pursuit of voluntary illusion through the application of mathematical formulaes which are needed to make the illusion appear in front of us more vividly.

Originally, it seems to me that the fantasy rulebook has as its scope a titanic endeavour: to turn dreams into flesh.

If you are reading a Clark Ashton Smith story with the sole intent to experience half an hour in a dream-like state of mind, you are doing the right thing but at the same time you are missing the point.

We should at least read such a story with the same amount and degree of faith he had in his heart whilst he was writing it.

Also, there must have been at least fifteen minutes in the lifetime of J.R.R. Tolkien whereas he felt and perceived the characters he was describing were REAL; a supreme moment where he realized he was a mere instrument in the hands of those characters (and not vice-versa) and that they were commandingly persuade him to tell their chronicles.

To me, the only goal of a rulebook is this.
It must be a gate to another world. If the Grand Illusion does not obtain, i may well use that fantasy rpg but to no avail.


Time to begin with Powers & Perils lessons.


Many out there probably believe my favourite fantasy rpg of all time is "Powers & Perils". It is not, though i basically concur with the phrase you can read at P&P official website:

"Powers and Perils has been described the most elegant roleplaying game, as well as the most complex game ever developed"

Anyway, today i read this on Acaeum forum (here):

Badmike wrote:
Back to Worst Game System, did anyone here ever try to play Powers and Perils?  I don't have a copy anymore but I distinctly remember saying "WTF?" several times while reading through the boxed set.

Mike B.

I want to like this game, I really do.  I have a couple of copies on the shelf.  I attempted to make a character, got about 75% through the process and could not find one of the charts the next step required.  My head 'asploded!  There is a blog (mesmerized by sirens blogspot) and the author is a rabid pro P&P / anti-AD&D supporter.  Loves the game and supposedly played the heck out of it but I just can't wrap my head around the rules...and that's just character creation! 

It is a pity that you (the writer of this) and possibly others couldn't manage to create a character. That it is so difficult a task is a myth, and i want to dispell it.

A new player that recently came to our group said to me that this system is one of the "Three Secrets of Fátima" [...]

Considering all these facts, i want to add today another project to my (already full) list of things to do: Powers & Perils lessons on this blog. First thing could be creating a character. Stay tuned.


Rare and obscure fantasy rpgs galore - PART II

 "What Price glory?!", again. See here.

 High Fantasy. I know many are interested in this.

 Kabal, this is a unique fantasy rpg published in 1980 and that was much vituperated, undeservedly.
It sells for this amount on Noble knight, see this link.
 Lands of adventure, by FGU. So Great a game.
 People should talk every day on blogs of this. Written by Dave Arneson and my beloved Richard Snider (the latter the creator of Powers & Perils).
 Perhaps my most cherished boxed set, that of Chivalry & Sorcery 2nd edition.
 Get rid of all AD&D rules on magic and use this instead. You won't be disappointed.By the same creator of "Arcanum" fantasy rpg (see previous gallery to get a glimpse of it).
 OMG. Mage by Wilf Backhaus. If you want to feel what real magick is.
 Again, C&S 2nd edition boxed set.

High Fantasy in all its glory. Now i'm looking for the 1st edition of this game, which i'm still missing.

The back of KABAL boxed set. This game was advertised on Dragon magazine in the past, but i think the ad went somewhat unnoticed.

 The Compleat Arduin. Not the same as Arduin trilogy.

 Rolemaster 2nd edition boxed set. Together with Chivalry & sorcery one of the few games written by demi-gods. Just when you believe AD&D is all life can give, you should turn the gaze on this boxed set.
Wow, Dragonquest 1st edition boxed set. Love this game.
 I just wanted to show how thick is WPG. One of the most inspiring old fantasy rpg ever created, i'll talk on this someday. It was self-published and it is likely only one hundred copies exist.

KABAL, again.
The rare adventure, originally written for AD&D-that we have been playing.


"Nine Doctrines of Darkness" review

I finally found a review of the adventure we have been playing for months.

If anyone is aware of other review, i would be glad to read them, thanks.

"Nine Doctrines of Darkness" is an amazing adventure and it has a capacity to set one's head spinning that few other adventures have. I would love to write down my player's deeds while they are trying to prevent the Evil to put its hands on the tome, i already put them on paper (but in my own language).


Rare and obscure fantasy rpgs galore

 The most misunderstood fantasy rpg game of the past, without a doubt. Love it.

 Behold the HOLY TRINITY. Perhaps the three most complex fantasy rpg in history.

 Try to find a copy of this on ebay...one of the rarest old-school fantasy rpg. Known only by a few.

 My pristine boxed set copy of Arduin trilogy...cherished much by me.

 The ineffable WPG. One of the most obscure and hard-to-find old-school fantasy rpg of all time, impossibly beautiful. I'm astonished people played OD&D in the past instead of this.
 The gigantic BM&G, by Bill Underwood. Like a commentator on Grognardia once wrote: "It has the best combat system of any fantasy RPG I've ever played"
 The only adventure ever published for "Beasts, men & gods".

 The incredible Bifrost, one of the deepest mystery in the OSR. One of my biggest treasures.
 Melanda, i wrote a couple of posts about this old game. Wish i had in my hands the first edition of this.
 I can't believe this old fantasy rpg published in 1987 is never mentioned anywhere. So old-schoolish. But i can understand that it is very rare, hence its absence from blogs.
 The greatest fantasy role-playing game ever created, period. And maybe the most complex as well.

 This was a very interesting alternative to AD&D back in the time. We should definitely devote more time perusing its rules and so forth.
 Warlock...the greatest rival and antagonist of Original Dungeons & dragons...and far better than the latter.
 Warlock tower, the supplement to Warlock: new rules.

 The original Dragon wariors rpg in paperback...quite a good game, lots of ideas therein.
Another obscurity from Norway, a fantasy rpg published in 1987. I should definitely talk about this in the future.

Avalon Hill's Heroes magazine- complete run




A brief glimpse of magick in Chivalry & Sorcery

From from the 1st edition Sourcebook:

"The search for a 'new & improved' simulation of magick (sic) began
primarily as a result of an increasing dissatisfaction experienced
with the pioneering efforts of *D&D* and *Warlock*.  The problem with
these and similar "first generation" simulations was twofold:  magic
was too easy to do and too "unrealistic" (if such a term can be used
in the context of fantasy).  Magic is too easy when, for example,
magical research can be done merely through the expendature (sic) of a
few weeks and a few 1000 Gp.

"In playing *C&S*, one character found that he had to spend over six
months of game-time enchanting a two foot piece of elm which was only
one out of 22 other ingredients he had to enchant.

 Magical simulations which are too easy and predictable have tended to become
more "weapon technology" to better burn, blast, or otherwise crush an
ever increasing horde of unknown and unaccountable monsters.
"An easy magick simulation has benefits on the side of playability and
far more serious dissatisfaction was felt with the lack of realism.

The lack of realism is due primarily to the first generation
simulations being culled from fantasy literature:  Tolkien, Howard,
etc.  (I recall that in '76 Gygax wrote an article tracing the theory
in *D&D* to DeCamp and Pratt's *Incomplete Enchanter*) rather than
occult sources such as Paracelsus' *Hermetic Chemistry* or the *Lesser
Key of Solomon*.  It is true, of course, that the magical theory found
in the *Incomplete Enchanter* was derived from that classic study of
Magic and Religion, Frazer's *Golden Bough*.

In neither work is anything said about the world view of magic which underlies the famous
so-called Laws of Magic.  Pratt, as is well known, in his own work
took a serious attitude toward magic as an Art which was neither easy
to practics (*Well of the Unicorn*) nor easy to acquire (*The Blue

"Fantasy literature rarely draws out more than one or two kinds of
magical practice with the result that simulations based solely on such
a source end up with only one kind of magic user who is able to learn
and practice all magic there is by merely increasing in experience.  A
glance, however, through the twenty or so volumes of *Man, Myth, and
Magic* will easily persuade one that magic is an extremely complex
subject, there being as many different modes of magical practice as
there are human personality types and cultural levels.

 This extreme
diversity has always been a feature of the real history of magic as
ones finds in Robert Burton's *Anatomy of Melancholy* (c. 1621):
    "Many subdivisions there are in the practice of magick, and many
    several species of sorcerers, witches, enchanters, conjurors,
    etc.  They have been tolerated heretofore, some of them, and
    magick hath been publicly professed in former times,. . . While
    it is now generally censured and contraindicted by several univer-
    sities, though practices by some still.

Vikings & Valkyrs author in a magazine from 1988

have a look HERE.


Two old fantasy games available again

While i'm waiting one more week before announcing which obscure game won the poll, here are two pieces of interesting info someone may not be aware of:

KNIGHTS AND MAGICK (this one) is available again here.

But even more importantly, another piece of news.
Begin reading this: LINK

Then, point your browser HERE.

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