Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Tits & Sand: the roleplaying game

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2nro4lsBack when I opened this blog, one of the titles I had on my list was Alam al Mithral, an expression from Arabian philosophy which means The place where ideas are real.
It was quite good, but too long and too easy to spell wrong, I thought.
That, of course, was before I discovered to some this blog was Karavansahara.
But that’s another story.
Anyway, it looks like in 2017 I’ll finally get the opportunity to use that title – for a roleplaying game I will develop together with my brother, based on a new gaming engine.
A nice, swift, cool game of Tits & Sand – or Arabian Nights Adventures if you prefer.
Or Oriental Fantasy.
You get the idea.

In order to collect material I will re-read a number of books in my (dwindling) free time – the Arabian Nights, of course, a few Persian epics, some current Arabian-influenced sword & sorcery, and of course I will re-watch a lot of tits&sand movies.
And I’ll write here, of course. I might even discuss this with our publisher and hold an informal design diary here on Karavansara.
What do you say?

193895But for starters, I’m going to re-read, with great pleasure, André Clot’s Harun al -Rashid and the World of the Thousand and One Nights, a deceptively lean book about the true history that often provides the background for the sort of stories our game will allow players to play.
In this excellent 1989 essay, Clot covers the politics and economics of Harun al-Rashid’s Baghdad, international relationships, society and culture.
It’s a good, solid introduction to a seldom beaten sector of world history, and as soem say “it reads as a novel”.
It is, interestingly enough, a part of Arab and Middle-Eastern history that some radical groups currently styling themselves as heird of Persian greatness are actively trying to delete.
The time in which Baghdad was the pearl of the Faithful, famous for its wine and its women.

We are starting slow, as the Mana Brothers are initializing a number of projects right now – but as usual doing research is part of the fun of this sort of things.
I’ll keep you posted.

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Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

2 thoughts on “Tits & Sand: the roleplaying game

  1. Speaking of Arabian Nights, I have a simple question: assuming that you read it in Italian (or in Italian too) which do you think is the translation done better?
    I own two different edition, one translated by Francesco Gabrieli (Gli Struzzi Einaudi) and the other by Gioia Angiolillo Zannino and Basilio Luoni (Fabbri-Rizzoli) and the most glaring thing is how much different are each other.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Much depends on the original text that was used – there are various sources, various different edits of those different sources, so it is not unusual for different translations to be radically different.
      In Italian, I have a soft spot for the illustrated edition by Nerbini, 1931.
      It can still be found (it was last reprinted in the 1980s, eBay is your friend), and the 130 illustrations by Scarpelli alone are worth the price of admission. The text is good, if lexically dated, and for decades it was the best edition available, and the most complete (it is considered “integral”).
      Otherwise, there is the Donzelli Editore edition from 2006, that translates the oldest know Arabian manuscript, and is therefore considered the most philologically sound. No illustrations, but a beautiful sturdy hardback.

      Like

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