The other day Starr picked up a book for me, one that I've been meaning to read for years: Carl Sagan's The Demon-Haunted World: Science As a Candle In the Dark
. I'm enjoying it, but he's preaching to the choir, and I've not yet gained any new insights from the book. On the other hand, I also finally have a copy of tltrent
's In the Serpent's Coils
waiting in line, and I'm looking forward to reading that one. In my opinion, "Young Adult" fantasy and science fiction is where much of the good stuff is happening right now. Say what you want about Harry Potter, but Sorcerer's Stone
was a better read than many of the transcribed D&D adventures that pass for fantasy novels these days.
Speaking of transcribed D&D, Gary Gygax's recent death caused me to drag out some of the old adventures I'd saved since the mists of First Edition, with an eye to running them again. In particular, I'm looking at the old S-series: "Tomb of Horrors", "White Plume Mountain", and "Expedition to the Barrier Peaks" (a particular favorite).
Now, I know these were convention tournament modules, but I was struck by the lack of role-playing, or even much of a plot besides "collect loot and survive to the end". The adventures are full of unfair puzzles, insta-deaths, and places where the GM will have to do some blatant railroading if the party's not going to wipe (no running back from the graveyard to rez!)
If I were to run them now, and the basic concepts are juicy enough to make the idea interesting, I'd have to do some major re-writing for my audience. I'd want map revisions, monster changes, and some serious story integration. It wouldn't be a trivial task, even discounting the problem that the adventures were designed for experienced First Edition AD&D characters. What game system do I want to use - a D&D version, Earthdawn
, Herc & Xena
, an alternate-universe Shadowrun
? (And in most of those cases, which edition?)
Yeah. This is kinda turning into a campaign, which is too bad; I'm not sure I can spare the time right now, fun as it sounds. The urge to run "Barrier Peaks" near Roswell using the Deadlands
setting may have to wait.Addendum:
The sentence "the chest contains 10,000 gold pieces" was obviously written by someone who had never counted out 10,000 quarters, say, and then tried to carry them around for any length of time.