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Immerse yourself in the lives and stories of Wendy & Richard Pini's elves in this cooperative card game for 1 to 4 players.
Immerse yourself in the lives and stories of Wendy & Richard Pini's elves in this cooperative card game for 1 to 4 players.
962 backers pledged $47,512 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$47,512

962

The official ElfQuest® Adventure Game is nigh! Not since the 1980's has ElfQuest existed in game format (there was an RPG by Chaosium and a board game by Mayfair Games). Your wait to play as one of Wendy and Richard Pini's beloved elves is almost over.

Layman Kingsford and Cheeky Dingo Entertainment have been slaving away on this project since the end of 2012. What has emerged from all of our hard work is a cooperative, card-based game that allows you to assemble a tribe of four Wolfriders and embark them on journeys across the World of Two Moons.

Life can be difficult for the elves, even brutal, as you deal with fearful and violent humans, treacherous and manipulative trolls, and all manner of strange creatures and harsh environments.

However, you have decided that an existence of mere survival is not nearly enough! It is time to set out on an epic journey of discovery to seek and find long-hidden answers about your mythical elfin ancestors, the High Ones. Perhaps you will even discover and reclaim the fabulous crystalline Palace of the High Ones!

Your quest will take you all over the rugged, unpredictable World of Two Moons. But not all your tribe can abandon hearth and home - there are children to be raised, food to be hunted and grown, shelter to be maintained. Who tackles the challenges that arise? Who strives to fill the larder and teach the cublings? Who decides? You do.

NOTE: All game content, material and imagery is not final.

As a cooperative game, ElfQuest can be played solo or with up to four people. You will always play with a total of four characters and each character has multiple versions representing them at different stages of growth and experience.

Cutter Character Card
Cutter Character Card

The starter set is designed to open the entire ElfQuest saga with the young Wolfriders as their idyllic forest life comes crashing down around their pointy ears and they are hurled out into the bigger, broader world. Their mettle is tested by magical monsters, vindictive humans, tricky trolls and a sun-blasted desert.

Each character comes with a unique set of small cards (termed "hand" cards) that represent some of their skills, items, allies and personality traits. These cards, along with the wooden cubes representing the elf's physique (red), savvy (green), grace (blue) and magic (yellow), and with the effort tokens provided by the character card are the currency used to complete all the challenges, tasks and events encountered throughout the game experience.

Cutter's Hand Cards (3 of 9)
Cutter's Hand Cards (3 of 9)

The ElfQuest saga is epic and ongoing. So are the plans for this game. You will play through a series of scenarios depicting the various events directly from the published stories. As you complete the set of events for each scenario you will garner "growth" rewards and will gradually age your character providing them with new cards, cubes and traits.

Death is ever-looming in the tumultuous lives of the elves. If a character is unable to provide a cube to a required task they are killed and you will have to start a new character.

Scenario & Event Cards
Scenario & Event Cards

The ElfQuest Adventure Game Starter Set roughly covers the first issue and a half of the Original Quest storyline plus some "prequel" plot lines.  It comes with seven of the Wolfrider characters from the tribe at the opening of the saga - Cutter, Skywise, Nightfall and Redlance are four of them. You can help decide who the other three are by voting HERE.

Packaging not necessarily final
Packaging not necessarily final

 Here are a couple brief videos showing the contents:

  •  18 Character Cards (3 per character representing their initial stats and first two "growth" stages)
  • 64 Hand Cards (9 unique cards for each character plus 1 Boon card)
  • 1 Father Tree Home Card
  • 5 Scenario cards
  • 54 Event Cards (a unique set of cards for each scenario depicting the various events and tasks needed to complete its attending scenario)
  • 70 Effort/Growth tokens (used to track the completion of most events and to tally character experience)
  • 72 wooden "Attribute" cubes (18 red (physique), 18 green (savvy), 18 blue (grace) and 18 yellow (magic))
  • 1 orange wood pawn (to track the seasons on each scenario)
  • 1 twelve-sided die (to roll on the random "effect" chart for each season)
  • 8 page rules booklet

Here are some tutorial videos on how to setup and play the game and there are more to come. When complete these will all be posted on our website and they will be embedded in the eBook version of the rules that will be available for purchase through iTunes and other digital outlets.

Character Layout

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Character Card Anatomy

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 Hand Card Anatomy

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 (Below) Scenario & Event Cards

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(Above) How to Play - completing events

(Below) Home Card Tasks

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CUB ($1 or more)
Every nut, berry and acorn helps. The elves "send" you their kindest regards and warmest thanks for your support. Shade and sweet water, my friends, we will howl your name.

YOUTH ($5 or more)
Not only will we howl your name, we will print it too. Your name (real world or Elf name, your choice) will be included in the Tribal Contributors insert of the rulebook and on our website PLUS you will receive a Kickstarter-exclusive starting character card of a character from the stories that we have no plans to ever include in the scheduled expansions. (We're not telling you who it is because we're mean and loathsome....or maybe we just want to be mysterious).

ADULT ($10 or more) 
Your name will be included in the Tribal Contributors insert PLUS you will receive TWO Kickstarter-exclusive character cards (the starter version and their "growth1" versions).

FATHER TREE NOOK ($15 or more)
You will receive all THREE versions of the Kickstarter-exlucive character card PLUS a digital Print-and-Play file of the entire starter set. You can print the cards and components out at home and play the game while manufacturing is under way.

HOME TRIBE ELDER ($30 or more)
Your name will be included in the Tribal Contributors insert  PLUS One copy of the ElfQuest Adventure Game Starter Set+ any stretch rewards. Shipping is included for United States residents PLUS you will receive THREE Kickstarter-exclusive character cards (the starter version and their "growth1" and "growth2" versions) PLUS a digital Print-and-Play file of the entire starter set. You can print the cards and components out at home and play the game while manufacturing is under way.

NEIGHBORING TRIBE ELDER ($55 or more)
Your name will be included in the Tribal Contributors insert  PLUS  One copy of the ElfQuest Adventure Game Starter Set+ any stretch rewards. Shipping is included for residents of the world outside the USA PLUS you will receive THREE Kickstarter-exclusive character cards (the starter version and their "growth1" and "growth2" versions) PLUS a digital Print-and-Play file of the entire starter set. You can print the cards and components out at home and play the game while manufacturing is under way.

RECOGNIZED PAIR($95)
Please READ carefully!! Wendy & Richard Pini will be issuing a limited print run of AUTOGRAPHED art cards featuring the newly-colored pieces (colored by Rene Luke) for the game box and the rule book. The back of each card will have a printed message from the Pinis and each card will be numbered. This pledge level DOES NOT include a copy of the game or any other reward, just ONE copy of the Cover #1 PLUS Cover #2 signed art cards. 

If you have already pledged at another level and would like to add this reward you will need to log into your Kickstarter account and add $50 or 51 to your current pledge (or $95 for both cards). Do Not change your reward level!! You will then need to send us a private message either through here or to our email (info@cheekydingo.com) alerting us to your change and we will manually change the number of remaining rewards at this level.

Limited edition autographed art cards (3.5 in. x 5 in.)
Limited edition autographed art cards (3.5 in. x 5 in.)

TRIBE PROGENITOR ($100 or more)
Your name will be included in the Tribal Contributors insert  PLUS One copy of the ElfQuest Adventure Game Starter Set+ any stretch rewards. Shipping is included to anywhere in this World of One Moon PLUS you will receive THREE Kickstarter-exclusive character cards (the starter version and their "growth1" and "growth2" versions).
                       PLUS
Your name (real or elf) is printed onto one character or hand card in THIS STARTER SET as that card's ancestral patron. 
PLUS a digital Print-and-Play file of the entire starter set. You can print the cards and components out at home and play the game while manufacturing is under way.

Previously we had thought to open this up for the forthcoming Wolfrider Expansion Set. Your advice MAY also be solicited as to the design of that  card (each of the three character growth cards plus each of the 9 hand cards) on topics that could range from the name or the effect of the card.

There are, obviously, a finite number of cards so your name only gets emblazoned upon one of them so as to accommodate as many fans as possible.

Ancestral patron example (not final)
Ancestral patron example (not final)

CHIEF's GIFT: ($101 or more)
You will receive ONE copy of the game's Starter Set PLUS all 3 copies of the Kickstarter-exclusive character card PLUS both signed art cards from Richard & Wendy Pini PLUS a digital Print-and-Play file of the entire starter set. You can print the cards and components out at home and play the game while manufacturing is under way.

If you are wanting additional copies of the game on top of this reward, simply add $30 (in the US) or $55 (anywhere else in the world) on top of this $101 pledge fro each additional copy. Then send us an email at info@cheekydingo.com reminding us about the extra copy.

$7,500 (passed this in 28.5 hours!!)

At this stage we are able to do a small print run via a print-on-demand service in the USA and get the copies to anyone who orders them anywhere in the world. This would amount to a one-time print run and the game would not be available in retail stores or anywhere else. The game would be available within a month or so of the end of this campaign.

While this has been a true labor of love, we do hope to make a sustainable and ever-expanding game product for ElfQuest. In order to do so, we need to be able to place a much larger print run with cheaper manufacturing in order to make any profit (for us and the Pinis) and to be able to get the game into the distribution system so that game stores and comic shops can also sell the game.

$20,000 (Cleared this level in 8 days!)

At this stage we would be able to order a much more sizable print run from a printer in the US with a turnaround time of 4-6 months. It still would not make it into distribution but we would likely have stock left over to continue selling via our website until supplies run out.

The Effort/Growth tokens would be upgraded to punchboard (an improvement over the standard card stock versions in the above POD version).

$33,000 (done with 4 days to go!!)

At this stage we are able to take manufacturing over seas, the game makes its way into distribution both in the US and abroad PLUS we are likely to be able to partner with international sources to receive shipments of the game which would vastly reduce the VAT for recipients outside the US.

We would also be in a position to continue creating expansions for the game and to keep the game in print in perpetuity. The only downside to this is that our manufacturing partners in China are so back-logged that the game would not be likely to reach the market until mid 2015.

$40,000

If we can reach this level of funding, we will add in all 9 Hand Cards for both of the mystery characters for everyone at the $15 pledge level or higher. That's a total of 18 skill, item, demeanor and ally cards that accompany the characters and make them uniquely playable. And trust us, when you find out who the two characters are (who will not appear as playable characters in any of the planned expansion sets), you will want these cards!!

 $46,000

If we can reach this funding level in these last few hours, we will create an exclusive Kickstarter-campaign Home card that depicts Greymung's Kingdom on one side and the Burning Waste desert on the other. This card will be awarded to every backer at the $30 level and higher (meaning everyone who has ordered one or more copies of the game).

Depending on funding and international connections we MAY be able to alleviate the VAT fees incurred for those receiving the game outside of the USA.

 Empire State Tribune

For those of you interested in how this project came into being, here's a bit of history for you:

In late 2012 I, Layman Kingsford, learned that Wendy and Richard Pini were going to be in Albuquerque, New Mexico (my homeland) for a convention early in January 2013. I had been designing games for a few years and had published HouseBoy the Boardgame, HouseBoy Party Games and Drag Show the Contentious Drinking Game. At that time I was nearing completion on my Dog Walker Family Board Game and had garnered some interest from a UK publishing firm for it.

As a lifelong fan of ElfQuest, having discovered it in the early 80s, I decided that I would use the thinly-veiled excuse of visiting my parents in New Mexico to "accidentally" drop in on Wendy and Richard's presentation at that con. I cobbled together a prototype of something that resembled an ElfQuest board game complete with full color cards, printed box and packaging and all the tidbits and tokens many games come with these days.

My prototype was not a playable game at all, but the concept I had was to develop a game that captured ALL the aspects of the world that the Pinis had created for the elves. The game would not only capture the action sequences of the stories but would equally require the players to dedicate time and resources to nurturing their character's home and personal lives in order to progress through the game.  That way every character is a viable one - not just the ones that can swing a sword or shoot an arrow.

The game would, of course, be cooperative in nature which taps in to one of the major themes of ElfQuest - that of striving to learn about each other and the world, how to live and evolve in it and how to work together towards common goals.

So in I traipsed to the con and attended the Pini's panel presentation where they discussed all the exciting plans forthcoming in 2013 (though they couldn't yet tell us yet that Dark Horse was taking up the EQ banner). Afterwards, I waited for the line at their booth to wind down before I walked up and plopped the ElfQuest prototype onto their table and introduced myself. Secretly I was excited about meeting face-to-face with two of the people that I credit for shaping both my own creative endeavors and my own personal view of life and the world. I don't think I let on that my inner fanboy was squealing like a tween schoolgirl at a Justin Bieber meet-and-greet.

Richard was visibly surprised when he picked up the game box and then again at looking over the contents and all the cards featuring EQ artwork. In order to further prove my pedigree, I pulled out a copy of all my other published games and set them on the table. Richard took a visible step back.  Wendy looked up from the sketch she was working on, smiled and, upon seeing the Houseboy game, said something to the effect of "Oh, you're that guy."

On a side note, Wendy and I had had a brief Facebook interchange a year or two prior to this about developing a game based in her magnificent Masque of the Red Death graphic novel. We got to chatting about it again there at the con table and I hope to work on that project for them sometime in the near future.

Anyway, they were suitably impressed with my efforts on the concept of a new EQ game and things progressed so that by mid February we had set the deal and I dove into making a playable game.

I spent most of my creative effort in 2013 designing, play testing, refining and play testing and refining some more.  I felt that my concept needed to capture all the essence of ElfQuest that I could stuff into it. The result was a terrific board game that unfortunately came off as "too complex" for non-gamers. There were too many different decks of cards, tokens and things to keep track of for uninitiated tabletop gamers to appreciate (note that play testers with even a slight amount of gaming experience beyond Clue® and Monopoly® did not express the same opinion).

I realized that the game I had developed was not the "right" fit for our intended core audience - the ElfQuest fan. So I took all of Decemebr 2013 off for a creative hibernation and to focus on all the holiday music gigs I had to play (I'm a trombone player).

In January of 2014 I took a fresh new look at the EQ game concept and was able to rapidly develop a card-based version that is far more streamlined in its style of play and has far fewer components making it cheaper to manufacture. What we now have before us is an ElfQuest product that "feels right." I have, over the years, learned to listen to my gut instinct about when a game "feels" right or complete. I have time and time again thought that a game was as good as it could possibly be only to be forced by various circumstances to have to wait before it could be produced. EVERY single time the enforced waiting period has led to new thoughts, ideas and breakthroughs on how to improve the game and every single time it has led to that sensation deep in my soul that I finally got things "right."

That is how I now feel about the ElfQuest Adventure Game. I hope you will too.

Risks and challenges

As with any project, it is possible to encounter hurdles in completing it. Right now our intent is to produce a relatively small print run from this campaign using a print-on-demand manufacturer here in the United States. If we print inside the U.S., we SHOULD (and I stress should) be able to fulfill all orders within a month or so after the campaign ends.

However, it is possible that demand will exceed the capabilities of a manufacturer here in the USA and we will have to contract with a company overseas (likely meaning China) which will mean a 6-8 month timeframe, possibly longer, in production with the natural hassles and potential hiccups of shipping and customs and inspections and all that.

Other holdups could come for personal reasons on our (Cheeky Dingo) end of things or from delays in customs or other overseas transportation issues.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    CUB: Every nut, berry and acorn helps. The elves "send" you their kindest regards and warmest thanks for your support. Shade and sweet water, my friends, we howl for you.

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    YOUTH: Not only do we howl in your name, we'll print it too. Your name will be included in the Patron Contribution insert of the rulebook and on our website AND you get 1 EXCLUSIVE character card (that will be printed only this one time....EVER....for Kickstarter supporters).

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    ADULT: Not only do we howl in your name, we'll print it too. Your name will be included in the Patron Contribution insert of the rulebook and on our website AND you get 2 EXCLUSIVE character cards (the starter version of the character plus their "growth 1" version).

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    FATHER TREE NOOK: One copy of all 3 Kickstarter-exclusive characters cards PLUS a Print-and-Play digital file of the starter set so you can play the game while manufacturing is underway. Every pledge level above this will also receive the digital PnP file.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    HOME TRIBE ELDER: One copy of the ElfQuest Adventure Game starter set + 3 versions of the Kickstarter-exclusive Character Card! Shipping is included in the UNITED STATES.

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    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    NEIGHBORING TRIBE ELDER: One copy of the ElfQuest Adventure Game starter set + 3 versions of the Kickstarter-exclusive Character Card! Shipping is included for anywhere in the world outside the USA.

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    HOME TRIBE LIFEMATE: You get two copies of the game sent to you (in the United States) along with all the goodies from the lower pledge levels.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $95 or more About $95

    RECOGNIZED PAIR: please READ carefully!! Wendy & Richard Pini will be issuing a limited print run of AUTOGRAPHED art cards featuring the newly-colored pieces (colored by Rene Luke) for the game box and the rule book. The back of each card will have a printed message from the Pinis and each card will be numbered. This pledge level DOES NOT include a copy of the game or any other reward, just ONE copy of the Cover #1 signed art card AND Cover #2. Read the details in the Pledge Levels section for additional instructions.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    TRIBAL PROGENITOR: Not only do you get one copy of the game + all 3 versions of the Kickstarter-exclusive Character Card but your name is printed on one character card as its patron in the forthcoming Wolfrider Expansion Set.

    Your advice will also be solicited by us as to the details of the design of that character (should you be interested in providing assistance). It is first-come-first-served as to which character your patronage covers. You may only be a patron once per expansion.

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    Pledge $101 or more About $101

    CHIEF"S GIFT: please read carefully and consult the full description in the Rewards section. One copy of the game (shipped anywhere in the world) PLUS both signed art cards from the Wendy & Richard Pini PLUS the three versions of the Kickstarter-exclusive character cards.

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    Pledge $120 or more About $120

    NEIGHBORING TRIBE MATED PAIR: Two copies of the ElfQuest Adventure Game starter set + 3 versions of the Kickstarter-exclusive Character Card! Shipping is included for anywhere in the world outside the USA.

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Funding period

- (30 days)