This article originally appeared in d20 Weekly

1d20 Questions about the Book of Vile Darkness

Wizards' Ed Stark Talks about the Controversial Product

by the d20 Weekly staff, Ed Stark, and Wizards of the Coast

Ed Stark is the Design Manager for the D&D game at Wizards of the Coast and he graciously agreed to answer some questions about the new, mature-audience product, the Book of Vile Darkness (BoVD) for us.

d20 Weekly: What prompted Wizards of the Coast to produce this type of product, something that Wizards/TSR has never done before for the D&D game? What was the thinking that went on in-house that got this book on the schedule? Why was now deemed to be the right time for this kind of a product? Was there a particular person or persons who championed this product in- house?

Ed Stark (ES): The development of the Book of Vile Darkness as a product concept into an actual scheduled book was pretty unique -- which fits, because BoVD is a pretty unique book.

It's been awhile, but as I remember it, the idea for BoVD grew out of both the initial success of the new edition of Dungeons & Dragons game and the excitement about "nostalgia" products such as Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil. The new D&D game promised people the same "back to the dungeon" feel 1st Edition provided, but with all the improvements twenty-plus years can put on a game system.

In looking around for another product idea that would harken back to the "old days" yet still provide enough leeway to do something really interesting, . . .

This article originally appeared in the second volume of Pyramid. See the current Pyramid website for more information.

Article publication date: October 2, 2002

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