Tuesday, April 1, 2014

PITCH - KA-TET: Adventures in the Worlds of Stephen King's "The Dark Tower"

"First come smiles, then lies. The last is gunfire." 

Our world is connected to many others, and at the centre is the Dark Tower - a nexus point of time and space, the heart of all worlds - a tower under threat from an ancient evil. A group of mismatched "heroes" are thrown together from across space and time to embark on an epic journey across wastelands, facing horrors, to reach the Tower to restore the Beams and to save reality itself.

However, Roland, Eddie, Susannah and Jake, along with their billy-bumbler, Oy, were not the only Ka-Tet travelling through the realities to the Tower. Now players of Ka-Tet can form their own group of characters to battle the forces of evil through the many worlds of Stephen King's imagination. 

Ka-Tet: Adventures in the Worlds of Stephen King's "The Dark Tower" is a 304pg core rulebook. Within its pages you will find:

  • The complete game system, utilising the Rapid Die Movement system from Autocratik's game "WILD", adapted to use D19s (available separately)
  • Character creation system that allows the creation of player characters from across multiple realities, from the gunslingers of Mid-World, to the darker side of our world.
  • Pregenerated characters for Roland, Eddie, Susannah, and Jake, along with stats for the many villains and helpers they will meet on their epic quest.
  • Introductory adventure "The Drawing" to bring the characters together, to form their own Ka-Tet, and to launch them on their quest to the Dark Tower.

304page hardcover
Written and Designed by: David F. Chapman
Cover art: Michael Welan 

An Autocratik Publication

This isn't a real RPG, like The Beatles RPG - but again, there's a level of hope there. 

But, there's a little tale to tell here. As you'll probably know from my many blog posts, especially this one about Carrie, I've always been a massive fan of Stephen King. Meeting him during his Lisey's Story tour in London was easily one of the highlights of my time working in the book trade, and it was reading IT that really got me reading books for pleasure. Without Stephen King, I don't know if I'd have been much of a reader, which probably would have meant I'd have never worked in book stores, and I may never have read Harry Potter, and... oh, it's all too horrific to consider.

About four years ago I was thinking about how cool Steven King's universe was, how it all tied together across multiple books and worlds, all connected to the Dark Tower, and I thought how cool it would be to have a roleplaying game with the Dark Tower as its heart. Sure you could play the Gunslinger and other awesome characters from the Dark Tower series, but they travel across the world of The Stand, and just about every King novel has some connection, albeit in a minor way...

It would mean that your Dark Tower RPG could have supplements to play Salem's Lot, The Stand, Insomnia, Eyes of the Dragon, IT, Black House, Desperation, Hearts in Atlantis, The Talisman, and even The Shining. Just how cool would it be to play in Steven King's universe?

I still had contacts at King's UK publishers, and dropped them an email about it, and they kindly forwarded my query to Stephen King's lawyers. After many days of waiting, the verdict was a no - understandable really, I was a little fish in a big pond, especially as the Dark Tower was in the middle of various changing plans for TV series / movies / TV movies / movie series or something... the talks are still going on. Maybe someday in the future they'll sort it all out and we'll get to see Roland on the big and small screens.

A game set in King's worlds would have been cool, and it hasn't put me off revisiting the many dark settings of the master of horror. Far from it. As long as Stephen King keeps writing, I'll certainly be reading them.



Tim Knight said...

Let's hope one day this comes off because I, honestly, can't think of a better game designer to bring this world to the table.

Great post, by the way, even though I knew it was obviously an April Fool (like Pinnacle's Scooby-Doo RPG), a little part of me held on to the sliver of hope that it was a genuine announcement ;-)

David F. Chapman said...

Glad it wasn't just me who had that glimmer of hope with Scooby-Doo as well. We had Scooby as a player character in our old Ghostbusters RPG... Those were the days!!!

Jeffrywith1e said...

I hate April 1st.