setting

There is an endless war between the celestials of Heaven and Hell, and the only way to stop it is to unite the forces of the dead in the Underworld to defeat the celestials restore balance in the universe and accomplish your own ulterior motives in the process.  In Court of the Dead: Mourners Call, players are Mourners, an allegiant of Death, seeking to gain influence among the three factions – Bone, Flesh, and Spirit – and gain control of the strongholds and guilds in the Underworld.  Players will need to spend Elthera, a power within mortal souls, to build their influence among the factions, but Elthera is also needed to pay tribute to the celestials. Mismanaging the Elthera risks arousing the suspicions of celestials and invoking the Dreadsgrip, a destructive force that may weaken a Mourner’s influence in the Underworld.  Meanwhile, Death has a few tasks he needs his Mourners to accomplish. The game is a balance of cooperation and hidden objectives, area control and condition management.  The player who contributes the most to the goals of the Underworld wins and serve as Death’s right hand in the conflict with the celestials.

Court of the Dead is a new rich and immersive setting developed by Project Raygun, a designer collectibles division under USAopoly. The world in the Court of the Dead has undergone development over the past couple of years.  As Project Raygun developed the world, they created history, storylines, central figures in the world.  Large vinyl statues were built to bring the central characters to life.  Numerous comics and graphic novels told stories about the world.  More about this world of the Court of the Dead can be found here.

Court of the Dead: Mourners Call plays 2-5 players, ages 14+ in about 90 minutes. Contents include Game Board, 48 Guild Figures, 1 Death Figure, 1 Malavestros Figure, 40 Guild Mover Bases, 14 Court Cards, 27 Mourner Cards, 36 Wallows Cards, 12 Objective Cards, 4 Reference Cards, 4 Player Boards,    50 Etherea Pieces, 45 Unity Tokens, 12 Faction Tokens, 1 Dreadsbane Token, 24 Wooden Trackers, 14 Tracker Pieces, 4 Dice, and Rules.  The game is available for preorder now or look for the game in your friendly local game store in August 2019.

catan faiduti board

I have found that Bruno Faidutti has a tendency to really think deeply about games and what makes them tick and be appealing to us that play them.  This is a very good thing especially considering that he is a game designer.  In this post on his blog he goes over a talk that he gave off the cuff at Gen Con 2014.  This talk was about postcolonialism and how it relates to games.  He talks about how the Settlers of Catan is given a somewhat different name in a very meaningful way in his native France.  Instead of being the Settlers of Catan it is the Colonists of Catan.  They don’t have a different word for Settlers and Colonists there.  This led him to start thinking about the actual differences and how we handle the settings of games.

This post takes a very intriguing look at not just something like the colonization of a country and therefore the dealing with natives but other issues we see in regards to how we treat the people invovled in a particular game setting whether it be historical or geographical.  It is interesting some of biases he points out people having and some of the we accept as a result of those biases.

I strongly encourage you to head over to his blog and check out this insightful post here