Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday Frazetta

Here's another great Frazetta piece - I think it fairly well depicts what a game session in Omegea should look like in the players' minds. I don't know what draws me in so easily about the whole mixed Sci-Fi / Fantasy concept - is it a way to have one's cake and eat it too? Is it because mixed-genre fiction was dying out just as D&D was gaining popularity - making "high fantasy" the de facto theme for most of the next 30 years' game books and supplements? Or is it just not as popular? Even campaign settings like Blackmoor, originally heavy in sci-fi elements, gradually had most of those elements swept under the rug.

What do you guys think?


  1. I think you are right, its a bloody shame that we, for the most part, do not want to have our cake and eat it too. Mixing things up is fun and makes it more interesting.

  2. I think mixed genres are awesome, but I'd be hard pressed to put my finger on it. There's just something about ancient ruins from forgotten kingdoms holding mighty and arcane technology-as-magic and crashed spaceships and gateways to other worlds and all of that.

  3. In movies, books, and cartoons, I liked the mix, but in RPGs, fantasy and sci-fi were always distinct (or, at least, that's how I preferred it). No Barrier Peaks in my Greyhawk, and no dragons in my Start Frontiers campaign. Looking back, I think it was the rulesets--D&D and SF (for example) seemed specifically suited to their respective genres, and mixing it up never felt right.

    But I'm coming around - my new campaign started off as a fantasy setting, but somewhere between planning and designing, it's become a post-apoc fantasy/sci-fi mix. Who knew?

  4. I'm not sure when it occurred to me that I could have magic and robots (it was well before I came online and probably right about the time I realized I could ban elves from my table) but once thought of I've never done it any other way.

  5. @Aos: Same story here...seems like banning elves is like a sort of RPG puberty. I can't see bringing them back anytime soon. Or dwarves, or halfings. I'm wondering if it's a subconscious rebellion against my RPG parenting...

    WV: "arelful" - what you have when your sack is full of rels.

  6. "I'm wondering if it's a subconscious rebellion against my RPG parenting."

    This is a definite possibility :)

  7. Maybe also the re-emergence of rules-lite systems? An open RPG framework makes it easier to mix it up, whereas more specific, genre-influenced systems can restrict one's creativity.

    For whatever reason, it's hard for me to get excited about dwarven citadels and misty sylvan forests. But I can get behind a tribe of brute-men infesting a buried city, or the Feathered Brotherhood warding a mysterious woodland.

    Maybe it's just getting harder to fit all the accumulated influences into the realm of "traditional" fantasy or "mainstream" sci-fi. Time to buckle on an anti-grav belt and let loose. ;)

  8. Great pic! Interesting post and I find myself having a hard time explaining exactly how I feel.

    For me it's a fine line and really a case-by case basis. John Carter's Mars( or similar S&P)? Awesome. Blackmoor? Not my cup of tea. EPT? awesome, but it really straddles the line. Barrier Peaks? Love it for what it is, but it's never had a "home" in any campaign of mine- always been a quirky one-shot "lets try something different" type game.

    For the most part, I'd say it clearly has to have the science elements integrated with everyday common living for me to enjoy it as a campaign setting. Burroughs' Mars being a great example. Whereas with Blackmoor & GH's Barrier Peaks- it's something quite a bit out of the ordinary (in the everyday lives of the vast majority of the world's inhabitants).

    Bottom line- I like Science Fantasy (from Burroughs to Lucas), but not so much Fantasy with some science fiction tacked on haphazardly(?)

  9. That is a beautiful Frazetta and one that I had never seen before. I love the mix of sci-fi and fantasy, at least as it is portrayed in these Dying Earth/Planetary Romance stories. That, and gonzo post-apocalypse.

  10. BSG coolness by Frazetta - yes! Fun trivia and stories from Frank on why he turned down some Star Wars opportunities for the Galactica stuff. - This is a wild pic for sure. From what I've read, it's supposed to be Serina, Apollo and Adama there. Not sure about those two Death Dealer-ish baddies, but it's supposed to be a tomb on Kobol. Wild! Love Frazetta's magic! He was the BEST!!!



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