Ernest Gary Gygax Jr’s campaign starter The Marmoreal Tomb has already jumped past its $20,000 funding goal with a month left to go.
In the realm of tabletop role-playing, few names carry as much weight as Gygax. The co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons, Ernest Gary Gygax’s influence on the genre of tabletop RPGs can’t be overstated. His son, Ernest Gygax Jr., was likewise instrumental in much of early D&D‘s development and has long been an influential gaming figure in his own right. Sadly, the senior Gygax passed away back in 2008. That said, Gygax Jr. has remained a prolific member of the role-playing community, both as a player and as a designer working on new adventures with his company GP Adventures.
The latest of his adventures, The Marmoreal Tomb, recently hit Kickstarter and, in the days since, has been making considerable waves among role-playing inclined contributors. Set in Gygax Jr’s own Hobby Shop Dungeon campaign setting, The Marmoreal Tomb drops player characters into the labyrinthine ruins of a dwarven society destroyed by greed (and giants). The Kickstarter began accepting contributions last week and has already exceeded its $20,000 funding goal. It’s a success that Gygax Jr. would likely attribute, at least in part, to the attractiveness of the campaign’s flexible nature. “The way this module differs from many modern offerings is that it goes back to the core design conceits of the early TSR modules. Namely, adventure locales you can plug into your campaign or story line however you want,” he said, speaking to The Escapist. “[It’s] a web of non-linear design where the player-characters can adventure any which way they want, which in turn means the players, in the way they choose to explore the world, are driving the way the game unfolds.”
What this amounts to in terms of content is a gigantic dungeon illustrated by Gygax’s partner Benoist Poire and complete with dozens of unique encounters that DMs can plug into their games as they see fit. Add in a pair of modular expansions as well as stat blocks and guidelines for use with “different genres and RPGs” and you have a hefty product with a lot of value for players old and new alike. It is perhaps worth noting that The Marmoreal Tomb was designed around “first edition compatible rules.” Even so, its older roots should only serve as a small barrier to gamers hoping to play it with more modern rule-sets. This will be especially true if its fundraising campaign reaches $30,000 and unlocks its next stretch goal, which will add in full conversions to 5th Edition D&D and Pathfinder. Considering that it’s already raised more than $29,500 and still has 29 days to go, we feel safe in saying that it’s probably going to get there. Check it out if sounds like someone that would interest you and let us know what you think.