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Monday, March 15, 2021

The Ides of March is " OD&D Inspirational Author Day" 2021


The Ides of March is " OD&D Inspirational Author Day" 2021, so I ask you to post about an author that has inspired you.

One author that inspired and inspires me is Frank R. Stockton who wrote "The Lady or the Tiger" and other great short stories.

From Wikipedia Frank R. Stockton (I encourage you to read the whole article):
Frank Richard Stockton (April 5, 1834 – April 20, 1902) was an American writer and humorist, best known today for a series of innovative children's fairy tales that were widely popular during the last decades of the 19th century.
Stockton avoided the didactic moralizing common to children's stories of the time. Instead, he humorously poked fun at greed, violence, abuse of power and other human foibles, describing his fantastic characters' adventures in a charming, matter-of-fact way in stories like "The Griffin and the Minor Canon" (1885) and "The Bee-Man of Orn" (1887).
His most famous fable, "The Lady, or the Tiger?" (1882), is about a man sentenced to an unusual punishment for having a romance with a king's beloved daughter.  He also wrote a sequel to the story, "The Discourager of Hesitancy".
The Lady, or the Tiger?
You can read it here
The short story takes place in a land ruled by a "semi-barbaric" king. Some of the king's ideas are progressive, but others cause people to suffer. One of the king's innovations is the use of a public trial by ordeal as "an agent of poetic justice", with guilt or innocence decided by the result of chance. A person accused of a crime is brought into a public arena and must choose one of two doors.[1] Behind one door is a lady whom the king has deemed an appropriate match for the accused; behind the other is a fierce, hungry tiger. Both doors are heavily soundproofed to prevent the accused from hearing what is behind each one. If he chooses the door with the lady behind it, he is innocent and must immediately marry her, but if he chooses the door with the tiger behind it, he is deemed guilty and is immediately devoured by the animal.

The king learns that his daughter has a lover, a handsome and brave youth who is of lower status than the princess, and has him imprisoned to await trial. By the time that day comes, the princess has used her influence to learn the positions of the lady and the tiger behind the two doors. She has also discovered that the lady is someone whom she hates, thinking her to be a rival for the affections of the accused. When he looks to the princess for help, she discreetly indicates the door on his right, which he opens.

The outcome of this choice is not revealed. Instead, the narrator departs from the story to summarize the princess's state of mind and her thoughts about directing the accused to one fate or the other, as she will lose him to either death or marriage. She contemplates the pros and cons of each option, though notably considering the lady more. "And so I leave it with all of you: Which came out of the opened door – the lady, or the tiger?"
Stockton later wrote "The Discourager of Hesitancy," a follow-up to "The Lady, or the Tiger?" that begins with five travelers visiting the kingdom to discover what the accused man in that story found behind the door he chose. An official tells them a second story, of a prince who had come to the kingdom to find a wife. Instead of allowing him to see any available ladies, the king had him immediately taken to guest quarters and summoned attendants to prepare him for a wedding to be held the next day. One attendant introduced himself as the Discourager of Hesitancy and explained that his job was to ensure compliance with the king's will, through the subtle threat of the large "cimeter" (scimitar) he carried.

At noon on the following day, the prince was blindfolded and brought before a priest, where a marriage ceremony was performed and he could feel and hear a lady standing next to him. Once the ceremony was complete, the blindfold was removed and he turned to find 40 ladies standing before him, one of whom was his new bride. If he did not correctly identify her, the Discourager would execute him on the spot. The prince narrowed the possibilities down to two, one lady smiling and one frowning, and made the correct choice.

The kingdom official tells the five travelers that once they figure out which lady the prince had married, he will tell them the outcome of "The Lady, or the Tiger?" The story ends with a comment that they still have not come to a decision.
You can read it here.

I would be hard pressed to rank his stories in order of which one is best, they are all excellent and full of ideas that you can mine and I hope that sometimes I succeed in porting some of this into my OD&D games.
The Adventures of Captain Horn is an 1895 adventure novel by Frank R. Stockton that was the third-best selling book in the United States in 1895. A sequel, Mrs. Cliff's Yacht, was released in 1897.
I see that The Adventures of Captain Horn is now available  www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/12190 and since this is one I've never gotten to read, I am going to celebrate by reading it.

You can read many of his other stories here Books by Stockton, Frank Richard.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Original Cantrips Designed Specifically For OD&D

Here are some original Cantrips (designed specifically for OD&D) that I wrote up in an unfinished thread on my forum back in 2019 that I need to get back to over on my forum and finish. I thought I would share with you what I have done so far:

Better Rations: Enhances the flavor and texture of Iron Rations, making them an enjoyable meal. Affects up to 10 serving per use.

Bloom: Causes one flowering plant to burst into full bloom, maximum of 10 blossoms per use.

Nosy: Enables Magic-User to eavesdrop on conversations up to 60 feet away for 1 turn per use.

Flame: Allows a Magic-User to light a fire (1 campfire, 1 fireplace or the like)  or up to 10 candles per use.

Hidden: Enables the Magic-User to hide up to a dozen small objects that would otherwise be in full view for up to 3 turns.

Animate Minor Clean: Animates a dust cloth, broom, mop, or similar items to perform cleaning of a 10'x10'x10' cube within a room or space for 3 turns or until clean whichever comes first.

Snuff: Allows a Magic-User to snuff out a small fire (1 small campfire, 1 small fireplace or the like) or up to 10 candles per use.