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Riot-Backed Afrofantasy MMORPG, The Wagadu Chronicles, Has Entered Kickstarter

Joseph Bradford Updated: Posted:
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Riot-Backed Afrofantasy MMORPG, The Wagadu Chronicles, Has Entered Kickstarter

The first partner in Riot's Underrepresented Founders Program, Twin Drums, has announced that their upcoming Afrofantasy MMORPG, The Wagadu Chronicles, has officially launched its Kickstarter.

The upcoming isometric MMO built to harken back to the roots of the role-playing genre - where players embodied a role and not just min-maxed stats - has launched its Kickstarter, asking for an initial funding goal of $117,680. As of the writing of this piece, they have raised $47,880 towards that goal. Kickstarted MMOs are nothing new to the industry, but hopefully with the backing of Riot, this doesn't end the same way we've seen other MMO attempts, such as Chronicles of Elyria for example.

One of the aspects of The Wagadu Chronicles is that it's meant to be played as both an MMO online, as well as tabletop, bringing players together offline to experience the world even more. Twin Drums mentions that the player input from these 5E tabletop sessions "will affect the development of the MMO."

 The tabletop RPG books of Wagadu are crucial to this project because they flesh out the lore in a way that a videogame can't. If you want to truly experience and understand role-play in Wagadu, you'll have to take a look at the lore that is in the books. If you decide to focus only on tabletop role-play, your input and user generated content will affect the development of the MMO.

While still in Pre-Alpha, the Kickstarter isn't the only way the MMORPG is being supported, as the developers have explicitly stated they are also being helped by Riot Games. The Kickstarter is, in their words, a way to add additional development funding to their team and improve the game.

"We have some funding and support from a big developer. The Wagadu Chronicles is happening. The reason why we are here is because your support can help us improve the game by increasing our development budget and by joining us in this development journey with your feedback and participation."

The MMO will offer different skills, adapting the 5E setting to the class system of Wagadu. Some examples of those skills are options such as cartography, archery, animal husbandry, and more.

"The 5E setting adapts the usual class system to Wagadu, the MMO takes a freer approach.  You have skill "presets" that look like traditional "classes" but you can freely break away from that and build your own warrior-oracle or farmer-chef, nothing stops you."

Wagadu's setting is also unique as many games don't exactly showcase afrofantasy or even African-inspired settings, posing the question: "What if Tolkien were Black?"

"The approach taken to create this fantasy world was: "What if Tolkien were black?". Just as Tolkien did, a lot of time was spent researching the mythologies and traditions of people, but in this case across the African continent. The result is seven "lineages", which are similar to fantasy "races" but more nuanced, with overlapping cultures and more fluid identities."

You can read more, and download the 5E Lorebook for The Wagadu Chronicles for free on the Kickstarter page.


Joseph Bradford

Joseph has been writing or podcasting about games in some form since about 2012. Having written for multiple major outlets such as IGN, Playboy, and more, Joseph started writing for MMORPG in 2015. When he's not writing or talking about games, you can typically find him hanging out with his 10-year old or playing Magic: The Gathering with his family. Also, don't get him started on why Balrogs *don't* have wings. You can find him on Twitter @LotrLore