Shroud of the Avatar, the latest high-profile Kickstarter and the brainchild of Ultima creator Richard Garriott, is to be written by Tracy Hickman. Garriott announced the news via his Kickstarter page just as funding for the million dollar project reached the 90% mark.
Hickman is a legend for a generation of fantasy fans, many of whom will also be among Garriott’s audience. During the 1980s, Hickman and his wife Laura created the Dragonlance world, which became a cornerstone of TSR’s Dungeons & Dragons. Dragonlance formed the basis of a series of bestselling high fantasy books and tabletop roleplaying modules, many of which Hickman wrote with fellow author Margaret Weis.
Only yesterday, Hickman posted a video to his YouTube account in support of Garriott, calling him an “inspiration” and saying that “Richard knows adventure.” Three times.
Hickman’s work creating roleplaying modules means he’s not only an author, but also a game designer, albeit in something of an olde schoole sense. He and his wife also collaborated on the creation of several other works, including the Ravenloft campaign setting, a patchwork world of gothic fantasy.
He’s a good match for Garriott, as the work of both men leans away from the grittiness of something like Game of Thrones and more towards romantic, high fantasy, in the vein of Tolkien. This will likely be a further boost to what’s already a very healthy Kickstarter that still has three weeks to collect that last 10% of funding.