Inside Pulse 12

A Look at the $100,000 Stretch Goal for Shadows of Esteren: Occultism

If you’re unaware, the next book for the multi-award winning Shadows of Esteren line is currently crowdfunding over at Kickstarter. It’s currently raised $92,000 thanks to 772 backers. Nelyhann and his team saw I was a backer (as I always am) and asked if they could debut the $100K stretch goal here at Diehard GameFAN. Of course I said yes…especially once I saw what the goal was.

If Occultism is able to raise $100,000, we’ll get a chance to explore a totally new aspect of Shadows of Esteren – the cuisine. The goal is to create a full menu with recipes for a Shadows of Esteren dinner. Now this idea is not totally new. In 2013 we saw the Werewolf: The Apocalypse Cookbook, but frankly it wasn’t very good nor thematically correct. That won’t be the case with the Shadows of Esteren menu. Here the goal is actually create a full medieval menu based on Shadows of Esteren lore. To ensure an authentic feel and results, the Shadows of Esteren team will be pairing with Thibaud Villanova and Chef Maxime Leonard who some of you might know as the authors of Gastronogeek, whose website is currently down until March. You CAN visit their Facebook page though.

For those of you who aren’t francophones, Gastronogeek was a popular pop culture based cookbook published in September 2014 was an unexpected hit over in France. If you collect cookbooks like I do (Most kids wanted to be Optimus Prime or Mike Schmidt when I was growing up. I wanted to be Joel Robuchon), you’ll find a lot of them are really stuffy and dry. There are a few that are entertaining to read but generally don’t have very good recipes in return (Like the WWF cookbook I picked up in the 90s). Very few are a mix of information and entertainment. Those are books like Alton Brown’s Feasting on Asphalt, The Frasier themed cookbook CafĂ© Nervosa and one I have by Chen Kenichi. Now I don’t own Gastronogeek. but I’ve been given samples of what they have done and it definitely one of those cookbooks with excellent recipes but still fun for a non-cook to read. There are five sections to the cookbook: Sci-Fi, Horror, Fantasy, Comics, and Manga. Each section of the cookbook then features references based on pop culture. For example under the Horror section, you’ll find a recipe for Chicken Paprikash which Jonathan Harker ate on his fateful trip to Castle Dracula (Not actually Castle Bran. Damn Romanian tourism board).Under comics, you’ll find Martha Kent’s Apple Pie. Things like that. The photography is fantastic and the pairing of real, delicious recipes to concepts like Conan, Hellboy and Lord of the Rings is pretty fantastic. To learn more about Gastronogeek, click here for an English Press Release PDF. Hopefully this means the book will be in English someday for those of you on this side of the Atlantic that don’t speak Francais (I can’t make a Cedilla or the back end of this site goes INSANE). I’ve also included a gallery of pictures below.

So as a person who loved cooking, cookbooks, and role-playing games – this is a fantastic idea. When I was a teenager we used to do those dinner & murder mysteries you used to see in book stores during the 90s. I’m not sure if this will be a free addition or an add-on (Nelyhann didn’t share that with me), but it definitely has me considering upping my pledge to ensure this happens (I’ve gone all digital with SoE after my late lamented rabbit Mr. Chewie Biteums lived up to his name and ate my limited edition of Shadows of Esteren, Book One.) because it’s an idea that strongly appeals to me, although I can understand if it’s not for every gamer. As the Horror on the Orient Express Kickstarter showed though, people love stretch goals that help to create a full immerse experience. Chaosium gave those backers placemats, napkins, matchboxes and even mugs to help create the feel of actually being on the Orient Express in the 1920s. Of course it’s much easier to create a realistic experience with something that actually existed in our own world. It is quite another to create something for a fantasy world like Shadows of Esteren. If anyone is up to this terrific challenge though, It’s going to be the Gastronogeek team.

Shadows of Esteren needs less than eight thousand dollars to achieve this stretch goal, so it’s fairly safe to assume they will make it. What do you think Gastronogeek will make for the starter, main course and dessert selections if the stretch goal is achieved. What sorts of dishes and food do you think best fit the Shadows of Esteren world? Sound off here and over at the Kickstarter page for Shadows of Esteren: Occultism. If you’re new to Shadows of Esteren, visiting the Kickstarter page is a great way to learn more about the game and also take the plunge and purchase some books for it. You can also learn more by visiting the official website for the game and the game’s Facebook page.

Good luck reaching the 100K stretch goal Nelyhann. Allez Cuisine!

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