What a week!
GAMA is over and a number of new games were unveiled. Be sure to check out our three-part wrap-up of the trade show for most of the big announcements this week. Because of that, we’ll be skipping the news bits since most news have addressed already.
My home RPG group finished the first book of the Wrath of the Righteous Pathfinder campaign I’m running for them. Only five more books remaining! Running entire adventure paths is a significant undertaking, but thankfully one I’m familiar with. I completed the entire Carrion Crown campaign with the same group last fall, which took roughly two and a half years to finish. Witnessing players level their characters from one to nearly maximum (20) is eye-opening and a true joy to be a part of. It also reveals many of the flaws inherent in the d20 system and high-level play. Powerful characters simply have so many options available to them that it becomes difficult to provide a memorable challenge at times.
Wrath of the Righteous utilizes Paizo’s new Mythic Adventures rules, which grants incredible superhuman powers to mere mortals in the vein of Hercules. My players just received their first “Mythic Tier” and are taking the first steps towards discovering which powers, feats, and spells are most engaging. However, despite an increased level of difficulty in the adventures as written, I’m concerned that the added Mythic powers will take an already imbalanced game and swing it out of control. I suppose time will tell.
Kickstarter continues to be a paramount player in the independent gaming scene, with more and more creators seeking funding for their games. Each week, we will bring you two or three tabletop-related Kickstarter projects that have especially caught our attention.
I love Catacombs. The game was originally released in 2010 by publisher Sands of Time, now known as Elzra Games. Players flick discs across dungeons to attack monsters, working their way down to the lowest depths to battle one of the game’s four boss monsters. Elzra is hoping to bring Catacombs back to the market with a new edition, complete with all-new art and pieces.
The original Catacombs had a dark gothic aesthetic to the art, while the new version seems to be aiming for a light-hearted, family friendly appeal. Personally, I found the old art to be a bit of generic fantasy so I fully embrace the new art direction. But really, as long as the classic gameplay of flicking discs to battle monsters remains, who cares how the art looks?
The appeal of small, portable games is very strong for me. I enjoy being able to pack a title such as Hanabi in my pocket when I don’t want to carry around a bag full of board games. Dice Hate Me Games feel the same, it seems. They’ve launched a crowdfunding campaign to release six separate pocket-sized games for your micro-gaming needs.
All six titles utilize only 54 cards as part of a game design challenge issued by the publisher last November. The winner, Diner, is included in the set along with five others: Brew Crafters, Pie Factory, Easy Breezy Travel Agency, The Fittest, and Isle of Trains. Pledging to obtain all six games is a little on the pricey side, but the buzz surrounding each game makes the entire package seem worthwhile.
Super Dungeon Explore is the board game re-imagining of the classic video game Gauntlet. Many anime and video game tropes are lampooned as players battle through waves of monsters to defeat the ultimate boss of the dungeon. Now, Soda Pop Miniatures is releasing their third expansion, Forgotten King, to the market via Kickstarter which promises to take the game in a slightly new direction.
One of the key aspects of Forgotten King is the new Arcade Mode. Previously, Super Dungeon Explore required one player to assume the role of the Dark Consul, directing all of the monsters to slay the heroes. Arcade Mode removes this role, allowing a completely pure cooperative experience for the first time. This addition alone makes Forgotten King an exciting prospect, and the fact that it is a stand-alone product that does not require the base game makes it even more enticing.
If you have a particular project you’d like for us to check out, send it along our way. And as always, check to see if your local game store is supporting any of these games, and if so, ask if you can pre-order a Kickstarter copy through them.