App driven 4X pirate game Sea of Legends on KS
“Spell sits in the back of a secluded tavern savoring her drink and her recent victory. Only hours ago, the newly assembled crew had voted her to be their captain, but now she faces a problem. She doesn't have the money to outfit a ship. She hunts through the pages of an ancient tome looking for an answer. The solution walks through the door dripping wet. A parade of soggy sailors barges in, grumbling under their beards.”
Guildhall Studios, along with designers Ryan Schapals, Zach Weisman (Menu Masters), and Jordan Weisman (Tsuro of the Seas, Mage Knight) have begun a Campaign on Kickstarter for the narrative, 4X sandbox, pirate game Sea of Legends. In Sea of Legends, 1-4 players take on the role of adventurous pirates, following an app driven narrative storyline through the Caribbean, doing very pirate things: hiring crew, finding and burying treasure, fighting monsters, visiting taverns for rumor and profit, and taking over ports, all with the help of their lover, and despite the presence of their nemesis. All encounters, including combat, are resolved with custom dice, which bring in successes, including “help” from these friends and enemies.
Sea of Legends is first and foremost an app-driven narrative adventure, containing more than 400 unique stories, and over 700 pages of carefully written pirate lore contributed by a team of 26 writers. Even with multiple replays, it is unlikely you will ever see the same game twice. The app knows who is playing, which NPC adversaries are in the game, and what relationships the other players have. So, stories can overlap; one player can be sent on a mission to rescue another player’s lover, or even help their nemesis, directly impacting opponent’s games.
Sea of Legends has a few key features that really make this game stand out in the world of epic, 4X adventure games. Firstly, each player has their own pirate captain, but also a lover and a nemesis. Die rolls and story elements can call upon these side characters, giving you powerful bonuses when the lover appears, or creating serious roadblocks when the nemesis rears their ugly head. These side characters can also level up during the game, making their assistance or interference more impactful. Second, the game features NPC factions that have their own agendas. Each faction contains smaller minions and a large boss, determined to foil the game. For example, the undead Dread Tide will try to congregate skeletons together to create a Voltron-like skeletal Colossus, which tromps around the map destroying island ports. The mysterious Children of Tlalock will send their merfolk to search the far corners of the board for lost relics, eventually summoning the forgotten god, The Sea’s Firstborn. And these are only 2 of many NPC factions in the game. If these NPC factions are allowed to progress too far, the NPC can win, making all the players therefore lose.
The art in Sea of Legends from the team at Guildhall cannot go without mention – the miniatures are spectacular, the board and card art absolutely top notch. As a personal note, this was one of the most polished and eye catching games I saw at the GAMA Expo, even in its prototype state. The Kickstarter for Sea of Legends comes with 4 captain minis and cards, 8 double sided lover/nemesis cards, 5 full NPC factions with minis, 16 custom dice, more than 100 tokens, over 100 cards, board and rules. Larger pledges come with even more factions and captains. For more details, check out the Kickstarter Campaign here, or Guildhall’s official webpage on Sea of Legends. The Kickstarter Campaign continues through June 3, and the game is expected to deliver in February 2021.