If you’ve been paying attention to anything I’m up to you know that I’m in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for the completion of the Ki Khanga Sword and Soul Role Playing game. You’ll also be happy to know that our campaign was successful in only two days and that now we are working to reach stretch goals to add enhancements that will improve the gameplaying experience. But that’s not what I’m here to write about. I’m here to write about Sword and Soul. There may be a few of you who have pledged for or are planning to purchase Ki Khanga but have never read Sword and Soul. So I’ve decided to share a required reading list of Sword and Soul titles that will give you a sense of what Sword and Soul is and spark your imagination for exciting Ki Khanga gameplay.
The best place to start is at the beginning, and Sword and Soul begins with Charles R. Saunders. Charles is the founder of Sword and Soul, and his writing is the best example of what Sword and Soul is and can be. Like most of us he was originally inspired by Robert E. Howard’s Conan and just like most of us he was troubled by the depiction of black characters in Howard’s work. When he began work on Imaro he was setting out to create a character that, in his own words, ‘could kick Conan’s ass.’ I believe he succeeded. Howard’s influence can clearly be seen in the first novel, but as Charles progressed in telling Imaro’s tale you can see the evolution away from Howard’s style to a point that by Book Four Charles’s work stands alone. Imaro is the standard for Sword and Soul, and Charles’ work, while highly underrated in fantasy writing in general, is highly respected and admired among die hard sword and sorcery readers. Charles’ Imaro collection is currently published by Sword and Soul Media and can be found at Lulu.com. Imaro Books One and Two can be purchased via Amazon.
Stay tuned for our next blog, where we talk about another Charles Saunders’s creation, Dossouye, and another writer who is working to expand the legacy of Sword and Soul. I wonder who that could be. In the meantime, check out the Ki Khanga Kickstarter. Not only can you read Sword and Soul, now you can play it. The Ki Khanga RPG Kickstarter