TV Tropes says a Fafhrd + Gray Mouser story is set on Earth

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TV Tropes says a Fafhrd + Gray Mouser story is set on Earth

Post by Big Mac » Mon May 30, 2016 7:18 pm

According to the Literature / Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser page on TV Tropes, one of the Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser stories was set on Earth.

What's the deal with that one? Was it the first story and invented before Lankhmar was? Or were the two characters teleported to Earth in a crossover story?

How do most Lankhmar GMs deal with this? Do you ignore the fact that this story was set on Earth and reboot it to become part of Nehwon? Do you drop the story from your inspirational sources? Or do you include a side-trek to Earth as something your players can do?
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Re: TV Tropes says a Fafhrd + Gray Mouser story is set on Ea

Post by ripvanwormer » Tue May 31, 2016 12:55 am

Big Mac wrote: Or were the two characters teleported to Earth in a crossover story?
Yes. "The Wrong Branch" compiled in my copy of Swords in the Mist:
Fritz Leiber wrote:It is rumored by the wise-brained rats which burrow the citied earth and by the knowledgeable cats that stalk its shadows and by the sagacious bats that wing its night and by the sapient zats which soar through airless space, slanting their metal wings to winds of light, that those two swordsmen and blood-brothers, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, have adventured not only in the World of Nehwon with its great empire of Lankhmar, but also in many other worlds and times and dimensions, arriving at these through certain secret doors far inside the mazy caverns of Ningauble of the Seven Eyes—whose great cave, in this sense, exists simultaneously in many worlds and times. It is a Door, while Ningauble glibly speaks the languages of many worlds and universes, loving the gossip of all times and places.

In each new world, the rumor goes, the Mouser and Fafhrd awaken with knowledge and speaking skills and personal memories suitable to it, and Lankhmar then seems to them only a dream and they know not its languages, though it is ever their primal homeland.

It is even whispered that on one occasion they lived a life in that strangest of worlds variously called Gaia, Midgard, Terra, and Earth, swashbuckling there along the eastern shore of an inner sea in kingdoms that were great fragments of a vasty empire carved out a century before by one Alexander the Great.
Big Mac wrote:Do you ignore the fact that this story was set on Earth and reboot it to become part of Nehwon? Do you drop the story from your inspirational sources? Or do you include a side-trek to Earth as something your players can do?
Traveling from Nehwon to Earth is something that can happen in Fritz Leiber's stories. If you're seeking to emulate Fritz Leiber's stories, why wouldn't you retain that? Part of the charm of the stories is that anything can happen. The TSR-era Lankhmar sourcebooks suggested that the caverns of Ningauble could be used as a way for characters from other D&D worlds to travel to Lankhmar and back. The caverns could have doors leading to Oerth and the Forgotten Realms as easily as Earth.

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Re: TV Tropes says a Fafhrd + Gray Mouser story is set on Ea

Post by nerik » Tue May 31, 2016 12:45 pm

I'm just going to highlight this bit:
ripvanwormer wrote:
Yes. "The Wrong Branch" compiled in my copy of Swords in the Mist:
Fritz Leiber wrote:It is rumored by the wise-brained rats which burrow the citied earth and by the knowledgeable cats that stalk its shadows and by the sagacious bats that wing its night and by the sapient zats which soar through airless space, slanting their metal wings to winds of light, that those two swordsmen and blood-brothers, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, have adventured not only in the World of Nehwon with its great empire of Lankhmar, but also in many other worlds and times and dimensions, arriving at these through certain secret doors far inside the mazy caverns of Ningauble of the Seven Eyes—whose great cave, in this sense, exists simultaneously in many worlds and times. It is a Door, while Ningauble glibly speaks the languages of many worlds and universes, loving the gossip of all times and places.

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Re: TV Tropes says a Fafhrd + Gray Mouser story is set on Ea

Post by Big Mac » Wed Jun 01, 2016 12:43 am

nerik wrote:I'm just going to highlight this bit:
ripvanwormer wrote:
Yes. "The Wrong Branch" compiled in my copy of Swords in the Mist:
Fritz Leiber wrote:It is rumored by the wise-brained rats which burrow the citied earth and by the knowledgeable cats that stalk its shadows and by the sagacious bats that wing its night and by the sapient zats which soar through airless space, slanting their metal wings to winds of light, that those two swordsmen and blood-brothers, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, have adventured not only in the World of Nehwon with its great empire of Lankhmar, but also in many other worlds and times and dimensions, arriving at these through certain secret doors far inside the mazy caverns of Ningauble of the Seven Eyes—whose great cave, in this sense, exists simultaneously in many worlds and times. It is a Door, while Ningauble glibly speaks the languages of many worlds and universes, loving the gossip of all times and places.
OMG! :shock:

EDIT: Crossposted to the Spelljammer forum: The Zat comes from Lankhmar! so that I don't do too much "Spammjamming" in the Lankhmar forum.
Last edited by Big Mac on Wed Jun 01, 2016 8:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: TV Tropes says a Fafhrd + Gray Mouser story is set on Ea

Post by BlackBat242 » Wed Jun 01, 2016 1:56 am

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Re: TV Tropes says a Fafhrd + Gray Mouser story is set on Ea

Post by The Dark » Sun Jun 05, 2016 3:59 pm

Big Mac wrote:According to the Literature / Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser page on TV Tropes, one of the Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser stories was set on Earth.

What's the deal with that one? Was it the first story and invented before Lankhmar was? Or were the two characters teleported to Earth in a crossover story?
It was the first story, although Lankhmar already existed. Otto Fischer created the characters and Lankhmar in a letter to Fritz Leiber in 1934. Leiber wrote Adept's Gambit in '36, but it didn't get printed until '47. Until Leiber started arranging the stories in order in the 60s, it was a stand-alone oddball. He added the transitional tale "The Wrong Branch" to explain how the duo ended up on Earth.

There's also a longer version of Adept's Gambit, about 10,000 words longer and with more references to the Cthulhu Mythos. I haven't read it, since the only publication I'm aware of was a limited-edition hardcover in 2014.

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Re: TV Tropes says a Fafhrd + Gray Mouser story is set on Ea

Post by Big Mac » Mon Jun 06, 2016 1:14 pm

The Dark wrote:
Big Mac wrote:According to the Literature / Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser page on TV Tropes, one of the Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser stories was set on Earth.

What's the deal with that one? Was it the first story and invented before Lankhmar was? Or were the two characters teleported to Earth in a crossover story?
It was the first story, although Lankhmar already existed. Otto Fischer created the characters and Lankhmar in a letter to Fritz Leiber in 1934. Leiber wrote Adept's Gambit in '36, but it didn't get printed until '47. Until Leiber started arranging the stories in order in the 60s, it was a stand-alone oddball. He added the transitional tale "The Wrong Branch" to explain how the duo ended up on Earth.
Ah. So there are two stories involving Earth. Thanks.

Is that it, for the "other worlds" stuff, or are there other stories that a friendly Zat* might suggest I read. :D

* = I wonder if anyone is ever going to ask for "Zat" as a custom forum rank, when The Piazza does it's forum rank givaway thing. :lol:
The Dark wrote:There's also a longer version of Adept's Gambit, about 10,000 words longer and with more references to the Cthulhu Mythos. I haven't read it, since the only publication I'm aware of was a limited-edition hardcover in 2014.
The Lankhmar novel line is confusing enough, without them doing limited edition versions of the stories. :roll:

Thanks for the heads-up on this. I'll probably skip that book, as I avoid buying hardback novels, but hopefully it will get a reprint in paperback format.
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Re: TV Tropes says a Fafhrd + Gray Mouser story is set on Ea

Post by The Dark » Wed Jun 08, 2016 12:31 am

Big Mac wrote:
The Dark wrote:
Big Mac wrote:According to the Literature / Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser page on TV Tropes, one of the Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser stories was set on Earth.

What's the deal with that one? Was it the first story and invented before Lankhmar was? Or were the two characters teleported to Earth in a crossover story?
It was the first story, although Lankhmar already existed. Otto Fischer created the characters and Lankhmar in a letter to Fritz Leiber in 1934. Leiber wrote Adept's Gambit in '36, but it didn't get printed until '47. Until Leiber started arranging the stories in order in the 60s, it was a stand-alone oddball. He added the transitional tale "The Wrong Branch" to explain how the duo ended up on Earth.
Ah. So there are two stories involving Earth. Thanks.

Is that it, for the "other worlds" stuff, or are there other stories that a friendly Zat* might suggest I read. :D
That's it, though The Wrong Branch doesn't truly involve Earth. It's in Ningauble's cave, where the heroes end up going down the wrong tunnel, which immediately segues into Adept's Gambit. It could have gone in front of almost any story, but Leiber felt Adept's Gambit needed a framing device to explain how the duo wound up on Earth.
The Dark wrote:There's also a longer version of Adept's Gambit, about 10,000 words longer and with more references to the Cthulhu Mythos. I haven't read it, since the only publication I'm aware of was a limited-edition hardcover in 2014.
The Lankhmar novel line is confusing enough, without them doing limited edition versions of the stories. :roll:

Thanks for the heads-up on this. I'll probably skip that book, as I avoid buying hardback novels, but hopefully it will get a reprint in paperback format.
I'm hoping so as well. I don't mind the new edition being published (it was lost in Leiber's notes until about a decade ago), but I'd like it to be more accessible. My understanding is that Leiber wrote it, sent it to Lovecraft for feedback, then cut it from 36,000 words to 26,000 based on advice he got from both Lovecraft and his writing circle.

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Re: TV Tropes says a Fafhrd + Gray Mouser story is set on Ea

Post by Big Mac » Thu Jun 09, 2016 2:00 am

The Dark wrote:
Big Mac wrote:
The Dark wrote:
Big Mac wrote:According to the Literature / Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser page on TV Tropes, one of the Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser stories was set on Earth.

What's the deal with that one? Was it the first story and invented before Lankhmar was? Or were the two characters teleported to Earth in a crossover story?
It was the first story, although Lankhmar already existed. Otto Fischer created the characters and Lankhmar in a letter to Fritz Leiber in 1934. Leiber wrote Adept's Gambit in '36, but it didn't get printed until '47. Until Leiber started arranging the stories in order in the 60s, it was a stand-alone oddball. He added the transitional tale "The Wrong Branch" to explain how the duo ended up on Earth.
Ah. So there are two stories involving Earth. Thanks.

Is that it, for the "other worlds" stuff, or are there other stories that a friendly Zat* might suggest I read. :D
That's it, though The Wrong Branch doesn't truly involve Earth. It's in Ningauble's cave, where the heroes end up going down the wrong tunnel, which immediately segues into Adept's Gambit. It could have gone in front of almost any story, but Leiber felt Adept's Gambit needed a framing device to explain how the duo wound up on Earth.
Thanks for explaining the context.

If all there is to this is one story set on Earth*, with a short mention of it, as a framing device, then I honestly can't see the appeal of spending time working out how to deal with the transition of PCs between Lankhmar and Earth (and/or other places).

* = Plus one Wonder Woman story.
The Dark wrote:
Big Mac wrote:
The Dark wrote:There's also a longer version of Adept's Gambit, about 10,000 words longer and with more references to the Cthulhu Mythos. I haven't read it, since the only publication I'm aware of was a limited-edition hardcover in 2014.
The Lankhmar novel line is confusing enough, without them doing limited edition versions of the stories. :roll:

Thanks for the heads-up on this. I'll probably skip that book, as I avoid buying hardback novels, but hopefully it will get a reprint in paperback format.
I'm hoping so as well. I don't mind the new edition being published (it was lost in Leiber's notes until about a decade ago), but I'd like it to be more accessible. My understanding is that Leiber wrote it, sent it to Lovecraft for feedback, then cut it from 36,000 words to 26,000 based on advice he got from both Lovecraft and his writing circle.
Ah. So was this a pre-Lovecraft-edit version?
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Re: TV Tropes says a Fafhrd + Gray Mouser story is set on Ea

Post by The Dark » Thu Jun 09, 2016 4:15 am

Yes, it's the original version. From a gaming perspective, I think it would mostly be interesting for the additional Mythos mentions.

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Re: TV Tropes says a Fafhrd + Gray Mouser story is set on Ea

Post by Big Mac » Thu Jun 09, 2016 9:21 am

The Dark wrote:Yes, it's the original version. From a gaming perspective, I think it would mostly be interesting for the additional Mythos mentions.
I'm not really into Lovecraft-style stuff, but I know a lot of my friends are into it, so I can imagine this version would be something fans would like.
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