Shadows of Esteren is a beautifully crafted, gothic fantasy RPG from the minds at Studio Agate. Set in the dark world of Tri-Kazel, Shadows of Esteren “draws inspiration from Celtic myths. The universe has a subtle, fantastic side hidden under a bleak, realistic surface.” Celebrating its 8th anniversary, the collection is on Kickstarter in many different packages.

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All of this is true and very evident from the first images you see. Rich in detail, Tri-Kazel pulls you right in. I had an opportunity to read through the Prologue and just this sampling alone was the most fun and exciting read of the core rules of any RPG. And the Kickstarter has an amazing black and gold special edition cover of the Universe Book (cores rules) illustrated by Yoann Lossel, which is shown below.

Shadows of Esteren is Visually Breathtaking

First the art is just breathtaking and really shows how people live in this low-fantasy setting, think Braveheart or A Game of Thrones, but with darker and more sinister things going on in the world. “This world is populated by men and woman trudging through tough daily lives, while also struggling against a supernatural threat lurking in the dark. With the focus of its adventures being investigation and survival, Shadows of Esteren favors immersion and interaction among players.  

Reading about the world makes you want to make that one character who will find their peace and salvation, while experiencing a rich an engaging story. The fantastic art from Chris, Gawain, Nico Jamme, Chane and Yoann Lossel really accentuates the image your players will have while creating their characters. Really bringing the world to life.

And if you just appreciate the art but don’t have that roleplaying bug, there are several bundles to choose from that collects the beautiful artwork created for this series. So much beautiful art that it is collected in a 200-page book. Two covers are available. A standard cover and a Kickstarter edition, which comes with 6 amazing art prints in a portfolio.

And my goodness I need to mention the Original Soundtracks. Spanning 4 albums, François Rousselot, Jure Peternel, Cyrille and Guillaume Aufaure, and Delphine Bois have composed an image that brings moodiness and a soul to this universe. Adding to the whole experience that is Shadows of Esteren. The different pieces with memorable themes and melodies wrap up the immersion that Studio Agate whats to bring to players and people who love the different arts. The music creates a cinematic scope to your games that I know will make peoples imaginations run wild.

There are 6 days remaining in this epic Kickstarter as it ends June 2. Go check it out. You have until June  Here are links to the Prologue, as well as a sample from the Art Book and the Kickstarter itself. There are packages for all budgets to choose from. I know I went all in once I became more engrossed in the setting. And the best part is you won’t have to wait long to receive the reward as expected delivery is September 2020.

And if there is anything we need right now is a place to escape to where risk are high but there is always hope with the destiny that you can build in the world of Tri-Kazel and Shadows of Esteren. I leave you with the track “One Thin Hope” from the Daerg Soundtrack