I’m a sucker for contemporary fantasy games. Despite not being a huge vampire fan I have both editions of the same named White Wolf game. I have nearly all of their new World of Darkness, a complete Nightlife collection, and so on. My favorite games, and books, in the field are the ones about wizards. Mage the Ascension was my first WW game and its successor was my first new World of Darkness game. I have the PDFs of the two classic DaveB actual play threads on RPG.net.
So, it should not surprise you that I jumped on the Kickstarter for Majus as soon as I heard about it.
This is a good example of a Kickstarter done right. First, it meets my write it first rule. While the Spears of the Dawn Kickstarter offered the alpha, art free version to all backers once the Kickstarter funded Goblinoid Games has gone one better: as soon as you pledge you get access to a PDF of the current version. While it does need another proofreading (it shares rules with Rotworld and a few zombie apocalypse references are still there) the game is complete and playtested. Even if this Kickstarter doesn’t found everyone who pledges, even if only $1, gets a PDF of the game now.
Another nice feature is the lack of stretch goals. I think some Kickstarters get so obsessed with bonuses that they risk delay due to them. Instead, the author and artist will get profit sharing from money over the goal. I’d rather overage go to the creators, especially ones with the wisdom and character to write the game first and then raise funds, than go into bling that might delay delivery.
Finally, I have great memories of Star Ace from Pacesetter back in the day. Chill, of course, is a classic. I’m hoping some success with Majus will encourage Goblinoid Games to get the rights to them, especially the later, and get them back in print. I’d especially like to see Chill rules aligned to the rest of the Pacesetter Games.
I’m in at the $65 level for softcovers of all three Pacesetter Games put out by Goblinoid Games. If you have fond memories of Chill, Star Ace, or Timemaster or would like a nWoD/Dresden Files game with rules that allow for pick up and play gaming (10-20 minutes to create a character, 10-20 minutes to explain the rules. so about the same as BX) I recommend taking a look.
I had been considering trying to start a Mage but I’ll be starting a a Majus one instead (admittedly heavily influenced by the former). The ability to just pick up and play makes starting the game and getting people much easier. It also involves less sunk cost if the game doesn’t take off. This is a key feature of Pacesetter Games (and most old school games in general) and as someone without a strong, years old group due to regular moves a vital feature.
If you’d like more information, Michael Curtis (of Stonehell, The Dungeon Alphabet, and Realms of Crawling Chaos fame), the author, has three posts on his wonderful blog about it: One, Two, Three
For details on the Pacesetter System see the Goblinoid Games forums: Part 1, Part 2.