Friday, August 18, 2017

The Ramparts of Tharrenton Deep

I only just today realized that I haven't posted anything here since the closing days of 2015.  Wow.  That's not a good way to maintain a blog.

And I look around, and the blogosphere seems to be a different place than it was back then.  A few familiar faces, some new ascendant voices, and a bunch of blogs that seem to have fallen by the wayside.

Ah, well.

So much to talk about, but time grows ever more limited.  For now, I only want to talk about one thing.  Two things, actually.

My novel, The Ramparts of Tharrenton Deep (TRoTD, because why not?), is now live at Amazon in both kindle and paperback formats.  It is currently in the form of two novels: Book One, which comes in at 350 pages softcover, and Book Two, which comes in at 404 pages.  Despite being two books, they tell a single story.

TRoTD is my love-letter to old school gaming.  As I wrote back in November of 2015:

At its most basic, the story revolves around a group of young men (basically peasants from a farming village) who want for something more in their lives.  They set out to explore the ruins of a dwarven stronghold and city a few days walk from their village.  Adventure ensues.

I wanted to write a story that matches my earliest gaming experiences playing OD&D and AD&D.  In all of the fantasy fiction that I have read, very little of it matches those experiences.  If you consider yourself ‘old-school’, you know what I mean:
  • Brand new characters are weak and tend to survive or not by their wits as much as their brawn.
  • This typically involves being careful and methodical as opposed to brazen or aggressive.
  • There are no heroes attempting to save the world, but merely ordinary people struggling to survive.
At the same time, I wanted to include some ‘standards’ from my earliest days of gaming that I believe are typical of ‘old-school’ game play:
  • Dungeon crawling (which, if written well, can be suspenseful and interesting)
  • Resource management (Torches, food, your health, etc.)
  • Mapping
  • The idea that, as a bunch of neophytes, it’s probably not wise to split the party
I have attempted to wrap all of these elements and others into an enjoyable story with memorable characters.  I think that I’ve succeeded.

To this point, I measure my success on the fact that several people have read it who have never played D&D and enjoyed it.  And I think people who have played the game will enjoy the various nods to old-school gaming that the story includes.

The story is not a straight D&D knock-off.  There are some differences, some twists to make the story my own.

I would like to think that, in addition to being an celebration of some old school adventuring, it is also a well-written an exciting book.  People who have read it seem to think so.

I hope that you'll check it out and find the same.