Bella the Barbarian Barmaid is a nudity-filled, "Hyborian Age" comedy by Rapscallion Games, the creators of The Miskatonic. Originally, the story was still in development, with frequent progress updates seen through the official Twitter and Patreon pages. However, due to intervening circumstances, the project's final release is currently on hold.
In the city of Zundin, which is the capital of the fantastic land of U'qai, there is no force more prevalent than capitalism. Professional fishing is commercialized entertainment (referred to as "livestreaming"), floating eyes are used to collect personalized data for advertising, and the dregs of society are given ethereal body modification to better perform menial labor.
One such dreg is Bella Beufal, a Barmaid at the Nether Soon bar and death cult, who had her chest enhanced because physical attractiveness is a key part of customer service. However, Bella is not content living an impoverished life with no chance of ever improving her station; she's a radical leftist, and all she needs is a big enough following to bring down the corrupt in charge. Or at least to afford a bed not made of rocks.
Bella the Barbarian Barmaid provides examples of:
- Affectionate Parody: This work is to Conan what Rapscallion Games' previous work was to Lovecraft.
- The Beautiful Elite: The wealthier a person is, the more physically attractive they become, thanks to the land's ethereal magic.
- Beta Couple: A pair of mechanics, the short drow Endie and voluptuous human Megan, make multiple appearances.
- Big Brother Is Watching: Every citizen's personal information is recorded in their own book in the Library of Zuk, which is managed by the government. However, anyone is free to look at copies of anyone else's book, and it has mainly become yet another platform for sponsorships and marketing.
- Bigger Is Better in Bed: While there are many men who advertise this fact while also advertising their services, the most prominent is Ben Dulgence, whose job sitting at a desk has led to enhancements at his thigh area, and whose doctrine of "minimalism" has left him frequently exposed and with plenty of followers.
- Bling of War: Although the territory is free of conflict, fancy armor is worn by those with lucrative careers as a status symbol.
- The Cameo: The Eye-Spy Hive residing in the Library of Zuk is stated to be a "guest cameo", having the same appearance as one of the creatures from The Miskatonic. And then there's Rummin Fletcher, or rather, Rum'n...
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: There are intentional parallels to reality everywhere, such as the undead being hated more because they provide cheap labor and take away jobs from the living than because of their race (which can be compared to the reputation of migrant workers).
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The setting is modernized capitalism through the lens of a Heroic Fantasy.
- Foil: Bella's free time is usually spent with either Ben Dulgence or Chilly, who have both gained moderate financial success and popularity by appealing to the masses, at a time when Bella's own political rants have started attracting a small fanbase. However, all three of their political views are different: Bella is a radical socialist, Ben is a corrupt capitalist, and Chilly is apathetic to the big picture and content with personal stability. Bella also has another foil in Aporia, who has traits of Bella's idealized self, but far more cynical views about potential societal change.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Some people gain tails or other animalistic features through body modification in order to be better workers. However, there are other ways to become a hybrid, such as performing a "Booze Cruise" pilgrimage and gaining the features of a Satyr.
- Hypocrite: Ben, who is willing to completely abandon "minimalism" with the right corporate sponsor.
- Ignorance Is Bliss: Aporia is fully aware of the downsides of her E'Qo Chambers, but is planning to make more portable and permanent versions of it, having decided that anyone who would rather live in blissful ignorance for the rest of their lives instead of dealing with harsh reality should be able to choose to.
- Lotus-Eater Machine: The E'Qo (pronounced "Echo") Chambers, managed by Aporia, use ethereal tendrils to both physically massage and give personalized, self-affirming comments to their clients. Unfortunately, this tends to lead to huge fights when clients with conflicting views return to reality.
- Magitek: There is classical elemental magic used by Trade Wizards, but there are also Datamagic Wizards that are more similar to modern programmers, capable of creating tools and architecture such as the E'Qo Chambers.
- Meaningful Name: Multiple devices are sneaky references to modern life, such as the Library of Zuk (as in Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg).
- One for the Money; One for the Art: In-universe, there's Chilly, a "no-fi hiphop" musician that plays memetic, profitable, deliberately pandering gigs to work towards being able to play her own independent work and/or just chill out.
- Sex Sells: Within the setting, advertising with sexuality is the most common way to get attention, to the point that some people have public lovemaking to announce discounts.
- Snake People: Some entrepreneurs, such as Bella's landlady, have become outright Lamias as an effect of the land's magic.
- Snarky Non-Human Sidekick: Gremlin Dave becomes one to Bella early on, after she saves him from a debt collector.
- Stealth Sequel: An early July 2019 Patreon update revealed a significant character from The Miskatonic, now with the title Rum'n, Goddess of the Outernet.
- Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Gremlin Dave and Bella, as well as Endie and Megan.
- World of Buxom: Justified by the setting, though it is also Author Appeal.
- You Need to Get Laid: Bella's coworkers give her this advice. Bella would like to, but she's hampered by her work schedule and off-putting personality.