Monday, August 30, 2010

video blog: kiddie books

Heh.  I said "walk don't run" when I meant the opposite.

Last week I wrestled with how to make an interesting video on Dave Hargrave's Arduin Grimoire and I came up blank.  So I decided to skip that altogether and move on to another topic.  I think I'll talk about Arduin in a non-video blog entry later in the week.  Here are a couple maps scanned from Post's An Atlas of Fantasy.

Barsetshire, setting of a half dozen Victorian novels by Anthony Trollope and maybe 40 less known works by 20th century author Angela Thirkell.

Aar, World of Deneb, from the Captain Future series of pulp adventures set in the way out future of 1990.


  1. Gah, you're totally exposing one of my oldest GMing tricks! ;P

    As you say, kids books are great for gaming because they're visual and designed for easy information access. Speaking of Pendragon, I've used kids books extensively for visual research and inspiration for medieval manors, castles, armor, weapons, and so forth. Kids books often have the best illustrations/photographs for the sort of "quick n easy" visual research that GMs need.

    ::activate library nerd mode::
    Oh, and 398 in the Dewey Decimal system is "mythology/folklore"--no wonder there's so much good stuff there. Be sure to check out the 930s-990s too for all your history needs.

  2. Great ideas. Gonna have to grab a copy of that Atlas.

    Another source, if your library has them, are Stephen Biesty's "cross sections" books. AWESOME illustrations.

  3. There's also Andrew Lang's "Color" Fairy Books, like The Green Fairy Book, The Pink Fairy Book, etc. Lots of folklore there.

    You're right, The Atlas of Fantasy rocks. Got me a paperback copy. And not only are the Capt. Future maps awesome, but anything written by Edmond Hamilton is space opera gold.

  4. Great video post! I use kid's books extensively, myself.

    I'm really enjoying your video posts. Unlike homemade videos I've seen, you speak slowly and and clearly and have obviously thought about what you're going to say before pressing 'record.' Most people stutter, stammer, and fill pregnant pauses with " know..." or they talk too fast to actually follow. Well done!

  5. Those Captain Future maps look absolutely amazing.

  6. Great video Jeff. I own and still draw inspiration from AOF. Looking forward to what you have to say about AG.

    Btw..those two buildings in the background looks real creepy in a Salem's Lot kind of way.

  7. Great video, Jeff. Like many others here I own - and frequently consult - a paperback edition of An Atlas of Fantasy; a treasured possession since my childhood - discovered around the same time I discovered D&D I think.

    Kiddies books have long been a source of inspiration for me (probably since I was a kiddie) because they have the best illustrations and usually cut to the chase when it comes to highlighting the nuggets that would be immediately useful for a gamer.

  8. Cthulhu by Gaslight in Barsetshire = Best. Campaign. Ever.

    This explains so much about why they found Mrs. Proudie dead on her feet, clutching the bedpost with her eyes open...

  9. Nicely done video. I second Pyle as a great entry into the medieval world, Men in Armor is a good one.

    Also second the childrens' section as a great resource. I remember as a teen finding "The Languages of Tolkien's Middle-Earth" on that side and being absolutely fascinated at both the content and why they considered that a kid's book.

  10. Hey another writer laid a tale in Barsetshire... M.R. James!