Friday, 4 September 2020
Hear ye! Hear ye!
"There are going to be at least twelve Dragon Warriors books, surely," said the chief sales rep at Transworld as he drove me and Oliver around the country to run demo games for the book buyers.
That was thirty-five years ago, before the distributors messed up (they sent all the copies of DW book 1 to one part of the country, all the copies of book 2 to another) and the foreign rights department turned down a gold-plated deal from Gallimard.
Well, stuff happens. Dragon Warriors stopped at book 6, The Lands of Legend, and one calamitous consequence of that was Robert Dale's brilliant campaign set around the town of Brymstone never reached the wider audience it deserved.
Actually, part of it did get published a few years later. Jamie and I were offered the editorship of a new RPG magazine to be called Red Giant. We turned the job down (the title was the sticking point) but we did recommend the publishers get in touch with Robert about serializing Brymstone.
Red Giant sadly only lasted two issues, but roleplayers had got a glimpse of Brymstone at least. Over the years, its reputation rightly grew. But it's been like finding the Finnesburg Fragment -- until now, because (fanfare please) Serpent King Games have done a deal with Robert Dale to release his complete, definitive, remastered Brymstone. Read about it here.
I gather it's going to be a big book but (continuing last week's theme) none of that is extraneous padding or overscripted acts and beats. It's a true sourcebook packed with everything you'll need to run freeform adventures with Brymstone as a base -- the NPCs, key locations, rivalries, alliances, grudges, folktales, customs, and adventure seeds -- whether or not your player-characters engage with the épine dorsale, namely Robert's compelling central plotline of gathering danger, dread and doom.
Talking of the central plot, the big bad of this book is the Brollachan, a mythical creature with no true form that's said to take the shape of what you most fear -- or those you most trust. I still feel a shudder when I remember our encounters with it in Robert's original campaign. Dragon Warriors players have a treat in store.