I finished reading through the 4E Player’s Handbook last week. 4E introduced some significant changes in mechanics from the previous edition of Dungeons and Dragons. There are a lot of good reviews of the core rules, but seeing as this is a blog about writing fantasy fiction, I wanted to take a different tack.
D&D fantasy fiction is influenced by the rules of the game. Fans appreciate when authors ground their stories in the setting by referencing classes, spells and other game features–descriptively, if not literally–along with established world lore. I remember reading Dragons of Autumn Twilight as Raistlin tossed out a handful of sand, uttered his magic words and watched their pursuers drop to the ground, and thinking to myself, he just cast sleep. It’s a fine line for writers to tread; it’s supposed to be a novel, not a campaign log.
I didn’t fill out character record sheets as part of my process for writing Maiden of Pain or my short story in Realms of the Dragons II. My process for incorporating game mechanics involved Read more