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23945Re: [mythsoc] RPG fiction

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  • David Bratman
    Dec 20, 2012
      "Joshua Kronengold" <mneme@...> wrote:

      > Er. Do you actually not like novels inspired by RPGs? Or do you just not
      > like
      > novels that are obviously someone's writeup of a D&D campaign or that feel
      > like
      > D&D?

      Both, insofar as I know them. But, not liking the ones I've read, I haven't
      gone very far into it.

      > Some novels/series I respect that were inspired by RPGs:
      > Steven Brust's Jhereg novels.

      Brust is the only one of the RPG novelists you mention that I've read. I'm
      afraid I didn't care for this stuff very much, except for one book of his
      that I respect a great deal, but which several Brust fans have told me is in
      their opinion his worst book: _The Sun the Moon and the Stars_.

      > Sorcery and Cecelia (ok, not technically an RPG -- but really, there's no
      > distinction between a letter game and any other PBEM rpg; I've played
      > letter
      > games and they're pretty similar from the inside).

      I had to look up "PBEM" (play by e-mail). Well, there may be no significant
      difference between letter-games and other pbem games, but if so, they're
      very very different from tabletop games. Much more writerly exposition

      Anyway, I did read and passingly enjoy _Sorcery and Cecilia_. And I suppose
      that's technically role-playing, so I must modify the sweeping statement to
      acknowledge that, but it is of a quite different kind than what we were
      talking about, so modifying "RPG" in some way is sufficient to maintain the

      > IMO, if you can -tell- reading something that it came from/was inspired by
      > a
      > game,

      No, I'm thinking of books whose authors said that was their inspiration.
      Sorry I can not remember examples at this distance.

      > it's usually flaw--but that's because the main differences are the
      > artifacts (and, of course, it's possible to tell "this probably came from
      > a
      > game" because of -positive- artifacts, like the structure of Sorcery of
      > Cecelia
      > or a novel with multiple strong protagonists in different styles); but
      > there,
      > the game isn't the problem; the -flaw- is.

      Yes, I agree that the flaw is the problem. But, as the question is not what
      _can_ be done with the medium but what _is_ done with the medium, the game
      enables the flaw, and it's particularly difficult to overcome. But remember
      that I'm not saying that RPG-inspired fantasy is crappy and other fantasy is
      good. Most other stuff that comes out under the name fantasy in the last
      few decades is crappy too.
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