[reading] Honorverse

#1
On Basilisk Station, first of the Honor Harrington novels by David Weber. For some reason, this series has completely escaped me; I picked u[p the first four books as a Kindle bundle and I'm really enjoying it.
The author is an avowed C.S Forester fan and he deliberately set out to write a sci-fi series of novels around the same concept (Honor Harrington deliberately has the same initials as Horatio Hornblower.) I like the fact that the ships "sail" the gravity waves between the stars using 'warp sails'; there is a very good reason why navy ships fire broadsides at each other and an excellent explanation of why the colony of Manticore (settled by slowship) became a kingdom. Also, the planet Medusa has some great aliens (the 'Stilties'.)

Oh, and the sheer scale! Honor's ship, the 'Fearless', is a light battlecruiser and masses 95,000 tons!

The 'Honorverse' is massive and at 20+ novels and short stories, he must be doing something right.

Has anyone tried setting an RPG here?
 

MartinP

Rune Priest
#2
The 'Honorverse' is massive and at 20+ novels and short stories, he must be doing something right.

Has anyone tried setting an RPG here?
The later books suffer, like so many best-selling authors, by desperately needing to be edited for length and diverging storylines. The scale expands out to be galaxy spanning, which leads to slooooooow progress.

There has been a D6 game in development for about 20 years, what we have so far is this: A Routine Custom Inspection: An Honorverse RPG Adventure, but nothing else (except the Saganami Island Tactical Simulator).
 

Maddz

Rune Priest
#4
The 'Honorverse' is massive and at 20+ novels and short stories, he must be doing something right.

Has anyone tried setting an RPG here?
The later books suffer, like so many best-selling authors, by desperately needing to be edited for length and diverging storylines. The scale expands out to be galaxy spanning, which leads to slooooooow progress.
It also gets very Mary Sue-ish in the later books. I've read to around #10 or #12, and have some of the Honorverse collections and some of the spin-offs. Also, I understand he and his wife have/had health issues.
 

MartinP

Rune Priest
#5
It also gets very Mary Sue-ish in the later books. I've read to around #10 or #12, and have some of the Honorverse collections and some of the spin-offs. Also, I understand he and his wife have/had health issues.
Yeah, the spin-offs were very popular as well (possibly because they started as self-contained stories?), and so he decided to roll the plots he had for future series in the same setting into the spin-offs. That lead to them becoming mixed up with the main plot line, and the uncomfortable situation of having to read books from 3 overlapping series to get the whole story. Complete with repeated scenes told from different character's POV. It all became a bit of a mess.

The main story was supposed to end at book 11, but it was so popular he "had" to keep producing more books. The final book was a bit of an anticlimax, I thought.
 
#6
I was (am) a massive Honorverse fan, but everything that has been said so far is spot on. I dropped off when they turned into TOMES of thin paper and tiny text. There's some cracking RPG fodder on there though, with the non fiction ship guide being very useful.

In terms of games, the sodding d6 nonsense boils my proverbials. Just give up the licence you fools!

I did write a SF hack of Beat to Quarters a while ago that was, essentially, Honor Harrington with the numbers rubbed off. Well, at least the first half dozen books before missile pods turned things silly.

Oh and I hate treecats. The entire series would be improved immeasurably if they were removed.
 
#7
Oh and I hate treecats. The entire series would be improved immeasurably if they were removed.
A bit like Ewoks then. Believe me, in Return of the Jedi, I was rooting for the Empire.
Ewoks are cute and cuddly? (so are Useminites.) In the film, they had got Han and Luke (etc.) tied on poles over cooking fires!!

"So, witness the firepower of this FULLY ARMED and READY battle station"

"You're going to destroy the rebel fleet!"

"What? Oh, yes, eventually. But first, I'm going to wipe out those stupid furry bastards that have turned this franchise into a comedy"

"The Force is strong in me. You have not heard of Jar Jar Binks"
 

MartinP

Rune Priest
#9
I grabbed the "Jayne's Intelligence Review: The Royal Manticoran Navy" ebook yesterday. It's a pretty interesting read, little snippets of history, uniforms, some nice diagrams of space ships and stuff. Reminds me of those old Star Trek technical manuals from the 80's-90's.
 
#10
I grabbed the "Jayne's Intelligence Review: The Royal Manticoran Navy" ebook yesterday. It's a pretty interesting read, little snippets of history, uniforms, some nice diagrams of space ships and stuff. Reminds me of those old Star Trek technical manuals from the 80's-90's.
I did not need to know that these things existed (because there's a Havenite one too!), or that they are available on Amazon....

Anyway, I'm at a proper keyboard now so I can write more fluidly. Yes, an RPG treatment of the Honorverse is one of my gaming Holy Grail's and is my perennial answers to 'What IP needs an RPG' questions. However, one of the things that put me off it was the level of carnage in the latter books.

As I have got older I have become quite sensitive to large losses of life in SF and the casual obliteration of ships with hundreds of people on them (I'm looking at you, end of the Dominion War in DS9...). These pale into insignificance when you consider some of the exchanges in the Honorverse once missile pods get involved. Millions of tons of ships and tens of thousands of lives lost in each engagement. I mean, who the **** would want to serve on a destroyer or a light cruiser where their job was to intercept missiles as a screen for the DD and SDD classes? And that is sensible work compared to the utter loony tunes who volunteer to become LAC pilots?! Considering the relatively small number of planets in the Manticoran 'empire' this sort of churn of trained crew must be on commensurate levels with the Imperial Guard in 40k!

The other thing you'd want from a HH RPG is a decent ship-to-ship system that gives you all of the cool shit from the books, like rotating the wedge, miraculous use of point defence, insanely timed missile vectors and of course nuclear pumped lasers or whatever contrivance they are called, grasers and grav lances - but without it becoming a totally different game. I reckon I did a reasonable job in BtQ, but I'm also betting with a decent head of steam you could make Star Trek Adventures work for that sort of system too.
 
#11
I read the Honorverse for a while and thoroughly enjoyed it, but I felt that dramatically speaking the story was over at the end of volume 9? 10? (something like that, no spoilers, you'll know it when you see it) and he should've stopped there. I read a couple more after that but the attempt to reboot the series didn't work for me.

It's unusual for a Hornblower-type rise through the ranks story in that instead of starting as an Ensign and working her way up to Admiral, the heroine starts at a much higher rank and works up through the nobility instead.

I think there was a fan-made d20 RPG at one point. Or maybe I dreamed that part.
 
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