the Fairgame Archive

2006-08-03: Answers about 1001 Nights
by Meguey

I'm getting some questions, so here are some answers.

Q: Why the Arabian Nights theme? Did you choose it because it supported the storytelling, or on a whim, or because you've always liked it, or why?

A: I love it, I've always loved it, and it was what I thought of from the very begining. The idea of telling stories to pass the time, stories that are as dramatic and engaging as any RP session could ask for, seemed a natural fit. I write about this in the preface of the game, too, about the need for fantastical tales from places not our own.

Q: How did you go about getting it ready for publishing?

A: Mostly I tried not to write it (really), then I wrote it on two different computers. A very large part of the text was typed with one hand, using the lap-top while the baby was napping next to me. Then I spent some very late nights with Vincent and Adobe InDesign doing lay-out. The book looks so close to how I'd imagined it's kind of freaky. I also have a well-estabilished relationship with our printers from being the main person to deal with Dogs printing, so that was a non-issue.

Q: What's the art like?

A: Oh, the ART! I *love* the art. It's all beautiful black ink illustrations that were made by H.J. Ford a hundred years ago for Andrew Lang - I had nearly all the Rainbow Fairy Books as a child, and this game grew straight out of them. When I was a kid, Mom didn't buy us coloring books, so once I reached about 10, I took my colored pencils to the Rainbow Fairy Books, with Mom's blessing. Shading all those pictures taught me a ton about drawing and draping. I thought about doing the same thing in Photoshop with the ones I use in the book, but I decided against it.

Q: How did you choose the fonts and the front cover? - it looks as though a lot of thought went into the style generally.

A: Absolutely. I knew I wanted a sunset that was really rich in color, and that I wanted arches. I fiddled with gradients in Photoshop untill I was happy, and I free-hand drew the arch in Photoshop, then scanned a sheet from a Dover 'stained glass' coloring book for the rosettes. There was a brief time when the first piece of art in the book was on the cover, but it didn't hold up under examination.

The cover font is Calif - I wanted something with a very soft, curving shape. I considered doing hand-caligraphy, but my 'hand' for this style is lousy, and the font was fine.

Q: Are you doing demos at GenCon?

A: Yes!

Q: What are they like?

A: I'll bring a selection of nearly-complete characters to the table, you'll choose one and finish it up, and we'll play through a Story, or at least enough of one for me to be sure everyone's getting the 'declare interests' bit.

Q: So, what about the story-in-a-story thing, does it do that?

A: Well, the basic game has our characters telling Stories, so it's already a story-in-a-story, so the simple answer is yes. To make deeper levels, all it would take would be for someone's Story character to start a Story-within, and see how it went. As far as mechanics, I'll have to think about it. I think it's possible to go down at least two levels, so Court, Story, Story-Within. I'd suggest having different GMs for the two Story levels. And you can definitly do linked Stories already, sharing characters or setting or whatever.

2006-08-04 17:30:22 Emily

What's your favorite story been, so far, Meg?

2006-08-05 00:13:47 Meguey

Oh, good question!

I really loved 'How the Monkey brough Music back to the King',  run by Jasper. The way we all just pulled out the verbal skills was awesome. I love that the game works for talking animals, living rivers, etc.

2006-08-16 17:58:37 Emily

I can't wait to hear about all the demos and actual play at Gen Con. This game rocks!

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