4/12/2013

Kickstarting: Lords of Gossamer and Shadow

A couple of days ago, I read an excellent post by Rob Donaghue on Google+, talking about the Kickstarter for an RPG called Lords of Gossamer and Shadow. He described it as a successor to Amber Diceless RPG, which was intriguing to me.

I never played Amber Diceless, but I've heard lots about it and know, like Rob Donaghue said, that it has a strong community that has kept it afloat despite the licensing of the setting being muddy and no new official content being produced. I've also read the Chronicles of Amber series by Roger Zelazny on which Amber Diceless was based, and I loved those books. So I headed over to the Lords of Gossamer and Shadow Kickstarter page to check out the campaign.

I was impressed right away by the dedication and activity there as well as the amazing art that had already been commissioned for the book. I took the opportunity to jump in at the $30 pledge level, which is the first level at which I'd have a chance to get a physical copy of the book (side note: I love PDFs and ebooks, but I tend to need a physical copy of the book to really "get" the rules of an RPG). I got a nice personal welcome from Steve Russell, the leader of the project, which is an awesome touch.  A particularly nice feature of the campaign is that the hardcover book I order at the end of the campaign will be at cost, which is certainly not something that was required as part of the Kickstarter and is really looking out for the interests of backers.  Every step of my interaction with the Lords of Gossamer and Shadow Kickstarter has been positive and welcoming and that makes for a campaign well worth talking about.

On a side note, I think that The Chronicles of Amber novels are a must read for anyone who is into science fiction and fantasy.  Amber sets out a lot of concepts about multiverses and how magic can shape reality that have been emulated by other writers in the years since its writing.  It looks at magic in a fairly different way than most RPGs, in particular those who follow the Vancian model of memorization and recall.  Describing fully how they differs might stray into spoiler territory, so I'll just say you should read and find out!