Sunday, August 21, 2016

Dungeons & Dagons - The Collected Works of HP Lovecraft For Free For Your Old School Campaigns

Table top gaming owes a lot to H.P. Lovecraft especially OD&D & Advanced Dungeons & Dragons first edition. This stretches all of the way back to Dragon issue #12 with the first appearance of an article about them by Rob Kuntz, co-author of Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes and the first edition Deities & Demigods (1980), and J. Eric Holmes, author of the first D&D Basic Set (1977). Lovecraft is an incredible influence upon Appendix 'N' in the first edition AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide not to mention his passing section in the Kuntz & Ward Deities and Demigods. His fiction has an internal consistency that makes his writing easily grouped into three important periods. According to Wiki;"Lovecraft's fiction has been grouped into three categories by some critics. While Lovecraft did not refer to these categories himself, he did once write: "There are my 'Poe' pieces and my 'Dunsany pieces'—but alas—where are any Lovecraft pieces?"[72]"

Its hard to say when I actually encountered HP Lovecraft? It seems growing up in Connecticut he's always been a part of my life. Connecticut was and has been the backyard of the Lovecraft mythos, not weird enough like Providence or with the weird enough to have the hills raise wild with cults. Connecticut has its own brand of weirdness. There's a big huge sale over at Drivethrurpg and there are some excellent OSR titles on sale there.
There are some excellent stuff there, Skirmisher Publishing is also doing a pay what you want sale there as well many of their titles have some grand implications for OSR gaming. This weekend is HP Lovecraft's birthday & I don't think there is another writer whose had as much of an impact on my life as him. Now that I'm older its not simply the mythos that I've come to appreciate but the circle of writers who made up the 'The Lovecraft Circle"
"Lovecraft was relatively unknown during his own time.[71] While his stories appeared in the pages of prominent pulp magazines such as Weird Tales (eliciting letters of outrage as often as letters of praise from regular readers of the magazines), not many people knew his name. He did, however, correspond regularly with other contemporary writers, such as Clark Ashton Smith and August Derleth, people who became good friends of his, even though they never met in person. This group of writers became known as the "Lovecraft Circle", since they all freely borrowed elements of Lovecraft's stories – the mysterious books with disturbing names, the pantheon of ancient alien entities, such as Cthulhu and Azathoth, and eldritch places, such as the New England town of Arkham and its Miskatonic University – for use in their own works with Lovecraft's encouragement."

But let's face it there are times when you need to reference Lovecraft's works and weirdness. Wouldn't you love to have his writings right at the ready on your hard drive or cloud. Fortunately while doing a bit of research earlier today I came across a solid collection of his writings.

The Collected Works of H.P. Lovecraft

If your looking for the relevant articles on the Mythos in Dragon & Deities and Demigods I can easily help you out with those.   Another great art source on HP Lovecraft was the work of John Holmes (1935 – 2011) a British artist whose work I grew up with seeing in the backs of Creepy and Eerie magazines. His covers always gave met the shivers as a kid but in a good way. You can see the whole lot here and take a trip down memory lane.

Lovecraft remains a favorite despite the various things that have come up over the years and yes he shall remain a favorite for years to come. So I'm raising a glass to the glorious son of New England and saluting him wherever he is!

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