Aether Is Here! Playtesting and Future Plans:

Aether Now Available on Itch and Ko-Fi!

That’s right, Aether has finally gone live for sale after months of revisions, a complete overhaul of the core mechanics and additions that have turned it into a narrative game with, potentially, the perfect balance between tactical decision making and player freedom and choice. I like to think of it as inspired by Tidebreaker for its focus on heroism and player choice, inspired by BOLT for its loose narrative combat, and inspired by Mnemonic for its character creation and focus on narrative and communication. It’s got little touches from video games, Fate, and PBTA thrown in as evidenced by its experience trackers, spending points to do cool player things, and a, “build your own playbook,” style to narrowing down your character’s choice of Skills. 

That, and it’s all card based, for something a little different. I really hope those of you that give it a try enjoy it, and I’ll be doing everything in my power to playtest it and get eyes on it.

That said, time to explain some things: Aether has a $30 price tag. And there’s a bank of good reasons for it. The game’s taken six months to write from start to finish, it’s 180 pages long with full safety tool integration and an absolutely massive amount of mechanics and writing. The game has been equal parts written and engineered at this point. My artist has done a massive amount of work that amounted in the book looking absolutely gorgeous already, the game itself has gone through multiple passes for revisions and more, and… well I need to be able to afford continuing to develop the game. The split for the cost here is 20/10. $20 out of each purchase goes towards funding the game further and creating expansions. $10 goes to me to count as some kind of a personal paycheck for the work I’ve put in. And for a game that’s 180 pages in full colour, that feels right to me. 

This also means it’s taken a lot of my energy. To the point where I’m taking two weeks away from any Aether writing to recoup, focus on school, garner initial feedback and plan the next phases for this game. My plans and ideas for the next phases are laid out below. Some might happen, some might not, all of them are on the table. 

Short Term Plans

  • A short two to three week break from any Aether related writing. Editing and planning might still happen, but only in small amounts while I focus on other projects and school. 
  • Playtest prep, coming up with one shots I can run to introduce people to the game, and getting back to worldbuilding so I can put my home group through the playtesting ringer. 
  • Coming in the next few weeks will be a series of short Youtube videos walking through the Aether core rules. This way players who learn better by being taught have a solid resource to turn to for the rules.
  • Planning out some expansions, some of which are listed below:
    • A pack of magic items
    • Bestiary volume 1, creating a few Minions, Elites, Lieutenants and Legends for each creature type. 
    • The first in-house setting materials for Oraxis, potentially.
    • Legendary Breaks and Sacrifices: a pack of abilities tied to skills. Legendary Breaks are particular things you can do with at least Level 3 in a skill. Legendary Sacrifices are one off abilities that require Level 5 in a skill and then can’t be used again until you completely resolve your Omen. 
    • A Nemesis System for creating big bads that matter to the players.
    • Intergrating Aether with live stream content for potential actual plays.

Long Term Plans

These are ideas in the back of my head and definitely won’t happen before the holidays or any time soon. They need much more time to plan and mull over: 

  • An Actual Playtest. Basically a streamed campaign of Aether playtesting the game live. 
  • The next big project will be a setting guide for Oraxis. Everything else is going to be smaller projects and expansions. 
  • Layout artist, full editor passes by professionals that aren’t me. Extra pieces of art and page ornamentation for a big Aether update (time and sales dependent). 
  • In a few months or more: a Kickstarter for an Aether Enhanced Edition (hard copy, full art, potential custom card decks?), if there’s enough interest in the game to warrant it. 

 

Join The Playtesting!

So Aether is ready for playtesting, and available at the links below. If you want to be part of the conversation, ask questions etc., join my Discord so you can get all the updates and know what’s coming down the project pipeline ahead of time!

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