Points of Light - Not New

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I was just starting a new group of players on the old adventure B1 - Keep on the Borderlands, when I stumbled across this in the opening of the module:

BACKGROUND
The Realm of mankind is narrow and constricted. Always
the forces of Chaos press upon its borders, seeking to enslave
its populace, **** its riches, and steal its treasures. If
it were not for a stout few, many in the Realm would indeed
fall prey to the evil which surrounds them. Yet, there are always
certain exceptional and brave members of humanity,
as well as similar individuals among its allies - dwarves,
elves, and halflings - who rise above the common level
and join battle to stave off the darkness which would otherwise
overwhelm the land. Bold adventurers from the Realm
set off for the Borderlands to seek their fortune. It is these adventurers
who, provided they survive the challenge, carry
the battle to the enemy. Such adventurers meet the forces
of Chaos in a testing ground where only the fittest will return
to relate the tale. Here, these individuals will become
skilled in their profession, be it fighter or magic-user, cleric
or thief. They will be tried in the fire of combat, those who return,
hardened and more fit. True, some few who do survive
the process will turn from Law and good and serve the
masters of Chaos, but most will remain faithful and ready to
fight chaos wherever it threatens to infect the Realm.

Sound Familiar? This was written back in 1981.
Who's this post directed towards?

Most people know PoL isn't a new concept, in fact PoL stretches all the way back to the Dark Ages and even before then to the dawn of man kind. Still, it's cool to see WotC embracing at least some concepts from D&D's colorfully storied past

As for the actual passage... Makes me want to break out some dice and make my fortune!
No one in particular, just anyone who may be dismissing PoL as some sort of "new" marketing scheme of WotCs.

It's been a long time since I'd actually read through the module, and that entry just caught me by surprise. Anyone know of any other references to PoL backgrounds in rulebooks or modules?

Excluding all of Dark Sun, of course...
Everyone knows it's not new - except WoTC:
But one of the new key conceits about the D&D world is simply this: Civilized folk live in small, isolated points of light scattered across a big, dark, dangerous world.

Thanks for the flashback. That is what I thought about when I read the PoL article.

Palace of the Silver Princess had a similar feel to it, although I couldn't quote anything from it. It's scenario was that the PoL was dieing, and if the heroes failed it would be lost.
Well, if anyone remembers back to Gygax's original Dungeon Masters Guide, there's a short list of suggested novels for inspiration. I haven't read the full list, but they include Poul Anderson's "Three Hearts and Three Lions" and John Bellair's "The Face in the Frost."

If you read either of these excellent novels, you'll be reading of adventures (the first with a fighter, the second with two wizards) through a "Points of Light" style world.
Forgotten Realms and Greyhawk both basically started out as Points of Light settings, and just have had too much light shone on them in the last few decades.
Everyone kows where the real PoL idea came from... and I quote:

"Theres a point when you cannot walk away
Theres a darkness that everyone must face
There are heroes whose names we never hear

When you have to stand up
Straight and tall an mean the words you say
It wants to take whats good and fair and lay it all to waste
A dedicated army of quiet volun-teers

Theres a point you must decide just to do it cause its right
And that darkness covers everything in sight
Reaching out to feed the hungry reaching out to save the land

Thats when you be-come a point of light
Until it meets a single point of light
Reaching out to their fellow men.

All it takes is a point of light a ray of hope in the dar-kest night.
If you see whats wrong and you try to make it right

You will be a point of light.

There are dreamers who are making dreams come true
Taking time to teach the children theres nothing they cant do.
Giving shelter to the homeless giving hope to those without.
Isnt that what this lands all about.
One by one form the mountains to the sea points of light
Are calling out to you and me
All it takes is a point of light a ray of hope in the dar-kest night.
If you see whats wrong and you try to make it right

You will be a point of light."

"The turning of the tide always begins with one soldier's decision to head back into the fray"

Everyone kows where the real PoL idea came from... and I quote:

"Theres a point when you cannot walk away
Theres a darkness that everyone must face
There are heroes whose names we never hear

When you have to stand up
Straight and tall an mean the words you say
It wants to take whats good and fair and lay it all to waste
A dedicated army of quiet volun-teers

Theres a point you must decide just to do it cause its right
And that darkness covers everything in sight
Reaching out to feed the hungry reaching out to save the land

Thats when you be-come a point of light
Until it meets a single point of light
Reaching out to their fellow men.

All it takes is a point of light a ray of hope in the dar-kest night.
If you see whats wrong and you try to make it right

You will be a point of light.

There are dreamers who are making dreams come true
Taking time to teach the children theres nothing they cant do.
Giving shelter to the homeless giving hope to those without.
Isnt that what this lands all about.
One by one form the mountains to the sea points of light
Are calling out to you and me
All it takes is a point of light a ray of hope in the dar-kest night.
If you see whats wrong and you try to make it right

You will be a point of light."

Actually, hadn't heard that, but just looked it up. It's Randy Travis, and the song was co-written by Sig Rogich, a White House publicist, and of course the phrase was used by the elder George Bush in his speeches. Whether it originated with him and his speechwriters or he just popularized it, I'm not sure.

But the idea of "candles in the dark" is a heck of a lot older, so I've no trouble with taking the phrase and running with it.
PoL is what generic DnD has always been about, small creepy villages separated by woolly, rugged terrain full of monsters and old ruins of long lost civilizations (also full of monsters).

The only thing that is new is the use of PoL as a name for this. It is a "key conceit" but not a new one.