The crowd is a shrieking, moaning, roaring mass of flesh and bone. It roils like an angry sea beneath the cavernous roof of the Pit, orcs jostling with gnolls for shoulder room, goblins climbing and scuttling everywhere. The troll bouncers make no attempt to control the crowd as it turns upon itself in anticipation. In the midst of the chaos, a single beam of light streams down, illuminating a circle on the stage.
A single dark elf steps out into the light, clutching an instrument that mixes a bass guitar with a dying baby. His hand is poised to strike.
A black, unearthly wail echoes out from the stage.
The crowd goes silent.
The band has begun to play.
Spark of Genius
I've been punting the idea of a game about a rock band since Guitar Hero first hit my living room. It's a simple formula - nearly everyone feels the desire to be a famous musician at some point in their life. Yet it never quite clicked for me, until I stumbled upon a children's book by Graeme Bass, The Worst Band In The Universe. Somewhere among the images of weird aliens wailing away on bizarre, impossible instruments I found the seed of an idea: monsters in a rock band.
And where better to find monsters than the Underdark?
The question is, where do I go from here? I can't quite find a game that lets me tell the stories I want to tell in this world. I want a game that emphasizes the way that the flaws of the characters drive the power of their music, and the difficult struggles within a band made up of orcs, elves, and ghouls. Traditional games are right out, and I can't quite find the indy game that hacks in the way I want it to. I may have to build one myself.