Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Christmas Present

Christmas present:
Before Ragnarok happened, James' idea for the April Fools' release (or was it the Free RPG Day release?) was a book on Bards, made by me
I agreed to do it on one condition (well two conditions, the first was lots of money) --we'd do it in the exact format of the '80s Dragon Magazines, including comics, letters, and lots of real black and white ads from real OSR companies.

It was all edited and in layout... you can see on the bottom-right, Rainville had even finished the cover.

Although the idea was originally a joke, so was Red & Pleasant Land (working title "Eat Me")--I was determined everything I wrote in there be not only playable but something I was actually planning to use.

It had a traveling troubadour class, a set of scheming entertainer NPCs, a Vornheim-style entertainer generator, an interconnected sandbox built around the circuit of taverns and festivals that an itinerant musician, juggler, etc would follow, a bunch of descriptions of plays that PCs might pull off the shelves of a random library that looked pointless at first but had hidden clues and adventure hooks worked into them, a few musical magic items including gongs and a more detailed version of Heward's Mystical Organ, an adventure that started with a poem the players had to examine for clues, another adventure featuring "The Malignant Hymnal of Occychorcys" and a guide to making music puzzles. 


Matrox Lusch said...

An awful lot of work for Bards in general, but for a Scandinavian growled-lyric "Black Metal Bard"...

Interesting though, I never realized there was an original Bard class in Strategic Review Volume 2 Number 1 (by Doug Schwegman) and it doesn't look bad. That Bard just went up in levels as any class normally would, fighting and saving as a Cleric, thieving ability level at half-Bard-level rounded down, and Magic User spells beginning at 2nd level Bard. Plus the charm and lore chances beginning at 1st level.

Ha, Zak would you have satirized "Wormy" or "Fineous Fingers"?

Wormy is the more colorful comic, but I remember being partial to Fineous.

Zak Sabbath said...

I think we were going to have Kelvin do the comics but...he turned out to be a piece of shit like the rest so oh well

Matrox Lusch said...

Ha, I could totally envision a Kelvin Green Fineous Fingers-style comic. Wishing you a joyous 2020.

"And ye, who have met with adversity's blast,
And been bow'd to the earth by its fury;
To whom the twelve months, that have recently pass'd
Were as harsh as a prejudiced jury —
Still, fill to the Future! and join in our chime,
The regrets of remembrance to cozen,
And having obtained a New Trial of Time,
Shout in hopes of a kindlier dozen."
~Thomas Hood (allegedly, I couldn't find a specific cite...)

Jon Hammersley said...

Any hope of this seeing the light of day at some point (self published pdf maybe)? Having been a part of a game including 4 bard characters this would have been a handy resource to have at the time.

Zak Sabbath said...


Very little hope, I'm afraid.

As I've said before, in February, hundreds of harassers in the online game community aggressively organized themselves on multiple platforms to basically destroy my life (for example: ) based on some total bullshit.

Even though the accusations were proved false pretty much immediately, they were extremely successful within the game scene because fans just sat by the sidelines and did nothing at all to stop them. Its costs lots of people lots of money and tanked lots of projects and done so much real and measurable damage that legal action is my only recourse.

Even though:

-People keep writing asking for stuff
-My existing stuff still sells fine, and
-it will very likely make money off of it

I -really- do not want to publish game stuff for a community who doesn't value creators enough to lift a fucking finger to help them. It's really gross.

I have some work that I promised people, and I'll do it, and I am taking the necessary steps to hold all the people who did this responsible, but unless gamers start acting like they have some sort of empathy, guts or conscience I really do not want to go through the harassment and risk involved in publishing just so they get another toy to play with.

If good people insist on doing fuck-all, then they things they like will go away. That's life.

Zak Sabbath said...

@ erased anon

no anonymous comments, use a persistent identity.

Zak Sabbath said...

( also no personal attacks and make sure you actually read what you’re responding to )