Era: Silence is the new role-playing tabletop game designed by Shades of Vengeance. Much like its predecessor, it is currently asking for donations on Kickstarter, initially requiring a pledge of £1,500 ($2,628 AUD). Current donations are creeping incredibly close to the goal, and once the goal is met the game will enter its stretch goals, which will grant more content based on the extra amount pledged.
There is a strange astral plane known as the Isle of Silence, and mysterious Priestesses who choose their champions to send to this plane. This plane tests their skills, talents and wits in order for them to earn their true names. But there is one huge catch, they have been robbed of their ability to speak, and must perform this trial, which only holds certain failure, without being able to talk to each other. You are sent through many different challenges in order to test you, and succeeding these challenges is the way to effectively ‘level’ your character. These challenges are a set of specific tasks that allow you to eventually earn your true name and return to your home plane, as a warrior for your clan.
The length of this game is something that can be played by all manner of gamers and people. It is designed to be played for any amount of time, allowing you to earn your true name in a matter of hours, but still leaves the opportunity for an open-ended game, in the same vein as Dungeons and Dragons (DnD) and the previous Era games. The game’s length can also be directly comparable to the size of the book. Era: Survival‘s handbook is over 220 pages long, whereas Era: Silence is only 54 pages long. This is a testament to how long you can run a game for, and how easy the game is to pick up and learn, whether you are a newbie or a role-playing aficionado.
The game has huge similarities to the other Era games, but that said, it also has huge differences. The core concept works relatively similarly, lack of speech aside. It still uses the d10 system which is a tried and true system, but now has a few new implemented rules. One of these rules is the name system. No longer is your name only a title by which people know you, as people can’t even speak it, they have become relatively pointless. However, you can perform different abilities and spells based on the letters in your name, and you are given a free bonus letter which you can change after each challenge to gain access to new abilities and spells.
The artwork in this game, again, is fantastic, arguably even more spectacular than the previous games. This game requires the Game Master (GM) to be able to describe everything in more detail, due to players not being able to speak. The artwork is beautiful and vibrant, incredibly detailed showing certain areas in this plane. There is a big section near the end specifically just for the GM, which will help them to create the world they are playing in and fill it with enemies and NPCs. For instance, there is a section in this part which gives the GM a list of challenges to run the players through, of course as the GM, you could easily create your own, but this will help a lot for people just starting the game and those who aren’t so confident in their own creative abilities. It doesn’t only give you basic descriptions of what you need to know, it goes into huge length to describe everything to make sure it is completely understood by all, and to give players a greatly described world to delve into.
Again, the game uses the d10 system. A system which makes the game almost exclusively playable with only d10 dice. From combat to conversation to performing certain actions, everything comes down to using multiple d10s, and the amount is dependent on your character’s skill in each attribute. The higher a certain skill or attribute is, the more d10s you have available to make sure you succeed in your task. Of course, though, this leaves others with less chance to work, but alas, this is the way role-playing works. Better to be master of something than Jack of all trades.
The Era games have always managed to set themselves aside from the hundreds of other Role Playing Games (RPGs) out there, and Era: Silence continues this fashion excellently. Strange magic, horrifying creatures, impossible challenges and a new style of teamwork await. Whether you are a newbie to tabletop games or an expert, whether you pledge towards it or not, you should go check out Era: Silence on Kickstarter, if even just for some of the fantastic art and dedication involved in the game.
Check out our review on the previous game from Shades of Vengeance, Era: Survival.