D&D 5E Auroboros Kickstarter From Warcraft Devs Has Launched

The D&D 5E setting from developers who originally hail from video game studios like Blizzard, and video games like Warcraft and Diablo, has launched on Kickstarter with a bang, as expected. Auroborus: Coils of the Serpent details a realm called Lawbrand, which contains a number of trade cities and factions. Will this one be the 4th in the last month to join the $1M club?

The high-powered team, under the banner of Warchief Gaming, includes Chris Metzen (Blizzard Entertainment, Warcraft, Diablo, Starcraft, Overwatch), Mike Gilmartin (Blizzard, Eidos, Maxis, Atari), and Ryan Collins (Hearthstone, Marvel Heroes, HeroClix).

The setting contains 5 new races and 4 new subclasses, plus details of 8 trade cities. It also features a new game rule called the Mark of the Serpent which lets you do incredibly powerful magical effects at a cost.


For $25 you can pick up the PDF bundle, or $50 for the hardcover. There are higher tiers with GM screens, world maps, slipcases, and more, with expected delivery in one year (March 2022).

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Reynard

Legend
I have never played warcraft so I have never heard of the guy, but he seems to have a fan base and a strong reach. Add that to good production values and media coveage based on his fame and it makes sense.
But is this game world known to that fanbase? I am just curious if there was an appetite for this thing prior to the KS launch?
 

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TwoSix

Dirty, realism-hating munchkin powergamer
But is this game world known to that fanbase? I am just curious if there was an appetite for this thing prior to the KS launch?
It wasn't known before, but it's from Chris Metzen, who has a lot of goodwill from the extremely broad audience that has played WoW. If you get 0.1% of the audience that has played WoW, that's still a lot of backers for a Kickstarter.
 

Reynard

Legend
It wasn't known before, but it's from Chris Metzen, who has a lot of goodwill from the extremely broad audience that has played WoW. If you get 0.1% of the audience that has played WoW, that's still a lot of backers for a Kickstarter.
Good luck to him. I hope people get something they like.
 

jayoungr

Legend
Supporter
I am annoyed with just how much the spelling is getting to me. It's just a name, damnit. Hell, it's a translated name, and I can see that other people have used that spelling. But every time I see it... wince.
Metzen seems to like that kind of thing. It took me ages not to grind my teeth every time I saw "fel" spelled with only one L.
 


Istbor

Dances with Gnolls
But is this game world known to that fanbase? I am just curious if there was an appetite for this thing prior to the KS launch?
I wouldn't say it is known to the casual or even somewhat hardcore fanbase. Maybe like... the hardestcore?

I certainly never heard of it. Though, I have played in more that one world that was at least some of his creation, and I enjoy them quite a lot. As an example, and probably will be lost on many here, the creation, corruption, and fall of the Scarlet Crusade in WarCraft has always been a favorite of mine.

This is me simply betting on this being on-par to some of the world building I have seen in the past.
 


grimslade

Krampus ate my d20s
Metzen is the creator of Warcraft. It was assumed that Warcraft was his D&D campaign setting from the '80s, but apparently, it was Auroboros. We keep saying World of Warcraft, but he goes all the way back to Warcraft: Orcs vs Humans. He was one of the main artists for the seminal game. He shifted over to story and world development with Warcraft II. Much of what makes Warcraft such a juggernaut for the last 27 years or so, is due to the creations of Chris Metzen. He also created the story of Diablo and Starcraft. Metzen has a talent for creating in-depth, visceral worlds that have broad appeal. That is the draw.
I also agree that Mad Max: Fury Road is a near perfect film, both shiny and bright. It has been witnessed.
 

Kurotowa

Legend
But is this game world known to that fanbase? I am just curious if there was an appetite for this thing prior to the KS launch?

My experience is there's two ways to have a mega successful Kickstarter. One is to offer some shiny new gewgaw that isn't available anywhere else, and the other is to be a creator with a proven track record and established fan base. In the latter case, the pitch is less "Here is this amazing idea I want to make happen!" and more "If you liked my previous work, come get in on the ground floor for the next project." Was the Critical Role animated series a record breaker because of the novelty of making an animated series about their group's D&D campaign? Of course not, it was a record breaker because it was Critical Role and for the nearly 90,000 backers that's all you had to say to sell them on it.

This is definitely one of the latter cases. Some people don't know who Chris Metzen is, and see this as just a vanity project from a retired computer game developer. For the millions and millions of people who have played Warcraft, though, Chris Metzen is a name that conjures happy memories and good associations. And out of those millions of people, at the moment a bit less than 5000 feel that's enough to get them to lay down money for this project. I should know, I'm one of them.

Really, that's not a very big conversion ratio, if you think about it. Less than 5000 people? That's nothing! It's only by the standards of the incredibly niche field of third party TTRPG books that it seems like a lot, and the Kickstarter total is being pumped up by people buying bundles with expensive addons like maps and dice.

So we have here a perfect storm of a creator with strong name recognition putting together a polished campaign and offering lots of addon options to raise the potential pledge ceiling from the people who really want them and can afford them. That's not something you can easily compare to other TTRPG offerings or deliberately replicate.
 

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