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Old 03-20-2018, 01:03 AM   #1
Jim Kane
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Default Literary Inspiration in Designing TFT:ITL Underworld Adventures

Literary Inspiration in Designing TFT:ITL Underworld Adventures

Here is a short list of authors and their works which has served me so very well in writing TFT:ITL Underground Adventures - whilst "borrowing inspiration" on a wholesale level - and, have served me as "co-collaborators" to keep myself as writer/designer motivated, and my group entertained and engaged throughout the decades.

Keep in mind, sometimes the only thing required to turn another author's vision of the Underworld and the societies which dwelleth therein, into something new and fresh in YOUR OWN TFT Underworld Adventures, is a creative re-dress of the set, setting, and costuming of the characters.

After all, what is West-Side Story, but a modern re-telling of Romeo and Juliet?

What is 1966's STAR TREK: The Doomsday Machine, by Norman Spinrad, other than a re-dress of 1851's Moby Dick by Herman Melville? After all, isn't Commodore Decker of the U.S.S Constellation, just a redress of Captain Ahab of the Pequod, and presented in a new set, setting, and costume; and the robot Planet-Killer, just a redress of the infamous giant whale?

Without further adieu - doing my best impression of 1960s TV Host, Jim Lang - "And heeeerrrreeee they are..."

1. Holberg, Ludwig, Niels Klim's Underground Travels (1741).

2. Verne, Jules, Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864).

3. Wells, H.G., The Time Machine (1895).

3. Burroughs, Edgar Rice, At the Earth's Core (1914).

4. Lovecraft, H.P., The Mound (1940; Posthumous pub).

5. Coblentz, Stanton A., In Caverns Below (1957).

I hope by the soft crackle and flickering glow of your torch-light, you might also discover within these same dark, mysterious, and phantasmagorical environs of the Underworld, a previously untapped wealth of hidden caverns; containing strange pools of cool inspiration for you to creatively drink from - amongst the weird-and-wonderful stalagmites, stalactites, giant fungi, and staircase flow-stones - in writing/designing your own TFT Underworld Adventures.

And yes... I know... for once I am not talking about algebra, statistical analyisis, or, Robert E. Howard's Conan - amazing, isn't it?

JK

Last edited by Jim Kane; 03-20-2018 at 12:16 PM.
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Old 03-20-2018, 05:39 PM   #2
JLV
 
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Default Re: Literary Inspiration in Designing TFT:ITL Underworld Adventures

While it's no doubt trite to say so, one of my major inspirations for underground adventures was always J.R.R. Tolkien's Mines of Moria; the sheer wonder and terror of the Mines, from the Watcher in the Water on through to the Balrog attack always gave me the chills and really led me to try and recreate that same sense in my players.

It probably helps that I originally read it when I was an impressionable 12, on the recommendation of my school librarian who saw me check out The Hobbit after one of my classmates did a book report on the book...
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Old 03-20-2018, 05:45 PM   #3
Jim Kane
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Default Re: Literary Inspiration in Designing TFT:ITL Underworld Adventures

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While it's no doubt trite to say so, one of my major inspirations for underground adventures was always J.R.R. Tolkien's Mines of Moria; the sheer wonder and terror of the Mines, from the Watcher in the Water on through to the Balrog attack always gave me the chills and really led me to try and recreate that same sense in my players.

It probably helps that I originally read it when I was an impressionable 12, on the recommendation of my school librarian who saw me check out The Hobbit after one of my classmates did a book report on the book...
Not trite at all JLV; in fact, would you agree that your cite, may very well be one of the finest - if not one of the most famous - literary examples of what one person's vision of the Underworld can be?

JK
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Old 03-20-2018, 05:54 PM   #4
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Default Re: Literary Inspiration in Designing TFT:ITL Underworld Adventures

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Not trite at all JLV; in fact, would you agree that your cite, may very well be one of the finest - if not one of the most famous - literary examples of what one person's vision of the Underworld can be?

JK
Oh, yes, very much so. Of course it also helps that Tolkien certainly had a gift for descriptive language... ;-)

Mind you, I've read plenty of other novels that included things somewhat similar, but they often seemed very derivative... (The Sword of Shannara, of course, positively leaps to mind in that regard -- though the Hall of Kings showed some positively creative aspects for underground adventuring...)
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Old 03-20-2018, 06:01 PM   #5
Jim Kane
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Default Re: Literary Inspiration in Designing TFT:ITL Underworld Adventures

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Oh, yes, very much so. Of course it also helps that Tolkien certainly had a gift for descriptive language... ;-)

Mind you, I've read plenty of other novels that included things somewhat similar, but they often seemed very derivative... (The Sword of Shannara, of course, positively leaps to mind in that regard -- though the Hall of Kings showed some positively creative aspects for underground adventuring...)
Would you copy, paste, and post your citations to the list? Others may well be interested. After all, "INSPIRATION" is where you find it; and not everyone looks in the same place.

JK
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Old 03-20-2018, 06:33 PM   #6
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Default Re: Literary Inspiration in Designing TFT:ITL Underworld Adventures

Well, let's see -- a couple of the NON-derivative ones include things like:

Anderson, Poul, Three Hearts and Three Lions (1953)

Norton, Andre, Quag Keep (1978) (though this one was better at wilderness than underground)

Moore, C. L., Jirel of Joiry (1977, in the collected form, though the stories were mostly published in the 1930's) (In this case, the underground part was more H. P. Lovecraft than it was Tolkien)

And, of course:

Howard, Robert E., any of several; including Red Nails, for example... Sorry, but you can't have a meaningful discussion about literature involving underground adventure without invoking Howard at some point! ;-)

For the horror aspects of the underworld, there's nothing like HPL:

Lovecraft, Howard Phillips, The Nameless City (1921), Under the Pyramids (1924), and At the Mountains of Madness (1936), to pick three of the better ones almost at random...

For the more or less derivative ones, see any fiction published by TSR and Wizards of the Coast... ;-)
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Old 03-20-2018, 07:06 PM   #7
Jim Kane
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Default Re: Literary Inspiration in Designing TFT:ITL Underworld Adventures

A little "Housekeeping". Inviting others to COPY, PASTE, ADD to the list, and RE-POST Thanks!

From JK:

1. Holberg, Ludwig, Niels Klim's Underground Travels (1741).

2. Verne, Jules, Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864).

3. Wells, H.G., The Time Machine (1895).

3. Burroughs, Edgar Rice, At the Earth's Core (1914).

4. Lovecraft, H.P., The Mound (1940; Posthumous pub).

5. Coblentz, Stanton A., In Caverns Below (1957).

From JLV:

6. Anderson, Poul, Three Hearts and Three Lions (1953)

7. Norton, Andre, Quag Keep (1978)

8. Moore, C. L., Jirel of Joiry (1977)

9. Lovecraft, H.P., The Nameless City (1921), Under the Pyramids (1924), and At the Mountains of Madness (1936)
.

Last edited by Jim Kane; 03-20-2018 at 07:10 PM.
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