Jan 21, 2008


The Book of Jack is my online journal of a new roleplaying campaign I hope to start/ am starting. On it will be background info for the players, and a record of the sessions. This is a fairytale campaign, using ideas, characters, motifs, plots, and general inspiration from traditional western fairy tales and folktales, particularly those popularised by Charles Perrault and the Brothers Grimm. Over the next few weeks I will gradually add background notes for players.

You can find links on the left sidebar to rules I may use, fairy tale motifs and the game world.

So why the Book of Jack? Jack appears in many fairy tales and folk tales, he is the everyman and unlikely hero. Unlikely, in that he is not a noble knight or lord, rather, he is the commoner, with an element of the rogue or trickster about him, who triumphs using his wits. In the twentieth century, he appears regularly in films, from Jack Colton in Romancing the Stone
to Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean, from Jack O'Neill in Stargate to Jack Bauer in 24. Even John MClean in Die Hard - Jack is a common English diminutive of John. Its easy to see the trickster in Jack Sparrow, but the other characters all possess a certain defiance of societal norms, and the ability to outwit opponents.

In America, there is a whole oral tradition of "Jack Tales", derived from earlier English stories, featuring Jack the "self-made man who uses trickery and quick thinking as his main tools".

1 comment:

Bozzie said...

Jack and the bean stalk.
Jack be nimble.
Jack Pumpkinhead.
Jack Horner, who sat in the corner.
Jack of all trades.
The Jack in a deck of cards.