List of Robert Jordan Fantasy Books, including The Wheel of Time

The Wheel of Time Series by Robert Jordan

The last three books of the series are co-written by Brandon Sanderson because Robert Jordan died in 2007 before completing the series.

1. The Eye of the World (January 15, 1990)
2. The Great Hunt (November 15, 1990)
3. The Dragon Reborn (October 15, 1991)
4. The Shadow Rising (September 15, 1992)
5. The Fires of Heaven (October 15, 1993)
6. Lord of Chaos (October 15, 1994)
7. A Crown of Swords (May 15, 1996)
8. The Path of Daggers (October 20, 1998)
9. Winter's Heart (November 9, 2000)
10. Crossroads of Twilight (January 7, 2003)
11. Knife of Dreams (October 11, 2005)
12. The Gathering Storm (October 27, 2009) coauthored by Sanderson
13. Towers of Midnight (November 2, 2010) coauthored by Sanderson
14. A Memory of Light (January 8, 2013) coauthored by Sanderson

There are also 3 companion books to the series...

The World of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time

  • By Robert Jordan and Teresa Patterson


The Wheel of Time Companion

  • By Robert Jordan, Harriet McDougal, Alan Romanczuk, and Maria Simons


Patterns of the Wheel: Coloring Art Based on Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time 

  • By Robert Jordan and Amy Romanczuk

 

Conan the Barbarian

Robert Jordan also wrote 7 Conan books (based on the titular Sword and Sorcery character created by Robert E. Howard). They include:

  1. Conan the Invincible (1982)
  2. Conan the Defender (1982)
  3. Conan the Unconquered (1983)
  4. Conan the Triumphant (1983)
  5. Conan the Magnificent (1984)
  6. Conan the Destroyer (1984)
  7. Conan the Victorious (1984)

 

Warrior of Altaii

This is Robert Jordan's very first novel, which is less well known. He supposedly wrote the 98,000 word first draft in just 13 days during the 1970s, but the book wasn't published until over 40 years later because it sat in publishing hell for decades. The rights had been purchased and later returned to the author, but the book wasn't printed until 2019 (12 years after Robert Jordan's death).

The book follows the adventures of Wulfgar, a warrior of the Altaii people, who is a Conan-esque character in a world of magic, prophets and royalty.

 


Robert Jordan also wrote a number of non-fantasy books, but they're not listed here.

Character Deaths and TPKs in Dungeons and Dragons

During my recent Friday 2nd Edition D&D game one of the PCs died through no fault of his own.

He died because a different party member went off on their own to explore the dungeon solo. This is an inherently deadly problem. What if you run into something that you cannot handle on your own?

The kind of monster that can potentially kill a character with only 2 or 3 hits, and is pretty good at hitting.

This is what happened on Friday.

  1. While one PC was changing into new plate mail armour (which takes about 10 rounds to do) the party cleric went off to explore on their own in a haunted keep.
  2. They encountered a ghost, one of the biggest monsters within the keep, which ages a target 10 to 40 years per successful hit. (A character hit multiple times can potentially die from old age.)
  3. After they heard screaming, the party rushed to help the cleric... but one of their best fighters was still changing into his new armour.
  4. The disorganized party isn't able to work effectively because they were not prepared for this fight. They are split even when they do leap into action.
  5. The cleric cast Sanctuary, effectively protecting themselves from the ghost.
  6. The ghost proceeded to attack one of the bigger fighters in the party who was closest. They scored two hits, aging the fighter for 40 years each time.
  7. The biggest fighter died at the age of 105 years old, going from age 25 to 105 in mere minutes.
  8. The party later defeated the ghost, but they have suffered a horrific and unnecessary loss.

The ghost encounter is meant to be a hard battle, but if the entire party is present and prepared they should suffer minimal damage / aging.

But when you add splitting the party to the mix, suddenly that encounter becomes deadly.

Hence the saying (and the song):

"Never split the party."


The same player unfortunately bore the brunt of a similar incident a month ago when the party failed to navigate a lava fissure. They were using a safety rope, with someone with an 18 Strength holding the rope... But they character jumping over the lava fissure failed their jump check, and the PC holding the safety rope failed their Strength check to hold the rope. The chances of them both failing was one in 200, so highly unlikely (0.5%), but when it comes to deadly hazards people should be far more cautious.

Ask yourself, would YOU get on an airplane that has a 0.5% chance of crashing and killing you? Of course not. It is an unnecessary risk. But in Dungeons and Dragons players often assume they will be just fine and that the odds are in their favour, which it was, but eventually your luck can run out.

Now there are other ways the party could have have solved this particular terrain hazard.

  1. Tie the rope to a door handle. A solid door would bear the weight of the person jumping no problem.
  2. Build a bridge over the lava fissure. (I ran this dungeon once before and this is what the other party did. They used wood from broken wine barrels to build a bridge.)
  3. Solve the problem using magic. Possibly by using a spell like Stone Shape or something similar to build a bridge.
  4. Any number of other methods.

But these things happen sometimes when adventuring parties take unnecessary risks.

I am reminded of a different game from about a decade ago when the party was climbing an icy mountain, and they split the party and tried climbing it using different routes up the mountain occupied by baddies. So not only were they dealing with dangerous icy falls, there were enemies attacking them, and they split the party. Three characters died that day because they didn't take precautions (using ropes/etc) and they split the party. It was nearly a party wipe.

What I have learned however is that when you run a deadly campaign it brings out the problem solving in the group where every hazard and obstacle is dealt with more finesse, and splitting the party eventually becomes a rarity. Sometimes there are hiccups when the party makes a mistake...

Like failing to rest before running into a boss fight, and that can lead to PCs dying or even a TPK (the failing to rest example I am thinking of did lead to a TPK). When a party gets a chance to rest, and they're not in a hurry, they should always rest - even within a dungeon. Especially before a boss fight.

The failing to rest before a boss fight thing could always happen again too. All it takes is for the majority of the party to say "Yeah, let's keep going. We don't need to rest right now."

That is one of those mistakes players will make when they're low on hit points, low on spells, but they are not taking the danger seriously. Possibly because they've never had a TPK before.

For those who don't know a TPK stands for Total Party Kill. Everyone dies.

TPKs are very rare.

In order for a TPK to happen the DM needs to be running a deadly campaign (not pulling any punches or bending the rules to make sure the PCs survive) and the party needs to collectively make a huge mistake. Eg. Not resting to recuperate, rushing into a den of vampires unprepared, attacking something they know is too big for them to handle, etc.

So I think the party needs to have a chat about this issue. Everyone knows I run a deadly campaign, but now that they know that and have seen 2 character deaths in one month they need to start planning out their actions more carefully.

That doesn't mean they cannot take unnecessary risks, but there are such a thing as mitigating those risks. Eg. If the cleric hadn't wandered off, that would have been a much better solution. Alternatively, if the cleric really wanted to go off on their own they should have cast Sanctuary first... But even then that would be putting themselves at risk for traps or other hazards, and was not a guaranteed protection against monsters.

How to Read the Binary Alphabet in 5 Minutes

The Binary Alphabet is pretty easy to learn, but first you need to know what you are looking for. Each binary letter (or number) is an 8 digit code of 0s and 1s. To make it visually easier for you to recognize I have split the 8 digit code down the middle.

0110 0001 = a (for math reference 0000 0001 = 1)

0110 0010 = b (for math reference 0000 0010 = 2)

0110 0011 = c (because 1+2 = 3, so a+b = c)

0110 0100 = d (for math reference 0000 0100 = 4)

0110 0101 = e

See the pattern? Each letter in the alphabet starts with 011 and the 0s and 1s that follow indicate the number of the letter in the alphabet based upon math. When you reach 0111 0000 then it is a p or higher letter which means that when you see the first 0110 or 01111 it indicates whether it is at the beginning or the end of the alphabet. Otherwise you might confuse your Js with your Zs, so to speak.

The numbers in binary are coded in a similar way, starting with 0000 0000 for 0, 0000 0001 for 1, etc.

That's it. Binary isn't complicated. It just requires a little bit of math. A 5 year old can learn binary because it is really that easy. Someone who learns how to read binary can get so good at it that they just look at the numbers of 0s and 1s and instantly recognize the numbers, letters or symbols.

If you want to stretch your nerd muscles you can people's questions with:

0110 1110 0110 1111 or 0111 1001 0110 0101 0111 0011

Of course, doing so... Some people will think you're insane. Or a huge dork. Or be really impressed.

Binary isn't just for computer dorks either.

Binary technically predates the invention of computers. The modern binary number system, the basis for binary code, was invented by German polymath Gottfried Leibniz in 1689.

What is a polymath?

A polymath is a person who has studied many different subjects and has an extensive knowledge of many subjects. Basically a polymath is another term for someone who is very nerdy. Similar to a polyglot (a person who speaks many languages).

Well, now that you've learned how to read the Binary Alphabet, you can add that as one of the languages you speak/read. Did that take less than 5 minutes? Yes, yes it did.

Speaking in binary code takes a long time however, so maybe only use that when you really want to show off to other nerds.

Publishing a fantasy book? Make sure you get a professional fantasy book editor.

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