Have y'all seen Nope yet? holy crap what a masterpiece.
Anyway, here's what's happening:
4 monthly local events starting in September
New Gametype in Development
Shipping update for Kickstarter Backers
So let's get into it.
NEW MONTHLY LOCAL EVENTS SCHEDULED
I've been real busy, doing some legwork over the last few weeks to get a bundle of recurring monthly Anthromancer meetups put together, and if you're local I hope you'll come and check them out. The events are as follows:
First Fridays - Friday Night Mercenarium at Fantasy Shop St. Charles (2125 Zumbehl Road, St. Charles, MO 63303) starting with Friday, October 7th at 6pm
Second Wednesdays - Dragonfruit Divination at The Fortune Teller Bar (2635 Cherokee Street, St. Louis, MO 63118) starting on Wednesday, September 14th at 6pm (next week!)
Third Wednesdays (or "Web3rd Wednesdays") - Anthromancer Presents: Ancient Games and Blockchains at Trust Bar / Techartista Downtown (401 Pine Street, St. Louis, MO 63102) starting Wednesday, October 21st at 6pm
Fourth Fridays - Friday Night Mercenarium at Game Nite (8380 Watson Road, St. Louis, MO 63119) starting Friday, September 23rd at 6pm
I've listed all the event information on the facebook events I linked to above. You can also just pop over to our Events Page to get the deets whenever needed.
TABLETOP SIMULATOR MODULE DEVELOPED
This is pretty fun stuff: a streamer by the name of DeltaForceFemboy connected with me via Anthromancer's TikTok and took it upon himself to import the game assets into a custom Tabletop Simulator module. He did a very good job, even went so far as to grab some of the Midjourney art I've been using on Anthromancer.com to deck out the board. If you're looking to play the game long distance or explore it on your time, I've added a link to the module in Anthromancer's product description on the website store. Check it out!
We will likely start setting up a weekly or monthly session via discord once I've got my head out of my ass long enough to take the first steps towards that. I'm excited about this because I've severely underutilized the discord community (we haven't had anything to do as a community) and this might change that soon. We'll see.
(My friend Ben S. did a similar TTS module for me a few years back and I did an awful job of archiving it because I did not understand its utility and felt a sense of perfectionism about the presentation that I now understand nobody in the TTS world cares about. Shout out Ben, sorry I didn't use your module, I'm a buffoon).
NEW GAMETYPE IN DEVELOPMENT
Since I'm basically stuck waiting until sales pick up to finish international fulfillment and do anything ambitious, I've started developing the game a bit further. If you've got your copy you'll likely have played Mercenarium, but I'm not satisfied. We haven't hit the zenith of what Anthromancer can do.
I've started to develop a game I'm tentatively calling Zodiac. This game will use the same components - the only thing that would be included in an 'expansion' would be a .pdf, and maybe some classical gaming dice to track HP (d6), MP (d20), AP (d4), XP (d8) and Time (d12)(which most of you nerds will have lying around, I'm certain).
Zodiac is more of a 'sport' than Mercenarium. In Zodiac, the Zodiac die is kept in the center space as a 'time ball' that players fight over. When you get the time ball, you have to get it back to your house; when you score, you add whatever value the die shows (it starts at I.) to your own 'clock' d12; at which point the time ball increases by 1. So in the first volley, you'd grab the time ball at I., and when you score it, your clock (d12) would increase by (1) bringing it to (2), whereas the time ball would be returned to the center space increased to II. If you score on the next volley, you'd go from (2) to (4) (or rather from II. to IV.). As the game progresses, 'time' moves faster. Maybe I'll tinker with that going the other way (as in, Time is running out), but once I've got something testable I'll see which narrative feels better.
Maybe I'm talking about this too mechanically, but the idea here is that you're fighting over time itself, and the first team to get their clock to strike XII. wins the game. Time would also be a usable resource; you might sacrifice a bit of time later in the game to cast a powerful hymn, hoping to earn it back quickly with an elevated die.
In addition, you'd play the game a bit differently; rather than summoning cards from your hand as you play, there'd be 'heroes' (which are JQKA court cards) 'leaders' (Lord cards), and various spells, items, and magic stones (the materia cards and hymns), and you'd start each volley with your team in a formation that you choose at the start. If a hero loses in combat, they get sent to the bench. The heroes wouldn't have 'edge values'; instead, their North, South, East and West dot values would correspond to their stat blocks; East (earth) is Melee combat, South (water) is Magic power, West (fire) is ranger accuracy/agility, and North (air) is mental stats like charisma and wisdom.
I am still figuring out how to test this system and I've figured out a lot of weird hidden depth to help explain how to generate your own custom leader cards. I'm quite excited; this game is fundamentally different from all the others I've developed within Anthromancer and it makes a much more intentional use of some of the idiosyncratic design elements that I kept in just because they were pretty; the big circles on the board have uses here, and the illustrations on the court cards lend them a much more mechanically significant 'stage presence' in this new context. Plus I've found a very clever way to incorporate the edge values of materia as a kind of 'ammunition' system -- and once you include the gaming dice (chakra stones) to track the various stats of your Lord...man, the possibilities get crazy.
It's one of those eerie feelings like, "this is what the core game was supposed to be all along."
This is my design ethos for the whole product! I'm not very interested in moving on to other games (not yet anyway) because I still see so much potential within the toolbox I designed Anthromancer to be. I love this game so, so much, and it makes me feel this sense of deep purpose to continue adding intellectual and creative labor to these systems so that every time you open the box you can have a rewarding experience no matter what.
If you're interested in getting early access to the Zodiac rules as I playtest them - and doing distance playtesting, helping me get feedback, and getting credited in future editions of the codex for community contributions - please support me on Patreon! That's where I'll be posting rules updates before they've been fully tested (at which point they'll make their way to the website as a free .pdf for everyone, as all of the rules eventually do).
If you are a domestic backer, your game ought to have shipped to you by now. If you haven't received it yet, it's likely due to an issue with address, in which case, please shoot an email to email@example.com at your earliest convenience and I will hunt down the issue and rectify it.
If you're an international backer, I need a few more weeks to get your game sent out (we're bombarding the reviewer circuit with inquiries as we speak, and nobody has had anything bad to say about the game or its presentation so I expect reviews to bolster sales a lot). I have been doing my best to market things on social media and outside of a random viral reel, I haven't had much luck, so I'm focusing energy on the review circuit.
tl;dr - if you're a domestic backer and don't have your game, you should email firstname.lastname@example.org to sort the problem with me. If you're an international backer and don't have your game, bear with me, and I'll get your game to you. If you want to speed up the process, consider backing Anthromancer on Patreon; otherwise just sit tight and trust me.
THAT'S ALL FOR NOW
Thanks for reading, for real! This update took...lol, a lot of work to put together. I have been on the fence about getting a part-time job to help me get over this hump and the main thing that stops me is that I literally don't have time for it. Too much going on. I've still got a small roller skate of a window and if I'm very lucky the next few weeks will see some wind really catching the sails.
I appreciate the moment I'm in. And I'm grateful to have some kind folks paying attention. More good news soon, I promise.