Ethermore is a TTRPG-inspired blockchain game and an emerging fantasy world built by the community on the Ethereum blockchain.
Each procedurally generated fantasy character NFT is a token of entry to the community and world of Ethermore. Heroes’ stories, quests and world-building events will evolve off-chain in community discussion, before returning on-chain as Ethermore lore as voted by the community in a DAO-based RPG, where decisions have consequences in the world.
A few Ethermore community members are here to answer any questions we may have about the game and what sets it apart from the countless blockchain games and NFT projects popping up in the market.
This Slogging thread by Limarc Ambalina, Amy Shah, Dybsy, crypt0kel and Celot occurred in slogging's official #blockchain channel, and has been edited for readability.
Hey Celot Dybsy crypt0kel thanks a ton for joining me here!
My first question to all of you is: what is the allure of Ethermore that drove you to the project? Sure NFTs are big right now, but there are tons of projects out there. What about Ethermore is unique and keeps you interested and engaged in the community?
Limarc Ambalina I'm a fantasy author and lifelong fantasy enthusiast, from Magic: The Gathering to Dungeons and Dragons and across all mediums, be it literary, video game, or movie. Ethermore captures this passion in away no other NFT has to date. The opportunity to participate in a living, breathing fantasy world, where choices are influenced by the community, and where stories and lore are written by the community, is captivating. And, at its core, the project brings two of my core passions into convergence.
What got me interested in Ethermore was the unique concepts and vision presented by the core project team. This is the ability to have a hero (or heroes) in a fantasy setting, represented by NFTs, which allow you to do a number of things. So there is a collectible aspect, especially with the art. But there is also a heavy lore aspect, where you are able to help shape this world with your character's decisions as well as directly through lore creation.
Welcome! This game is an exciting prospect. Who would be your typical player? What would be their persona?
Amy Shah It's hard to separate "me" the player from the characters I've written, because every character I create embodies a foundational aspect of my being. There are aspects to me completely moral and just, rigid and unyielding when its comes to principles of truth and virtue. (My current main character is a Giant Paladin, and he will for sure take this path). There are also aspects of me that are chaotic and rebellious, where testing limits and pushing boundaries are more exciting than being diligent and dutiful. One thing in common is the tendency to goodness. I don't think I could ever play an evil character (though I love writing them).
I would see the typical player as someone who has immersed themselves in fantasy settings in the past, whether that is books, movies, or games (or all of the above), and likes the idea of "owning" their fantasy character as an NFT and being able to create their story. I think people who have played table-top games likes D&D tend to grasp the concepts most easily, but anyone who likes being creative and imaging the story in "the theater of the mind" as Dan (one of the Ethermore founders) likes to put it, will get a lot out of it.
Thanks Dybsy crypt0kel , what I'm hearing is that your passion for the project essentially comes from your passion for the fantasy genre and TTRPGs.
With that said though, there are other (arguably easier) ways to feed that passion. You can set up a Dungeons and Dragons sesh with friends or groups in person. You can do that online with TTRPG video games. You can even do that in VR now with games like Demeo.
With all those other options available, why bother with Ethermore? What does it provide that those other options don't?
Community. It always comes down to community. That's why I believe the original World of Warcraft was successful. It brought together so many like-minded people in a way never previously seen. It's happening again with blockchain gaming and DAOs, and Ethermore has tapped into the potential. Minting an NFT character transcends rolling traits and abilities (which will make up part of the NFT DNA eventually, making things that much cooler). Owning that character and cultivated a universe decided by your own actions, together with others who share common purpose, on a grand scale such as this (15,000 genesis heroes) is so far and beyond what is possible through table-top gaming or running a DnD session.
I like the idea that your characters (or their representation at least) will live on the blockchain. Which, building on Dybsy's comment, facilitates the community being able to evolve over time. One of the planned features is a voting mechanism using the NFTs. This has a lot of narrative potential, but in the longer-term, it also allows the community to coordinate and vote on other kinds of things, like which direction to take the Ethermore universe or even what kinds of development should happen. And people can buy and sell the NFTs as their time/interest/passion changes, allowing new people to get involved all the time. And those tokens are not dependent on any centralized entity.
crypt0kel Dybsy I am curious who or what are some of your biggest influences? Are there some ideas/projects/past products that drive you?
Amy Shah I am fairly new to the NFT space, but have a longer history with fantasy-themed media (as a fan, not professionally). Among NFTs, one of the other projects I've been involved with that encourages holder lore creation is the Forgotten Runes Wizards Cult. Among non-NFT properties, there are so many influences. Although I have not played D&D extensively, I have played games based on D&D concepts such as the Baldur's Gate series, as well as newer games like Dragon Age: Origins. And books series like Choose Your Own Adventure are an inspiration when it comes to creating sidequests.
Amy Shah My creative influences are many and far-reaching. I started reading voraciously when I was 11 and never stopped. There are several authors whose prose inspire me, like Guy Gavriel Kay, and several whose ideas are so enthralling I try to emulate them, like Alistair Reynolds. The constant through my life has been an immersion in stories and escapism, and while reading has made up a large part of this imaginative pursuit, the medium rarely matters. I rewatch my favourite movies over and over. I lose myself in video game story lines for hours on end. I connect with tabletop game play in a way that transcends just shuffling a deck and rolling a dice; I become the character(s) or the machination behind the game.
I'm very happy to hear that the NFT and blockchain elements of the game actually matter to you and aren't just a marketing tool, like in many schemes I've seen out there.
On that subject though, I always ask this question to scrutinize lesser-known crypto, nft, and blockchain projects out there. How have you found assurance or felt safe that this isn't another rug pull or NFT get-rich-quick scheme that we all get dozens of messages from a month on Discord?
How has the Ethermore team shown value of this project beyond the face value of the current NFT boom?
Limarc Ambalina The Ethermore team has shown time and again that they are more interested in building than marketing. I agree that you see a lot of the latter in this space, which provides the contrast to what this team is doing. Beyond commissioning the artwork and issuing the NFTs, the team has been hard at work building various systems to complement them. And they often prefer to build something tailor-made for Ethermore rather than a 3rd party tool that may not be fully suited to their vision. Some examples are the sidequest system, which allows the community to create fun text-based adventures for token-holders, and the token web dashboard, which provides a lot of stats regarding the value of different types of heroes.
Limarc Ambalina If I'm being honest, this is still a wait and see area for me. I don't think the Ethermore team has any intent on rug-pulling or abandoning the project now that funds have been raised. One of the earliest indicators for me was their dedication to building the game how they want. I think there was even a disclaimer on the website about it. Being so transparent with intentions only galvanizes confidence. That said, I am still waiting to see what comes out of the DeFi Alliance and the build. Just like a written story, there were many promises made to the reader/player, and so I am eager to see how things all shake out.
For people who don't know anything about Ethermore, how would you describe the "gameplay" to date?
I think one of the biggest misconceptions I've seen revolves around the expectation Ethermore will be an Axie-style blockchain game. There have been lots of questions about whether there are game play videos and what this game will look like, etc. I'm not privy to what's being developed, but my understanding is that Ethermore is very much like DnD on the chain; that is, imaginative and text-based adventuring where community influences the decisions. With that said, the current state of play is not about the community but about exploring your own character identity. The sidequests written thus far offer choices to be made and what I call identity drift. Your character will tend to good or evil, chaotic or ordered, and this will differentiate the player base while providing each player an opportunity to connect with their character.
Yes, the sidequests are the main "gameplay" so far, that people would play individually with their hero tokens. The results of the quests change the hero's alignment (it uses the traditional D&D styled good/evil and order/chaos grid). The alignment is actually a metadata trait for the NFT. And all the characters start off as True Neutral. So in Opensea, you can actually see how many Lawful Good characters there are, for example.
Dybsy I've been playing RPGs and branching storylines visual novels for pretty much my entire life, but I haven't played TTRPGs so much, what do you mean by "exploring your own character identity"?
Limarc Ambalina What I meant was that the current sidequests allow you to get in tune with who you want your character to be and how you want them to interact with the world. They are a living and breathing manifestation of your own imagination, as is the case with countless other RPGs or whatever the case may be. So in the context of where the state of Ethermore's gameplay rests, we're very much in a discovery phase—at least for those who are taking things more serious than just sitting on NFT mints and asking 'wen moon.' We are discovering the world as it is slowly opened to us, and discovering our characters.
crypt0kel " The results of the quests change the hero's alignment (it uses the traditional D&D styled good/evil and order/chaos grid). " Wouldn't you say that this system could easily be used for games like Skyrim, but on the blockchain?
Let's not for get that The Elder Scrolls started / was inspired by TTRPGs!
Limarc Ambalina Yes! Many of the ideas and mechanics I could easily see being included in a traditional graphical RPG. And I think that in a few years time we will see Elder Scrolls-like blockchain games, where you can own your character + items as tokens. Many of the people who visit the Ethermore discord get excited by this idea and want to play Ethermore as a graphical RPG/MMO. But that kind of AAA game takes a lot of time and effort to build. Although I am not in the games industry, I have read some books about how even with crunch conditions, what might seem like a minor change to a game to outsiders could actually take months of work. But I see Ethermore as a pioneer in this space - I have no doubt that many of the systems and innovations that the team comes up with, will influence the blockchain gaming industry as a whole. And I am very excited to have a front seat for that!
Hey everyone, nice to talk to you.
What about Ethermore is unique and keeps you interested and engaged in the community? I was initially drawn to the project because of the art. I am a big fan of pixel & voxel art and Ethermore clearly stands out. I did not even know about the depth of the project at first and only thought of it as "another pfp". That changed quickly of course. Ethermore is clearly bigger than the NFT itself, it really tries to utilize a lot of different aspects of blockchain infrastructure and weaves that into a unique experience. You have quests, characters, factions, lore, cartography, morale and the a grand narrative of a fight between good and evil. On top of all that, it will be governed by a DAO in the future which of course engages and incentivizes players to be active in the community. Plus it is all very early and you can really have an impact as an individual. And what keeps me engaged are all the nice folks that I have met so far.
Who would be your typical player? What would be their persona? I'm gonna be honest here - I don't have any past connections to RPGs or similar style games. But what I have discovered about myself so far while playing the quests is that I have a hard time pretending to be anything other than my real self 🙂
I am curious who or what are some of your biggest influences? Are there some ideas/projects/past products that drive you? The overall narrative that drove me to Ethermore is decentralization. I started to investigate Crypto in 2017 and strongly believe that this is the way forward for society - away from centralized power and giving ownership of data, money etc. back to the individual. Ethereum would be the project to name for me. On a more personal level I love nature & hiking, reading (especially Scandinavian crime novels) and music of all genres. Overall very curious to try out new things.
How has the Ethermore team shown value of this project beyond the face value of the current NFT boom? If you get into it, it is so obvious that Ethermore will be one of the clear winners of this current NFT year. The hype reminds me of the ICO days - different acronym but similar dynamics. A lot of projects with little to no vision while a few with outstanding communities, teams and tech behind it. In terms of concrete value I would say: quality of output over marketing, website, collaborations with other high profile projects and general accessibility and engagement with the community by the team. Plus I could browse Ethermore heroes all day and just look at them, can't say that about many other projects 🙂
For people who don't know anything about Ethermore, how would you describe the "gameplay" to date? As a non-native to the RPG world, I would say the core engine is closest to a point-and-click adventure with lots of room to venture into different styles. Aside from that it's really world building from scratch.
Cool! Well that's all the questions I had for you. Thanks so much for joining us on Slogging crypt0kel Celot Dybsy We'll get this slogging post edited and published and let you know when it's live!
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