This has been quite an exciting year for Daemons & Deathrays! It marks me expanding my site content through new ideas and concepts. It also will mark me making the leap to digital distribution and sales! *fingers crossed!* Above all, it’s the third time I’ve participated in the Blog Carnival. In this case, spearheading this month’s theme!
On that note, the theme for this month is “Super Science & Sorcery.” In other words, science fantasy. This hybrid genre embodies a mixture of motifs found in both science fiction and fantasy fiction. The origins of the genre stem from a time when speculative fiction was significantly less concrete in its terminology. On one hand, you had harder science fiction typically written by people in directly scientific fields of study. On the other hand, you had lighter and pulpier science fiction. While they explored a variety of themes found in the genre, they weren’t as concerned with creating a world cemented in tested theories or making it feel exactly like our own world. These range from Buck Rogers radio serials and b-grade midnight movies to fantastical epic stories like Star Wars and The Masters of the Universe.
In terms of tabletop hobbies, the concept of science-fantasy is as old as the grand parent of roleplaying games itself! David Arneson’s Blackmoor made homages to aliens, high technology and even Star Trek. Gary Gygax brought a spacefaring vessel (likely from Metamorphosis Alpha) into the world of Oerth via Expedition to Barrier Peaks. The Post-Apocalyptic wastes of Gamma World and the western frontier of Boot Hill had options to bring strange gizmos across the planes via the Advanced D&D DM’s Guide. Gygax’s friend and co-founder of TSR, Don Kaye, made a character that transported to Boot Hill and learned the art of the shootist. Upon returning to Greyhawk, he was decked out in cliche cowboy gear and sixguns. After Kaye’s passing, Gygax honored his character as a minor deity of magical technology. During 2E’s run, Dragon Magazine had a plot involving invasive evil robots called “Sheens”, as well as an adventure called “Tales of the Comet” with a similar theme. As the years continued, we saw a few steampunk articles for Dragon magazine, the D20 Modern roleplaying game, Gamma World revisions for new editions, Dragonstar, 3rd Party settings like Amethyst, among countless other genre mashups for the game. With that, the concept of Science-Fantasy within the realm of Dungeons & Dragons (and roleplaying games in general) is far from new and far from over. Beyond the realms of D&D, we’ve all sorts of works arise over the years: Warhammer 40K, Titansgrave, Shadowrun, Skyrealms of Jorune, RIFTS, the list goes on!
So, you may be wondering where you all fit into this strange theme? For this month, I’m asking you to share any Science-Fantasy RPG goodness you have with me! Stories, homebrew, etc! Please, comment down below with a link to your creations. Despite the D&D-centric nature of this blog, I encourage you to explore any RPG game or story within the realms of science-fantasy that works for you. At the end of the month, I’ll do a round up post involving all of this month’s contributions. Here’s to a successful month of mutants, magitech, machine men and more!
For more information on the RPG Blog Carnival, please visit here.
Image Credit: RPG Blog Carnival – Reis O’Brien