**WARNING** Possible spoilers if you continue reading.
Book: Rage of Dragons
Author: Evan Winter
Before I get into this. I struggled with this book. It took me a week after discussing these questions with the club just to process enough to write them out. At first, all I saw was the fighting and the anger of the main character. I had to force myself to finish it.
I want to be very clear. I am glad that I did finish it. I learned a lot from reading this book. I learned more about storytelling, about my own notions of what a story aught be, about what it is like to be a reader who has to really try hard to put themselves into the shoes of someone else.
I recommend this book if for no other reason to to try to challenge yourself.
- What did you like best about this book?
- I liked the way the book starts as a typical fantasy small force against the evil hordes. Then shifts gears, you realise you are not sure if you should be cheering for the heroes you were cheering for originally. You don’t realise it till its too late
- What did you like least about this book?
- I didn’t realise how much violence, fighting, and gore there would be. I don’t like that generally and this was a bit much for me.
- Did this book remind you of any others?
- It had a Martin-esque feel to it in the sheer brutalness of the world created. I like this better than anything Martin ever wrote though.
- Which characters in the book did you like best?
- Zuri. I felt she was the most whole character and the one who had the most range. She felt like my in and out to the story. Otherwise, it was very male and felt in-your-face-straightboy.
- Which characters did you like least?
- Tau, the lead.
- What gaming system would you use for the story? Which one best suits the style of the book?
- Pathfinder. This felt like a giant fight using every skill and rule you could possibly find to optimise your character so you can just keep going no matter what.
- If the characters from above (or others that made an impact) were D&D Player Characters what would their race, background, and class?
- Both human.
- Tau would be an urchin background, battle master archetype fighter until about level 4 or 5, then he goes barbarian and goes hard into the abilities and feats that benefit from his rage. As the story with the demons starts to develop with him I would even consider a DM forced level or two in Warlock.
- Zari is a bit harder. I think maybe a Shadow Sorcerer or a Great Old One Warlock. Courtier or Noble background.
- Which of the characters do you think you could make into Non-Player Characters?
- I think if I did it right Tau could be a cool NPC. a good reminder that no matter what some systems just make angry people because it is all they know. Anger and vengeance were all Tau had. It is the reason kept rejecting any help and in turn, it just perpetuated the anger and vengeance he was facing.
- I think I would try to use the Tau NPC as a good reminder that the player’s actions have consequences. Maybe they did something in an earlier game and created Tau who is now hunting them down. NPC becomes BBEG? I would only use Tau though if I could do it properly. There is no way I can fully know that rage he was trapped in.
- If you were making a movie of this book, who would you cast?
- Michael B. Jordan. – Tau. He had a Killmonger vibe to him (products of their vengeance and hate).
- Zari – Gabrielle Union
- What feelings did this book evoke for you?
- What do you think the author’s purpose was in writing this book? What ideas was he or she trying to get across?
- Omg, so many. Anger mostly. I was so angry at the system the characters were stuck in, the vengeance Tau was stuck in, the Loyalty those around him were stuck in. Then all the violence left me feeling really uncomfortable and frustrated.
- I found an interview with the author and even that I had to read three times to try to understand how he was writing this book as an example of the system out to get people. The book has analogies all over the place. My first impression was so overwhelmed with the fighting I missed a lot of it. After reading the interview and talking with some of the others in the club and my roommate I was able to start to understand some of what I was reading.
- It has been a long time since a book required so much processing. I really had to continuously ask what it was that was bugging me about the book. The answer I came up with: Tau felt hopeless and stuck in a system that he only knew one way in. It was sad and made me angry that I could be part of a system that would make people feel this way.
- If you could hear this same story from another person’s point of view, who would you choose?
- The Queen. I would like to see why she decided on some of the things she did. she would have had those decisions as reactions to events along the way. I would have liked to see why those decisions were made.
- If you were running this adventure, where would be the most difficult to allow the players to progress the plot without being railroaded or told where to go?
- The hardest part for me running this game would be letting the players get into the gruesome of the events. I would also really struggle with them forcing their way through the adventure and ignoring all the NPC assists that were tossed out to change their path all the way through. I would likely end up like the Queen at the end. “I can’t fight this so I might as well embrace it and try to focus its attention.
Do you have any others that could be added?
While reading the books is most of a book club, discussing the book is important too. It allows us to process what was read. My goal for Appendix: Lit was to find inspiration for my gaming, I suspect I will learn things along the way—especially because I made a real effort to collect a diverse array of stories and authors.
This list is based from Teresa Preston at bookriot.com then modified to the gaming geek vibe that I was hoping to have for this club.