So this past weekend was the Calgary Comics and Entertainment Expo, also known as four of the busiest days of my year. With over 90,000 attendees this year, it’s not small, and I don’t really get a lot of time to just wander the massive vendor’s hall. I know I missed a lot of cool stuff, but I also encountered many other cool things. One of those cool things was the booth for Lunar Games and their Endless Realms RPG. I was in a moderate hurry and despite the proliferation of amazing art available I was still drawn in by the quality of what I saw and then I noticed it was for a game. I made the time to stop.
The more I talked to the people at the booth, and the more I’ve looked into this game in the few days since, the more exciting this whole thing seems.
Endless Realms takes place in the world of Lumis, which is a crossroads where an endless number of realms overlap each other. It has become a cultural melting pot, filled with people and creatures who have all come through tears in the very fabric of time and space.
The different races that a player may encounter in their adventures are theoretically “Endless” (see what I did there?) but there are nine core races that will be available to play. Humans are on the list, but the rest are much more unique and interesting. The game is very much a fantasy game, but it’s not your traditional “high fantasy”. You won’t find Dwarves or Elves here (although again, Endless Realms, so you probably could), what you will find are sentient plants, Dream Realm conquerers, djinn-like magic folk, and much more. While just as diverse, the ten core classes are not all as unique, many are just the standard classes you would find in most games, often renamed. That is neither unexpected nor a particularly bad thing, it gives a bit of familiarity to players as they create the character they will use. However, there are some like the Dancer and Dandy that appear to be quite different. Whether the interesting description of those classes translates into a similarly interesting gameplay experience is something that remains to be seen.
The Balance System that powers the mechanics of game looks to be a solid D10 based system, with the Player and the Storyteller (or another Player) each rolling and comparing results (plus your typical stats bonuses). It is touted as “…easy to visualize, but versatile enough to allow for a variety of games and creative solutions.”
This campaign has a ton of pledge levels that you can back. It only takes $20(CDN) to get the digital edition of the Core Rulebook, and $40 to get both the Core book and the Creature Compendium (each book running in the 300-page range), $65 gets you either book in both Hardcover and Digital formats or $115 for both books. Above that are a number of extras-inclusive pledge levels, topping out at a limited $1200 level that gives you everything from the entire campaign, and all future releases for life, and I can realistically see that being a long list of releases in the years to come. The various stretch goals are all extra things and with be available to anyone as an add-on. Basically, the plans for the books and the art is done, so there’s nothing more to improve there. The one thing I am more than a little disappointed about is that the only currently listed adventure module stretch goal, Secrets of Brimtide Point, doesn’t fund until almost three times the funding goal. The earlier stretch goals are really neat things, but as a Player and potential Storyteller, I want that printed adventure. I’m admittedly a terrible Storyteller (/GM/DM/Moderator/whatever), I just don’t have the time to put into creating my own stories at the level I want and have almost never had any interest in doing so. From a business and a logistical standpoint, I completely understand why it is where it is but it’s still disappointing. [Editor’s Note: We got notification shortly after this Spotlight went live that Lunar Games had updated their stretch goals, including moving Secrets of Brimtide Point to a much earlier placement. So that was exciting news, and says a lot about the company. -dc]
Everything I’ve seen from this game screams at me it will be a success. They did run some demo games at Calgary Expo, but of course, I was too busy to even get back to their booth for more talking, forget having time for a demo. It’s extremely plausible that I’ll get a chance to play between now and it’s scheduled release (Nov ’18 for digital, Mar ’19 for print) but for now I can only rely on my gut. My gut likes this game.
[BONUS: I don’t often share a ton of images and such from games, but this peek at the Core Races really shows off the look and feel of Endless Realms. -dc]