[1998 to 9th January 2000] [10th January 2000 to 1st June 2000] [2nd June 2000 to 2nd October 2000] [3rd October 2000 to March 2001] [7th March 2001 to 23rd April 2001] [24th April 2001 to October 2001] [October 2001 to January 2002]
10th January to 2nd June 2000
10th January 2000
Hilary Wade, an artist introduced to us by Peter Freeman produced some sample illustrations of creatures for us. They are deemed suitable and original.
Allen sends the first draft layout. This two-color affair captures the mood of the background very well. Can we afford two color though?
I spoke to Jack for an hour or so yesterday. He is a quietly spoken and thoughtful man. I found him very helpful and friendly and where he remembered details or concepts from the books, he enlarged upon them. He tries not to re-read work, as much of the earlier work he finds disappointing. He likes all his Dying Earth stories, although he refers to the ending of the Museum of Man as "slightly sophomoric". His other least favourite DE story is the Grey and the Green. He emphasised that he like these stories. He has a great affection for Cugel (pronounced Coo-gul (Coo like a dove, gul as in prodigal.) and Rhialto. He would be happy for someone to fly to visit him, but unfortunately that's not in the budget! A few snippets of our discussion follow. He let me know what was in his thoughts when he pictured the map (somewhere on the Earth, although I'm not saying where) He describeds Sandestins as "the executive performers of acts of magic." People in the Dying Earth are not warlike en masse. There are dangerous areas, but war is a pastime for younger nations. He conjured a great image of archmagicians working on magical problems, likening it to a "a shed full of junk and old paperwork and a couple of old guys trying to build a lawnmower out of odds and ends. They experiment until they find something that works, then they perhaps write down the recipe. Mainly, they are using old knowledge, intuition and years of experience. It doesn't really matter what the solution is."
Robin produces his first draft of the basic engine. Amusing and well-written - the Robin D. Laws TM comes with a built in proof-reader and editor; no RPG company should be without one. This is distributed to the other developers and is greeted by virtual cries of admiration.
Ralph Horsley supplied the illustration of the Deodand you see on our home page.
John Snead produces a very early draft of the magic rules.
Second conversation with Jack Vance. He answered some useful game-relevant questions. He suggested why bows and other projectile weapons are rare (magicians don't like them), detailed the political structure (people are too difficult and egotistical to be ruled, magicians don't like rulers) and described why the half-humans and humans hate each other (the usual human reasons.)
Allen supplies us with another layout proposal, this time one color. Either layout would be suitable, although we'd like to be able to do two-color if we can.
17th March 2000
Peter Freeman, our sidebar author has finished "The Daybook of Geomalacus" to illuminate the embryonic magic system. An example:
At Azenomei, on the junction of the rivers Scaum and Xzan, word had come that the Arch-Mage Phaeton was seeking an apprentice. On my arrival the town was already full of bursting lights and all manner of reports, odours and fluxions as every jack-leg magician of the district attempted to display his skill, along with many lacking all reasonable pretension to command of the art. Phaeton himself was not present, and so I took myself to an arbour pleasantly shaded beneath a single great pall-willow and sipped yellow wine. I watched in quiet amusement as the various tyros and dabblers argued among themselves, none showing more than a fleeting ability, yet each more vociferous than the last in his claims. All but the most cloddish and ill-refined citizens seemed intent on the contest, even those conversant with but a dozen phases of the Laganetic cycle or possessed of erotic amulets of dubious efficacy.
Eventually Phaeton arrived, a personage of stately height and demeanour, whose sagacity was evident in the length of his beard. As the crowd began to press on him with claims and counter claims he responded with increasing distaste, until finally he was forced to evoke the Omnipotent Sphere in order to protect himself.
He immediately began to dismiss those ill-bred, lacking in adequate style or innate competence, along with singers of popular
songs, lallators, groatmen, those unable to deflect the Spell of Internal Effervescence. At length only a half-dozen remained,
all minor mages of greater or lesser worth. At that point I drained the last of my wine, rose and walked to the group,
addressing Phaeton with a sweeping bow and ignoring the others. Phaeton returned my greeting with a cool glance, at which I,
with a carefully judged flourish, evoked the Liberation of Warp, thus simultaneously impressing him and causing great
inconvenience to my competitors. With a second flourish I produced from the folds of my robe that libram I had secured from the
tomb of Yasbane the Obviator. Phaeton's eyebrows, previously immobile, rose perhaps the half-breadth of a finger.
19th March 2000
Hilary Wade, one of our artist has produced some amusing and characterful illustrations for the game's Persuasion and Rebuff abilites. Here is an example of a Pelgrane unsuccesfully using its charm techniques on a very wary opponent.
21st March 2000
The Dying Earth RPG play test begins.
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All words and images are ©2000 Pelgrane Press. Based on the Dying Earth book series by Jack Vance. Produced and distributed by agreement with Jack Vance c/o Ralph Vicinanza.The Dying Earth Roleplaing GameandDying Earth Quick Start Rules are trademarks of Pelgrane Press. All rights reserved.