Thursday, May 19, 2011

Jack Vance is my DM

If you've not read Jack Vance you need to get a copy of his Dying Earth novels ASAP and get reading. The man single handedly inspired Gary Gygax's take on magic in D&D, but further he is so ineffably brilliant, erudite, witty, droll and fantastic that no fan of fantasy can claim to be well read without having put his works under his belt.

Can you imagine what it would be like to have Jack Vance as your DM? The worlds which your PC's would visit, the NPC's that would beguile and befuddle them, infuriate and delight them? There is no greater master of throw-away brilliance. There is nobody who can match him for scintillating dialog. Ah!

Each clerk and ruffian would become a thing of fascination. The couture of the average citizen would become an indication as to social mores and biases, and each new town that the PC's came across would be defined by bizarre yet compelling takes on values and cultural norms. Monsters would be diffident and exceptionally dangerous, and the landscapes would feature endless ridges, dense and dark forests, glorious sunsets and stunning coastlines.

Ah, for Jack Vance at the helm of a game! Not a single NPC would simply say something, but each and every one would aver, simper, growl, proclaim and demure. Women would be recalcitrant, beautiful, sullen, passionate and disillusioned with the world, villains would suffer from the most vainglorious of megalomanias and perturbations of the psyche, and the PC's would find meaning only in the struggle, and never in the reward.

Go read Jack Vance, my friends, and let his voice inspire your campaigns.

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