[novels] Which Warcraft novels can I raid RPG ideas from?

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[novels] Which Warcraft novels can I raid RPG ideas from?

Postby Big Mac » Mon Dec 24, 2012 12:47 am

I used to avoid RPG novels, as there was a time when I found most of them less satisfying than non-RPG novels. But, as I've been trying to "get a feel" of RPG campaign settings in the last few years, reading novels set in RPG worlds has been a lot more fun that it used to be.

I've been thinking of reading some of the Warcraft and World of Warcraft novels, both to read some fun stories, and also to see what ideas the novels can give me. Looking over at Wowpedia, I see these novels listed:

Warcraft series:

Warcraft: War of the Ancients Trilogy:

World of Warcraft series

At first, I thought the early novels would cover Warcraft and the later novels would cover World of Warcraft, but it seems that Blizzard just slap the World of Warcraft logo on all content now, as skimming through the WoW novels shows that several of them cover Warcraft lore. This means I might need to be a bit careful about the order I use novel canon in.

There are a few novels by Richard A. Knaak. I've read on of his books (Dragonlance: Kaz the Minotaur) before, and quite enjoyed that, but I've seen elsewhere that Bonetti isn't that keen on his work.

Day of the Dragon and Night of the Dragon seem to be an extended story, and the War of the Ancients Trilogy is obviously a long story, so I wonder if they would be good for mining hooks for a long term tabletop campaign.

Lord of the Clans seems interesting as it was recycled from a cancelled adventure game. So I wonder if the plot of the story could be retro converted back into the adventure it was raided from.

Cycle of Hatred also seems interesting, as it would seem to be useful for anyone wanting to start a campaign in the Warcraft: RPG era and run through the time up to the WoW: RPG era.

But there isn't a lot of details on a few of the novels, and I'm not sure what would be good ones to grab. Are there any novels that anyone would especially recommend?
Last edited by Big Mac on Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [novels] Which Warcraft novels can I raid RPG ideas from

Postby Bonetti » Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:09 am

I own a couple more than I've read, because the ones I did read were fairly painful to read.

What I read: War of the Ancients, Cycle of Hatred, (part of) Rise of the Horde.

Cycle of Hatred had a small amount of detail around Aegwynn which I don't remember seeing anywhere in-game. However, you could get the relevant bits (minus maybe a little physical layout and description of where she hid) from her wowpedia article. The broad outlines of the plot are covered in the wowpedia article, and probably more cogently than from the book.

War of the Ancients was Knaack being Knaack. I don't like him as a writer, so will refrain from commenting on the reading itself. Of the material, most made it into the MMO as background (or as characters, e.g. Rhonin in Dalaran). Possibly useful for a pre-Sundering version of the world, but it's very night elf-centric. Anything not close to Azshara/Illidan/Tyrande/Malfurion is given fairly short shrift, and Rhonin's MarySue-ness was painful. Broxigar was cardboard but at least interesting. The broad outlines are well-woven into the established lore and timelines, though, since it's basically the story of the Burning Legion invading and the world being sundered (and the creation of the Sunwell).

Despite enjoying other works by Golden, I had trouble getting into Rise of the Horde. I would guess it would be very useful for someone setting something in pre-Dark Portal Draenor, but I didn't read far enough to do it. Maybe I should give it another shot...
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Re: [novels] Which Warcraft novels can I raid RPG ideas from

Postby Big Mac » Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:01 pm

Bonetti wrote:I own a couple more than I've read, because the ones I did read were fairly painful to read.


Thanks Bonetti.

I might setup a World of Warcraft novels wishlist on Amazon and periodically check to see any of these are on sale for £0.01 + postage. The only thing I find a bit annoying about the Warcraft novels is that a lot of them are large-format paperbacks, and I hate large format paperbacks, as they don't fit on shelf I have my standard-format paperbacks on.

I actually have an account on Wowpedia, so if there is information in the novels that is missing from an article, I might be tempted to make an edit and fix the article. :)
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