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So What Have you Read Lately? And other favorite books!


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16 minutes ago, Corsair said:

Level 1, a Vesk Soldier [bodyguard] looking to use the Guard Style.

Ah. for a level one vesk soldier the big stuff to know is how to attack melee, how to attack range, how to charge. if you're the melee sort remember to provide a flank for for the squishy damage dealers.

Unless you have taken a bunch of piloting you're likely to be a gunner in ship combat so maybe read the gunnery part of ship combat.

Watch out for casters, and persons with a lot of energy weapons.

 

Things to know RP wise. The vesk have an empire of their own, cat people, and skittermanders are both client species of the vesk, the former being uninterested in putting up a fight, and the latter do not actually seem to fully get what conquered means. Your empire has a big military and has previously fought with and against the pact worlds. Vesk are moderately big, and the women are bigger and more brightly colored.

 

Things you'll want to have read up on by level 3. Combat maneuvers, weapon seals, a lot of gear stuff, hostile environment rules, more of the RP background stuff for what ever part of space your game is taking place in, how to do your ship combat function if it turns out to be something other than gunner.

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Tomorrow is a small con here. I was invited to try this out and the last time I {briefly} RPG'd was 1st Ed D&D back in the 80s. The event is set up to start new players to the game. So I have printed a couple of blank player sheets to try this out.

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So while recovering from surgery I read the Nick Seaford Saga sci-fi (the first four books).  I am pretty meh on it, the main character is like a paladin without charisma and has a nasty temper.  Don't think I have ever disliked a protagonist as much in a book before.  The author tried very hard to shoe horn British navy of yesteryear into a space going fleet, which made for a nasty universe.  Complete with 13 year old space cadets, caning of said cadets and midshipmen, crewmen enlisted from an uneducated populace, Captains that were tyrants etc.  The only saving grace was the aliens, very original, and the story telling did keep me interested for four books, but I am not going to bother with the rest.

 

My two biggest peeves with the world building was that the civilisation had abandoned educating their kids; and that the Captain was an absolute ruler aboard ship, shutting down any discussions, when I know that the best decisions are made when people cooperate and discuss problems.

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52 minutes ago, Citrine said:

So while recovering from surgery I read the Nick Seaford Saga sci-fi (the first four books).  I am pretty meh on it, the main character is like a paladin without charisma and has a nasty temper.  Don't think I have ever disliked a protagonist as much in a book before.  The author tried very hard to shoe horn British navy of yesteryear into a space going fleet, which made for a nasty universe.  Complete with 13 year old space cadets, caning of said cadets and midshipmen, crewmen enlisted from an uneducated populace, Captains that were tyrants etc.  The only saving grace was the aliens, very original, and the story telling did keep me interested for four books, but I am not going to bother with the rest.

 

My two biggest peeves with the world building was that the civilisation had abandoned educating their kids; and that the Captain was an absolute ruler aboard ship, shutting down any discussions, when I know that the best decisions are made when people cooperate and discuss problems.

 

I found the series strangely compelling. I had much the same reaction to it as you did, but I think I came to respect the protagonist over the course of the series. I think his personality makes for an interesting take on the unbending paladin, bound to do the "right" thing even when he hated it.

 

I actually disliked the world much more than the protagonist.

 

Cautious recommendation from me, driven by an interesting plot and characters.

 

(Contrast with Thomas Covenant, who I neither liked nor respected before the halfway point of the first book. Though that series was also a compelling read.)

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reReading : "Long Ranger and Tonto Having a Fistfight Up in Heaven"  by Sherman Alexie.  It has been 20 years. 

He brought me to tears, with an off-hand comment in the middle of a short story.   I know his life is better now - He has escaped poverty and no longer lives so fearfully in the closet - but our society is treating other kids just the same. 

 

As im sure some of you know,  the movie "Smoke Signals" was based on this book .  They are both a mix of humor and despair,  the movie bends funny the book bends the other way.  I think they should be experienced as a set, the movie really helps with the lyrical voice and hearing the drums that so many of his characters experience. 

 

I have read one of his other books (strongest Indian in the world) but it did not provoke as strong feelings as his earlier book. 

 

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Just finished Into the Storm*, the first book of the Malcontents, by Larry Correia. It's a fantasy steampunk war novel in an interesting world. Strong characterization, interesting story, well-handled setting, a bit grimdark (as might be expected in a Correia book). Recommended, highly recommended if you like Correia's other stuff.

 

* Not to be confused with the Taylor Anderson book in the Destroyermen series, or any of about a dozen other books by the same name.

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On 10/15/2019 at 2:00 PM, Evilhalfling said:

reReading : "Long Ranger and Tonto Having a Fistfight Up in Heaven"  by Sherman Alexie.  It has been 20 years. 

He brought me to tears, with an off-hand comment in the middle of a short story.   I know his life is better now - He has escaped poverty and no longer lives so fearfully in the closet - but our society is treating other kids just the same. 

 

As im sure some of you know,  the movie "Smoke Signals" was based on this book .  They are both a mix of humor and despair,  the movie bends funny the book bends the other way.  I think they should be experienced as a set, the movie really helps with the lyrical voice and hearing the drums that so many of his characters experience. 

 

I have read one of his other books (strongest Indian in the world) but it did not provoke as strong feelings as his earlier book. 

 

 

Great collection. Been 15 years or so since I read it, but it really hit me hard back when. Never could get into any of his other work, but he captured lightning there.

 

Never have watched the movie tho.

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CRCGaNi.jpg

 

Scott Ciencin's The Night Parade. Ex-Harper and now ruler of a northern city heads south to the desert of Calimshan to find the teenage daughter she'd believed stillborn. The occasional good idea buried in a mound of melodrama and angst, and a plot that seems to string the reader along. Surprising amount of horror stuff happening here for the Realms, if that's your bag.

 

 

UsqZNfI.jpg

 

James Lowder's The Ring Of Winter. Intrepid explorer Artus Cimber heads into the jungles of Chult in his decade-long quest for a magical artifact capable of great evil and destruction--or possibly good. A rather pulpy adventure held back by the dullness, or flatness, of Artus, and most the characters around him, through most of the book and the inexplicable appearance of some talking wombats.

 

 

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Mark Anthony's Crypt of the Shadowking. A rollicking adventure as broken ex-Harper Caledan Caldorien (all-time bad name tho), returned after seven years to the dark memories of his erstwhile hometown to find it under the hold of darker forces still, finds new life in teaming with a young Harper agent to save the city--and world beyond--from an old nemesis looking to unleash a terrible force upon the Realms. A lot of standard/familiar themes and elements executed near to perfection here.

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Finally got around to reading "The Sea of Rust" by C. Robert Cargill. The robots have finally rebelled and done a horribly efficient job of wiping out the Human race. And now they have started to fight among themselves.

 

My first book by this author and I liked it a lot. it works on 2 levels, firstly it's an exciting "chase" type story as we see the world through the eyes of robot who is both trying in to survive, kill of enemies and keep herself in good repair. On another level there is a discussion going on about the nature of these machines; Are they self-aware, are they ethical? Can they really evolve, or is that just part of their programming?

 

 Dark and interesting right up to the last few pages... where the author sadly chickens out, avoids all the hard answers and plainly points to a sequel somewhere in the future.

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Just finished re-reading the Magewar series by Debra Doyle and James MacDonald.  Great series that catches both an exciting plot and some wonderful characters.  An epic space opera with two sides who, to themselves, are both morally right and the other side is morally abhorrent.  Its told both at the small scale but also shows the sweeping effects of the events in the book.  One of my favorite series.  Definitely would be right up there in my 'stuck on an island with only 10 books group.  The first trilogy would be three of them!

 

 2019-10-30_162120.jpg.2a850ca469b144115c5975030acdbd65.jpg

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