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Eyeless One
05-07-2004, 02:40 AM
Greetings all! This is my first time posting on the BR.net forum, but I'm a long time fan of the setting. I recall some of you from the mailing list of old. It's great to see some old, familiar names of posters, as well as a number of new ones.

I'm curious what fantasy novels BR fans have found that have a BR flavor to them? I've read each of the novels that was released for the setting more than once [along with the Shadowstone book that was obviously the story of Aelies, complete w/ a spot or 2 where they missed changing the name to whatever it was they decided felt more Realms-ish ;-)], and I'd really like to find some new fiction to read that will seem at least a bit familiar.

I particularly love the Sidhelien, so any novels you could recommend where elves are given a similar treatment would undoubtedly be something I'd enjoy. Any suggestions on novels that remind you a bit of Cerilia, the bloodlines/regents theme, or the relatively scarce but powerful magic of the setting would also be very greatly appreciated.

Thanks very much and my apologies if I have screwed anything up,
Craig Greeson - the Eyeless One

Fearless_Leader
05-07-2004, 05:36 PM
The series 'A Song of Ice and Fire' by George R.R. Martin without a doubt. I've used this series as inspiration for setting the atmosphere in my own campaigns. You'll also find that magic is very scarce and much of the focus is on factions warring over the throne (coincidentally called the Iron Throne). I've never read a more well-written or compelling fantasy series.

graham anderson
05-08-2004, 02:33 PM
The legend of nightfall by mickey zucker reichart is good.

It has people with talents magical abilitys and sorcerors that gain there power by steeling the abilitys of the talented.

Don E
05-08-2004, 04:14 PM
Robin Hobb's three fantasy trilogies have given me a great amount of inspiration. Especially the first, the "Farseer Trilogy", seems particularly apt for BR fans. In this world the rulers in one area have powers that si very simila to the Bloodlines in BR. I have always wanted to run a BR game set in the Six Duchies region of these books, but time has as always worked against me, and not much more than writing a prestige class based on the blood abilities and holdings for some areas have been done so far.
The books are highly recomended, BR fan or not, and I would love to see somebody do a conversion for the world into BR format.

Cheers,
E

ryancaveney
05-15-2004, 02:30 AM
I`ve just finished reading "Lord of Snow and Shadows", by Sarah Ash; it

qualifies nicely. It`s a bit later period (most realms have 1700-ish

technology), but it`s a tale of political machination in a world of rare

but powerful magic, with countries that can reasonably be labeled Brecht,

nona Vos/Khinasi and torva Vos. There are some rather shadow-world /

spectral scion moments, and the central character is a young man raised as

an artist in the warm and forward-thinking south who is revealed to be

heir to the most backward (1200-ish tech), barren, paleo-Vos realm, as

evidenced by some pretty impressive (Azrai) blood abilities (they are in

fact due to a literal difference in his blood) and accompanying Awnshegh

transformation into a dragon with vampirish tendencies. A pretty good

read, and in fact an excellent Birthright campaign outline, though several

of the main characters wouldn`t last ten minutes as real rulers. =)





Ryan Caveney

Osprey
05-15-2004, 03:33 AM
The series 'A Song of Ice and Fire' by George R.R. Martin without a doubt. I've used this series as inspiration for setting the atmosphere in my own campaigns. You'll also find that magic is very scarce and much of the focus is on factions warring over the throne (coincidentally called the Iron Throne). I've never read a more well-written or compelling fantasy series.



Robin Hobb's three fantasy trilogies have given me a great amount of inspiration. Especially the first, the "Farseer Trilogy", seems particularly apt for BR fans. In this world the rulers in one area have powers that si very simila to the Bloodlines in BR. I have always wanted to run a BR game set in the Six Duchies region of these books, but time has as always worked against me, and not much more than writing a prestige class based on the blood abilities and holdings for some areas have been done so far.
The books are highly recomended, BR fan or not, and I would love to see somebody do a conversion for the world into BR format.

Cheers,
E

I couldn't agree more. These two series stand as my definite favorites of contemporary fantasy. Robin Hobbes also wrote the Mad Ship trilogy (different region, same world), and more recently a second trilogy that goes back to Fitz and the Six Duchies. Hobbes very much captures the personal perspective of politics in a fantasy world. While some folks complain about the slow pace, these are the people who don't have the patience to read through some detailed setup. The delivery is well worth the wait IMO - Hobbes weaves an intricate background story, and the many threads tie in throughout the continuing story.

Love em , love em, love em. Great stuff!


Not quite on the same level (by my judgement) are Steven Brust's series about Vlad Taltos (Jhereg, Teckla, etc.). These are a bit more light-hearted than the other books above, stories that remind me of Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser at points. But they are rich with plenty of high fantasy, thickly political storylines, characters, guilds and factions. Certainly some ideas can be drawn from here for the BR setting.

Osprey

Azrai
05-25-2004, 04:34 PM
Originally posted by Fearless_Leader@May 7 2004, 05:36 PM
The series 'A Song of Ice and Fire' by George R.R. Martin without a doubt. I've never read a more well-written or compelling fantasy series.
IMO this is one of the worst fantasy-series ever. Extremely brutal, sadistic, depressive - mixed with a boring plot and bad characters.

Green Knight
05-25-2004, 05:20 PM
As opposed to the BR novels, which are ripe with plot and good characters
:-D
(dripping with sarcasm)

Cheers
Bjørn

geeman
05-25-2004, 06:00 PM
Azrai writes:



Fearless Leader: The series `A Song of Ice and Fire` by George R.R. Martin without a doubt. I`ve never read a more well-written or compelling fantasy series.
IMO this is one of the worst fantasy-series ever. Extremely

> brutal, sadistic, depressive - mixed with a boring plot and

> bad characters.



Brutal, sadistic and depressive are generally merits IMO--though I disagree

that the plot is boring or that the characters are bad. Martin does more

character development than is the norm for fantasy novelists by a good

stretch, and there are at least five (and probably more than ten) major

intermingling plot-lines going on in that particular series.



In general, however, I don`t think the series is much more brutal, sadistic

or depressing than is "average" for a work of that type. When it comes to

depressing fantasy series, for instance, I don`t think it compares to Thomas

Covenant or some of Gene Wolfe`s work, either of which might be appropriate

BR reading. JRRT`s work is in many ways much more brutal, sadisting and

depressing than Martin`s.



Gary

geeman
05-26-2004, 05:10 PM
Andrew Casey writes:

I think the Song of Ice and Fire series is great. I`m just annoyed that it`s taking so long to bring out the last book.

Yeah, I`m with you on that. Amongst my little informal "book club" that has been reading SoI&F--and the guys who turned me onto Martin in the first place--there is a theory that he`s never going to finish the series. It`s turned into his _Remembrance of Things Past_. Personally, I`m not so sure I`d object to the series never being finished, or with someone in another generation picking it up after Martin, but I`m a Neverending Story kind of guy to begin with.

Gary

ecliptic
05-27-2004, 07:53 AM
IMO this is one of the worst fantasy-series ever. Extremely brutal, sadistic, depressive - mixed with a boring plot and bad characters.

Note to Self: Never listen to you for novel advice.

tcharazazel
05-27-2004, 08:16 AM
What's wrong with brutality and sadism? I can understand depresive as not being a good thing, thats for those masochists... gotta love em. MWAHAHAHAHA!!!

Fearless_Leader
05-27-2004, 09:08 PM
Originally posted by Azrai@May 25 2004, 08:34 AM
IMO this is one of the worst fantasy-series ever. Extremely brutal, sadistic, depressive - mixed with a boring plot and bad characters.
I for one find the plot to be very compelling, but its all in the eye of the beholder I guess. Everyone has different tastes. As for the brutal and sadistic parts, they're exceptionally realistic... keep in mind that that this is a medieval world we're talking about here. Martin is one of the few who doesn't white wash just how nasty life really was. Here in the 21st century we often forget a near universal constant... that being that before the modern era life was nasty, brutish, and short.

Landsturning
05-27-2004, 09:59 PM
Patricia McKillip RIDDLE OF STARS (originally Riddlemaster of Hed, Harpist In the Wind, Heir to Sea and Fire) has "Land Heirs" one per generation per realm who have direct connection to varied lands. Suddenly getting the inheritance hitting a character is one way of finding out that one's father's plan resulted in his death ... Varied powers in different lands.
This is an early work -- 1976. It's both a higher power level than I'd care to run (an End of an Era work) and though very good and re-readable over the years, she's incresaed her skill in the last quarter century.

CYGNET AND THE SORCERESS and CYGNET AND THE FIREBIRD have interesting ideas on nature of godlike powers and dragons and magic -- none of which were designed to be in the least compatible with D&D mechanics, but with a good story.

Her later books are more one-book gems, multi-faceted and unrelated to each other. BOOK OF ATRIX WOLF might be a good starting place for very different elves, more like Birthright Sidhaelin and traditional mythological elves than D&Doid elves.

NEWTON'S CANON by Gregory Keyes is not at all directly Birthright related, but there is a Day The World {and especially laws of magic} Changed that might provide some starting points for thoughts on possible Deismaar effects though again MUCH higher power than I want to run.


Lyndon the (usually) Lurker

Son of Fire
05-28-2004, 04:42 AM
Sorry if I am interrupting this thread but I could not help but to comment.

I also have read George R. R. Martin’s series “A song of ice and fire”, and I absolutely adored it.
In fact one of the reasons I did enjoy it so much was because it did indeed remind me of BR, abet with a much darker slant. In all honesty, the darkness and brutality are the things that kept me reading and interested. Now this could be because in the games I play in with my group tend to have a darker edge to them…or it could be because I am sadistic, I tend to think it’s a bit of both. The way we (my group and I) look at it is that the brutality of it adds conflict, and conflict adds drama, which in turn leads to good stories and good character development.
As for depressing, well I will hold off on that one until the end of the series, after all, there are only three out of the six planned books on the shelves at this point, and who knows how it will end up?

But as for if it is reminisce of BR? I would have to say yes, most definitely.
The whole series seems to revolve around politics and intrigue, which I have always seen as the core of BR. Lords and ladies manoeuvring for their respective domains, if not someone else’s.
The “magic” is toned down considerably, which tends to make it all the more wondrous when something truly “fantastic” happens. Whether it being a spell or a dragon; it is never taken for granted, much like BR.
Its basis though in a “fantastic” setting seemd to be more inspired by history, than high fantasy. This too, also seems to be the case with BR, or at least that’s the impression I get.

But that’s the nature with opinions I guess, there is no right or wrong, there are just those who like it, and those who don’t.

Moving on to other things, I would have to say the series “Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn” by Tad Williams is a really good book over all, and it has some elements that seem BR-ish. Though the over-all concept is fairly common among fantasy novels (find the swords/ring/what have you), it is the execution that sets it apart, great character development, some good politics, and something that seems reminiscent of an Awnsheghlien, (or at least someone who is blooded and is falling). Further, the way he portrays his Elves (or Sithi) is very well done. He makes them truly alien, a totally separate species from human, not just poncey guys with pointy ears.

Ok, that’s my two cents, I hope I did not offend.