It’s gonna be real interesting to see what happens with Invisible Sun.

Monte Cook is taking preorders for their Invisible Sun RPG, and it’s a fascinating price structure, really.

…and I’ll give you the spoilers: the Player’s Guide will run you thirty-six bucks, while the full game clocks in at two hundred and forty three.  For another two hundred and sixteen you get a year’s worth of GM research and props.  And, for seventy-two bucks you can buy the Player’s Guide and a forty buck gift certificate to give the GM so that he can buy the full game. To give a comparison: the first set of D&D rules in 1974 cost ten bucks, which is apparently somewhere around fifty two bucks in today’s money.

This does not mean that Invisible Sun is going to be a bad game. It could be a very good one. It’s almost certainly going to be popular at next year’s awards season, for the aesthetics of the layout if nothing else. What I have serious doubts about is whether enough people are going to play Invisible Sun to make it the genuine, ah, game changer that its PR’s making it out to be. Telling people that they’re going to have to shell out two hundred and forty bucks for the bare minimum may be a tough sell.

Particularly since gamers are used to having their own books or gear.  To give an example: I run a group of three players.  Each of my players would like her* own book.  That’s another hundred bucks, right there: add it to the two hundred and forty we’d need to spend for the game itself and you end up with a somewhat large buy-in for a game that we won’t even know whether we’d like.  And we’d probably like it!  Invisible Sun sounds a lot like Nobilis... which retails for twenty-one bucks on Amazon, albeit used.

So I dunno how this will go down, man. I know that it’s not the old days, when none of us have money — but what about the college RPG crowd? They’re not made of discretionary income.

Guess we’ll see.

Moe Lane

*As it happens, I’m the only dude at the table right now.

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