It’s so frequent, that it can’t be written off as mere coincidence. Jung called it Synchronicity and it’s partially an observation, partially an attempt to explain how it is possible that similar things are made by different people who have no contact with each other whatsoever.
You’ve seen it in action many times – two similar movies hitting the cinemas (damn you, Matrix, for what you did to Dark City), two similar books, two similar inventions…
Lords of Gossamer & Shadow (LoGS) share similar story with another game, The Strange written by Monte Cook, one of RPG giants responsible for many awesome and some questionable inventions. Both games tell the story of heroes who visit many different worlds, both are supported by interesting mechanics, both bring something new to the RPG hobby.
Unfortunately, where The Strange succeeds, LoGS don’t.
See, LoGS is an attempt to bring back the charm of diceless role playing presented in AMBER RPG – the game that in turn was an attempt to play in worlds of Amber created by the mind of Roger Zelazny. If you’re not aware about either of those works of fiction, think Game of Thrones, only on a cosmic scale, with almost immortal heroes who can travel between worlds and realities, commit acts that make them equal of gods.
Amber RPG managed to attract small but very dedicated number of fans who played it for decades. Unfortunately, it was painfully obvious that for all its creativity the game won’t ever become very successful. Like usual, Bucyrus blames lack of good support in form of interesting, official scenarios and campaigns.
As it was already told, Lords of Gossamer & Shadow are an attempt to change this situation. The game was upgraded to modern standards in many ways. It also renounces the original tale – it has nothing in common with Zelazny’s Amber although it’s clear that the vision it presents is deeply rooted in its predecessor’s story.
And one hell of the story it is. Merely reading the book, thinking about its reality makes it worthwhile to buy it and sacrifice some time for studying it.
And yet, Bucyrus doesn’t believe in LoGS. Perhaps it’s the mechanics – no better than it was present in the original game, hard to understand, very vulnerable to exploitation. Perhaps it’s because it’s about stories addressed to very specific, very creative minds. Perhaps it’s because its great asset (many worlds) is also its great weakness (fuck it, let’s escape to other world and never come back). Perhaps…
Lords of Gossamer & Shadow is an awesome, interesting and unique game, hands down.
But who will play it?
It’s a king without a court. But man, just look at this crown and other royally insignias…
And just to make things clearer – it’s not about saying “forget LoGS, play the Strange instead”. No. Both games are very good each offering a bit different experience. It’s just that LoGS demands more from its players to unleash its full potential than the Strange which is, for all its worth way more simpler, more straightforward game.