Friday, October 26, 2018

Invisible Sun Unboxing

Since Monte Cook is launching a reprint Kickstarter, I thought this would be a good time blog my impressions about the Invisible Sun Box set I received in August. Invisible Sun feels to me like someone took Ars Magica, Over the Edge, and D&D Planescape put them in a blender and hit frappe. Everyone is a magic user a strangely dark and twisted realm filled with portals to other dimensions. As with many Monte Cook things, the pretention is strong in this product (see Jeff Rients I got your threefold model right here, buddy!). This time Monte has cranked it up to 11 with a custom box for the game and claims of all new roleplaying experience. Unfortunately, as a collector, pretention is one of my weaknesses. Although I was able to resist the first Kickstarter, once it became apparent last February that: first, they were actually going to deliver this game; and second they might sell out the first print run; I put my pre-order in. Unfortunately, this put me absolutely last in the delivery queue but in August it finally turned up (My Sooth desk showed up a couple weeks after I placed my order). Here are some pictures of the Black Cube and what lies within.

The Cube opens

The six-fingered hand (five was apparently not enough)

Miscellaneous Gubbins 

The Book I

The Book II

The Book III

The Book IV

Not pictured Character sheets, DM Ref sheets, cards, numerous wooden tokens, and a Sun Tracking mat for Sooth Cards (The Sooth Cards are sold separately). I have flipped through the rules, but as of yet have been unable to grok the system. It appears not to be the Cypher system since there appear to be only two stats in instead of three (I may have misread this). I will endeavor to probe the mysteries of this game further once my shoulder injuries from manhandling the cube heal (The weight of this cube put the former Monte Cook heavyweight Ptlous City by the Spire to shame). Was it worth the 300+ bucks I paid for it? In terms of owning something unique, my friends won't have yes. The pretention aspect is failed a little in the ability of the cardboard cube to withstand the weight of the items inside, mine is showing tears where some of the shelves join the walls of the cube. The game seems to have a few more moving bits than I like based on all the components included. Being that Ars Magica and Over the Edge are two of my favorite games if I can figure this one out it may be one of my favorites as well.

P.S. Not that surrealist actually require lots of rules, my friend Jeremiah's Fabulous Unknown City campaign was played nominally using 5e rules. I played a six-foot-tall white lab rat (descended from a sentient race created when one of the longer players alchemy experiment took an unexpected turn) barbarian who wore an Elizabethan ruff and a gold jumpsuit. It was no use mapping the City because it re-arranged itself every week. Jeremiah's far tamer Game of the North is available here (although the random items table does give you some of the Unknown City vibes).

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