Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Arduin Adventure Bibliography

Detail from the back cover of Michael Whelan's
Wonderworks: Science Fiction and Fantasy Art

Role-playing game bibliographies (or ‘Appendices N’ as the case may be) tend to list two categories of material:  research works and genre literature.  Depending upon the game, ‘literature’ may be inclusive enough to accommodate motion pictures, television programs, and even music as sources of inspiration.  In addition to including the aforementioned types, Hargrave embraces the aphorism that a picture is worth a thousand words and indicates specific art books in the bibliography for The Arduin Adventure (hereinafter ArdAdv).  Although it makes perfect sense, art books are not commonly acknowledged as RPG inspirations.  Hargrave specifies the following art books:  Alien Landscapes, Beauty and the Beast, Faeries, GiantsSolar WindTomorrow and Beyond, and Wonderworks.  Also, I suppose we can categorize An Atlas of Fantasy as an art book.

Hargrave ends the bibliography with a few items that “have served as wonderful sources of fun and ideas.”  Included among these are Elfquest as well as Marvel Comics (“An unlikely, but valuable source of inspiration”).  If we count art books as sources of inspiration, there is no reason why we should construe comic books as an ‘unlikely’ source.  For whatever reason, Hargrave singles out Marvel Comics.  Surely, if Elfquest makes the grade, Marvel cannot be the exclusive source of inspiration among comic books.  Given Hargrave’s acknowledgement of comics and art books (especially the Achilléos book), I find it strange that Hargrave doesn’t mention Heavy Metal.  The remaining ‘wonderful source of fun and ideas’ is “The entire works of J.R.R. Tolkein.”  Complementing that assertion is the inclusion of The Complete Guide to Middle Earth and A Tolkien Bestiary in the bibliography.

For “expanded insight into what is happening in the fantasy gaming world,” Hargrave lists three periodicals:  Alarums and Excursions, Different Worlds, and Sorcerer’s Apprentice.  Notably absent is Dragon ; it’s good enough to advertize in but not good enough to endorse.

Some role-playing games have bibliographies that reference other RPGs; ArdAdv is not one of those games.  However, Hargrave does mention Chaosium's Authentic Thaumaturgy.  Speaking of Chaosium, the RuneQuest (Second Edition) bibliography lists the first three Arduin books in the ‘Other Fantasy Role-Playing Games’ section.  Additionally, the ArdAdv and Runequest bibliographies have one non-fiction work in common – George Cameron Stone’s A Glossary of the Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms and Armor in All Countries and in All Times, Together with Some Closely Related Subjects.

Along with Authentic Thaumaturgy, the ArdAdv bibliography has a variety of books about magic – from reasonably academic texts like The Complete Illustrated Book Of The Psychic Sciences and The Supernatural to the rather eccentric The Morning of the Magicians.  Hargrave also has The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft & Demonology.  As shown in a prior post, Hargrave prefers to spell magic with a ‘k’; he even alters the spelling when the word ‘magic’ appears in the title of a book.  Therefore we see in the bibliography “The Encyclopedia of Magik & Superstition” (sic) as well as “Magik, White and Black” (sic).

Hargrave carries his interest in Japan over into Arduin.  We find in the bibliography Secrets of the Samurai, Japanese Short Stories, Martial Arts (although the title is generic, the book focuses on Japanese martial arts), and – in another instance of ‘magik’ versus ‘magic’ – “Seven Magik Orders” (sic).  The only other reference to a (real world) culture in the bibliography is in the form of The Phoenicians.

Several books in the ArdAdv bibliography discuss fantasy creatures.  Aside from such books listed above, Hargrave includes An Encyclopedia of Fairies, Mysterious Monsters, and Zoo of the Gods.

The Fantasy Almanac has earned a place in the ArdAdv bibliography.  The remaining ‘reference books’ can be sorted into two types:  mythology (The New Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology, Men of the Earth) and history (War Through The Ages, Medieval Warfare).

In terms of ‘traditional’ fantasy literature (besides Tolkien), Hargrave gives “Personal thanks” to Robert Asprin, Stephen R. Donaldson, and lastly, C. A. Smith “for his fantastic tales of wonder and glory, but mostly for Zothique, the true progenitor of ARDUIN.”

No comments:

Post a Comment