Sunday, October 12, 2014

Slumbering Ursine Dunes

The Kickstarter for Slumbering Ursine Dunes will be coming to an end on October 14, so if you haven't got in on it yet, time is drawing nigh. I've been a backer since the day the Kickstarter began. While I'm sometimes iffy about rpg kickstarters (their track record isn't great), I know any reader of the Hill Cantons blog knows that Chris has been a critic of kickstarters in the past, and he and the Hydra Collect have done everything right with this one--like having the product actually mostly finished before starting the kickstarter.

Now knowing the guys involved and having played in the Hill Cantons G+ campaign in the past, I do not pretend any review I would give of Dunes would be entirely object. (If you're looking for probably a more objective one than mine, Gus L has given us one.) I can tell you while I like it and why I think it exemplifies what is good about DIY gaming products, in general.

First off, Dunes takes place in Chris's very flavorful and original campaign world, the Hill Cantons. The Cantons is one of those rich, long-running D&D that most of us wish we had, but don't have the discipline to pull off. The Hill Cantons is pulp fantasy setting, less Howard or Lovecraft, and more Vance and Leiber, infused with a strong Slavic flavor. It manages to avoid the "learning curve" problem associated with settings like Tekumel or Glorantha, while managing to be distinct from the Forgotten Realms also-rans. Dunes mixes bear gods and alien technology and makes it all fit together with a large amount of wit.

If that weren't enough, it's written in such away that it's easy to tweak or remove the Hill Cantons elements (great as they are) so that you can make it your own. Anthony (Straits of Anian) Picaro is adapting it to his fantasy Pacific Northwest (and that's going to be available through the Kickstarter to backers at some levels). I think I'm going to use it as the basis of my annual Weird Adventures Yule Special. It's going to be the inspiration and framework for a tale of combining Father Yule, Ruthenian Bear Folk, and the aftermath of the Weird Adventures version of the Tunguska event. It's robust enough to be what works best for you campaign.

So back it, already! The Kickstarter ends Wednesday.


Chris Kutalik said...

Man do I look forward to seeing a Weird Adventures Dunes.

Trey said...

You've made an inspiring work.