Darlene answers a Question involving Letters

Question from Martin: Wanted to contact you concerning the lettering in the original TSR Deities and Demigods, particularly the Melnibonean lettering. I want to create a font based on the style. Any information would be appreciated.

Dear Martin,

Ah yes, I remember that one!  It would certainly be a challenge to recreate as a type font.

Like some Greek and Celtic characters, the “o” is based on a diamond shape. The alphabet’s main feature are its huge triangular serifs that taper down to a point. I based the idea partly on the cuneiform writing of Mesopotamian clay tablets. There was also an Anglo-Saxon manuscript I saw once at the British Museum which had memorable tapered finials. Those scripts were my inspiration. I seem to remember I did an entire page using a script like that. I believe it was in “White Plume Mountain,” one of my first commissions for TSR back in the late 70’s.

Hope this helps. I would be interested in seeing your results.



2 thoughts on “Darlene answers a Question involving Letters

  1. Martin

    I checked the page from “White Plume Mountain” and while similar it has more of a calligraphic form than the cuneiform style of Melnibonean. What I might be able to do is use both to try and deconstruct/reconstruct a lower-case version of the letters for use in a digital font. Any chance I could commission you to do an entire set of uppers and lowers : ) ?

    Thanks for you reply – I will keep you posted on my progress. And thank you for your wonderful work you have provided the hobby for all these years – it is much appreciated.


    1. Darlene Post author

      Oh, that’s entirely possible. This alphabet has some delicious challenges in terms of readability. Might it be time to revisit type design once again…? Who knows?



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