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Drakson

Books for Tannhauser storyline

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     I was wondering if there are any books for the backstory of Tannhauser. I started playing Warhammer:Invasion and read many of the books on Warhammer etc to get more of the idea behind the game. Any suggestions for reading material on this game.

I have not purchased this game yet only because the place I order from does not have the game with the revised rules yet. I think I will order all the expansion and figures when I do purchase it. I like the idea behind this game and do not have one like it or similar in the games I currently own.

Thanks for any input on books ( or any other suggestions).

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I'm not aware of any books based on Tannhauser.  If there are any, they'd probably have been developed by TOY before they went under and sold Tannhauser to FFG wholesale, so they'd be in French.  I'm sure if FFG had commissioned (or translated) any novels, we'd have heard about it around here.

That said, I think Tannhauser is a property that's ripe for novels as a supplement to the board game.  It has the right mix of heavy fluff and atmosphere to make that idea work.  I know FFG has done some limited story publication in the past, so it's not impossible that such a thing might come to pass, if we make enough noise about it. =)

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 I'm fairly sure that there are no novels, not even in French. 

Personally, I hope it stays that way. I find most of the books published for games like this to be very disappointing compared to what you can imagine for the setting. I prefer that they leave it vague.

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Back when ToY had the game rights, French community members were allowed to create fiction. If it was good enough it was published on the frontpage and made "community official".  FYI some of the events from these fictions were included in the timeline which was published later.

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Yorktown said:

 

Personally, I hope it stays that way. I find most of the books published for games like this to be very disappointing compared to what you can imagine for the setting. I prefer that they leave it vague.

 

 

Do you know of a lot of books published to supplement board games?  Personally I'm not aware of any.  Perhaps you were also including books based on video games, TV shows, etc?  In that case I do agree that most of them are generally trash, but there are a few exceptions.  I was personally quite satisfied with the Firefly comics, for example.

The quality of such "spin off" products generally depends on the amount of official fluff the authors have to work with and how strict the original company is willing to be regarding enforcing quality requirements.  Most of them, sadly, seem to be willing to accept anything they're given, counting on the brand name to sell the product and get them their money.

I know FFG has a few comics/novels floating around, but I don't think any of them are directly based off their board games (I haven't really looked into that part of the website, though, so I could be mistaken.)  Without examples to work with, it's hard to say how strict FFG would be - the stricter the better, of course.  However, I think Tannhauser has a sufficiently large foundation of fluff that such novels could have promise, as long as they take the time to hire sufficiently qualified authors.

The other side of the coin, of course, is that nobody buys such a spin-off book expecting a pulitzer prize winner.  There's only so much time and effort they could pour into such an effort and still expect to see a profit from it.  As such, "sufficiently qualified author" has an upper limit - FFG isn't going to hire someone like Tom Clancy because there's no way the book would sell well enough to make it pay off.  The target audience isn't big enough.  So a certain degree of the consumer's satisfaction has to be accounted for in how appropriate his expectations were.

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Steve-O said:

Do you know of a lot of books published to supplement board games?  Personally I'm not aware of any.  Perhaps you were also including books based on video games, TV shows, etc?  In that case I do agree that most of them are generally trash, but there are a few exceptions.  I was personally quite satisfied with the Firefly comics, for example.

Yes, I was including other spin-off works. The Gears of War books leap to mind. Personally, I've never found a good novelization attempt, but I haven't read the Firefly books. 

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Just picked up Tannhauser, so pretty new to this forum. Therefore, hello.

Anyway, on the topic at hand, I can't name any novelizations based on board games off-hand, but there are books based on RPGs such as DnD, card games such as Magic the Gathering, and wargames such as Warhammer. Of course, those games are also super-seller core products for their respective companies. Some tabletop games have had supplementary comics - Mageknight, Heroscape, and Monsterpocalypse come to mind - though those were mostly used as promotional material.

Anyway, I don't think a Tannhauser novel is entirely out of the question, but it seems unlikely for now because I do not think the game is popular enough for FFG to really go down that route. Of course, you could always have a random hit like Monsterpocalypse did - have a big time producer like Tim Burton notice your game and consider it for a movie! =P

 

On the question of how strict FFG would be with the novels, I doubt they would be very strict. Their world design (with Terrinoth, at least) has always seemed like a "build it as you go" approach with less regard for the internal consistency of the world... as is appropriate for a series of board games that have minimal (if any) impact on one another. 

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     I just got this game a few days ago and started reading the rules today. (revised edition came with the game). I was first interested in this game because of the storyline and thought it would be different than some other games I have.

    I do have the spin off books for Warhammer Online and agree that sometimes books written for a game are not the best. However, in the case of Tannhauser I was wondering what books may have given the game designers the idea. In other words, what books may have be written about the Reich and the occult. What books may have been written about weapons that may have been made with the Roswell alein tech secret weapons etc. (Hey I live near Wright-Pat Air Force Base in Ohio where the Roswell stuff in supposed to be.)

     Anyway if anyone has any favorite books or authors on the subjects I would be interested in reading some. For me it helps with the game. I bought tons of Warhammer books for playing Warhammer:the invasion, bought HP Lovecraft for Arkham Horror etc.

    This looks like a neat game, can't wait to get through the rules and start playing.

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Drakson said:

I just got this game a few days ago and started reading the rules today. (revised edition came with the game). I was first interested in this game because of the storyline and thought it would be different than some other games I have.

The original rulebook actually has more information about Operation Tannhauser than the new one. If you have not already, you may want to read through the thematic sections of the old rulebook.

Drakson said:

However, in the case of Tannhauser I was wondering what books may have given the game designers the idea. In other words, what books may have been written about the Reich and the occult. What books may have been written about weapons that may have been made with the Roswell alien tech secret weapons, etc.

I can only guess at the sources that inspired TOY, but I imagine the inspiration for Tannhauser came from an enormous and varied body of work that includes novels, comics, films, other games, and real-life history and mythology. 

For example, the connection between the Reich and the occult may have been inspired by real-life speculation about Nazism and the occult:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazism_and_occultism

In fact, when I first saw the previews for the game, I thought it was about WWII, partially because of the Reich's occult connection. There are various fiction and non-fiction works which deal with this connection. The Wikipedia article lists some of those, if you're interested. 

Actually, Tannhauser draws very heavily from real-life and speculative history. Most of the secondary characters and places are historical figures, and you'll find a lot of information on a lot of the occult concepts with a quick Google search, though the Tannhauser version and the real-life version may be radically different in places. The Matriarchy seems to be inspired by a combination of theories on the technology developed by Tesla in real-life and Slavic mythology, so those are both worth a look. The Roswell technology is harder to pinpoint, though the comment in the new rulebook about Element 115 and gravity waves is a reference to the real-life Bob Lazar. 

Moving onto specific media...

There's a wide body of work that takes place after the *second* World War but deals with repercussions from that war. If you like comics, the Hellboy comics (and other media) are a good source. The stories tend to take place after the war but the origin of Hellboy is tied to it. If you're a fan of anime and manga, the Hellsing series might be worth a look, though it tends to be very stylized and focuses more on that style than on the depth of story, in my opinion. It also takes place after World War II but deals with events which occurred during the war. Both of those are ripe for customization, if you plan to expand the game yourself.

it's harder to find material dealing specifically with WWI, but you might take a look at alternate history novellae, which often introduces occult concepts or new technology:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:World_War_I_alternate_histories

 

I have not read these myself though, so I really cannot speak for their quality. Lovecraft's stories are not so specific to the world wars but are always worth a read. You're already familiar with those though. If you want to take a leap of faith, you can also try various movies and even look at the storylines for other games. 

In terms of fan-created content, I'd recommend Miah's Mythopoeia (essentially a dictionary/encyclopedia) and Doc Savage's blog: 

docsavagetales.blogspot.com

 

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Rhydderch said:

Anyway, I don't think a Tannhauser novel is entirely out of the question, but it seems unlikely for now because I do not think the game is popular enough for FFG to really go down that route. Of course, you could always have a random hit like Monsterpocalypse did - have a big time producer like Tim Burton notice your game and consider it for a movie! =P

I agree, for the record.  I think Tannhauser has potential for this sort of accessory product, but that doesn't mean I really expect it to happen.

Rhydderch said:

On the question of how strict FFG would be with the novels, I doubt they would be very strict. Their world design (with Terrinoth, at least) has always seemed like a "build it as you go" approach with less regard for the internal consistency of the world... as is appropriate for a series of board games that have minimal (if any) impact on one another. 

I agree in principle, although it's worth noting that I recently sat down and analyzed all the fluff text I could find for all the Terrinoth games in order to put together a single, compiled vision of the world as I am planning to try running a D&D game in Terrinoth in the near future.  The results were surprisingly consistent in the end.  There were some contradictions, it's true, but overall it really did fit together quite nicely and helped me connect a few dots I never would have noticed before.  Considering this fluff is background for a series of board games and not any consistent attempt at storytelling, I think it's pretty well done.  It does have a definite "building it as we go" feel, but somehow it still manages to lock together with minimal contradiction if you sit down and examine it.

The one big inconsistent mark on the games is artwork.  They have a tendency to re-use the same art for different characters and items, heroes excepted, from one game to the next.  That or else they'll make the same item with radically different abilities in two different games.  It's a bit jarring, but no biggie in the end.

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Steve-O said:

I recently sat down and analyzed all the fluff text I could find for all the Terrinoth games in order to put together a single, compiled vision of the world as I am planning to try running a D&D game in Terrinoth in the near future.  The results were surprisingly consistent in the end.  There were some contradictions, it's true, but overall it really did fit together quite nicely and helped me connect a few dots I never would have noticed before.  Considering this fluff is background for a series of board games and not any consistent attempt at storytelling, I think it's pretty well done.  It does have a definite "building it as we go" feel, but somehow it still manages to lock together with minimal contradiction if you sit down and examine it. 

I'm familiar with the document you made as I ran across it while I compiled my own sourcebook for Terrinoth, though mine got derailed after I picked up Tannhauser - working on a sourcebook for that instead now. I only have Descent but was able to gather quite a bit of information online. I agree that the information is mostly consistent, but I think that's partially because the Runebound games take place on different continents that have little influence on one another while Descent has minimal influence on the background. The ancient history for Runewars definitely felt "tacked on" to me.

We'll have to see how FFG does with Tannhauser. In my opinion, the game requires a tighter approach because the different pieces do affect one another. 

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When TOY had control of Tannhauser they had a complex and detailed histoy created, but Tann 2.0 has (hopefuly temporary) disposed of most of this. In fact the Revised Rules contains very few dates which can be found in the original.

A poorly tranlated version of the old Tannhauser Cronology can be found here www.fantasyflightgames.com/ffg_content/Tannhauser/tannhauser-chronology.pdf.

I created a book of facts and definitions for Tannhauser a version based on the revised rules is here docs.google.com/viewer, and I'll be updating after Daedalus is released.

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Rhydderch said:

 

I'm familiar with the document you made as I ran across it while I compiled my own sourcebook for Terrinoth, though mine got derailed after I picked up Tannhauser - working on a sourcebook for that instead now. I only have Descent but was able to gather quite a bit of information online. I agree that the information is mostly consistent, but I think that's partially because the Runebound games take place on different continents that have little influence on one another while Descent has minimal influence on the background. The ancient history for Runewars definitely felt "tacked on" to me.

That's a fair assessment.  The history of Runewars was tacked on, quite literally, because they were taking the fluff from an older, long OOP game line (Battlemist/Diskwars) and incorporating it into the Terrinoth universe.  All things considered and a few minor hiccups to overlook, I think they did about as good a job as one might expect.

But I digress.  We should probably take this to PM (or at least one of the Terrinoth forums) if we want to keep discussing it.

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Miah999 said:

When TOY had control of Tannhauser they had a complex and detailed histoy created, but Tann 2.0 has (hopefuly temporary) disposed of most of this. In fact the Revised Rules contains very few dates which can be found in the original.

A poorly tranlated version of the old Tannhauser Cronology can be found here www.fantasyflightgames.com/ffg_content/Tannhauser/tannhauser-chronology.pdf.

I created a book of facts and definitions for Tannhauser a version based on the revised rules is here docs.google.com/viewer, and I'll be updating after Daedalus is released.

I'm familiar with the older material or what's left of it online, as well as the newer. My sourcebook draws from both, though I realize a lot of the older material may need to be scrapped. I'm also familiar with your Mythopoeia and recommended it in one of my posts above =)

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Rhydderch said:

I'm familiar with the older material or what's left of it online, as well as the newer. My sourcebook draws from both, though I realize a lot of the older material may need to be scrapped. I'm also familiar with your Mythopoeia and recommended it in one of my posts above =)

Yes, I saw that after I posted, Thanks for your referal, and I look forward to seeing what you come up with. : )

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I think that a "thicker" Tannhäuser history /world depiction will only happen outside of the boardgame IF FFG decides to create new ways to exploit the universe like LCG or another king of game (nint: Battlelore-like game).

I guess the true test of FFG dedication to the line background will come once they will have create all new content.

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Plageman said:

I think that a "thicker" Tannhäuser history /world depiction will only happen outside of the boardgame IF FFG decides to create new ways to exploit the universe like LCG or another king of game (nint: Battlelore-like game).

I guess the true test of FFG dedication to the line background will come once they will have create all new content.

Isn't there already a card game version of Tannhauser?  Front Missions or something?  It might not be published by FFG, and even if it is I don't think it's an LCG, but I could swear I've seen something like that out there.

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I believe it is still available here: www.ludikbazar.com/product_info.php, it's 10 Euros (about $15-$20), plus it will be shipped from France), but remember it is in French, I think there's translations avaiable on the Tannbunker site.

 

Edit: I just looked at the site it looks like you can buy it and have it shipped to the US, but it will cost you about 30 Euros (about $50-$60) just to ship it. Of course if you live in Europe it is a lot cheaper.

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Sadly Tanhauser Field Ops has next to none information on the Tannhauser World. The best you'll get is few character and equipment names.

From what I know both Field Ops and the in-development Cerberus (a Descent-like games) were not picked up by FFG when they bought the IP. So I guess they're in sort of limbo by now as if anyone wanted to develop them they'd have to ask FFG for the right (and price) to do so.

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I have spent the evening trying to find books that fit in to the Tannhauser universe, and the closest thing to it is Hellboy. I am surprised that there just isn't more horror or fantasy written about Hitler and the occult. Katherine Kurtz wrote a couple, Llamas Night and Dagger Magic (both out of print.) Then there are the Hellboy books which seem to arise out of Tannhauser. Finally there is the Robert Harris novel, Fatherland and Phillip Roth's novel, The Plot Against America. Fatherland was made into a movie with Rutger Hauer, but it is simply an alternative history, and does not deal with the supernatural that Tannhauser does.

Someone needs to write this book!

I'll start it tomorrow.

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baggymacaw said:

I have spent the evening trying to find books that fit in to the Tannhauser universe, and the closest thing to it is Hellboy. I am surprised that there just isn't more horror or fantasy written about Hitler and the occult. Katherine Kurtz wrote a couple, Llamas Night and Dagger Magic (both out of print.) Then there are the Hellboy books which seem to arise out of Tannhauser. Finally there is the Robert Harris novel, Fatherland and Phillip Roth's novel, The Plot Against America. Fatherland was made into a movie with Rutger Hauer, but it is simply an alternative history, and does not deal with the supernatural that Tannhauser does.

Someone needs to write this book!

I'll start it tomorrow.

I've never read the Hellboy books but I guess the movies were Tannhauserish (yeah I'm aware that Tannhauserish is not a real word) another movie that comes to mind is Blood Creek. Blood Creek was released in 2009. It is about the Third Reich looking for occult artifacts, it's acctually a really good movie if you happen by it. 

More info here, if you're interested: www.imdb.com/title/tt0450336

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