narrative games

Succubus Publishing has launched a new Kickstarter project offering entry and additional content for Middara, their massive 1-4 player fantasy dungeon crawl set in an alternate reality Earth.

The core game of Middara features an 80+ hour campaign where you can fully customize characters from the ground up using over 110 different abilities and over 160 different items. The box is packed with 44 miniatures and 36 double-sided map tiles. The narrative in Middara is driven by its 482 page adventure book that can be experienced in its spiral bound form or through an audio app. You can also play single scenarios separate from the main campaign in Crawl Mode.

Combat in Middara is dice-driven utilizing action points. The custom dice include numbers, which you will compare to your target’s defense, as well as symbols that trigger abilities. The different between your attack roll and your target’s defense equates directly to how much damage you do. Enemy cards lay out their abilities and individualized AI. For more on gameplay, check out the Dice Tower’s Testing Tuesday playthrough.

The new content available through the Kickstarter project consists of acts two and three continuing the story from the core game. Each additional act is a 40+ hour campaign adding around 40 new miniatures. They also include more map tiles, character abilities, gear, and Crawl Mode scenarios. If you are still looking for more, the project offers add-ons for new scenarios, alternate enemy cards, and additional miniatures. The project runs through 11:00 am EST on July 24th. The estimated delivery for wave 1 content is May 2020, and for wave 2 is December 2021. The original Kickstarter delivered three years after its estimated delivery, and you can read about that journey through the original project updates.

On May 20th, Modiphius Entertainment announced The Elder Scrolls: Call to Arms, a narrative miniatures game designed by Mark Latham (The Walking Dead: All Out War, The Harry Potter Miniatures Adventure Game) which builds upon the core mechanics of Modiphius’ Fallout: Wasteland Warfare, but rewritten and reworked to fit into the Elder Scrolls franchise and universe. Modiphius has planned a release date for the game of Christmas 2019.

The Elder Scrolls: Call to Arms will have you and your band of heroes set out on narrative-driven scenarios, ranging from treasure-seeking dungeon delves to Tamriel battles, completing quests and objectives – and enjoying high quality 32mm resin miniatures each with its own custom base (including fan favorites such as Hadvar, Ralof, Yrsarald Thrice-Pierced, Marcurio, Mjoll the Lioness, Ulfric Stormcloak, Galmar Stone-Fist, General Tullius and Lydia).

In the first wave, players will lead their forces of the Stormcloaks or Imperial Legion – comprised of 1-5 heroes and 3-15 troops – to fight for the future of Skyrim in the civil war. This wave of releases will be a two player starter set and reinforcement sets of resin miniatures for the Stormcloaks and Imperial Army, as well as a Dragonborn single player set. Planned future releases include additional races and characters from across the Elder Scrolls franchise.

Leading up to the launch, Modiphius will be releasing promotional miniatures, including the Dragonborn miniature which is available in limited quantities online but will also be available at the UK Games Expo in June and GenCon in August.

For more information, click here.

Plaid Hat Games announces Gen7: A Crossroads Game.  In Gen7 places players on an international colony ship, 142 years into a 210-year journey.  Thirteen generations will be born on the vessel before it reaches its final destination, and for six generations, everything has gone as planned.  The players are the crew of the 7th generation.  Together, the crew must work together to maintain and pilot the ship towards its destination and preserve the mission of the colony.  However, each crew member also has his or her own objective that may not be in everyone else’s best interest. In the lonely expanse of space, paranoia and intrigue play out aboard an interstellar ark.

Gen7 is a narrative game.  The game is played over the course of seven episodes, and each episode defines each player’s goal.  Accomplishing those goals can help players advance in rank and gain new perks to perform their job better.  However, victory is not won by accruing the highest individual score or rank; it is the players’ actions that will determine how the story ends and whether victory is achieved. The fate of the human species lies in their hands.

Gen7: A Crossroads Game plays 3-4 players, ages 14+, in 60-90 minutes.  Contents include:

  • 130-page Plot Book
  • 1 Rulebook
  • 12 Board Tiles
  • 4 Player Barracks Sheets
  • 370 Standard Cards
  • 52 Mini Cards
  • 14 Divider Cards
  • 25 six-sided dice
  • 6 eight-sided dice
  • 4 twelve-sided dice
  • 108 Resource Markers
  • 50 Status Markers
  • 4 Merit Track Markers
  • 4 Hibernation Markers
  • 3 Round Track Markers
  • 1 Logic/Instinct Track Marker
  • 1 Bookmark Token
  • 1 First Player Token
  • 1 Officer Spotlight Token
  • 9 Envelopes – Stuffed with Secrets

Stay tuned to Plaid Hat Games for previews of the Gen7 over the coming weeks.  Gen7 is available for pre-order now.

In an effort to bridge the gap between RPG and board game, or to just produce a highly narrative game, FFG has announced Legacy of Dragonholt.  This game uses a newly created game system called the Oracle system, and promises to give the same thematic depth as an RPG, but without the need for a GM.  The start of the game is very similar with people picking a race and a class with choices like dwarves, elves, gnomes, and knight, sage, thief to just name a few.  From there you will embark on quests as you try to figure out the greater mysteries that have been plaguing Dragonholt.  FFG describes the first three adventures:

New Roads, your team ponders the strangeness of Celyse’s letter as you travel the road to Dragonholt. If lives are truly in danger, you have no time to waste. But the gnome who has decided to act as your guide seems blissfully unaware of any rumors regarding danger or treachery as she leads you through Eventide Forest.

Another quest, Paper Faces, will have you attending a strange and intriguing ball. Lady Regina Fairfax has invited both the villagers and nobles of Dragonholt to a grand masquerade where anyone can mingle without the boundaries of social class. 

…in the Whispering Leaves quest. First, the countess’s daughter and heir, Sonia, met her demise under dubious circumstances, bringing your party to Dragonholt. But now, her son Philip has gone missing as well.

The game promises to be ever changing and adapting to your decisions as you play, making for varied outcomes on multiple plays.  Plus there is also an experience system which allows you to level up and gain new abilities and items, making you stronger for the tougher tasks ahead.  So if this kind of game sounds interesting then head on over to FFG page to read more, and look forward to it’s release in the fourth quarter of this year.

risk legacy

Christorpher Chabris, at the Wall Street Journal, wrote a piece on narrative games, with a special notice of both the games Pandemic Legacy and TIME Stories.  He noted that there are many reasons why we play games, and one of those reasons can be to tell a story, and you can’t find that experience more central than in the two previously mentioned games.  While I haven’t played TIME Stories yet, I have played Pandemic Legacy and I wholeheartedly agree that the story experience is like no other, and that is what makes it so great.  You can read the whole story on the Wall Street Journal website.