Tuesday, November 24, 2020

William Hope Hodgson: The RPG

So, here's something I had on Kickstarter which has now arrived: the new rpg based on the Sargasso Sea stories of Wm Hope Hodgson. Called GREY SEAS ARE DREAMING MY DEATH, it draws on such classics as "The Voice in the Night" and "The Derelict" to craft a horror-at-sea game. I've now skimmed this but haven't looked at it in detail because (a) I definitely want to play this but (b) one of the other people in my gaming group may opt to run it,* (c) in which case I wdn't want to know any spoilers. But (d) I may wind up running it if no one else wants to be Captain (i.e., DM).

It looks like one of those games with a v. narrow focus, which is what you want in a specialty themed rpg such as this one. I hope they've captured the theme of doomed pluck that is so distinctively Hodgsonian, while at the same time introducing some more readers and gamers to one of the greats (and one of the most overlooked of authors of his era who deserve to be called great).

It staggers me that forty-plus years on from D&D there's still no rpg based on Hodgson's masterpiece, THE NIGHT LAND.** They've borrowed a few monsters Hodgson's other works (HOUSE ON THE BORDERLAND, the end-of-time NIGHT LAND); a closer look shd tell whether they've successfully integrated this into their late nineteenth/early twentieth century sea setting. One way or the other I'm looking forward to finding out.

--John R.

*This is made all the more probable when I found out tonight that three of the seven people in our Monday night game backed the Kickstarter.

**I initially thought DARK SUN wd be that world but was sadly disappointed to discover it was an uberConan setting instead. 

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