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    Re: Literature in the Flanaess - The Elven Sonnets of Liam Wilspare (Score: 1)
    by GVDammerung on Wed, June 14, 2006
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    Thank you. :)

    The sonnets and ballads are a tip of the hat to the Shakespearean scholar AL Rouse, who would go on about who Shakespeare was and what his influences were, notably defending against the theory that Shakespeare was really Christopher Marlow in disguise or under an assumed name.  This gives GHers a leg up toward the same thing.  I agree the plays are the main thing; the sonnets and ballads let you put more meat on the bone for players if you use the plays and the Liam character.

    By themselves, the sonnets and ballads are less useful than the plays, containing less immediate hooks.  Those hooks that do pop up are all wrapped up in the Liam character, again, giving DMs a way to say more about the Liam character and hence the plays.  Conversely, if players are in any of the areas of the Flanaess mentioned in the sonnets or ballads, this is a way to backdoor introduce Liam, the plays and literary culture.

    As for generating the content of the sonnets and ballads, one could either steal an actual sonnet or ballad and replace a few words here and there.  Or one could take an existing sonnet or ballad and substantially rewrite it. 

    This can be a lot of fun.  I completely rewrote the poet William Blake's "Prophetic Books" for Greyhawk, especially the Book of Urizen, the Book of Los and the Book of Ahania.  I now have poetic prophecy by the truckload to lay on my PCs as needed.  I can hand them a spiral notebook that sets out page after page of prophecy.  The great thing is that while the GH references are there, because it is a rewrite from Blake, it is damnably ambigious.  As all good prophecy should be. :-D


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