Wednesday, April 4, 2012

WotC to kill the Princess Ark?

Many Mystara fans were in distress earlier this week when WotC announced the destruction of the legendary Flying Ship from the classic Dragon Magazine article series Voyage of the Princess Ark:

Last Voyage of the Princess Ark
By Robert J. Schwalb
The Princess Ark, a legendary flying ship, has crashed! Explore the wreckage to find out what happened, and loot the bodies of the dead. A D&D adventure set in the world of Mystara for characters of levels 1–3.

Fortunately, it all turned out to be an April Fool's Joke.  The joke was not well recieved by the fan community however. "Imagine this in Star Trek terms to see just how unfunny it is: 'The Enterprise, the legendary Federation starship, has crashed! Explore the wreckage to find out what happened, and loot the bodies of the dead.' Try posting that in a Star Trek forum and see how much interest it generates." says one fan.

Mystara fans can take comfort in the fact that the last chapter in the Voyage of the Princess Ark has not yet been written. Bruce Heard, who recently rejoined the community stated:

"Well, yes, eventually I will write Princess Ark material. [...] If it were me, I'd just find a spot in the timeline where I could resume the exploration/adventures."
 Whenever you are ready, Bruce. We're here waiting :)



  1. Ah, but remember, what goes around comes around. Remember, the name of the ship that crashed in Blackmoor, the FSS Beagle? Well... that was doubtless inspired by the Space Beagle, the infamous ship from A.E. van Vogt's tales. Yes, the ones that inspired the dispalcer beast, among other things... including Star Trek (the whole series, really). Most notably, of course, there was also the episode "Bread and Circuses," which featured the wreckage of... you guessed it... the SS Beagle!

    Oh, and I should note, for those who have forgotten... the Enterprise actually crashed twice, both the original 1701 and the 1701-D...

  2. Glad you manage to see the positive side of this James! I may check out that Star Trek episode :)

  3. I'm not sure that I see why people are so upset - D&D is all about looting legendary cities, tombs, temples and so on. Why not a ship?

    I loved the Princess Ark series in Dragon - the last gasps of D&D amid a flood of 2e stuff. I have the boxed set. I was never a fan of Wrath of the Immortals reshaping the whole world, but it didn't invalidate all my beautiful Gazetteers (anymore than the destruction of Blackmoor in the timeline of the Gaz series prevents us playing in Blackmoor). WoTI did indicate that no more 'classic' Mystara stuff would be published by TSR, but WoTC crashing the Princess Ark hardly derails a living product line, does it?

    And of course, they didn't crash it, anyway.

  4. Thanks Dr Bargle!

    I dont think its so much the idea of looting the ship that upset people, but more the idea of looting the bodies of your favorite characters from the Voyage of the Princess Ark series. I guess it would be like telling a Star Trek fan that he could now loot the bodies of Captain Kirk and Spock.

    But yeah, the Princess Ark feels alot like a character itself. I would be very sad if it crashed. :)

    1. I'd Imagine trekkie nerds screaming next to it, absolutely wanting to touch and at the same time never daring too.
      Instant Madness.


New Release from Rob Kuntz: The 4th Category

  Rob Kuntz returns to exploring the history of D&D in the year of the game's 50th Anniversary.  I just got an email with the follow...