Saturday, July 21, 2012

Clash of Faiths by David Dalglish

So after reading the first book for free, I went to Amazon and bought the second book which was under one dollar. It's not really a full length novel but more like a novella. Like the first book, it features Jericho and Darius, paladins of different faiths who find themselves clashing again.

The book continues the focus on high action stakes but raises the background focus a little this time. Instead of just being on a small town, we have a locality, 'The North', where it's a wild and lawless land where a good king has passed on his inheritance and an evil king, his younger brother, is abusing his rank and privilege.

Overall its a satisfying book with enough action to keep fantasy readers happy and its also fairly low magic. The big magic that does occur tends to happen from one 'GMNPC' so to speak and its usually not flashy and not in the heroes favor when its in play.

Below I'll be going into some spoilers so reader beware!

1. Faith is Not Its Own Reward. One of the interesting things here is that David Dalglish plays with the idea of how faith is rewarded and how its interpreted. Imagine your whole life spent believing your faith was pushing you one way but you went another and hey, since the gods are real in this setting, you quickly discovered your error. In D&D, the Dungeon Master has a lot of power over how he lets the players that have divine ties act. The gods can quickly take away their power. A paladin without his spells isn't too but one that loses all his abilities and has a holy sword that he can't use anymore? Yeah, he's going to have problems.

2. Build Slowly But Surely. As mentioned above, the focus of the setting moves up a little. This is again reminiscent of older D&D games where the characters start small and by the end may be travelling the planes and fighting lost gods and dragons of epic renown. Theres no need to add all of those things unless the game requires it at that second.

3. Religious Orders and Royal Knights. While note the focus of this book, the fact that the paladins are accorded a bit of respect and leeway in how they handle things is an interesting bit to note as it showcases how they may be interacting with the laws and lay of the land.

4.And Then An Attack Happens. When things are moving too slow, throw some competition or some enemy fire into the game. Nothing gets players to stop playing with their toys like having to actually roll the dice and pay attention to the game.

After having read the second book, I suspect I'll be looking at the other books by this other very shortly.