As you may have noticed, we participated in the 2011 A-to-Z Challenge and we completed the Challenge at both of our blogs that participated, Old School Heretic and Zalchis. We posted 35 monsters, at least one for each letter of the alphabet, as part of the Challenge over at Zalchis. There is a handy Index Page of all our Monsters there as well. Here at Old School Heretic we posted a few bonus posts and only had one major loss--the Elementals of Another Color post has gone missing and is presumed to have been eaten by Blogger. We didn't discover its loss until after E was long past, since it had been a timed-release post. We'll try to rebuild it later, after the next big project--overhauling the blogs to make them more navigable, accessible and useful.
All in all we feel that the Challenge was a very worthwhile thing to have participated in, and we're still reading through everyone else's entries--that will take at least another week to get through. We've discovered a few new blogs, noticed a few very popular tropes/memes amongst Rpg-bloggers (Jabberwocky, Yeti...) and we had a lot of fun. It was also a great way to get things a bit more organized and to clear-out some of the back-log of posts that have been waiting for their chance to get posted, like the completion of the Forbidden Planet two-parter.
Now we can turn our attentions to Astrology, Alchemy and some other fun stuff that has been simmering in the background for more than a year...
Here are our entries for the 2011 A-to-Z Challenge:
Atom Age Classics: Atomic Horror: The Genre of Atomic Horror and some fun clips.
- Bonus post: Arador Armor Library: A new entry into our Resource Links A-to-Z Indexing Project.
Chocolate in History, Chocolate in RPGs: A look at the very real and very intriguing impact and influence that chocolate has had in the 'real world' and how it could affect a game or other fictional setting. Part of the on-going RPG Brainstorming series.
Dubious Prophecies: Not every prophecy is 100% true or even divinely inspired. Avoid the sweeping-generalization approach that tends to stunt Fantasy and truncate plot-line arbitrarily. Embrace ambiguity and give things like Prophecy a bit more perspective...
- Bonus Post: D is for DM Muse
- Extra Bonus Post: Best D Ever--D is for Dinosores by Joesky the Brawler
(Blogger seems to have swallowed up our post on Elementals of Another Color. We'll try to re-build this later, once we get caught-up...)
Forbidden Planet (Finally): The second-part of what we began in the Return of the C-57D post, all about our favorite Science Fiction movie of all time: Forbidden Planet, the ultimate Superscience Megadungeon of them all.
Gargantua: This incredible book offers a lot more than just a cornucopia of insults, mustard references and strange genealogical fiction that predates Philip Jose Farmer's spurious (pseudo)biographies and the entire Wold Newton Universe by centuries. It's a funny, irreverent book by a witty, irascible monk who really knew how to skewer nitwits. We'll be mining this book for RPG-tables and such for some time to come, like this Table of Fictional Works cited in Gargantua that you could use for figuring out what might be Inside The Tome, whenever someone comes across an obscure book in a treasure hoard...and then there's that Brazen Tomb of Gargantua that leads off into all sorts of strange and wondrous places that we intend to explore.
H is for Historically Hardcore: A wonderful bit of charitable graphic design wasted on ingrates that has found a new life for itself, as all such wonderful projects deserve to do. This story is a great example of how not to let the ungrateful schmucks get you down. Some people just make it practically impossible to help them or to do anything resembling an honestly positive or altruistic act. Instead of letting obstructionists and a**holes block you or your work, just go another route, try another approach, and keep busy, it isn't like they actually do anything other than act like inert rocks...
Instrumentality of Mankind: Cordwainer Smith deserves to be much more widely read and appreciated. This was just one more small effort in that regard.
Jabberwocky: A wonderful poem, a great source of inspiration, and a movie by Terry Gilliam...
Kalvan: Not the Hobbes-kid, the Otherwhen Guy --We are big H. Beam Piper fans (remember our post on Space Viking?) and the Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen stories are incredibly inspiring, especially if you thought that fire-arms were too messy to introduce into a fantasy setting. Let Piper show you how it's done.
Lumiferous Aether: Superceded Scientific Theories are great fodder for fiction and gaming both. We'll be coming back to Luminiferous Aether as a resource to be cultivated and exploited within a fantasy & pseudoscience setting where our old friend Gnosiomandus serves on the Board of Academic Review...and it's not steampunk dammit.
Metals, Minerals & Materials: A massive collection of substances for use in building golems, making magic weapons, erecting Fuller-domed asteroid-castles, and just about anything else. Soon to be expanded and converted into a set of supporting sub-tables at DM Muse.
- Bonus Post: Monetizing the Orgasm. Ahem.
Old Books: The Lost World: Taking a look at the book by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and testing the waters in terms of how one might adopt or adapt bits and pieces from this classic work into ongoing fiction or game setting design, or just giving Professor Challenger a guest appearance...and this might be leading to something more detailed and involved now.
- Bonus Post: Organic Tags
Principles of Martian Technology: A Survey of options and approaches for further developing your own Martian Invaders, Wellsian-Tripods and the sorts of things that go along with them for your setting or game. Includes a Random Ray Weapons Table linking to resources that can help you develop dozens of nifty new death rays for your aliens, atomic mutants and what-not.
Public Domain Wargames: A detailed look at the wonderful resources and fun games available at the Web Grognard site.
- Bonus Post: Public Domain Clip-Art--Karen's Whimsy
- Bonus Out-of-Order Post: Picking Seeds From the Pulps: Gladiator
Revisiting the Public Domain: The Inmost Light by Arthur Machen: The first in a series of posts picking up where Old Books left-off, focused on developing cool magic items and the like from public domain fiction. Most of the items discovered and developed via this series will wind up in Schroedinger & Cave's Curiosities & Antiquities Shop in Wyrmspittle, just like Mr. Wells' Crystal Egg. Revisiting the PD will focus on scenario ideas, and characters, etc., while Found Objects will focus on the items, weapons, etc. Both will definitely feed into Wyrmspittle.
Superman Versus Wonderman: Nothing spoils creativity quite so much as litigation, except maybe for predatory IP Poaching, like Fox got caught doing. Isn't it interesting that the people most likely to talk in terms of free markets and free enterprise and letting the market sort things out are the very first people to call-up teams of lawyers to intervene on their behalf? It's a curious phenomenon all through every form of publishing we've been able to investigate so far...
Tons of Tesla Links: The jumping-off point for looking into Mister Tesla's works and writings in order to bring more of his style of Electricity, death rays and other fun stuff into your setting or game. We'll certainly be coming back to Tesla and his devices very soon...
The Time Travelers (1964): A real Atom Age Classic that deserves to be watched on fast-forward by anyone wanting to avoid the inevitable slow-bits and silliness. Fire Extinguishers are deadly to irradiated mutants if wielded by a centerfold...this is the movie that might have set that particular trope into motion...
The Time Tunnel: An Irwin Allen Megadungeon of Unspeakable Horrors: The classic Seventies TV series has some disturbing implications and connections to both Altair 4 and the Mythos of HPL, thanks in large part to Derleth and some
U is for The Ultimate Warrior: Not all apocalypses need be nuclear, the lowly pathogen, be it Martian-killing bacteria or some upgraded version of the Flu or even the Plague itself could destroy modern civilization just as well, if not better, leaving all those skyscrapers to rust and collapse into ruins for our descendants to go exploring...just hope they can hire-on some mercenaries like Yul Brynner to watch their backs...
Versimilitude: It's not just for Lovecraft's breakfast anymore.
Wonders of the World: Doesn't your world deserve a few Wonders? Who wants to adventure in a boring world devoid of Wonders, unless it's some really dreary radioactive wasteland like in The Time Travelers. But even then they had the launching pad inside a crater and maybe some other stuff we just never got to see. But then a major league Super-Scientific Wonder of the World would probably be kept secret and buried deep beneath the ground...like the Tic Toc Organization's Time Tunnel Complex.
X...The Amazing Mister X: A classic Turhan Bey pot-boiler that deals with an unscrupulous spiritualist-medium who fleeces his clients until things get, complicated, in a film noir-ish way. Not a bad movie at all, really. And you can watch it for free.
- Bonus Post: Xerophytes...plants that you'll see playing a major role in the ecology of places like Ain 4 for Humanspace Empires.
Y is for Youth: A Troublesome Thing: The inaugural post for the Troublesome Things series that looks at certain things like ESP, Reincarnation, Resurrection, or Youth within the context of Fantasy/SciFi and /or Gaming, and ways that it could be handled differently, so that it doesn't have to be a painful experience, a deal-breaker, or a DM's nightmare.
Z is for Zymurgy: After all the posts we did for all the blogs in April (over 150 posts), we deserve a beer and a break. Except that our new schedule kicks in with May and it's time to re-vise and re-design the blogs a bit, like we've been doing with Old School Heretic. What do you think of the ABC-itized links to the alphabetized Resource Links Index Pages along the lefthand sidebar?