The Bard's Tale IV Update #32: Year-End Message from Brian, A Monstrous Menagerie

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The Bard's Tale IV Update #32: Year-End Message from Brian, A Monstrous Menagerie

Postby sear » December 23rd, 2016, 9:02 am

Hi everyone!

Today's update to The Bard's Tale IV features Nathan Long diving deep into some of the monster designs you will see in the game. We also have a video message from Brian Fargo that sums up the past year and the things to come...

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/in ... ts/1747138

Scottish monsters have a grotesque, nightmarish quality about them unique to the land. Maybe it's got something to do with whisky being Scotland's national drink, or sheep intestines its national dish. Whatever it is, you will not find a more twisted, bizarre collection of creepy-crawlies in Western mythology.

Of course, The Bard's Tale IV versions of these horrors are not exact translations of their Scottish kin. The artists have re-interpreted them to fit the tone of the game, and we writers have adapted their lore so that it weaves smoothly into the world of Caith and Skara Brae.

Fachan

Image

There are actually few mentions of the Fachan in old Scottish lore, save one tale where Murachadh MacBrian, the King of Ireland, won a footrace against one of them, and a suggestion that they might have come from muddled tales of druids standing on one foot while they cast spells. In all the tales, however, they are described as fierce creatures having one leg, one arm, one eye, and a stiff tuft of hair sticking up from their ugly heads.

Our Fachan are twisted monsters of corruption and darkness, the result of a botched summoning by the Fichti outcasts known as the Siambra Du. No one knows how their numbers have multiplied since that first malignant mistake (perhaps by regeneration from severed limbs?) but now Fachan are seen all over Caith, and populate the hellish realm of Malefia too, from whence evil conjurers can call them forth to fight for them in battle.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update #32: Year-End Message from Brian, A Monstrous Menagerie

Postby SuperDave17 » December 23rd, 2016, 8:25 pm

Hmmmm ....

So they are incorporating the 7 dimensions into the game lore.

Also: "In The Bard's Tale IV, berserkers are worshipers of Vidlsvin the Boar, the Einarr god of War." I take it he's officially Werra's replacement?

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update #32: Year-End Message from Brian, A Monstrous Menagerie

Postby Drool » December 23rd, 2016, 8:55 pm

I found myself wondering: does Malefia even still exist? Was it bound to Tarjan or was it just where he hung his hat? I kinda like the idea of Conjurers pulling in nasties from Malfia to work as their servants.

Personally, I'm really hoping that Malefic Knights make an appearance. I really liked how they looked: Image
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update #32: Year-End Message from Brian, A Monstrous Menagerie

Postby SuperDave17 » December 23rd, 2016, 9:10 pm

Are they borrowing the term 'Ragnarok' to describe the events of BT3?

Also, is Midgard now a reference to the earthly plane where Skara Brae exists?

"Dragons originated in the Dwarven realm" A reference to Kinestia?

Are they going to set out a new pantheon? What of the old gods?

So many questions. I hope they provide some closure on the many questions that were left open at the conclusion of BT3.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update #32: Year-End Message from Brian, A Monstrous Menagerie

Postby ZZGO » December 23rd, 2016, 10:50 pm

BT cosmology is inherently wonky, what with mortals such as Tarjan or the player party capable of elevating themselves (in the former case) or being elevated by a superior deity (in the latter case) to godhood and gods getting killed by other gods (e.g. Alliria) or even their followers (e.g. Lanatir)/monsters (e.g. Werra who was killed by iirc Black Slayers who are bog standard dungeon monsters).
Notably, nobody seems to have been elevated to god-status for all the god-killing in BT3 except for the party, and I'm not sure what Hawslayer did to warrant his promotion.
Not even sure how Ferofist, Urmech and "the god's pact against further creation" factor into all of this. Or the Old Man.

Don't overthink it. The original BT series was more about mega combat than world building or a consistent cosmology.
It'll be interesting to see what BT4 makes of all this. From what I've read strong norse influences will now be added.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update #32: Year-End Message from Brian, A Monstrous Menagerie

Postby _noblesse_oblige_ » December 24th, 2016, 12:03 pm

Some comments:
  • Bard's Tale Update #32 wrote:While the rest of the Einarr people are content to be fishers, farmers, shepherds, and good neighbors to their Baedish and Fichti cousins
    Baedish? I think that's a new reference, unless they decided to rename the people that they were earlier calling Daels, because of the too obvious historical connection with the Gaels of Dal Riada. In any case, I wish they wouldn't bother with the human ethnic diversification and just stick with the broader fantasy races of the originals.
  • Don't know why they need a back story on dragons. Dragons are dragons.That they're powerful enemies is good enough for me.
  • I'm still not comfortable with introducing Scottish historical and folk lore elements into what was a high fantasy setting in the originals. Just because Skara Brae shares a name with an archaeological site in the Orkneys doesn't mean that there has to be a connection. That said, I am always happy to have novel monsters to fight. Just wish the Fachan wouldn't look so much like claymation figures.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update #32: Year-End Message from Brian, A Monstrous Menagerie

Postby Drool » December 24th, 2016, 10:34 pm

ZZGO wrote:Or the Old Man.

The Old Man's easy. He's God. Not necessarily the Christian God, but he's the progenitor; the source. He's Eru or MĀNA-YOOD-SUSHĀĪ.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update #32: Year-End Message from Brian, A Monstrous Menagerie

Postby ZZGO » December 25th, 2016, 4:26 am

Drool wrote:
ZZGO wrote:Or the Old Man.

The Old Man's easy. He's God. Not necessarily the Christian God, but he's the progenitor; the source. He's Eru or MĀNA-YOOD-SUSHĀĪ.

Agree, in principle. But that doesn't make a whole lot of sense vis-a-vis the other cosmology elements showcased in the first three installments... or how Tarjan (originally a mere human) could kill the Old Man near the end of BT3.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update #32: Year-End Message from Brian, A Monstrous Menagerie

Postby SuperDave17 » December 25th, 2016, 10:18 am

Well, near the start of BT3, the Old Man refers to Tarjan as "an ancient evil recently released that threatens to consume the entire universe". I take that to mean that the other Gods, when they worked together, imprisoned him in Hell in the distant past.

As for the BT1 reference to a "A man with wizardly powers proclaimed himself a god 100 years ago", I admit that's where some inconsistency creeps in. I personally theorized that maybe Tarjan was becoming more and more desperate to claw his way out of his prison, and perhaps in desperation manifested an avatar that was a weaker version of himself. Perhaps the avatar at some point got stopped in its tracks and petrified, winding up in the castle. I admit that's pure speculation on my part.

I see your point about not over thinking it by the way. The BT trilogy was the product of an age where the evil wizard at the end of a pure dungeon crawl was good enough.

But BT4 is now coming out in an age (post BG1, Wiz 6-8, Might & Magic) where fans expect some profound development of the universe they adventure in. Look at the effort put into developing the Pillars of Eternity universe. Not perfect, not without wrinkles, but I absolutely appreciate that kind of effort to develop a relatively coherenet and detailed universe.

As far as I'm concerned, there's an onus on the developers of BT4 to start tying things together with a vision that both explains the previous trilogy but also provides a solid foundation going forward. They get a pass for the admittedly numerous and obvious inconsistencies during the previous trilogy, but I want something more substantial going forward.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update #32: Year-End Message from Brian, A Monstrous Menagerie

Postby TwinkieGorilla » January 7th, 2017, 7:06 am

sear wrote:video message from Brian Fargo


Image

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update #32: Year-End Message from Brian, A Monstrous Menagerie

Postby ZiN » January 14th, 2017, 3:17 am

Drool wrote:Personally, I'm really hoping that Malefic Knights make an appearance. I really liked how they looked: Image


Indeed, those are also my favourites. Also hoping for Slayers & Nefasts:

Image

Plus a bunch of other creatures from the classics:

ImageImageImageImage
ImageImageImageImage


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