King Arthur Pendragon

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Inspirational Reading

Has it already happened to you to read something because of the game you play? This happens a lot to me. I'm a person with eclectic reading tastes, and some of it stems from my passion for roleplaying games. Until I started playing The Savage World of Solomon Kane, I did not have a clue who Solomon Kane was, and Robert E. Howard was just a name I had heard before mentioned in the same sentence as Conan. After I read the excellent Mongoose's Conan RPG, I devoured all his stories and then some such as El Borak's.

I guess this started way back in 1992 when I first bought the 5th edition of Call of Cthulhu. I didn't know who Lovecraft was but after playing a few sessions I had already bought and read many of his stories. I was also a avid reader of Mythos literature, and I was fortunate that Chaosium published a series of anthologies from various Mythos authors and associated inspirations from Clarke Ashton Smith to Lord Dunsany. After that I created the habit of reading literature associated with the game I'm currently playing.

Thus, in the intervening years, I read many of Louis Cha's wuxia stories (Qin: The Warrying States rpg), Fritz Leiber's Fahfrd and the Grey Mouser and some of Michael Moorcock's Elric's stories (Conan RPG), some Tim Powers (Unknown Armies rpg) and even La Morte d'Arthur (Pendragon rpg). In many of these occasions, the literary aspects even surpassed the gaming aspects. I never finished reading the Unknown Armies rpg or Pendragon.

In the end, even if I consciously try to rationalize my literary tastes as deriving from my gaming tastes, I read because I love to read. It just happens that I can use whatever I read in my gaming sessions.

1 comment:

aceofdice said...

I rarely turn books I read into campaign stuff. I eventually find that literary and RPG material are very different in structure, texture and purpose. I've found that Books rarely make good settings, and books derived from RPGs usually don't live up to my expectations. (Which are not so high, btw.)