richardthinks (richardthinks) wrote,

the strange alchemy of Wampus Country

Erik Jensen's Wampus Country somehow manages to make homespun American kids' storybook DnD wonderful rather than lame. I can say with confidence that it's not nostalgia for me personally - I was brought up on Russian constructivist poster graphics, Struwwelpeter and bowdlerized Greek myths. Maybe it's because he name-checks Borges, Melville and Poe alongside his Usonian folk-tales. Maybe it's because he really thinks through the implications of each decidedly silly premise. Maybe it's the dog-faced washerwomen and animate Dutch ovens.

I'm playing a frog patent-medicine hawker and his poetically-inclined guard hog in his play-by-post Lewis & Clark hexcrawl right now and having a blast - a wilderness encounter with a mimic was hilarious and disturbing in equal measure. Which I suspect is exactly what Dave Hargrave was reaching for all those years ago.

In similar vein, here's Reynaldo Madrinan's Spectacular Steeds.
Tags: roleplaying
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