Digital painting of lightning arcing through the sky above an ominous city skyline

Update on Aethermancy and the expanded focus of the new Aether

This is the first in a regular series of posts on Sunday mornings. I’ll be writing about the progress we made in the previous week and plans for the following week. For today’s update, we’re going to dive into the progress being made on Aethermancy and the new edition of Aether.

First up, we have these words from Kevin on Aethermancy.

A note from Kevin on Aethermancy

When we put a pause on Silver Gryphon Games, I never expected to come back to it. I love gaming, I love writing, but the writing bug had stopped biting and everything felt forced and contrived. A combination of declining mental health, being busy with my own game store, and most importantly my family, left less and less time for quality writing. But, recently, that seems to have changed. My mental health has improved significantly and the writing bug has started nibbling again. When talking with Ben one day, I stumbled upon a solution for one of the things that we felt was our most important business to complete: Aethermancy. In changing it and reworking it from its original source as written for Aether Gaming Systems almost two decades ago, things got unnecessarily complicated. That serendipitous conversation with Ben suddenly snapped a few simple answers into view and it was a true eureka moment. So here we are!

I’m still busy, but also writing again. We figured that we should pick up exactly where we left off, with Aethermancy and honoring our Kickstarter obligations. We have a few other similar obligations to honor, but Aethermancy was our flagship, our most successful Kickstarter endeavor, and that’s got us both excited for finishing the volume, and we think you’ll be excited about the adaptations that we’ve come up with to solve the issue of adding magic to a system like Aether in a way that is inclusive and extensive without being game breaking! It’s great to be back, and I couldn’t be happier to be working on this project!

Progress on the new edition of Aether

While Kevin is working on the manuscript for Aethermancy, I have been working on the 2023 edition of Aether. There are many changes and this represents the biggest revision of Aether since its original publication twenty years ago. The focus on modern day as the default setting is being replaced with a broader treatment that includes fantasy and science fiction. This entails quite a lot of work, as much of the existing text is framed from a modern point of view. For example, the equipment chapter refers the reader to look at actual storefronts for the prices of items, and refers to “plate mail” as a museum piece for collectors with a high price tag. In the new edition, prices will be listed for equipment, and those prices will be given in three different currencies – credits, dollars, and gold coins. In addition, those prices will be appropriate for their respective settings.

Skills are being adjusted slightly. They’ll still function the same, but some are being removed and others are being added. Again, this is in keeping with giving the game a broader focus than just modern day. They are also being reorganized to make the book easier to reference. When I get into the layout phase of Aether, I will be adding a new appendix for skills that includes lists by base attribute and lists by setting.

Thus far, I have reworked the character creation chapter and the skills chapter, and I’m now working on the equipment chapter. The combat chapter will follow, with at least one significant change to the Aether system which I will write about in a future update.