I really wish I had taken a picture of the MASSIVE map Frog God Games had hanging up at their booth of Bard's Gate at NTRPG Con. Alas, I just didn't think of it at the time. Instead, I spent a good deal of time chatting up +Skeeter Green about the various easter eggs, not just in the Bard's Gate book but the map itself.
Yes, there will be a Tenkar's Tavern in Bard's Gate (it will be recognizable and is full endorsed by your's truly). I was approached about the possibility early on in the process and would have had a hand in the relevant text myself if the wind down at work had gone smoother.
The map at NTRPG had the streets labeled and my God, there are a huge number of easter eggs to be found. Some will make you smile, some may make you snicker. Some are obvious, many are less so but from what I can gather, all will have meaning. I'm really looking forward to this release.
How important Bard's Gate to the Lost Lands setting? I'll give you +Bill Webb in his own words:
Ok, so Bard’s Gate and the pitch. Those of you who know the Lost Lands know the name Bard’s Gate. It’s basically the hub centerpiece city of both the wilds of Akados and the Sinnar Coast. This place is integrally linked to Rappan Athuk, The Sword of Air, Stoneheart Valley, The Borderlands, Barakus, The Sundered Kingdoms and about a dozen of the Quests of Doom adventures. Heck, it’s the starting point for Sword of Air. Anyone playing in the Lost Lands will benefit greatly from this book.
If you don’t play in the Lost Lands, but just need a city, it works for that as well. Ok, time to do a Grognard check—how many over 40’s used the City State booklet for every city in every area of their game world? The best part about a book like Bard’s Gate is that you can grab bits and pieces of it for use as a city adventure or you can use the whole as canon material—your choice. After all, who doesn’t want to visit Tenkar’s Tavern or Thilo’s Scriptorium? There are Easter Eggs galore throughout the city, and dozens of side quests and adventures that can be tailored for low, medium and high level player characters at the GM’s discretion.
Skeeter and Casey have done a wonderful job of expanding and re-imagining the work that Clark Peterson and I produced back in 2003-2004—this city is much bigger and better than it was before—this is not just a window dressing of the existing material. We have modified most of it and added over 120,000 words of new material.
We designed this book to be used, not to sit on the shelf (ok, the metal one is designed to sit on the shelf, it weighs too much to use at a table I fear). Care was taken to make it so you as the GM can easily read, find and follow plot lines and connections within the book and thereby maximize its utility. After all, since the player characters need to return to a city after killing the dragon and rescuing the princess, you might as well have something waiting for them that wants to kill them!
So that’s about it, except for one final note about the giant maps—these are an experiment, and literally can be used as a table cloth or shower curtain. I know they are pricy, but as we are unlikely to make many of them, our costs are fairly high. They are made of cloth and are quite durable. We had one prototype in Dallas last month, and about 20 folks wanted to buy it from us. I can say that one will be going on my wall (and used as a table mat when the party enters the City). Again, we focused this on utility. It makes it very easy to tell where folks are if the party decides to split, where one goes to the armor shop and another goes to the sewers to visit a certain guild. While not quite to miniature scale (it would have been 14 feet long), this still may be the coolest map I have ever seen (ok, geek mode off).
Thank you all again for your patronage of FGG, and I hope we continue to delight you with our books and other products.
BWCrap. I really want one of those giant maps. No idea as to where I'd put it. Hmmm, maybe I can get my son to move out sooner than later and turn his room into my man cave. Damn, and Rach's yoga room. Still, she loved the map hanging at NTRPG Con too...
30 JUN 16