Update: Eoris released at Gen Con 2010! Check out my Eoris Review.
The role-playing game, “Eoris ” has developed some buzz recently around the internet, but information was hard to find. I signed up for their mailing list and the got the “Member’s Preview Kit .” It filled in a few blanks. but I was still curious about the game and the background.
Seeking additional information, I requested an interview with the “Visions of Essence Team.” They kindly agreed, so on Thursday, September 18th we had a nice chat about the game. The interview below has only been edited slightly to clean up some glaring spelling errors on my part and to organize the questions into a more logical sequence.
Trask: Can we start by talking about who you are and the company producing the game. Are you both the publisher and author of the game?
“Vision of Essence Team” (VOET): yes, we do everything in house and publish ourselves
Trask: Is this your first major release? I also saw some other games mentioned on your site.
VOET: We developed three games: a tabletop RPG, a card game and a world-domination game. Eoris will be our first release.
Trask: Where did “Eoris” come from? Was it a home game or did you set out to design a new RPG?
VOET: Eoris is not only an RPG. It is an entire universe that was created as the main setting for many stories. It was only 8 years ago that we decided to make it into an RPG.
Trask: Where you inspired by any particular genre or author during the development process on Eoris?
VOET: Eoris is probably a combination of many things, but it would be hard to point to any specific one as we like to read very much. Also, since Eoris was written throughout several years it is hard to identify specific influences or ideas as a source of inspiration. In terms of style, you might say it’s fantasy based on scientific foundations/approach to make it logical.
Also, something that is very important to understand is that a great portion of the setting is manifested through the illustrations. We did not only want to illustrate a book, instead we wanted the images to be a window into the world of Eoris.
Trask: I read the preview document for Eoris, but it was a little short on specifics about the system. Can you give a quick overview of how the game actually plays? Is it a complex combat/skill system or more “story oriented” with fewer rules?
VOET: As you might know from playing role-playing games, there are three Key Success Factors in the RPG industry. A successful game must have (at least) these three things: i) first-quality art, ii) a profound and interesting setting, and iii) a fast-paced, flexible, and intuitive system.
Our aim with Eoris Essence is to satisfy these three requirements in the best way we can. For this reason we have created three ‘Contacts’:
First Contact = Gen Con Indy: show the illustrations and a “small peek” into the setting.
Second Contact = Member’s Kit: give people a preview of what can be found in Eoris with a “small peek” into the system.
Third Contact = An Adventure: tell people about the details of the Essence System.
We would love to share the details of the system but we want follow our ‘Contacts Strategy’.
We would like to share this with you because our aim was to be short on specifics about the system. In other words, it was our intention to divide things in three parts.
Now, about the system…
We wanted to create a system that could be exiting and versatile for both storytelling and combat game-play. As a result, in the Essence System a player may embody a regular everyday person (a baker, a writer, a merchant, etc.) or a very powerful warriors or mage of all types (hence, the long list of powerful weapons and equipment included in Eoris), but even these second type of characters in the Essence System are not supposed to be mere “hack-and-slash” machines. They are all supposed to be real living beings with dreams, hopes and aspirations. For this reason, the system has several storytelling features that will bring life to characters…to allow players to relate in a more profound manner to their fantastic counterparts. (…give us a min to continue writing…)
Eoris was conceived as a setting that players could truly make their own. Thus, you won’t find one type of adventure…it is a setting in which you can have many different types of adventures. Since the system offers not only different character types but also different power levels, the adventures that can be played are primordially determined by each person. These are just some examples of the adventures you can have in the world of Eoris:
Be a templar, protector of God and wielder of divine power who acts as both ambassadors and soldiers of life against the mighty Last Angels.
Face the very protectors of God and God herself.
Be a Sil and face your own beliefs and question your reality and purpose.
Incarnate an Id, a Sil corrupted by wrath and hatred of all who dare destroy the planet and defy God’s will.
Explore the vast lands seeking for the long lost relics of the ancient civilizations.
Explore far away planets and solitary systems that are populated as well.
Become a political ambassador for one of the great civilizations and face the realities of the cold wars that remain from the last age.
Be a specialist, a spy or even a simple soldier for one of the great civilizations.
Be a wild creature, hunt, be a part of a pack and protect your own from the hostilities that you live in.
Or simply use the vast universe of Eoris to have the adventures you prefer.
Through social interaction a character’s emotional condition may suffer strong changes both positive and negative. These changes will have mechanical repercussions on performance when attempting to execute any type of feat. This allows social characters to be a true asset to any party, even during physical or magical confrontation.
Example: Lets say a character in a party is weak or injured, but his help is required for victory, a social character may both encourage him making him more lethal, while a the same time intimidate or deceive the opposition to hinder their overall performance.
Social combat is indeed a mighty weapon in the Essence system, where a tongue that is as sharp as a sword may very well prove to be twice as lethal.
Trask: The art in “Eoris” has generated a lot of interest. Who did the art? (Answer after the images)
VOET: Oh, yes. The are only two artists and they happen to be the same people that developed the game system and the setting.
Trask: So you wrote the game and did the art? Impressive.
Trask: What is the release date for the book? How much will it be? Where can you purchase it?
VOET: The game will be released in December and people will be able to buy it on-line.
Trask: How much is the book going to cost?
VOET: We had a special offer at the Gen Con and we will have another very special offer on the on-line store before December. We prefer not to disclose the special package price until the on-line store opens.
Trask: Will there be an online forum for fans of the game to gather and discuss the campaign?
VOET: Yes, that’s the idea!
Trask: www.visionsofessence.com ?
VOET: Visions of Essence is the company. Hence, that will be the company’s website. Eorisessence.com will be the official website for the game.
Trask: I think I have asked the key points I was curious about. Do you have any final thoughts?
VOET: Eoris Essence is today a product that will be sold by a company, but it is really something created with a great passion by people who love RPG, fantasy and everything that has to do with the imagination.
Another important point is we want to have a great deal of interaction with Eoris players. For example, we will have a publication that people will receive throughout the year. This publication will include illustrated adventures with new characters, new creatures, new items, etc.
Please know that your or anybody else can send us an e-mail asking questions or anything.
Yes, the address will be email@example.com
With that, I thanked the “Visions of Essence” team and let them get on with the business of writing.
Trask, The Last Tyromancer