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Return to the world of Root with new factions, maps, and an alternative game deck!
Return to the world of Root with new factions, maps, and an alternative game deck!
20,886 backers pledged $1,726,461 to help bring this project to life.

Mountain Map!

Posted by Patrick Leder (Creator)

I have always had a fascination with maps. One of the joys of dungeon-mastering Dungeons & Dragons for me is getting to lovingly toil on my own maps and spending time poring over other artists' maps. One of my favorite map types is the dungeon cross-section, built like the one below. I have used maps like this in a few D&D games, populating and designing blown-up maps on graph paper as the players move from section to section.

I wanted to make a Root map that was a maze of tunnels and warrens under a giant tree, so I started building a cross-section map like the one above. One thing I wanted in there was a few paths to the middle, but the players would be able to dig through the map, creating new paths between clearings.

The map didn’t work out. It was hard to pick fair corners for setup and domination, and the central placement of many of the clearings meant that the game would play much too differently. I was worried the map would be hard to parse.

I threw out that drawing and drew the new Mountain Map you now have. Thanks to the graphic design of Michael Ptak, I was able to play with a simple version of the map a few months ago. Some of you may have printed out the old one and played games on it. We have been playing with it in the studio frequently on my playtest nights.

Kyle recently set about making the map, and this is what we ended up with. I am very proud of his work.

Like the Winter Map, the Mountain Map uses the clearing markers to show the suits of the clearings. In addition, many paths on the map are covered at the beginning of the game. Players can spend a card to remove the mountain piece from the game, creating a new path on the map.

For a little added friction, if a player rules a central clearing called the Pass during their Evening, they score a bonus victory point.

You can check it yourself here:

Root Kickstarter Print and Play 

I think veteran players of Root will enjoy the added challenge of the Mountain Map.

Thank you very much for the amazing support you have given to this campaign. I will talk to you all soon!

varangian501, HOTGAMEMAGNET, and 132 more people like this update.


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    1. Missing avatar

      Devin Redd on

      Hi. New to Root. Do the fall/winter and mountain/lake maps come with the game? Or are they only available in the playmat add ons?

    2. Patrick Leder 6-time creator

      We plan on accenting the tunnels with fallen rocks, torches, or other effects like that.

    3. Missing avatar

      Eric Stolar


      The regular paths are already as you say. The orange paths are the ones that cut through the mountain. I believe they are meant to be tunnels which is why they have a hard edge and are straight.

    4. Anjovi Kulam on

      Is it too late to be able to smoothen out some of the edges that the paths make on the map? The feeling that the paths are sort of pasted ontop of the mountain art seems odd, especially considering how nice the paths blend in with the forests of the original map (if i recall correctly) like the effect on the bottom right corner clearing path (from the bottom right clearing to the middle right edge clearing)

      In this case, the non-mountain paths also do this in certain places which makes me think that some kind of effect would improve the visual aspect of the map alot. Maybe a sort of fading effect (like you see in video games when a character moves behind or into a building)

    5. Missing avatar

      Off on

      I very much like the new map, there is only one slight issue. It is kind of hard to tell where the forests are for the Vagabond, and which provinces are connected. For example the forest on the top left in between the three clearings, looks like it connects to the forest on the top left of the board, and that runs down the entire length of the board. If there is an easy way to clear that up, or to know which areas are playable and not, that would be great!

    6. Patrick Leder 6-time creator

      Oops looks like I got confused. Tunneling is what the Moles do to enter a new clearing.

      Yeah right now its any card, but like I said that feels a little cheap.

    7. LilRuub

      Thanks for the reply Patrick. I hadn't gotten a chance to read the rules so I didn't know about the closed/opened path mechanic. If that is all that they are used for, the rocks on the side should suffice especially if you have a matching symbols on the overlays .

    8. Missing avatar

      Laurens Strobbe on

      To add, I am still double about the colors for the clearing, most notably the orange and red parts.
      Is it orange, because this is part inside the mountain?
      The more red hue for the center I would leave, and make less red as is done for the corner clearings. Just my 2 cents, for a game and developer I respect very much.

    9. Missing avatar

      Laurens Strobbe on

      Digging from a clearing with the same suit seems valid. You ask the locals to dig for you ).
      It will make it difficult enough, as you also need your cards for other stuff, so want use them at every chance.
      Birds I wouldn't allow, birds would not dig.

    10. necodamus on

      Lanterns is a cool idea. It would also explain the different color I would think. Since it looks a bit already like it's lit by candle light instead of the sun.

    11. Esben Heick on

      Thanks for the reply, Patrick.

      Agree: any card for +1 point is pretty cheap. Its way better to do than craft a 1 point item (and thus release it to the vagabond)

      Maybe you can use the crafting system to let players dig the tunnels. Or print little suit markers on the top of each tunnel.

      Or if you dig from a clearing, you need suits from that clearing, maybe.

    12. Lance on

      regarding the digging issues: why not make it a night action for almost any faction so that basically they are digging a new path at the risk of exposing themselves to counterattacks and helping others instead?

    13. Patrick Leder 6-time creator

      Esben - The carrot colored paths will be covered with markers at the beginning of the game to differentiate them. I will pass on the note about the P.

      Casey - No I caught that yesterday too. There should be bridges out in the woods.

      LilRuub - It won't matter during the game. Either the Tunnel has a marker on it or it does not but for setup we can talk about that.

      Omry - This is what we are testing right now. I have a feeling it will swing back to be more difficult to clear the Paths. As it was discarding 2 cards was getting too expensive.

    14. Dave the Dead

      @OJB: The messages are only bland because they pale in comparison to the game itself. It's greatness cannot be outshined.

      No stretch goal would be worthy, so they included everything right from the start. :)

      In the shadow of all this glory, I can understand why you feel the way you do. It's too much greatness to behold.

      TL;DR - No stretch goals, and the game doesn't need them. It would just be underdeveloped, meaningless chaff, most of which never gets used. This is me speaking as a backer of almost every "cool" kickstarter there has been. Love stretch goals, but usually happier when they just give me the stuff up front.

    15. Omry Jackie Friedman on

      I haven’t tried it nor think I’ll be printing the PNP, but I must note several issues I theoretically have with the map:

      First, there are only three clearings connected by the river. In the original game the river goes through 5 clearings, or for in the winter map. It looks like a big disadvantage for the riverfolks... although on the other hand they do have easy access to the pass.

      Second issue - opening new passes seem to be super easy (especially compared to previous versions which were published on BGG) and super rewarding - a point for playing *any* card. People would open passes just for the sake of points. I think it makes the map less interesting. I think the idea of trying to start with a tight map is a cool idea and I bet some factions would want to keep it this way, but if you give points for opening paths, it seems to me that you gonna end up entirely open after the 6th turn (I guess playtesting would tell).
      I understand that you dropped the old version in order to keep things simple... but what about... not rewarding points for opening a path? Isn’t a new path rewarding enough for the player who opens it?

      Third thing - I assume more paths makes the map less relevant. You want to keep connections interesting.
      The original board has a total of 18 paths. 16 in the winter map. This one starts with 15 paths but as I said, it is likely to reach 21 very soon.
      Also, so many passes seem to weaken the Vagabond’s slip ability.

      Again, I haven’t had a chance to playtest it but I think these are issues that might rise up.
      I suggest that anyone who playtest it would try it both with and without scoring for opening new passes, and see how it effects the game.

    16. Murrell

      So how I read it was the paths were covered at the beginning. So with the paths having that terrain edge on one side, you'll know which ones to cover.

      If they are covered you can't use them. This seems like a non-issue IMO.

      Fantastic looking map!

    17. LilRuub

      @Leder Games
      I want to second the idea to add some torches or some other prominent symbology on the edge of the underground areas for those of us with color vision deficiency. There appears to be some rock like graphic design along the tunnels but I don't see it in the clearings. If you added a torch symbol to each underground boundary (e.g. at the ends of tunnels and enterances to underground clearings) it would make it much easier for someone to distinguish without needing to rely on the color.

    18. Casey Smith on

      There is no bridges on the rivers in the woods, is this on purpose? That means Vegabonds have to go to clearings to cut across.

    19. Esben Heick on

      Feedback on the map:
      Its wonderful. But I think a few torches in the lantern lit corridors would nail it, to accentuate that they are underground.

      As it is, it seems a bit odd that some clearings are carrot colored, and some are normal.

      Besides that +1 on the notion that the Pass needs a little graphical something to show its importance, besides a "P"

    20. dokdoyle on

      If the cat choses one of the river corners, the otters will be limited to only two clearings for recruiting, and one of thos is the Pass. It promises interesting stuff.

    21. Missing avatar

      Laurens Strobbe on

      @OJB, I know you from Starcadia. But this is a totally different ball game )

    22. Missing avatar

      German Espino on

      I want more maps!! Please!! A lot of maps!!!!

    23. Missing avatar

      OJB on

      Your next update needs to be about a stretch goal. Stop sending these bland messages. Wow us.

    24. Esben Heick on

      The lizards are going to love that mountain pass area!

    25. Luke Seeley on

      What an interesting design challenge. I love how it turned out, with the underground passages being darker and more orange, as if lit by torch (not sure if that was the intent with the colouring). I also really like the idea of the Pass being an alternative means of accruing VP through play, drawing people towards each other and encouraging conflict.

    26. Patrick Leder 6-time creator

      Ed - Aha I tricked you for it was I Patrick Leder who wrote the post. I have exchanged a few emails with Mr. Dowler and am looking forward to the second edition of how to host a dungeon.

      I ran a fourth edition campaign using a very large dungeon I built with how to host a dungeon. I started with all of the civs and inserted the players around the time a group of Fire Giants and Mind Flayers were entering the fray. Take care!

      The campaign petered out.

    27. Samuel Dil Curd on

      Is the river part of the middle left clearing? The art is pretty confusing there, the brown smudge joining the two make it seem so, but it could be clearer?

    28. Joshua Yearsley Collaborator on

      Sharp edges are what happen when you cut through mountain stone! :)

    29. Missing avatar

      Ed Hughes on

      Cole, if you like cross-section dungeon maps like that one, you owe it to yourself to check out “How to host a dungeon”. It’s a tool to procedurally generate caverns and dungeons, populate them with creatures, and more. It’s really interesting

    30. Jordan Constantine on

      I'm confused by how bright and sharp clearings and paths are versus the more organic art flow of the original Root map. Is this just incomplete or are those the mountain pieces that get removed?

    31. Llez

      Its so pretty! My group played with the old green/lo-fi version a couple times, it kinda cemented into my head that it would be bright green, I like these colors a lot better.

    32. varangian501 on

      Mountain mechanics sound like a great addition to the gameplay!

    33. Michael Louthood on

      Can’t wait to try it! @boardgamingcrew