The Bard's Tale Update 9: Mangar, Lagoth, Tarjan and…Monte Cook?

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The Bard's Tale Update 9: Mangar, Lagoth, Tarjan and…Monte Cook?

Post by sear » June 18th, 2015, 6:46 pm

In today's update we reveal Monte Cook as a stretch goal, post the game's first music sampling from Mark Morgan, and give you some background on the game's story and lore!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/in ... ts/1268769
The Old and the New

Today we'd also like to give you a taste of some of the story and lore from the game. Many of our backers have been asking us how this game will fit into the world of Skara Brae. Our lead writer Nathan Long is happy to satisfy some of that curiosity...
In a hundred and fifty years even the bravest deeds become nothing more than bard's tales. Most people today in Skara Brae don’t believe Mangar, Lagoth Zanta, Tarjan, or the brave adventurers who defeated them and their horrors were ever more than legends - and those that do still believe keep silent.

Ever since the Church of the Sword Father civilized the land of Caith and chased out the heathen a hundred years ago, the new Skara Brae, built on top of its ruined predecessor, has become a god-fearing town, where it is dangerous to admit to harboring such superstitious notions or knowing anything of the old ways.

Which is unfortunate, because it's starting to look like the trolls and bloodfiends and hobgoblins from all those fairy stories have returned. Terrible things have been happening in Skara Brae - people slaughtered in their beds by unseen beasts, holy sites desecrated, folk disappearing between field and home, statues of the Mad God found in bloodstained back alleys, and the Song of the Maiden heard again for the first time in a generation. And worse, the people most equipped to deal with these old threats have been made outlaws.

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Re: The Bard's Tale Update 9: Mangar, Lagoth, Tarjan and…Monte Cook?

Post by Drool » June 18th, 2015, 8:21 pm

I know I've expressed a dislike for Morgan's music before, but that track is wonderful. I retract my objections to his involvement here.
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Re: The Bard's Tale Update 9: Mangar, Lagoth, Tarjan and…Monte Cook?

Post by jrodman » June 18th, 2015, 9:35 pm

I suppose this doesn't come as a huge surprise, with the Numenera project going on.

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Re: The Bard's Tale Update 9: Mangar, Lagoth, Tarjan and…Monte Cook?

Post by IHaveHugeNick » June 18th, 2015, 10:01 pm

The whole game just needs to be 50 hours of Mark Morgan's music over concept images.
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Re: The Bard's Tale Update 9: Mangar, Lagoth, Tarjan and…Monte Cook?

Post by jrodman » June 18th, 2015, 10:29 pm

BTW, in the introduction of Monte Cook in the Kistarter update, are you sure you don't mean David "Zeb" Cook who worked on Planescape? Or maybe they both did.

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Re: The Bard's Tale Update 9: Mangar, Lagoth, Tarjan and…Monte Cook?

Post by ZiN » June 18th, 2015, 11:16 pm

The Old and the New

Today we'd also like to give you a taste of some of the story and lore from the game. Many of our backers have been asking us how this game will fit into the world of Skara Brae. Our lead writer Nathan Long is happy to satisfy some of that curiosity...
In a hundred and fifty years even the bravest deeds become nothing more than bard's tales. Most people today in Skara Brae don’t believe Mangar, Lagoth Zanta, Tarjan, or the brave adventurers who defeated them and their horrors were ever more than legends - and those that do still believe keep silent.

Ever since the Church of the Sword Father civilized the land of Caith and chased out the heathen a hundred years ago, the new Skara Brae, built on top of its ruined predecessor, has become a god-fearing town, where it is dangerous to admit to harboring such superstitious notions or knowing anything of the old ways.

Which is unfortunate, because it's starting to look like the trolls and bloodfiends and hobgoblins from all those fairy stories have returned. Terrible things have been happening in Skara Brae - people slaughtered in their beds by unseen beasts, holy sites desecrated, folk disappearing between field and home, statues of the Mad God found in bloodstained back alleys, and the Song of the Maiden heard again for the first time in a generation. And worse, the people most equipped to deal with these old threats have been made outlaws.
Uhh, so the Skara Baraeans have a pretty shitty memory then i guess. Didn't the heroes of not-so-old became gods themselves, including constellations on the night sky? What kind of god-fearing town it has became if not those?

This story is simply a load of shit, there's no way to put it milder than that. Complete with measly stereotypes (from the real world, no less), disregard for the old series and inconsistency. I don't know who came up with this, but i'm pretty sure both of the Michaels, especially Cranford, plus Burger would be pretty sad, just like i am. Sticking to $20.

This is my personal opinion, i guess some people will like that story (which is no surprise, after all they buy anything these days) sorry if i sound too anti-enthusiastic, i am... :(

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Re: The Bard's Tale Update 9: Mangar, Lagoth, Tarjan and…Monte Cook?

Post by jrodman » June 18th, 2015, 11:18 pm

Well, maybe the gods from BT3 were part of the "heathen" religion, now pushed out by the new church?

As for whether the religious conflict appeals .. I certainly won't try to argue taste.

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Re: The Bard's Tale Update 9: Mangar, Lagoth, Tarjan and…Monte Cook?

Post by ZiN » June 18th, 2015, 11:26 pm

Well, how about asking Michael Cranford, to lector that, he's an expert on the subject if i'm not mistaken. But this was certainly written by someone who has absolutely no idea how those things work, that's for sure.

Not that i care too much about the story, but this one is so atrocious that i just can't get over it.

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Re: The Bard's Tale Update 9: Mangar, Lagoth, Tarjan and…Monte Cook?

Post by jrodman » June 18th, 2015, 11:37 pm

I'm a little confused. Are you objecting to it from a perspective of writing quality, historical accuracy, theological concerns, or consistency with the old series? Or some of all of that? Or something else?

Cranford would seem to be a strong voice on the spirit of the original series, and probably some theological matters, but I'm a little unclear if we're going to get into serious matters of the early history of the Christian faith here, nor delve too far into finer points of modern christianity, so I would think that would only be relevent with regards to "what made the originals great".

As to what might happen in the story after the end of Bard's Tale 3, I'm unclear if there's any authority. Perhaps you feel Stackpole holds the keys there?

(Personally, I feel like with the 25 years gone by, it's fine if things go in a new direction.)

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Re: The Bard's Tale Update 9: Mangar, Lagoth, Tarjan and…Monte Cook?

Post by ZiN » June 19th, 2015, 1:38 am

Well it's just a short blurb, so writing quality can't be determined. Neither does historical accuracy matter, since it's a fantasy game (though is should be consistent within its own universe). I mostly have concerns with the in-your-face, super-cliché storytelling, this premise suggests (to me it's looking to be BT2004 level in subtlety and general quality):

We have our stereotypical theocratic tyrant the "Sword Father", (who - what a surprise - will happen to be in cahoots with the main evil), who's conveniently racist as well. Probably he's also a misogynist pig who will want to force a marriage with the maiden of something, who's a traditionalist. Then he made using magic a sin? Was playin' a bit of good ol' Dragon Wars i see... Guess he outlawed the annual gay parade in Skara Brae as well. All in all, i'll be doing great social justice, when i MEME+DEST some sense into this wannabe Nottingham of Richelieu's head.

Then we have our good guys, who are outlawed, of course, and need to fight the system as well as the evil. Since we most likely will have crafting, the only thing we need now is some additional romance + sex for our poor, outlawed and culled-in-number heroes, to endure the hardships of all their underground, monster-slaying duties. Sounds familiar, right?

They're trying way too hard to blatantly add "story" and "moral lesson" to a game which doesn't need it that much, especially not in such a heavy-handed way.

In short, yes, i think Michael Cranford and Stackpole would be the best to consult, or to just write the game outright.

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Re: The Bard's Tale Update 9: Mangar, Lagoth, Tarjan and…Monte Cook?

Post by Priest4hire » June 19th, 2015, 3:13 am

I can't help but notice that Michael Cranford is Christian and the game features a blatant caricature of the medieval Christian church. It almost feels like a deliberate jab at the original creator of The Bard's Tale. But otherwise I agree, it's extremely cliché. People forgot major events just 150 years later. A church that's a bundle of every generic evil medieval Christian stereotype/standard RPG evil church.

What I want to know is if this church is actually referenced in the original games.

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Re: The Bard's Tale Update 9: Mangar, Lagoth, Tarjan and…Monte Cook?

Post by Crosmando » June 19th, 2015, 3:54 am

It kinda reminds me of Disciples, even the "Sword Father" reminds me of the "Highfather" in those games.
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Re: The Bard's Tale Update 9: Mangar, Lagoth, Tarjan and…Monte Cook?

Post by Themadcow » June 19th, 2015, 4:16 am

I like the idea of Monte Cook's involvement, at first I was a little worried incase this displayed a further move towards story driven / character interaction territory but if he's primarily involved in getting dungeon setting and game-world feel right then it's golden.
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Re: The Bard's Tale Update 9: Mangar, Lagoth, Tarjan and…Monte Cook?

Post by dorkboy » June 19th, 2015, 4:24 am

@ZiN
Well, it's a fantasy plot, so it's overwhelmingly likely that it's going to be similar to [many] other fantasy plots.
That said, I can't help but think you are grasping a bit here. If, for instance, you mean that the Sword Father is a traditionalist (unless you meant that it was the maiden who was that?), then aren't you ignoring the idea that it's the "old ways" (now banned) that is the actual tradition?

At any rate, my interpretation of the story snippet was quite different from yours. (I can't comment on lore consistency, though.)
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Re: The Bard's Tale Update 9: Mangar, Lagoth, Tarjan and…Monte Cook?

Post by Vainamoinen » June 19th, 2015, 4:34 am

Uhm, maybe it should at least be mentioned that the first part of this musical track heavily draws on motifs from Dvorak's Slavonic Dance No. 6...??
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Re: The Bard's Tale Update 9: Mangar, Lagoth, Tarjan and…Monte Cook?

Post by Tets » June 19th, 2015, 4:39 am

i know you are busy with the BT54 kickstarter and Torment and the GOTY Edition.. but could you upload a short HD Video of the running W2 GOTY Edition, so that people outside of E3 can see it too? I would be most interessted to see a little bit of character creation/system, combat system and graphic improvements in general. :)

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Re: The Bard's Tale Update 9: Mangar, Lagoth, Tarjan and…Monte Cook?

Post by Caerdon » June 19th, 2015, 4:50 am

jrodman wrote:BTW, in the introduction of Monte Cook in the Kistarter update, are you sure you don't mean David "Zeb" Cook who worked on Planescape? Or maybe they both did.
They both did.

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Re: The Bard's Tale Update 9: Mangar, Lagoth, Tarjan and…Monte Cook?

Post by vv221 » June 19th, 2015, 6:41 am

Drool wrote:I know I've expressed a dislike for Morgan's music before, but that track is wonderful. I retract my objections to his involvement here.
Hey, I was just going to remind you of your reserves after listening to that song, but you’ve been too quick for me ;)
I guess we’re both happy that your worries got dispelled…

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Re: The Bard's Tale Update 9: Mangar, Lagoth, Tarjan and…Monte Cook?

Post by Lucius » June 19th, 2015, 8:00 am

The only part I'd agree with would be the quick, 150 year, turn around from fantasy world to "Christianity" ruling the world. I know this parallels real life paganism, Celtic etc which it seems they are going for, but in our world there was no magic or elves, so the story doesn't work the same as real life. It's a little hard to believe. I also agree with it being a bit cliched.

Overall though, I feel those are nit picky complaints.

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Re: The Bard's Tale Update 9: Mangar, Lagoth, Tarjan and…Monte Cook?

Post by Crosmando » June 19th, 2015, 9:05 am

Actually, real-life Orkney (where Skara Brae is) actually does have a history of [oppressive] Christianity, the island had a very rich culture of folklore/paganism which was attacked when the island was forced to convert to Christianity at the point of the sword by Olav Tryggvasson (King of Denmark) who is quoted as saying "I order you and all your subjects to be baptised. If you refuse, I'll have you killed on the spot and I swear I will ravage every island with fire and steel."

I know Brian said that BT4 was going to have a Gaelic folklore setting so that's perhaps where it comes from. Either way the idea of the "Old World" of magic and fantasy coming into conflict with the "New World" isn't exactly new, Arcanum for example had this plot.
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