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Lord British returns to his fantasy RPG roots with Shroud of the Avatar, hearkening back to his innovative early work.
Lord British returns to his fantasy RPG roots with Shroud of the Avatar, hearkening back to his innovative early work.
22,322 backers pledged $1,919,275 to help bring this project to life.

Update 17: Weekly Roundup and NEW Character Concept Art

Posted by Portalarium, Inc. (Creator)

Today’s update is for you, our Kickstarter backers!  You've been asking and we've been listening.  We’ve had many requests for a simple summary of what Shroud of the Avatar IS, so here goes!

What IS Shroud of the Avatar?

Shroud of the Avatar is the “spiritual successor” to Richard’s previous work in the FRP genre. Our primary objectives are to tell a story even more compelling than Ultimas IV-VII, create a virtual world more interactive than Ultima VII, develop deep rich multi-player capabilities beyond combat akin to Ultima Online, and offer a bold new approach to integrate them with “Selective Multi-Player”.

  • Shroud of the Avatar is infused with rich storylines, deeply integrated into game play, developed by Best Selling Author Tracy Hickman and RPG legend Richard Garriott.
  • Players will adventure in an interactive world where their choices have consequences, ethical paradoxes give them pause, and they play a vital part in weaving their own story into the immersive world and lore surrounding them.
  • Shroud of the Avatar is a Selective Multiplayer game, allowing players to choose how they want to play!  Whether in Single-Player Offline mode or any of three online modes, the main quest line will provide greater than 40 hours of focused, story driven content.
  • Shroud of the Avatar can be played as an offline DRM free solo experience or online, where our servers will enable player to player transactions, group finding, patching, streaming of dynamic content, and exploit prevention.
  • Built using the Unity Game Engine, Shroud of the Avatar will support Win/Mac/Linux for official launch.
  • Players can specialize in a wide range of combat and non-combat skills, provided by a robust, classless skill system, and full-featured crafting and housing mechanics.  Play the way you want to play, molding your character into the hero, anti-hero, or artisan you want to be!
  • Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtue is the first of a 5 game series of full-length, stand-alone games (each using the same game system), referred to as Episodes 1 thru 5. Estimated availability of Episode 1, Forsaken Virtues, is October 2014, with Episodes 2 thru 5 estimated for subsequent yearly releases.
  • Shroud of the Avatar is a “buy-to-play” game that, once purchased, does not require a subscription to play!

Three Full Games Included in New $80 Royal Artisan Pledge!

Just as Richard Garriott conceived the original Ultimas as a Trilogy of Trilogies (Ultimas 1 thru 9), he has conceived Shroud of the Avatar as encompassing five, full-length games. Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues is the first of this epic story, referred to as an Episode, with an estimated release date of October 2014. Forsaken Virtues will stand on its own as a full-length game, with at least 40+ hours of content (and probably much more). 

Shroud of the Avatar: Episode 2, will be a second, full-length standalone sequel to Forsaken Virtues, released approximately one year after Forsaken Virtues. The remaining 3 episodes are planned to be released one per year, all as standalone games. They will utilize the same game engine, allowing players to migrate back and forth, traveling a continuum across all Episodes! Once released to the public, each Episode is expected to be priced as a full retail product!

To show our appreciation for early backers, we have added the new $80 Royal Artisan tier that not only includes the DRM-free, digital download version of Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues (Episode 1), but ALSO includes the DRM-free, digital download versions of the next TWO, full-length, standalone games! Shroud of the Avatar Episode 2 and Episode 3 (including Beta access to Episodes 2 & 3)! In addition to getting all three games, this exciting new tier is chocked-full of exciting goodies. Check it out in more detail in Update #16!

Now we know that there is really no NEW information in there, so we wanted to give you something else!  For those of you who have asked, “Will I be able to play as a female Avatar?”  Yes you can, as seen in this new Character Concept art! (The full sized version can be downloaded from the Shroud of the Avatar Media Gallery.

  • Image 232787 original.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1


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    1. Missing avatar

      Craig Browning on

      "Today’s update is for you, our Kickstarter backers! "

      Who are the other updates for?

    2. Missing avatar

      Michel Cripps on

      @Portalarium, Inc. or better still add another new tier for those unsure about making the jump from digital to physical tiers as I thought the $80 tier was a stroke of genius. Perhaps a $130-140 tier that includes everything from explorer tier + physical runic translation and the complete vision of the game ie. also include digital copies of episodes 4 and 5 with beta access and developer blog across all releases. I think this might help with the stagnant level of backing over the past few days. It's looking less likely that those of us in $80 tier or above will get he taming ability which is a bit of a disappointment. How about perhaps swapping the taming or instruments around or perhaps offer an instrument instead that has the ability to charm creatures and beasts to do your biding. Also whatever happened to the iPad port that RG was talking about in video interviews on SotA website? I think as great as the tiers are, something needs to be done to re-invigorate the pledges. I can't see too many more new backers joining the fun. It's more likely current pledgers will be the ones that can potentially rise the bar. Just a thought!

    3. AndiZ27582 on

      @Lori: great work!

    4. Missing avatar

      Craig Browning on

      Sorry, but the way they're written, it says you do not get the 2 extra games except at the $80 pledge; maybe they can't fix that in the descriptions, but they could have said it clearly in the update and didn't.

      You have to read the comments here to find out you do.

      They should make it clear in the next update at least.

    5. Missing avatar

      Michel Cripps on

      Hi, I recently upgraded to the $80 tier and believe it is quite clear that you get all the rewards from all the previous that fall under the tier you are on. I have 3 questions though as am toying with the idea of upping my pledges:
      1. For the $100 virtual collector tier, should this tier not include a digital copy of the map or just the runic print and manual? As I understand it is to be a complete representation of the game and materials in digital form
      2. For the $125 Explorer tier. Would you consider adding a physical copy of the runic print that is in the $150 tier. I really fancy it along with the map, but as I live in be UK, I am having to pay the extra $15 shipping which puts the $150 tier out of my price range.
      3. Regarding international shipping. What steps if any are you taking to ensure we backers in the UK and further afield do not get lumbered with additional import taxes? I seems anytime I order something from the US, this happens as the item has not been marked as a "GIFT" with a value under £40 GBP. Are you able to do something similar?

    6. ☆Dame Lori☆ on


      Please see here for a full reward chart:

    7. nicolas berloquin on

      They just add new features.

    8. Chad Mercer

      So...if I buy into the new "get three games" $80 tier, I lose the "Immortality Fruit" that I get from Immortal Adventurer? Or when it says that it includes Founder...which includes actually means you get IMMORTAL Adventurer?

      I'm interested in 3 games for $80, but that Immortality Fruit is just too awesome.

    9. nicolas berloquin on

      Could you please tell us more how the evolution of the chapters will happen ?
      will they be separate "universes" ?
      You said we can move our character between chapters, will we keep whatever we find or build in one when we move ?
      I have a hard time visualizing the whole thing actually.
      What could we compare it to ?
      is it a bit like wow's expansions ?
      complete separate games ?
      thanks ! (I hope we'll get to tier 4, tier 3 is meehhh for me :) )

    10. Missing avatar

      Justin Gilligan on

      Any chance of having more in the founder package? For the money I think it would be atleast good to have the 2nd episode.

    11. Portalarium, Inc. Creator on

      Unfortunately, we can not update the contents of the sidebar pledges due to a Kickstarter policy that prohibits doing so once a tier has even a single backer, so that is the reason for the discrepancy. To help try and keep things up do date, we added the Pledge Updates section to the main page and keep all of the additional awards listed there.

    12. Michael Kalus on

      Ah never mind, should have checked comments first.

      I would like to point out though that the whole "includes all of LEVEL X as well" is not really the same as "includes all previous reward tiers".

    13. Michael Kalus on


      so now i have a problem. As much as I like the idea of a great physical box and map, your new $80 tier makes way way WAY more economic sense for me.

      Any chance you add a (digital download) of the other two "episodes" to the $150 tier as well? If not I may end up downgrading.

    14. Missing avatar

      Dave blanchard on

      Um, I thought that was obvious?

    15. Daniel Yates on

      Just to clarify again as there seems to be constant confusion about it. Whichever level of pledge you choose you will receive all rewards for that level AND all the rewards for EVERY level below yours. Those pledge levels are looking more tasty now huh! :D

      As for out of date info on the kickstarter page for the pledges, once a campaign has started you cannot change the info on the page. For a full rundown of all the fantastic extras that have been added since the launch of the campaign visit the official website at

    16. Mike Miller on

      @jeremy, it looks like Portalarium hasn't updated the description of 'Virtual Collector' from "includes Founder Level Rewards" to say "includes "Royal Artisan" rewards (maybe they can't change the description of existing reward levels? Not sure about Kickstarter's rules around this)

    17. Missing avatar

      Matt on

      I've never thought about female armour that way, it makes total sense. I really hope they take these considerations in to the game.

    18. Portalarium, Inc. Creator on

      @Jeremy, all pledges $80 and over get the stuff at $80! You get all three games.

    19. Andrew Darovich on

      The new concept art is amazing. That axe wielding dude is going to be me.

      But I'll have longer hair.

    20. Kirby Johnson on

      you get those for founder too all pledges include everything from the ones before except for the house only get one house

    21. Jeremy Pate on

      I dont get it. I pledged $100, which includes Founder rewards, but if I go down to $80, I get this game plus 2 & 3.


    22. Kristian Mattila on

      Well - as far as armours go, this is not quite as bad as the one featured on Divinity: Original Sin

    23. Missing avatar

      AstralWanderer on

      @Portalarium: "Pledge rewards contain ALL of the rewards of lower level pledges"
      Thanks for the clarification - will those who have opted for a physical version of Forsaken Virtues be able to get physical versions (+appropriate goodies) of the next 2 episodes too?

    24. Kirby Johnson on

      @lilbuddhaman They are not breaking the game up at all. They are releasing a full and complete game with the Intent to release 4 more full and complete games. And at the $80 and above pledge they are including 2 of the 4 full and complete games which seems like a good deal. That would be like bitching you didn't get dragon age 2 with dragon age origins (since obviously with the name origins they were expecting to make another, so they should have included it, rather then breaking up two games). And my goodness look at wow selling an incomplete game that requires the original to play for full price that's just crazy that should have been included with the price of the original.

    25. Alexspeed on

      This information really should have been on the main page from the start of the campagin.

    26. deacent on

      I love that there will be female avatars. I really appreciate that she actually has full-coverage armor! Thank you! But the female torso armor doesn't make a lot of sense to me. It seems like she should be wearing chainmail or leather for how closely it follows her body as her torso moves. Yet the rivets and smoothness of the armor makes it seem rigid. I promise you that practical female plate has only the merest suggestion of breasts for all but the most extraordinary large breasted women. So the torso seems gratuitous to me.

      Maybe this character is one of those extremely well-endowed women who likes to flaunt what she has by wearing skin-tight armor. That's fine. It breaks for me with the construction of the armor but what do I know.

      I look forward to seeing additional art in the future with hope that there will also be some more practical looking female characters.

    27. lilbuddhaman on you're breaking the game up into episodes and expecting us to pay for each one despite being backers of an extremely alpha product?

      Come on man....

    28. Matt Daubenspeck on

      personally, I'd prefer females in leather to metal. Metal is so... male.

    29. ☆Dame Lori☆ on

      At least the armor covers most of the body!

      I've never worn armor like that, but I can't imagine the breasts being separately trapped like that being comfortable or functional when moving about.

      All that being said, I'm not taking any serious issue with it all, was just jesting (even if something other than the usual would have been refreshing.) Ah well!

    30. Missing avatar

      Dave blanchard on

      Those are functional boobs though...I thought pretty tame to be honest.

    31. Matt Daubenspeck on

      I preferred the Halberd as my weapon of choice in my first game(Ultima V) will they be in this game. I was also wondering about the wonderfully versitile bastard sword, interesting weapon in other games as it acts as almost a 2Hr and you can use a shield. maybe have the ability to craft something like a bastard sword?

    32. S.D. on

      @Portalarium: Great update! Thank you *so* much for the crystal-clear clarification. I've been holding off on participating in the discussion since so many details were stated with qualifications, and others seemed contradictory. I'll consider this one to be an "omnibus" going forward... and I wish it was stated this way from day one!

      @Lori Treleaven: I agree with you. What will it take to get rid of "boob plate" armor once and for all? Obsidian relented, on Project Eternity, and their female concept character ended up still looking functional and elegant in nice standard plate upper. Most of us were pretty happy (but there were those who insisted that a character is not feminine or female, an thusly not pleasing, unless breasts are prominently presented to us by the armor).

    33. ☆Dame Lori☆ on

      Ohh good eye there Kirby, hehe!

    34. Vyrinor on

      Well crafted summary.

    35. Missing avatar

      Dave blanchard on

      Outstanding this is what I'm talking about.

    36. Kirby Johnson on

      Your screwed :) Nah if you really look at the plate covering them and its thickness the boobs are probably B cups at best infact I would hazard closer to A :) I would be more concerned with how she will draw the arrow back on the back of her hand ) Unless he is about to do some cool signature move where she flips the bow mid draw and then fires the arrow in a cool clean motion :)

    37. Portalarium, Inc. Creator on

      @AstralWanderer ~ Pledge rewards contain ALL of the rewards of lower level pledges (with the exception of houses, which are 1 per pledge).

    38. ☆Dame Lori☆ on

      Oh no... If her boobs are considered 'small' then I'm screwed!

      My avatar pic was a commissioned fanart of my old UO character. Not my preference of chest size, but still holds a special place my heart, so there she is ;)

    39. Missing avatar

      AstralWanderer on

      Given episodes 2 and 3 are included in the new $80 pledge, any chance of them being added to higher level pledges - or made available as add-ons?

    40. Kirby Johnson on

      @Lori Your avatar picture has much bigger boobs, her boobs look normal to small actually when you consider she has that leather/metal plate over them . Just sayin :) I am of course male chauvinist and prefer my pixalated boobs to look like your avatar pic :)

    41. Solaris on

      Absolutely love the female ranger avatar.

    42. Renee M. on

      Thank you very much for the roundup. Very happy to back!

    43. ☆Dame Lori☆ on

      Oh good, I've always wanted boobs each bigger than my head. :)

    44. Missing avatar

      MBybee on

      Encouraging update! I think this puts most of the questions to bed, really.

    45. Stefan on

      Yes the concept art looks great. Like the concept art always does. I do wonder what the final product will look like. ;) Its usually totally different from its concept art. :-P

      Thanks for the info btw! ^^

    46. Kirby Johnson on

      But you can get 4 for free from gog.

    47. Kirby Johnson on

      They don't own the rights to those games, so in order to give them free they would have to buy them for everyone. which would mean inc the price of every pledge by about 15 bucks.

    48. ☆Mitch the Edelmann☆ ☥Virtuous MGT470☥ on

      @Godot: They don't have the rights to do that, they'd just be supporting EA, which they are NOT going to do.

    49. Old Man on

      Great concept art! Would love to see how the non-combat roles will be portrayed, as well.

    50. Qthemuse on

      You think it would be possible to throw in some of the older games of ultima online for free? Maybe like just give use 1-6 to play for free while we wait for this one to be completed? They are pretty old games and some people never even played the series so free games never hurt anyone.