Games drawn from fiction obsess me: Quidditch, Sabacc, anything made up by Yoon Ha Lee, et cetera. So when it came to my attention that Patrick Rothfuss had partnered with a game designer to make a real-world version of Tak, one of the games Kvothe plays in The Wise Man’s Fear, I had to check it out. (The story of how it came about is pretty funny, and very Rothfuss.)
There’s a lot to say about the game—the worldbuilding fiction that has been built around it in the Tak Companion Book, the on- and off-line communities that have developed—but today, let’s explore how well the board game by James Ernest fits with the descriptions in the book.
As a writer, when you come up with an element like a game or a similar novel form of sport or entertainment, especially in fantasy, you need to make it sound like it has a full set of rules, strategies, variants, etc. So does Ernest’s Tak correspond to the drips and drabs of description that we get about the game in the book? And how well does it fit with the world Rothfuss created?