The Hounds of Chaos
What follows is a small list of recommended reading/viewing material to help you get into the mindset of Weird Fantasy role playing. This is not Tolkien style fantasy, but instead more akin to the works of Jack Vance, Fritz Leiber, Michael Moorcock, and even Ursula K. Le Guin. Think 80’s metal album covers and Robert E. Howard novels, not the Song of Ice and Fire or the Lord of the Rings films. In Weird Fantasy, nothing is off limits. Magic powered space ships? Sure. Horrifying and nameless dead gods from beyond the vastness of space? Absolutely. Romantic adherence to Arthurian legend? Maybe, but kinda boring.
On the Sir Thomas Malory <—→ H.P. Lovecraft spectrum, think way closet to Lovecraft.
- Peter Mullen – http://mullenart.webs.com/art.htm
- Erol Otus – http://otusshrine.tumblr.com/
- Doug Kovacs – http://dougkovacs.com/dkblog/?page_id=837
- Appendix N: http://www.digital-eel.com/blog/ADnD_reading_list.htm – the legendary Appendix N, in which Gary Gygax lays forth the material that inspired him in writing Dungeons & Dragons. Most of this stuff is available online or at public libraries.
- Quick Primer for Old School Gaming: http://www.lulu.com/shop/matthew-finch/quick-primer-for-old-school-gaming/ebook/product-3159558.html – A great little zine especially helpful for players of modern games trying to get into the rules-light mindset.
- Why I Love Simple Initiative: http://dndwithpornstars.blogspot.com/2009/10/why-i-love-simple-initiative.html – Sums up why I’ll be using simple initiative rules at the table.
- Oglaf http://oglaf.com/ – Totally weird fantasy, but also totally NSFW. Warning: It’s a sex comic set in a weird fantasy world. Super queer and hilarious.
- Dragonslayer https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragonslayer – Not fully weird fantasy per say, but totally lower powered and fatal.
- Adventure Time https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adventure_time – Weird Fantasy for kids! Way sillier than what we’ll be running, but the thematic elements are all there.
- Fire and Ice https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_and_Ice_%281983_film%29 – Ralph Bakshi, with all of his problems, but still visually a trip.
- Wizards https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wizards_%28film%29 – Another Bakshi film, also pretty weak plot wise, but such great visual weirdness. Maybe put it on without sound and listen to 70s hard rock and 80s metal.
- Krull https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krull_%28film%29 – In no way a “good” film, but a personal favorite of mine. Fantasy with space invaders, lazers, and young Liam Neeson and Robbie Coletrane.
- Star Trek https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Trek:_The_Original_Series – Seriously. Take away the star fleet and some of the scifi trappings. Make the red shirts into new level 0 characters and you’ve got a weird fantasy dungeon crawl. Probably the best unintentional D&D series ever.
- Conan the Barbarian https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conan_the_Barbarian_%281982_film%29 – Far from a perfect adaptation, but the weird snake cult alone make this worth watching. Plus, the score!