Learning to Play Tak: The Kingkiller Chronicle’s Beautiful Game

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 ...

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