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August 2018

Book in July 2018

Dark Albion: The Rose Wars
This is RPGPundit’s take on the War of the Roses, effectively giving a Dark Fantasy Game of Thrones type setting for D&D. I’ve been impressed because it walks that line between too much and too little detail. It does need a good proof read and perhaps some light editing, but I could easily imagine playing or running this. There are some subtle jokes in the text as well, but they don’t harm the feel. It’s presented with a minimal of unique rules and could easily be run for any version of D&D.


A Brief History of Time (Professor Stephen Hawking)
I had never read Hawking’s book, having started with Kip Thorne’s Black Holes and Time Warps but decided that I need to correct that after the announcement of his death. I picked up a copy on my Kindle, and then the audiobook from Audible as a cheap upgrade, so I listened to the unabridged edition on the commute. It was fascinating; initially, I was let down by the delivery of the narrator but eventually started to appreciate his style which fitted the book. Definitely worth checking out if you haven’t dipped into it.


Bridging Infinity (Ed. Jonathan Strahan)
The fifth in the Infinity short story collection, this one presented views of the future for humanity. A number of them were climate change scenarios, but there was a good deal of variety. I only found one story that was a struggle but it was worth it once I pushed into the main thread. I’d definitely recommend this sequence of books.


The Storm before the Storm (Mike Duncan)
This was the unabridged audiobook version of the book covering the period of Roman history from the Gracchi Brothers through to the death of Sulla by the presenter of the History of Rome podcast12. It is read by the author, so feels like a more formal version of the podcast. This is a deep dive into the Roman politics and the conflicts that set the stage for Pompey, Crassus and Caesar’s wars and then the collapse of the Republic into an Empire. There are really scary parallels to some of the things happening in politics in the UK and USA right now. I enjoyed this book a lot. It would be a good period to set a historical RPG scenario in with chaos, conflict, confusion, greed and rivalries both individual and political.


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1
Run, do not walk, to listen to the 170 odd episodes of this. It is truly excellent.
2
As is the Revolutions podcast series he has followed The History of Rome up with.