The Bard's Tale World (Spoilers)

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The Bard's Tale World (Spoilers)

Post by Crosmando » January 26th, 2015, 9:45 pm

So Brian Fargo has already confirmed that Skara Brae will be in BT4, after it was destroyed by Tarjan in BT3, but I thought we'd have a discussion about the Bard's Tale world/universe and how much of it will feature in the fourth title.

Bard's Tale I included only Skara Brae, Mangar the evil wizard having placed the city within an eternal winter spell, meaning you can't exit it:
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Bard's Tale II diverged significantly, with Skara Brae not being in the game, the game is open-world with 7 major locations with wilderness areas in-between, the cities are named after historical Greek-Roman cities. But the game does explicitly take place in the same world as Bard's Tale:
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Bard's Tale III returns to Skara Brae, but this time Tarjan the Mad God has destroyed the city and only ruins remain, there's also some locations surrounded by wilderness like BT3, but in the case the game is less open and more story-locked as each location houses a portal to another parallel dimension, until the player party goes to Malefia to face Tarjan himself:
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Per wikipedia here's all the dimensions and where they're accessed from:
Arboria (from Twilight Copse)
Gelidia (from Cold Peak)
Lucencia (from Crystal Springs)
Kinestia (from Old Dwarf Mine)
Tenebrosia (from Shadow Rock)
Tarmitia (from the Vale of Lost Warriors)
Malefia (from Sulphur Springs)
So what do people here think about what locations should reappear in BT4? Should the towns from BT2 reappear, should the dimensions from BT3 reappear as potential dungeons or should they be saved for sequels.
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Re: The Bard's Tale World (Spoilers)

Post by Woolfe » January 26th, 2015, 10:09 pm

Perhaps it could be a "recovery" of Skara Brae.

People have moved in and are attempting to reclaim it from the monsters. (think of Phlann in Pools of Radiance)

You could include some of the surrounding country side, but have it mostly in the remains of the city itself with the city rebuilding slowly in areas you have "secured".
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Re: The Bard's Tale World (Spoilers)

Post by sear » January 26th, 2015, 10:11 pm

Man, I need to do my homework, thanks for the reference maps... :lol:

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Re: The Bard's Tale World (Spoilers)

Post by Crosmando » January 26th, 2015, 10:13 pm

Woolfe wrote:Perhaps it could be a "recovery" of Skara Brae.

People have moved in and are attempting to reclaim it from the monsters. (think of Phlann in Pools of Radiance)

You could include some of the surrounding country side, but have it mostly in the remains of the city itself with the city rebuilding slowly in areas you have "secured".
So a direct sequel which only takes place weeks/months after BT3? I'd probably prefer that to the "hundreds of years later" that we see so often.
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Re: The Bard's Tale World (Spoilers)

Post by Woolfe » January 26th, 2015, 10:15 pm

Crosmando wrote:
Woolfe wrote:Perhaps it could be a "recovery" of Skara Brae.

People have moved in and are attempting to reclaim it from the monsters. (think of Phlann in Pools of Radiance)

You could include some of the surrounding country side, but have it mostly in the remains of the city itself with the city rebuilding slowly in areas you have "secured".
So a direct sequel which only takes place weeks/months after BT3? I'd probably prefer that to the "hundreds of years later" that we see so often.
I was meaning more like Hundreds of years. Or at least tens of years. So you know you would have some serious set in bad guys. But it probably doesn't really matter that much.

The original city was pretty big wasn't it?
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Re: The Bard's Tale World (Spoilers)

Post by Zombra » January 26th, 2015, 10:28 pm

I imagine that there's already a story in mind.

If not, then maybe we'll see Skara Brae being rebuilt, could be an interesting take.

Parallel dimensions? Maybe there will be several alternate versions of the city. That sounds fun to me :)
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Re: The Bard's Tale World (Spoilers)

Post by Scorpion » January 27th, 2015, 9:14 am

Zombra wrote:I imagine that there's already a story in mind.

If not, then maybe we'll see Skara Brae being rebuilt, could be an interesting take.

Parallel dimensions? Maybe there will be several alternate versions of the city. That sounds fun to me :)
Rebuilding of Skara Brae would be nice. Maybe players can even build their own house instead of just staying at an inn.

I didn't like the dimensional stuff of part 3, this is fantasy not sci fi.

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Re: The Bard's Tale World (Spoilers)

Post by Zombra » January 27th, 2015, 12:33 pm

Scorpion wrote:I didn't like the dimensional stuff of part 3, this is fantasy not sci fi.
I never played 3, I played the series some but not a hard core fan so I don't know how much my opinion is worth ... that said, here it is :)

It sucks to limit the scope of a story because of arbitrary genre limits. Now, if BT really "is" just schlock fantasy, then yeah, sci-fi elements may be out of place. But if BT3's dimensional elements were a natural outgrowth of the series, it makes sense to expand on them. We shouldn't just pretend BT3 never happened.

And hey, look at the Wizardry series. It has spaceships and ray guns, but still firmly qualifies as fantasy.

Anyway, traveling to other worlds isn't even necessarily sci-fi. Stuff like a "spirit world" fits into fantasy just fine, not a hint of sci-fi there. And look at D&D's planes of existence - slightly sciencey I guess, but much more "fantastic". Valhalla, the Land of Dreams, even Heaven and Hell. None of this is sci-fi.
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Re: The Bard's Tale World (Spoilers)

Post by Drool » January 27th, 2015, 12:50 pm

Crosmando wrote:Bard's Tale III returns to Skara Brae, but this time Tarjan the Mad God has destroyed the city and only ruins remain
Pretty much. There's plenty of buildings you could go in, and Sinister Street was still there, but it was kind of like going in buildings in Wasteland. Incidentally, BT3 largely kept the layout of BT1, so that I'd use the BT1 map while exploring in 3.
So what do people here think about what locations should reappear in BT4? Should the towns from BT2 reappear, should the dimensions from BT3 reappear as potential dungeons or should they be saved for sequels.
I'm of two minds. I would very much like to see the aftermath of those worlds, even if we don't visit. Was the eternal winter spell in Gelidia ever lifted? Assuming you cured his madness, does Cyanis assume control of Lucencia? What about Urmech in Kinestia; is he still cursed for being an abomination, or has he been forgiven and become the benevolent ruler he wants to be? Does Tenebrosia recover from Sceadu's treachery? And does Tarmitia recover from the assassination of Werra? And finally, what happens to the old gods when you melt their statues? Are they at peace now?
sea wrote:Man, I need to do my homework, thanks for the reference maps... :lol:
There is a lot of lore in these games. The writers for 4 are going to have a lot of homework.
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Re: The Bard's Tale World (Spoilers)

Post by Scorpion » January 27th, 2015, 12:59 pm

Zombra wrote:
Scorpion wrote:I didn't like the dimensional stuff of part 3, this is fantasy not sci fi.
I never played 3, I played the series some but not a hard core fan so I don't know how much my opinion is worth ... that said, here it is :)

It sucks to limit the scope of a story because of arbitrary genre limits. Now, if BT really "is" just schlock fantasy, then yeah, sci-fi elements may be out of place. But if BT3's dimensional elements were a natural outgrowth of the series, it makes sense to expand on them. We shouldn't just pretend BT3 never happened.

And hey, look at the Wizardry series. It has spaceships and ray guns, but still firmly qualifies as fantasy.

Anyway, traveling to other worlds isn't even necessarily sci-fi. Stuff like a "spirit world" fits into fantasy just fine, not a hint of sci-fi there. And look at D&D's planes of existence - slightly sciencey I guess, but much more "fantastic". Valhalla, the Land of Dreams, even Heaven and Hell. None of this is sci-fi.
Planes are definitely within the realm of fantasy, but BT3 had you fighting against Nazis.

http://bardstale.brotherhood.de/talefil ... onster.pdf

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Re: The Bard's Tale World (Spoilers)

Post by Zombra » January 27th, 2015, 2:28 pm

Scorpion wrote:Planes are definitely within the realm of fantasy, but BT3 had you fighting against Nazis.

http://bardstale.brotherhood.de/talefil ... onster.pdf
OK ... clearly I'm going to have to play this game now. :shock:
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Re: The Bard's Tale World (Spoilers)

Post by Drool » January 27th, 2015, 3:18 pm

Let's be fair here. Modern style enemies were in one, and only one, dimension, and that was a dimension of eternal war. You also visited Wasteland, feudal Japan, and Nottingham while you were there.

You also traveled between dimensions using spells while standing at mystically attuned locations. This wasn't like buying a space shuttle in Ultima 1 or activating escape pods in M&M3. And it's not like traveling between dimensions is out of place in fantasy. Manual of the Planes anyone?
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Re: The Bard's Tale World (Spoilers)

Post by ssfsx17 » January 27th, 2015, 10:29 pm

I'd definitely prefer a story taking place immediately after BT3.

The dimensional and time travel stuff could be explained as Tarjan's dark influence weakening the boundaries between dimensions - and now that he's got a Thief of Fate's knife stuck in him, the whole dimensional and time thing is shut down.

On the other hand - I really liked the lore of Arboria, as well as the whole saga of Hawkslayer. He was some hero doing his own thing in parallel with the party, he joined you sometimes, and he personally knew the rulers of other dimensions. Really tragic that he couldn't help Cyanis get over the death of Alliria.

The BT2 towns could be explained as having been totally wiped by Tarjan, with their residual energy forming the basis for the BT3 portals.

Perhaps if Arboria and some of the other less-crazy dimensions were put onto the world map, that would be okay. Kinestia and Tarmitia should not be used unless they can be meshed with the typical fantasy setting really well. Like if Tarmitia was, at most, a look into the world that led to the Wasteland series.

EDIT - it would also be good to have references to BT1. Special dungeons where Kylerean's Tower and Mangar's Tower used to be, special stuff for where Garth's Shoppe and Roscoe's Energy Emporium used to be, living statues in the area of Harkyn's Castle, Sinister Street is still sinister, etc.

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Re: The Bard's Tale World (Spoilers)

Post by JoelofDeath » January 28th, 2015, 12:07 am

Crosmando wrote:Bard's Tale II diverged significantly, with Skara Brae not being in the game, the game is open-world with 7 major locations with wilderness areas in-between, the cities are named after historical Greek-Roman cities.
This is true, although wiki says they're named after New Testament cities cause Cranford was a devout christian:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bard%2 ... evelopment

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Re: The Bard's Tale World (Spoilers)

Post by Drool » January 28th, 2015, 12:47 pm

ssfsx17 wrote:I really liked the lore of Arboria, as well as the whole saga of Hawkslayer.
Honestly, a lot of the lore was good. Gelidia was almost heartbreaking, to say nothing of poor Cyanis. Which is why I said that, even if they don't allow travel, some kind of epilogue, even if it's just in the manual, would be really nice. And while Kinestia would be rough to turn into an actual world, I still want to learn about Urmech's fate.

Poor Ferofist.
Sinister Street is still sinister, etc.
Yes. Even 3 paid lipservice to the original even while places were destroyed. Personally, I want to see that statue of Tarjan finally destroyed :twisted:
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Re: The Bard's Tale World (Spoilers)

Post by Aiydee » January 29th, 2015, 4:18 pm

And we never got to find out what happened to the Stable.

When I was a young lad, I kept revisiting the Stables in BT1 wondering whether they would someday have something.

Character creation. I want rolling of dice, but I appreciate that people don't necessarily want this.
Would be fun if you could choose "Here's your stats. You have x points to assign. OR You can try rolling. You have a chance of getting better, but no promises".

At the end of the day, it didn't matter that much. Almost every level up you got given a +1 to an attribute, and by the time you were at mid-game all stats tended to be 18. It just affected the start.

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Re: The Bard's Tale World (Spoilers)

Post by Mecandes » February 1st, 2015, 8:13 am

Crosmando wrote:Bard's Tale II diverged significantly, with Skara Brae not being in the game, the game is open-world with 7 major locations with wilderness areas in-between, the cities are named after historical Greek-Roman cities. ... Should the towns from BT2 reappear...
Only Tangramayne should return from The Destiny Knight. I'd prefer that none of those other city names make it into The Bard's Tale IV. It takes you out of the fantasy, like when Ultima II took place on a map of Earth.

Michael Cranford was a devout Christian, and the city names are not just "historical Greek-Roman cities," they are specifically intended to reference the books of the New Testament of the Bible—Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians, Corinthians, Thessalonians. He worked on The Bard's Tale II as a contractor at home and he actually figured someone would catch him and make him change the names, but they didn't notice (much to his amusement. He didn't work on Thief of Fate because he decided to go back to university and become a Christian theologian.)

I'd rather not see specific real-world religious references in future Bard's Tale games. Not just because it would be controversial, but because it takes you out of the fantasy of it all.

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Re: The Bard's Tale World (Spoilers)

Post by Crosmando » February 1st, 2015, 4:14 pm

Well yeah, but "Skara Brae" isn't an original fantasy name either you know:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skara_Brae
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Re: The Bard's Tale World (Spoilers)

Post by kaiman » April 7th, 2015, 2:09 pm

Zombra wrote:It sucks to limit the scope of a story because of arbitrary genre limits. Now, if BT really "is" just schlock fantasy, then yeah, sci-fi elements may be out of place. But if BT3's dimensional elements were a natural outgrowth of the series, it makes sense to expand on them. We shouldn't just pretend BT3 never happened.
Learning about the lore is interesting. Having only played some BT1 personally (and watched BT3 being played by someone else, once) I didn't know about all the dimensional travels. With just the information from this thread, it sounds almost like something out of Michael Moorcock's Multiverse. I definitely would like to see those themes expanded upon, provided there is a coherent, overarching narrative. This just keeps getting better and better ...

Although, judging by the Kickstarter pitch preparations, Skara-Brae seems likely to make an appearance again.

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Re: The Bard's Tale World (Spoilers)

Post by FinsterPrime » April 21st, 2015, 6:35 pm

I think the game should follow the BT3 portal theme to some degree, but not required. Having said that, BT3 was the best BT ever made in my book, and it wouldn't be that way without the dimensional portals theme.

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