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Fenix English Edition 1, 2017
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Fenix English Edition 1, 2017

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An issue on mirrors and portals

Count Magnus Mythos – M. R. James Stories as a Backdrop for Roleplaying
Despite being “gifted with an almost diabolic power of calling horror by gentle steps from the midst of prosaic daily life,” as H.P. Lovecraft put it, the tales of M.R. James (1862-1936) have not received their due obeisance in the roleplaying game ecosystem. Partially this is because they make difficult models for games: the standard Jamesian antiquary hero makes Lovecraft’s protagonists look like Conan, and the slow build of James’ world-detail is if anything even more placid and innocent than Lovecraft’s witch-haunted or crumbling towns. Also unlike Lovecraft, James does not interweave his tales with a common mythology, aside from the common mythology of North European folklore, Old Testament and Apocryphal creepiness, and Anglican antiquarianism.


However, difficult is not impossible. With the right (ahem) spirit, a GM can adapt the stories of M.R. James into the backdrop of a horrific one-shot, or even an ongoing campaign. The Count Magnus Mythos, to name it after its most famous (and tentacle-adjacent) inhabitant, encompasses a wide variety of monstrous apparitions, black magic, and nefarious churchmen. Knitting it together is our job.

Text: Kenneth Hite, Art: Lukas Thelin


Mirrors & Portals - Mythras on Monster Island
Game masters can easily incorporate the following mini-adventure into any fantasy campaign by simply changing the appearance of the portal. For example, it could be an ornately framed silver mirror, covered by a sheet in the attic of a manor house, a ripple-free pool of water at the back of a cave, or even a dancing pillar of flame in a tomb. Such gateways can be found in classic stories such as The City of the Singing Flame by Clark Ashton Smith, or the wood between the worlds in the Magician’s Nephew by C. S. Lewis.

Text: Pete Nash, Art: Linus Larsson

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Product Information
Author(s)
Pages
13
File Size:
5.29 MB
Format
Original electronic
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File Last Updated:
January 18, 2019
This title was added to our catalog on January 18, 2019.