Knights of the Dinner Table Hat

Hey! I won an award!

I first came across the Knights of the DinnerTable strip in Shadis, a magazine I used to see at GenCon in the early 1990s. One year, I spotted a stand selling actual KoDT comics, so I bought two (issues 2 and 3). I read them, thought they were excellent, and went back the next day to buy an issue 1 (which had sold out, but which the author, Jolly Blackburn, had promised more copies of would be arriving). I picked one up, but he was off playing a game somewhere and couldn't sign it; it's probably one of the few unsigned issue 1s of KoDT there is..!

Jolly said that he wanted ideas for the strip, so I sent him a few. I was pleasantly surprised that he used them, so I sent some more and he used those, too. So I sent some more...

Ah. Well he didn't use those. The nature of the magazine was changing, and instead of one-off strips it began to use "arc" storylines (which is the polite way of saying it switched into soap opera mode...). Although the requests every issue for ideas remained, not one reader suggestion was used in the 7 months of issues from 28 to 34 inclusive. The strip wasn't any less funny, I hasten to add, but it did mean that it became apparent there was very little chance of my scripts getting used.

Consequently, I wrote to Jolly asking if it would be OK to put the strips up myself on the web. He said yes, so long as I included the legals and copyrights and indicated that these particular stories are owned by me (I guess so people don't sue KenzerCo if I include anything objectionable).

So, here are the legals and copyrights:

  • Knights of the Dinner TableTM is © Copyright Kenzer and Company, 830 W. Main Street, PMB 114, Lake Zurich, IL 60047, USA.
    Knights of the Dinner Table, KoDT, HackMaster and all prominent characters and likenesses thereof are trademarks of Kenzer and Company. All artwork is © Copyright 1993, Kenzer and Company and is used here by permission.

Here is the indication:

And here are the cartoons!

The following batch are earlier, 4-panel strips from the days when that's all the space the Knights were given in Dragon. Most of the ideas would work a lot better given more room (those that work at all, that is!).

As well as strips, I've written few single-frame scripts, too. I sent these to Jolly, but to no avail: none of them have been published in KoDT.

Warning: these are biggish graphics (most full panels are 800 by 400 pixels, and the ones that aren't are bigger) so expect them to take ages to load and then not fit on your screen...

Note: some of these strips are ones upon which real, live strips were "based". You might like to compare each original with its final rendition - they're very different!

My Story Published Version Issue
Luck For Sale. Can't Buy Me Luck KoDT 5
The Great Leveler. The Temp KoDT 10
They Don't Call him "Weird" for Nothing... Don't Go There and
Dances with Pitbulls
KoDT 19
Die! Die! Die! An Appetite for Adventure and
The Prize Inside
KoDT 50

Finally, by day I'm a computer game design consultant. I specialise in massively multiplayer online worlds (I co-wrote the first MUD), but every once in a while I work with other types of game. For one company, I wrote pitches for 55 games intended for a mobile phone platform, of which maybe two or three would actually be developed (depending on what the publishers wanted). It seemed a shame to waste the rest, so I programmed up a few of them in JavaScript. One of these, I've reskinned as a KoDT game called

which KenzerCo have OKed as fit for fan consumption. Hope you like it!

Copyright © Richard A. Bartle (
3rd June :\webdes~1\ kodt.htm