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From the creators of Wasteland 2 and Torment comes the long awaited sequel to the Bard's Tale trilogy. Thank you for making this game a reality. The bard is back!
From the creators of Wasteland 2 and Torment comes the long awaited sequel to the Bard's Tale trilogy. Thank you for making this game a reality. The bard is back!
33,741 backers pledged $1,519,680 to help bring this project to life.

Chris Avellone! Colin McComb!

Posted by inXile entertainment (Creator)

Hello Exiles!

Some exciting news today. You asked for him, now help us get him, the one and only Chris Avellone!!

* Actual Chris Avellone may not resemble the wizard from our in-engine video.
* Actual Chris Avellone may not resemble the wizard from our in-engine video.

If you’re not familiar with Chris, he and I go back together to the mid-90s when he worked on the legendary cRPGs Planescape: Torment (as Lead Designer) and Fallout 2. Afterwards he co-founded Obsidian Entertainment and was the Creative Director. There he worked on many of their games, including being the Lead Designer of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and a senior designer on Fallout: New Vegas. We have very successfully worked with him before on Wasteland 2 and Torment: Tides of Numenera, a co-operation that is still ongoing to the joy of both parties!

Chris’ involvement will be locked in the moment we pass the $1.9 million mark on the Kickstarter, where he’ll be designing the Cairn of Horrors, an all new dungeon built from the worst things that live in the imagination of Chris Avellone. The Cairn has one purpose, and that purpose is to kill you. Here’s what Chris had to say:

"I owe my career to seeing Bard's Tale II on a Commodore 64 at a friend's house. When I saw the streets of Skara Brae up and running (gasp - in simulated 3D! And in color!), I suddenly realized I didn't have to be the game master all the time in order to get my RPG fix, there was finally someone out there who had done the formidable job of creating a digital dungeon master for RPG aficionados with the same amount of lazy players as I had. So I have Brian Fargo to thank three times - first for the game itself (and all the Interplay RPGs I played to follow, including Bard's Tale I, Bard's Tale III, and Wasteland), second, for hiring me at Interplay, and third, for asking me to be a part of Bard's Tale IV - with your support, I hope we can make it happen!"

Additionally, at that funding level we’ll also make representations of your characters in your inventory screen and you’ll be able to see the gear, clothing and equipment they’re wearing, rather than a paper doll.

Along with Chris, we’re also bringing back the second Designer of Planescape: Torment and Creative Lead of Torment: Tides of Numenera, the inestimable Colin McComb! He will join our team at $1.7 million, designing a dungeon set in the Realm of the Elves, because we all know no one has mastered the craft of the Elves as Colin has. We’ll also be expanding the game further by adding another new wilderness area, the Wilds of Lestras.

About the Realm of Elves (Coill)

The elves do not live in the world of men, and generally only come to it for sport, to toy with humans and sometimes to kidnap them. This is youthful shenanigans. Older, wiser elves leave the humans alone, for they remember a time, at the dawn of things, when elves and men lived in harmony until the men fell under the maddening influence of the Famhairaen and tried to slaughter as many elves as they could. The elves don't blame humans for their madness, but they remain wary of them, afraid that they could once again fall prey to insanity. While the elves can pass freely from their realm into the land of men, men can only enter Coill by elven invitation.

About the Wilds of Lestras

Caith's neighbor to the south and often its enemy, the Kingdom of Lestras is the home of the Lestradae, a culturally homogenous people, united under one religion and one king, but strongly divided by class. The border between Caith and Lestras is wild country. It is home to outcasts from both countries as well as those who still worship the memory of the most famous of the Lestradae, the Archmage Lagoth Zanta.

I’m so very proud of this all-star cast of writing, design, art and music we’re putting together for our game. Now it’s a matter of how many more people join our campaign to build these glorious RPGs!


One of our high-level reward for $2,000 and $5,000 backers was a unique one: the Xounts Up speaker with The Bard’s Tale IV Style. If you never heard of Xounts, their Xounts Up is an All In One sound system plus light tower. It is one central audio system that covers your entire room with deep, high-quality sound (they sent us a prototype and we were impressed!), while the customizable style lets you make the right fit for your living room. Here’s a look at the The Bard’s Tale IV style:

They recently informed us they will be launching their own Kickstarter very soon, Tuesday 30 of June at noon CET! If you’re in one of the lower tiers but still interesting in checking out Xounts, keep an eye open, they may even have a special promotion just for you...

Matt Chat Interview

One last thing! I joined Matt Barton on his excellent Matt Chat show to talk about The Bard’s Tale IV, answer questions from fans, discuss the Kickstarter campaign, and of course, the game itself. Check it out!

Matt has done a great service for the RPG community over the years and I'm excited as always to be back on his show.

Brian Fargo,
Leader in Exile


PerfectVirus, Charles Atencio, and 114 more people like this update.


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    1. Theobeau:OOoE\Mad man with a box/Exiled on

      Yah! MCA.

      Happy to up pledge as the man needs a paying gig these days....

    2. Missing avatar

      JediaKyrol on what tier can we have Fargo, Avellone, Urquhart, and maybe J.E. Sawyer and some of the other "old hands" in a gladiatorial battle to the death? know...a poker match or whatever.

    3. Sir Chaox on

      It'll be tough... it's a bit of a gamble... Let's hope there are many reminders going out.

    4. Radon on

      Well, I got a certain feeling that we won´t be hitting that goal... :( least unless something will happen that boosts the campaign a lot!
      And I don´t see something like that folding in... :( :( :(

    5. Mobin Mobeen on

      Do what you want and how you liked. I am all for it. Well i will stay at $20. But you are planning on having PS4 version then i will glad upped my pledge just for that. And for PC only i just stay at $20. Anyway can't wait to play this game.

    6. MikeHumphreys on

      I second what @draelix said. I'd love to see some of the original spells like Trap Zap be included too.

    7. MikeHumphreys on

      @Kris I don't remember if it was a video update or an interview but I *think* Brian Fargo said that he definitely wants to have Archmages in BT 4.

    8. Nobody on

      My stretch goal proposition is the Archmage class with it's unique spells. I know that this class only existed since BT 2 and in BT 3, but an mage who has mastered all spells has been also called Archmage in BT 1.

    9. Missing avatar

      draelix on

      Avellone and McComb are fine writers, but could we get a stretch goal that appeals to people who actually played TBT I-III? There's all sorts of little cool things they could offer to put in the game to tempt old and new players with, like the Sword of Zar, the dreamspell, and so on.

    10. Missing avatar

      Jabberwok on

      @Chet I understand what you mean, but at the same time, I backed this game because of the people making it: inXile, Fargo and the bunch, and hopefully Avellone as well. I like the IP, but some other random company making it might rightly not be pulling in the money that this KS is. In fact, these days, I treat AAA companies the same way, especially when it comes to writers and designers, because properties can change hands so much that you can't be sure what you're going to get otherwise. And, as other people have said, making a whole new area takes a lot of hours from a lot of people aside from these guest designers.

      Whether or not we care about the talents of the person they're bringing onboard, what we're really getting if we hit these goals is extra content that would not exist otherwise.

    11. Akimotos on

      never knew about xount speakers. they look awesome!
      for me the additional money rasier is just an incentive. what else would you like to see for higher level tiers? i hope we get passed that 1.9 mark. - i upped my pledge already and am grinning like a monkey all day. (but then... i'm old skool as well ;) hahaha)

    12. Missing avatar

      BladeRnr on

      @Joshua Rodman Yeah people are acting as if inXile will simply write a $200k check to Colin and Chris... I hope they realize that a designer alone cannot make a dungeon. They'll also need a lot of man-hours from concept artists, 3d modellers, programmers, animators, etc.

    13. Joshua Rodman on

      Interpret the stretch goals as "additional dungeon area!" because that's basically what we're being told. They just want to be excited that these additional areas are being built by well-known and respected names in the industry. You can be pretty sure that, for example, Chris Avellone isn't going to be paid 200k for a dungeon, even if it's a full year of work. Game design just doesn't pay quite that well.

    14. Richard Fleming on

      The stretch goal is just about getting enough to hire another designer with suitable experience and a compatible outlook - I expect they have already interviewed/chatted-with and shortlisted a number of designers and are confirming their contracts as the fund level is reached. The added hype is just marketing to attract more funds to the campaign. Allocating a specific environment to each designer is a sensible way of getting the environments developed in parallel without the designers running into each other or spending way too much time communicatuing/deconflicting. It also means different environments reflect different designer's styles within the overall house rules - which makes them fresher and more interesting.

    15. Grant Probst on

      @Chet - I can understand this concern, as well. I hope none of these designers start liking the smell of their own shit so much that they start demanding ridiculous amounts of money just to hire on. At that point, they tend to become more of a hindrance to the game's development, instead of a benefit.

    16. Chet on

      I don't know about you guys, but I pledged to see a great idea become a fantastic game.

      Is the writing talent so scarce in the industry that we need to spend extra to aquire a certain named writer, or could we spend the money wiser on two less known writers? I just can't seem to shake the feeling that this is starting to be about people and not the game.

      Please spend our money wisely, (that way you're sure to get more) and produce another great game for all of us to enjoy.

    17. Sir Chaox on

      Add Ziets in there as well... it would be a crazy team. But they would need to have multiple games going to satisfy that lot, and it seems they've got one at a time going right now.

    18. Bryy Miller on

      Now guys, don't be mean to Colin.

    19. Grant Probst on

      Chris Avellone, and Colin McComb should just become regular staff for inXile. Especially now that Chris has left Obsidian. That's what I hope will happen, anyway. I guess this stretch goal business would be a good first step for that potentially happening. Hope we end up getting that 1.9 million! It would be pretty spectacular to see!

    20. MikeHumphreys on

      @ZiN Good catch. BT1 was Skara Brae. BT2 was not.

    21. ZiN on

      "I owe my career to seeing Bard's Tale II on a Commodore 64 at a friend's house. When I saw the streets of Skara Brae up and running (gasp - in simulated 3D! And in color!)..."

      He could've hardly seen the streets of Skara Brae in Bard's Tale II, chiefly because Bard's Tale II didn't feature Skara Brae at all. It's starting city was called Tangramayne, and the rest of the cities were named after Paul's letters from the Bible by Michael Cranford.

    22. Missing avatar

      Ingo on

      To be honest, I am not very happy with the streched goals of this game. The first two goals are good and an enhancement, but throwing the additional money at people for building a dungeon giving me two thoughts:

      1. smells like buddy business to me
      2. they need other guys to make the game good.

      Don't get me wrong, I pledged at day one. I am hope they make a good game, but the information on the game are low. There is ONE engine trailer. The rest is more ore less concept. No screenshots or detailed information. It seems to me, the whole campaign is not really thought-out. I don't know this people who will build dungeons, but it is nearly $550.000 for 6 dungeons (Which is 44% of the goal)......maybe there are better ways to spend the mony (mechanics, music, graphics,...).
      One or two dungeons are fine, but nearly all strech goals are dungeons from old friends.....

      Thats just what came to my mind...

    23. Missing avatar

      coder1000 on

      It would be so great to get Chris Avellone to author an area! What a great goal.

    24. MikeHumphreys on

      @Skirge01 I did read it -- thanks for the reminder.

      I don't completely agree with your points. Yes, they don't know what their final budget will be. But they do have an idea based on their initial funding (and company match) what that will cover. Will it be one town? Or three? Will it be two dungeons or four? Will a certain stretch goal allow them to increase one of the dungeons from 4 levels to 7? Even if things aren't named yet, I would think some of the basic concepts would have been determined prior to launching the Kickstarter. Otherwise, they wouldn't know if their requested funding would cover what they want to do (bare minimum) to create this game.

      They did a great job with presenting the Stretch Goals for Torment and it inspired more backers and more pledges than they asked for:

    25. Muad'Dib on

      I have to save my money for MCA's incoming Van Buren kickstarter.

    26. Missing avatar

      Skirge01 on

      @MikeHumphreys & @JoelofDeath: Did you guys happen to read update #11 on the 26th? Thomas Beekers went into some detail about the gameplay and highlighted why it's so difficult to cover design and details of the game during a KS. In short: They can only say so much since the game is in PRE-production. Let's face it... they don't know their budget yet. Talking details in too much depth would be like going to a car dealer with no clue how much you can afford and asking them to show you some cars. "Well, sir, we have this nice Volkswagen Bug, as well as this Corvette Stingray." That would be a waste of your time and the dealer's. Backers should be here to support the project getting made because they like the concept or have faith in the project creator. People raise their pledges because they like the stretch goals and want to see them attained.

    27. TrentJaspar on

      @WaltC: Yep, I never played the original BTs and figured the 2004 version was a remake of the original, so I bought it on GOG. Oops. =)

    28. Sir Eyeball on

      Another head added to another dungeon. Will there be an achievable stretchgoal for number of party members? Some info about the game would be nice too. Nothing has made me even want to raise my pledge for quite a while now.

    29. WaltC on

      Thoroughly enjoyed the Matt Chat, which I'd actually seen before coming here this morning...! One thing it brought to mind was the 2004 Bard's Tale satire, which was a game which--tell the truth--disappointed me because it was as if someone was making fun of a sacred cow I'd unknowingly fenced up in the deep pastures of my mind...;) I remember having an almost visceral dislike of the game because of that--so never bought it/played, etc. Put it out of mind entirely. Thinking about it I am actually surprised by my reaction as normally I love satire and can't get enough of it. But here's the thing, it struck me rather forcefully this morning that it is very possible that many younger would-be Bard's Tale contributors search for information and wound up here:'s_Tale_%282004_video_game%29 , so I think it's very possible that funding is not what it would be in the absence of BT2004. Maybe in the remaining days of the Kickstarter more should be done to emphasize the difference between the games for those too young to already know...

    30. MikeHumphreys on

      @JoelofDeath 100% agree. Right now, I don't know if this game is going to be a 10 hour or 60 hour gameplay.

      @InXile How about an update where you describe the points @JoelofDeath brought up?

    31. Missing avatar

      sergio franco on

      @JoelofDeath Agreed.

    32. Mark Brown on

      Weird, sort of already thought that he would be doing this anyway. A win none the less.

    33. MikeHumphreys on

      +3 for Colin as a stretch goal.
      -5 for Avellone. If he treats the dungeon like his promised Wasteland 2 novella (Feb 2012 Kickstarter), then his dungeon will be finished as an update patch 6 months after Bard's Tale IV officially launches.

    34. Missing avatar

      cordell melgaard on

      this is so awesome that the RPG community collaborates like this. I have backed many RPGs here on KS and I haven't been disappointed yet.

    35. Tomimt on

      The possibility for Avellone was even worse kept secret than when Bethesda was rumoured to do Fallout 4 about a million times during a past couple of years.

    36. Dragoon on

      Ah, I see Chris Avellone continues to follow his dream being a living Stretch Goal.

    37. Bruce the Hoon on

      MCA: Professional stretch goal.

    38. JoelofDeath on

      Also some feedback for inXile:
      I enjoy hearing about 'added areas' and 'added companions'. But if I don't know how big the map was to begin with (or what it looks like), or how many companion npcs there will be (and some basic details about them), it feels kind of hollow to get these 'additions'.

      Don't know if that's just me though.

    39. DrAlexander on

      So were you the ones to steal Chris Avellone from Obsidian?

    40. delMar on

      > "I owe my career to seeing Bard's Tale II on a Commodore 64 at a friend's house. When I saw the streets of Skara Brae [...]"

      Well, there's no Skara Brae in BT II.

      Other than that: looking forward ;-)

    41. Missing avatar

      Goran Borghardt on

      This is adequate.

    42. JoelofDeath on

      Upped my pledge.

    43. Charles Atencio

      A dungeon that has one purpose - to kill you!
      Sounds brutally fun!