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The Dying Earth RPG Available Again

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011 | Posted by John ONeill

the-dying-earthPelgrane Press has announced that one of my favorite role playing games, The Dying Earth, is available again after several years in limbo.

The Dying Earth is, of course, based on the famed fantasy books by Jack Vance, including The Dying Earth, The Eyes of the Overworld, Cugel’s Saga, and Rhialto the Marvellous. The RPG was written by Robin Laws, John Snead, and Peter Freeman, and originally published by Pelgrane Press  in 2001.

I’ve never actually played The Dying Earth role playing game.  It appeared after I moved from Ottawa to Chicago and left my gaming group behind, and before my three children stopped throwing the dice at each other and got old enough to game with. So why is one of my favorites?

Because there’s plenty to enjoy about The Dying Earth RPG, even if you never use the rules to guide your dice arm. The support materials were superb, especially the accompanying magazine, The Excellent Prismatic Spray — whose contributors numbered Gary Gygax, Robin D Laws, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Keith Baker, and many others — and which published seven fat issues before following the game into limbo.

beyond-the-mountains2Much of the content of the magazine and the additional support material were written in studied imitation of Vance’s witty and erudite style, and made terrific reading.

Who knows why the game was out of print for so long?  A licensing issue, most likely.  But it’s finally back, and Pelgrane has wasted no time gearing up the presses again, releasing the first new supplement in several years: Beyond The Mountains of Magnatz by Ian Thomson, a picaresque series of adventures for Cugel-level characters:

You may have thought your adventurous rogues trapped in the barren north until the sun went dark. But no, the former Lords of Cil are on the move again. The adventurers must evade becoming victim to the ancient menace of Magnatz in the sinister town of Vull, progress through greater and lesser challenges, both natural & magical, as they struggle across the savage mountains, explore strange hospitality in the valley of the mighty Pharesm, and survive lands populated by an army of basilisks, before winning free to the civilized lands of the east.

Our recent coverage of Pelgrane Press includes:

When the End of the World is a Mercy Killing: Cthulhu Apocalypse for Trail of Cthulhu
Mythos Expeditions for Trail of Cthulhu
Experience the Epic Madness of Eternal Lies for Trail of Cthulhu
June Page XX Available — get the latest Pelgrane Press News
Accretion Disk for Ashen Stars
The Justice Trade for Ashen Stars
Some Mysteries You Don’t Want to Solve: Exploring Dead Rock Seven for Ashen Stars
Out of Space for Trail of Cthulhu
Ashen Stars by Robin D. Laws
The Dying Earth Role Playing Game

The Dying Earth RPG is a 192-page hardcover priced at $29.95.  Beyond The Mountains of Magnatz is a 96 page PDF, and sells for $9.95.  Both are available at the Pelgrane Press website.

See all of our recent Games coverage here.

8 Comments »

  1. […] been a huge fan of Pelgrane Press since they published the superb The Dying Earth role playing game nearly a decade ago, and began supporting it with one of the best small press […]

    Pingback by Black Gate » Blog Archive » June Page XX Available — get the latest Pelgrane Press News - June 8, 2012 6:00 pm

  2. […] Early Jack Vance (so far), including Dream Castles. And one of my favorite role playing games, the Dying Earth RPG, was published by Pelgrane Press in […]

    Pingback by Black Gate » Blog Archive » Jack Vance, August 28, 1916 — May 26, 2013 - May 30, 2013 3:24 pm

  3. […] Vance», incluyendo «Dream Castles». Y uno de los juegos de role preferidos por el FANDOM, la «Dying Earth RPG», fue lanzado por Pelgrane Press en el 2001. Jack Vance murió el domingo 26 de mayo a la edad de […]

    Pingback by INTROVISION: Un Adiós Desde una Tierra Agonizante | Zothique The Last Continent - June 3, 2013 11:02 am

  4. […] The adventures in Out of Space were created by Gumshoe designer Robin D. Laws, Adam Gauntlett, and Jason Morningstar. It also features extensive player handouts, pre-generated characters and exclusive new essays from the authors. It follows the Trail of Cthulhu collection Out of Time, which collected four earlier adventures. We last covered Pelgrane Press with their ENnie Award-winning Ashen Stars, their epic fantasy release 13th Age, and one of my favorite RPGs, The Dying Earth. […]

    Pingback by Black Gate » Blog Archive » New Treasures: Out of Space - June 17, 2013 7:08 pm

  5. […] began in 2001 with one of my favorite RPGs, The Dying Earth, based on the rich world created by Jack Vance. More recently we covered their ENnie Award-winning […]

    Pingback by Black Gate » Blog Archive » Experience the Epic Madness of Eternal Lies From Pelgrane Press - July 31, 2013 8:43 am

  6. […] of Cthulhu supplements Eternal Lies and Out of Space, the epic fantasy RPG 13th Age, and popular The Dying Earth role playing […]

    Pingback by Black Gate » Blog Archive » New Treasures: The Justice Trade - November 2, 2013 1:14 pm

  7. […] If the name Robin D. Laws sounds familiar, it should. He’s authored some of the most acclaimed role playing products of the last decade, including several that we’ve loudly trumpeted here at Black Gate — such as Ashen Stars, HeroQuest, Hillfolk, and The Dying Earth. […]

    Pingback by Black Gate » Blog Archive » Vintage Treasures: Parlainth: The Forgotten City, an Earthdawn Campaign - December 31, 2013 2:15 pm

  8. […] Arthur, horror movies, the fall of Moria, the Federation, Middle Earth, Jack Vance’s Dying Earth, Judge Dredd’s Mega-City One, the Marvel Universe… heck, there were even role playing […]

    Pingback by Black Gate » Blog Archive » Take a Trip to Haven — The Free City - February 6, 2014 11:29 am


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