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Relive the golden age of chivalry in a 2-4 player narrative battle game of knights and peasants, heroes and dragons, angels and demons.
Relive the golden age of chivalry in a 2-4 player narrative battle game of knights and peasants, heroes and dragons, angels and demons.
9,987 backers pledged $2,152,285 to help bring this project to life.

THE MONASTIC LIFE

Posted by Leonidas Vesperini (Collaborator)
135 likes

We’ve had grand sweeping battles, and rampaging monsters, so how about we calm the mood? This new add-on contains Ars Nova, a contemplative and very replayable solo/co-operative scenario, set in an abbey where murder has been committed, and an investigation needs to be done. At least, that’s one side of it. The set also offers a group of new units, hex tiles, and interior overlays that you can use in your own scenarios or battle mode games.

For $20 you get 18 monk miniatures in 6 different poses together with 4 multi-figure bases, and 6 stat cards. All of these monkish types are playable in the battle mode, as well as the Ars Nova scenario.

You also get 7 unique, double-sided hex tiles, and 7 building interior overlays. The hex tiles can be mixed in with any others you may have to expand your options and size of playing area. The building interiors offer you some choices for existing buildings, changing the way some familiar types work. This means that you won’t always know what a building is until you enter it, adding a sense of exploration and mystery to even a simple battle.

Finally, for the Ars Nova scenario itself, you get 1 Suspect sleeve, 8 Suspect cards, 20 Event cards, 80 Trial cards, 1 sand timer, and 30 tokens.

Playing the scenario is straightforward. It uses the normal rules with some additional mini-games to represent the trials you have to go through to gather your evidence. But first some background. 

Art by Nicolas Jamme
Art by Nicolas Jamme

 

Sculpt by Irek Zielinski
Sculpt by Irek Zielinski

 

It is the year 1343. Pope Clement VI has convened a synod to debate the matter of the Ars Nova, and whether or not it is heretical. The Ars Nova is a new style of music proposed and championed by the musician Philippe de Vitry, and the mathematician, philosopher and Bishop of Reims, Jean de Muris. Under the previous prelate, Pope Benoit XII, the music had caused a great deal of consternation for supposedly mixing profane melodies and liturgical music. Now, under Clement VI, the pair has been given a chance to clear their names and avoid the dangerous charge of heresy.

Artwork by Nicolas Jamme
Artwork by Nicolas Jamme

To prepare themselves to give evidence at the synod, Philippe and Jean have been granted time, space, and the aid of some monks at a nearby abbey. Here they are ensconced, working on the presentations that will either vindicate their theories, or see them excommunicated or worse. They must prepare well, for they will face many staunch defenders of the traditional Ars Antiquae. For several weeks, they prepared their defence in peace. And then, ten days ago, the monks who had assisted them began to die in gruesome ways. Rumours have spread to the nearby town of Avignon, so Pope Clement VI has sent an inquisitor to find out what’s going on.

Sculpt by Irek Zielinski
Sculpt by Irek Zielinski

 This is where you come in.

 The scenario is players vs the system, and can be played either solo or with 2-3 players co-operatively.

Set up the board as shown on the scenario map, and choose one Suspect card at random. Without looking at it, slide it into the Suspect sleeve. This is the vile murderer you must discover.

Artwork by Nicolas Jamme
Artwork by Nicolas Jamme

 Play the game as normal. In addition, each turn you will draw an event card. This sets the scene for events in that turn. It may make some areas of the abbey inaccessible, poison one of the players, or simply lose them some time. This represents the actions of the guilty party as he operates in the shadows, impeding the player’s investigation.

Sculpt by Irek Zielinski
Sculpt by Irek Zielinski

Certain areas of the abbey offer players trials in the form of mini-games. This is where the timer comes in, as they are all constrained by a strict time limit. The order in which you attempt these trials, and the number of times you return to each, dictates your success or failure. Success in a trial may give you additional resources, offer bonuses to other trials, or simple give you clues as to which monk is the guilty party. Collecting enough of these clues is the way to win.

 

Each time you find a clue, take your Suspect sleeve and slide the Suspect card out a little further. Stop at the next red line. Each time you do this, one or two names will be revealed. The more times a name appears, the more likely that they are your culprit. When 8 turns have been played, the game is over. If you have found enough clues to reveal the whole card then you will be certain of the murderer’s identity. If you have only partly revealed the card you will have to guess, based on what you know.

And there you have it!

Artwork by Nicolas Jamme
Artwork by Nicolas Jamme

 

Sculpt by Irek Zielinski
Sculpt by Irek Zielinski

 

 

I have avoided going into details of the individual trials themselves as that would spoil the surprise and the challenge. Suffice to say that with 8 suspect cards, and 7 different trials, all of which can be attempted repeatedly and in any order, there is a great deal of replayability in this one scenario.

Artwork by Nicolas Jamme
Artwork by Nicolas Jamme

 

Sculpt by Irek Zielinski
Sculpt by Irek Zielinski

 

 Also worth noting is that this scenario include no combat at all. As you can see, the core Joan of Arc rules are nothing if not adaptable.

Artwork by Nicolas Jamme
Artwork by Nicolas Jamme

 

Sculpt by Irek Zielinski
Sculpt by Irek Zielinski

 

Finally, the scenario I described in the Unleash Hell expansion happens almost immediately after this. It’s not a campaign because there is no link between the protagonists in each game, but there is definitely a linked story to follow.

3D Buildings supplied in the corebox
3D Buildings supplied in the corebox

 

 So what do you think? Are you up to the challenge? Can you find the murderer?

The Voice in Her Head

 =======

Pour la découvrir la version française de cette mise à jour, cliquez ici.

La traduction sera disponible d'ici peu.

Leonidas Vesperini, MARC F, and 133 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Francesco on

      About the ( possible low) replayability of suspect cards in Ars Nova.

      Wouldn't it be better to have, instead of the sleeve system and card with a list of names, simply cards with one (or more) names for it and then mix a limited number of them to form a deck ??

      We would have the same effect of having a list in a single card but with infinite replayability, without having the risk of remembering the distribution (i.e. number) of suspects in the current card list.

      I would be glad to have your opinion about it. :)

    2. Jean Luc BERNARD on

      @ Geoff Watson : Yes we can think of some skill like "Divine Halo" (or other term) which which forbids to a character in an adjacent area to use the bewitched spell

    3. Missing avatar

      Geoff Watson
      Superbacker
      on

      I was having a look at the cards to see what use the monks would be in the regular battle game, and was surprised at how few monks had Prayer skill. Also, Quick 1 on the Novice is useless - all units can move one space anyway.
      I'd like to see some alternate cards for the monks with anti-demon/undead abilities like exorcisms and the like. Currently just the processional monk has one, and he could be replaced with another character with an attack dice, which would work against any enemy, not just demons.

    4. Ray Dexter
      Superbacker
      on

      Does the re-roll card work in regular games or just in the murder mystery game?

    5. Ray Dexter
      Superbacker
      on

      Sorry about my poor typing skills today...

    6. Ray Dexter
      Superbacker
      on

      I think it would be awesome if they let the game chose the guilty party as you play by using the conversation card format. when you complete a trial, draw a card and it will either provide an alibi for one of the suspects or implicate one if a card contradicts a previous card, both are discarded or majority evidence wins. Play continues until the guilty platy is relieved. No need for a per-selected suspect. On the face of the cards could be a quick sorting system to remove some cards depending on the number of suspects you want. (for shorter games)

    7. Caleb on

      I was a little apprehensive at first, but I'm beginning to fall in love with this kickstarter. The games within games within games is so appealing, and it's as though you've created the perfect tabletop sandbox (for psuedo-fantasy-medieval settings at least) .

    8. METADNA
      Superbacker
      on

      A scenario of investigation in the ARS NOVA lineage with plot and plot around the female character Yolande of Aragon who played a crucial role with Joan of Arc, please it is just indispensable and would allow us to plunge into the universe of nobility after that of the clergy. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yolande_of_Aragon

    9. Jack
      Superbacker
      on

      This is the kind of mini game you can play with a friend while waiting for your other friends to arrive. Given how quick it can be played and the relatively straightforward rules (compared to the epic battles or other scenarios) people will play this more often. Maybe not twice in a row but I could easily see this being a warm up each time. Therefore the guilty party becoming visually recognisable due to a lack of suspect cards variety is a weak point as things stand

    10. Bazz
      Superbacker
      on

      @Quirkworthy

      Did you manage to talk to leo and Benoit about more suspect cards?

      Once again I LOVE this add on and it will get played a lot but still feel with only 8 suspects card it wont take long till we recognise who the killer is based on names that come up first. Hoping we could maybe go up to 20 cards or more, would love to hear what you and other players think about this.

      thank you :) keep up the amazing work

    11. Missing avatar

      Elizabeth Howald
      Superbacker
      on

      This add on looks amazing! After backing a lot of games this month I was considering dripping this pledge, but this add on gave me renewed confidence in the game and I am all in! I think I'll play this scenario the most of any in the game. :)

    12. LUCCHINI on

      I believe that you guys are really REALLY not fool your backers and this is the best proof. A game with such a large choice of extensions with pole apart gameplays, puts joan of arch in a real dynamic of perfectionism.

      It's not only about the quality of the material, the communication, you don't forget the essential which is to make thousand possibilities of experiences in game, and that's why I support with all my enthusiasm !

      Thank you and congrats to all of the team !

    13. Skyhunterd on

      @Quirkworthy As a newcomer to 15mm, this sounds very reassuring!

    14. MAUGER on

      Fait voeu de silence devant cet add-on divin !
      En attendant demain... car pour faire le lien avec le film : "M'est avis que ce donjon recele bien d'autre chose que du vide..."

    15. r-adv on

      Euh ...
      Non j'allais dire quelque chose mais c'est une connerie.

      © les Inconnus

      ^^

    16. Quirkworthy Collaborator
      Superbacker
      on

      @parpaing - You're right that it doesn't allow the player to deduce from the clues. I've played games that tried this, and while they have some benefits, they also suffer from a couple of problems this avoids. The worst problem is a lack of scalability. You can play this game with your child, your parents, and non-gamers, and everyone is on a relatively level playing field. games where you use real deduction are fair and enjoyable in a far narrower set of circumstances.

      Of course, whether that's a problem depends on who you expect to play them with, and your suggestion definitely works. We've just gone for the other, broader appeal here.

      The Voice in Her Head

    17. Nicolas Hunerblaes on

      Nice add-on ! A reference !
      Now waiting for Excalibur or the Graal ;-D

    18. parpaing on

      @Quirkworthy
      I just mean that in my opinion, one could have handled that differently: you get clues from the trials, and from a list of suspects, you have to tie the clues to the right suspect: you might even win with fewer clues by sheer luck if you had narrowed it down to 2 and you pick the right one in the end for example.
      For instance, some clues could be about their tasks in the monastery, their physical appearance, their routines, their links to the victim etc. You have all those clues, each trial gives you a clue and you have to try to get it right to narrow it down to the culprit. One could even imagine that players can "choose" the clues in advance, so that if they messed up the previous rounds, they might still be able to get one special clue that suits their needs in that particular situation.

      Of course, the investigation is thematic the way it currently is, but it lacks the "i connected all the dots and I found the murderer!" part in my opinion.

    19. Naaba, the Voice of Valhöll
      Superbacker
      on

      Now if people ask me "Why this game and not another one ?"
      "Because there is Sean Connery in it !"

      Best argument ever :)

    20. Quirkworthy Collaborator
      Superbacker
      on

      Tarot cards - please note that the reference to tarot in the description is to their size, not their content.

      Suspect cards - I'll discuss this with Leo and Benoit.

      @Skyhunterd - I think that the proportions of the legs is a scale thing. Making them slightly shorter allows for the torso and head to be more in proportion, which is the bit you look at first, and the bit you see most when looking from a normal gaming perspective. I don't have these specific models, but all our Legendary Scale humans are made by Irek and I've got a set of the test production castings. They look way better than just "fine" :)

      @parpaing - by your argument, no game is about its theme - they are all about drawing cards, rolling dice, etc. What is your favourite game?

      @David Smith - you see the difference in size between the Franciscan and the other unit cards? That's not a mistake. Larger cards are for single mini units, and the smaller cards are for multi-figure units. So, when it's a processional monk, you can put one of those and 2 hooded monks on a base for a cool-looking little unit. If you want some normal monks, swap the processional monk for a third normal one. This is the sort of thing the ability to click in and remove minis from bases is intended for.

      @Mussot - this scenario is intended to be played against the game, and I think that making that role a player may be quite a lot of work and extra components. Probably not going to happen during this campaign.

      Building overlays are different interiors for existing buildings. I'll get some examples and possibly do a follow-up article as it might be interesting.

      The Voice in Her Head

    21. Emmanuel Roy on

      Excellente addition au jeu ! Parfaitement dans le thème, ambiance monastico-gothico-fantastique réussie, superbes figurines (et références cinématographiques très sympa !), un mini jeu en soi, et le tout pour un prix très raisonnable. Bravo et merci !

    22. Foxwhisperer on

      To me this add on is nice idea. I'll try the murder mystery mini-game. If I like it, great! If I won't like it, I will still get monk figures and stat cards, extra overlays and more map pieces for the main game. So it's still very useful add on.

    23. MrHeureux on

      @Quirkworthy :
      Now I have two questions:
      - would it be possible to add a variant in the future of a full competitive mode for this scenario or some 1vs All? I know that solo/coop mode would be much appreciated but some may prefer to be the first one to find the murderer with enough clues for instance in a kind of racing game like some deductive boardgames propose. If it's not already planned that would be even more awsome that is already!
      -secondly, what is the real benefit of overlay building? Un addition of adding esthetic variance can you give us please some example of game effect? Thanks!

    24. MrHeureux on

      Hi, first of all contrats for this great game system proposing so many different ways to play with from a massive wargame type to this more rpg-deductive play style. This is Brillant!

    25. David Smith on

      8 suspect cards is fine, with the amount of game content thegame has, let alone playing my many other games, I seriously doubt I'll play this 8 times let alone 8 times in quick succession to recall the cards.

    26. David Smith on

      How are these guys grouped on a base of 3 when there is an even number of each type.
      ?

    27. Foxwhisperer on

      The name of the rose?! Lol. Added to my pledge.

    28. Queenie (aka Marcia K)
      Superbacker
      on

      Loved that book and the movie was great. Looking forward to playing this so much.

    29. Queenie (aka Marcia K)
      Superbacker
      on

      Loved that book and the movie was great. Looking forward to playing this so much.

    30. parpaing on

      Investigation? Honestly there is no investigation going on there... You toss some dice, see whether you managed or failed and just count how many times a name is shown on the suspect card... That's pretty dull in my opinion.

    31. Angela M.
      Superbacker
      on

      Wow, this is great!
      Love the minis ( especially Sean Connery) and certainly I love, that this one can be Trier soli.
      Thanks so much! I did hope to get surprised in some way fitting my niche, but this is way cooler than anything I would have expexted.

    32. szww on

      This sounds like a lot of fun...I mean contempletion.
      I love how streachable the game mechanics is.

    33. Machaon on

      A very, very, very great add-on. Thank you for this.
      Now add a pyre and I'll make a scenrio about Joan being freed from the Burgundians. Please. A pyre.

    34. Red_Rogue on

      This is really great add-on. Instead of bringing ton of minis we got something which expands gaming experience. Such add-ons are the best.

    35. Missing avatar

      Wansart Vinciane on

      instant buy for me to with dragon and castle

    36. Skyhunterd on

      (Check previous comment) And with "the models" I mean the latest models from Ars Nova.

    37. Jack
      Superbacker
      on

      Great concept, sounds similar to Cluedo except players working together and with the added bonus of mini trials. I'm not a fan of the suspect sleeve reveal. Once someone recognises the first couple of names on a card they may remember who the guilty party is. The simple solution to this is to add more suspect cards in different variations but then there will be a lot of unused cards lying about. The other option would be to change the reveal system, have the 8 suspect cards but allow players to note who is less likely based on the clues they find. That may require a rules change though so simply providing more suspect cards would be the easier option.

    38. Skyhunterd on

      Excellent, an instant buy! Maybe Ladyhawke is next?

      A piece of constructive feedback, this is a game I wish to succeed in as much is possible:

      Am I the only one who thinks there is a serious problem with the models' legs? They are way shorter than necessary, compared to their torso. It defies normal anatomy a bit too much for me. Imagine the devil figure with corgi legs. That's almost how they look like for me. Is it an artistic choice? Is it a 15mm compromise? Is it lack of knowledge of human anatomical proportions? Something else maybe?

    39. Missing avatar

      Raul Semoloni on

      Love this Soloable Scenario, I’m IN !

    40. Missing avatar

      Bryan Nelson on

      This is fantastic! Love the versatility of the JOA rules!

    41. Fred Signal on

      What a great add on you surprise me ! again!

    42. Missing avatar

      Athanasios on

      How versatile! Love it!

    43. Bob Minadeo on

      This is a marvelous additon. Thank you so much for having created and offered it!

    44. Hound of Tindalos
      Superbacker
      on

      It would also be cool to have a tower with spiral staircase for this ....

    45. Hound of Tindalos
      Superbacker
      on

      Just change the rules a bit ala the werewolf and have players against each other....

    46. Bazz
      Superbacker
      on

      Is there a chance we could possibly get some more suspect cards with this please? I love this add on and it will get played a lot but with only 8 suspects card it wont take long till we recognise who the killer is based on names that come up first. I think if we cud go to 30 even someone with a great memory would struggle to remember all the possibilities :) wud gladly pay a bit more but feel 8 suspect cards is far too low , thank you

    47. partenopei on

      btw

      if i was on the judge panel, Philippe de Vitry would be at the stake in no time :-)

    48. METADNA
      Superbacker
      on

      For this add-on, need a deluxe version with a custom or wooden Sand timer,
      like a true medieval Sand timer please !