With the Sword & Sorcery saga coming to a climax and an end with Sword & Sorcery – Abyssal Legends in Kickstarter, there was no better moment to interview Roberto Di Meglio and Simone Romano, two of the masterminds behind the cult classic co-op fantasy dungeon crawler that helped give birth to a whole new genre of miniature board games.
What is the “elevator pitch” for Sword & Sorcery?
I believe that the key factors of Sword & Sorcery are two:
1) the setting, which, although classic, is absurdly almost “original” nowadays, given that the others [are trying] in every way to deviate as much as possible from archetypes… not always with good results [by the way]:)
2) the enemies management, with S&S we have “elevated” the behavior of the A.I. of the opponents from the simple “move and attack” to complex schemes based on the interaction with various powers, even between different enemies, while maintaining a good simplicity of reading and managing the cards.
When it first came out, what was the unique value proposition of Sword & Sorcery?
Many years have passed now, but I remember that from the very beginning, our idea was to offer a gaming experience that would remind players of the first games played in the world of RPGs, but at the same time integrate it with the mechanics of MMORPG-type video games, where party formation and cohesion between classes are essentials for victory… all without any player having to isolate themselves in the role of “overlord.”
The “RPG in a Box without a Master” genre gained popularity since S&S was first introduced. How did and how much did S&S define the genre?
We like to think we’ve contributed significantly to that :) I don’t want to pronounce the titles, but by the author’s own admission, we’ve been the inspiration for quite a few titles, even the “millionaire” ones.
Was Abyssal Legends, such as other campaigns, in the plans since the beginning of S&S? Or, has S&S grown in unexpected directions?
Abyssal Legends was intended as the epic climax of the Ancient Chronicles saga cycle from the beginning. However, there was no way to include it in the previous Kickstarter due to time and costs.
What has changed in part is the use of the Book of Secrets, in fact, in this box. In addition to its use during quests, it is essential to narrate the events between one quest and another… after all, an old abbey and a mysterious death always have something to offer, right? ;)
What were the inspirations for S&S, and how much of the community feedback molded S&S into what it is today?
The Sword & Sorcery community has played a vital role in the development of the saga. With Ancient Chronicles, we have introduced many innovations compared to the Immortal Souls saga, some macroscopic such as the cities to explore and free-roaming in choosing the quests to face, while other micro but very important too, such as the minimum level required by the treasures to be used… and this was a direct request of the Immortal Souls players. With the same logic, now, as part of the Kickstarter, we will print a free “upgrade kit” to bring the Ancient Chronicles saga to version 1.5, integrating all the changes requested by the community in these last two years.
Without spoilers, what does Abyssal Legends bring to the tabletop that we haven’t seen in S&S before?
In addition to an unusual visual representation of the great ancient par excellence: Cthulhu, usually represented with a fat and clumsy body, in our case, instead agile and with a predatory appearance, we have introduced the management of the Ship. In almost all quests, the vessel of heroes can be used to move around the game map, as well as to interact in other ways, such as fishing, scrutinizing enemies with the spyglass… to shooting with the powerful cannons! The ship can be improved in all its parts and will have to be repaired if damaged… if you don’t want to leak! We have also [brought] the Fear & Phobias into the world of the Sword & Sorcery, even if these concepts are well radicated into the Cthulhu mythos.
Is Abyssal Legends the conclusion to the S&S saga?
Abyssal Legends represents a good conclusion of both sagas: Immortal Souls and Ancient Chronicles. Without spoilers, it closes the circle with the characters known by the heroes in their adventures. It also marks the end of the stories written by Simone Romano, who, after so many years, has decided to move on to other projects, even if he will remain as a supervisor because, precisely, the world of Sword & Sorcery will not end, it will give space to new writers and new sagas!
In this regard, an amazing Campaign Editor will be released to the Abyssal Legends backers in order to give them the possibility to create infinite new adventures, written by their own hand or simply randomly generated by the software!
Again, we’d like to thank Roberto Di Meglio and Simone Romano for taking the time to talk with us about Sword & Sorcery – Abyssal Legends. Keep a lookout for more coverage here on GamingTrend.com.