The Demise of Dr. Frankenstein is a unique worker placement game where the questionable accomplices and facilities available to you and your opponents change turn by turn. Each roll of the dice has the possibility of changing the dynamic of the game as you forge ahead with your plans while trying to interfere with the schemes of your opponents. Will you barter with the Trader for some gold, visit the Curator to calm down the villagers your opponent whipped into a frenzy, or take a trip to the Undertaker because-- well, the villagers are already mad anyways! Or maybe you’ll snag the first chance to buy some Officer cards to come along for a few rounds.
In The Demise of Dr. Frankenstein, you must improve upon your unconventional clinical skills with the help of your faithful ally Igor, fill your lair with hungry and horrifying creatures, collect valuable equipment for your lab, expand your facility, and lure more conspirators to aid you in your ghastly experiments. And while gold is a valuable resource for your nefarious ends, the most precious commodity around is fresh, Grade A human body parts! That’s where your friend, the Undertaker, comes in. But beware! When the villagers catch wind of your grisly business arrangements, they will be none too pleased.
In the end, when the townsfolk come bearing torches and pitchforks for the last time, will you meet your demise in a blaze of glory, having conquered life and death, or will you be just another nutjob with a lab full of spare limbs and torsos?
BOARD GAME GEEK PAGE: Click Here
RULES: Click Here [upload a copy of the rulebook]
Outfit Your Lab
Expand Your Mad Scientist Lair
Gain New Accomplices
Build Your Monster
Note: The above are prototype colors. Here is a possible color palette for the monster body parts.
I have been self-producing games of high quality for many years and have successfully delivered on six previous projects. The enthusiasm of those who have played this game, however, has prompted me to shoot for a loftier goal this time. Kickstarter is a platform for me to share this labor of love and the base funding goal will allow me to have The Demise of Dr. Frankenstein professionally manufactured with high-end components and exceptional production values. That said, I and others believe in this game, and we think you’ll love it as much as we do. And if we exceed our funding goal, our stretch goals will pay for custom art for new and existing Officer cards as well as a flashier box cover, upgraded board material and card stock/finish, improved Igor and Villager pawn models, custom dice, stellar miniature-style 3D modeled versions of the interlocking monster body parts, and perhaps even an expansion for the base game!
NOTE: For more detailed information on the Joe Magic games available at certain reward levels, see this update. [include link on Day 1]
Introduces four new officer cards to the game, including the corrupt Mayor who cleans up your local reputation at the end of each Game Round provided you grease his palm a bit, the Magistrate who will confiscate an opponent's Officer Card and stolen body parts, the Tesla Coil which earns you VP whenever you command Igor to do your bidding, and the sinister Dungeon that locks up one of your main board conspirators so that no player can access them until they have paid you off in flesh or coin.
We are currently planning on using 300gsm black-core card stock with glossy finish. If we make this goal we have several options including 310gsm aqueous finish cards with linen embossing or 100% plastic cards. We will gladly take input from backers and of course will see test samples for deciding. The game has a relatively small set of cards and require little handling (since they go directly to player's tableau from purchase area), but we still want a nice feel when shuffling and drawing!
Currently, the boards we are looking at are simple, effective, and still of quality material, but possible upgrades include linen embossing, a nicely textured backing and just greater durability. We will analyze all our manufacturer's options and inform backers on the specifics when we select them.
Four brand new creatures to add to your grotesque menagerie. They will count to your overall creature set collection. However, unlike the normal lot of beasties, these unique creatures grant the owner an immediate VP gain and special ability.
The current flat Igor and Villager plastic pawns will be replaced with professionally 3D-modeled minis.
The current generic six-sided die for the Undertaker will be replaced with a laser etched or engraved die with custom iconography and text, letting the player know immediately what body parts they can claim from the pool and allowing us to remove the pip-count reference key from the game board.
The current six-sided influence dice for the action column on the game board will be replaced with laser etched or engraved dice with custom iconography, utilizing the same symbols each action is represented with on the game board. This will further allow us to tidy up the board by removing the numbers associated with each action space.
As fun as it is assembling your monster with the current flat plastic body parts, wouldn't it be so much cooler to reach for a Monster arm and see an angry curled fist and torn shirt sleeve or snap a head into place and see a flat-topped face sneering back at you? If we reach this tremendous goal, we will make that happen!
We love Demise as is, but after many playtests we have collected enough great input to see potential to expand the gameplay. While we are still considering the options, some of the more appealing ones have included Curator action randomizer tokens, a deck of Villager cards, a 5-6 player expansion, individual laboratory boards, Villager and/or Monster dice, and naturally more Officer cards.
A pricy and somewhat indulgent component upgrade, albeit a very exciting one that we saved for a last luxurious prize.
[The following may be transferred to an Update page immediately upon launch based on feedback]
Why Should You Help Bring This Monster To Life?
1. Worker Placement Goodness. As a mechanic, there has always been a certain charm to the way worker placement games start everyone out on a level playing field, allow them to make decisions that always feel vitally important, and present the player an array of strategy options all contained right on the game board for everyone to see. Demise of Dr. Frankenstein is an easy to learn and light worker placement game that we believe you’ll find possesses an elegance in design and a depth of strategy. We are fans of worker placement games that stand apart from the crowd and if you are too, we believe you'll find a flavor in our game you will enjoy. Enjoy ruining your opponent's plans with the Provost in Caylus? Manipulate the fiery temperaments of the Villagers to speed up the game and force other players' hands or calm the townsfolk down and extend the round so you can score big. Love the unpredictability of chucking dice and stolen favors in Kingsburg? We've taken that to the next level with a combined pool of dice-based options. Are you fond of the set collection and tactile construction aspects of Firenze? Filling your lab with creatures and building your Monster piece-by-piece will be extremely satisfying. And if the unusual theme of nuclear weapon construction in The Manhattan Project hits a sweet spot for you, this will be your chance to delve into a cool theme too long ignored in games.
2. Exciting Competitive Play. With points to be found from multiple sources, a fever-pitch race for resources and special effects, opponent interference with the dice and space selections you make, a game of Demise will keep players guessing. Play a long game and accumulate your points each round or put yourself in position to rack up a huge boost during the final laboratory reset. There is randomness with the dice-based action options, but rolls that don’t go your way force you to think on your feet, because there is always an option to take that will turn out to be valuable down the line. And there is randomness in the Officer cards, but we worked to create a delicate balance amongst them that makes each one an enticing addition to a player’s tableau.
3. Breaking the “hidden laws of nature”. Games of this sort tend to fall into the land of dry theming. There’s no farming or city-building here though. So while this is still fundamentally a Euro style game, the actions your choices represent resonate the sci-fi/horror theme in a lighthearted fashion. Harvest body parts instead of crops! As for the rest of our fellow gamers, here's your chance to play a game of re-animated corpses that aren't flesh-eating zombies. We think fans of the iconic Monster and his maker will also enjoy getting a chance to step into the good doctor’s shoes and bring about their own horrible downfall!
Gameplay: The Gory Details
Each turn the rolling player rolls the 8 Influence Dice (6 in a two player game) and puts them on the corresponding spaces of the Action Track. Then the rolling player gets dibs on choosing and taking an action from those available and everyone else follows suit around the table. These actions are:
- Activate Igor - Move Igor up or down a level on the Clinician Grid if you wish and then move 1 cube of yours already either board to a new legal space, gaining its effect.
- Visit the Undertaker - Roll the Undertaker Die for body parts.
- Visit the Trader - Gain 1 Gold.
- Perform Clinical Research - Place a cube on the Clinician Grid on a legal space based on Igor's position.
- Purchase Officer Cards
- Visit the Curator - Place a cube on one of the special Curator actions on the Victory Point Board. Most of these actions break game rules or offer improved versions of other actions. A Curator space cannot be occupied by more than 1 cube.
When all players have taken an action, starting with the last player around the table actions are again selected from the remaining dice going counter-clockwise around the table. Thus, the rolling player gets prime choice of all options for their first action but is severely limited for their second action and while the fourth person in a four player game may not get the ideal options on their go, they have the opportunity to take two potentially powerful moves in quick succession.
This continues, the rolling player changing each Table Round as players set themselves up for Victory Points during the scoring phase by getting cubes on the Clinician Grid, building monsters, collecting Creature cards, or getting bonus points from other Officer cards.
Each Table Round that ends with a player having visited the Undertaker or built a Monster enrages the Villagers and when they reach the end of the Rage Track, everyone’s lab gets burnt to the ground. At this point players score, remove their cubes from the game boards, and if they’ve hoarded too much gold or body parts the excess will be confiscated.
Then it all begins again and the players start fresh with a new lab (their Officer Cards stay in play for them). When the final player receives the First Player marker, the game resets for the last time and when the Villagers come for you in that round, you will meet your demise and the game ends with final scoring! Hopefully, you will go down in history as the most notorious monster-making mad scientist of all time!
[Insert Gameplay video]
Wait-- So Who Is Joe Magic?
[insert Mark's personal bio]
Whisperings Down in the Village
[This may also go on an immediate update upon launch and will include reviews of the game. Make sure to have a link to that update near the top of the main page.]
[Insert special thanks]
Risks and challenges
Though this is my seventh Kickstarter project, this is campaign is of a much grander scope than any I have undertaken before. I enjoy making games in my little basement workshop and for a one-man band I've produced some very respectable games that I am personally proud of (and which I'm proud to be offering to higher level backers!). Still, this is a learning process and despite the careful prep and research, unforeseen issues can always arise.
I and those who have tested and helped with this game are very happy with the gameplay in its current state. There are a few minor points we may adjust (the clockwise to counter-clockwise turn method is a recent change for example) as we perfect the game before printing, but generally speaking we love to play this game as it stands today. Art is a work in progress as we move away from some of our stock art to original pieces to provide to our backers and though we do not know if the stretch goals in question will be reached, we are on the hunt for a talented 3D modeler to bring Igor and your monsters to life.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter