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Friday, January 17, 2014

Bundle of Holding - The Dying Earth RPG


I'll admit it. I've never read any of Jack Vance's stuff, let alone The Dying Earth series. Shit, this feels like a true confession. The thing is, back in my High School and College years, no one I knew was reading Vance, and the only mention of him I knew of was in the AD&D DMG (it was the DMG, right?).

Now I have a chance to grab The Dying Earth RPG - 7.95 for the core stuff, less then 15 for the full boat.

I'm in for 15. I'll read one of the setting books first, as I'm less interested in the rules than the setting. Maybe I'll find a Vance book to read on my Kindle while I'm at it...


15 comments:

  1. You don't read a Dying Earth book as much as you experience it. Man that sounds arty but seriously they are a lot of fun only you get more out of how he says things than the story itself, and I like the stories.

    There are 4 Dying Earth stories. The Dying Earth, The Eyes of the Overworld, Cugel's Saga and Rhialto the Mervellous. I found Rhialto to be the 'story' I liked best, but his words and ideas through-out are fantastic.

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  2. I haven't read him at all either, but I bought the books when they were new in tree editions.

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  3. I haven't read him at all either, but I bought the books when they were new in tree editions.

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  4. I haven't read him at all either, but I bought the books when they were new in tree editions.

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  5. I finally picked up Mazarin the Magician (the origin of Vancian magic by all accounts ) and his Lyonesse series last year. I can understand why EGG was influenced by them, but I would say Vance is closer to Howard than Tolkien as a pure storyteller. Frankly, I'm not sure I would have appreciated them had I read them in high school or college. Now I need to find a copy of Anderson's 'Three Hearts and Three Lions'.

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    1. Anderson's stuff is good too, but I always got more enjoyment out of his sci-fi stuff (Technic Civilization/Flandry) and "Broken Sword" is a fun read too.

      At the very least Anderson along with Moorcock, helped put in perspective the Law vs. Chaos aspect of original D&D and their elves are much more Celtic/Dark than Tolkien, which I also appreciate.

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  6. I first read The Dying Earth in 1981 (I am old), and I can still recall the awe I felt as I drank in the amazing exploits of one of the first fantasy anti-heroes, Cugel, in the Eyes of the Overworld (my personal favorite). If pressed I will admit that I am impressed first with Vance's prose and story second, but that's splitting fantastical hairs. The first poster has it right, one lives Vance's tales rather than passively reads them. And The Dying Earth is a mighty fine RPG in it's own right, subtle and deeply humorous, yet very true to Vance's tales of an ancient earth in decay. I purchased the Bundle already owning everything in print except Turjan's Tome of Beauty and Horror (which is out of print and very pricey in dead tree format)...IMHO, money very well spent.

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  7. I'd definitely recommend anything by Vance as rockin' sweet. The Dying Earth stuff is better for "hey, look, this is part of where D&D came from!", but Lyonesse might be better quality writing (and is certainly very enjoyable reading regardless).

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  8. Lyonesse gets a reread every year. Quality. Well written and inspiring.

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  9. Never mind the game (which in truth I know nothing about), read the novels! Dying Earth series, Lyonesse series, Demon Princes, Ecce and Old Earth, Alastor, Tchai, it really doesn't matter where you begin. Very economical prose style, easy to read, surprisingly evocative, often melancholy/bittersweet in tone but with delightful humour and amusing deadpan transactional dialogue. Best writer in the genre. One of only two genre writers I still reread now I am a grownup.

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  10. thanks for the tip.... I read a lot of dying earth and have the book in paper format... for 15$ to have nice pdf is a steal :)

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  11. If you can find "The Compleat Dying Earth" and an omnibus of "Lyonesse" you've got yourself something to re-read at least once a year for the rest of your life. I only stumbled on to Vance myself a couple of years ago, but damn his stuff is so good.

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  12. I love Jack Vance but there is no way I could immagine his writing _style_ being replicated in an rpg. Not unless the gm has a really good vocabulary at beck and call.

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  13. I picked up the AD&D Reprints and I figured it was time to start reading some of Appendix N. But with limited time the best way to do that for me would be listening to the stories. So I downloaded "Dying Earth" from iTunes. Pretty cool stories and now I have some insight in to the "Vancian Magic System" of D&D. Still need to get the other books, but I'd recommend you start there. I'll get to the other Vance stories later, my goal now is working my way through all of Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser stories in audio. Glad you posted this Ten, I'm in for $15 as well.

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