Il Kickstarter Lex Arcana was a success: it reached the finish line in just two hours and is continuously increasing. How did Leo Colovini, Dario de Toffoli, Marco Maggi and Francesco Nepitello, twenty-five years after the first edition, re-break the box office?
To find out we have to go back to 1993, the famous year of Mage: The Ascension and Pandemonium. Lex Arcana, produced by Dal Negro at the time, arrived in the hands of his earliest fans in a cardboard box depicting the red sunset on a Roman battlefield. Inside four books (Player, Demiurge, Setting and Adventures), some pre-generated cards and seven dice. Its compact and ready-to-use nature lent itself well to being a gift for enthusiasts, and that was how it came into the hands of one of our editors. It was, of course, love at first sight.
Needless to say, the game broke. It was new, it was Italian, it was easy to learn and the results at the table were pleasant. He had everything he needed: badass legionaries, ambitious patricians, barbarians with strange and macabre rites, and the empire to survive. The loyalty and attachment to the game was solidified with the release of the various expansions: Carthage, Gaul and Etruria expanded the battlefield of the Custodes. Like all good dreams, however, Lex Arcana also ended, and the waking period lasted 25 years.
All roads lead back to Rome
Welcomed as Massimo Decimo Meridio at the Colosseum in Scott's film, the new Lex Arcana is still under the guidance of the four original creators. Interesting addition is the support this time of Quality Games and Andrea Angiolino, Creative Director of the same. Alongside Quality Games, Nicola De Gobbis' evergreen Need Games. We followed personally the advancement of the new Lex Arcana and when Kickstart reached the finish line we exploded with joy. But what allowed Lex Arcana to make so much money?
First, a healthy factor nostalgia. The games that were born and developed during the nineties brought with them many fans for a lot of reasons: the fairs were few, the games were played longer, there was little variety and those who played had a serious passion for the game . Even just recovering an accessory manual could become complex, especially if the game was only an Italian release.
I dare to place the Made in Italy in second place; supporting a project born and raised in Italy has moved most of the people I have heard, and the possibility of having a copy in their mother tongue helps those who still in 2018 do not chew English so well. I think it is always nice to know that I have supported an idea that comes from neighbors or from the region, especially if it is a good idea.
Third place goes tosetting: Rome and the Roman Empire are times and spaces still little addressed by role-playing games, which have brushed fantasy and Cthulhu properly and which are now focusing on the superhero and the future. Few games have dealt with the classical period and even less with the prehistoric one, therefore the setting is almost "new" and waiting to be discovered.
Fourth and last place, but not for the importance, is up to the advertising campaign and to the accurate and interested coverage of the event, guided through social networks and fairs, and then transmitted from fan to fan throughout Italy. A presentation video in English (although, I admit, I would love to hear it in Italian) and a slap-up Kickstarter did the rest, giving this game the importance it deserves.
We in the editorial staff are waiting for June 2019 to receive our copy from Early Eagles and, in the meantime, we follow the race of Lex Arcana. Eight goals achieved, still a long way to go, material that we can't wait to browse. Who knows if I'll have time to read everything. But I would say that 2019 will be a very pleasant year.