Got a bit behind there — sorry about that, chief!
But I can catch up pretty easily. When it comes to dice, well, I’m largely agnostic. For one, I play without dice a lot these days, and for another, my luck with dice is nigh legendary among my friends. So, I have an un-easy relationship with these little so-called random number generators. And as to weird RPGs… I’m kinda vanilla in that regard. I like my games pretty straight up, and I’m not even one for comedy. So, really… no weird games in my collection.
Which leaves me with my favourite piece of gaming fiction.
This is an interesting one, because by and large I don’t read a lot of tie-in stuff. I loathe RA Salvatore’s works with a passion, and while I loved Dragonlance when I didn’t know better, I cringe to even flick through the books now.
However — and I owe credit to a friend of mine for the idea — if you we can include books that are inspired by gaming, then it becomes a little more interesting!
I love the Malazan Book of the Fallen. It’s a series with a ten book main cycle, a new trilogy by the same author in the world’s pre-history, and a spin-off series by the author’s mate. The two writers in question are Steven Eriksson and Ian Cameron Esslemont, and together they dreamed up their dark, high fantasy world when they gamed in the setting together. They started out with AD&D, and then went to homebrew GURPS, and between them ran a range of characters as they collaborated on their creation.
The great thing is that it really shows — the world has an amazingly rich history, and like the best works of fantasy, that history seems almost a character in itself. And speaking of characters, there are some doozies, from villains to heroes and everything in between, and the stuff they get up to could only spring from writers who have gamed their setting.
It doesn’t hurt that the book has one of my favourite characters of all time, Anomander Rake, Lord of Moon’s Spawn, Knight of Darkness, Son of Mother Dark. Like many of the series best beats, it’s a take on a popular trope — the Elric-like dark lord — but Eriksson does fascinating things with him. And he looks (see pic) awesome.
The ten-book main cycle is over now, and while there was always a rum0ur that Eriksson would release some kind of game supplement, this has not yet come to pass — but if it ever does, I am so running a Malazan game.
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