When I read Peter Bebergal’s amazing sword and sorcery anthology, Appendix N: The Occult Roots of Dungeons & Dragons, one of the stories that struck me the most was “The God’s Kiss black” by CL Moore. Although it might be embarrassing to admit it, I didn’t know anything about CL Moore or the stories of Jirel de Joiry. I was completely enchanted by this dark, surreal and hallucinatory tale and its intense and determined female protagonist. I was even more moved when I looked at the biography at the end and saw that the story was written in 1932, by an author, Catherine Lucille Moore.
When poet and game designer, Janaka Stucky, read the story in Peter’s book, he was also taken with it. “I was immediately captivated by the story, and literally couldn’t get it out of my head for weeks afterward,” Janaka recounts. Boing Boing. “That’s when I knew I had to do something about it and contacted Peter.”
Janaka decided to turn this dark and proto-feminist tale into an adventure role-playing game. He assembled a dream team of collaborators, including Bebergal, game designer Max Moon, and the impressive ink and graphite illustrator, Saprophial.
Three days ago, Janaka’s Blazing Worlds launched a Kickstarter campaign for The Black God’s Kiss, a D&D 5th and Old-School Essentials adventure setting and microgame that explores the world depicted in CL Moore’s Black God stories. . As of this writing, the campaign has already raised over US$50,000.
From the Kickstarter page:
Based on the fantastic fiction of CL Moore, who bills himself as one of the great authors of swords and sorcery and strange tales of the early 20th century, the boxed set contains everything you need to dive into the starry realm of the Dark God – explore forbidden ruins, meet miserable creatures and collect a weapon of fearsome power… the Kiss of the Dark God!
Embarking on an expedition to this pocket dimension will strain your body, your mind, and threaten the very nature of your soul. To survive, you must make choices carefully – manage your own humanity as a finite resource that dwindles by the hour. To succeed, you must not only confront the dark god, but also the darkest recesses of your own shadow.
The four tiers of support are a $29 digital set, a $59 starter set with five zine books, a microgame, game card, and punchboard counters, an $89 deluxe set with all materials from the base set, plus a bonus module, a full set of custom polyhedral dice, a 48mm resin miniature of the Dark God, virtual table cards and ATV tokens, and a bundle for $189 of the black god with a base box and a deluxe set, t-shirt, poster and GM screen.
After reading “Black God’s Kiss” I immediately went out and bought a collection of works by CL Moore and am now reading Jirel of Joiry’s other stories and his many fantasy and sci-fi shorts. I can’t wait for this Black God’s Kiss adventure set to come out so I can climb inside Moore’s dark and surreal world and have fun.
Image Credit: All artwork by Saprophial/Blazing Worlds, used with permission.