You may remember a that some time ago we attended UK Games Expo and during that time, we came across quite a few Kickstarter projects that were due to launch this year. Snitch is one of those projects I found, where I was lucky enough to play it with the creators. It’s a fast-paced social-deduction style game, that now has been released on Kickstarter and at time of writing, is well underway to getting funded.
Back in August 2017, I backed this product on Kickstarter as an early birthday present, under the impression it would’ve come in time for December that same year. A handful of delays with design and printing eventually led the EU fulfilment to happen this September.
Was it worth the wait?
Jamie Noble Frier, also known as The Noble Artist, is a digital artist hailing from Sussex and is now turning his hand to board game design, with his first major foray: Hero Master. I met Jamie at UK Games Expo and he very kindly offered to give me a personal tour through the game as it stood, using Tabletop Simulator. After much time wrangling between the two of us, we finally got it scheduled in and I asked Nathan to join us digitally. The result of this is over two hours of video taken from that playthrough that we need to condense, do a voiceover for and release on our YouTube channel. Video aside, Jamie’s Kickstarter is now up and running and we thought it would be a great time to do a little overview of the game, which in my opinion is well worth buying.
There’ve been countless times where I’ve ran a campaign and gone “actually, I really could do with creating a custom creature”. Usually because I’ve been playing a game where the scenario is so far out there, that the confines of Dungeons and Dragons dicates I should be reaching far outside of it to get something more fitting. I’ve had grand wars between gods with my players being in the middle of the fights, I’ve also had to get people to fight off flaming dire wolves. However, sometimes, your mind draws a blank and you need more inspiration. That’s where monster compendiums such as L’gats Tome of Amazing Creatures comes in.
So often board games strive to emulate the rich depth of gameplay enjoyed by role-playing games. Often the result is a thin facsimile or an unwieldy brute of a game, and rarely does role-play enter into the equation, but here we have at least one game in which role play is the whole point. In Role Quest by Hercules Game Studios you assume secret characters, place them opposite one another in locations and situations, and act them out. It is down to your opposing players to guess who you were. Sounds fine. Until you add curses. Speaking in rhyme, singing, impersonating someone, some new complication to add to your efforts.
Best of all the game is limited to two rounds, and a time limit is set on each and every role-play, meaning that it’s a quick game that plunges you straight into a narrative, it’s over quickly to move on to something else, or to get another round in. Locations offer new options to alter the tactics of the game, treasures help twist the flow of the game, and there is a fixed point scoring system, but ultimately it’s a game of improvisational acting skills and character playing that’s great for people who don’t think they’re good at that sort of thing.
I think this is also one I ought to add to the GeekOut Shrewsbury library.
As I write this, the game has surpassed it’s funding goal of £4,500 in the last half hour or so with twenty one days (ending August 9th) left to go to achieve some stretch goals. So let’s take a look at what Hercules Games are going to funding…
There’s very little more to say about the game itself, especially now it’s past the finishing line, so let’s take a look at what Hercules Game Studios can do with just a little more money.
£5,000 At goal + 500 we see our first new location, The Guild. With only three locations, that could prove an essential for replayability.
£5,500 The City Guard is introduced as a new possible character, a classic for every fantasy setting.
£6,000 The Temple is added as another new location, which should also help boost the diversity of the game.
£7,000 A timer for every copy of the game to help keep things moving without the need for breaking out the clock on your phone. Of course supporting apps are ever more popular these days but they can often be poor compromise to having an actual timer to slam onto the table. But I digress.
With a fairly tight cluster of stretch goals and so much time left after hitting the 100% mark, Role-Quest might need to add more goals, and fast. Perhaps more characters and locations, but with a game this simple there is definite scope for expansions. At least one expansion has already been created (more info in the pledge rewards below) but I can think of several directions this game could take with very little thought.
So what do you get for your money?
Pledge £4 or more
Wizard Pledge: For each Wizard pledge, Alex, Phoebos or a guest will roleplay a personality of your choice on video after the end of the campaign (the personality must be appropriate for all audiences)
Interestingly there is no option for a £1 “tip jar”, I like that the most basic option still gives something back. Also, not included here is a retailer specific pledge, but go check out the campaign if you’re a stockist.
Pledge £15 or more
Innkeeper Pledge: One copy of Role Quest: the card game of legendary role-playing
Pledge £18 or more
Blacksmith Pledge: One copy of Role Quest: the card game of legendary role-playing and the mini expansion.
The expansion will be NSFW and for ages 18+, which I feel is a somewhat necessary addition to this game, not because I think the game will need it, but because for the type of people I play with, I will need it.
Pledge £29 or more
Mayor Pledge: Two copies of Role Quest: the card game of legendary role-playing and two copies of the mini expansion.
This may seem odd, but by the time you incorporate shipping – at least within the UK, US, and Germany – you’ve saved a total of £5, and more if shipping elsewhere in the world. It does become worth it to share the burden of your pledge for the sake of £2.50 each.
Pledge £59 or more
Necromancer Pledge: Necromancer’s don’t just play ordinary board games, they get a personalised card with their face and the Role Quest Role-Player’s handbook. Includes: Role Quest base game, NSFW Mini Expansion (ages 18+), Personalised Character Card, Role Quest Role-Player’s Handbook.
Currently about half of these remain, 22 out of 50. If you want a personal and unique touch added to your game then it may be worth looking into this option. I might not go for the whole thing, but I may be tempted by that Role-Player’s Handbook if it’s available separately after the pledges are completed. I’m a sucker for role-playing accessories, and this looks like a quick and easy way to create or adapt characters. The book can help turn Role Quest from a basic board game and turn it into something one might use to actually enact small role-playing games, or incorporate it into existing campaigns to create in-game impact.
I actually ran across the game at UKGE. I was plainly suckered in by the wheel-spin (I won a sticker, I am perfectly find with this) but I talked to the designers and was immediately quite interested. A means of creating short and punchy RP scenarios to play out short vignettes or to draw people into the concept of role-play is right within my wheelhouse. I sincerely wish Hercules Game Studios the best of luck, not just with Role-Quest, but in their future endeavours too.
In the mean time, check out the Kickstarter today.
If you head north, past Edinburgh, you might find the seaside city of Dundee, where we find the DigiSprite team who have, up until now, been building websites and mobile games. They are trying their hand in traditional board gaming with their first product called Doomsday Bots. Their Kickstarter is going very well and I was lucky enough to get an introductory game with managing director Robyn during UK Games Expo, so I thought I would do a full review.
It was back in October last year that I first supported Family Plot, and I was anticipating its arrival. I have had my final copy for a few months now and thought it was about time that I finally reviewed it.
So on a recent quest to scour the internets for interesting things to talk about for this site I sometimes come across things purely by accident. If you’re a fan of RPG games in the style of Dungeons and Dragons then stay tuned because today I introduce you to the world of Pugmire.
Traditional games have become such a raging success over the past few years, that it’s no surprise that some companies have gotten rather good at producing them. Two years ago, we received the world wide success that is Exploding Kittens from The Oatmeal. This game has been played so often at our meetups, that it’s sometimes tempting to buy a second copy of it, just so more people can get involved. Instead however, there are expansions for the game and now, The Oatmeal are back with a brand new title.
As you probably know, we here at GeekOut are always on the lookout for interesting developments in a lot of areas. We always try to back upcoming games if we can, as well as technology and more. I must admit I am a bit of a fan of card games like Cards Against Humanity and Bucket Of Doom, and last week a game called Death Wish caught my eye with the campaign via Kickstarter. After watching the promo video I decided to bump up the £20 for the base game.