Pathfinder Online , based on the popular, Dungeons & Dragons-based Pathfinder Roleplaying Game by Paizo Publishing, has launched a second Kickstarter. While the devs at Goblinworks raised over $300,000 earlier this year to produce a tech demo and secure investors, they're now seeking an additional $1 million to expand their team and resources, potentially bringing the game to beta and release a whole year early. They're calling the project a "hybrid sandbox/theme park-style MMO," promising a dynamic world with player-made kingdoms.
The Pathfinder setting has its roots in Dungeons & Dragons' 3.5 edition, finding success among gamers who weren't pleased with the direction of D&D 4th. That means you'll see a lot of the classic fantasy tropes: elves, dwarves, wizards, clerics, fighters, thieves, and what have you. The fresh elements lie in the execution. With two former CCP (EVE Online, World of Darkness) devs on the team, Goblinworks seems to be aiming to replicate what made EVE unique in a fantasy setting.
"Character-controlled settlements can grow into full-fledged kingdoms that compete for resources as they seek to become the dominant force in the land, raising vast armies to hold their territory against the depredations of monstrous creatures, NPC factions, and other player characters," the page's Kickstarter page announces. "Social organizations scale from small parties of a few adventurers to player nations inhabited by thousands. As settlements develop, the surrounding wilderness develops more complex and challenging features, including randomly generated encounters and resources as well as exciting scripted adventures."
The project has already raised over $100,000 in just a few days. If you're confident enough to pledge at the $100 level or higher, you'll be guaranteed a spot in the beta phase. This is described as being "akin to Gmail's initial launch; all the features in the game will work but many aspects of the complete specification will still be in development."
Assuming the initial funding goal is met, beta will begin in 2013, with a full release in 2015. The check out the Pathfinder Online Kickstarter page for more, including the full-length tech demo.