Knights of the Dinner Table
From Knights of the Dinner Table
Knights of the Dinner Table (KoDT) is a comic book/strip created by Jolly R. Blackburn and published by Kenzer & Company. It primarily focuses on a group of role playing gamers and their actions at the gaming table, which often result in unfortunate, but humorous consequences in the game. The name is a parody of King Arthur's round table reinforced by the truism that roleplaying aficionados often end up sitting round their host's dinner table as it is the only one large enough to accommodate the party (4 to 8 people typically).
Many of the stories presented in KoDT are based on actual in-game experiences of the developers or readers, who are encouraged to submit story ideas. Part of the comic's popularity stems from the reader's ability to relate to the characters and their experiences.
As Blackburn has no formal art training, the characters are drawn in simple caricatures which are scanned onto a computer and are continuously reused.
The popularity of the comic has manifested itself in a number of ways. At conventions that KenzerCo attends, live readings of various strips are a popular activity where attendees and even members of the D-Team take the roles of the various characters and read off the dialogue of the strips before an audience. KoDT has won the Origins Awards for Best Professional Game Magazine of 1998 and 1999. KoDT has also won the Origins Award for Best Game Accessory of 2010.
KoDT first started in the second issue of Shadis magazine in March 1990 when then editor Jolly R. Blackburn decided to draw a simple strip of his own to put on the last page which he called Knights of the Dinner Table. The first comic only contained B.A. and Bob. Over the next three issues Blackburn continued to draw his own comics (adding in Dave and Brian), but by the sixth issue he had acquired other comics and replaced KODT with them. Readers, however, demanded the return of the Knights strip. It was brought back in the eighth issue and lasted into the 21st.
The strip moved to Dragon magazine with issue #226 (February 1996), and continued publication in Dragon for four years continuously through issue #269 (March 2000). The comic was originally printed in the magazine in black-and-white, but coloring was added starting with issue #264 (October 1999). In Dragon #270 (April 2000), KoDT left Dragon and was replaced in the magazine with an expanded Nodwick strip. Nodwick had first appeared in Dragon #246 (April 1998), but originally only as a small strip; in #270, it was not only expanded to the full-page size in which KoDT had been printed but also replaced KoDT.
Also in 1996, KoDT began publication in a monthly comic book, Knights of the Dinner Table Magazine, which is still in publication. Initially produced by Blackburn himself, the series was later picked up by game publishers Kenzer & Company, who began publication with a second printing of issue four after an error made by Blackburn rendered the first printing nearly unreadable. Blackburn also joined KenzerCo as a vice president and continued to produce KoDT stories. Several of the other executives and game designers at KenzerCo began contributing ideas and collaborating with Blackburn on the strips, eventually becoming collectively known as the KoDT Development Team (or simply "the D-Team"). KoDT has since arguably become the flagship property of Kenzer & Company, with the magazine having evolved into a (often KenzerCo-themed) all-around gaming publication, rivaling Dragon's former prominence in the industry (before the latter began to focus exclusively on TSR/Wizards of the Coast products). Several games produced by KenzerCo since the acquisition have been derived from ideas presented in KoDT strips, such as Fairy Meat; conversely, references to KenzerCo-produced games, such as Kingdoms of Kalamar, appear from time to time in KoDT.
In 2000, a monthly spin-off comic was created, titled Knights of the Dinner Table Illustrated, AKA K.ILL. The comic depicts many of the adventures described within KotDT; however, K.ILL shows the player characters' actions rather than those of the players behind them.
The Knights of the Dinner Table
The Black Hands Gaming Society
Hard Eight Enterprises
An event held at the Origins Game Fair, and possibly other Gaming conventions, is the Knights Of The Dinner Table live reading. People in attendance will put their name into a random drawing. The "winners" go up on stage, sit around a table, and act out the comic book, with hilarious results.
- Nodwick, another roleplaying comic strip
- Dork Tower, another roleplaying comic strip
- The Order of the Stick, another roleplaying comic strip
- Panzeri Jr., Peter F. (2006-07-01). "32nd Hall of Fame Inductees Announced" (PDF). Talsorian. http://www.talsorian.com/OA-Hall-of-Fame-2006.pdf. Retrieved 2008-12-04.
- Varney, Allen (November 1998). "ProFiles: Jolly Blackburn". Dragon ([[wikipedia:Renton, Washington|]]: Wizards of the Coast) (#253): 120.
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