Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

The Tale of Tales

Giambattista Basile (1566-1632) was an Italian writer. He is particularly remembered for his collection of Neapolitan-language fairy tales titled the Tale of Tales. In 2015, the Italian director  Matteo Garrone made an English-language film, titled Tale of Tales, loosely adapted from three of the tales: The Enchanted Doe, The Flea, and The Flayed Old Lady.

The film is quite LotFP-ey, especially the most grotesque scenes, and in particular the whole part with the giant flea, the betrothal of Violet to the ogre, and the ensuing mayhem. I heartily recommend it.

Anyway, I started scouring the internet for information about the Tale of Tales, and I stumbled upon a collection of illustrations by the decadent Austrian artist Franz von Bayros (1866-1924). They are quite LotFP-ey too :-)

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Renaissance Magic

Giovanni Pico della Mirandola
Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (1463-1494) was a Romance nobleman and philosopher who studied the various occult traditions from around the Mediterranean, both within and without the True Faith, and who ordered and classified them as an organised philosophical art.

Pico della Mirandola divided Magic into two different forms: Natural Magic, and Demonic Magic.

Natural Magic is based upon the study of the forces of nature, the four elements, esotericism, etc., and is deemed compatible with the True Faith. Demonic Magic is based upon the invocation of occult forces and is not to be dabbled in.

Pico's ideas have given birth to Renaissance Magic, and to the practice for powerful noblemen to keep court magicians. Many of these court magicians write magical grimoires; the most famous one is Giambattista della Porta (1535–1615) with his book Magia Naturalis (1558).
In Northern Europe, Pico's system has been made popular by the Almain polymath Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa (1486–1535). Obviously, in a age of crazed witch hunts, the line between Natural and Demonic Magic is not clear-cut but often dictated by religious interests, and so the profession of magician is a most dangerous one...

NB— This post has been inspired by this article.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Better Than Any Man Prequel

I am going to run a kind of alternative prequel to Better Than Any Man, set before the death of Gabriele Bauer. The latter entrusts the player characters (all of them are female teenagers) with travelling to the War Room in Cachtice, in Voivodja, in order to figure out the exact position of Gustavus Adolphus' army [I know this is not what is written in the description of the war room, but I'm modifying that— in my version of Voivodja, the war room shows the movements of all armies in all known worlds]. Gabriele Bauer intends to use the information to organise the safe escape of Karlstadt's population before the Swedes are upon the hapless town.