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The Captain is Dead Engineered Chaos by Scott J. Magner

Fri, 05/12/2017 - 19:00

As chief engineer on a starship, the last thing you want to hear is that the captain is dead. It’s the worst kind of exciting day, and actually watching it happen just magnifies the problem.

Sure, it wasn’t our fault. But review boards always think equipment malfunctions are deliberate, and careers can (and do) end over something as ridiculous as ruined laundry.

But the captain was dead, and we had to find out why.

The how was easy enough. A tear in a supposedly indestructible transit tube caused a catastrophic loss of pressure. It’s just bad luck that it happened while the captain was coming back to the ship from a diplomatic mission, on a day when every airlock above our deck was malfunctioning.

Of course, ours worked just fine, the outer doors slamming shut right in the captain’s face to prevent the entire compartment from being sucked out into space along with him. They still haven’t found his body, but that’s the least of our problems right now.

At top of our list is that the first officer won’t let us examine either the airlock, or the transit tube itself.

I’ll say this about the first officer, his paranoia is on par with his attention to detail. Soldiers at his back, he marched in minutes after the accident, hustling us all away from our stations at gunpoint. Then, as per protocol, he’d had any potential witnesses taken off to holding cells, until only the two of us and his goon squad remained.

“Just what is it you’re trying to accomplish, sir?”

Engineering section isn’t all that spacious with just us in here, and a half-dozen extra bodies scattered amongst open panels, diagnostic equipment, and the aftermath of explosive decompression made for very close quarters. But now the soldiers were applying orange warning tabs to every panel they could, including the controls to the still-open airlock. The first officer himself was rooting through a maintenance locker, tossing out tools and binders into yet another pile.

“I’m not letting you idiots destroy evidence of your negligence!”

“Sir, we have to know what went wrong. Every system on the ship could be compromised right now, and the longer we wait to investigate, the worse the problem could get. As first officer, it’s your duty to…”

The first officer spun around, and the double handful of binders he was rifling through exploded across the compartment.

“I’m the Captain now, and don’t you forget it!”

I’ve never seen someone’s face turn exactly that shade of red before, and my eyes darted to the airlock’s pressure indicator just to make sure we weren’t having another problem. One of the binders landed at my feet, and I bent to pick it up before replying.

“Okay, Captain, but every minute, every second we wait could mean another malfunction. We still don’t know what happened to the other airlocks, and if something happens to this one, all your pretty warning signs won’t stop us from dying either.”

The acting captain’s eyes looked about ready to pop out of his head, and it took me a moment to realize he wasn’t staring at me, but at my hands.

Turning the binder over, I read the big blue letters on the cover: Maintenance Log.

On my ship, in my section, every part and wire is double-checked before installation, and documented with two signatures. I’m usually one of them, so I knew exactly what part of the log to open up for airlock maintenance.

“Hand that over right now, chief, if you know what’s good for you!”

And there it was.

The first officer’s signature, checking out a pressure suit and cutting torch late last night, and returning them just before the end of the shift.

“What’s good for me, Captain, is letting these fine men and women with guns know that you are to be relieved of duty, on suspicion of murder!”

The soldiers swiveled their attention between the two of us, not exactly sure what to do. Technically, the first officer and I held the same rank, but he was one step above me in the chain of command, and aboard a starship that’s the only thing that matters.

And he knew it.

“I think we’ve heard just about enough out of you, chief. So put down the log book, step away, and I promise this will go easy for you.”

The manic paranoia in his voice was gone, replaced by cold conviction of purpose. That, more than anything, convinced me he was the one. His motives didn’t matter, the deed was done, and I was clearly going to be the next one out the airlock.

“So, do you even have a plan? Or was killing the captain the extent of your ambition?”

With each word, I took a half-step away from the open airlock doors. The soldiers’ guns tracked me as I shuffled, and whether or not they were conscious of the fact, they moved away from the open doors as well.

Not so much the first officer, who stepped right in front of them. Maybe it was my smile, or the way I was looking at him, but removing whatever threat I or the logbook posed was the only thing on his mind.

So I threw it over his shoulder into the airlock, and he reflexively dove in after it.

At least six witnesses will attest to the fact that all I did was shut the door after him. It was his pounding and screaming that tripped the emergency release, but to his credit, he kept hold of the log book as he was blasted out into the void. Good thing, too. The transponders on those things last forever.

And then, for the second time in as many hours, I had to call it in.

“Bridge, this is engineering. So the Captain is dead, again….”

The Captain is Dead is an upcoming new release from AEG that features co-operative gameplay as players race against time to repair malfunctioning ship systems, deal with hostile aliens, and warp the ship out of danger. Releasing in 2017.

Scott J. Magner is rising star in the fiction world best known for his novel Homefront. He is a writer, editor, designer, developer, and worldbuilder. His work appears in books, tabletop and online role-playing games, card games, miniatures games, and board games. He has a passion for movies and classic science fiction, and spends his days tweaking and twisting new universes. He is known to be a member of the loyal order of the buffalo and a proud member of #leftshark.

Categories: Company News

The Captain is Dead Listen to Reason by Matt Forbeck

Fri, 05/05/2017 - 18:55

Captain’s Log. Science Officer reporting.

The Captain is dead. It didn’t have to turn out that way, but that’s what happens when people refuse to pay attention to science.

By now we know that wearing a Crewman’s uniform on an away-team mission is tantamount to marching off toward your own execution. Statistical analysis has shown that those dressed in their standard red shirts are at a risk of death or dismemberment (or both) at least three hundred percent higher than those crewmembers in other uniforms.

The chance of an early and violent demise increases to over six hundred percent higher if a member of the bridge crew is on the away team. It skyrockets to a full one thousand percent higher if the Captain joins the team.

Meanwhile, senior crew members seem immune to these risks. In fact, the more Crewman that are with such a crew member, the less likely that crew member is to be hurt.

The Science and Engineering Departments have several conflicting theories about this, and we are still in the process of weeding through them all. I told the Captain more than once that only by rigorous experimentation would we be able to ascertain the true reasons behind this disturbing phenomenon.

He chose to ignore that information at his own peril.

Despite that, we still can’t be sure of the underlying reasons behind his death. Is there an all-powerful being monitoring the ship? Have we perhaps wandered into a zone of improbability? Does the universe treat the color red as a bull treats a cape waved by a matador? Or does it simply favor people in positions of authority—like the Captain—until they break some other unseen rule?

The Captain himself has unwittingly benefitted from this odd effect so often that many Crewmen regularly fake an illness when requested to accompany him on any mission at all. They know that to leave the ship at his side means an uncomfortably high peril.

To be fair, not all such away-team missions feature casualties, but they do happen far more often than they statistically should. The Crewmen are clearly justified in their actions.

But the Captain didn’t see it that way. In fact, he took offense at the theories swirling around this anomaly, seeming to believe that they were fashioned as an assault against his authority. “Do you think I’m intentionally putting my crew in harm’s way?” he asked. “Or do you believe that I’m somehow orchestrating this for my own benefit?”

No one dared to confirm that latter point for him, but by now, he’s cleared himself of that charge in the worst possible way.

I’d hoped to get back to port before he did something rash like this, but the Captain wanted to clear the air first. “I’m not reporting in with a cloud like this hanging over my head,” he said. “Besides, it’s the holidays. Lighten up!”

I should have stopped him. I should have had the Medical Officer declare him unfit for duty and confined him to his quarters. Maybe the Counselor could have talked some sense into him.

But he was never the sort to listen to reason. Not when he had a point to make.

So he put on that damn costume, and he went to visit the planet below. He marched down to the Transporter Chief and gave her a direct order to send him away. No one dared go with him, so he went alone.

“I’m not going to miss this celebration over some kind of silly superstition!” he said.

He didn’t last the hour down there.

I’m not from Earth, so perhaps I don’t comprehend its traditions fully. I understand this Christmas in the abstract, how it’s to celebrate the birth of a great religious and philosophical leader. But I’m unclear on exactly why that somehow made the Captain feel that he had to dress up in a bright red outfit and a fake white beard. It turned out to be an effective albiet disastrous disguise.

Or so it would seem. Whatever forces are at play here, were they fooled by the Captain’s outfit? Did they see him as a Crewman? Or did they know who he was and figured that this was finally their chance to get rid of him too?

At this point, I might even suspect the crew of being complicit in his demise. When the report of his death reached the ship, not a single Crewman wept. Several audibly sighed with relief.

I suppose that’s no proof of anything though. Given the circumstances, their reaction is entirely understandable, and I am, if nothing else, a scientist.

I just wish I had more time—and more data to work with. But all that is secondary now because the Captain is dead.

The Captain is Dead is an upcoming new release from AEG that features co-operative gameplay as players race against time to repair malfunctioning ship systems, deal with hostile aliens, and warp the ship out of danger. Releasing in 2017.

Matt Forbeck is a legendary talent with hundreds of published works in fiction and tabletop gaming. He has worked for every major company in the gaming industry, and recently authored a best-selling young adult novelization of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Categories: Company News

Smash Up Sheep!

Thu, 04/20/2017 - 17:25
SHEEP!

That’s right, a cornerstone of the gaming world, sheep, are finally coming to Smash Up.  And best of all, you don’t even have to trade any wood for them.

They’re FREE!

That’s right, Alderac is giving out free sheep!  Just visit our Smash Up survey, give us all your data, and we’ll send you a deck of sheep later this year.  I know I know, it’s sheep, you want it right now.  Who wouldn’t?  But you have to wait a little longer while we figure out how many of these bad boys of gaming we need to send to you.

So visit the survey today and join the herd!  https://www.alderac.com/smashup/smash-survey-2017

Categories: Company News

Mystic Vale 2017 Player Survey

Thu, 04/20/2017 - 17:19

We have opened the 2017 Mystic Vale player survey! You can access it at this link.

We are interested in learning more about Mystic Vale players, how they buy the game, what they like about the game, and information about how Mystic Vale players interact with other games and with Kickstarter. People who complete the survey will be able to provide their mailing address and email address so that they can receive a free(*) set of Mystic Vale promo card enhancements. Recipients will get three enhancements, the Sunshard Glebe, one for each of the three card slots. We’ll be mailing these out near the end of 2017.

(*) There are terms and conditions applicable to this offer which are presented on the Survey page.

Categories: Company News

Thunderstone Quest Kickstarter: April 2017 Update

Thu, 04/13/2017 - 20:52

Hey Folks,

It has been a couple of weeks since we had that climactic finish to our Kickstarter campaign and we just wanted to update you with the news of what we have been doing.

First of all we have been busy working with the new cards that were part of A Grand Finale as well as our Yellow Knight, to honor the Yellow Meeple and his contribution to the campaign. We feel the art work came out pretty well, and you can see that the little fella seems to have grown up pretty well…

In addition to the Yellow Knight, we have also been working on the village board. As we mentioned in the learn to play video and during the campaign, the board we were using for videos and the Print & Play was only a placeholder. We now have the preliminary sketch in for the board your cards will sit on. It is not finished yet, and we have asked for some changes to the sketch, but we wanted to give you an idea where this is heading.

 

Once we have the board artwork finalized we will be labelling up some different areas that will show where you are in the village when you are doing different things, like extra leveling, buying treasures or preparing.

Our next update (hopefully on its way before the end of April) should be information about the Pledge Manager. We are in the process of finalizing terms with our providers for the Pledge Manager and the fulfillment for shipping and when the “t”s are crossed and the “i”s are dotted we’ll be able to share links and information with you about how to use it!

— Mark Wootton & the Thunderstone Team

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Thunderstone Quest Kickstarter: Aftermath

Sat, 03/25/2017 - 19:15

Backers,

After yesterday’s Grand Finale we’re all recovering and catching our breath!

Some things that are important for everyone to know:

1: We will get the details of the Pledge Manager finalized as quickly as we can. Look for an email about the Pledge Manager in 6 to 8 weeks via the email address you registered with Kickstarter when you set up your Kickstarter account.

2: We won’t be monitoring the Comments thread regularly from now own. If you have a question or a comment please direct it to the Thunderstone Facebook group:

https://www.facebook.com/Thunderstone-119879821382169

or send us an email at [email protected]

We’ll poke our heads in the Comments channel about once a week to see if there is anyone who doesn’t understand the above and is still asking questions.

3: Refunds and matters related to payment will start getting processed next week if requested. Please email [email protected] if you need help with things related to your pledge.

4: If you credit card failed to charge for some reason Kickstarter will try it a few more times before they give up. If you still haven’t been able to arrange payment by the time the Pledge Manager opens we will attempt to help you on that platform. That will also be a way to use PayPal (probably although there are issues with PayPal and Kickstarters we need to investigate).

5: If you are a retailer or are interested in the AEG Kick It Here program please email [email protected] for more information about carrying Thunderstone Quest in your store.

Thanks again for a tremendous finish!

— The AEG Thunderstone Quest Team

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Categories: Company News

Thunderstone Quest Kickstarter: Day Thirty Two 2nd Post

Sat, 03/25/2017 - 19:14
Thunderstone Quest Kickstarter Success

Thank you for supporting us on our first Kickstarter. It has been a fun month launching and running this campaign and with your help it has exceeded our expectations.

The campaign is just the beginning and after a long weekend of sleep we will excitedly jump into the next phase of the process. As we noted in an earlier update, one of the great things about launching a game via Kickstarter is that we get to go on the journey together. We plan to make that journey as fun and informative as possible.

Next week we will be outlining those next phases and talking to you about how we will keep you updated on the progress of your copy of Thunderstone Quest.

Until then we hope you have a great weekend of gaming planned.

Thanks

— John Zinser & The AEG Team

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Thunderstone Quest Kickstarter: Day Thirty Two

Sat, 03/25/2017 - 19:12
A Grand Finale Rushes to the Climax

After the Dark Spirits and the Gnawers in the Dark came the Heartless. Golems animated by ancient magic and automata given life by energies unknown, huge and brutal they trod over all who would not give way.

Then came the Fury of the Elements as the very stuff of the cosmos was given malevolent purpose and enormous power. The heroes watched in awe as earth, air, fire, water and the Thunder and Lightning themselves dominated the battlefield.

But then fear was truly felt when the skies parted and the Dragons Unleashed descended on the world. Five ancient serpents rampaged through the lands bringing death and destruction in their wake.

None thought worse could come but then the very gates of Hell itself were thrown open and the Legion of Pain came to the world of mortal men. Demonic figures wreathed in fire and shadow, legendary masters of the underworld who sought not just obedience but to rip the very souls of the living free and cast them down into the Pit from whence none ever returned!

Who will stand against the The Unholy Guardian?


These waves of monsters were faced by brave heroes. Men and women born of legend and empowered by fate. They brought with them powerful magic spells, enchanted weapons and artifacts of power. With their help the day would not be lost. Stand now with these mythic figures and fight, fight against all who try to bring darkness and despair to the world.  It is time for you to wield THE POWER OF THE THUNDERSTONES!

We are moments away from welcoming the 5,000th Backer to the Campaign and we are nearly finished with the Grand Finale!

Thanks to all who joined us on this incredible journey!

— The AEG Thunderstone Team

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Categories: Company News

Thunderstone Quest Kickstarter: Day Thirty

Thu, 03/23/2017 - 01:09
Dark Spirits and the Gnawers in the Dark

We are a third of the way into A Grande Finale and we have progressed through the beginning part of the adventure.

The first stirrings of evil were the Dark Spirits. Risen from the grave, empowered with eldritch energy, and determined to destroy all within their reach. We saw five horrific spectres – led by the Tormentor.

But this terrible new threat drew a powerful divine presence from the desolation. Regian has arrived. He bore the King’s Sword. He could draw upon the power of the storm. And, he was warded by the power of Nature itself.

 

Nature’s Amulet is the 9th Stretch Goal and it will be achieved soon!

What will come after the Dark Spirits? Bright eyes in the darkness. The crunch of old bone. The stench of carrion. They are known as the Gnawers in the Dark. Gnolls – hideous doglike humanoids who skulk in the shadows and strike without warning, feasting on the souls of the weak and unprotected.

Here is a sneak peek at Stretch Goal 10!

Now is the time to back Thunderstone Quest and follow the reveal of the Grand Finale as we race towards the end of the campaign. Follow along with the discussion on the Comments thread!

— The AEG Team

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Thunderstone Quest Kickstarter: Day Twenty Nine

Tue, 03/21/2017 - 19:30

Backers, we have reached the time of the campaign when the pace begins to accelerate into the final days. As more and more people sign up to receive their Rewards the volume of pledges will rise quickly.

This campaign has wildly exceeded our expectations. Before we began we had a plan to use the Stretch Goals we had built for Total Eclipse of the Sun through the last day. But the pace of pledges was so high that we decided to accelerate the schedule and give you more content than we had originally planned.

Our team of designers have been working on a special surprise and we’re able to reveal it today. For the Finale of the Thunderstone Quest Kickstarter we’re undertaking …

The Quest for the Quest!

The team has been able to outline, create and begin testing the 5th Quest for Thunderstone Quest which to honor the campaign will be titled A Grand Finale. We are going to release the cards in this Quest as a series of Stretch Goals between now and the end of the campaign.

This will be a complete 243 card Quest just like the other four already in the Campaign. It will have 3 Dungeon Tiles (instead of 6). It will use artwork from previous releases in the Thunderstone line. The cards will be mechanically new, but you will see some familiar faces, some benign and welcome, others that have haunted your dreams, since the first Thunderstone was discovered!.

Tracking the Grand Finale

We are going to close the Dungeon for the Stretch Goals already released in the campaign and start a new tracking graphic just for the Finale. You will note that the graphics for the Explorer and Champion Rewards have been updated to reflect the inclusion of The Total Eclipse of the Sun. Nothing has changed regarding the inclusion of the Stretch Goal content – both Rewards still include all the Stretch Goals in the Campaign, both those already unlocked and those that will be unlocked during the Finale.

A Grand Finale is going to be comprised of over 50 Stretch Goals. We are setting up the Quest for the Quest with individual cards as goals so that we can generate maximum momentum as we go into the final hours of the campaign. Being able to keep up a pace of regularly hitting and revealing new goals will keep the campaign fun as we head into the final stretch.

A Grand Finale Stretch Goals will be tracked in their own graphic which will appear at the top of the Campaign page. The graphic for both Rewards will show a numerical indication of each Stretch Goal as it is added to the Reward packages but we’re not going to replicate the graphics twice like we did for the earlier Stretch Goals and Champion Reward. That will make it easier for us to keep updating the page in near real-time and streamline our process for pushing information out about new Stretch Goals.

Thank You For Your Support!

A Grand Finale has been made possible by your generous contributions to the Campaign. We are incredibly pleased that due to the amount of money we have raised we’re able to add this extra content to your Rewards. Without you, none of this would be possible.

Now it is time to get ready. Terrible forces of Evil stir in the land. Legendary heroes gather. At the Grand Finale your sword, your spells and your faith will be all that stands between the green and verdant lands and the homes of the common folk and an onslaught of monsters and nightmares!

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Categories: Company News

Thunderstone Quest Kickstarter: Day Twenty Five Part Two

Tue, 03/21/2017 - 04:45

We are making available a First Look Print & Play for Thunderstone Quest. Click this link to access the Drop Box folder containing the files.

The Print & Play is not final, not finalized, subject to change, and not complete. It represents enough of the Thunderstone Quest rules, cards and components to let you play the game, see how the game differs from classic Thunderstone and Thunderstone Advance, and get a sense for the kinds of components we’ll be producing for the Kickstarter Rewards.

There are 6 files in this folder. You will need to download each file, and print it out then cut & prepare the components as necessary to play.

Because a significant amount of questions and answers about rules could clog the Comments channel and make it hard for us to monitor it for questions about the Campaign, we ask that you please take questions about the Print & Play rules to our Facebook Page where we’ll be able to more effectively answer them. If you post rules questions to the Comment thread they won’t be answered. We’d appreciate it if you would “Like” our Facebook Page while you’re there!

We hope you have as much fun playing Thunderstone Quest as we have had making it!

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Categories: Company News

Thunderstone Quest Kickstarter: Day Twenty Five

Tue, 03/21/2017 - 04:44

Today we updated the Campaign with our 2nd Add-On, Premium Sleeves!

We are providing these Sleeves (which use the same plastic that we used for the Mystic Vale sleeves) in packs of 500 for $15. You can order as many packs as you wish but you must be at least an Adventurer Level Backer to order.

You will need 4 Packs (2,000 Sleeves) to sleeve all the playable cards in the Champion Reward plus Epic Add-on. You will need 2 Packs (1,000 Sleeves) for the Adventurer Add-On.

How to Use Add-Ons:

Kickstarter does not directly support Add-Ons. They are not a formal part of the Kickstarter system.

Calculate the total amount of your Reward plus all the Add-Ons, and alter your Pledge to that total. For example if you wanted the Champion Reward, the Epic Add-On and 4 Packs of Sleeves, you would manually adjust your Pledge to $190 ($100 + $30 + $15 x 4).

When the Kickstarter ends you will be sent a link to a Pledge Manager. The Pledge Manager is a 3rd party tool that we will use to manage your Pledge. In that tool you will be able to allocate the extra funds you pledged to the Add-Ons you wish to include with your shipment. The link to that Pledge Manager will be sent to the email address you have associated with your Kickstarter Account so be sure that address is current and being monitored. (If you are reading this in an Update Email from Kickstarter, the link will go to the address that received this Update).

If you have any questions about this Add-On, or Add-Ons in general, please post to the Comments channel and we will do our best to respond quickly!

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Categories: Company News

Thunderstone Quest Kickstarter: Day Twenty Four

Tue, 03/21/2017 - 04:43

Backers today we posted a How to Play Thunderstone video that we recorded during the AEG Summit last week. It’s a little rough but quite serviceable.

You will hear Mark and John talk about a Print & Play version of the game. We will have that posted to the Campaign soon – it is in final editing and review!

If you have any questions about the rules and systems you see in the video please feel free to raise them on the Comments channel on the Campaign page and our crack team of Thunderstone experts will attempt to provide illumination!

We have also achieved the Yellow Knight Stretch Goal at $360k! A new Stretch Goal will be posted later this afternoon.

Sadly we have some news for our Brazilian backers that is not good. After consultation with several of the shipping companies that we’re consulting with to handle fulfillment we’ve added Brazil to the list of countries we’re not going to be able to ship to. This is due to the fact that shipments into Brazil cannot be reliably delivered. If matters improve before we begin shipments we will be certain to update the community.

Remember that you can cancel your pledge at any time before the campaign ends inside Kickstarter.

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Categories: Company News

Thunderstone Quest Kickstarter: Day Twenty

Tue, 03/21/2017 - 04:41

The final confrontation in Thunderstone Quest is with the Guardian.

The three Monster decks in the Dungeon have six Keys hidden within them. When the fourth key is revealed from a Monster deck the Guardian appears in the Wilderness. Once the Guardian has appeared each player has the opportunity to either attack the Guardian or have one last visit to the Dungeon and then the game ends.

In the final turn each player performs their normal card draw and draws an additional four cards and then discards down to their current hand size. This means that on the final turn each player has the opportunity to get a great starting hand to defeat the Guardian.

The Guardian is not removed when defeated by a player.  If a player beats the Guardian that player will be amply rewarded. But the rewards for the Guardian scale, based on how successful the player is.  Each player has an opportunity to earn those rewards independent of the others. Players are not compelled to fight the Guardian.  After a player has assessed their final draw they can choose to take a final Dungeon turn instead of confronting the Guardian.

Each Quest comes with three versions of the Guardian, each of slightly different difficulty, meaning that different Adventures within the Quest have a scaling challenge.

Once each player has either fought the Guardian or taken a final turn in the Dungeon the game ends and Victory Points are totaled to determine the winner.

We think the appearance of the Guardian provides a dramatic conclusion to the game. Players are building their decks to attempt Side Quests and to achieve Guild Quests but the biggest rewards come from defeating the Guardian which provides an excellent comeback mechanic and increases the suspense about who will win when the Victory Points are finally tallied.

— Mark Wootton

Thunderstone Quest Project Lead

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Thunderstone Quest Kickstarter: Day Nineteen

Tue, 03/21/2017 - 04:40

With the revelation of the 23rd Stretch Goal, the Dungeon Room tiles, we confirmed the Backer theory from the Comments channel that the card-based Stretch Goals so far add up to a whole new Quest, Total Eclipse of the Sun!

(Graphics and packaging are not final and subject to change)

So what constitutes a Quest? A Quest is comprised of:

  • 6 Heroes
  • 6 Monsters
  • 12 Support Items
  • Dungeon Tiles
  • Treasure
  • A Guardian

We have developed several Adventures for each of the 4 Quests in the Champion Reward (and the 2 in the Adventurer Reward, of course). Each Adventure is a list of Village and Dungeon cards that you use as your initial setup for a game of Thunderstone Quest. Of course you can design your own Quests (and Adventures) by selecting your own set of cards, or you can make a randomized game (using the provided Randomizer) cards. All the components from all the Quests can be combined as you wish just as in Classic Thunderstone. We are thinking about ways to link all the Quests together with some elements of persistence between Adventures and the developers have some really interesting ideas!

(For those who are wondering, YES! all the unlocked Stretch Goal cards will also automatically appear in the Epic Thunderstone Add-On at no additional cost.)

When you combine the Side Quests and Guild Quests to the mix we think there’s an incredible amount of replay value in Thunderstone Quest!

Not every Quest will have 6 unique Dungeon Room tiles, although the 4 Quests in the Champion Reward do. And future Quests might have different ratios of card types, or different numbers of cards in a type. But generally speaking a Quest is approximately 240 cards of the types listed above and a selection of Dungeon Room tiles.

You can probably guess what the next unrevealed Stretch Goal will be. Our team originally designed the Kickstarter to end with the next unrevealed Stretch Goal if we hit our optimistic target for pledge levels. But the demand has been so much greater than we hoped that we simply cannot stop the momentum.

The Thunderstone Quest Developers have been burning the midnight oil and today at the Summit they presented their plans to keep up the tempo.  We have added some additional interim Stretch Goals that we’ll be revealing in the next 10 days, and those will lead into The Finale, the final 4 days of the Campaign for which we have prepared a really exciting finish!

— The AEG Thunderstone Team

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Thunderstone Quest Kickstarter: Day Seventeen

Tue, 03/21/2017 - 04:39

Today at the summit we are going to do a thorough review of all the Quest content for the Kickstarter. Our goal is a playthrough of each Quest. At this point we aren’t concerned with fundamental game rules (because we like ’em!) but we want to be comfortable that the Quest cards themselves have matured to a near-finished point. There may still be some word templating work to be done but the concept of the card and its mechanical attributes should be close to final.

The developers are also working on finalizing a “First Look” version of the rules. These won’t be final but they will be close to final in terms of how they work. The editors and grammarians will still be working to ensure the rules are clear and consistent and that polishing starts when the developers turn over the final rules system. But we will be able to share the First Look rules with you before the polishing work is completed.  We don’t have an ETA for the delivery of the First Look rules but it will be soon.

The combination of a group consensus that the Quests are in good shape and the rules are ready for First Look is a major milestone and objective of the Summit and we are feeling pretty confident we are on track to meet those goals.

We are also planning on producing some “How to Play” video at the same time.  We are hopeful we can get useable video and clean audio and have something good enough to share perhaps as early as next week.

— The AEG Team

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Thunderstone Quest Kickstarter: Day Sixteen

Tue, 03/21/2017 - 04:38

In addition to an optional Side Quest you will also have the option to take a Guild Quest at the start of the game. There are Guild Quests for each of the four main Classes (Fighter, Rogue, Wizard, Cleric).

 

Guild Quests are public (not hidden) and they are designed to give you extra Experience  Points for doing the thing your favored Guild does best. For example a Fighter Guild Quest might be “If you defeat a monster with a Fighter using a Weapon you receive a bonus XP.”  All players could have the same Guild Quest or they could all be different, or any combination in-between.

The objective of Guild Quests is to provide structure for players as they learn to play the game, and to let expert players maximize their deck strategies. They are a fun, lightweight addition that adds a little extra spice to the Thunderstone Quest experience.

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Thunderstone Quest Kickstarter: Day Fifteen

Tue, 03/07/2017 - 20:40

All of AEG has gathered in Southern California for our bi-annual company summit.

We have rented a beautiful house overlooking the Pacific with enough bedrooms to accommodate our whole crew. Since we work virtually its a special treat to get together in the same physical space.

We are all spending the week playing our games in development and talking about the strategy for marketing and support for our 2017 schedule. We are as you can imagine playing a tremendous amount of Thunderstone.

Last night we played a great round of Thunderstone that incorporated several of the new rules systems that the team is finalizing. We will also be playing most of the Quests and Stretch Goal contents as a group so we’ll all be familiar with the contents we’re going to be delivering to our backers after the campaign ends.

It was awesome to see how much the game has evolved in the past several months since GenCon. It has reached the objectives we set for it in terms of fun and depth. We are looking forward to sharing even more of the rules and the game components with you soon.

— The Whole AEG Team

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Thunderstone Quest Kickstarter: Day Thirteen

Sun, 03/05/2017 - 20:47
Token Appreciation

Thunderstone Quest like most deckbuilding games has an interesting strategic challenge.

There is a certain point where you do not wish to add more cards to your deck. You have your deck humming and doing what it should be doing, the last thing you want to do is add more cards to it and clog it up. So what do you do with your sweet, sweet gold if you do not wish to purchase any cards?

Thunderstone Quest answer: Buy tokens!

(This illustration has nothing to do with Tokens, but it looks cool!)

Tokens are one-time effects that you buy and hold until they are needed. These tend to be smaller effects, such as producing a little bit of light. Effects that maybe you would not want to clog your deck with, but could prove crucial in getting the edge you need to win.

We have also added mechanics to the game so that some heroes and monsters have interactions with tokens.

Tokens for purchase are something we have never explored in Thunderstone before. The colored Thunderstone experience tokens released in Thunderstone Advance were popular, but were very dependent on the luck of the draw, so we wanted to take that idea and make it into a more tactical part of the game. Adding cards to your deck is great for powerful effects, such as attack bonuses which you will always want. But what about small effects, such as a little more Skill to wield a weapon? Or perhaps being a little shy on the gold needed for this turn? That’s where tokens come in, and they have added some great experiences and strategies in Thunderstone Quest. Exploring this territory has opened design space in unexpected ways, and we are excited to share it with you.

So, let’s look at a couple of tokens that we have in the game. Let’s look at the light token first. This costs 3 gold, and can be discarded to create a point of light. With light equalling movement points in Thunderstone Quest, and with the better monsters to attack lying deeper in the dungeon investing in a light token or two early is a key tactical part of the game. Often the third level rooms will have a cost of 2 light to move into them, so having tokens around for when you get the best turns with strong hands is important. The healing potion token is also a vital part of game play. Clerics are a key part of wound management, and wounds are the element that most hampers your deck from working effectively, but you cannot always rely on them being around at the right time. Investing 4 gold into a potion token, to discard to heal a wound on a later village or dungeon turn is a very worthwhile investment as the game progresses, and perhaps allows you to not have to rely too heavily on the cleric in your party all the time. After all what well-prepared adventurer sallies forth without their healing potion?

We began the campaign with cardboard “chits” for tokens but your support unlocked our 6th Stretch Goal and upgraded the tokens to painted wood playing pieces. The graphics you see on the Campaign are just placeholders. Our 3D modelers will be working with our suppliers to finalize actual designs once the campaign is finished and we’re preparing to take Thunderstone Quest into production.

— Bryan Reese

Thunderstone Lead Developer

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Thunderstone Quest Kickstarter: Day Eleven

Sun, 03/05/2017 - 20:10
What is your Quest?

When figuring out what we wanted to do for this new version of Thunderstone for added coolness, we were delighted and amused to notice that we had never explored the concept of Side Quests before. Thunderstone is the premier, dungeon-crawling deck-builder out there, it needs Side Quests that the players can undertake!

Early in the process we decided that individual Side Quests for each player were a perfect fit. Side Quests are like hidden objectives that players choose. At the start of the game after the village and dungeon have been set up, each player is dealt a selection of quests from which they must choose one for the game. Players keep these secret until it is time to reveal them.

Some Side Quests involve finding powerful cursed heroes, while others are quests for legendary artifacts which, once recovered, go into your deck and assist you in the game — but be careful: these legendary heroes and artifacts can be a double-edged sword. These quests will involve you accomplishing an in-game task like, “Defeat a level 2 or higher monster with 2 or more wounds present.”

Other Side Quests focus your strategy on using specific cards in the Village. These will usually have some end of game condition to meet, like “At the end of the game reveal a deck with at least as many spells as it has heroes” and will be worth additional victory points.

Side Quests are just that; optional quests to do on the side. They can completely change how you play your game of Thunderstone, or can be entirely ignored if the player instead wishes to focus their energy on the main quest; killing monsters and powering up.

— Bryan Reese

Thunderstone Lead Developer

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