Welcome to the Imaginaerie

The Softer Side of Fantasy

Have you got it do you get it / If so how often
Which do you choose / A hard or soft option?
—“West End Girls”, Pet Shop Boys

Recently I have been revisiting some of the fantasy stories that helped forged my vision (and many of the founders of the RPG industry) of what a fantastic world could be. Conan, Elric, Jirel of Joiry, and Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser are the heroes that started me down a path I’ve never truly left for decades.

But one thing I’ve noticed reading them today is how sketchy they seem compared to the kinds of fantasy produced for the more ‘modern’ market. The worlds are much less fleshed out, magic works in undefined and rapidly changeable fashion, and the sudden inclusion of anachronistic elements like historical figures, aliens, or high technology are shrugged off as par for the course. These aspects may seem dated and lazy to some readers, but they really capture the ‘wonder’ of fantasy from my introduction to the genre.

 

Read more and join the discussion here.

 


Latest Poll: 6/13/18

How loose is the tone of your fantasy games? Do you like it gritty and realistic, or do you prefer a more anything goes game?

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