Welcome to the Flaming Faggot

Callovia is called "the boundless empire" yet you have managed to find its northern border - a notorious roadhouse deep within the Madrasan Marches on the edge of the wilds of Llanvirnesse. The sign above the door reads "Flaming Faggot," which would suggest a cozy, homey inn with fresh biscuits served at teatime if not for the severed troll heads mounted on pikes at the gate.

As you cross the threshold the raucous din quiets momentarily as all eyes dart to the door and calloused hands drop instinctively to well-worn sword hilts. The threat, instantly assessed, is dismissed and roadhouse patrons go about their business hardly missing a beat.

Grim, hard-eyed men huddle around tables in close conversation thick with conspiracy; caravan guards gamble away their earnings; Caemric rangers sit close to the fireplace cooking the damp of the Black Annis from their clothes as they warm their innards with Red Dragon Ale; minstrels play and buxom wenches dance for the pleasure of men who pay them little attention - until they need a companion to warm their bed.

As you approach the bar, a huge, bald barman with a greatsword slung across his back slides a mug of freshly-pulled ale towards you, its frothy head dripping over the rim.

"Pull up a seat, lad," he says, "and let me tell you a tale of high adventure."

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Dilbert on OSR Publishing

This Dilbert cartoon in yesterday's paper really made me laugh.  How many times have I gotten half way through a project only to have someone else publish the same thing?  There is truly no such thing as a new idea.

9 comments:

Trey said...

So true. I think the problem is a lot of time there's a growing zeitgeist with ideas, and it's a race to see who happens to pounce first.

Matt said...

Publish anyways. Your versions will be slightly different from the other versions, and might be just what somebody else is looking for.

Sean Robson said...

@Trey: I think this is very true; it seems almost as if the OSR community produces a group gestalt upon which we all derive inspiration. So it should come as no surprise that certain ideas reach a critical mass and have simultaneous birthings.

@Matt: I'm sure you're right. For the last couple of years I've been working on a Sword & Sorcery RPG, and then Crypts & Things came along, making it unnecessary. My own game is a labour of love, however; it's D&D the way I've always wanted to play it, and I'll probably publish it for no other reason than that.

Greyhawk Knight said...

When I read that strip my initial reaction was to jump to the comments and post "So true!"

Then I read Trey's comment. So even my comments have been created before...

Sean Robson said...

To quote the oft-used phrase from Battlestar Galactica: "all of this has happened before, and will happen again." :)

At least we can take solace in the fact that the OSR will likely never become as derivative and creatively bankrupt as, say, Hollywood. Recent advertisements for a Three Stooges movie made me shudder. Not content to endlessly remake old movies, they're now stooping to remake old actors? Really?

Anonymous said...

"To quote the oft-used phrase from Battlestar Galactica: "all of this has happened before, and will happen again." "
That quote is not from Battlestar Galactica. It's from the "gritty" remake.

Sean Robson said...

I suppose that's a matter of opinion.

What you consider to be the 'real' Battlestar Galactica' I consider to be a cheesy Star Wars rip-off, while the remake is the socially relevant drama that Glen A. Larson had always intended Battlestar to be.

Tim Shorts said...

hehe, yeah might as well give it go. Sometimes you just never know what will be successful. And I only know one person who relies on publishing games as their livelihood. Most of us do it to do it.

Sean Robson said...

@Tim: I've been wondering, lately, if the day of the professional game designer is done. There are so many high-quality products coming from hobby publishers these days; some of the best stuff I've bought in years have come from the OSR community and it outstrips much of the professional material. Will we see the gaming industry return to its roots as home-based hobby businesses?