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Old 03-28-2016, 02:24 PM
ijffdrie ijffdrie is offline

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Default Warcraft's weird cousin - The riftwar cycle

A rift between worlds has opened. On one end lies a medieval human kingdom, once part of a united human empire that spanned the continent, now the largest of the eastern kingdoms. On the other end lies a land of savagery, where clans of bloodthirsty warriors lure upon the riches of distant worlds. Led into battle by their warchiefs, they are ready for conquest, and only an alliance that includes elves, dwarves and a coalition of seven human city-states can stop them.

These invaders are known as the tsurani.

The riftwar Cycle is a series that spans a walloping 30 book, starting with Magician in 1982, all written by Raymond E. Feist. Some of the bigger RPG nerds among you may know it from the Betrayal at Krondor game, which takes place in the setting.

To put it mildly, there's a lot of parallels with the warcraft series, starting with the basic premise. In general though, concepts frequently cross over between the two franchises. Does the discovery of a new continent, home to a previously forgotten race of elves and several races of animal people created by ancient wild gods, amid a demon invasion wherein the demons used an army of cultists to create an army that weakens the mortal world prior to their invasion so that they could feast upon a previously hidden source of concentrated life energies sound familiar? Thrall is an obvious parallel to Mara of the Acoma, Medivh to Makros, and you can make arguments for a lot more characters. The fun part is that in later books you can see some of the inspiration going the other way, with the riftwar cycle featuring highborne, warlock summoning and even some naaru.

The riftwar cycle and warcraft are always distinct enough that you can't really say that one is ripping off the other. However, since you're all warcraft fans, I thought it'd be fun to tell you about a franchise that frequently takes on similar concepts.

For those of you who have read the series (I know that includes ARM), how do you think the handling of the common concepts compares?
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Old 03-28-2016, 02:53 PM
Marthen Marthen is offline

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Originally Posted by ijffdrie View Post
For those of you who have read the series (I know that includes ARM), how do you think the handling of the common concepts compares?
In the end, I would say the work of Feist prevails, as it is far more consistent, which is pretty much given as it is a work under the direction of a single author (although not a work of a single author), not to mention more elaborated in many areas, given the scope of the work. However, certain iterations of the Warcraft themes (for example, the way the Kaldorei are described as an ancient dark empire in TLG) sometimes seem more appealing than what Feist does with similar themes.

By the way, if Mara is Thrall, who is Kevin? Jaina?
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Old 03-28-2016, 02:58 PM
ijffdrie ijffdrie is offline

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Kevin's role seems to be split between Taretha and Drek'thar.
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Old 03-28-2016, 03:56 PM
Sonneillon Sonneillon is offline

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Betrayal at Krondor was a great game!
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Old 03-29-2016, 06:54 AM
Morvant Morvant is offline

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I've read a bit of the Riftwar, up to where it started to the point where the baddy was the nightmare of the dreaming god universe ( I think ??) . And there was something about an evil magical robot armor fucking shit up, and then they discovered that their was a whole army of those dormant in a cave.

Then I stopped because frankly, it was starting to get boring.

To be honest it is the first time that I am brought to see the "similarities " between the two universe. And I am not convinced there has been much ripping off, considering all those themes can be found in spade in the D&D-verse and all its offspring. The two gave me such different vibe that it hadn't cross my mind to compare them.

And the books based on the games were horrendous. It reads like some sort of bad report of your standard D&D rpg session.

The Empire one, and the Demon Invasion one where, however, awesome.

Also, I protest, the Tsurani are not savages. Invaders certainly, but far more advanced and organized than the low-medieval-era peasants they inva ... civilized.

And horse riding mongol lizard-men . That's badass. And a breakthrough in fantasy : your lizardmen can ride something else than other lizards.

I remember that I found what little there was on the demons interesting.

Also a lot of gratuitous power fantasy. Between one kid who becomes the most powerful wizard ever, and the other some sort of dragon knight who bangs the queen of the elves .

And the brotherhood of darkness was it ? The goblin/dark elves alliance ? That was cool too. You could see some sort of Horde in it, I suppose.

Now that I think of it, wasn't there also some sort of ripoff from warhammer in it ? I remember lizard-centaur in the Kunari world. Similar to warhammer Zoat.

The Kunari had Aquir allies also :p. ( Or more likely, d&d formians )

Oh, memories, memories ...

Last edited by Morvant; 03-29-2016 at 01:05 PM..
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Old 03-29-2016, 12:08 PM
MisterCrow MisterCrow is offline

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I think I cut out at about the time the Demonwar started, but they were pretty solid books for the time I was reading them.

I never really thought about the parallels between the two (I always focused much more on the parallels with Tolkien's work and Feist's complete willingness to kidnap Sindarin loangrammar for his own purposes) but it does still play with a lot of the standard tropes of late 20th century epic fantasy, which is the same garden Warcraft grew in.
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