Before the invention of the printing press, books started with leather binding. That tradition continues. Yet books are being produced at such a rate and the leather being used for their binding so thin, that people are making the joke that they are bound using dog leather. DogBounds are the pulp magazines and books of their day: cheap, lurid, with a charm of their own.
This is a modern day soap opera of Karenia and the trials and tribulations of her life in high society. (She was a lost daughter, raised in poverty as an inn girl, found by a loyal retainer, and brought back to her elite clan). It is insanely popular, almost a craze. Women are wearing their hair (and clothes) based upon the illustrations and description of her clothing in the book. There are 8 in the series so far and the soap opera continues.
Karenia is of slightly above average height, with long wavy chestnut hair, that has a bundle of curls. She uses a hair clip or even an Antioch hair band (scrunchy). She wears bodice detailed blouses with skirts, sometimes even dresses (one piece dresses not being the fashion anywhere at the moment).
This is a travelog of places Shalmar and his faithful WolfDog travel to. Most of the geographic and social information for the places is fairly accurate (so the authors must have talked to someone from the area). In every book he travels there, finds people in trouble, and with his quick wit solves the problems. There are 33 in the series. (There must be a number of people writing these things).
Also known as the Knight's Tale. It is the action soap opera set in 'The Villages', a highly balkanized section of ThirdLand where feudal lords fight it out for square feet of territory and peasants live in some squaller. The fight/ battle scenes are quite admusing. It paints a romanticized view of life in The Villages. There are 12 in the series.
This is a listing of about 30 recipes from a given district in the city. Most of these recipes are pretty good. There is one book in this series published every third of a year or so. Once a year there is a 'cook off' where several Goodwives (or foodsmiths) present their best in a competition judged by the Guild Council. The best recipes and all the runner ups are published in an overpriced Gold Ribbon Recipes volume. Since the Goodwife series has been running for only two and a half years, there are only 9 total in the series.
There are Goodwife books to cleaning, laundry, sewing, and ettiquite. These are single volumes.
This is a compendium of tales from soldiers, sailors, guardsmen. Put out every month or so, it comes with one to five stories about warriors of all types. Supposedly the stories are all true, plied from soldiers over a tankard or two. They might be. The stories seem mostly factually, but the details have been obscured and the action increased to make it more exciting. Every few books have a informational articles on weapons, weapon use, tactics, horse care, and 'secret of the Imperial larder' - recipes soldiers actually eat in the field).
Building on the success of Soldier's tales, the same press is trying to do it for magic users. These are stories about apprenticeship, scholarship, and the occasional odd theory or research accident. They tried the ambitious once a month format, but it did not sell well. So now it is published every half year to modest sales (mostly guild members).
Tales of the Unknown
A set of allegedly true stories about ghosts, hauntings, witches and supernatural creatures. Supposedly 'well researched by the publishers', most are so implausible that it seems likely that the editors just made them up - or accepted at face value any tale that they heard. However, they are usually spine-chilling and often gripping and are lapped up by the general public. Published once a month.
The Red Parrot
The Red Parrot is a boat crewed by an ecclectic band of free-booting Sea-clanners. They sail doing odd jobs around the Known World, encountering bizzare Sea-Clanners, pirates, sea monsters, countries/ lands far away, corrupt officials, and unknown islands.
These highly romantic tales have no basis in any level of reality (except maybe The Ocean is wet, the wind blows, and boats sometimes float). Someone who knows little of sailing, sea-clans, and anywhere in the world except where they are living is writing them. Yet people are eating them up with a vigor and believing they are 'The Truth', much to the annoyance of the Sea Clans.
They are published irregularly, once every two to six months.
The Pageman's codex combines several small features every month into one 'book'. These features are all too small to support their own dogbound series. Together, they make an impressive collection.
On a given month, there will be
* A Report on the comings and goings of the Court.
* A profile of Court Members. (The Book of Peerage Exerpts)
* A Karenia exerpt (most of a chapter from one of the books)
* Poetry, even Dwarven Poetry.
* Dagbar, a Pressman exclusive, a tale about a man transformed into a magical dog who must do good deeds to make up for his life as a man.
* And one to four short stories (novellas broken into one to three pieces) from known authors who are not writing stories of their own 'line'.
This is the first magazine of sorts. However, it is pressed out just like a book. It is just a bit more expensive than your average dogbound, but you get a great deal.
Tales of the Scarecrow
The Scarecrow is a supernatural Robin Hood that steals from the rich, gives to the poor, and scares the bejezzes out of anyone who deals in injustice. This supernatural creature (not quite a man, not quite a ghost, not quite a demon, but some chaotic bonding of the three) protects the weak from the excesses of the powerful. He creates 'strawmen' and other faux creations to help him 'pull off' his various missions. Every now and again, he pulls other magical powers out of his hat. The Stories are set in The Villages, a politically instable region where nobles are nearly constantly at war and the peasants are worse the wear for it. These Dogbounds are illegal in that area of the world.
Note: There really is a vigilante called The Scarecrow with a band of assistants called The Strawmen operating out of the south western Villages. He is part Zorro and part Robin Hood. He would probably be admused with these stories.
Axell and Iphigenia
A monthly series of amorous and quite naughty adventures, featuring the brother and sister team of Axell and Iphigenia. Originally nobles, disinherited due to their lustful antics, and given the boot from the 'high society' crowd for their lascivious ways, (which are too extreme even for the hedonists of their age), The siblings spend their time traipsing around the world, seducing everyone and anyone they come across. Each issue's story ends with the sister and brother culminating their debauchery, usually with holy men and women, who could not resist the twins carnal 'love'. Though never actually written, there are even allusions to their incestuous love for one another. Priests and Monks abhor these periodicals especially, and can often be found burning them, during public sermons. Of course the people can't get enough!
'...Father Paolo is sent as an exorcist, but after one look at Iphigenia's blue eyes and cascading copper hair, all that gets exorcised is his own inhibition'
The Adventurous Folk
The entire series of books is written by James Farvre 985. He lives in a little village not far from the city making up stories. The entire series is fantasy (in a fantasy world), filled with any number of odd things that no real group of adventurer types actually would meet. (Think fairy tale strange.) Some people swear his stories are true, but mostly they don't know better.
Chronicles of Antioch
This is not a true dogbound. Once a month they produce these slim little volumes, just like a dogbound. While it is occasionally filled with lurid tales, it is all true. It is a non fiction accounting of what has occured in The City.
There are no newspapers here (despite the printing press), news is passed on at guild meetings or in public speaches. The Mayor's office has been keeping various records of this type for centuries, compiling the various announcements. Given the existance of the press, someone thought they could take this information and more, presenting it in a truly public format.
The Chronicles covers the various changes in the guilds, the new and changed laws, buildings and businesses started and closed, a listing of the weather for each date, population changes (by guild count), write up on 'historical events' (parades, votes, etc) and a listing of other non guild events (notable crimes, riots, sporting events, big marriages, and other events that occured outside the city that effected the city). The sections are compiled and printed out each month.
The Chronicles Company is thinking about sending presses and LetterCrafters (clerks) to various areas of SecondLand, Amar, and possibly other lands.
Hearts and Powers
This is a continuing novelization akin to the ovelry popular Karenia saga. While it does have its own central heroine, there are many more characters suppoting the stories. It is set in a AlBar - a land of Timeless Beauty and Savagry, which is a thinly disguised version of Amar with its ancient dueling traditions (long ignored there) actively used. There are beautiful women, dashing young men, plotting elders, and several elementals operating in the background. The stories occur in and around the halls of the Court. It is like someone has taken all the noble gossip of Amar for the last few decades and novelized it.
There is one unique feature to this saga is the presence of an Imperial Elventi representative who is involved in all these Human intrigues and pillow games.
T&I Tinkers and Impressors
It should not come as a suprise that the people who invented the printing press have their own monthly book.
This is the "Popular Mechanic" and "Popular Science" of Antioch. In addition to "white papers" and "green papers" telling of various technical and theoretical accomplishments as presented to the guild, T&I summarizes what is currently going on with the Impressors, Tinkers, and various Crafters doing "new works" and business in Antioch and beyond (WhiteCliff most notably, but some of the Dwarventi Holds are taking an interest in the work of Impressors). This does not replace Guild New, but is writen for Laypeople, home tinkers, and to keep Guildsmen who are notoriously bad about going to guild meetings, up to date. The monthly book gives a bit of business news, some new impressor theories, crafting hints, interviews and articles about various Impressors and Works (places Impressors do work), guild gossip, and how T&I people are interacting with the rest of the Guilds. It also includes occasional new spell theories as well, since Impressors are applying magical theory to material reality to develop new technolgies.
Agent Hackett's Casebook
Follow the exciting adventures of Agent Hackett, one of The Eyes of Yocasta working undercover to uncover plots against Queen Yocasta and soceity in general. It is propaganda but well written, interesting propaganda that people can enjoy, that shows the Queen's secret servive as they wish to be seen, fighting evil cults such as The Children of Ma-O.
Hrondar the Barbarian
Gifted with surreal amounts of muscle, an animal magnetism and quick wits, there is little the star of this series can't do, notably resist the lure of ruins unexplored, resist the lure of treasure unclaimed and resist the lure of women un-Hrondared, and of course, resist the lure of a villain face unpunched.
Started by a retired adventurer as both hoax and blatant self-aggrandizement, the series has found a numerous following amognst pubescent males, who read it voraciously as to become more Hrondar-like; likewise, many a damsel dreams about a Hrondar of her own, dripping testosterone all over her nightgown.
While often dismissed by more sober-minded citizens as cheap and worthless, the series has several appeals: first of all, it is a fast-paced well-written read, and, second, there's a spark of truth in all of the tales... there -was- a Hrondar involved in the fall of the Liche of the Seven Sigils, the countess of Valmore -does- sigh blissfully at hearing Hrondar's name, and the traitorous duke of Ovenborth, currently in the royal dungeons, bears the scars of a searing gauntlet on his left cheek, bearing the words "Hrondar smash" along the imprint of a ring.
The Prospector's Tale
In an attempt to cash in on the success of Soldier's Tale and Spellsmith's Tale, a few writers were sent to the Bordertown of The Marches. There they plyed some Prospectors with a few drinks and recorded their tall tales. The danger of their regular lives and the exoticness of the local has made The Prospector's Tale a very successful Dog Bound.
Of Autumn Leaves, The Complete Edition
Jackus Fishgatherer Pageman's Press 120p
This is a beautiful book that intertwines poetry and an story about an older man looking back over his life. The vignettes color a melancholy picture of a man's life. It is not your normal dogbound fare. It's style, story structure, and untraditional content are too radical for any book printing company. Fishgatherer was unable to secure any printing for his book. He persevered and found a dogbinder who was willing to "branch out". The book was printed out in 12 chapters to moderate or low success. Once a complete work was produced, sales of this "artistic novel" have done reasonably well, as those who would not normally read dogbounds have found they are "stimulated" bu the story.
The Alternative Philosopher
A gazette popular with the rebellious, young, and uninformed, The Alternative Philosopher is filled with the rantings of various second-rate historians, theologians, and thinkers. The editor-in-chief and publisher is a certain "Doctor" Dorus Hechliemer, a former professor at a major university whose credentials were revoked after he published some particularly odious and unorthodox papers. Hechliemer started the publication as a soapbox for his myriad paranoid "research projects," but eventually it attracted other writers of his ilk. It now features an introductary "From the Editor" piece by Hechliemer, followed by various conspiracy theories, alternatives histories, outright slander, and other things kept out of more scholarly pieces. Much of it is ahistorical gibberish written to please the egos of their authors, but some say there are kernels of truth peppered throughout each publication.
"...And thus we come to the recent destruction of Demosthene Abbey. The official report of the tyrant is that it was an 'accidental fire' began by poor Brother Procus, an ally of our causes. Accidental indeed! All who know Br. Procus agree that he was (or is, since there is no proof he is actually dead) the most upstanding and alert person of the whole monastery. What could cause him bring an exposed lantern into the hay barn? Even the abbot has betrayed the True Citizens of this kingdom by saying Procus was, and I must quote, 'habitually intaking wine and other liquors forbidden by our order.' Lest we forget, Abbot Zaran was once our greatest ally and a provider of funds for our cause! It was only the last months, since our publication on the Trvth of the 'religion' that he revoked our funds and stopped speaking to us. Clearly, he has been replaced (much like Senator Gharthus) by a doppelganger, some fiend working for the quasi-governmental demonic league. Now, the question on all your hearts I'm sure is this: how do the wizard guilds fit into this? That, friends, is obvious..."
- Professor-Comrade Thariel Zorst, "Demons, Wizards & Merfolk: What We Know, Who They Control, & What You Can Do"
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? Responses (22)
A collection of minor books that are likely to exist.
Nothing special, but adds the necessary color to a setting.
Yeah, now I can tell my players that they found a pulp magiziune in the Evil Overlords stash, most likly the Tales of the Unknown, with a special article about the super secret uber world destructo sword buried under Nt. Vesuvious
I like um. They can only exist on worlds with working printing presses. That means very few worlds can use them, but the one I want to make will be able to.
The movable type printing press was invented in China by Bi Sheng between 1041 and 1048. The tiles however were made of clay, and most likely needed replacing quite often.
Wood tiles were a later improvement by Wang Zhen, which was described in his Book of Agriculture published in 1313.
While printing presses are possible in many places, they are not implimented in most fantasy worlds, who frequently have a technolgy seemingly stuck in the 1200s Europe.
I am thinking of making a DogBound for my own personal use, for fun.
You could probably buy the dog skin from your local chinese restaurant... :p
That would be Vietnamese (and Laotian, and other south east Asians), not Chinese, who use Dog as a Cuisine item. It is also illegal in most countries to do so.
A good all-around idea... And I like the sort of little detail that they are made from dogskin. Good!
Actually they are not made from Dog Skin. They are made from the cheapest leather you can find, that has been overly stretched, pressed rolled flat, so you can get the most out of a single hide of a scrawny beast.
These people have yet to discover cardstock or cardboard yet. The concept of a totally paper book (i.e. a magazine) has not been developed. So leather is their only conventional binding cover at this time.
Great Idea. limitless possibilities
Speaking of 'Books'...BUMP!
These books are not just color, though we can use it that way. Just like popular bardic tales, early novels and popular authors had an effect upon the ideals and values of their populations - with a wider distribution. So the bardic tales help to spread the 'ideal' of the chivalric knight, romantic/ courtly love, and riding under the grand banner. Early novels did similar things.
So The Karenia Series has impacted fashion and dress in the areas it is distributed. The Red Parot series is making people inland feel a draw to the sea (then disillusioning them once they get there). Edwinus's tales and The Scarcrows tales color the way people think about that entire region. It has some impact on local peoples, but for travellers, like the characters, it will cause conflict between the expected and the actual.
Ideas, opinions, and values have to come from somewhere. These are your 'explanation' for some of the current ones in your world.
What a fun idea! I can see dropping these on PCs whose players are used to taking everything they read as gospel...
Keep in mind that beyond the fun factor of lurid pulps and strange tales in a fantasy setting, dogbounds and other books have a couple of purposes in a game.
1) They are great ways of spreading information and misinformation about the game world. "Since your character read the most recent, Tales of Gangar, you know that The Ruler around here is The Duke and that rulership and command is based on merit, rather than straight breeding, as peer councils vote upon various positions. "
2) They can show players what is actually important in a game world. T&I Tinkers and Impressors is a good example of that.
3) They can provide color and insight about an NPC. Imagine going to find some contact and finding him reading "Soldier's Tale". You now have a better understanding of the character (especially if they are not soldier material) and his ideas, as well as having a new tack upon approaching them.
4) Ideas and Values come from somewhere. Pamphlets, such as the one written by Martin Luther, or small books, like Karroway's Beat Poety book, lead to sweeping social changes. These magazines might be the start of such things, "you see two men in the street, yelling at each other. They are practically comming to blows. The small crowd about them is "cheering" for their man. Some of them are occasionally joining in or egging them on. Both are clutching a small book in their hands. They are arguing about, to the best of your ability to tell, ....."
Now this should tell you that something in this dogbound is polarizing people and is an important issue of the day. It is something that might not impact the adventurer directly, but it will eventually. "What? There is a war about to start?" "Haven't you read about how the D'norians are slaving under the guise of a religion?"
There are other uses, but these hit the main points.
Don't think I ever voted on this. But I love the idea of cheap and popular texts. An HoH bump for this one.
Good solid idea.