Saturday, October 27, 2012

Coldfire: The RPG?

I remember reading these novels not long after the last one came out, some time in the mid 90s, and was smitten.  Compelling characters, a truly unique, fully fleshed out world, and a plot that kept me turning the pages, I've gone back to C.S. Friedman's trilogy many times since.

After stumbling upon a notification that she had recently wrote a new novella set in the history of the setting, I was reminded of how awesome it was, but more importantly, how shovel-ready an RPG would be set in that world.

The basic premise is that way back when, a spaceship full of humans landed on the planet of Erna.  While it appeared earth-like at first, there was an energy field surrounding the planet, which the humans called the Fae.  The energy was expressed through various aspects, creating differnt "types" of Fae - Earth, Solar, Tidal and Dark.  The first colonists were almost wiped out as they discovered that the Fae reacted to the humans' brain activity, and created monsters ripped from their imaginations.  Discovering there were rules to the Fae's existence, the realized that the Fae could be "worked" - that it could react to the conscious mind as well as the unconscious, and that sacrifice was the most powerful way to influence it.  Destroying all of their technology, they sacrificed their past to guarantee a future on Erna, and an uneasy truce was reached between the humans and the Fae.  A new church rose up, dedicated to focusing the will of mankind towards the goal of mastering the Fae, and even managed some significant victories.  The longer the humans stayed on Erna, the more people became able to, and adept at, working the Fae.  By the time the story begins, adepts, as they are known, are hawking enchanted items to the common folk, warrior priests walk the land destroying fae creatures, and the rakh, Erna's indigenous species, are tentatively interacting with the humans.

So you've got Mage-types who can work the various types of the Fae - earth fae is plentiful and stable except during earthquakes and near volcanoes, when they can run wild.  Solar fae has been worked in the past, but only through great effort by the Church - although it is plentiful, it is ephemeral and almost impossible to touch.  The Tidal fae is similar - some rare women can sense it, but only the rakh have been able to work it with any sustained success.  The Dark fae is the most powerful fae available to humans, but is ultimately deadly to all those who work it.  You've got priests, trained in the art of battling dark fae creatures, some of which can work the earth fae themselves, but who are viewed with mistrust by their own elders in the church.  You have the rakh, wild, noble beasts as a separate race.  The RPG literally writes itself.

That literally only scratches the surface of these books, and more information can be found here, here, here.  The point is, though, that it could easily be translated into an RPG.  I discovered a contact email address for C.S. Friedman on her website yesterday, and shot her an email, asking her about this very matter, and she was kind enough to reply, quickly even!

There has to be a company interested in the kind of investment that would take. Thus far the offers I’ve had, I did not feel would do the work justice.

Fingers crossed.

So hey now, here's hoping.


  1. How cool! I remember when Black Sun Rising came out, I read it and thought the same thing about the setting. I think I even began making some notes for a Champions/Heros game.

    Funny, I don't think I've picked up any of here books since When True Night Falls. Life got in the way of reading back then. But The Madness Season was very interesting but In Conquest Born was my favorite - a sci fi book that introduced me to the concept of 'sniffing space.'

    I think I should go investigate teh rest of her stuff soon.

    - Ark

  2. Someone else was writing about this in the last week or so. Can't remember where, but it was about the FAE magic system. Off to the library to look for these books. Sounds interesting.


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