mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli

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Fulgurator. (39)

GURPS New Sun by Michael Andre-Driussi.

So, the spice is life?
Analeptic alzabo!
Shai-hulud, be proud.

The sleeper has awakened!
Muad'dib the Autarch.

When I ordered this, it had the author listed as Gene Seabolt, & I thought I was picking up a cute piece of Book of the New Sun ephemera. I was utterly ecstatic to see that Seabolt was the editor & the author was in fact Michael Andre-Driussi, author of the Lexicon Urthus & The Wizard Knight Companion, both hefty pieces of Gene Wolfe scholarship. Andre-Driussi is no slouch, & so this was doubly wonderful to me-- both as an role-playing nerd & as a Wolfe nerd. Because a campaign setting attempts to lay out a world in its entirety, this is actually an excellent resource for those interested in The Book of the New Sun. It lays out information on the post-historic ages of Urth, from Myth to Monarch, Autarch to...Ushas or Ragnarok. In terms of system-- well, I admire GURPS in theory, for trying to hold up a high enough tent pole, but I ultimately consider it a failure. It doesn't get in the way of Andre-Driussi; if anything the craziness that is commonplace in GURPS aids him, as he is able to talk about the animal men bred by the Xanthoderms (Chinese) star-empire in terms of...character building. His thesis in the "Religion" section-- that the characters of Doctor Talos' play "Eschatology & Genesis" combined in different ways make up the history of Urth's cycles-- is just great worldbuilding, a post-hoc collaboration between him & Mister Wolfe. I quibble with the issue of the existence of the "Thaumaturgy" chapter-- he mentions in a marginal note in the "Characters" chapter that magic doesn't really factor in to The Book of the New Sun, & notes that you may want to call it magic only to deceive your Players-- but I'm not entirely sold. Still-- I thought I was buying a charming Gene Wolfe footnote & ended up with a splendid bit of exegesis. A total win.
Tags: andre-driussi, books, haiku, new sun, rpgs

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