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February books & RPGs

Just one book this month which I started in January and took ages to read as its over 600 pages and I had a heavy proof which I wasn’t carrying to work at first:

3. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. This book took a while to get going but I’m really glad I persevered with it. It’s about Kvothe, a legendary hero who is living out his twilight years running an inn in a small village (I guess in the same way that footballers in the north-west end up running pubs on the Wirral in their dotage). The village is troubled by some spiderlike demons at the start of the book but the vast majority of it is Kvothe’s tale of his early years, as told to visiting bard The Chronicler. Not that interesting at first, the story livens up after Kvothe’s parents are murdered along with the rest of the village by the mysterious Chandrian – a gang of killers who slaughter any who speak (or, in this case, sing) of them. Our hero makes his way to the big city where he blags his way into the university and we are introduced to his one true love, the elusive Denna, and his archenemy, the vile nobleman’s son Ambrose. There’s a lot packed into the story, including a different kind of dragon-slaying. Gritty and different, I’m looking forward to the next part of the trilogy.

I also read a couple of RPG books:

-    Tales of Zobeck. This Open Design adventure collection accompanies the Zobeck Gazetteer and contains eight well-written city adventures written by Open Design patrons as well as Wolfgang Baur and Ed Greenwood. Greenwood’s contribution The Gullet War is more of a mini-setting than an adventure – the dockside neighbourhood of the Gullet (or bits of it) will find their way into Parsantium’s Dock Ward. My other favourite was Tale of the Mouse King in which the PCs are framed for the murder of one of Zobeck’s underworld leaders. Oh, and I loved otyugh informant, Lord of the Heap - definitely going to use him in my game!

-    Into the Darklands. This was a great Pathfinder Chronicles book. I love supplements about the Underdark but what makes this one are the freaky elements: lots of Lovecraftian horror and a dinosaur-inhabited jungle miles below the surface.

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