Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Wednesday Comics: The Clandestinauts

Comics don't get much more D&D than Tim Sievert's The Clandestinauts. There are, of course, others to mine this territory (including the Intrepideers, which Sievert also did some issues of), but the Clandestinauts has pretty much perfected a combination of random death, weird encounters, seat-of-the pantaloons improvisation, and  character casualness to the above that really feels like something out of a longrunning campaign.

The Clandestinauts starts in media res with an established group of adventurers in the thick of things in a dungeon. Things are not going well:

They manage to make it out of this predicament, but then the part gets split for a while, having encounters both dangerous and at times a bit farcical before coming together again. The characters are not particularly heroic, though they are competent enough to do this job--if not in a particularly elegant way.

Obviously not completely serious, but not a lampoon either, Sievert shows up the gaming dungeoncrawl as it generally is, not how D&D fiction (or some adventure designers) would like it to be. Check it out.It's free to read!

Monday, October 16, 2017

More Operation Unfathomable Comics Pages

Here are more of the comics pages that will appear in the Operation Unfathomable Player's Guide, coming soon.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Castle Zyrd Rumors

Rumors abound regarding the castle, that crumbling yet still imposing ruin, built by the quite possibly mad archmage whose name it bears, Zyrd.  Here are a few of them told only scant leagues away in the taverns of Gyrfalcon:

1. The environs of the castle exist in a bubble of twisted time and possibility, they are both ruined and unruined, and sometimes one can walk between these worlds. Some say this is due to Zyrd imprisoning a manifestation of the Cosmic Androgyne of Neutrality within his donjon.

2. The octagonal Tower of Might holds all prizes ever taken by the All-Brawler Tyco Wraxl, but to take it will call forth the great warrior from Hall of Heroes for another match.

3. Zyrd still lives, in fact, he was never a wizard at all, but an avatar of the demiurge, Gigas.

4. The Tower of Magic once was a conduit for magical energy. Now that it is broken, the use of spells is dangerous within it.

5. A heretical order of Issian monks sells relics of arcane power somewhere within the castle.

6. An Elven Commando unit resides on the castle grounds. They have long ago lost contact with their commanders in Ylvewood and their methods have become unsound.

7. A golden sphere lies somewhere deep beneath the ruins and grants wishes.

Art by Gary Chalk
8. Some rogues choose to waylay wounded delvers exiting the ruins and relieve them of their loot rather than braving its dangers themselves.

9. The dwarves claim all the underground treasure as their own and their excisemen prowl the ruins to tax looters.

10. There are several enigmatic wizards within the ruins. All of them have claimed to be Zyrd.

Friday, October 13, 2017

The World of the Glass Harmonica

It has been argued before, that Barbara Ninde Byfield's 1967 "Lexicon of the Fantastical," The Glass Harmonica (republished in 1973 as The Book of the Weird) was an influence on D&D. It's easy to understand why, given Byfield's atmospheric illustration and whimsical prose. While it would certainly be a variant, more fairytalish world, I think you could do a lot worse than basing a campaign on the details from the book.

Here's a few tidbits:

"If times are not propitious for battle, Berserkers tend to sink into lethargy and untidiness and show interest in little save becoming Werewolves."

"Dragons drag; they are lazy  and sluggish and prefer to live on their reputations...Like Nobility they take place names for their own."

"Dwarves own all treasure underground, and all treasure that originated underground. Dwarves do not steal; they reclaim what belonged to them in the beginning."

"Frogs live under a Monarchy."

"Gnomes have an unfortunate tendency to become transformed into toads; their King is particularly prone to this enchantment."

"[Witches and Warlocks] lead disorderly lives, hate salt, and cannot weep more than three tears."

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Strange Stars Reviews

I couple of Strange Stars reviews went up this week. One for the OSR Gamebook and the other for the sourcebook. Both of there are by that reviewing machine Endzeitgeist. Also, here's a review I recently discovered from back in 2015. Any news you haven't heard is still news!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Wednesday Comics: Head Lopper #7

Andrew MacLean's quarterly heroic fantasy comic Head Lopper is now up to issue #7, the third part of the "And the Crimson Tower" arc. (I discussed the first part here.) In an trap-filled "dungeon" environment belonging to Ulrich the Twice Damned, Head Lopper and friends are trying to collect a number of crystal eyes by overcoming a unique challenge.

MacLean's characters and story continue to be engaging and his art, while perhaps not to some tastes, is dynamic and serves the story well. I just wish it came out more often! Quarterly is not enough.

If you're new to Head Lopper, you should check out the collection of the first arc.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Shooting Stars & Death Dwarfs

Our 5e Land of Azurth campaign continued last night (brining an end to our 2nd year of this campaign), with Dagmar (Dwarf Cleric), Waylon (Frox Thief), Kully (Bard), Kairon (Demonlander Sorcerer), Shade (Elf Ranger), and Erekose (Fighter) making their way back to Rivertown after a series of adventures, when they see a falling star. It's large enough and close enough that they hear an impact so they decide to go an investigate.

In the foothills of the Dragonspine Mountains they find a crater in the side of a hill and evidence that the squarish thing that made the crater got taken away by some sort of humanoids. The track leads to a partially collapsed cave entrance. Inside are several dead creatures that Kully and Dagmar recognize as Death Dwarfs apparently killed by the cave collapse precipitated by the impact.

Given the unnaturalness (even anti-naturalness) of Death Dwarfs, Shade feels that need to root out this evil, and the others at least want to see what they are up to. They find another entrance to beneath the hill, this time through a natural cave. There, they encounter 7 Death Dwarfs and slay them in a quick battle.

Passing through a submerged passage, they find a hopelessly insane human slave moving rocks for the Death Dwarfs. The follow him back to a room with falls an floor covered with a disorienting black and white chevron pattern and kirby-esque machinery crushed by the cave in. Here, more human slaves are working under the watchful eye of seven more Dwarfs. These go down even quicker than the last, but three display a previously unrevealed ability to turn invisible and escape.

Following them down the passage, Erekose and Waylon kick in a door to find more Death Dwarfs studying a 7 foot metallic cube.

To be continued!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Various Azurth Updates

If you're still thinking about getting a print copy of the first issue of the Azurth Adventure Digest, you'll want to do so very soon, because there is (as I type this) 5 copies left. There may eventually be another print run, but probably not for a bit.

A second printing of Mortzengersturm, The Mad Manticore of the Prismatic Peak has left the printers and is on the way, so those of you interested in that keep a look for the announcement.

There will be a second issue of the digest, a "Player's Guide to Azurth" that will incorporate an updated version of the information I gave my players at the first of my home campaign as well as some information that appeared on the blog. Here's a rough, sketch mockup of the cover:

Lastly, if you're new to the Land of Azurth setting, here's an index of a number of the posts.

Friday, October 6, 2017

A Map

This is a map I did of the local environment of Gyrfalcon the starting town in my upcoming GURPS Dungeon Fantasy game. The icon location icons and compass are courtesy of DarhAsparagus.

The map is intended to get filled in a bit more during play. I didn't want to over-specific.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

The Art of Over the Garden Wall

I've talked about my love of the 2014 Cartoon Network limited series, Over the Garden Wall. Last week I got the gorgeous The Art of Over the Garden Wall put out by Dark Horse Books. It's 184 pages and covers the show from initial concept up through the comic book spinoffs.

The Nerdist had an exclusive preview, so head over there to check out so of the pages, or just take my word for it and buy it. Not convinced yet? Ok, here's a picture of a bunch of frogs, many of whom are playing musical instruments:

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Wednesday Comics: The Slayer of Eriban (part 2)

i>My exploration of the long-running euro-comic Storm, continues with his adventures in the world of Pandarve. Earlier installments can be found here.

Storm: The Slayer of Eriban (1985) 
(Dutch: De Doder van Eriban) (part 2)
Art by Don Lawrence; script by Martin Lodewijk

Once the young assassin was meditated and determined their destination, he fills our heroes in on his backstory. On Eriban, boys and girls are taken at a young age to train in the Academy of Assassins. They never know their own parents. They are trained to identify poisonous planets from all over Pandarve and learn to fight with a variety of animal life. They must master every form of weapon and none may graduate until they have killed a dream projection of one of their teachers.

Upon completion of their training, they are given a graduation assassination to perfom. Renter's assignment is to kill the monarch of a small kingdom not far from their location.

His original servants met with an untimely fate. The ship ran into a m'anganesse swarm. The legendary insects swarm in the millions and destroy every living thing in their path.

While his servants sacrificed himself for him, Ranter was safe in a timeless stasis in the regeneration capsule.

On the course Renter dictates, the windstream carries them farther and farther from Pandarve. After a week, they reach their destination:


Monday, October 2, 2017

Weird Revisited: Legend & Folklore in a Fantasy World

This post first appeared in October of 2011. It's as relevant today.

Perusing The Sutton Companion to British Folklore, Myths, & Legends got me thinking about the place of the strange, mysterious, and magical in fantasy worlds. The British Isles have got stories of all sorts of fairies, lake (and well) monsters, and more than a few witches--all of which could be easily approximated in local tales of nearby monsters in any fantasy rpg setting.

But real world folklore gets weirder than that. Ned Dickson’s skull on Tunstead Farm in Derbyshire would tap against windows to warn farmers about sick animals or cause the walls to shake as a sort of burglar alarm. Several phantom coaches roam the night roads. Every ghost is a story, not a monster to be battled.

It seems to me that most fantasy game encounters are mundane compared to this sort of stuff--or perhaps, utilitarian is a better word. As it has been said before, there ought to be more weird, unpredictable things in game settings.  Not just in the Weird Tales sense, but in the good, old-fashion folktale sense.

Beyond that, there ought to be more stories told by the local tavern denizens that are just stories. I don’t think the demonstrable existence of magic in a world, would make people less likely to make up tales to explain odd events or simply to pass the time--if anything, a world full of magic that the common man doesn't understand would seem likely to increase this sort of thing.  More events would need folk explanations; more fears would need comforting.

Player characters (no paragons of scientific rationalism, themselves) ought to never know whether the rumor they’re hearing is the inside-scoop on a local monster or another tavern tale. There ought to be as many fake magic items being horded away as real ones--maybe more.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Very Old Gods

Clerics need somebody to hear their orisons and NPCs (at least) need someone to swear by, so their must be deities for my upcoming GURPS Dungeon Fantasy game. Again employing some creative parsimony, I'm going to utilize some faiths and deities I've employed in my pre-Internet AD&D days, but also wrote about here years ago. In fact, four of these gods were created by my cousin who introduced me to gaming. I still have his original write-ups from the mid-80s. Here's one:

Here's my revision of them a few years back. My idea is that the original polytheistic faith was reconfigured/revised in the wake of at least two reformers/prophets. Current worshippers practicing polytheistic, henotheism, monitism, or even perhaps atheism, with same underlying traditions.

(The game reasoning here was to get to a place approximating the monotheism-inspired D&D cleric, without losing the fantasy polytheism flavor.)

The oldest reformation is Rannism or Rannite Ascensionism. When the ancient emperor and retired adventurer Rann achieved apotheosis he realized the so-called gods were merely older beings in a higher state: Immortals, like himself. The principle doctrine of the faith is that man may achieve apotheosis by following the ancient paths rediscovered by Rann. Ascension is achieved by deeds which may be beyond the power of many, but piety will at least guarantee the faithful who don't ascend a place in the afterlife ruled by their patron Immortal. Rannitism is very much a "bootstraps" belief where the "capable" rightly benefit from their good fortune, and the "incapable's" lesser fortune is just.

Over a century after Rann departed this Plane, a cleric named Issus had a new, further revelation: Issianity. Issus claimed the Immortals (Rann included) had shown him in a vision that apotheosis was the right of all souled beings. The fact that only a scant few achieved it proved the current paths were a flawed approach. These had been set in place by the demiurge, Gigas, and his helpers. The struggles of adventurers seeking these paths was part of some cosmic game for the amusement of Gigas and his fellow. Issus believed in a transcendent god or force above the demiurge and beyond the game, and that this source would rescue the faithful from the Great Wheel of the Cosmos. Good Issians are expected to live a life wherein they seek to perform their given role in the "game" (Issus' teaching and those of latter saints talk a lot of things like "cosmic alignment") while at the same time recognizing its inherent artificiality.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Dungeon Fantasy: A Local Gazetteer

I allowed myself to be convinced to run a GURPS Dungeon Fantasy game. My plan is to do it in a self-aware, classic Gygaxian dungeoncrawl sort of way. We'll see how that goes. Anyway, much of the setting is only vaguely defined (and much recycled from my pre-internet D&D campaigns), but I do know the focus is the Dungeons of Zyrd which are situated (naturally) beneath the half-ruined but still sanity-imperiling Castle of Zyrd. Zyrd in this case being a mad archmage and near-deity.

Base-camp for most delvers is the nigh-lawless boomtown, Gryfalcon. The town squats on the left bank of the River Fflish across from the old Imperial fortification of the same name. Located at the head of navigation, it provides a convenient place to deprive delvers of their haul and to bring new treasure seekers from elsewhere. 

Lake Murrn is north and west of Gryfalcon. Rustic Mudfoot halfings live in stilt-houses. Villages sometimes build out on the water. There are rumors of human sacrifice of outsiders to appease the giant, alligator snapping turtle, Old Ironjaws. There is quite possibly a crashed alien flier half-buried in silt beneath its waters.

Lichwode, north and somewhat west of Lake Murrn, is a small forest dotted with several burial mounds. The locals assume these barrows hold ancient Elvish treasure or even far older Coleopteran refuse, but they also assume them to be haunted. The man-shapes burnt permanently into the grass and the curiously life-like statues of some pockmarked stone with faces contorted in abject terror, found in the area may support this belief.

The Dharwood is floodplain bottomland forest along the Fflish, haven for humanoid tribes, escaped slaves, and outlaws.

Carsulth is a bustling Imperial port at mouth of the Fflish.  Its broadminded folk are friendly with smugglers and pirates, when proper recompense is offered for their lack of prejudice. Some, perhaps many, of its nobles practice diabolic heresy (a perversion of the already self-serving Rannite Cult of Ascension) at least in private.

Thund Tribes in the foothills of the northwest dwell barbarians who pride themselves on their warriors' flowing locks and feathered, barbaric finery.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Wednesday Comics: Storm: The Slayer of Eriban

My exploration of the long-running euro-comic Storm, continues with his adventures in the world of Pandarve. Earlier installments can be found here.

Storm: The Slayer of Eriban (1985) 
(Dutch: De Doder van Eriban) (part 1)
Art by Don Lawrence; script by Martin Lodewijk

When last we left our heroes, they were drifting on a giant seed-pod into space. As luck would have it, they see a ship heading in their direction. They try to get the attention of the crew, but the ship doesn't change course.

The ship passes them close enough to see the seemingly obivious, cloaked crew, but too far for them to get to. Nomad quickly formulates a daring plan. He makes a knife throw that cuts one of the ship's lines. As it swings out under tension, he jumps and grabs it. He climbs aboard the ship and gets a surprise:

All the crew are dead. Exploring the captain's cabin they find a curious sarcophagus. And inside:

Storm is puzzled as to why the sarcophagus is bigger than it's inhabitant, but the three leave the mystery to explore elsewhere. Storm and Nomad go into the hold and find only the earth that creates the ship's gravity.  Suddenly, they hear Ember calling to them.

The boy explains that he was not in a coffin but a regeneration-capsule calibrated to his aura. He also addresses the three as his servants, asserting Pandarve sent them to replace the ones he lost. He introduces himself as Renter Ka Rauw, professional assassin of the Eriban.

The three aren't willing to be servants. Renter demonstrates his abilities. He throws Nomad. He lays Storm out with a kick, and blocks Embers strike with a club.

Finally, he threatens to kill Nomad with a touch. Storm and Ember have no choice but to surrender. The boy assigns them duties while he meditates on a course. Ember is angry about being assigned to cook. Storm counsels his friends to calm down and bide their time.


Monday, September 25, 2017

Operation Unfathomable Comics

While Jason Sholtis and Jez Gordon are hard at work getting the larger parts of Jason's magnum opus finished, I'm lettering the comic written and illustrated by Jason, that will appear in the Operation Unfathomable Player's Guide stretch goal.  Here are a couple of pages:

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Arriving on Gathox

In the short time I've been a member of the Hydra Cooperative, there have been a few products we didn't get to publish that we would have loved to do. Gathox the Vertical Slum was one of those that got away. It landed with Mike Evans DIY Games, who Youwasted no time getting it out, so now everybody can see the wonderful and weird products of David Lewis Johnson's imagination.

You may know Dave as a talented visual artist whose work has graced a number of small press publications--including my very own Strange Stars. The same creativity so on display in his visual work informs Gathox, which I will thumbnail for you as a locale like something you might have seen in the halcyon days of Heavy Metal magazine. More specifically, Gathox is a world-shambling giant with a ramshackle, multiethnic (and multi-species) city built on top of and in him. Dave spends over a 130 pages outlining the locations, people, and races of Gathox, plus he provides variant rules he uses in his campaign. 

To give an idea of the tone, let's take the Gongwarped Fishmen, one of the races/cultures thumbnailed in the book. They are fascist-fishheaded beings, who live underground and practice secret and forbidden pseudoscience. Even worse are the species-supremacist, chicken people called Vulzari who reproduce by transforming others into more of their kind. See what I mean about Heavy Metal?

The supplement goes on to outline locations in the city and interesting NPCs. There are pretty short and punchy: more detailed than the original Wilderlands of High Fantasy, but with an economy of words not found in the a lot of modern, major publisher books.

Next comes the section on house rules, which is substantial. Variant classes are given that again convey the flavor of the setting like cosmic doctors (Nne of several types of magic-users, or more precisely "mentalists.") and mutants (Complete with random mutant tables!). A simple skill system is introduced in the form of "wheelhouses" and there are new rules for health and healing. Gathoxian equipment is discussed--and in many cases illustrated. Finally the subgame of "gangland play" is introduced that does similar things in a loose way to some of Blades in the Dark's gang rules but with a thoroughly old school implementation.

If any of this sounds interesting to you, you should pick this up, because I'm only scratching the surface here. The only fault I can find with it (and it's a small one) is that it could have used more of Dave's art! Yes, there is a lot of it here, but their were some spaces in the layout that practically begged for more.

Anyway, you can get it on rpgnow. So go get it already!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Dungeon Fantasizing

I was talking with some guys on G+ about running GURPS Dungeon Fantasy (as the boxsets just made in out to backers last week). I don't know if I will, but if I did I think these images would help set the mood:

“I don’t trust them though. Thrill-seekers. They court danger. And they’re quite unscrupulous graverobbers for the most part. Anything for gold and experience…"

Bill Willingham

Shuji Imai

They say the Overlord is mad...
Alex Nino

Built atop the ruins of an ancient Coleopteran civilization...
Stefan Poag
In the Dungeons of the Mad Archmage Zyrd...
Andrew MacLean

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Azurth Adventures Digest Review

Over at Enworld Chris Helton has a review of the Azurth Adventure Digest. Check it out if your still on the fence about purchasing it. You might want to hurry, though, I have less than 30 copies of the print copy left in this printing.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Some Science Fantasy Hexcrawl Influences

I spent the rpg-related portion of my weekend getting copies of the Azurth Adventures Digest ready for mailing (There are still copies available. Get yours today!). My work on the Ghostlight Fen thing got delayed, so it seems like a good time to talk about influences of the as yet nameless setting of which its a part.

Lord Valentine's Castle (Robert Silverberg): A distant planet settled by humans and other species long ago. Despite a science fictional underpinning, it operates much like fantasy with mostly primitive technology and things like the Lady of Sleeps that promotes moral behavior by sending dreams and a competing King of Dream that sends nightmares.

Planet of Adventure (Jack Vance): A Planetary Romance (or Planetary Picaresque) which stands above the myriad of planetary romances due to Vance's wit, interesting alien species/cultures, and quirky minor characters.

The Coldfire Trilogy (C.S. Friedman): A science fantasy that (like Silverberg's Majipoor) feels more like straight up fantasy. Friedman adds the innovation of a rationalization for the existence of "magic" (not unlike Jorune).

The Prime Mondeign stories (Rob Chilson): These are in the dying earth subgenre, perhaps a bit more science fictional than Vance's stories (something a bit like a more rationalized and less computer gamey Numenera). These stories haven't been collected, but you can read one of them, "The Wortling," here.

The Spire by Simon Spurrier and Jeff Stokely: A Medievalish society of various aliens and mutants on a planet long ago settled by humans.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Settings of (A)D&D

Jack Shear wrote a post last week where he espoused a number of "heresies" regarding D&D. One of these was that he didn't like the World of Greyhawk or Faerun. This got me to thinking about what I feel about D&D's various setting and their pros and cons as I see it. I don't claim to be an expert in any of these settings, so if you think I don't get them because of a lack of knowledge you are certainly free to go on thinking so. I'm just calling it like I see it.

Pros: At its best, it really sort of feels like D&D and it seems organic. It's worldbuilding may not go into the annals of literary fantasy best practices, but it has a certain charm in accordance with the charm of old D&D itself.
Cons: Maybe the downside of that organicness is a lack of focus that makes it hard to get a handle on. The World of Greyhawk box set really doesn;'t give me any hint about how I should approach the material and the Gord novels (yeah, I read a couple) are all over the place. We get a gritty sort of Lankhmar thing in the beginning, then we wind up whooshing through the sky on Chariots of Sustarre.
Verdict: Not a huge fan overall, but I have more of a positive feeling than does Jack.

Forgotten Realms
Pros: They're big and a bit more coherent, literary worldbuildery. The Dragon articles about "The Realms" back in the day really captured my interest.
Cons: Their literary worldbuilding models seem to be the hordes of bland trilogies that choke the shelves to this day. It's not just vanilla, it's kind of corporate bland. "The Realms" seem to have been lost in the translation to official product.
Verdict: Less interesting that Greyhawk, though there are aspects to recommend, I guess.

Mystara/Know World
Pros: Well-presented, with distinct cultures that are easy to get a handle on. It's got the Hollow World, too. I find Immortals over gods (in BECMI) a sort of interesting thing, if not as well-explored as it could be. Also: a whole lot of Stephen Fabian.
Cons: The cultures' real-world antecedents are pretty blatant, but that doesn't bother me as much as it does other people. Gritty it is not, particularly, or dark.
Verdict: It's kind of vanilla, but it's vanilla done well. I'm more into it than the two previous worlds.

Pros: There are some interesting twists to the vanillaness here; it is somewhat successful at evoking the epic fantasy subgenre.
Cons: A setting made for one story never seems as good for stuff outside of that story. It still presents pretty standard D&D like the settings above.
Verdict: A good setting for bad novels isn't a particularly good setting for my game. It is more maligned than it probably should be for the railroadness of its modules, but they are pretty railroady and are emblematic of the missteps of an era.

Ravenloft/Dark Sun/Planescape/Spelljammer
Pros: They all have interesting high concepts and are genuinely trying to do something different.
Cons: The high concepts are not always executed well or flavorfully. Corporate blandification seems to get in the way, as does bloat to ensure more supplements are made.
Verdict: I admire them all, but their specialized nature means they're sort of niche, and some of the niches I think I could do better doing my own thing. Planescape gets extra points for Tony DiTerlizzi.

Pros: Pulp vs. fantasy is an idea I obviously like.
Cons: Despite all its talk of a different approach it seems to come out more like trad fantasy than any of the 2nd edition settings above.
Verdict: Maybe because it parallels my interest but does it in a utterly different way, I am predisposed not to like it, but it does generate more negative feeling from me than is probably warranted.

My favorite TSR published settings? Lankhmar, Empire of the Petal Throne, and (moving away from D&D) the Hyborian Age of Conan.

Friday, September 15, 2017

The Azurth Adventures Digest is Here!

The first issue of the Azurth Adventures Digest is now on sale! Twenty-eight full color pages at 5.5 in. x 7.75 in. with art by Jeff Call and Jason Sholtis. There are random tables for the generation of quirky Motley pirates, a survey of interesting and enigmatic islands, and a mini-adventure on the Candy Isle. Plus, there are NPCs and a couple of monsters, all straight from my Land of Azurth 5e campaign.

Get the pdf here or go here for the print edition. (The link is also in the sidebar.)

For those of you interested in Mortzengersturm print editions: Once the first printing of the digest is sold and shipped, I'll again by selling Mortzengersturm. You can email me to get on the "waiting list."

Thursday, September 14, 2017

French Talislanta Art

While the English language Talislanta books are (currently) out of print (but official available for free here) the French translation of the game is still going strong, and apparently has some pretty cool art. Check these out:

The Ur