A place wherein this Dwarven Cleric can share his love of maps, dice, miniatures, and all things involving gaming and general geekery--not to mention the occasional witty non-gaming observations--whilst escaping from the humdrum existence of his routine Terran existence.

Hail and Well Met, fellow traveler! May my Stronghold provide a place for enlightenment and amusement, and somewhere to keep your dice dry. Enter and rest awhile.

22 February 2014

[D&D 40th Anniversary Bloghop] Day Twenty-two

Day Twenty-two: First D&D-based novel you ever read (Dragonlance trilogy, Realms novels, etc.)

OK. I have to play a game of semantics here. I'm pretty sure I know the answer to today's question, but there's some difficulty in my mind with the word "novel." Did the author of the list of questions mean "novel" to be "any non-game book that is associated with the D&D world"? Or did he mean it to be "any non-game book that is associated with the D&D world that is of generally-accepted novel length"?

Here's why I ask the question. Rather, here's why the conundrum is raised.

My first true novel-length D&D-related non-game book was R.A. Salvatore's The Crystal Shard. Yep. You could say that I cut my teeth on Drizz't Do'urden's swords. I want to say it was somewhere in the fall of 1991 when I first read it, although I didn't remember that I had read it until about a decade later when I picked it up again and got one-third through it before I had the "a-ha! moment."

I'm not as critical of the series as a lot of gamers are. Yeah, Salvatore's not Shakespeare, but he's also published a heck of a lot more than I have. So, he's due a little deference for that, at least. They're a fun read, again, as long as you're not expecting Twain, Steinbeck, or Hemingway. I also like how he treated the dwarves, at least initially. (I take GREAT exception to how dwarves were treated in his Cleric Quintet, on the other hand.) I certainly prefer his writing to that of Ed Greenwood. Although I understand that--for some--that may not be saying too much.

Now, the conundrum.

This little gem was, I believe, the first "non-game book that was D&D-based" that I ever read and owned. Revolt of the Dwarves was one of the Endless Quest choose-your-own-ending* books that TSR published. In fact it was the fifth in the series. I still have it, I believe...somewhere in my vast library. As I said yesterday, I've never sold--let alone given away--any of my books that I can remember. I don't remember a lot about it; I seem to remember a story line about some rebellious dwarves, the reader is separated from his/her parents, and you have to attempt to survive on your own in the world. I'm truly not sure what else there was. In fact, looking online, I'm surprised to find that the book was over 150 pages. I certainly don't remember it being that large. I've only found the page count in one place so far on the internet. Granted, I haven't looked that hard; maybe I'll have to dig out my copy for verification purposes. And to make sure it gets on my game-stuff shelves. [Aside: for the record--and to beat my gaming group to it--"Yes, all dwarves are revolting.They're smelly and hairy. We get it. Ha. Ha. End aside.]

Looking at this book again after all this time raises a few questions in my older, more cultured, gamer mind. Why are the dwarves riding horses? And why does the dwarf in the lead look more like a mongol--say, Gengis Khan--than Gimli? Of course, I guess you could make the argument that these are war-ponies and not actual horses...but there's nothing else on the cover that gives a sense of scale.

*There's a specific reason I did not call it a "Choose Your Own Adventure" book. That phrase actually described specific titles published by Bantam. I did not remember these two were separate until I did a search for "choose your own adventure" and "TSR" at which point "Endless Quest" popped up in the results.

1 comment:

Stelios V. Perdios said...

I really meant the novels. It wasn't until later that I realized that the Endless Quest books might count, too. I don't consider them novels. Yet others, like you, enjoyed reading them.

Revolt of the Dwarves was available for check out at my elementary school library. I remember reading it wondering why dwarves might be enemies--the book, if I recall, portayed the dwarves as bad guys.But I don't remember much else.

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