Inspirational Novels?

I always look forward to the Bibliographies in Burning Wheel books and other rpgs. I was wondering if Thor, Luke, or crew could recommend maybe a couple of books that really capture the Torchbearer feel?

I’d love to read a ripping good fantasy yarn and it would be neat to have those stories and and descriptions in my head when it comes time for me to run my first session.

Thor is prepping a massive list as we speak.

I’m guessing the old Appendix N will be appropriate for inspiration.

Somewhat related: I just started reading “Three Hearts and Three Lions” based on Luke’s mention of it in Torchbearer KS Update 6, and its influence on the original Paladin D&D class. Really interesting novel, and I’m amazed that this one has managed to stay below my radar all these years.

Hi Jesse,

I have to admit that I don’t care for most modern fantasy, so the vast majority of my recommendations will be older stuff. Additionally, a lot of my recommendations will be collections of short stories rather than novels (though there will be a few here and there).

Three Hearts and Three Lions is a great choice. I’ll give you three more from my list:
[li]The Book of Three, by Lloyd Alexander (navigating the dungeons of Spiral Castle with only the Eilonwy’s bauble for light)[/li][li]The Tombs of Atuan, by Ursula LeGuin (though I definitely recommend reading A Wizard of Earthsea first, if you haven’t)[/li][li]Bloodstone, by Karl Edward Wagner (degenerate frog people, ancient techno-magic cities lost in stinking swamps and immortal sorcerers, FTW!)[/li][/ul]

Thanks! 4 books is more than enough for me to start on. Which one would you say is the easiest, or has the least dense language? I don’t read as often as I would like, so something easy to get into would be ideal.

I don’t think you can go wrong with any of them.

  1. The Book of Three is a young adult novel and the first in an amazing five-book series called The Chronicles of Prydain. It’s short, it’s sweet and some of the best fantasy out there.
  2. The Tombs of Atuan is straight up literature. It’s the second book in the Earthsea Cycle and a Newbury Honor winner. It’s not an action story, but it’s a deep, beautiful story.
  3. Bloodstone is blood-and-guts, pulp sword & sorcery featuring Kane, the mystic swordsman.
  4. Three Hearts and Three Lions is a retro-Hugo nominee from 1953 that is often cited as the inspiration for D&D’s alignment system, trolls and paladins.

Having just finished The Tombs of Atuan, you defi Italy need to read that. It’s a great story, and the vast majority if it unfolds in a dungeon. You know that palpable sense of darkness that is talked about in this game? It’s there.

Thanks again!

The Tombs of Atuan is an AWESOME book. Gosh, so good. It’s a fascinating study in maturing out of the darkness of your childhood, and one that I honestly hadn’t pegged for this game, although now that it has been, I’ve got a better idea of what to do whenever I run a game…