This week has been a busy one for cRPG news on Kickstarter. We’ve had Torment: Tides of Numenera race to $1,000,000 in just 7 hours on Kickstarter already. Now there’s another big name cRPG franchise asking for a fresh million with Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues.
Even if you’re out of juice for any more Kickstarter projects do watch the first couple of minutes on this video. This is a gamer who picked up the very first Dungeons & Dragons and then started to create cRPGs back when computers used ticker tape. Old school.
A million is a big ask and I have to wonder how much cred Ultima has left. That said, I didn’t really know Richard Garriott before this pitch but, after it, I now do think he knows his stuff.
I think creating a sandbox world that is as flexible as he suggests and yet feels like a tabletop roleplaying game will be a challenge. After all; around the table we have a GM. That said I remember the days of MUSHes which certainly had their own RPG style and generally had very little direction from storytellers or GMs. If Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues is essentially a visual MUSH then I’m interested.
Given the emphasis on player housing I suspect that that’s sort of the feeling they want to reach. A virtual roleplaying world that lets players play as they want – but yet allows for events to happen.
They do mention “scene best encounters” which can be experienced solo or with others. Do these act as sparks in the sandbox that encourage players to do something? Hard to tell how plot important they’ll be if, as they say, they’re re-playable.
On the note of PVP (which, face it, doesn’t happen all that often in tabletop but is the driver for some cRPGs they have an interesting comment.
Meaningful PVP that also minimizes griefing:
An incentive-driven system will draw players into the challenge and intrigue of the PVP experience, whether they become the hunter or the hunted!
What does “meaningful” mean? It’s not very meaningful if your character dies in a RPG at the wrong time. Turns out she wasn’t a hero of legend after all. She was a mugging victim. So does “meaningful” mean “lasting death” rather than a respawn.
It’s worth noting that there is a limited $25 pledge mark (just 5,000) that’ll get you a fully copy of the game and early access. Now that the press release about the game is out I would expect that option to fill up quickly.