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Favorite Recurring Character?


Planet Stories®

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

As a kid, my favorite character in a science fiction or fantasy series was Elric of Melnibone. I loved how he lived on the edge of morality, how he dominated his very cool world, and how much ass he kicked with Stormbringer.

My current favorite is Leigh Brackett's Eric John Stark (star of The Secret of Sinharat, our December Planet Stories release). Stark is a swordsman in a world of heat pistols and space ships, a fugitive adventurer bouncing between Mars, Venus, and his homeworld of Mercury, where he was raised by the monstrous natives living in the slim band between the planet's treacherous hot and cold hemispheres. With Stark you get the savagery of Conan with a rage dwelling just below the surface. You also get the wild-child orphan background of Tarzan without the cliche and racist tropes of the Lost Kingdom story. And, most importantly, you get the wit of Northwest Smith, the original and undeniable template for Han Solo.

Every Stark story (three novellas, two full novel expansions of same, and a collaborative short story with Brackett's husband Edmond Hamilton's Star Kings) is something to be hunted down and savored.

Who's your favorite?

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

Man, I'm in a First Class berth on the Train to Mainstream Looserville this week, but here it is, my current personal favorite: Erevis Cale, from Paul Kemp's FR series. I've been keeping track of the butler extraordinaire for five years now.

In the yonder years of yore, Conan was my favorite fantasy character, and Holmes himself was my favorite fictional character.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Andrew Turner wrote:

Man, I'm in a First Class berth on the Train to Mainstream Looserville this week, but here it is, my current personal favorite: Erevis Cale, from Paul Kemp's FR series. I've been keeping track of the butler extraordinaire for five years now.

Many years ago Vlad Taltos helped me through alot of uneventful military swing shifts.

I must be a Steven Brust fan because the other character that comes to mind is Khaavren of the phoenix guards/ 500 years after novels.

Andrew--- I've bought a few FR/Eberron novels over the years and I usually read a chapter or two and choke, but Paul Kemp is really a talented and improving writer IMHO. Everis, Riven and Magadon are great characters and a very fun read!! I'll give Erevis Cale my honorable mention.


Erevis is an awesome character. That's all I can say on that score. I don't want to get too far off on the shared world D&D novel front though, since I could go on and on there, and I know a lot of my Paizonian fellows don't get into such fare.

My favorite recurring characters from my youth? Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser. I love those two, and the whole feel of Newhon. I loved it when they sailed to the ends of the world, when they commiserated over slain loves, and even when they try to retire and manage to say and do things to annoy their significant others.

It doesn't hurt that you can see a lot of D&D framework in the stories as well.


Lol; Elric and several others like Count Brass make appearances in my world; they are definate recurring characters. Love Fafhred and the Mouser as well and Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever; but my favorite current character is Harry Dresden; he just rocks; on the edge of so many world trying to stay out of the grip of evil; to bad the Dresden files dont really fit in fantasy games, but i did revamp my faerie courts in the game and set them up more to the model in those books as it really works so well; his series of books pumped a lot more life into the fey in my game. Thank you Thank you Thank you; yes, I am a fanboy.

for reoccuring items; the Book of Swords made an inpact on me and swords like Sightblinder or Sheildbreaker or whatnot pop up now and again, these swords as recurring themes in games can invoke a lot of good roleplaying :) if you play with the Greeco/Roman mythos.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

It's been bugging me all weekend I've been away from the computer, but I forgot THREE Eric John Stark novels, the so-called Books of Skaith: The Ginger Star, The Hounds of Skaith, and the Reavers of Skaith. Brackett wrote them in the late 1970s, and they're among her last significant sf work before turning in the Empire Strikes Back script shortly before her death. They're great.

And oh year, Paizo has the rights to publish them. We'll be doing so in 2008, and you guys are in for a huge treat.

I haven't read any of the Cale stories, but apparently a major subplot from one or more of the books comes from the Darkhouse of Saerloon write-up I contributed to Faiths & Pantheons, so Kemp's Cale stories are definitely on the "to read" pile.

--Erik


Favorite series character? Hmmmm (reads avatar name)...


I was always fond of Aragorn from the LOTR. Sure, he's a butt-kicker, but he displayed uncommon traits like wisdom and common sense as well.

In contemporary novels, I liked Belgarath the Sorcerer from David Eddings Belgariad and Malloreon series, though his depiction in Belgarath the Sorcerer was my favorite. Morag the Gatherer from Anne Bishop's Tir Alain novels possessed an unusual mix of empathy and aloofness and turned out to be a heart-wrenching character for me in that series (no spoiler intended). I'm also fond of Storm Silverhand in the FR, as she seems to be the most mundane of the Chosen-still plenty powerful, but not going to single-handedly turn back an army with a few spells. A few others include Magiere from Barb and J.C. Hendee's Sister to the Dead series, Rhapsody from Elizabeth Hayden's Symphony of Ages series, and Arilyn Moonblade of the Harpers.


Dracula is also a good one; he shows up all over the place - books, comics, movies, games - in all kinds of depiction of base villain to tragic hero.

Cheliax

Jay and Silent Bob.


yeah, i like them too.


I have read a lot of stories where Merlin, Morgan Le Fay, and Mordred are characters; some great stories like those by Simon Hawke and the Nightside novels though I forget who wrote them; I think it is great how these characters are grown, twisted, molded into so many incarnation as dont loose their original flavor; great characters these.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It may not be iconic, but I'm going with Matrim Cauthon of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. I'm sure I'm not alone in this, as everyone loves the pragmatic devil-may-care rogue. Other favorites from that series are Aviendha - the reluctant Wise Woman of the Aiel, Thom Merrilin - aged gleeman and once-bard of the Andoran Court, and Nyneaeve - hot-headed Wisdom of Emond's Field and possibly the most powerful Aes Sedai alive today.

Another favorite character from a series is Dr. Tachyon from the Wild Cards series, edited by George R. R. Martin. Sure, Tachy's a whiner and a womanizing lush, but that's just part of his Takisian charm. Another great character from that series -- and there are a lot of them -- is Jay Ackroyd, or Popinjay as he hates to be called, projecting teleporter and modern-day Philip Marlowe. Not quite as great a character as the original Marlowe, Ackroyd still pulls off a great smart-alec, although without the tough guy muscle to back up his mouth.

Qadira RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Myself, I liked Metrim for his hat.

One of my favorite recurring characters is Rincewind of the Diskworld books. To me, he is the ultimate anti-hero in the fact that he's not dark or brooding, like most anti-heroes, but whiny, cowardly, and just plain luckless. Plus we need more wizzards as heroes.

In fact, a lot of the characters of Diskworld are entertaining and interesting.

Osirion

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Cards, Maps Subscriber; Planet Stories Subscriber

I guess I have a list.

I love Sparhawk from Eddings series that began with the Diamond Throne. He is what I see as a real Paladin - no stupidity to this Knight.

Thomas Covenant - getting ready to read the most recent book as soon as I finish Worldbinder (from the Runelords Series).

Conan

Richard Rahl from the Sword of Truth Series.

Rand from the Wheel of Time.

John Carter of Mars

Erik - have you read any of EE Doc Smith's work? A couple of my favorite series of all time are The Lensman Series and the Skylark Series. If you have not and can't find it I will lend you my copies. Pure 50's genius Science Fiction.


It's a toss up between Cugel the Clever and The Grey Mouser, with Cugel in a miniscule lead.


Shem wrote:
I love Sparhawk from Eddings series that began with the Diamond Throne. He is what I see as a real Paladin - no stupidity to this Knight.

Everytime I think about what a paladin could be, I think of those 4 orders of knights. The Elenium trilogy, followed by the other trilogy whose name I can't remember, are constant rereads for me.


Shem wrote:


Erik - have you read any of EE Doc Smith's work? A couple of my favorite series of all time are The Lensman Series and the Skylark Series. If you have not and can't find it I will lend you my copies. Pure 50's genius Science Fiction.

I enjoyed the Skylark series a lot. Didn't care for the Lensman though.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Shem wrote:


Erik - have you read any of EE Doc Smith's work? A couple of my favorite series of all time are The Lensman Series and the Skylark Series. If you have not and can't find it I will lend you my copies. Pure 50's genius Science Fiction.

I've not read any Doc Smith yet, though I've accumulated quite a lot of it and hope to read it soon. I am currently reading Edmond Hamilton's very early (1926) science fiction, and I'm working my way up to Hamilton's "Interstellar Patrol" series, which (believe it or not) appeared in the very same month in 1928 (August). Hamilton's epic appeared in Weird Tales, and Smith's tale found a home at Amazing Stories. Weird Tales and Amazing were probably the most important magazines of their type at the time, and ideas that formed the foundation of science fiction, fantasy, and horror were leaping from their pages on a monthly basis.

Obviously, August was a good month that year.

I have a few more Hamilton shorts and serials to read before I get to 1928, but I'll probably work my way over to Skylark after I've read "Crashing Suns," the first ISP story.

I've read "Outside the Universe," the second of two ISP collections issued in the 60s. Honestly, I wasn't very fond of it, as it featured almost no dialog or introspection of character development or anything. It did invent stuff like viewscreens, space walks, and probably a handful of other now-common sf gadgets, but the story just seemed like a furiously written first draft, which of course it was.

I love Edmond Hamilton, though. Some of his work (especially in the late 30s and early 40s) is pretty hacky, but his earlier stuff achieved the approval of Lovecraft himself, and indeed the prose of early Hamilton reminds me a lot of Lovecrafts, if a touch less florid. Instead of horror and "weirdness," though, Hamilton's tales often involved alien invasions and the end of the world, to the point at which he became known as "The World Wrecker."

I am developing a handful of Hamilton-related projects I'd love to eventually publish as part of the Planet Stories line.

There are dozens of writers just like Edmond Hamilton waiting to be (re)discovered. Your support of the Planet Stories line ensures that the hunt continues!

Osirion

Characters like Holmes and Conan always felt too infallible for me to identify with. Bond as well, although I liked him a lot more. I ended up preferring the Gray Mouser, or John Carter, or even (stop laughing) the Flash Gordon character in that awful movie with the awesome Queen soundtrack. It was silly, but the character was some normal guy who *didn't* always have the perfect witty retort, or the most clever plan, or unbeatable strength, but he managed to somehow muddle through on sheer grit. Characters who lack superhuman qualities, but somehow make do in a larger-than-life world, like Karate Kid in the Legion or Captain America in the Avengers, appealed to me more than the Kryptonians and the Thunder Gods.

Arutha, from the Riftwar Saga, and Arakasi, Mara's Spymaster, from the Daughter of Empire series were great characters, making a difference in worlds overrun with powers utterly beyond their reach.


Favorite Returning character/s???

Nr.1: ME!!!!
Nr.2: Remo Williams
Nr.3: Tarzan
Nr.4: Doc Savage
Nr.5: John Carter
Nr.6: Agent Pendergast
Nr.7: Eric John Stark
Nr.8: Conan the Cimmerian
Nr.9: Solomon Kane
Nr.10 Luis Wu
Nr.11:David Innes
Nr.12: Carson Naper
Nr.13: Cthulhu

Take care.
Doug


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Planet Stories Subscriber

Vlad Taltos tops any list, though Grey Mouser, Conan and a bunch of others are bounce up and down depending on the day.

My father-in-law gave me Stark & the Star Kings (massive book!) for Christmas, and it's next on my list after I finish up the Planet Stories novels.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Tales Subscriber; Planet Stories Subscriber
Erik Mona wrote:

As a kid, my favorite character in a science fiction or fantasy series was Elric of Melnibone. I loved how he lived on the edge of morality, how he dominated his very cool world, and how much ass he kicked with Stormbringer.

My current favorite is Leigh Brackett's Eric John Stark (star of The Secret of Sinharat, our December Planet Stories release). Stark is ...

*grumble* getting me to subscribe *grumble*

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

That's the spirit!

Andoran

Some of my favorites (and not in any particular order) are:

Conan
Solomon Kane
Kull
Kane
Fafhrd
The Gray Mouser.
Druss
Waylander
Harry Dresden
Kothar
Turner "Buzz" Meeks
Elric
Hawkmoon
Corum
Mercy Thompson
Jirel of Joiry


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Planet Stories Subscriber

Boy, that's a tough one. Elric (will probably always be the top of the heap for me), Fafhrd, Gray Mouser, Thomas Covenant, Vlad Taltos.

Qadira

Erik Mona wrote:


Who's your favorite?

David Gemmel's Character Druss from the book Legend and the Drenai series. For me the Druss tales exemplify heroic fiction.


A friend of mine got me a big shiny Solomon Kane anthology for my birthday, and while Solomon Kane is (of course) a certified badass, I find my favorite character is the shaman N'Longa.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Lilith wrote:
Shem wrote:
I love Sparhawk from Eddings series that began with the Diamond Throne. He is what I see as a real Paladin - no stupidity to this Knight.
Everytime I think about what a paladin could be, I think of those 4 orders of knights. The Elenium trilogy, followed by the other trilogy whose name I can't remember, are constant rereads for me.

Paksenarrion Dorthansdotter from the Deed of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon. (trilogy : sheepfarmer's daughter, divided allegience, oath of gold)

I consider it THE most well done paladin story i have ever read in my life, and a must read for anyone who likes playing them or is considering it.

If you haven't read it, i'll just say that every friend i have suggested it to has never regretted the read and speaks of it in high regard after.

others...i like Diskworld's characters a lot, Terry Pratchet is gifted ;)

i liked a lot of the Conan stories. I have to say Perrin was my favorite Wheel of Time character. I liked Tomas from the Riftwar, and i can't remember the main character in a Wizard of Earthsea. Also Simon Snowlocke from Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn

HAS anyone else on this board read the Deed? I confess i am very curious to what others have thought of it if so.

Andoran

Fun topic, I do hope that some of you will respond some 4-5 years later.

Most of my favorites have already been mentioned:
Karl E. Wagner's anti-hero Kane. That's a very hard one to beat, especially since the very first D&D sup-Module "Blackmoor" was based on Bloodstone where Kane takes over the 'Temple of the Frog'.

Elric & Corum both greats! Of course Conan.

I wish that Zelazny had written more of Dilvish the Damned. He was a lot of fun with his invisible sword and mighty 'Words of Power' that he learned from his years of banishment in Hell.

Brust's Vlad Taltos was very cool too.

I'd have liked to have seen more of the neat characters come back from the classic Niven and Vance stories. Espcially Vance's "Morian" which had the very first Ioun Stones, Time-Stop Spell, and so much more of what D&D was founded on :)

The characters from Jack Vance's Adventure Planet, and Demon Prince stories were also a hoot.

Robert Aspen also had a bunch of fun characters.

:D

Osirion

Gaerath wrote:
I wish that Zelazny had written more of Dilvish the Damned. He was a lot of fun with his invisible sword and mighty 'Words of Power' that he learned from his years of banishment in Hell.

Zelazny's characters are great, if perhaps a bit similar at times. I'm a big fan of 'Sam' from Lord of Light (and Yama!), and Sandow, from Isle of the Dead. I felt like we didn't really get to know Dilvish the same way, due to the structure of the books. (And that we got to know the boring yobs from his Amber books far too well...)

I'm usually not a big fan of recurring characters. Elric and Corum, for all that I loved those books growing up, got on my nerves, with their tendency to be their own worst enemies. (Ditto more modern fantasy-ish characters, like Buffy or the Winchester brothers, who sometimes need to grip the Idiot Ball firmly with both hands to advance the plot, and then get all wangsty about it later, which makes it harder to have any sympathy for the protagonist...)

I'm a huge fan of the first Repairman Jack book (The Tomb) by F. Paul Wilson, for instance, but after a half dozen or more books, he gets old. Same with Ender Wiggins, whom I liked in Ender's Game, and got well and truly sick of in Speaker for the Dead and Xenocide, feeling like Orson Scott Card was just lugging him around from book to book like Linus with his security blanket.

My favorite fantasy book of all time might be Raymond Feist's Magician (although Zelazny's Lord of Light is fighting for that spot...), but, a dozen Midkemia books later, I'm ready for Pug to go away and never be mentioned again, as the later books, even set a century later, are annoyingly self-referential and / or masturbatory continuity porn, with constant callbacks to the Serpentwar, etc. and characters and places that haven't been relevant for many decades (and aren't at all relevant to the current storyline).

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