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No-Elves Policy

Anthropos Games brings role-playing back to the basement

By James Renovitch, 11:57AM, Fri. Jul. 23, 2010

The latest in alternate-dimension fashion
The latest in alternate-dimension fashion

In Austin, the most renowned kind of nerd is probably the record nerd, with their encyclopedic knowledge of King Crimson. As you sink lower into the depths of dweebitude you pass bookworms, video gamers, and Trekkies. At the ninth ring of geekness you find fantasy role-playing gamers, widely known as 20-sided-die-rolling, basement dwellers.

Thankfully, the cool-dork continuum has been reversed over the course of the last decade. The hair-gelled, jewelery-wearing, well-tanned set, that used to be considered cool are now called douchebags. These days the pasty, socially awkward vampire gets the girl instead of the ab-tastic warewolf.

But has the pendulum swung far enough to get the RPGers out of the dark and into the sunlight? We're not so sure, but a small, local game-maker is taking steps to embrace the inner dork and spread the fantasy lore with an upcoming release of Early Dark. Anthropos Games is nearly finished with a fully realized world full of warriors from around the globe mixed in with a few fantastical beasties (no elves, thankfully). The undercurrent of realism that the game's creators tout is likely courtesy of Calvin Johns, a PhD student in anthropology at UT.

All in all the presentation on their website and unexpectedly thorough Kickstarter page is impressive as Anthropos looks to get the remaining dollars together to print the hard-bound guides to the game and other RPG accoutrements. Take a look, immerse yourself in a world of geekiness perhaps a tad out of your comfort zone. If you like what you see, give some money via their Kickstarter page. It's not like you give them money and get nothing in return. Donations are ostensibly pre-orders for the book and other items, depending on how generous you're feeling.

Early reaction within the RPG world (a very insular world, mind you) is positive, and assuming the funds are gathered, the nerd-out could be epic.

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