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The Dying Earth resurrected

The Dying Earth resurrected

by Monday 16 March 2015

The Dying Earth tabletop roleplaying game from Pelgrane PressIn late March 2015 we resurrected our January 2014 Dying Earth Bundle featuring the Pelgrane Press official Dying Earth RPG line based on the world-famous Dying Earth stories by master fantasist Jack Vance.

Vance’s Dying Earth stories portray our world in the unimaginably distant future. The Sun, now in its dotage is a swollen, stuttering maroon orb. At any moment it may finally go out. Earth is immensely old, a place of exotic and decadent beauty. Dig anywhere and find a buried city or the shore of a vanished sea. Deodand-haunted woods stretch from decadent Kaiin to the Land of the Falling Wall. Erbs and grue hunt in the wilds.

Vat-grown beauties, wandering scoundrels, and vainglorious magicians eat, drink, gamble, and cheat their way through what is widely presumed to be the final era of history. Strange foods and bizarre clothing are commonplace. Isolated villages embrace surprising customs. Larger towns favor debauchery and mincing murder. Only the foolhardy or powerful venture far from the safety of their communities.

Magic, rich and colorful, shapes the world. Any dabbler may know a few simple cantraps. Magicians in lavish manses struggle to master Earth’s last great spells, while all-powerful cabals intrigue against rivals or plot revenge for ancient feuds.

Published in 2001, The Dying Earth RPG was the first official tabletop RPG based on Jack Vance’s work and one of the earliest releases from Pelgrane Press, which has since published 13th Age, the GUMSHOE line of games, and many more. (Trivia: Bundle of Holding operator Allen Varney laid out the DE rulebook and designed the Pelgrane Press logos.)

A bestiary of the 21st Aeon in The Dying Earth BundleDesigner Robin D. Laws (Feng Shui, HeroQuest, Hillfolk) captures the essence of Vance’s stories through an ingenious rules system that downplays combat in favor of intricate social rules of persuasion and rebuff. The Dying Earth features easy, fast-playing rules that encourage creativity and interaction. The game text anatomizes many of the elements that mark the Dying Earth stories: odd customs, crafty swindles, heated protests and presumptuous claims, casual cruelty, weird magic, strange vistas, ruined wonders, exotic food, and foppish apparel. Here the importance of a flashing sword is matched by nimble wits, persuasive words, and a fine sense of fashion.

Create an adventurer for any of three different kinds of stories: a typical mortal such as Cugel the Clever, surviving by wits and cunning; an ambitious magician searching for lost lore, like Turjan of Miir; or a supreme mage to rank with Rhialto the Marvellous, commanding the omnipotent but quarrelsome sandestins. No knowledge of Jack Vance’s work is needed for play, but fans of the stories will enjoy the comprehensive summary of the world’s places, creatures, and known spells.

Our Dying Earth Bundle included the 2001 rulebook, the 2012 Revivification Folio rules update, along with a comprehensive collection of supplements that give you everything you need to launch your own campaign. Pay just US$7.95 to get our Starter Collection with DRM-free, non-watermarked .PDFs of four rulebooks and supplements (total retail value $51) — enough to occupy even enterprising players until the Sun dies:

Fourth installment in the epic In the Footsteps of Fools adventure series in The Dying Earth BundleCustomers who paid more than the threshold price also received our entire Bonus Collection of ten supplements and adventures (retail value $81) that expand the Dying Earth game at all three levels of play:

The total retail value of these books — among the richest offers in Bundle of Holding history — was $132! Truly a munificent offer, free of any vulnerability to opprobrium.