Weird Books for Gamers V: An Atlas of Fantasy by J.B. Post

This is the fifth in my series of capsule reviews of non-fiction books that would be useful or inspiring in RPGs – Weird Books for Gamers

This 1979 book is pretty simple. It’s a collection of over 100 black & white maps of fictional worlds from various fictional works. There’s a short description for each.

An Atlas of Fantasy by J.B. Post (Goodreads)51-LkCLbyJL

Of course it has the usual suspects like Tolkien’s Middle Earth maps, Burroughs’ Mars maps, and Howard’s Hyborian Age map. The most interesting maps however, are much lesser known.

Some of my favorites:

  • Barsetshire, the fictional English county from Anthony Trollope’s novels.
  • Mars, as imagined by Leigh Brackett, Ray Bradbury, and Captain Future
  • Yoknapatawpha County, the fictional Mississippi county from the stories of William Faulkner.
  • Slobbovia, from the comic strip Lil’ Abner by Al Capp
  • The land of Swallows and Amazons, by Arthur Ransome
  • All of the lost cities Tarzan visited in the Edgar Rice Burroughs novels.

The many uses of this book for GMs is obvious. The maps can be places the PCs visit, or inspirations for new worlds the GM designs. Lots of games have been run in Burroughs’ Mars, but how many have used Captain Future‘s? Need a location to set a Call of Cthulhu game? Use Yoknapatawpha County or Barsetshire.

The book would make a great resource for a GM running Monte Cook’s The Strange. Each map is a recursion ready for use.

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