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Thread: Crossroads: The New World

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    Orc in the Playground
    SuperDave's Avatar

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    Jun 2012
    Kalamazoo, Michigan

    Default Re: Vespuccia [Alt-America, Circa 1750]

    Research and Inspirational Materials for Crossroads: The New World





    Misc. Online



    • American Gods, by Neil Gaiman - It might not be entirely set in the right historical period, but it's still one of the best works of American fantasy-fiction ever written, even if the author is a Brit. Highly recommended, especially for campaigns which deal with spirits and/or deities.
    • Call of the Wild, by Jack London
    • Roots: The Saga of an American Family, by Alex Haley - A sprawling (and true!) epic of an American family, from enslavement to emancipation and beyond.
    • The Song of Hiawatha, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow - Excellent Cahokian League adventure material here; not to mention ideas for some wicked villains and awesome equipment.
    • Waterlily, by Ella Cara Deloria - A rare glimpse into the realities of precontact tribal life. This book is made even more unusual by the fact that it is told from a woman's perspective, making it a rare tale indeed.

    Short Stories
    • The Cremation of Sam McGee, by Robert W. Service - The archetypal Arctic ghost-story. The driving, relentless meter of this short narrative poem will leave it etched into your memory.
    • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, by Washington Irving
    • To Build a Fire, by Jack London
    • The Wendigo, by Algernon Blackwood - Some of the racism is a little shocking, but the way the author slowly ratchets up the spook-factor while denying us any true knowledge of the beast is masterfully done. DMs with interest in Tuniitaq should read this.

    Webcomics and Graphic Novels
    • In the Hall of the Octopus, by Jonathan Dalton - Just a quick little adventure-story in the Pacific Northwest. Short, but very well written and completely self-contained.
    • Lords of Death and Life, by Jonathan Dalton - Tragically short but exquisitely illustrated, with top-notch worldbuilding.
    • Northlanders, by Brian Wood - Not a single horned helmet to be found here. It's vikings, but finally done right!
    • The Sandman: The Dream Hunters, by Neil Gaiman and P. Craig Russell - Though it's set in old Japan, not China, this Sandman spinoff provides a very lucid glimpse into the psychology of the Huli Jing fox-spirits.
    • Snow by Night: A Tale of Colonial Fantasy, by Eric Menge, et al.

    I thought I'd post a few of the resources I've discovered lately. I've been keeping a document with hyperlinks to various movies, books, video games, etc., which I feel would help to flesh-out the world of Vespuccia, and/or provide inspiration for world-building and character creation. This is by no means an exhaustive list, nor is it anything official - I just feel that these properties are entertaining and pertinent to the setting.

    I've tried to include only stories set within 100 years of 1750, but some are just too perfect the setting to pass up, just because they're about the wrong year. I've tried to only include properties I've read/seen/played myself; or that are very famous/popular; or have won some kind of award (such as an Oscar or a Caldecott Medal). Wherever possible, I've included links to a preview or sample, to allow the reader to make their own decision about whether they want to read/watch/play the whole thing.

    I hope you enjoy reading and watching these resources as much as I have!
    Last edited by SuperDave; 2014-05-08 at 11:35 PM.