Tuesday, July 29, 2008

BHMK: Gods from Outer Space

My dad sells real estate for a living, and every now and he'll pass along something interesting he salvages from a vacant house. Odd bits of knick-knackery, old LPs and paperbacks, etc.

He recently sent me a package containing a brown accordion file labeled "Kelly Pollock - game notes." The file is splitting on the bottom, held together with brittle old tape, and just crammed with gaming stuff: a few early 90s Dragon mags, some Gamma World modules, a copy of Keep on the Borderlands sans cover (just for fun I might have to redraw the maps from memory), pages cut out of a Michigan county almanac annotated with encounter ideas and Pitz Burke style names for the cities, and page after page of loose leaf notes.

The folder also contains, in one of those coincidences so common among EC fans, an incredible collection of Encounter Critical material! Along with a copy of the Second Corrected Edition, there are a couple issues of Daniel David's "Journey Masters Journal," and even the ultra-rare EC module Asteroid 1618, all gathered in a ziplock bag with a price tag from Ludington Goodwill.

Judging from the Dragon issue dates and clues in the notes, this kid was running Encounter Critical as late as 1995! I've never heard of another sighting of the game "in the wild" that late, not till it was rediscovered a few years ago.


And what's more, a bunch of the game notes in the folder are homebrew EC stuff, including a three part adventure, "Gods From Outer Space" The adventure makes it pretty clear that Kelly and his crew were big-time horror fans -- there are references and ripoffs of everything from Lovecraft to Michael Myers to Troma. I've been trying to polish it up for World Adventure Writing Month, but it's in a rougher and more disorganized state than I realized and I keep riffing off it in my own directions, so it won't be finished for a couple more weeks.

In the meantime, I took a few minutes tonight putting together an inspirational mixtape. Some of the songs and bands are namechecked directly in the adventure or Kelly's notes, especially the middle adventure "Black Hole Metal Kult." Others are my own tribute to Kelly and his gonzo crew. Track list after the cut.

BHMK: keeping it kvlt
Black Hole Metal Kult: Gods from Outer Space

Frank Sinatra - Old Devil Moon
Mayhem - De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas
Dinosaur Jr - Freak Scene
Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians - Brenda's Iron Sledge
Syd Barrett - Clown & Jugglers (Octopus)
Venom - Black Metal
Blue Öyster Cult - Black Blade
Emperor - I Am The Black Wizards
Sonic Youth - Silver Rocket
Hawkwind - Space Is Deep
Tales Of Terror - Gods From Outer Space
The Mountain Goats - The Best Ever Death Metal Band In Denton

3 comments:

Jeff Rients said...

Oh, yeah! This is gonna be awesome!

Ed said...

That kid's got good taste. Or somebody does. :) Hitchcock? Barrett? Rock on!

Strange, I was just thinking about both Hitchcock and Barrett this past week, and earlier this morning I came up with the idea that I wanted to put together a mix tape... but I had no idea how I could share such a thing with people on the Inter Nets. I had no idea muxtape existed. Thanks for cluing me in there. Lots of good synchronicity going on!

Max said...

Jeff: Hey thanks. I'm trying to put as much awesome in there as I can. Thanks for the vote of confidence.

Ed: Muxtape is great. One hopes that it can weather whatever legal storms may come -- it's all balanced on a very thin thread of fair use.