Sword-and-Sorcery Gaming Meets Yog-Sothothery
Weird fiction is a genre that emerged from the turn of the century pulp magazines, and often combined elements of outré horror, cosmicism, heroic fantasy, tales of the fantastique, and science fiction. These publications featured stories by many gifted writers, but it was H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, and Robert E. Howard whose efforts are widely seen as the seminal works that popularized this niche genre of literature. Two unique subgenres of Weird fiction quickly emerged: the so-called Cthulhu Mythos (or as Lovecraft himself referred to as "Yog-Sothothery"), and sword-and-sorcery literature (as coined by Fritz Leiber). The influence of these subgenres has been vast and far-reaching, spreading beyond the pages of the pulps and onto the game tables of roleplaying hobbyist around the world. Since the earliest days of the hobby, both game designers and players alike have drawn great inspiration from Weird fiction, and in many ways used it as a blueprint for their own imaginative works, published in the form of game manuals, campaign settings, and adventure modules. Gaming has allowed several generations of would-be tale-smiths the opportunity to imagine their way into their own personal tales of the Weird, and in doing so has helped keep the roots of the genre alive and kicking. Swords Against the Outer Dark is dedicated to the fusion of Yog-Sothothery and sword-and-sorcery gaming to form a genre I have dubbed "sword-and-sanity".