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Name a single writer whose work you hope most influences the story/tone of P:E


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First of all, HP Lovecraft - nobody can write like that man could (and I don't just mean the ability to use squamous in a sentence correctly). I don't mean the story needs to a bleak cosmic horror story, but the feeling that the universe just doesn't care about you. I think the Mass Effect series showed that that can be done very well in an RPG. Neil Gaiman for similar but diluted themes and equal quality imagery.

 

William Gibson is also an author from whom game writers could learn a lot about style and characterization - I would sacrifice my firstborn for a game based upon or inspired by "The Difference Engine" or "Neuromancer" made by Obsidian or Bioware.

 

Tolstoy and Martin as well - the latter obviously influenced The Witcher and Dragon Age games quite heavily.

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Oh, and Lord Dunsany. How could I forget?

And Eiji Yoshikawa.

Sorry! Couldn't find the off switch.

"We have nothing to fear but fear itself! Apart from pain... and maybe humiliation. And obviously death and failure. But apart from fear, pain, humiliation, failure, the unknown and death, we have nothing to fear but fear itself!"

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First of all, HP Lovecraft - nobody can write like that man could (and I don't just mean the ability to use squamous in a sentence correctly). I don't mean the story needs to a bleak cosmic horror story, but the feeling that the universe just doesn't care about you. I think the Mass Effect series showed that that can be done very well in an RPG.

... Really?

 

The ME games repeatedly went out of their way to show you just how freaking awesome the PC is and by extention just how freaking awesome humans are. I could see their Lovecraftian influences when they first introduced the Reapers in ME1 but after that they went in the most unLovecraft direction possible.

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Bernard Cornwell -- see Arthur series especially. (and Saxon one, though it's less fantastical)

 

I second the Silmarillion too, though I haven't finished it yet. There's parts of it that are much darker than anything in LOTR and more alien. The creation story just by itself is pretty amazing.

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The ones whose influence I'd love to see without a second thought:

- Patrick Rothfuss. You can't really get a much better opening chapter than "Silence of Three Kinds" in Name of the Wind. The guy's got talent.

- Robin Hobb. Her white&grey morality is absolutely welcome in contrast of the grim&gritty movement of today. Also, she can write really compelling female characters.

- George R. R. Martin. He pretty much started the whole "realistic" fantasy stuff.

Also, if there are going to be faeries in PE, I want the devs to use Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell as inspiration.

 

People who have their share of mistakes, but can be used as inspiration nonetheless:

- Eliezer Yudkowsky: with Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, he not only deconstructed a fictional universe, but rebuilt it stronger and better in every way. It's also extremely well-written and entertaining. Applying his scientific approach to magic could benefit PE, I think. Not knowing the source material, though, takes away a lot from the experience. Also, he can get extremely preachy, sometimes unbearably so (depending on your ideological stance).

- China Miéville. As a writer, he's only decent (although I've only read his first two Bas-Lag books, and some say he came a long way since then), but his ideas are fresh and powerful.

- Brandon Sanderson. Until Warbreaker, I was convinced that he's a mediocre writer, but he actually can create compelling stories and characters. But even if he couldn't, his influence is welcome as an "idea guy" - the magic in Elantris, Warbreaker and Mistborn is flavorful and imaginative.

 

People who are kinda popular, but I'd rather not see their work anywhere near PE:

- Neil Gaiman. Don't get me wrong, he's a good writer. But his signature gaimanisms are something I'm pretty convinced only he can pull off. Also he couldn't ever manage to write something on par with The Sandman.

- William Gibson. Oh my GOD, what a terrible writer he is. Not only are his stories moving at a snail's pace, he reuses the same plot over and over again. Compare Count Zero, Pattern Recognition and Spook Country.

- David Gemmel. I understand it's largely subjective, but his writings simply disgust me. His completely outdated moral perspective, inability to create complex plots and characters, this whole "heroic fantasy" stuff which is intellectually on about the same level as 300... ugh. Although I admit I'm extremely biased and could only manage to read Legend. It was punishment enough.

- Steven Erikson. Gemmel was at least a mediocre, if dumb writer. He is a terrible one. His dialogues are painful to read. And although he has extremely good ideas (just like Sanderson and Miéville), I wouldn't wish upon anyone the torment of having to read his prose just to gain familiarity with them.

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"Lulz is not the highest aspiration of art and mankind, no matter what the Encyclopedia Dramatica says."

 

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- David Gemmel. I understand it's largely subjective, but his writings simply disgust me. His completely outdated moral perspective, inability to create complex plots and characters, this whole "heroic fantasy" stuff which is intellectually on about the same level as 300... ugh. Although I admit I'm extremely biased and could only manage to read Legend. It was punishment enough.

 

This might be completely OT, but what do you identify as his moral perspective?

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- David Gemmel. I understand it's largely subjective, but his writings simply disgust me. His completely outdated moral perspective, inability to create complex plots and characters, this whole "heroic fantasy" stuff which is intellectually on about the same level as 300... ugh. Although I admit I'm extremely biased and could only manage to read Legend. It was punishment enough.

 

I don't have a problem with his view on morality, I like a good heroic book once in a while, but I really dislike his writing style.

His plots seem to be structured as "things happen and then things happen" if that makes sense.

Also his characters are completely flat.

 

That said, there is something strangely compelling about his books, they're all basically the same and you know exactly what you're going to get but you can't stop reading them.

It's like David Eddings in that sense. It's a sort of literary crack-cocaine.

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When in doubt, blame the elves.

 

I have always hated the word "censorship", I prefer seeing it as just removing content that isn't suitable or is considered offensive

 

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This might be completely OT, but what do you identify as his moral perspective?

 

Hmm... perhaps: "purity always prevails"... but it's somewhat more complex and hard to put my finger on why exactly does it bug me so much. He seems both extremely naive and hypocritical at the same time.

"Lulz is not the highest aspiration of art and mankind, no matter what the Encyclopedia Dramatica says."

 

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This might be completely OT, but what do you identify as his moral perspective?

 

Hmm... perhaps: "purity always prevails"... but it's somewhat more complex and hard to put my finger on why exactly does it bug me so much. He seems both extremely naive and hypocritical at the same time.

 

if I had to find something naive and hypocritical about his writing i'd say that slaughtering people never seems to take a toll on his protagonists (who indeed are in some way redeemed/ pure as he always tries to get across). The fact that they almost always prevail I'd blame on the circumstance that I think he intended his writings to be inspiring (though I guess you could also call it moralizing).

 

I still relished the books when I was younger, and who can't find a weak spot in their heart for Druss? :D

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The fact that they almost always prevail I'd blame on the circumstance that I think he intended his writings to be inspiring (though I guess you could also call it moralizing).

 

I still relished the books when I was younger, and who can't find a weak spot in their heart for Druss? :D

 

It's pretty likely, but it mostly comes across as escapism to me. Which is something I generally don't like (and, in RPGs, even hate - just to stay on topic).

 

A somewhat Druss-like character done right is Tsugumo Hanshiro in Kobayashi Masaki's classic Harakiri. The whole movie is on Youtube, watch it and you'll see what I'm thinking about :p

"Lulz is not the highest aspiration of art and mankind, no matter what the Encyclopedia Dramatica says."

 

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The ones whose influence I'd love to see without a second thought:

- Patrick Rothfuss. You can't really get a much better opening chapter than "Silence of Three Kinds" in Name of the Wind. The guy's got talent.

- Robin Hobb. Her white&grey morality is absolutely welcome in contrast of the grim&gritty movement of today. Also, she can write really compelling female characters.

- George R. R. Martin. He pretty much started the whole "realistic" fantasy stuff.

Also, if there are going to be faeries in PE, I want the devs to use Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell as inspiration.

 

People who have their share of mistakes, but can be used as inspiration nonetheless:

- China Miéville. As a writer, he's only decent (although I've only read his first two Bas-Lag books, and some say he came a long way since then), but his ideas are fresh and powerful.

- Brandon Sanderson. Until Warbreaker, I was convinced that he's a mediocre writer, but he actually can create compelling stories and characters. But even if he couldn't, his influence is welcome as an "idea guy" - the magic in Elantris, Warbreaker and Mistborn is flavorful and imaginative.

 

People who are kinda popular, but I'd rather not see their work anywhere near PE:

 

- Steven Erikson. Gemmel was at least a mediocre, if dumb writer. He is a terrible one. His dialogues are painful to read. And although he has extremely good ideas (just like Sanderson and Miéville), I wouldn't wish upon anyone the torment of having to read his prose just to gain familiarity with them.

 

That you don't understand is that the OP said what writer P:E sould take inspiration from,not hire him to write the game.So the prose of the writer is irrellevant.His ideas and worldbuilding matter.

Patrick Rothfuss/Susanna Clarke:The prose is their strong point. In Rothfuss case he sure know how to write but his worldbuilding and more importantly the plot leaves much to be desired

Robin Hobb: I can't comment in that.Personaly i prefer Grey&Black morality but that is competely subjective

George R. R. Martin:I agree

China Miéville/Sanderson:Both have very good strenghs to be an inspiration.Mieville because of his not traditional fantasy and Sanderson with his magic systems

Steven Erikson:In this i disagree.As yourself said he has terrific ideas and his worlbuilding especially is unmached.Your only complaint is the prose.I don't agree but as i said it's irrellevant .Obsidian won't hire him to wright the game for them.Wrighting for games is vastly different than writing novels and i would trust none of the above authors to do a better job than Avellone and Ziets

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Im happy that Joe Abercrombie got a few mentions, not at all a grand world builder ideas guy BUT he is funny and writes good characters. (although his latest REVENGE left me unimpressed compared to his previous books)

Rothfuss- i really enjoyed his first book, but i was in two minds about it, part of me kept thinking, well this is just a much better written Harry potter book, but most of me thought ..yes, so what, this is a MUCH MUCH better harry potter.

 

george RR- yes, while its a bit light on magic(some might say one of his strengths, keep magic in the dark, on the sidelines,) but its a damn fine series, attention to detail, solid logic underpinning the motives , a real world filled with real people.

China Mievelle- fresh ideas, fresh fantasy, realistic people, and power structures, great religions, and not a pointy eared elf or a magic sword in sight, Fantastic!

 

and the one i dont get

Steven Erikson, ​I really tried to get into his books, but i just couldnt, it was all war and bloodshed,everyone was some sort of uber wizard, god, witch hunter,soldier par excellence, warlord etc, To me it was like Diablo, in story form, 800 pages long. There was no real world of regular people, no real motives beyond war and destiny, it was all 1000 year old flaming magic swords and floating castles. I guess i should have just gone along for the ride.

 

 

So i guess i would want Mievelle to build the world, and all the political and economic structures, Abercrombie to write the companion characters, and the story by Rothfuss.

and maybe KJ parker as an engineering consultant

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and the one i dont get

Steven Erikson, ​I really tried to get into his books, but i just couldnt, it was all war and bloodshed,everyone was some sort of uber wizard, god, witch hunter,soldier par excellence, warlord etc, To me it was like Diablo, in story form, 800 pages long. There was no real world of regular people, no real motives beyond war and destiny, it was all 1000 year old flaming magic swords and floating castles. I guess i should have just gone along for the ride.

 

 

The first book was awful IMO (it was his first novel and it was originally written as a screen play), and I nearly gave up after the second book even though it was a great improvement over the first one. They do get a lot better however, if you persevere.

"We have nothing to fear but fear itself! Apart from pain... and maybe humiliation. And obviously death and failure. But apart from fear, pain, humiliation, failure, the unknown and death, we have nothing to fear but fear itself!"

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Neil Gaiman: His takes at absurd situations are simply awesome.

 

This so much!

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"That rabbit's dynamite!" - King Arthur, Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail

"Space is big, really big." - Douglas Adams

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RA Salvatore.

 

Magerette Weiss and Tracey Hickman.

 

Couldn't get more generic than this xD

 

Thanks I guess,

 

Heaven forbid someone doesn't have as great and all knowing taste in writing as you do.

 

I thought this was a discussion of writers we'd like to see contribute not a "lets bash those that don't read what we read".

 

The writers I recommended have written many great adventures and have told some wonderful stories, obscure does not always mean better.

 

These writers became well known because they have a knack for painting a picture with words, there was a time when only a few people had heard of them, I guess then they would have met your criteria for being acceptable.

 

Woah, take it easy dude. ;)

 

Also: why on earth would I care more for them if they were not famous?

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Can't believe nobody's mentioned Fritz Leiber yet. Kids these days. Swashbuckling barbarians, mad priests, deadly spellcasters ruling underground kingdoms, suave dueling rogues, gods playing dice with the lives of mortals... what's not to like?

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I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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and the one i dont get

Steven Erikson, ​I really tried to get into his books, but i just couldnt, it was all war and bloodshed,everyone was some sort of uber wizard, god, witch hunter,soldier par excellence, warlord etc, To me it was like Diablo, in story form, 800 pages long. There was no real world of regular people, no real motives beyond war and destiny, it was all 1000 year old flaming magic swords and floating castles. I guess i should have just gone along for the ride.

 

 

The first book was awful IMO (it was his first novel and it was originally written as a screen play), and I nearly gave up after the second book even though it was a great improvement over the first one. They do get a lot better however, if you persevere.

Many people think the same but most of them change opinion on reread. Have you finished the series? If yes, my advise is to read Gardens of the Moon again.Chances are you will have a completely diffirent experience

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First of all, HP Lovecraft - nobody can write like that man could (and I don't just mean the ability to use squamous in a sentence correctly). I don't mean the story needs to a bleak cosmic horror story, but the feeling that the universe just doesn't care about you. I think the Mass Effect series showed that that can be done very well in an RPG.

... Really?

 

The ME games repeatedly went out of their way to show you just how freaking awesome the PC is and by extention just how freaking awesome humans are. I could see their Lovecraftian influences when they first introduced the Reapers in ME1 but after that they went in the most unLovecraft direction possible.

 

You must have misunderstood me - I didn't mean that I thought that the series was Call of Cthulhu in Space. You can't deny some of the thematic similarities, though, especially in the ending - the universe is large, cold, doesn't care about you.

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