It has been said several times by various people that Kerren and Pern are very similar, and some might consider too similar. This is going to be my final word on the matter and for me, after this post I will consider the matter dead. The main point here is to demonstrate the points of similarity between Pern and Kerren. My primary resources for this is the Pern entry at Wikipedia, which I know is not the quintessential resource but it is the only one I have easily at hand, and MoonHunter's http://www.strolen.com/content.php?node=3374
For hundreds of years colonist from Earth have lived on Kerren. They came to Karren to live a simplier peaceful life.
Excerpt from Kerren.
In the novels, Pern was colonised by settlers from Earth who wanted to return to an agrarian society with a low level of technology.
Excerpt from Wiki.Arguement
Both Kerren and Pern were settled by colonists from Earth, which basically puts both as similar in origin, and having the peculiar combination of dragons and starships in the same milieu. This is a minor point.Point 2
Kerren is a world of little metal.
Excerpt from Kerren
Pern is relatively lacking in most major metals.
Excerpt from WikiArguement
As with point 1, this isn't a major argument as it is required of an advanced technological society to be forced to rely on organic means of defence (dragons) and to keep technology from becoming rampant over said dragons and fantasy elements.Point 3
Zhan are extradimensonal blobs that fall from rifts caused by electrical storms.
Excerpt from Kerren
Shortly after the first colony was established, the settlers discovered that their chosen planet was subject to periodic attack from space by the destructive ThreadArguement
While thread and zhan do have several fundamental differences, thread coming from another world and destroying organic matter, and zhan being extradimensional and causing mutations, the basic idea of an impersonal menace falling from the sky is the same basic concept. Point 4
However, the Colonists found allies on Kerren- The Dragons. Working with this native animal species, The Ryders defend their people. Riding their dragons they destroy Zhan
Excerpt from Kerren
Unable to retreat from the peril, the settlers developed methods of combating the Thread.... Pernese scientists genetically "upgraded" these into full-sized flame-breathing telepathic dragons, who were able to sear the Thread before it could fall to the ground. Arguement
The core of both series are the same, the conflict of dragon riders and dragon ryders who ride dragons to burn thread/zhan before it falls to the earth to inflict its damage. To me, this is the largest of the points of contention as though it is stated that the focus of Kerrenese gaming is interaction between humans of various stripes, it is set against the standard background of dragons burning foes from the sky. Counter-Arguement
Today at 09:48:40 AM - MoonHunter - And Kerren is about as Pern and most Western Fantasy is Tolkien.
Today at 09:50:21 AM - MoonHunter - It is about as Pern as anything with a Magic Sword is a King Arthur tale.
Western Fantasy owes a great deal to Tolkien, but his works sprang from the collective mythology of Europe which is composed of magic swords, magic rings, dragons, and elves. For a work to be derivative of Tolkien, as 1st ed D&D was, the focus would have to be on the triumph of good over evil, the destruction of a magic ring of power, and battling the minions of an evil god. While there is alot of fantasy that does fall into this motif, that is because much of the motif is broad and easily adaptable, almost fantasy archtypes.
King Arthur, much like Tolkien is also a broad and archtypical tale containing very fundamental characteristics and characters. It is also a bildungsroman
or a novel of coming to age, starting with youthful Arthur pulling the sword from the stone and evolving into The Once and Future King bit.
Pern does not share these broad archtypical themes.
If you are going to have dragons that are not stabled like horses, you are going to have something like Pern.
Excerpt from Kerren, Kerren is not Pern article
This is a obvious presumption, it is not the presence of dragons and those who would ride them that make Kerren and Pern similar, it is a layering of excessively similar themes. Final Arguement
There are more similarities between the two, things like the imprinting process, the demarcation of the society and the interchangability of weyr and hold without any loss of meaning. I do not want to go any further with the points of similarity, because to me the similarity is obvious and almost painfully so.
Frank Herbert, the author of the Dune books, took Lucas to court over the similarities between Star Wars and Dune, to which he supplied no fewer than 16 points of reference. his case was overturned as most of his points existed on literary levels and most people agreed that Luke Skywalker and Paul Atreides were in no way copies of each other. Most people I know find such a presumption to border on ridiculous. In counterpoint, the similarities between Kerren and Pern are so obvious that Moonhunter had to write a statement countering it even before the first comment was made.
Some well read people will have just said to themselves, "Hey, this is just like Pern."
Kerren IS Pern presented in a format that can be used for RPG purposes. It is a dragon of a different color, but the same beast underneath.