Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Boar and Rabbit [RPG]


One of the best things about Paizo (the company that makes Pathfinder) is how progressive they are when it comes to supporting diversity and equality.  Their commitment to recognizing the multitude of identities people have in the twenty-first century and reflecting that in their RPG products is one of many reasons I keep reading their stuff.  Boar and Rabbit, a four-part series of free web fiction (available here) is a perfect example.  The story features a gay male couple, and even though this was written three years ago, this is still a rarity in fantasy fiction!  Set in the nation of Karazh, the story involves one member of the couple who has to break with his people's tradition in order to be free.  There's plenty of action, and humor, and I appreciated the genuine and non-cliche interaction of the two main characters.  Even better, they appear in a later Pathfinder novel by James L. Sutter, The Redemption Engine.  Boar and Rabbit is a good example of the type of stories our genre needs more of.  And, there's some cool artwork to boot!


The plot of Boar and Rabbit revolves around Bors and Roshad, a gay couple who are faced with a terrible dilemma:  Bors is a prince and heir to the Horse Throne of Karazh, and his father insists he marries a woman to be his queen, and, if Bors doesn't, Roshad will be killed!  I really liked how the problem was resolved through quick-thinking rather than bloodshed, which is a rarity in sword-and-sorcery fiction.  I will only note as a minor criticism that, as a reader completely unfamiliar with Karazh or the Iridian Fold (of which Roshad is a member) it took me a while to figure out how these things fit into the story.

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