16 January 2017
Justin Jacobson reveals struggle to acquire rights for original Bob Pepper artwork
In the long history of board games, there have been very few releases that have opted to hammer home their theme with a real-life piece of clothing in the box.
Scotland Yard’s had its iconic Mister X baseball cap, last year’s Kickstarted musical title Band Manager: Backstage Clash uses a T-shirt as a board and, now, the upcoming reimagining of Dragonmaster from Restoration Games will feature a jewelled ring. Yep, you read that right.
Speaking to Tabletop Gaming about bringing back the 1981 fantasy game as the Italian Renaissance-set Indulgence, Restoration president Justin Jacobson revealed some of the steps that he and SeaFall designer (and fellow Restoration co-founder) Rob Daviau had taken in their effort to modernise the title – including their struggle to secure rights to Bob Pepper’s original fantasy artwork.
“For Indulgence, we really had to take a belt sander to the gameplay,” Jacobson explained. “Go back to the core of the game: cool art, neat components, variable contracts.
“I will say this: I had no idea how many huge Bob Pepper fans there are out there. So let me say this loud and clear: we could not get the rights to the art. I have seen the original paintings in Mike Gray’s basement, but we couldn’t get the rights to the art.
“When we couldn’t get the rights to Pepper’s art, we knew we would have to retheme Dragonmaster. We had no interest in doing a different generically themed fantasy card game. Once we came up with the new theme, I stumbled on the name while I was doing research to fill out the card roster. It just clicked. It’s a unique name, easy to spell, easy to search, and it just fits the theme perfectly.
“So we scouted for a new artist, an outsider, who could bring that same sense of freshness that Pepper did back in his day. We were lucky to find Chelsea [Harper].”
Jacobson also teased the inclusion of the ring, but left us hanging when it came to specifics on whether it would play a role beyond looking swish.
“As for components, here’s an exclusive scoop just for you, dear reader: the game comes with a ring,” he said. “Like, a legit ring. With a jewel in it.”