Author Topic: The Literary Metagame: Real-life Books that evoke Zalanthas  (Read 1560 times)

nauta

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The Literary Metagame: Real-life Books that evoke Zalanthas
« on: February 08, 2018, 10:38:30 AM »
I was doing a bit of history diving on Armageddon recently, and came across this old website from the mid-2000s: A recommended reading list for clans and races.

https://web.archive.org/web/20100802141536/http://www.armageddon.org:80/books/clanread.html

In that spirit, what are some books that inspired your character?  What are some books that help you visualize Zalanthas, the world as a whole?  A particular clan or area or race?  (I love the recommended reading for Mantis on that link.)
as IF you didn't just have them unconscious, naked, and helpless in the street 4 minutes ago

MarshallDFX

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Re: The Literary Metagame: Real-life Books that evoke Zalanthas
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2018, 10:54:20 AM »
When I started playing I read Ursula K Le Guin left hand of darkness and always kind of visualized the differences between allanaki and tuluki societies in the same fashion

Miradus

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Re: The Literary Metagame: Real-life Books that evoke Zalanthas
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2018, 06:13:40 PM »
Books, sometimes ... but music a lot more.

With a character from a book, he's already lived his story. A character roughly fleshed out from a song ... well ... I can go anywhere with that.

My current:


azuriolinist

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Re: The Literary Metagame: Real-life Books that evoke Zalanthas
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2018, 09:14:58 PM »
I found the dark themes of the First Law series (all seven books) by Joe Abercrombie show a striking resemblance to Armageddon's own theme. There's plenty of betrayal, manipulation, and blackmailing throughout the series. The bittersweet ending could definitely have taken place in Zalanthas.

Plus, there are such a variety of characters in the series. Each and every one of them would fit so well in Zalanthas. I've probably taken more than a tiny bit of inspiration from some of the characters in the series.

Delirium

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Re: The Literary Metagame: Real-life Books that evoke Zalanthas
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2018, 11:23:10 PM »
First Law is great. Also Mark Lawrence- the Thorns trilogy and the Red Queen's War trilogy. Both are solid, brutal. I almost don't want to share them because I absolutely steal stuff from them for Zalanthas.
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WarriorPoet

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Re: The Literary Metagame: Real-life Books that evoke Zalanthas
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2018, 11:29:18 PM »
Gentlemen Bastards.

Wutup.
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Delirium

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Re: The Literary Metagame: Real-life Books that evoke Zalanthas
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2018, 06:29:37 AM »
Hell yeah, though I'm STILL WAITING for the next book...
Will they tell your story in the end?
Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?

650Booger

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Re: The Literary Metagame: Real-life Books that evoke Zalanthas
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2018, 08:16:21 AM »
I get lots of my roleplay personality ideas from books!
ironically, some of my favorite PCs have been derived from characters like Lucky Jack Aubrey from the Aubrey Maturin series of british naval fiction novels (think Master and Commander).  zalanthas could not be more different from the napoleonic era high seas, but I just love the way they talked back then.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2018, 08:18:16 AM by 650Booger »
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path

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Re: The Literary Metagame: Real-life Books that evoke Zalanthas
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2018, 03:30:14 PM »
The rinth reminds me of a mix of Neverwhere and Trainspotting.

The Atrium reminds me a little of Kushiel's Dart (the first part).

I second everything by Joe Abercrombie.

China Mieville and Catherynne Valente are two of my biggest inspirations, stylistically. I fall hard for their use of language.

WarriorPoet

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Re: The Literary Metagame: Real-life Books that evoke Zalanthas
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2018, 09:22:45 AM »
D elves.

Dan Carlin's Apache Tears introduced me to the wonderfull Eve Ball and her histories. If you want some stories of savagery and opression, read some of her stuff. Brutal and heartbreaking.
We were somewhere near the Shield Wall, on the edge of the Red Desert, when the drugs began to take hold...

Melkor

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Re: The Literary Metagame: Real-life Books that evoke Zalanthas
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2018, 02:40:03 PM »
A Canticle for Leibowitz, specifically part 1.

A vast desert wasteland, rubble, survival, bandits, zealots.

Good stuff.
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

Miradus

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Re: The Literary Metagame: Real-life Books that evoke Zalanthas
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2018, 04:23:31 PM »
A Canticle for Leibowitz, specifically part 1.

A vast desert wasteland, rubble, survival, bandits, zealots.

Good stuff.

That's a great one.

"Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. I ate a lizard."

The Great Corn

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Re: The Literary Metagame: Real-life Books that evoke Zalanthas
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2018, 06:41:30 PM »
I've always pulled a lot of inspiration from the Wheel of Time, sometimes without realizing it. The different cultures and attitudes, the way prejudices are portrayed, I really dig it man.

Edit: Also the combat, Aeilman, Borderlanders and Warders are what half my fighters aspire to be.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2018, 06:45:33 PM by The Great Corn »

Nao

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Re: The Literary Metagame: Real-life Books that evoke Zalanthas
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2018, 02:11:26 AM »
I dug out this:

http://web.archive.org/web/20051026023500/http://www.armageddon.org:80/books/staffread.html

The black company books are great and very armageddon-ish.
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Cind

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Re: The Literary Metagame: Real-life Books that evoke Zalanthas
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2018, 02:35:10 AM »
Thinking about reading some classic Dune. I have several books, and like the first one best.
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Grapes

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Re: The Literary Metagame: Real-life Books that evoke Zalanthas
« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2018, 02:47:48 AM »
Machiavelli's "The Discourses" (not "the prince", the prince is a work of satire)
Miyamoto Musashi's "The Book of Five Rings"
Sun Tzu's "The Art of War"
The Blue Cliff Record

ETA: "The Dosadi Experiment", that's both Zalanthas and Athas in a nutshell, except nicer.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2018, 02:49:57 AM by Grapes »
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Bogre

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Re: The Literary Metagame: Real-life Books that evoke Zalanthas
« Reply #16 on: May 07, 2018, 11:15:31 AM »
The Black Company for: Mercs and Mages, assassins and underhanded plots. Where no one is really a good guy, and the one with the most devious plan wins. I personally love the trope of people going by aliases, too. Limper, Bonegnasher, Whisper, Journey, Silent, The Hanged Man, it's just so perfect.

Malazan Book of the Fallen: Really speaks to the soldier mindset. The inspirations from the magick in this book are also varied and very cool. (Also, the names!)

Second Abercrombie/Lawrence/Locke Lamora as well.
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Harmless

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Re: The Literary Metagame: Real-life Books that evoke Zalanthas
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2018, 12:48:04 PM »
I was going to make sure that Malazan was mentioned.

I like that there are female characters in it who are (without spoilers) defined more by their role (in their culture / group, being vague) than they are by their sex, so that they do not fall into RL sexist tropes. Every dark fantasy element included in it was fun to read. I need to get back to that series and keep reading the rest...
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Sakra

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Re: The Literary Metagame: Real-life Books that evoke Zalanthas
« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2018, 04:13:31 PM »
The trilogy starting with In Legend Born by Laura Resnick. Takes place on a harsh island ruled by the waterlords, who control all the water. The fire mages are hated and killed on sight.
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Brokkr

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Re: The Literary Metagame: Real-life Books that evoke Zalanthas
« Reply #19 on: May 19, 2018, 08:46:47 PM »
I would recommend The Last Stormlord and the following two books in the trilogy by Glenda Larke, for a harsh desert where water actually matters.

stoicreader

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Re: The Literary Metagame: Real-life Books that evoke Zalanthas
« Reply #20 on: May 19, 2018, 11:26:36 PM »
Wilderness survival for dummies
Meh

Cind

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Re: The Literary Metagame: Real-life Books that evoke Zalanthas
« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2018, 09:27:18 PM »
Any wilderness survival book would probably be game.

I looked in one and it showed four styles of knife tip, and their uses, pros and cons. Was interesting, and shows why an inwards-curving (on both sides) blade tip is not super-common, although it is still usable.

Luxury Knitting by Linda Morse showcases everything there is to know about merino wool, silk and cashmere. Now cashmere we wouldn't and don't have, and its no coincidence that we don't have it in game. A cashmere goat has to withstand some of the coldest survivable conditions on earth to produce its undercoat. But if you wanted to be someone who knows a lot about silk and one of those niche tribals or merchants who knows about wool then its a good read. Its not really about knitting, but more about their history, the animals and herders that produce them, and how they are made into fabrics from the raw materials.
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Cind

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Re: The Literary Metagame: Real-life Books that evoke Zalanthas
« Reply #22 on: June 18, 2018, 11:33:16 AM »
Not a book, but King's Quest VII is a game based around staying the fuck out of a witch's way while you try to thwart her evil plans. Your eye is immediately drawn to her when she appears onscreen or is heard coming back to her house, and if she sees you, she can do things like turn you into toast. There's also enchanted stuff around her house to watch out for. It might inspire a plot or a more believable backstory than you already had in mind. I've been there, having a backstory that's got a 'Just roll with it' feel.

Also not a book, but I watched Mad Mad 2 yesterday, and the philosophy that all the groups in the wasteland share is so evocative of Zalanthas. Everyone is out for themselves, because there's limited water, food and of course gasoline. Thre's one bad raider-style group who lives around an oil rig, a 'nicer' group living on another oil rig with whom Max must bargain pretty hard still, that is less like raiders and more like families trying to scrape by. Also another guy besides Max who's on his own who has trained a trap with poisonous snakes to bite curious people so he can take their stuff, and that is how he survives, although he himself is a good guy. There is a good deal of bargaining for resources and services and everyone is being stingy about it with absolutely no freebies. Because Max helps the good group earlier, though, when he is almost killed in a car crash later they bandage his wounds and let him rest in the safety of their compound, which strikes the viewer as nice of them especially since its a time when the bad raiders are killing anyone who leaves the good guy compound. A little spoilery, but its an old movie.
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