Mar 28, 2021

Chainmail 50th Anniversary


Chainmail introduced the fantasy genre to wargaming, and gaming has never been the same since.

Mar 26, 2021

Castle Amber - Goodman Games Version

If there is anyone out there who has excelled at the nostalgia game beyond wildest expectations it is Goodman Games. They seem to nail the aesthetic just right. That marriage between the amateur press quality of old school RPG's from the 70's and early 80's and modern production values.

It is with great interest I've noticed their Original Adventures Reincarnated line, while resisting purchasing any of them for as long as I could. But the temptation proved to be too great and I recently picked up Castle Amber. And it's a beauty.

Clocking in at 268 pages it is chock full of material from a history of the module, the influences of Clark Ashton Smith, loads of new art and fold-out maps, a perfect clean reproduction of the original module, a 5e conversion, and lots more.

Overall I'll say it is a good purchase and a good deal, and an opportunity to play one of the great old modules using the 5th edition rules.

On a side note at the same time I also picked up the Neon Knights DCC adventure.

Because Black Sabbath is my favorite band and the cover and name were so enticing. It is a little weird that the cover is an homage to Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (Ozzy era) but the title is from a Dio era song. And the adventure seems to have nothing to do with the music, not even a wink and a nod. It makes me want to make a real homage someday. Alas, I have enough plates spinning.

Mar 13, 2021

Dean Morrisey - 1951-2021

I heard through the Gurney Journey blog the sad news that Dean Morrissey passed away. He was a creative and talented artist whose works graced the covers of some of the best Dragon magazines. Obit

Feb 18, 2021

John Carter of Mars - an early adaptation

 John Carter of Mars was a comic-book serial adaptation of the Martian novels written by Paul S. Newman and drawn by Jesse Marsh. First published by Dell Comics in 1952, the series was released under several different imprints (Four Colors, and Gold Key; Gold Key printed the comics out of order). Later it was republished by Dark Horse as "John Carter, the Jesse Marsh Years".

This creature sheet from the comic, designed to inform the readers, is a fascinating early interpretation of the strange inhabitants of Barsoom. Creature design has come a long ways since then.

Dell's adaptation mostly followed the original books in terms of plot, but the art deviated considerably from what was described in the books. For one thing, John Carter was no longer a former Confederate soldier; now he was a US Army soldier fighting in Korea. Also, he and his Martian allies were all trapped in "strange, unsightly pieces of cloth" - comics were still considered a medium for children, and so the scant sword-and-planet dress code was traded in for attire that appeared to have been lifted from Krypton. Additionally, Marsh portrayed the Black Pirates not as warriors with jet-black skin but as vaguely Asian or Russian-looking men in black costumes, with a helpful Jolly Roger emblem across the chest to inform the reader of their profession. The Therns became Germanic, and the Okarians became cousins to the Black Pirates, and thus also ambiguously Russian or Asian. (-from the Encyclopedia Barsoomia

Feb 9, 2021

Happy 93rd Birthday to Frank Frazetta!

The grand master of fantasy illustration would be 93 today. His work is a never ending source of inspiration for imaginations everywhere. Here are a few of his great paintings not as commonly posted as some of his other more well known classics.


Here is a warmhearted video put together by his granddaughter who carries on his legacy.