Sunday, January 2, 2011

RSS Feed? What's that?

This second post was nearly stillborn after I spent most of today wading through Mystic Mongol’s (2010) Let’s Play archive of King of Dragon Pass. However, I’ve managed to drag myself away from reading about the exploits of a bronze-age tribe in Glorantha, and put something together for this next post.

Getting back to Laws’ (2004) Thirteen Laws of Blogging, the seventh law states “No linkage”, and I’m about to break it by posting up a strange mix of blogs that have all inspired me in varying ways. To be fair, Laws does quantify the seventh law by stating “I shall not commit the sin of linkage! No posts consisting of a one-line comment and then the exact same URL half the blogs on the net are also pointing at today”, (2004), and that’s not what I’m going to do. Instead, here, in no particular order, is a list of five blogs that have me clicking daily on my browser bookmarks, because I’m too lazy to sort my RSS Feed out properly.

1. Robin D. Laws. I looked up Robin Laws’ blog when I found out he was principal designer and writer for The Dying Earth Roleplaying Game, based on the amazing four book fantasy sequence of the same name by the legendary author Jack Vance. Laws covers a lot of ground in his blog, and in keeping with this, I especially like his posts on the Toronto International Film Festival, his ongoing comic series The Birds, and his current play-by-blog concerning a design by committee approach to the fantasy world of Khorad.

2. Cryptomundo. I found this blog while researching online for a still unfinished novel concerning cryptozoology – the study of “hidden animals”. The principal writer is Loren Coleman, who has published widely in this field and is responsible for extremely readable books such as Mysterious America and The Field Guide to Lake Monsters, Sea Serpents, and Other Mystery Denizens of the Deep (with Patrick Huyghe). This blog covers Bigfoot, the Yeti, the Loch Ness Monster, and a bestiary of other real or imagined monsters, through eyewitness accounts, murky photographs, and rotting carcasses washed up on the shore. It’s always an entertaining read!

3. Tetrapod Zoology. This blog is by Darren Naish, a science writer and palaeozoologist, who covers everything from amphibians through to mammals (the tetrapods of the title), extinct or alive. The writing is technical but interesting, and some of Naish’s more amusing blog entries often strangely occur around the beginning of April. Unlike other scientists, Naish is also happy tackling more outré subjects such as cryptozoology and speculative zoology. If you’re at all interested in animals of any kind, particularly strange or spectacular ones you could adapt to a gamebook or RPG setting, then this is a good blog to read. A compilation of early articles from this blog is also now available as a book – Tetrapod Zoology Volume One – from Amazon, and well worth purchasing.

4. Fabled Lands. This recent blog is by two brilliant gamebook authors who need little introduction – Dave Morris and Jamie Thomson, although I don’t think Jamie has actually posted anything yet! The breadth and depth of material on here is absolutely amazing, spanning classic fantasy worlds such as Tekumel, Legend, and the Fabled Lands of the title, as well as some stunning new vistas, such as Abraxas, and obscure gems ranging from lost gamebooks to card-game prototypes. If you ever find yourself a little short on imagination, this is a blog that will reawaken your sense of wonder.

5. Grognardia. This blog is by James Maliszewski and concerns role-playing games and their history, classi pulp fantasy stories from days of your, reviews of new products from the Old School Renaissance movement, and accounts from sessions in Maliszewski’s megadungeon campaign, entitled Dwimmermount. It’s a very popular blog, and one reason why is the enormous amount of quality content it generates. When I first discovered Grognardia, I enjoyed it so much I went back all the way to 2008 and read through all the first 1000 blog entries. It’s that enthralling!

If you haven’t discovered any of these great blogs yet, then I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I do!


Laws, R. D. (2004, March 5). These things I pledge to you. Message posted to

Mongol, M. (2010, April 21). King of Dragon Pass: Epic fantasy means fantasy about cows. Accessed from

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