Aesthetics for Birds

Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art for Everyone

P.D. Magnus on “B2: The Keep on the Borderlands”


Book cover with a cartoon drawing of a battlefield.
Black and white illustration of a troll under a tree.

This is entry #9 in our ongoing 100 Philosophers, 100 Artworks, 100 Words Series.

Philosopher: P.D. Magnus (Albany)

Artwork: B2: The Keep on the Borderlands written by Gary Gygax. Cover art by Jim Roslof. Interior illustrations by Erol Otus.

Words: I first encountered this adventure module in the red box D&D basic set, at age 8 or so, and we had the hardest time figuring out how it was supposed to work. We had never played a role-playing game before, after all. Now, decades later, I have moved on to other games. But it began in that matrix of 10’x10′ squares. It’s a work of art perhaps in the way that a folio or curated collection is, because it contains pictures and texts, but also in the sense that it provided a new way of seeing the world.

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