Previewing: Lords of Gossamer and Shadow

When you ask most people unfamiliar with tabletop gaming what they know about it, you’ll probably get some explanation involving that it includes people, that they’re pretending to someone else, and it has to do with Dungeons & Dragons.

It’s not that D&D has been traditionally bad – if anything the fact that it’s become ubiquitous with modern thought of tabletop games is actually a testament to its success.

However, if you ask any pen & paper gamer who has played for even a moderate amount of time, they are quick to point out that D&D is just one of many different systems and modules out there. Heck, there’s an entire website focused around this very point. And many of these systems are almost as old as D&D itself. One such system, called Amber Diceless, has been around in some form since the 1980’s, and due to a number of publishing efforts, has seen a resurgence in interest in recent years. It’s major hook is that it’s a tabletop system that uses no dice rolls, instead focusing on comparing relative stats and letting the storytelling components largely dictate the outcome.

Lords of Gossamer & Shadow is the spiritual successor to Erick Wujcik’s outstanding Amber Diceless game, and is currently in its final production stage before being released by Rite Publishing. Lords of Gossamer & Shadow started as a patronage project of Rite, a model established by their successful launch of Lands of the Jade Oath for the popular (and relatively new by comparison) Pathfinder RPG system. Patronage works similar to a Kickstarter as a method of crowdfunding print-on-demand RPG products, in that once the necessary number of backers has been reached, production starts with the patrons being included in the vetting and review process.

This new iteration was written by Jason Durall, who worked on Amber’s first supplemental book, Shadow Knight and the unpublished third sourcebook, Rebma. Lords of Gossamer & Shadow was originally planned as a 60 page supplement to update and re-release the Amber Diceless game. But between Jason’s material and many AmberZine articles, the projected swelled into over 100 pages of what Rite Publishing calls “pure awesome”. In development for several years, the project has exceeded its initial plan of content, and Rite Publishing has turned to crowdfunding for both the final leg of publication, as well additional pieces of artwork from Jason Rainville. Their low initial offering will go principally towards that purpose in the hopes of seeing long-languished material finally reach tabletops everywhere. What’s more, the further their Stretch Goals reach, the more they hope to include additional supplements in the Lords of Gossamer & Shadow line.

It should also be noted that Rite has stated that a percentage of the funds generated will be donated to the estate of Erick Wujcik. As part of their agreement with Diceless by Design (the current owners of Amber Diceless), this will be in memory of the highly influential game designer who passed away in 2008. Many remember Erick Wujcik from his work on the Palladium Books with Kevin Siembieda, and received the Lifetime Achieve ENnie in 2008 as well as posthumous induction into the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design Hall of Fame in 2011. The Amber system, like many of its tabletop brethren, has brought countless tales to gaming groups over the years, and this donation is a testament to the gaming community that Erick’s work has not been forgotten or gone unappreciated.

Whether you merely want a PDF copy or a chance to work with the artist to immortalize your own character, you certainly have a chance with this game over at their Kickstarter.


Photo Credits: Images by Rite Publishing.