giovedì 25 gennaio 2018

Books are Gates for Other Worlds

I was thinking A Red & Pleasant Land* is not just a book. It is an artefact.

And then I heard a click, a shuffle of pages, and there it is: the gate to Voivodja!

The gate to Voivodja is the book itself.

After all, you can put a book wherever you want.
If you want your players to go to Voivodja, you simply put the A Red & Pleasant Land book in a hoard, a library, a crate or in a hole in the forest and when they find it you just pass them the actual book and tell them "you found this".

"You found this"

If they already know what is it, they'll be (hopefully) excited.
If they do not know what is it, they will also have pleasure of mystery and discovery.

And then they can open the first pages, read them (page 7, actually), and BAM they fall into the rabbit hole.

You can use this methods with other locations or setting inspired by literature.
The nicest is the edition of the book (leather bound, velvet ribbon, chromed title letters etc.) the better it is.

A beautiful version of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
(click to enlarge)

For example, I have an old Italian edition of "The Neverending Story" bound in red silk with an engraved Anduyn symbol and red and green letters (pictures below).
That would be really cool especially for book lovers as I am.

Look at how cool it is!
More pictures here.


Here I'll leave you some example of places, settings or adventures accessible by finding and reading the following three famous books.
Their setting and story have been suitably twisted and weirded up to properly fit the LotFP vibe I like so much.

Tarzan of Apes, by E.R. Burroughs

A deep unexplored forest, a tribe of cannibal "ape-men" raised by alien gorilla-like creatures, mysterious ruins from an ancient past and strange sounds and growls in the night. They sound like tigers, but there are no tigers in this forest, only nightmares and death and disease. But also gold, and powerful magic.
Local explorers venturing in the forest will not accept women in the group, for they saw what happens to them if they are ever captured by the so called "ape-men". The only thing they'll say is that they are not eaten like their male companions are.

Peter Pan and Wendy, by J.M. Barrie

A child-lich called Pan who rules an army of soul-less mutated children on a secret island who's trying to resuscitate his ancient love. A group of half-mutated children who formed a rebellion against Pan and call themselves "Pirates". A tribe of natives who fear both Pan for his powers (and secretly hate him) and the Pirates for their mutations.

Cinderella, the ancient Egyptian version

In the land of Egypt, the ancient mummy of Memphis the Conqueror lies in his neverending slumber. His dreams are of a rich and ancient land, of bloody wars against the Serpent-kings and the Dog-brothers, and of beautiful and evil cinder-women. He dreams of one of these creatures, with whom he fell in love, and of the war he's doing against the Ruler of the Sands who kidnapped her to make her his wife. Whoever reads the pages of these ancient scrolls ends trapped in Memphis' dreams... but are these dreams real?

Anck-Su-Namun, The Mummy (1999)

In what other settings would your favourite books lead to?
Let me know!

* A Red and Pleasant Land is a supplement by Lamentations of the Flame Princess detailing Voivodja: a setting that mixes Alice Adventure's in Wonderland and a war between vampire clans. Higly recommended!