Some long-awaited news from the good folks at Dark Matter Studios this week:
January 14, 2010 (Bozeman, MT) – Dark Matter Studios, producer of the well-received fantasy rpg Epic Role Playing, has released its latest offering, Audhüm, The Southern Reach of Vanier. Audhüm throws players into a cold and unforgiving bronze age world, a place for heroes of ferocity, mettle and ambition. Audhüm is completely compatible with Dark Matter Studios ENnie Award nominated Epic RPG system (Best Rules, 2008).
This original fantasy setting allows players and GM’s the opportunity to take the chariot reins of a harsh, adolescent milieu. Audhüm is a land that has just entered the Bronze Age, whose races are founding the first great civilizations. Heroes in single combat decide the fate of city-states. The gods speak to their anointed. Written language is less than 300 years old. This is the dawn of history. There are no elder cultures that possessed powerful technology or lore. The are no ancient organized civilizations at all, just tribes and city states who have only recently discovered the most powerful invention since fire: complex social organization.
"We’re very excited to share Audhüm with fans of Epic, as well as gamers who might be just getting to know us," commented Chris Organ, one of the two principal designers, along with Kent Davis. “Our goal with it was to provide an Epic-style deep setting, but move away from a medieval feel toward something more primal - think of a love child between Hellenistic Greeks and the Vikings of the frozen north. Loyalty is not to a country, but to one’s city-state. There is no formal code of laws - that idea is just being invented. The spear and shield are judge and jury on the frozen plains of the Cold South.”
Audhüm, The Southern Reach of Vanier is a powerful supplement to the Epic RPG Game Manual, but gamers will have no problem getting it up and running with the five dollar Epic RPG Quick Start Guide or porting the setting to their own homebrew systems. Diverse cultures and races, plus over fifty organizations and professions promise a fierce, satisfying and complete experience for all manner of groups, whether their interest is high politics, low butchery or a little bit of both. There’s also supplemental rules designed specifically for the setting, as well as a bestiary with a tantalizing selection of new monsters and animals.
Audhüm is robustly supported on the Epic website and forums, and Dark Matter has provided its standard free four-color map and utility PDFs available for download on its website.
About Epic RPG. Offering a system that is flexible and realistic, Epic RPG still retains enough opportunities for death-defying heroism to satisfy the wildest imagination. Highlights include classless character design that integrates characters into their society through culturally defined professions; elegant and choice-filled combat; unique magic with disciplines such as the arcane science of metaphysics and the body magic called shen; a flexible skill system based on talent that allows players to customize their character's growth with skills, specialties, masteries, and grandmasteries; and a fantasy setting abundant with disparate races, astounding civilizations, and captivating geographies. Available in both softcover ($18) and downloadable PDF format ($10), Audhüm, The Southern Reach of Vanier is available for purchase immediately from the Epic Role Playing store and at selected retailers.
More info here! As I've mentioned here before, Epic is one of my favorite RPGs of the last decade, and some Bronze Age-esque adventure sounds pretty good just now.