For people who aren’t necessarily familiar with Æther (the core rulebook for Æthermancy) can you sum up what Æther is and how it is used throughout a campaign?
Æther is a system of mechanics, that revolves around a skill-driven system that allows character creation to focus on character building and role-playing, instead of number crunching. The basis of it is a D100 roll, plus a skill value and plus a Base Attribute Modifier. That is the whole system right there. Æther can be used to run any setting with any time, technology level, tone, or genre. It works so well for that, in fact, that there is a random setting generator included in the Core Book, along with a modern framework to give people a point of relevance for crafting their own settings. In the Core Book is also Wellstone City, a setting that we have also extrapolated into a Savage Worlds setting when we became one of their licensees.
Æther is a Latin word that loosely translates to “the stuff of the universe.” I worked hard to make a game system that lived up to being able to do that, and so far, people have loved it!
What made you decide to create an RPG solely around magic and spell casters, over the more traditional roles/classes?
The Æthermancy book involves all manner of spell casters, magic users, psychics, and other users of the Æther. They can exist in any time, any place, and fill any number of roles, but they have a fundamental set of rules and abilities that are far above and beyond most other characters. For that reason, they get their own book; the other typical fantasy roles like fighters and thieves can be built quite easily within the confines of the Æther Core Book. Anyone who uses magic, spells, spell like abilities, psychic abilities, or supernatural abilities needs more information than what the Core Book provides.
Fans of Æther love the system, but how would you pitch the system to attract new players?
It’s fun, it’s fast, the rules make sense and are very consistent. Basically everything you need is in one book, the Æther Core Book. Books like Æthermancy or the previously published Zombacalypse give much more depth to the Core Book and simply expand the ideas and rules in the Core Book. For one book, you get one system that you can literally use to run anything you want to, and no matter what you throw at it, the system remains unchanged; swap out some skills, add some gear, and you’re ready to rock whether you’re running a Persian Geartech Cyberpunk Horror game or a Future Space Opera Epic game. Do anything, go anywhere and be anyone!
What made you choose kickstarter (crowdfunding) for Æthermancy and how will the money raised impact on the overall product?
We had a successful kickstarter last fall with our logoed dice. Since then, we started a group on Facebook, Kickstarter Best Practices and Lessons Learned, which has become a great wealth of information for anyone thinking about doing anything with Kickstarter. We are well aware of the power of crowd funding, not only for raising money for a project that we love, but also for getting new and awesome things to the fans! In a way, it’s giving fans a direct vote (with their cash, no less!) over what we will focus on doing for the next few weeks as a company. It tells us that the fans want more, and it’s been telling us that the fans want Æthermancy!
The book is nearly complete, except for art and some other things such as setting the files up with our printer and establishing the ISBN and a few other things like that. Illustrations are taking up a huge chunk of the pledges; almost all of it in fact. We want this book to be as amazing to behold as the rules are inside; we want it to be a work of art to look at as well as what it can do for your gaming experience!
Will people new to the Æther system benefit from Æthermancy or is its target audience more for existing players?
Like anything else with the system, what we put out, whether it’s an adventure or a supplement, benefits everyone who plays! What makes Æthermancy great is that it doesn’t fundamentally change the game; it simply adds a new tool to the toolbox for players to choose for their characters. If you don’t want to play a spell caster, don’t! If you want to, by all means do, and Æthermancy presents the best-fitting rules to do that without creating a ton of rule exceptions for what is listed in the Core Book. Æthermancy is set up so it’ll feel familiar to long-time players, but it is also set up so that new players won’t get bogged down under more rules. We keep things rules light, the action moving fast, and we try to make sure everyone has fun!
With less than 48 hours left on the Æthermancy kickstarter, Silver Gryphon Games are still shy of their target goal.
So what are you waiting for? Be a part of the Æther and back Æthermancy.