Thursday 1 August 2019

Monsters and Manuals' 1500th Anniversary: Half Time After the Time?

I hadn't noticed until just now, but the previous entry was the 1500th published Monsters & Manuals post.

Crikey. Blimey. Shiver my timbers and knock me down with a feather. That's a lot of posts, isn't it? The work of a tragic case, a strange obsessive with too much time on his hands? A bloody-minded and obstinate eccentric intent on continually howling his half-formed thoughts into the void to no effect on anything "because fuck you, that's why"? Or a self-important know-it-all who can't bear the thought that his ill thought-out ideas and ignorant opinions should not be heard by anyone who will listen?

You decide.

The problem with having written 1500 posts is that there are so fucking many of them. Picking a top 10, or even just a general "best of", is not easy. I mean, this year there have already been 102, and it would take hours just to sift through those. I'd need to clear a week of my schedule if I wanted to whittle All My Posts Ever down to a top 50 - and that's not to claim that it's because there would be 50 brilliant ones; just that once it got to 50 or so I'd have no way to pick one set of 10 over another.

So what's a long-term blogger to do on an occasion such as this? I guess it's just to spend 30 minutes or so randomly clicking through his back catalogue ("Did I really write that?" "I'd totally forgotten that one" "What was I thinking there?") and picking out some forgotten gems - or, at least, some non-turds. I did that, and found the following ones I liked, five-ish by year:

Chaos Patrons
Sumo Clerics
The Two Towers of Fantasy
Beware the Were Stuff
Govgim Dahl, the Reluctant Demigod

We Do Not Know What Thing the Universe Is
Towards a Theory of Demihumans
Yiyik's Hookah
Warhammer and British and American Fantasy
Sorcery! Art

Man on Wire and Never to be Played Games
Authentic Cave Scratchings
Panthro Says Silly Names Are Silly
Toying With Things That Should Be Avoided
The Magic Faraway Express Sailing to Utopia

The Cannibal Elves of Byrkije
The Undead Pigs of Andong
Larry Elmore and Utter Ridiculosity: A Love Story
Faking It; Or, You'd Better be Al Pacino
I Blame the Children; Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying And Love Declaring Actions Before Rolling Initiative

Parachuting From a Plane While DJing
Being an Illustration of the Contents of 1-Mile Hexes Through Examination of Divers Locations in the British Isles
The Contents of Hexes
Samurai Sandbox and Noisms' Reactivity Spectrum
Noisms' Verfremdungseffekt

Hexology I: Lindisfarne Case Study
Hexology II: Travel
The Tri-Dimensional Planebox Megacrawlathon Sandhexamagig
On Charm; Or, the Perfection of Imperfection
Abstracted Weapon BenefitsSwords and Arrows and Dragonslaying, and Player Creativity Within the d6 for Damage Framework

Out With the Old
Spear of Eternity
Angus McBride Ate My Hamster
On Reaching Into the Subconscious Mind
Deliberate RPG Rulebook Sass
The Art of Describing a Monster

Faerie Knights
In Defence of Violence
The Importance of Shadowrun
Watching Wesley Crusher DM a Game
Paradigmatic D&D: OR, a Verbeeg, Grell, Ankheg and Orog Walk Into a Bar...
The Death of HP Lovecraft

Moons of Jupiter Ring Map and Random Moons of Jupiter
On the DM's Guild; Or, Let's Be Innovative with the Forgotten Realms
The Imagination is a Muscle
The Seaside Town That They Forgot to Bomb: On Psychic Distance and the Victims of the New
Random Encounters with RooksReaction Tables Which Create the World, and More Game World Building Reaction Tables
Grimdark Kitsch: Let's Talk About Shit

We Were Never Being Boring, We Were Never Being Bored...
In Praise of Maximalism
Creating Things in Order to Be Free
Once You Pop You Can't Stop
Literary Dungeon Making for Fun and Profit
The Pacification of the Nerd
Where's Wally and the Shadow Fantasy Genre

What Is the Blogosphere for Now?
Everybody Loves Our Game: The OSR Scene
The Homogenization of D&D
Harlan Ellison, Cognitive Dissonance, and Defaulting to Openness
Gygaxian Scientasy
The Modern D&D Venn Diagram

British Regional Accents: A Guide for American DMs
Really Very Much Faster Than Light
My Recommendations
Here, Piggy Piggy Piggy
Rust Fantasy - With a Hey Nonny No!
Real Life Maps, Hexcrawling, and Rustic Fantasy Names


  1. Would you have a problem with me commenting under these ancient posts? I wouldn't want to engage in necromancy where it wasn't welcome! 😀

  2. Well done - that's quite the milestone!

    Some of those look familiar to me, but there's a wealth of unmined gems. And rereading is repaid. I'd enjoyed your Lindisfarne post at the time, but hadn't visited the island then. Reading it again with a 2018 visit still fairly fresh in the mind was a delight - especially the "squabbling archmages".


    1. Thanks! What I like about those old entries is that for a lot of them I can remember the circumstances in which I wrote them. That Lindisfarne one was written in a B&B in Seahouses, for example. In that sense this blog is like a diary, except a lot more interesting.

  3. I'm at 985.. Can't believe you already hit a ten-year mark.

    1. Nor can I. But it has become such a habit it will probably never stop now.

  4. Congrats! Got me beat by 420 and my blog is older than yours.