As most of you probably know, Jack Vance died two weeks back.
I have no special knowledge of Vance’s work. I impulse-bought Mazirian the Magician a few months back, but never got around to reading it. But reading all of the moving obits Jack merited, I felt compelled to pick it up and try again.
I stayed up until 3 a.m. that night reading, and till 2 the next day to finish it. As a real adult now with a real job and an increasingly Twitterified attention span, commanding my attention that long is a real feat.
As it happened, I was running D&D that Friday for the first time in forever (and B/X D&D for the first time ever; my fellow OSR nerds, I beg forgiveness). Inspired by Vance, I remembered the fantastic Dying Earth Spells for D&D (which I first encountered on Untimately). I ran Stonehell in a haphazardly-imagined “Dying Earth”-lite, and I was entirely sold. I loved the dramatically-named spells, loved the setting, loved the whole bag.
But while I had a much-more atmospheric Magic-User/Elf spell list, the Cleric was stuck with the generic. “Resist Cold”. “Light”. “Remove Fear”. All fine enough in their way, but they didn’t quite fit in with “The Metamorphoun of Fire” and “Phandaal’s Polyglottal Lobe”.