Chris Metzen is famous for helping to conceive Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo. But long before he joined Blizzard, Metzen was a dungeon master. And now the campaigns he used to run for his childhood friends in the '80s are being turned into a codified campaign and fantasy universe based off of Dungeons and Dragons' fifth edition ruleset. It's called Auroboros: Coils of the Serpent, and it's basically an alternative setting to the Forgotten Realms complete with new races, subclasses, and special magic systems. The Kickstarter to fund the first of what will likely be several rulebooks went live today and it's already 500 percent funded.
It's easy to understand why. Metzen is a world-building icon known for his storytelling and characters (like Thrall, World of Warcraft's most famous warchief). Auroboros also sounds damn cool. The rulebook being crowdfunded is called Worldbook: Lawbrand, and it contains everything dungeon masters will need to run adventures in the world of Auroboros.
The Kickstarter page is somewhat light on details—we don't learn anything significant about the eight "urbanized fantasy metropolises'' spread across this world, which do sound interesting. But reading into the Kickstarter page, Auroboros seems like a fantasy universe typical of what you'd expect from an official Dungeons and Dragons module, but with some deliberate twists. The eponymous Coils of the Serpent, for example, is actually a magic system wherein players can possess world-altering superpowers at the cost of debilitating side effects. Each time you use the Mark of the Serpent, you'll descend to a new coil that increases your power and the risk of something going horrifically wrong. Some of the races, like the adorable lizard-folk Salamar, are pretty cool too.
Since it's already funded there's no real need to pledge. You can just wait for the book to come out—which might be smart considering the Kickstarter campaign mentions shipping delays due to coronavirus being one of the biggest risks. If you do want to pledge, though, there's a bunch of tiers you can buy-in at, with the cheapest being a digital copy of Worldbook: Lawbrand at $25. Most of the stretch goals have already been met too, which will add a full premade starter adventure, dungeon maps, and an expanded spell list. You can also buy files to 3D print your own miniatures of some of the new monsters in Auroboros, with more that can be unlocked as another stretch goal.
If you want a more detailed look at Auroboros, you can check out the Kickstarter here. The estimated release window for Worldbook: Lawbrand is the first quarter of 2022.
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With over 7 years of experience with in-depth feature reporting, Steven's mission is to chronicle the fascinating ways that games intersect our lives. Whether it's colossal in-game wars in an MMO, or long-haul truckers who turn to games to protect them from the loneliness of the open road, Steven tries to unearth PC gaming's greatest untold stories. His love of PC gaming started extremely early. Without money to spend, he spent an entire day watching the progress bar on a 25mb download of the Heroes of Might and Magic 2 demo that he then played for at least a hundred hours. It was a good demo.