Tag Archives: Books

Atlas of World History

I am a big fan of both history and maps. I have a B.A. in History.

The ancient world of Egypt, the Middle East, Greece, and Rome, and on up to the Renaissance fascinate me.

The map of Germany with over 1,000 different countries is just fascinating. At my university they had a big hardback map book with a multi-colored map of Germany in the middle ages, and it just fascinated me. My paperback Rand McNally Atlas of World History is a passable substitute for such high-end books of maps.

Just looking at all the colors delineating all the separate nations generates the seeds of ideas.

Whether one is using a campaign set in a historical period of the ancients, or medieval, or a western, or post apocalyptic, maps help set the tone and flavor. Do you need to share the map with players? If they are a post holocaust type setting, would they even know they are on a planet and would they recognize a continent or larger scale map for what it is? In other settings, will players be able to afford a map?

Even if the maps you draw are only to inform yourself as the DM, don’t you want to share your creation(s) with your players?

I don’t have many books of maps. A well-done map is a thing of beauty. I like all maps, real and imaginary.

I don’t have the skill I wish I did to make my own maps. My maps are just crude representations of things. Some are better than others. I really appreciate all the maps available for my use from the plethora of OSR map makers!

Kingdom of the Dwarfs


I bought the book, Kingdom of the Dwarfs [Aff link], by Robb Walsh [Now a food writer and critic in Texas. Made me hungry for some good BBQ….] and illustrated by David Wenzel, back in the 1980’s. The copyright date is 1980, so I’m not sure what year I bought it. I know it was before I graduated high school, so sometime between 1980 and 1983.

I keep it with my RPG materials. I was trying to think of something to post about, and I remembered this book. I have not read it probably since I first read it after I got it home three plus decades ago.

I have looked at the art since then, and marveled at the skill of the artist, and wished I could do the same. Perhaps with intentional practice and some art classes I might do better than my present attempts.

I strongly identify with dwarves for some reason. I really liked the dwarf character from The Sword of Shannara [Aff link].

Oddly enough, my favorite character is a half-elf. Although I play a dwarf in my Wednesday night online AD&D game.

The Wikipedia article about David Wenzel calls this a children’s book. As I recall, it was in the fantasy/science fiction section of the bookstore, so it was not marketed or sold in that store like a children’s book. I don’t think the theme is of a children’s book.

I remembered the basic story, but of course, the details eluded me. So I read it again.

It is a fast read. The text is mostly a set up of the book and then brief blurbs to set the scene for the art. The art tells a very detailed story.

Now I’m in the mood to detail the dwarven realms in my campaign. There’s never enough time to do it all!

If you want to build a dwarven kingdom or lost kingdom, this is a great source book!