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The new RPG from Monte Cook. A game of surrealistic fantasy, secrets, and magic played both at the table--and away from it.
A roleplaying game of surrealistic fantasy, secrets, and magic played both at the table—and away from it.
A roleplaying game of surrealistic fantasy, secrets, and magic played both at the table—and away from it.
1,846 backers pledged $664,274 to help bring this project to life.

Nightside of the Grey Sun and Shadows

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Because the nature of the Grey is false, it is perhaps not so difficult to imagine that its obverse is basically emptiness. It is the flat surface upon which the Shadow falls, so to speak. An endless realm of plain grey. It represents hollowness, emptiness, and lack. It also embodies the limits of mortality. Its number is 13. 

The underside of Shadow is strangely difficult to reach from Shadow itself. It’s easier to move from the Pale along the Nightside Path. There are rumors, however, of those living in Shadow who have somehow found themselves on the Nightside of the Grey, lost in an endless sea of nothing. A few, reportedly, even made it back. 

Being Drawn Back Into Shadow 

It’s not easy to bring vislae back out of Shadow. Having lived there for years (what seems like their entire life, although that’s just part of the lie), an exile can become quite attached to their life in the Grey. The Shadow has an insidious, tempting pull to it. Sometimes, a vislae slips and is drawn back into their shadow life. Usually these moments are brief—a few weeks, perhaps—and a vislae who has escaped before can come to their senses and return to the Actuality without much trouble. 

These instances, however, make it very easy to explain why a player misses a game session and their character just “disappears” from the action and then returns when the player can next attend. Their character is simply drawn back into Shadow for a time, and then returns. This is not a terribly surprising thing to occur in Satyrine or elsewhere. 

It happens to the best of us. 

Shadow Skills, Mementos, and Characters 

All vislae spent time in Shadow. Even after returning to the Actuality, they bring something back with them from that time. Thus, all vislae retain a shadow skill and a shadow memento.

A shadow skill is something learned in Shadow, within the bonds of one’s false life. A vislae who lived as a firefighter might retain one of the physical skills she had—climbing, perhaps, or breaking through barriers. A vislae who had a boating hobby might retain the ability to sail. One who worked as an accountant could keep a skill in mathematics. 

Further, once ensconced back in the Actuality, most vislae call to them an object from their false life that had meaning to them. This might be something purely sentimental, like a photo, or something with practical value, like an automobile or a weapon. The idea, mostly, is for it to be something that helps establish the character’s personality, like a stereo or a coffee maker—an object that says something about who they were and who they remain. Vislae trapped for so long in Shadow can’t help but be shaped by it. Even once back in the Actuality, with memories and knowledge of the true world returning, they still retain a bit of their false life. 

Shadow characters are another thing entirely. Not everyone in the Grey is a self-exiled vislae. Many people—most people—are just . . . shadows. They’re no more real than the world they inhabit. They think and act, but they have no Qualia. They have no soul. Still, sometimes a shadow slips out of its realm and into the Actuality. Usually by mistake, although some vislae enjoy summoning them. Players who want a very simple (but fun) experience can play a shadow character. Such characters take literally moments to create and are then ready to play. They don’t use magic, but they excel at all manner of other things. Shadow characters are perfect for players who want to join an existing campaign on short notice and don’t have a character ready. They also work for people who just want a far simpler experience. 

Shadow characters also offer possibilities for new, interesting campaign dynamics. For example, each player might create a vislae and a shadow character to work as a team, or in such a way that all the PC vislae operate together and all the PC shadows work together. It’s even possible for most of the players to run vislae characters while one experienced character runs a small team of shadows.

Add-Ons

Just a quick reminder that you have a lot of great opportunities to add on additional cool stuff during this Kickstarter. I've written in the past about the purpose of the Vislae Kit, and of course you can get the various other products that we've unlocked through stretch goals like the Path of Suns cloth map, the three additional books, and so on. Recently, we've also included a fun magnet set and an extra set of the beautiful dice Bear Weiter has designed specifically for this game.

Please help spread the word about this Kickstarter. We're moving into our final week and there are lots of great goals we'd love to unlock, but we can't do it without your help.

 

 

 

 

 

N47° 38' 21.4", W117° 22' 38.2" 

Shanna Germain, Brandon Ording, and 26 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Derek Conley
      Superbacker
      on September 8, 2016

      Those dice look fantastic.

    2. David Simmons on September 8, 2016

      Those are some sexy dice. I'm especially drawn to the black one. Good luck for the final week. Exciting times!

    3. K. David Woolley
      Superbacker
      on September 8, 2016

      Read the description again and increased the pledge now.

    4. K. David Woolley
      Superbacker
      on September 8, 2016

      Do we increase our pledge manually for add-ons or is it something we do afterwards when paying shipping (international here).

    5. Shanna Germain Collaborator on September 8, 2016

      @Commoble: I've always loved that poem!

    6. Michael Pietrelli on September 8, 2016

      Hmmmmmm....this puts some interesting perspective on the character I was writing about, a Shadow from the Grey who discovered some potent truth and became Vislae......I guess that means whatever the Truth was brings to question if he actually has a soul or not.....hmmmmm, I have much to ponder.

    7. Missing avatar

      Commoble on September 8, 2016

      Yesterday, upon the stair
      I met a man who wasn't there
      He wasn't there again today
      I wish, I wish he'd go away

    8. Saajan 9000
      Superbacker
      on September 8, 2016

      Requoting Grant Morrison's Invisibles:

      "You've become lost in a game disguised as Everything. Try to remember..."

      I do wonder if the Vislae are a bit overconfident in assuming the people of the Grey have no souls. It would make a person feel better about running out on their children, spouses, etc. It might be justified lie to spread if the Grey is a distraction from the greater struggles in the Actuality.

      OTOH, for a horror campaign you might have a Vislae trying to make the shadows they love into ensouled beings, but sticking them with scraps of qualia only turns those shadows into demons...