Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Raymond E. Feist novels read like a Dungeons & Dragons campaign.

This is a map of Midkemia, Raymond E.Feist's book world. I have a suspicion that it's also his gaming world
for a D&D game (or one definitely inspired from D&D). Someone with a mind like Feist probably home-brewed
a world much more unique that required a deviation from the standard Dungeons & Dragons worlds that
they provide to us plebes.
I've been reading the Raymond E. Feist fantasy novels (of which there are about thirty), and I'm having an odd bit of fun doing so. Why odd you say? Well they read like a really thoughtful and well-plotted Dungeons and Dragons game. I'm serious. They're a much different breed of fantasy literature. High brow they are not, but thick and pulpy with well crafted villains and recurring characters they most certainly are, and the magic system comes straight out of a Dungeons and Dragons rulebook albeit with a few changes for copyright reasons.

A little research also confirmed my theory. Raymond E. Feist had a D&D group that met weekly. I can only imagine that the characters I'm reading about were played by people around the table, and the stories (which are pretty great) were probably adventures that they went on as a group. As I'm reading, I think to myself, "Okay that is the rogue in the party, definitely the magic-user, who's the tank? Oh...that's this one."

Anyway, about the only thing I can compare them to are the Dragonlance novels by Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weiss. Those (intentionally) read as a Dungeons & Dragons game group, because they were written for Dungeons & Dragons. So that really was the whole purpose behind their creation. I just think that it's interesting how influential a silly game like D&D is on an entire genre. I suppose that D&D originally pulled its inspiration from the works of Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Lloyd Alexander. And now it's influence inspires other authors to write, because they fall in love with the characters they've created (and the stories they put those characters through over the years).

So I have this question for my few readers: Have you ever created a D&D character or a character in another RPG system that inspired you to write stories about them? If so, please share. I'd like to hear about it.


  1. Not written about one, although it does lend itself well to creating stories about the characters. I do use the same character in every RPG game though.

  2. I don't write sword and sorcery fantasy so no.

  3. I wouldn't call it a silly game. If I had had people around me who were into this kind of thing, I would totally have been into it. Alas, I was alone, so I never have played.