Commentary From the Ruins of the Slacker Generation
After a couple months of teasing, I can now unveil the cover and details regarding the upcoming eBook project I’ve been working on. It is called Shadow Blade: Dungeon Rhapsody and will be out in late October. The cover artwork and logo were designed by Shannon Landis.
Shadow Blade is an experiment for me. It is not just an eBook, but a gamebook as well, in the vein of Lone Wolf or Fighting Fantasy. At its core, it can be read as a Choose Your Own Adventure-style eBook, with multiple branches, decisions, and endings. But, being a gamebook, it will include roleplaying mechanics. You can opt to maintain a character sheet, select your gear and abilities, and engage in combat with the monsters in the book using the included Random Number Table. As you progress and succeed at challenges, you will uncover new abilities, weapons, and armor to use for your character. There will also be Order and Chaos points you can accumulate during your read-through that will have a bearing on the ending. The story is being written in such a way to accommodate the casual reader who doesn’t want to bother with maintaining stats, and the more hardcore RPG fan.
Dungeon Rhapsody, while a self-contained full eBook adventure, is essentially a demo for the larger Shadow Blade adventure I plan to release next year. This free prologue sets the stage for the events of the full eBook, and will give me an opportunity to receive feedback regarding the gamebook mechanics so that they can be tweaked accordingly. It also allows me to experiment with the idea I have for adding content post-release. Being an electronic gamebook, I plan to add new quests / storylines over time (sort of like DLC for video games) for free.
Here is the blurb for the story:
You awaken in a large underground complex, an amensiac and sensing a strange, dark power within you. Despite fragments of memories lingering just out of your mind’s reach, you understand that there is a purpose to your presence in the underground – and that perhaps the answers you seek lay not just here but beyond these tenebrous walls.
Drawn out to explore the maze of rooms, labs, and arenas, you begin to piece together an unnatural history: a secretive, long-exinct race; a disturbing plan spanning millenia; and a terrible secret. But this race’s legacy lurks in every shadow in the underground, some lying in wait to strike at you.
As you delve deeper into the folorn mystery, and ultimately escape the dungeon into a world slipping into shadow, you discover that a long-forgotten horror is preparing to emerge at last. And at stake is not only the fate of the world, but the very nature of existence…