Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Malazan and Role-Playing Games

I don't know how much of a secret it is that the world of Malaz began as a setting for a role-playing game that Steven Erikson and his friend Ian Cameron Esslemont (the co-creator of Malaz, and author of two Malazan novels, with a third coming to market this Fall), invented because they were unhappy with the state of Dungeons and Dragons games.

Over on his blog Steven Erikson has posted a lengthy rumination on the link between role-playing games and the Malazan Book of the Fallen.  Actually, that's the launching point for the piece, since he often gets questions from fans eager to learn exactly what the connections are, but he ends up writing quite insightfully about the fact that he doesn't game while he's working because they both feel like very similar acts of creation.  He also writes explicitly about his problems with AD&D:

Let’s go back to what most would consider the basic look and feel of traditional role-playing games. The first games we played were set in the AD&D world, and we almost immediately clashed with the class and alignment rules set in place by Gary Gygax. We recognized them, you see, because we’d read fantasy fiction; but now those particular gaming rules were in turn affecting most of the new fantasy fiction at the time (with notable exceptions). The tropes were bleeding back and forth, yet the literary foundation was fifty years old. We recoiled, I think, from what we perceived as an ossification of the genre (I could go off on a tangent now and talk about Glen Cook, but do recall, his Black Company novels were not widely-read the first time they came out; even more-so for his Dread Empire stuff—he seemed a lone voice in the crowd, but for a while there he was the only one we were prepared to listen to).
Fascinating, no?

~

0 comments:

Post a Comment

 

Blog Archive