Saturday, September 26, 2015

Free Appendix N Sword and Sorcery Download - Avon Fantasy Reader 14 (1950) For Your Old School Campaigns

The Avon Fantasy Reader 14 (1950) was something I just ran across in my travels tonight and the Avon series of books has always had some killer sword and sorcery as well as science fantasy story fodder in it. This issue was especially good with stories from  Ray Bradbury, Z.B. Bishop, Henry S. Whitehead, and many more.

Here's a quick list of the contents -
"Temptress of the Tower of Torture and Sin"

"Ylla" by Ray Bradbury
"The Three Eyed Man" by Ray Cummings
"The Cave of the Invisible" byJames Francis Dwyer
"Guard in the Dark" by Allison V. Harding
"The Still Small Voice" by Clive Jackson
"The Curse of Yig" by Z. B. Bishop
"The Yeast Men" by David H. Keller, M.D.
"The Headless Miller of Kobold's Keep"
by Irvin Ashkenazy
"The Shadows" by Henry S. Whitehead

About ninety percent of this book's one hundred and twenty eight pages can easily be turned into OSR adventure fodder with The Yeast Men, The Curse of Yig, and "Temptress of the Tower of Torture and Sin" easily being translated into your favorite retroclone system as adventure fodder.Avon Fantasy Reader got started after 1947 and basically carried this mission statement on the back of their digest sized magazine: Past, Present, or Future or whatever sector of time and space you prefer, you'll find the stories in these pages encompass the entire universe of imagination. From the eerie, spook-haunted corridors of ancient Asian castles to the water-choked avenues of Atlantean kingdoms... From the sinister sands of icy Martian deserts to the thunderbolt battles of future's interplanetary rockets. Neither the invisible energy of atom nor the monstrous matter of the Milky Way present barriers to the mind that author these amazing fantasies. There are no boundaries to the astonishment, thrills and chills you'll meet in the pages of... the Avon Fantasy Reader!

The majority of the stories and material in Avon Fantasy Readers were older pulp reprints and that's exactly why they make excellent dungeon master fodder. Many of the stories are now public domain and very few modern readers take the time to delve into these stories. And we're not talking low rent talent at all. William Hope Hodgeson, Robert Howard, Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clark, and many, many more make the Fantasy Reader series a must for any OSR dungeon master. In point of fact the Appendix M writers from the Advanced Dungeons and Dragon's Dungeon Master's Guide are all available right in the Avon Fantasy series. One thing to remember is that according to Wiki: The magazine had one spin off, Avon Science Fiction Reader, with which it merged on its cancellation to become Avon Science Fiction and Fantasy Reader.

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