While the scope and mood of your
Valherjar game is entirely up to you and your group, we have assembled
a small list of resources and reference materials that may help
you capture the feel you're looking for. They are separated into
two categories, Inspiration & Ambiance
and Historical Reference, to help you
gain the most from what they offer.
Inspiration & Ambiance
New players especially might be looking
for some inspiration to help quantify and create experiences and
moods for their Valherjar campaigns, so we've assembled a list of
movies, books and CDs to help draw you in to some of the potential
concepts your games may address.
300 by Frank Miller (Dark
Horse Comics): The ultimate story of sacrifice and defiance of destiny,
300 is based on the true story of 300 Spartan soldiers in 480 BC
who, with almost no resources or support, held off an army of Persians
many times their number so that Greece could rally its defenses.
Anita Blake; Vampire Hunter;
a series by Laurell K. Hamilton (various publishers): Based around
a woman who is a freelance necromancer by night and a state-sanctioned
vampire hunter by day, the Anita Blake series is a wonderful view
of a mortal trying to deal with her supernatural abilities and enemies.
Blackhawk Down (Columbia/Tri
Star Home Video): One of the most realistic movies ever made in
terms of military tactics and relative violence, Blackhawk Down
will both help set an authentic tone to your in-game combat and
give you ideas for the horror of a small group of combatants facing
many times their number.
Midnight Syndicate CDs and
soundtracks: Often used as ambiance for haunted houses and other
mood specific events, the Midnight Syndicate combines music, audio
samples and voice work to create the perfect background soundtrack
for your game.
Saving Private Ryan (Dreamworks):
The quintessential "small band on a mission" movie, not only is
Saving Private Ryan incredibly realistic and gritty, but it conveys
numerous social and emotional aspects of a soldier's life that previous
movies have missed. But even more importantly, from a gaming perspective,
is the way the small squad is perpetually resentful of their mission
and are detoured from their goal by a number of uncontrollable factors.
This is powerfully inspirational for a number of potential roleplaying
Song of Ice and Fire; a series
by George R.R. Martin (Bantam Books): One of the deepest and most
brilliant fantasy series ever written. These books offer political
intrigue and conflict with enough hooks and inspiration to fill
thousands of hours of gaming.
Sonja Blue; a series by Nancy
Collins (White Wolf): The story of a vampire assassin/vigilante
on the prowl, the series is full of ideas for playing a super-powered
character in the world of mortals.
The Crow (Dimension Home Video):
A dark revenge fantasy dealing with a dead hero returning to the
mortal coil, The Crow includes some wonderful inspiration for dealing
with the loss of a character's mortality and their desire to return
to their former life, as well as some original ideas as to how a
person will adapt to new super powers.
Underworld (Columbia/Tri Star
Home Video): A gothic tale of a war between vampires and werewolves,
Underworld deals heavily with the concept of clandestine battles
being fought in the modern world.
For those looking for a more historical
angle, or an understanding of the resources that helped inspire
us, some historical references may prove invaluable. Obviously this
is just a taste of the volumes you could draw from, but it should
be enough to get you started.
The Havamal: Supposedly the
words of Odin himself past down to mortal man, the Havamal is a
series of proverbs that help define a "proper" life. Drawn from
the Elder/Poetic Eddas, numerous translations can be found in bookstores
The Little Giant Encyclopedia
of Runes by Sirona Knight (Sterling Publishing): One of the
most detailed and in-depth guides to runes we've encountered, it
includes definitions and historical insight, numerous divination
layouts, ceremonial practices and much, much more.
The Norse Myths by Kevin Crossley-Holland
(Random House): Though there is no shortage of books on Norse mythology,
this is one of our favorites. Retold in a simple and easily understandable
style and including an accessible glossary and index, it's a good
choice if you want more detailed information.
The Warrior and Men at
Arms series of books (Osprey Books): Invaluable for players
wishing to create historically accurate characters, both of these
phenomenal series of inexpensive books deal with the weapons, armor,
strategies and mentalities of the soldiers they portray.