An exciting part of our campaign is anticipating the next Stretch Goal. Here is what we are working on. Unlocked Stretch Goals are shown in the box contents and in the SG list below.
We will count late pledges towards unlocking Skeetor. He will not be left behind!
As the many planes of existence turn and churn, occasionally worlds come into alignment. For brief moments in the multiverse’s timescale, these Conjunctions allow objects to slip from one world to another, sometimes unnoticed, sometimes causing absolute chaos.
Dark Rituals: Malleus Maleficarum is the next exciting miniatures based game from DG Games Entertainment. Dark Rituals is an asymmetric “One vs Many” game for 2 to 5 players, with a solo mode. A small band of Heroes defends villagers from a coven of Witches. One player, the Witch Master, controls the Legion of Darkness. With two players, the second player plays the Heroes in a strictly competitive game and up to three more players may join in, each taking a Hero to help battle the Witch Master. A solo mode is also available, where the Witch Master battles game-controlled Heroes.
Retailers, if you take the Storm the Stores pledge and have questions, please contact us:
All levels of both Stretch Goals are unlocked! Well done.
It's never too late to share our Facebook posts and become a fan on BGG.
Get a little bit of everything! Be careful, this Add-On does not include the Swordsman, Some of you have the Swordsman already and don't need two copies. Click on the image and see the bottom of Update #33 for more details.
A champion expansion! Stronger Heroes, Wicked Witches. Pick a side!
Mara is at her most dangerous when she is asleep! Click on the image for more details.
Girtiya escapes her prison but is not free on Neemoss. Add her to your Legion and let her vent her frustrations on the Heroes. Click on the image for more details.
Add another Witch and her Minions to your table top! Dark Rituals: The Spider's Brood comes complete with Karakurt, her babies and all the cards you need to extend the Legion of Darkness in any Encounter. Click on the image for more details.
This Village Attacks collaboration gives you a new fully playable Witch. This a reimagined sculpt of the Banshee by our artists. And you get bonus cards to add 3 Creatures to the Legion of Darkness using your favorite miniatures. Click on the image for more details.
Our Black Rose Wars collaboration adds our first male Witch to the game! Bound to his familiar Dagon, Horvath drains the Creature's health to keep himself alive. Click on the image for more details.
If you pledged for an EB reward in the first 48 hours of the project, you do not need to add this to your rewards. It is included for free. You will retain the gift if you switch pledges later.
This full set of custom engraved marble dice will be a beautiful Add-On to your game.
This optional Token Pack replaces four different punchboard tokens with 3D versions. Click on the image for more details.
This horrific 3D Cauldron can be used to store the Witch Master's Stamina. Click for more details.
Dark Rituals: Malleus Maleficarum is a dynamic miniatures based game, where 1-4 players control a band of fledgling Heroes defending their village from the vile Legions of Darkness, controlled by the Witch Master.
Game play is designed to be dynamic, keeping all players engaged in the game. Turns are short, with the active character taking just one or two actions. The Witch Master can activate any member of the Dark Legion. When it is the Heroes’ turn, they can nominate any Hero to play a turn, as there is no fixed turn order. If a Hero is in a great position to affect the game, and they have the stamina, they can get in the fight.
All players manage a pool of stamina that is used to pay for their character’s actions. The Witch Master has a single pool that is used for all evil characters. Each Hero has less stamina that they use for themselves. Every Action has a stamina cost and actions can only be taken if the Character can exhaust the required stamina. Stamina is restored at the start of the round.
As well as Actions, Characters can perform many Reactions, if they have the stamina. Reactions must be triggered by something happening in the game, the simplest example being an Action to Attack triggering a Reaction to Defend, but Reactions are far more wide ranged than this. Reactions will often be triggered when a Character is inactive, another example of players being engaged all the time.
Within each game, characters can advance their skills. When the Heroes defeat enemies or use Alchemy Spells, they improve their Attributes. As well as improving dice rolls, high attributes unlock better gear and stronger magic. Similarly, The Witch Master can access higher level Disciples once they rack up enough kills.
The Heroes are actively encouraged to cooperate. The Aid Reaction allows one Hero to help another Hero perform an Action. Heroes can use their Stamina to order NPC villagers into the fray.
The Witch Master can increase the ranks of their disciples by summoning Minions and unique Creatures, and by possessing the NPC villagers.
Each game is a scripted scenario called an Encounter. As well as the board setup, the Encounter defines objectives for both sides. These encounters form a longer story for the game and the wide variety of objectives keeps the game fresh.
Solo mode is available, where a single player plays the Witch Master and a custom deck of cards controls the Heroes. Each draw from the AI deck provides Actions for four heroes, and the first possible Action is resolved. Default actions and reactions control cases where the AI cards cannot be used. Custom solo missions are played with objectives for the Witch Master that can be interrupted by the Heroes driven by the AI deck.
The random grinding of the universe’s machinery has brought two very different planes of existence into alignment. A rare Conjunction between Neemoss and Earth has weakened the barriers between the planes, allowing objects to slip from one world to another.
Neemoss is a blighted world, corrupted by the magic that rules the world. All kinds of monsters, beasts and creatures prey on one another, for entertainment as much as for sustenance.
At first the Conjunction only allowed smaller items to transfer to Earth. You may think it was of no great import if a few new plants were found here and there but as material transfers from Neemoss, it retains its magical properties
Practitioners of exotic arts, whether they be believers or charlatans, noticed the difference immediately. When they included these new and rare herbs and materials in their rituals, charms and snake oils, there was a huge difference! Their magic worked! At first, not well, and sometimes disastrously, but it worked. Villagers slept peacefully, with their cures for toothache and charms for love.
The mystical science of Alchemy was born and flourished, as more alchemical ingredients were found and their properties investigated. All was good, as the Conjunction strengthened and more ingredients were found.
Until the Witches arrived. Pekka was the first to step through a random portal large enough to transport her across the chasms of space and time. At first, she reveled in the luxury of having no one to whip her, poke her, bite her and otherwise make her life miserable. This was a wonderful place to live! Warm, bright, with abundant food and novelties never seen before. But a scorpion’s nature is to sting and she soon got bored. Misery should be shared! Although she would not admit it, she was surprised that her first summoning incantation worked, dragging Hagatha through the Conjunction. And so it started. Some minions to bully, carry and fetch. Some creatures to manage the minions, when that was too tiresome. Ikrek to take her side when Hagatha got argumentative. The coven slowly created a little bit of Neemoss here on Earth.
Then they stumbled across their first human, a poor farmhand journeying from one village to another looking for work. Soft and chewy, sweet on the tongue and too weak to put up any kind of fight. Once again, the Witches found a paradise.
We join the story soon after this first contact. In the first encounter, our heroes, each with their own reason to battle the Witches, stumble upon each other as they approach a coven. How well they fight together is up to you.
Dark Rituals: Malleus Maleficarum already features many high quality miniatures. The core box alone has 44 minis and 19 unique sculpts. All sculpts for the core box and The Cursed Fjord expansion are complete, as are most stretch goals. A first step towards physical manufacturing is to make resin prototypes and this has started too.
We learned so much about miniature sculpting and production during our first Kickstarter, Vampire Hunters, that we are confident that our Dark Rituals miniatures will be among the highest quality board game miniatures available. In the image above, you can see how well the details of the digital sculpt transfer to the resin prototype.
Miniatures for the board game will be manufactured from a hard PVC that holds details well, but has a little flexibility to avoid breakage. Most weapons will be cast in ABS, a stiffer plastic, to minimize bending. They will be supplied fully assembled, ready for use when the game arrives. With so many bizarre monsters, the miniatures come in a variety of sizes, but the scale is 32 mm foot to eye on a normal human. The Demon Lord from the core game is roughly 100 mm tall to the tip of its sword. Impressive!
Here are close up images of the miniatures from the core box.
Here are the miniatures from Dark Rituals: The Cursed Fjord:
Click on the button below to download the full beta rules:
Some exciting rules were discussed in rules updates. These two are especially interesting:
We know some of you prefer learning from videos rather than rulebooks. We have prepared three summary videos that will give you an overview of the game. The first will introduce the game and explain the rules that are common to both sides:
In the second rules video, we talk about rules that are specific to the Heroes:
Finally, our third rules video covers Witches and the Legion of Darkness:
This video is a detailed play through of a single Round, part way through a game:
Here’s a multi-round game play video from Lance Hinkel at Learn to Play Games . I wish he could teach me to play all the games I own!
UndeadViking has posted his review! Grab some popcorn and settle in, it's a long one!
Our friends at Board Game Brawl were the first to post a review:
We have a great preview from The King of Average:
Here's a preview from Board Game Revolution.
Due to the overwhelming support we have seen from backers around the world we are able to localize our game in four languages, English, German, French and Spanish. All products in retail-style packaging will be translated in full, including all game components and the product box. For the remaining items (some of the stretch goals) we will translate all the game components.
This will not affect the delivery of the English language products. All other languages will ship together, with approximately a 3 month delay. You will select the language you want in the Pledge Manager, and you may select a language that does not match your region.
We are also translating the game into Italian, with digital deliverables. This will be triggered by the number of backers at the end of the project, as follows:
· 100 Backers: We will translate the core rules only. PDF deliverables.
· 200 Backers: We will translate all rule books and all encounters. PDF deliverables.
Italy is currently over the 100 backer threshold! We will translate the core rules into Italian and deliver this as a PDF. Other languages will be considered, if they approach these levels.
Once we are confident of even higher backer involvement, the digital locales may be added to the printed language editions.
Dark Gate Games is a vibrant company, determined to bring many fun and exciting games to your tables. We are really pleased to bring our second game to Kickstarter. And we have many more in the pipeline!
Although we are based in New Castle, DE, we are the epitome of a modern distributed company with collaborators in USA, Canada, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, Slovenia, Poland, China and beyond.
If you need help with your pledge after the project closes, please contact us:
With crowd funding, gamers can turn game concepts into reality. We could not create our games without your support on a platform like Kickstarter.
It also gives us a chance to feel your enthusiasm and hear your ideas. Interacting with our backers is one of the best experiences in this whole design process.
By backing on Kickstarter you will get your copy before it goes to retail, with many KS Exclusives, and at a discount.
In order to be fair to all our backers, we will charge actual shipping costs region by region once we are closer to shipping the game. We have already approached shipping companies and have some estimates for the Lone Defender Pledge and some Stretch Goals, but these are subject to change.
Bear in mind that these are today’s estimates. Actual shipping costs may change based on the amount of unlocked stretch goals and Add-Ons you choose.
Please contact us if your specific country is not listed.
We have customs friendly local shipping in USA, EU, Canada and Australia. We will look into making the same arrangement for all locations where we have a significant number of backers. We have investigated shipping options for the UK post-Brexit and we are ready for customs-friendly shipping to the UK after it leaves the EU, if there are no unforeseen changes to the situation.
Unfortunately, due to difficulty with local shipping companies, laws and customs we are unable to ship to all locations. We do not ship to Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Afghanistan. Please contact us for details.
Risks and challenges
We learned so much from our first Kickstarter that we are confident that we will be able to make Dark Rituals: Malleus Maleficarum a truly great game. We have improved our initial miniature sculpts, streamlined our internal review process and forged good relations with many manufacturers. However, there are still risks.
This is a large game and our focus is a high quality result, not an estimated deadline. There may be small delays submitting the game to the manufacturer. There may be minor changes made to the game and its components during the last stages of development.
After manufacturing begins, the timeline is less in our control but still we are certain we have learned valuable lessons. For example, we will handle replacement parts directly, to minimize the time between an issue being reported and us shipping a replacement item. Whatever happens, we will work to minimize any issues.
Shipping prices posted during the Kickstarter are best estimates from our partners and are subject to change.
We understand that your circumstances might change. We will offer a no-questions-asked refund of all funds, minus any charges to us, ending when we commit to a manufacturing contract, approximately 3 months after the campaign closes.
We will inform backers of all progress and changes via KS Updates, as soon as we have reliable information.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (28 days)