A Fantasy Author’s Playground
Dungeons & Dragons is a table top game that has been delighting nerds like myself since 1974. I’ve had a lot of memorable experiences myself playing D&D – I think my first time I was eight years old playing with neighborhood kids who were much older than me. It was like playing Final Fantasy but in real life. Little did I know at the time that Dungeons and Dragons is where Final Fantasy actually came from. See, even as a kid I was fascinated by role playing games, thought I didn’t get to play table tops much as a kid they were my video game of choice even until today. There is just something unbeatable about traveling to a different world in your imagination and being a different character for a little while – this is why writing has always been so enjoyable.
Flash forward to today and I get to play in a game with seven other like minded people while our Dungeon Master and a fellow author, Ryan Avey, presents to us his story in the D&D universe that he created all for us. Our Tiefling Cleric even drew this fantastic comic of the beginning of our adventure that I badgered her into letting me share (thanks for being so awesome Ash).
From the top panel, left to right:
Torbor (half Goliath/Dwarf) Cleric, Jaq (Half-Elf) Rogue, Piper (Half Orc) Bard, Guile (Tiefling) cleric, Ion Nix (Human) wizard, and finally… Me!
Anrik the Dragonborn fighter. Here we are in real table top form:
Dungeons & Dragons is really important to the world of fantasy literature.
For one, D&D is drawn almost directly from Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. I believe in the original publication Halflings were called Hobbits until a legal dispute ruled in the Tolkien estate’s favor forcing them to change it. This dispute also included Ents to Treants and Balrog to Balor.
It’s quite clear though, from the outset that the fantasy realms within the D&D universe were at least inspired by early fantasy authors like Tolkien and Moorcock. Fantasy authors today still draw on their influence.
Malazan Book of the Fallen was based on a table top campaign.
That’s right. One of the greatest modern fantasy series was based on a campaign that Steven Erikson and Ian Esslemont played in college. If you’ve never read this series, start now. It’s not an easy read but it’s well worth the effort. The world these two create has over 300,000 years of written history that the two authors delve into through out the 21 books that currently make up the universe though the main story line written by Steven Erikson is a mere 10 books alone.
I’ve got a ton of respect for people who DM a campaign. It has a totally different enjoyment style from actually getting to play the game (which is what I prefer). If you want to get an idea of the fantasy worlds that I’ve created you can get one of my ebooks for FREE by signing up to my email list.
I’ll also keep you up to date on when my newest book, Immortal Fear, which will be released on July 14th.
Thanks so much for reading.