Tuesday, August 11, 2015

#RPGaDAY2015 Day #11: Favorite RPG Writer

My "mundane" library at home has many books on specific subjects, but it's very rare to find many books by the same author.  I have an interesting collection of Anton Chekhov anthologies, and a decent library of George Kennan books, and partial set of Theodore Roosevelt books, but the rest have been written by a varied assortment of authors.

When it comes to gaming, I'm not an author groupie.  I don't care if Steve Jackson wrote the book, I care that it was being released by Steve Jackson games.

My current gaming library is an eclectic mess of nostalgia, potential awesome and a few pipe dreams.

Ken Hite?  Robin D Laws?  Jonathan Tweet?  All familiar names in post-high school quality RPG products.

Jolly Blackburn (and the Kenzerco crew) for Hackmaster.  It is the largest stash of books I have left.

Frank Mentzer?  Mister Red Box himself?  After running the keep in the Basic set, the next thing I ran was Temple of Elemental Evil, which was more of Frank's handiwork.

Jeff Dee?   Villans and Vigilantes and TWERPS

S. John Ross?    GURPS Russia and Risus

Do I simply nod to Sandy Petersen or Gary Gygax because I should automatically nod to genius and craftiness?

It took a little research and cross-referencing but my favorite RPG writer must be Aaron Allston.
  • GAZ1 The Gran Duchy of Karameikos - the first (and best) of Gazetteers.  
He also wrote
  • GAZ6 The Dwarves of Rockhome.
  • The Hollow World Boxed Set
  • Dawn of the Emperors Boxed Set
  • Wrath of the Immortals Boxed Set
  • Poor Wizards Almanac I
  • AD&D Dungeon Masters Design Kit:  I used the hell out of my copy.  As a newbie, it certainly helped me.
  • N4 - Treasure Hunt:  The first of the 0-level modules.  Great concept, good if limited execution with the adventure (I much preferred N5 Under Illefarn)
  • The Complete Book of Fighters, Priests, and Ninjas.  Fighters and Priests were not power creeping splat book like many others in the series.  
  • GURPS Autoduel 1st and 2nd Edition
  • Trail of the Gold Spike - a Hero/Justice Inc Adventure that I loved running.
I'll link his bibliography to show everything else he wrote, but unlike a vast number of the authors listed above, I would give him the benefit with any book he wrote. 

He only wrote one stinker of an adventure, but that's only because I ran The Mark of Amber and it screwed up my campaign for weeks.  Of course, YMMV, YOLO, FNORD.

I was saddened to learn that he passed away last year at the age of 53.  I also discovered that he spent his later years writing Star Wars and Terminator novels.  Sci-fi paperbacks haven't been my thing for years, but it might be worth hunting down a few copies.  It should amuse me greatly.

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