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Play as a Virtue guiding Solomon Kane in a 1-4 player co-op game of storytelling, resource management & tactical miniatures play.
Play as a Virtue guiding Solomon Kane in a 1-4 player co-op game of storytelling, resource management & tactical miniatures play.
7,161 backers pledged $1,173,363 to help bring this project to life.

Telling Tales

Posted by Mythic Games, Inc. (Creator)
175 likes

As we said earlier, we need to do a better job of explaining the game. The rules are being worked on now, and will be available on Wednesday. In the meantime, here is the first in a series of updates about important key concepts and features of the game.

Before we delve into the details, we need to look at the core structure of the game. This is the essential framework into which everything else fits, and will help to make sense of all that follows. It may also help you to understand how much content there already is in the core box, even before you add the many stretch goals.

The Solomon Kane board game is a re-telling of the famous tales by Robert E Howard. They are stories of high adventure, swashbuckling derring-do, and villainous skullduggery. Our hero is an implacable foe of evil, and never hesitates to do the right thing, no matter the cost to his own safety.

The game reflects something of the structure of the books, and uses terms that mirror the way stories are told in print: Adventure, Act, and Chapter.

An Adventure is the name we use for a whole tale. Each Adventure recreates one of Howard’s novels or short stories, such as Red Shadows, Rattle of Bones, or Wings in the Night. As Howard’s original stories are of various lengths, so are our Adventures.

We break each Adventure down into one or more Acts. Each Act takes a long gaming session of several hours to complete. The exact time it takes varies with the number of players, their experience, and the choices they make. Alternatively, you can play an Act over several sessions, using the save system that comes with the core game to keep track, so you can pick up where you left off.

Each Act is divided into 10 Chapters, each with its own set of cards. However, each Chapter is not a single, fixed step in the tale. Instead, Chapters have variants (Chapter 3A, 3B, or 3C). A few rare Chapters have only one version, most come in 3 flavours, and a few have up to 5 or even 6 possibilities. When you play through an Act, you will only see one version of each Chapter at most, and depending on your choices and actions, you may not see any of some of them. This is because the tale Howard told is only one of the possible ways a story could be resolved, and here we offer you many more futures for you to guide Solomon Kane through. You may follow the path that was written, or you may carve Kane’s destiny anew.

Each Chapter is either a story or a scene.

A scene Chapter is like a scene in a movie. It is one of the important moments of the plot, where a key fight, conversation, search, flight, interrogation, pursuit, or anything else dramatic and important to the narrative takes place. These are the parts of the game that use the board and miniatures. In the background of the normal world of Solomon Kane and his adversaries lurk the immaterial forms of the Shadows and Virtues who fight their own battles for Kane’s soul. You might want to think of each scene Chapter as the equivalent of a scenario you’d see in a game like Stuffed Fables or Mice & Mystics, or (to a lesser degree) like Mythic Battles or Joan of Arc. This means that there are many dozens of “scenarios” in the core box.

A story Chapter is a short narrative link between scenes. These are not set up on the board. Instead, they give the players a moment to catch their collective breath and prepare for the next onslaught. It is usually a time for players to discuss their plans for the future, and what way they can best use this interlude to bolster themselves, and Solomon Kane, for his upcoming challenges.

An Act typically includes about 60-70% scene Chapters.

So, if you played a whole Act in your gaming session, you would usually play through 5-6 scenes, and interleave some story Chapters between them.

Replayability 

A natural side effect of this number of alternative paths through a story is a large amount of replayability. Every time you play an Act, you will see less than 30% of the Chapter cards.

As you only see a minority of the Chapter cards each time, you are likely to miss whole threads of the plot. The next time you play may take you down a whole new path. I’ll give you a couple of examples.

In The Blue Flame of Vengeance, Solomon Kane has to decide whether or not to follow young Jack, and possibly help him if the dubious characters he is with start causing any trouble (which they may – who knows?). Normally, he would not hesitate to go to the assistance of an innocent in potential peril. However, there are also rumours that the vessel of the pirate captain Fishhawk has been seen just off the coast, and Kane has been trying to get his hands on the villain for years. Every time Kane has got close, the vile cutthroat has slipped through his fingers at the last moment. The trail seems fresh right now. If Kane waits then Fishhawk will surely be gone. Now is the moment to scour the coastline, and hunt through the grog houses and taverns. If he is truly here, that’s where he will be hiding. You must choose one of these paths, and you cannot do both. Whichever choice you make, the other plot will continue without you on its own path. The echoes of the actions you did not take will reappear later, with the outcome differing from the one you could have created. Like real life, you make choices, and have to deal with the consequences.

I’m trying to avoid too many spoilers, so lets be a bit more generic for a second example. Hero or not, there are several tales of Howard’s tales in which Solomon Kane is captured. In the game, this may or may not happen, because we have expanded on Howard’s work to include many “what if’s”. What if he saved the Traveller in the Skulls in the Stars, or failed to save Mary in Blue Flame? What if he didn’t get captured, or if he did at another point in the story?

Another good example of story divergence is with these episodes in captivity. Obviously you won’t see the Chapters about the escape from the cells if Kane doesn’t get captured in the first place. And sometimes your fellow prisoners can be important characters too, like the ancient priest in the Moon of Skulls. Not meeting him makes the story progress on quite a different line.

Perhaps it would also be helpful to compare the Solomon Kane game to a book or film. Most people are happy to re-read a favourite book many times, or watch the same film over and over. Books and films don’t change at all, and yet for almost everyone there is no problem with repeated reading or viewing. The fact that we know how they end doesn’t deter us. So why is it a problem here? Our Adventures have even more reason to return as they do change each time, they do have differing endings, and you are part of creating the story. A new one every time.

As always, if you are interested in any of our add-ons, simply click on the green “manage your pledge” button near the top of the page. Then increase your total by the amount of any add-ons you wish to include in your pledge. So, if you have a Puritan pledge ($110) and want to add the Heart of Africa ($55), you would increase your total to $165. If you decide to add Right Hand of Doom later ($10), simply click on the green “manage your pledge” button again, and add that amount to your total. You can change your pledge as many times as you want while the campaign is running.

Note that during the campaign there is no way for you to tell us what the money you pledge is actually for, so don’t worry about that now. Instead, after the Kickstarter is over we will send you a “pledge manager”. This allows you to tell us exactly how you want to allocate your pledge, which add-ons you would like, how many core boxes, and (most importantly) where we need to send it all!

(Pour retrouver cet update en français, cliquez-ici)

RDP, Patrick Swinkels, and 173 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Missing avatar

      Leif Stensson
      Superbacker
      on

      @Sean: yes, that bit sounded hopeful, and it's one of the things I would like to find out a bit more about.

    2. partenopei on

      sounds wonderful!

      cannot wait to play this game, so unique and different.

    3. JimmyRibi on

      I love the idea of multiple story lines and the high replayablity.

      Also I don't understand the people complaining about the lack of content in the core box. In retail there are many games at the same price as this, with much less content and content of lower quality than what we see here.

    4. Sean "TheShellFace" on

      @leif ah, misunderstood your question, imo opinion they already answered that when talking about "blue flame of vengeance" and how you can choose to follow young jack or go hunt down captain fishhawk, but whichever one you do it sounds like the other side still plays out and "comes back to haunt you" type of thin,g where you might find jack dead, or captain fishhawk has gone on a murdering spree (or something along those lines)... at least thats how i interpreted that part

    5. Sébastien on

      Très bon éclaircissement sur l'esprit du jeu et ses fonctionnalités.
      Par contre, plus le projet avance et plus les visuelles de Guillem H. Pongiluppi me rendent dingue, c'est ma-gni-fique. J'adore la période fin des années 16 cents et début des années 17 cents (ou l'âge d'or de la piraterie) où Salomon Kane à participé en tant que Corsaire (du moins c'est ce que je pense car Howard est très flou). Hâte que vous mettiez un add-on livre d'illustrations car ce mec est un génie.
      Par ailleurs si vous pouvez mettre à disponibilité (sur votre site qui est ou qui devrait être bientôt disponible) quelques images haute résolution comme on en avait discuté pour JoA, pour que je puisse allé chez l'imprimeur pour faire encadrer tout ça :)

    6. Missing avatar

      Leif Stensson
      Superbacker
      on

      @Sean: yes, but to me, just raising/lowering a small number of basic stats doesn't really give any feeling of story impact; it's too anonymous, and makes it an abstract strategy game (which could be fine if that's what it's meant to be, but it's bad if a game tries for one thing and delivers something else). If you fail/succeed at a particular point because of a specific reason (like: you can't talk to the robber victims because you didn't rescue them earlier), that feels story relevant. But if you fail because you just have too low score on some stat, you could have lost points due to ANYTHING, meaning there's no real story connection between the event where you lost a point and the one where you later fail because of insufficient points. You would fail all the same even if you didn't lose a point on that stat in that scene, but lost that point at a difference place in a different scene.

      So I'm hoping that there will turn out to be some better connection between the scenes in terms of story than just plus/minus on basic stats.

    7. Thomas M
      Superbacker
      on

      Very nice update. Much appreciated :-)

    8. Sean "TheShellFace" on

      @leif from my understanding plenty of elements that carry through an entire act can be affected during the "skirmish" part and change the rest of the story. for example, one of the virtues actions during a "scene" might decrease Solomon's compassion, so in turn, at a later part of the story Solomon might be trying to talk someone out of something but fail the compassion check because it was lowered from earlier... from what i've seen there seem to be plenty of small changes like that, which you might not notice at first, affecting the entire story... it's also worth noting that not all scenes are just fights, some seem to be about sneaking around, talking/negotiating with people, etc.

    9. Missing avatar

      Tim Browning on

      I'm quite excited.

    10. Missing avatar

      Andrew Mitchell
      Superbacker
      on

      Great work, thanks for the update.

    11. Missing avatar

      Leif Stensson
      Superbacker
      on

      Nice description; as other people have said, I agree you should add that (or a shorter version of it) to the main campaign page.

      However, personally, I had hoped for a bit more information about how the skirmish element ("scene Chapter") connects to the overall story element. Is it just the final outcome of the skirmish, like how well your scored, that impacts the story, or is there more to it than that?

    12. Missing avatar

      Glenn Reynolds
      Superbacker
      on

      I wish I could cover my game table with a giant mat of that first image! Great write-up, and I hope all the right people get to read this.

    13. Cliff B. on

      Like others, I found this to be a very clear breakdown of the game at a high level. I also agree that the more prominently that you can make this information available, the better for the campaign.

    14. Trustyz on

      Je ne sais jamais si j'ai envie de passer l'après midi a lire un bon livre ou rameuter le peuple pour jouer...C'est exactement pour ca que j'ai pledge :D

    15. Julian C
      Superbacker
      on

      Very helpful - thanks!

    16. CatMan on

      Très clair et ambitieux ! j'aime beaucoup les explications qui écartent tous malentendus sur la rejouabilité :)

    17. Touff (Stéphane) on

      Très clair en ce qui me concerne (mais c'était déjà le cas avant en ce qui me concerne!). A inclure dans la page decampagne ou à mini inclure un lien bien visible.

      Par contre pourquoi ne pas ajouter à la suite du "Papotage Tric-trac" sur la page de campagne, l'explication et la partie faites dans leur locaux?

    18. Missing avatar

      Lau on

      Où comment respecter et rendre hommage à une oeuvre tout en innovant... C’est créatif et brillant! Amazing job, guys!!

    19. Johannes 'Waldgeist' Rebhan on

      Good summary of the game flow. It seems to be a bit like play Time Stories - without the pressure mechanic, just the narrative scene and location flow - mixed with a typical scenario game like Mice & Mystics / Conan etc. which sounds like a lot of fun to me. I am happy to be a backer :)

    20. David Dowbyhuz
      Superbacker
      on

      A very clear and VERY welcome update. I pray potential backers land here ... and READ it. ;o)

      You may b preaching to the choir just now, but you've built something wonderful here .. . and they will come.

    21. Dorthonion on

      A clear update - I support the notion of putting it up on the campaign page or making a prominant link to it. Clarity is virtuous after all :)
      I am here for the entire show, with Solomon to the end!

    22. Foxwhisperer on

      I have to comment on the various pictures included. Great art and very well done to set the mood of SK.
      You made great choise for the artist in this project.

    23. Foxwhisperer on

      All of this was clear to me already from previous explanations, but it is a good summary. I agree that there should be a link to this article in the front page for newcomers who might not read all updates when coming in.

    24. Bungi on

      I second putting this on the main page as there seems to be some misunderstanding for some backers concerning the gameplay

    25. Freddy
      Superbacker
      on

      Great update, thank you!!!

    26. Missing avatar

      Drake Coker
      Superbacker
      on

      Excellent! Should be highlighted on the main page somehow.

      One thing though, the paragraph comparing SK to a book or a film comes off defensively. That could be removed.

    27. Missing avatar

      Payet Matthias
      Superbacker
      on

      Je vais vraiment adorer ce jeux ! Déjà que j’aime beaucoup le livre, j’ai vraiment hâte de recevoir ces sublimes boites !

    28. MCharod on

      this should be read by everyone looking at the campaign page...perhaps put a clear link on top of the campaign page linking to this update with a description of "more extensive explanation on what this game is/does"

    29. Helge Haasler on

      Frank is right. Ad this discription to the campaign page. It will help new potential backers to get an understanding of the game, without reading every update or searching within the thousends of comments.

      Anyway , you just confirmed what i have expected of the Game so i am with you Till the End.

    30. Alubatar on

      Brilliant, you're doing a great work guys. This will help a lot for new backers. The artwork it's outstanding

    31. Frank Calcagno on

      I would strongly suggest you add this description to the main explanation on the campaign page. More times than not, curiosity-seekers browse the campaign page, but would never know to look at updates, or specifically and importantly, Update #14...

    32. Brett on

      I hope you’re using the same pledge manager as Joan of Arc. I liked that you could add money over the course of three months.

    33. pagoda79
      Superbacker
      on

      I don’t follow every post or discussion thread, but this is one of the first things I’ve seen that really helps me understand the gameplay more and get excited about it! Helps me understand the structure more and is very appealing!

      Now I need to understand gameplay a little more to see if that’s appealing as well.

    34. GerbillusNuclei on

      Nice update, although I am perplexed as to how people couldn't grasp the concept from the start. Speaking personally I've found it quite clear.

    35. Patrick Swinkels
      Superbacker
      on

      Great artwork! You should publish the definitive illustratred edition of Solomon Kane’s Tales 👍🏻

    36. Mark-Ders on

      A very nice update. Nothing really new for me, but probably good for new backers and those who are on the fence.

    37. Andrea
      Superbacker
      on

      Great update and a good start in clarifying diverse aspects of the game. Looking forward to reading more of this.

    38. Ryan Kirby
      Superbacker
      on

      I’m more excited for this with each update. I think the devs are right in saying that this is a massive project and due to the size, even backers are a little confused about what it entails. Happy to have some clarification. Keep up the good work!

    39. _Morg_(Gabriele) on

      Awesome artwork, fantastic deep narrative. Keep up the good work!