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Shadows of Self Lansing signing ()
#1 Copy


There is a Mistborn pen & paper RPG, Dungeons & Dragons style RPG does it give more information on the world?

Brandon Sanderson

It does.

Though I oversaw that I let them go-- They wanted to do more than I felt comfortable doing myself for my timing, so I let them go pretty crazy. So I say that it is canon until I contradict it. And some of it I will end up contradicting because they needed to be able to make the game the best way they could and I didn’t feel comfortable telling them all the stuff that was coming up because I didn’t want that to sneak into there.

For those who don’t know the Mistborn books, I’m going to do across the period of many centuries of writing—no, of in-world time.


The initial pitch to my editor was past, present, future. So the Mistborn books, we still haven’t hit present yet. We will eventually hit-- Present for these is going to be 1980’s level spy thriller, Tom Clancy-esque Mistborn with Allomancy. Yeah, it’s going to be really cool. The main character, she’s a code monkey who gets involved in all of this. It is really cool. And then we are going to go forward from there to the point where we get to a space opera and epic-- science-fiction space opera where Allomancy and Feruchemy have become the means by which space travel is possible. So that’s coming [...] I’m six books into what's going to be many, many. So just anticipate that with excitement.

Skyward Anchorage signing ()
#2 Copy


There's a Mistborn pen-and-paper RPG. Are you gonna add other magic systems, a la Rifts, where we're connecting the cosmere?

Brandon Sanderson

I have floated the idea to Crafty, who made a really great roleplaying game. They have been a delight to work with. They came to me and said, "What are your favorite RPGs? How can we make one that you'll be happy with?" And they took that and ran with it, and I'm very pleased with how it turned out. And I really think they did a good job with [Mistborn: House War]. So they have been an excellent partner.

When I mentioned it to them, they said something that I respect a lot. They said, "Let's make sure that Mistborn is really good before we add other things." And I think, in the years intervening, watching how different film properties have not taken that same philosophy of "Let's take the thing we're doing and do it really well before we ask where else it'll go." I think that Crafty was very wise in that. I think it is likely we will do more, but they wanna make sure they are supporting the game they released and the IP that they've released before they do anything more.

So, I can't promise, but I do think there will likely be more.

Skyward Chicago signing ()
#3 Copy


Were you gonna do anything with The Stormlight Archive with an RPG?

Brandon Sanderson

I would like to. We'll have to see. We want to support the Mistborn RPG while it's out, we don't want to abandon it. But once we feel like we've done that one the way we want to, you might see a Stormlight.


I need to get ahold of that, because I would almost be worried about, if you have a Mistborn character, especially in Era One, it would be too overpowered.

Brandon Sanderson

They made it work. The game is less combat-focused. There's social influence and gathering resources influence and combat influence are all separate, so you can have a duel of words where you attack someone's social influence that can be as valuable as attacking them on the streets at night. So because those two elements are so useful, what you end up having is, you can balance characters who don't even have Allomancy with characters who are Mistborn or with Mistings, things like that.


I was more thinking something like Twinborn, that you can almost balance that without getting any Mistborn.

Brandon Sanderson

The problem with Twinborn is, you get the right combinations, it's kind of OP. But it's a storytelling based system.

/r/fantasy AMA 2011 ()
#4 Copy


One of the things I really like about your books is the creative and immersive backdrop that the stories take place in. I know you spend a lot of time (and words!) on the background material for these worlds. Will you ever publish your world-building notes?

Brandon Sanderson

I'd like to someday. The reason I haven't yet is because many of them contain cosmere-related notes that give huge spoilers for other books. I could just expunge those, but I feel it better to let things grow a little more and then do some worldbooks. The Mistborn RPG coming out this year is half worldbook, though, and has a lot of setting information from my notes. Interview ()
#5 Copy

And it's interesting that you mentioned the RPG because I remember like many years ago we started reading the RPG from [Crafty Games] and some things that were inside—because when you are doing an RPG you are reading it to explain like the lore and things about everything that's going on and the magic system and blah blah—and we didn't know if, for example, the metals that were included in there that were not yet on the book were canonical, and now I think that most of them are going to be canonical as well.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah when we were working on the Crafty game there were certain liberties we needed to take, and some of them I knew we were gonna use and some of them I knew we weren't going to. And this is just the freedom they asked for to make their game. You can't take everything as canon unfortunately in the Mistborn game, but theoretically there's a lot in there that will be.

General Reddit 2016 ()
#7 Copy


Are the House bios etc. for the game considered canon?

Brandon Sanderson

Short version: no.

Long version: Crafty needs too much new material for their games for me to provide. I'd be spending hours and hours on backstory, and none on writing new books. We tried, at first, to make it all canon, but it was too time consuming. We do look it over, and try to catch any big errors, but the problem is that if I want to write more stories in Mistborn, I can't be bound by what the games have included.

That said, I'm mostly worried about extrapolations of the magic in this regard. (They need to be able to include powers and abilities that are good for gameplay, for example, and need to let people use metals in ways that the stories haven't explored yet.) I highly doubt there would be any reason at all to contradict the information about the houses and their bios, which looks solid to me, and in no need of revision.

So it's more of a "Yes, you can treat this as canon, but know that in some extreme cases it's possible I'll rewrite it in fiction."

Mistborn: Secret History Explanation ()
#8 Copy


Do the other uses for those metals [nicrosil, aluminum, duralumin] currently in the RPG also work in-universe, or are they just there for RPG mechanics?

Brandon Sanderson

Most of the things in the RPG books relating to the metals that you don't see in the books fall under the "We need to make a game out of this somehow, Brandon" clause. I've told them they can extrapolate if they want, but that I wouldn't consider their extrapolations canon.


So does that mean that these metals will be getting updated rules in a future RPG supplement?

Brandon Sanderson

That's a possibility. I've said before that you should consider any games you play to be in an alternate dimension anyway, where the rules work slightly differently, and your players can control the fate of what is going on. Plus, it will be years before I can get to the nature of all this in the next trilogy, so we'll see how relevant it all is in five years or so.

Firefight Miami signing ()
#9 Copy


The Mistborn RPG. How involved are you still in that? Are they still making-- I got the two supplements they made.

Brandon Sanderson

The first one, I was very involved in. The second two, I let my assistants take over. Because I just have too much to do. So, I'm only involved as much as I like-- the original core, and then I've given the okay to go forward. But I made them put, particularly for the second two, the disclaimer at the front that says "This isn't canon, guys. It's canon for your version of the universe, that you're roleplaying." And I think that's just fine, because your roleplaying stories are only canon for your group anyways. I mean, I will have to have the freedom to come up with things I need to come up with, and I told them that. I said, like, Alloy, I was not planning to do this era, so I don't have the detailed notes I can give you on the other ones about all the houses and things.


Are they looking to do Elantris and Stormlight?

Brandon Sanderson

No, right now they just want to do Mistborn. I think Stormlight would be the next they would do, but I think they want to cover Mistborn.


There's stuff in their forums where people I've seen are throwing stuff out, like "Here's what I would do for Shardplate." I didn't know if there was anything official that they were--

Brandon Sanderson

Nothing official. No, we are doing a Shattered Plains board game. War game board game things. Someone came to us with a really cool proposal. It's a little ways off, 'cause we just signed on it in September. They had a great proposal, it's gonna be so much fun. One of these German style, with all the pieces and things.

Miscellaneous 2011 ()
#10 Copy

Deus Ex Biotica

Does anyone know anything about [A House of Ashes, a set of companion stories for the Mistborn Adventure Game]? Was it vetted by Brandon Sanderson, and thus capable of giving us some new canonical data, or is it going to be pure (albeit probably very well-written and exciting) fanfiction?

Crafty Games

We have indeed been working with Brandon to build the game - as much as his very busy schedule allows, at any rate - and he and his team have read and signed off on all of it, including this novella. That said, it's labeled very clearly as a "Companion to the Mistborn Adventure Game" for a reason. It has the seal of approval, but it's understood that the world and full canon are his and his alone. We hope he incorporates some of this into his work, but at the end of the day it's his choice what is and isn't actually true. 


I plan to treat it as second-order canon: Can be overruled by direct quote from Peter or Brandon or textual evidence from Brandon's books, but otherwise assumed to be true.

Crafty Games

This is absolutely how you should view it.

Hope that helps!

YouTube Livestream 15 ()
#11 Copy


Stormlight tabletop RPG game. Have you ever looked into that? Would you ever consider that?

Brandon Sanderson

We would consider it. Since we've done one with Mistborn, it is certainly something we would consider. And Stormlight would be the thing we would do. But the Mistborn game is still having active support, and we enjoy our partnership there with Crafty, so there hasn't been a lot of real nitty-gritty detail discussion of doing a tabletop RPG. I expect it will happen someday, how about that; but we don't have any immediate plans.

Miscellaneous 2011 ()
#12 Copy

Aiken Frost

Guys, have you noticed this bit in the Bendalloy section [of the Mistborn Adventure Game]?

"A physical attack made through the bubble, whether held or thrown, is robbed of its kinetic energy, often with an audible 'pop.'"

Could this be what we are looking for when trying to figure the FTL space travel thing?

Arcanist Lupus

This statement seems to violate several things from Alloy of Law: first, Wax's "shooting the bullet" scene, and the danger of being shot while inside a cadmium bubble.

Peter Ahlstrom

Not really. A bullet shot out of a speed bubble IS robbed of kinetic energy—not all of it, but just enough to slow it down to the speed it would have been moving at had it been fired outside the bubble in the first place.