Why is that lucky? I don’t think we’ve had the Spotlight shine on a publisher before just as they launch a Kickstarter.
That’s what has happened here and with Wider Path Games who have launched Spark Sun this week. Spark Sun is a D&D 5e setting and supplement, so we get to combo up.
In this article, we’ll look at both the Kickstarter and then at Wider Path Games. It’s a chance to get to know the publisher just as their latest game – 18 months in the making – steps out in public.
Let’s do the Kickstarter first. It’s a campaign to fund everything players, and GMs will need to campaign in the exotic universe. You can jump straight to the Kickstarter and join the 100+ early backers.
Spark Sun is a chance to adventure in a world where your creator wants to destroy you, and the line between technology and biology is blurred.
The 5e supplement brings 4 new races, with a new race levelling system. There are 7 classes, with new abilities and even a new power system.
80new monsters, 35 unique items and new rules for Renown, starting Clans and Trauma Conditions are found in Spark Sun.
Those new classes are;
- Altruist – Healing Spark (green) – A relentless focus on the great good.
- Artist – Change Spark (purple) – With the power to write mentally and physically binding Spark Contracts, Artists have reshaped the world.
- Beguiler – Neuro Spark (orange) – Masters of manipulation and mental battles of wit.
- Naturalist – Destruction Spark (red) – Pure power; Pure destruction.
- Philosopher – Nomadic Spark (blue) – through meditation and focus Philosophers are able to stay one step ahead of their enemies.
- Paragon – Master of all Spark – The most powerful of all manipulators, Paragons are often driven mad by their ability to wield such great power.
- Void Knight – Void of all Spark – Unique creatures able to tap into the void that exists between and among all Spark in the universe.
Spark Sun Classes sample
RPG Publisher Spotlight
I had the chance to speak to Kevin of Wider Path, the company’s founder. It’s a busy article and so let’s just get to it.
Who are Wider Path Games?
We’re brothers who love games. Like most, we started with Hero Quest, Dragon Strike and a host of others before moving on to Dungeons and Dragons. We have been building fantasy worlds for more than 30 years and now our kids are adventuring in our worlds.
Kevin Ferrone – Owner and lead game producer
Eric Ferrone – Owner and game designer
Joey Ferrone – Game Designer
Andrew Ferrone – Book author
A host of others have contributed to our success and development but they are too numerous to name here (designers, marketers, illustrators, printers, playtesters and more)
How and why did you decide to get into RPG publishing?
Wider Path Games started with a mission to get families around the TTRPG table. Our first big hit (Starport) was a game I built for my twin boys (6 years old at the time). One day I sat at the table with them and described the scene for what later became the city of Starport. I didn’t even have to finish before their ideas started flowing out of them.
What their characters would do, how they would get past trouble, and even a narrative about what was happening to them. Kids are naturals at shared storytelling, and don’t need adults to explain rules to them before they know what to do.
It was at that moment that I came up with the core mechanic for Starport, a way of going through the world by “gaining successes” through any action imaginable. Hide behind a bush in order to let a monster know you’re friendly – sure. Create a rocketship to reach the top of a treehouse – awesome!
What do you think you’re best known for?
Starport: A Tabletop Roleplaying Game For Kids is our most popular title at the moment. So, I guess I’d say we’re known for designing great RPGs for families.
What would you like to be best known for?
Designing great RPGs for families :-) We follow a sandbox style world creation so I guess I’d also like to be known for the vastness and detail we bring to our worlds.
What makes a good game?
We take pride in creating worlds where players can freely roam, explore and adventure. In my mind, a good TTRPG is one where players feel free and excited to explore and GMs feel equipped to react to that free exploration with engaging content.
Is that the same for games designed with kids in mind?
Yup! – Like I said, kids are naturals at RPGs. If only us adults had their power, we could get so much more out of our TTRPG experiences. We try to foster a sense of wonder in our game creations, to get us all a little closer to the imaginations we had as kids.
What can you tell us about Spark Sun?
We made Spark Sun to bring to life the idea that magic could come from any world, even those ruled by the laws of physics and biology. Spark Sun brings to life a world where supernatural powers are rooted in science, and connections among all things are built and destroyed through vibrations and synchronizations. Of course there is always a point where you step from natural to supernatural. But, it’s all natural for us :-)
How much work has gone into Spark Sun so far?
It was actually 18 months in the making. We designed 5 versions of the game before coming to its current form.
You’re launching on Kickstarter, which is a popular choice. Do you feel as if there’s effectively no choice?
There is always a choice, but Kickstarter is a great one for small publishers like us. We didn’t launch Starport on Kickstarter, but it took much longer to gain traction as people slowly discovered the game, loved it, and shared it. That organic, slower growth is actually more powerful and has more longevity in my mind. Kickstarter gives you a boost on day 1, which is very helpful, and often needed by small publishers.
Outside of crowdfunding where do you think the RPG industry is going?
I think we will continue to see lots of amazing indie publishers building games and worlds and we will see even more private pockets of people who want to tap into non-mainstream work where they can connect with their publishers and designers directly and have an impact on the pathway of the games created. Places like Patreon will continue to grow.
Is there someone or a company you’d like to work with in that time?
I’m always open to collaboration and would love to speak to anyone interested. We’re currently working with Michael Miller, author of the international best selling Songs of Chaos fantasy book series. We’re designing a TTRPG based on the books and would love to do this with other book series.
Would you sell Wider Path Games to Wizards of the Coast if the money was right?
I’ve actually thought about this a lot, not with Wizards specifically but with other game companies. The answer has always been “no” but I can’t know for sure what the future holds. For now, I see my work at Wider Path Games as an investment in my retirement. I want to do this work for the rest of my life!
Spark Sun Pledges
Backers who find just $5 to support the project will also secure a chance to buy add-ons later.
After that, the digital pack for Spark Sun, which includes both a PDF of the core rules and virtual tabletop tokens, maps and handouts, will be given to backers at $25 or more.
There are different $49 tiers; one offers the hardback version plus a digital pack, and the other provides a Roll20 version and digital pack.
Higher still, at $119, there are STL files, a Fomorian mini and dice. The top tier is at $240, which includes a session with Wider Path Games.
The estimated delivery for the main tiers is September.
Wider Path Games
- Wider Path Games’ website.
- Wider Path Games on Facebook.
- Wider Path Games on Instagram.
- Wider Path Games on DriveThruRPG
- Kickstarter for Spark Sun.
Get involved with the conversation. Leave some thoughts below.