I blame Chevski.
While my return to the roots of Dungeons and Dragons began with news of the impending release of D&D 4E, it wasn't until I read angry posts on the WOTC forums, criticising an author of a blog entitled Grognardia, that the real journey began. I was perplexed by the vitreol and derision hurled at that blog's author, since what Chevski reportedly said made perfect sense: with 4E, WOTC was abandoning the historical D&D, reforging it as a miniatures battle game of mechanical elegance and efficiency, bereft of soul, context or purpose.
I spent an entire evening poring over Chevski's accumulated blog entries. My wife found me, furrow-browed and blearly-eyed, in front of the computer screen at 5 o'clock the next morning. Some of my favorite entries were Chevski's explorations of the fantasy fiction that served as inspiration for Gary Gygax -- the fantasy fiction found in Appendix N of the original 1979 Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Dungeon Masters Guide.
I have been wanting to explore those books myself but, until now, laying my hands on a sizable collection of the fantasy books appearing in Appendix N seemed out-of-reach. That changed over the weekend, when I scored a broad assortment of slim pulp fantasy fiction books at a local book sale.
Along with all the other plans I have for this blog, I now have another: read at least one of those fantasy fiction books, each week, and post my thoughts on its applicability to old-school gaming. My reviews will be more workmanlike than sagely: I have not written a book review since my university days, some (cough) years ago. My goal: mine those books, for interesting themes and adventures.
So just remember, i'm not to blame for that even louder droning sound you'll be hearing, emanating from this blog over the next several months.