Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Steven Erikson hints that a MALAZAN RPG might be on its way

In his regular Q&A over on, Steven Erikson has said (Q.21) that there are serious talks underway to adapt the Malazan universe to a pen-and-paper RPG game based on the D20 series (using rules similar to the 3rd Edition of Dungeons and Dragons and Pathfinder).

"As for the encyclopedia, well, it seems that we might end up going through the back-door on this one, as we’re in serious talks with a RPG 20D group who are keen to adapt the Malazan universe to a game. If this goes ahead, well, it will of necessity involve a release of all the relevant maps and game-notes presently occupying a cardboard box in my garage, and those from Cam as well. Said project demands full disclosure, don’t you think? Although, that said, the eventual release of everything could end up as instalments, expansion packs, etc. Still, it does mark an opening of the flood-gates."

No deal has been signed yet, so nothing is confirmed, but Erikson indicated that he and Ian Esslemont would release all of their background material, including maps, for use with the game. No word was given on which company was interested in publishing the game.


Wilbur said...

"Relevant maps" hooray!

Anonymous said...

Weren't they intending to release an malazan encyclopedia after the main series was done? is that still on the cards at all?

Anthony Simeone said...

Harrumph. Guess I better finally finish the second book in the main series, Deadhouse Gates...but as I get older, I find I have less and less tolerance for massive brick-book fantasy I want to struggle onward? The first book was good enough, but trying to get into the second was tough. I got about a quarter way through before I had to put it down. Maybe I'm just not interested or able to understand all the nuances of the secondary worlds authors like Erikson create. I'm amazed at the feat of worldbuilding, but at the same time I'm not sure I want to invest the brain space it takes to really immerse myself into the world created, savvy? A simpler world, with nowhere near as much depth, seems to suffice for me these days. I don't need as much detail, but I do need that old fashioned concept of PLOT! I'll take plot over worldbuilding any day! And a plot that moves forward at a perceptible level, for that matter!

dwarf74 said...

Oh goodness, I hope it's not Pathfinder based. Heck; d20 in general is a terrible fit for the universe.

Adam Whitehead said...

Well, MALAZAN came from an AD&D 2nd Edition campaign, so it does make sense. Although given most of the RPGing was done with the GURPS rules, that might have made more sense. It depends on who was interested in doing it.

Anonymous said...

A bit OT: do you guys recommend reading the Malazan series? I must admit I'm a bit daunted by its length and apparent complexity which (I guess) begs for multiple rereads. I've heard all kinds of different opinions on this one. Tough many do say that the first three-four books are the best. Suggestions?

Garneac said...

I hate hate hated the first book, Gardens of the Moon. Based on that book, I have no problem saying that Erikson is a horrible writer with no character depth and poor writing skills in general.

It was a mess, random shit happened without explanation and there was nothing for me to get invested in— characters, story, prose, nothing.

What's extremely annoying is people who insist that it takes reading the first two or three books of the series before you "really get into it."

If I read the first book, which is however many hundreds of pages of BS, and I'm not even the slightest bit enthralled, why the hell would I want to continue with the series for some non-guaranteed payoff?

Of course, other people love the series to death. I find that decision to be in poor taste, especially if the rest of the series is anything like Gardens of the Moon. Still, people will like what they want.

Give the first book a go. If you love it, continue; if you come to (rightfully) despise it, cast black magic on the text to erase the ink from the pages.

Doug Justice said...

I think D&D 5e would make a pretty nice fit with a good use of backgrounds.

Shawn Gillogly said...


I love Malazan. But it's definitely a love it/hate it series. I'd disagree that the 1st four are 'best.' Memories of Ice may be the best single volume in the series. But The Bonehunters, the second half of Reaper's Gale, and the 2 book finale of the main cycle definitely stand up.

I think most, including me, were surprised by certain characters arbitrarily being powered up to insane levels, only to be put on the bus (Tattersail/Silverfox and Sorry/Apsalar for two). That said, it's a powerful journey.

I'll admit that Eiselmont's books have not captured my attention. I've tried three of them now. Finished none. Everyone tells me this is the book he finally matches Erikson. I never agree.

Anonymous said...

The Malazan book of the fallen series is definitely worth a read for those interested in epic fantasy.

It's certainly not easy going, nothing worthwhile is. Erikson himself says that you cant rush the books or you will completely miss whats going on. Even from one sentence to the next this is true. I almost put the first book down; glad I didnt.

The only character in GoT that comes close to even the most paltry of brief cameo'd Malazan Characters is Danaerys; thats right the one the whole series is about.

Love Erikson's work and was delighted when Forge of Darkness came out.