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Warhammer Fiction

You take what you get with Roleplay setting fiction, much of it no better than the worst Lovecraft pastiches and some good enough to stand on its own.

The Warhammer Fantasy setting is certainly like this.

Finishing the just-published Van Horstmann by Ben Counter triggered this post.  Van Horstmann is an interesting figure in WFRP lore (a wizard from the purest college who is an uber villain) and a book about him has lots of potential to explore an interesting persona, tell a story of how someone is corrupted, explore the inner workings of a wizard college etc.  This isn't that book.  Only at the end do you learn of his motivations and they are cardboard cutout level stuff.  In terms of dramatic punch, it's enough material for a short story not a novel.

The best Warhammer novel I have ever read is Drachenfels by Jack Yeovil (pen name of Kim Newman).  That has several interesting characters and lots of Warhammer lore.  Most of it a bit unofficial (though the recent Enemy Within redux campaign brings back some things from it such as the emperor's son).  The other books in the Genevieve cycle are interesting but this one stands out.

The Witch Hunter novels of C.L. Werner are another set of interesting books.  Less character and more action but nice trips through the many foes and villains of the WFRP universe with an interesting protagonist of a classical sort in WFRP (the witch hunter) who is done believably but not "one note" style.

The Tales of the Old World collection of short stories is also a great Warhammer themed set of stories.

The Sigmar trilogy of books are a bit of a yawn.  They fill in some character and lore, but overall are not as interesting as say the Nagash books.  In large part that is because the Nagash books are much more about other characters in his story than Nagash himself (who is a bit the cardboard villain I critique the Van Horstmann character for being but that is less a problem when there are more other characters to be interested in).

Then of course there is Felix and Gotrek with their never-ending adventures.  They are beer and pretzels stuff and enjoyable, though I find Gotrek a bit tiresome after a while, most of the interesting personal story stuff is centred on Felix.  

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Apr. 18th, 2013 02:26 pm (UTC)
Great thoughts. I like the one-shots
Rob, I've only read a few of the Warhammer novels and am currently on The Enemy Within. It's a one-shot, which makes me happy. It really delves into what it's like to be a wizard in the Warhammer world and has some useful stuff for campaigning. I may integrate as we get back to the Tzeentch supplement scenario.

Jay H
hafnerchiropractic.com
tydirium_7
Apr. 18th, 2013 02:45 pm (UTC)
Great thoughts. I like the one-shots
Rob, I've only read a few of the Warhammer novels and am currently on The Enemy Within. It's a one-shot, which makes me happy. It really delves into what it's like to be a wizard in the Warhammer world and has some useful stuff for campaigning. I may integrate as we get back to the Tzeentch supplement scenario.

Jay H
http://www.hafnerchiropractic.com
(Anonymous)
May. 29th, 2013 06:43 pm (UTC)
Your FFG forum contributions
Your contributions at the FFG forum are invaluable!
valvorik
May. 30th, 2013 02:45 pm (UTC)
Re: Your FFG forum contributions
Thanks, very kind
Jonas Mose
Dec. 17th, 2013 08:39 pm (UTC)
I agree
Your post regarding Warhammer Fantasy fiction was very pleasing to read. I am an avid reader of fantasy fiction in general and have just finished reading numerous Warhammer 40k novels. Having enjoyed these I decided to read some Warhammer Fantasy novels, both because I was less well versed in this setting than in 40k and because our rpg group have just begun playing Fantasy Flight's Enemy Within campaign.

I was surprised at the mediocrity of the fantasy novels. Too often the characters were superficial and the narration extremely predictable. I had begun to wonder if I was too influenced by the 40k setting to truly appreciate the fantasy setting so your post helped to set things straight in my own mind.

Thx a bunch
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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