Thursday, June 14, 2018

My Life as a Gamer: "Secrets of the Nethercity", Autarch's New Hotness

In case you missed it, the folks at Autarch Entertainment publish a fantastic alt-D&D game--Adventurer, Conqueror, King--have a crowdfunding campaign going now for a new product: Secrets of the Nethercity.

The glorious thing about what Ryan Dancey did back in 2000 with the Open Gaming License is that it ensured the continued existence of a poz-free D&D. Why? By sticking the rules and mechanics of D&D 3rd Edition into a perpetual copyleft, it allows anyone to publish that version of the rules without legal issue; it also allows the reverse-engineering of any possible edition of the game, and then to publish that as well- which is the genesis of the Old School Renaissance.

Autarch's contribution is the aforementioned game, which does a bang-up job of making explicit and desirable what was implicit in the old days: the shift in play emphasis as your man develops in power and prestige from the individual (Adventurer) to the leader (Conqueror) and then to the sovereign (King). For that progression to happen, there needs to be opportunities available to work your way up.

That's where Secrets comes in. Modules are pre-fabricated playable content meant for Game Masters with limited time, talent, or both and as such are important commercial products for a tabletop RPG as a business. Making a single module that can give a group a full campaign's worth of play for users who are not adapt at rolling their own content is a good thing to have on the shelf, and Secrets does that.

And because the folks at Autarch are stand-up guys, I think they are worthy of your consideration. We've got to support those that create the things we want to see, that make the culture we want to have, and Autarch's doing that for tabletop gaming just as I'm doing that for Space Opera.

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