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Subject: Reading Recommendation for a particular fantasy gaming trope rss

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Andrew Wodzianski
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I've been thinking of a new art project to pursue, but I need to first ground myself in some literary references.
I'm hoping some BGGers can help.

Two prong recommendation attack:

(1) I'm looking for any piece of fiction that includes a character who paints miniatures. Literature is preferred, but I'll take whatever someone suggests.

(2) I'm also looking for any fiction that incorporates the trope "lost/stuck/trapped within the game." Particularly, PnP games (not Tron). Anything in the vein of;
a. Hobgoblin* - John Coyne
b. Mazes and Monsters* - Ronna Jaffe
c. Guardians of the Flames series - Joel Rosenberg

*These titles deal more with schizophrenic characters in the era of BADD, but they're still useful to me.

Thanks everyone!
 
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Boaty McBoatface
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Callan the TV series (he not only paints miniatures, he makes em).#

In teh film (by the way) there is a lovely Gettysburg battlefield in 28mm.
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Andy E
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For (2), Luka and the Fire of Life by Salman Rushdie is a novel in which the main character, a child, goes on an adventure that progresses in the manner of a video game.
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Matt Green
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Gameplayers by Stephen Bowkett is a "four teen boys play RPGs and struggle with reality" book. At least one of them paints figures for use in their home-brew RPG campaign (whilst another uses half an eraser with a single letter written on it in biro).


The Homewardbounders by Diana Wynne-Jones. Really good, had an impact on me the first time I read it. Underrated book by an excellent author.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Homeward_Bounders


Slightly left field, related, and really curious in this context is what happened with the PBS show Frontier House, a reality TV game show (of sorts- it was certainly competitive). One of the participants liked the so much he recreated it when it ended:
http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/article_c1258009-a3ab-5...




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David Bailey
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“I'll be more enthusiastic about encouraging thinking outside the box when there's evidence of any thinking going on inside it.” ― Terry Pratchett
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Not exactly lost or stuck, but "Epic" and "Saga" by Conor Kostick and "Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline make extensive use of players in virtual reality worlds.

Edit: the virtual reality worlds are basically patterned after games and geek culture tropes.
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David Debien
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Quag Keep by Andre Norton is the earliest "people from our Earth transported to a Tolkien-esque fantasy world" novel that I am aware of.

She wrote it after playing D&D with Gary Gygax for the first time.

Edit: I just finished Heroes Die by Matthew Stover. In Heroes Die "actors" from a future dystopian Earth are transported to a fairly generic Tolkien-esque fantasy world, where they embark on violent adventures which are quite real to them, all for the enjoyment of "folk back home".

2nd edit: Guy Gavriel Kay's Fianavar tapestry also has people from our world transported into a fantasy world where they embark on heroic adventures.
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Andrew Wodzianski
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David - do you remember enough of Quag Keep to describe the magical bracelet?

UPDATE: I found enough content on Amazon to get a bracelet description. Good.

Next question: Does the "game master" have an actual name, or is it just some sort of mysterious force? The only in book reference I find is a character called the "stranger."
 
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Glaya B
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I own a trilogy of books about a group of kids running an RPG campaign who get stuck inside the world they created. The twist ending to the series is that:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
the kids themselves are characters in an RPG run by aliens.


I can't recall the series name or author, but I can look it up when I get home from work.
 
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TTDG
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Erf World, the webcomic, has the main character transported to a gamish world.

The old (80's) Saturday morning D&D cartoon always starts with the journey of the kids into the D&D world. You can find the whole series on DVD for $10 sometimes. And if you hunt online you can find the script for the final unaired episode "Requiem".

Piers Anthony wrote a series of 7 books about a game player who travels back and forth between a sci-fi world and a fantasy world. He's not trapped or lost, but there is some competition. Phaze Doubt was the last of the books.

The Player of Games by Iain Banks is sci-fi, and has the gameplayer travel to another star to play a massive game where he will be isolated (lost) for several years.

Of course Zathura: Adventure is Waiting and Jumanji both had movies made, and feature trapped/transposed people/creatures/locations where the game must be finished to get things back to normal.

Dare I suggest it? Visit the tropes wiki, and tell us what you learn if and when you return.

There is an old Heinlein book, Tunnel in the Sky has the kids stranded on a far star. They recreate a mini society to survive, so technically not a game, but it was the final exam for school.

It seems to me I know more, but I cant recall.

Edit:
Ender's Game has a couple of layers to it that might give you food for thought.
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weyrbrat wrote:
I own a trilogy of books about a group of kids running an RPG campaign who get stuck inside the world they created. The twist ending to the series is that:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
the kids themselves are characters in an RPG run by aliens.


I can't recall the series name or author, but I can look it up when I get home from work.

This sounds a lot like Interstellar Pig by William Sleator, but that wasn't a trilogy and the game wasn't really an RPG.
 
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The Quest http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2933118/ is a 10 episode TV show mixing a reality TV contest with a fantasy setting. The neat thing is the players get and mostly stay in character as modern people transported to the fantasy world competing there to save it, while simultaneously competing in the game to keep playing the game. Players are 'trapped' there and if they were all to fail darkness would reign in that world. You can watch most/all of it on Hulu for a bit longer.

Edit:
I can't recall the title, but it was a few books that start with high tech that crashes when a war starts among the council members. Those most able to save society are those who played at anachronistic games/skills. Books after the 1st move onto more of a war topic. At one point the tech people who had transformed (pre crash) into sea people get recruited into both sides of the war, so you have people-orcas fighting people-mermaids to keep people-dragon filled air craft carriers afloat. There is also a people-elf. Series ends with both sides assaulting a spaceship that may be the decisive factor. (I said all the detail so that someone else can tell the title. I thought Baen was the publisher, but I could be mistaken.)

Edit 2: Found it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Council_Wars By John Ringo.
 
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David Debien
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drewcula wrote:
David - do you remember enough of Quag Keep to describe the magical bracelet?

UPDATE: I found enough content on Amazon to get a bracelet description. Good.

Next question: Does the "game master" have an actual name, or is it just some sort of mysterious force? The only in book reference I find is a character called the "stranger."


I am sorry, it has been 30 years since I read Quag Keep, so I am unable to provide details.
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Andrew Wodzianski
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David - Understood. I blissfully forget most of the details from my formative years with Piers Anthony.
Thanks for the Q Keep recommendation. I've been learning a lot about Andre this morning.
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drewcula wrote:


(2) I'm also looking for any fiction that incorporates the trope "lost/stuck/trapped within the game." Particularly, PnP games (not Tron). Anything in the vein of;
a. Hobgoblin* - John Coyne
b. Mazes and Monsters* - Ronna Jaffe
c. Guardians of the Flames series - Joel Rosenberg


Wait, what, you mention that horrible 80s Tom Hanks movie but you forgot all about the horrible 80s cartoon gary Gygax himself produced?

It's hardly "literary", but it certainly fits the looser criteria of "any fiction":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaJZpoC2_34

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TTDG
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Beware the time sink: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TrappedInAnotherW... There are a few more references there that qualify, though you might need to search on the word game on the page.

Edit: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/WinToExit
 
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Alison Mandible
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Marianne, The Matchbox, And The Malachite Mouse by Sheri S. Tepper fits your description, and I remember quite enjoying it when I read it years ago.

It's now out of print and hard to find. For whatever reason, amazon.co.uk sells the e-book, but the US store doesn't. I have no idea whether one can buy Kindle books from other countries. Good luck!
 
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Glaya B
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weyrbrat wrote:
I own a trilogy of books about a group of kids running an RPG campaign who get stuck inside the world they created. The twist ending to the series is that:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
the kids themselves are characters in an RPG run by aliens.


I can't recall the series name or author, but I can look it up when I get home from work.


Here it is - Gamearth Trilogy by Kevin J. Anderson.

(I'm kind of amazed it's been re-released as an omnibus volume. It took me forever searching used book stores to find the second and third volumes back when I read it.)
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Glaya B
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ThroughTheDeckGlass wrote:
Piers Anthony wrote a series of 7 books about a game player who travels back and forth between a sci-fi world and a fantasy world. He's not trapped or lost, but there is some competition. Phaze Doubt was the last of the books.


Speaking of Piers Anthony, he also wrote Steppe, which was about a futuristic society where people join Holodeck-type historical reenactments as a type of contest. (I'm not sure if that counts as a game.) I believe the players have their memories wiped while part of the reenactment so they won't know how it's supposed to turn out.

Another book he wrote was Killobyte, about a virtual reality game, and I believe there was some issue with players who get killed in the game ending up dying in real life (or running the risk of it, anyway).
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TTDG
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weyrbrat wrote:
[Speaking of Piers Anthony, he also wrote Steppe, which was about a futuristic society where people join Holodeck-type historical reenactments as a type of contest. (I'm not sure if that counts as a game.) I believe the players have their memories wiped while part of the reenactment so they won't know how it's supposed to turn out.


Actually, I thought the plot of Steppe was more
Spoiler (click to reveal)
time travel capture of an authentic warrior, placed into the virtual game and manipulated to reenact historical conquest as the Computer's way of teaching history to the degenerate game playing society.
But yes, it is another dual worlds book. One hero has 'reasons' to check into and keep playing the game.
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Sheri S Tepper "The True Game"
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Lee S
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Callowbran wrote:
Sheri S Tepper "The True Game"


Good series, hard to find though.

What about "The Caverns of Socrates"
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Andrew Wodzianski
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These are fascinating recommendations. Keep 'em coming!

Question: Has anyone read House of Cards? I'm curious to know if Francis Urquhart is ever referenced as playing wargames. His American counterpart, Francis Underwood, has a civil war game / battle in his basement.

Many many thank yous.
 
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Eric Nolan
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+1 Erf World, Player of Games and House of Cards

No idea if the UK version has miniatures sorry.

Not really that sure about Player of Games since this is more the case where the protagonist agrees to participate in a game rather than unexpectedly being trapped in a 'real' version of something they thought was just a game, but it probably has something useful to you.

There's a few Star Trek "stuck in the holodeck" episodes which might count.

There is Bender's Game, the Futurama episode where Bender gets stuck in a D&D style fantasy game.

Then there's Jumanji which is more 'game invades reality' than 'gamers get stuck in game' but probably has something.
 
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drewcula wrote:
Question: Has anyone read House of Cards? I'm curious to know if Francis Urquhart is ever referenced as playing wargames. His American counterpart, Francis Underwood, has a civil war game / battle in his basement.


In Going Postal, the tyrant of Ank Mor Pork (?) has a game of Trolls and Dwarves going on the side. There is a bit of description of the game (asymmetric chess), over a bit of a stare down with one of the bad guys. I've not read enough of the other Discworld books yet to know if that game comes up again, nor hunted to see if someone has made a real world version of that game (but someone probably has).
 
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