Update #8: The Serpents, Mr. Baur, Gameplay Notes, and a Major Award™
We received some news overnight that I think backers of this project will enjoy: the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, which uses a similar game system as Apocrypha, won the 2015 Vanguard Award, along with Marvel Dice Masters. Given out by the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design, the Vanguard Award is the award for the most innovative game of the year. When we accept the award at the Origins Game Fair in a few weeks, we will resolve to win this award again with Apocrypha. We can dream, right?
We found out about the Vanguard from icv2, which also did a nice piece on Apocrypha. A shoutout to Meeple Mechanic for beginning a series of interviews with our design team about Apocrypha, and to JR at BackIt for running an hourlong videocast with me about the game.
Stretch goal: The Book of the Serpents
At $150,000, we will unlock The Book of the Serpents. This chapter features a snake cult called the nagavanshi, who ruled parts of India in the middle ages. They are trying to wake the dragon, a perhaps foolhardy task given that it is supposedly buried under a ziggurat somewhere in Khūzestān. Or perhaps a pyramid in Mesoamerica. Somewhere. Finding the dragon won't be the hardest part, though. The amount of destruction necessary to rouse the serpent from its slumber is too vast to consider. As the dragon is no longer communicating with his fellow Novem, the role falls to Queen Kuberanaga, whose cultists often have reptilian features. Which is good, because when they don't, you probably don't know they're there.
Our memory writer for this ophidian chapter is Wolfgang Baur. As the founder of Kobold Press, he spearheaded a movement of patronage in gaming that has carried over to all the tabletop projects now on Kickstarter. I asked Wolf for a list of points for his bio, and I just had to share it with you guys.
- Co-author of the groundbreaking Dark*Matter conspiracy RPG
- Designer for Planescape, Al-Qadim, and Forgotten Realms
- Creator and founder of the Midgard campaign setting
- Designer for Paizo Adventure Paths including Rise of the Runelords and Wrath of the Righteous
- Editor of Dragon Magazine and Kobold Quarterly
- Founder and overlord at Kobold Press
- Huge fan of scaly, slithery, fire breathing monsters, whether voiced by Baseline Cummerbund or not
- Mildly obsessed with Central American gods and demons
- Disturbingly well informed on the proper forms for throwing someone into a sacrificial well
- Inclined to sleep on gleaming and McDuck-like bedding whenever an opportunity arises
- Enjoys poking shadows with a stick
- Family history of Teutonic stoicism combined with Midwestern pragmatism = frighteningly efficient design philosophy
- Visitor to multiple sites of the Southern Death Cult and Moundbuilders
Well now. Here's one of his fragments.
THE NEW HAT: The hat's movements didn’t really bother her, at first. It was brown and sort of shapeless, and the shape was pretty. Only later did she see its eyes, and the strangely nimble way it gripped the man’s head with sloth-like claws.
More about gameplay
I've been asked a lot about how "final" the rules are. The short answer is, they're not. We're still mucking around with the best assist mechanics, tuning the difficulty knobs on the "keep 3 dice" mechanic, and so on. But we're getting there. We're exactly where we were six months before we sent the Pathfinder game to press, and that turned out okay. We very much appreciate all the comments people are making about the playtest rulebook, as those give us ideas of what people think will work. Keep them coming.
There's a new gameplay video on the main page, on gifts and dice rolls. We'll also have one on teamwork up in the next few days as well, and then one on threats after that.
We'll be doing another Ask Me Anything sometime this week, but this one over on the ENWorld RPG site. I'm the host of the ENnie Awards at Gen Con this year, so it should get lively. If you'd like to see what an AMA looks like on ENWorld, check out Apocrypha memory writer Keith Baker's AMA from earlier this month.
Thanks for supporting the Apocrypha Adventure Card Game!
Mike and the Sharks