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Josh Sawyer and The Black Hound

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Josh Sawyer and The Black Hound

Editorial - posted by Crooked Bee on Thu 13 September 2012, 09:14:02

Tags: Black Isle Studios; J.E. Sawyer; Obsidian Entertainment; The Black Hound

Josh Sawyer has put up another blog post, this time on The Black Hound, that famous RPG project he was working on which never saw the light of day. Have a snippet:

In the course of following our countdown over at Obsidian, a lot of gamers have been discussing past IPs we've worked with. One of the common subjects is The Black Hound, a project some of us at OEI worked on at Black Isle. It's also something I worked on as a NWN2 mod in my spare time. There's a Wikipedia entry for it and a few lore sites kicking around. Some of the info on it is accurate and some isn't, but I think the details are less important than what we were trying to do with it. I can't speak for everyone who was on the project, of course, but TBH was important to me for a lot of reasons.

[...] I've been rambling here a bit but let me get back to the main point: The Black Hound wasn't really *~ sUbVeRsIvE ~* "this ain't your daddy's RPG!" fantasy. It had elven ruins and fire genasi and Ilmaterian paladins and Maztican sorcerers and crypts full of undead -- all the stuff that made the Forgotten Realms the crazy blend of hardass adventurer-heavy, gods-mess-with-things, cults-and-dracoliches-under-this-rock D&D fantasy it always has been. I, and I think we all, just tried to approach the world with open eyes, asking, "Okay, so let's suppose all of this stuff about the Realms is true. What does that really mean for how the people in it live their lives?" It made the world more dark and grim, and sometimes that consideration wound up bucking convention, be we didn't set out to invert fantasy conventions just for the sake of doing it.

I regret that the team wasn't able to complete The Black Hound, and not just because of the time and passion we all invested in it. Some of my best tabletop RPG (and CRPG) memories come out of the Forgotten Realms. Huge, crazy, "how many more Volo's Guides can there be?" Forgotten Realms. I think those scenarios were memorable because the DMs/designers made compelling scenarios and the players gave a damn about each other and what was going on. If you take fantasy for granted, yeah, no one's going to get much out of it. I don't think we took anything for granted. We had an opportunity to make something that celebrated high fantasy without being enslaved by its conventions. In retrospect, there are a bunch of personal design choices I look back on and cringe at, but I don't regret the time I spent on it at all. When you enjoy the process of making something that much, it's hard to consider it time wasted. We had a lot of fun while it lasted.​

I guess this means the upcoming announcement isn't about The Black Hound Kickstarter, then. Or...?

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