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A party game for roleplayers and non-roleplayers. Fight with your friends, fall in love with your enemies, and seize the crown!
A party game for roleplayers and non-roleplayers. Fight with your friends, fall in love with your enemies, and seize the crown!
862 backers pledged $35,388 to help bring this project to life.

About

The King Is Dead: a Roleplaying Party Game project video thumbnail
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$35,388

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The King Is Dead is a roleplaying party game for 3-5 players. It's designed for any mix of roleplayers and non-roleplayers, and it plays in the same time and space as a board game or card game, so it's a good fit for game nights. It's also great for a regular rpg group when one of the players can't make it. Look out, though! Everyone might want to play.

Gameplay

The king has died without heir. Civil war is coming.

You are warrior princes and warrior princesses of noble name, each with a claim to the throne. At the end of the game, one of you will be crowned.

To win the crown, you'll need to make a mess: fight with your friends, ally with your rivals, fall in love with your enemies. You were born for this.

To start the game, you each choose one of the noble houses - the ancient crown, the rightful regents, the loyal retainers, the usurpers, the foreign power - and introduce your heir. You also each get a starting hand of cards.

Then go around the table. On your turn, choose one of the games and announce it. Everyone turns to that page in their game book, and you all follow the rules there to play that game. When that game ends, it's the next player's turn to choose a game.

All of the games have you drawing cards, showing your cards, trading cards around with the other players, and discarding cards. Your goal is to build the best hand of cards that you can. At the end of the game, you want:

  • The highest card;
  • The most suits represented; and
  • Maybe, just maybe, the Doom Cards: Jacks and Twos.

Once everyone's had a turn to choose a game, keep playing, but now anyone can end play with a final game: the Coronation. At the coronation, you find out who won the crown, whose houses rise and whose fall, and whether the new crown's rule is peaceful and prosperous, or doomed by disaster, assassination, or civil war.

The Games

On your turn, you choose one of the games. Everyone opens their game book to that page, and you follow the rules there to play the game.

Some of the games are one-on-one, with the other players acting as judges or as an audience. Some, everyone plays, or some, you get to choose who plays. Some are funny, some are poignant, some are dangerous, and they're all quick, charged, punchy, and dramatic.

The games are:

  • An Animated disagreement
  • A Chase
  • A Conversation Over Food
  • A Dance
  • Intrigue and Muster
  • Meeting Sword to Sword
  • A Reunion
  • Stealing Time Together
  • Trials By Contest
  • War
  • Endgame: the Coronation

Here's a video introduction to the game:

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The Boxed Set

To play The King Is Dead, you need 3-5 copies of the game book, one for each player, and a deck of standard playing cards. The basic boxed set contains five copies of the game book, and you supply your own deck of cards.

Venn Sage Wylde is designing additional decks of cards for the game. These add to gameplay but aren't required. They are:

The Map Deck. Lay them out on the table at the beginning of play to create a concrete visual touchstone for the geography of the game.

The Companies & Notables Deck. Play military companies and notable personages on the map to spark inspiration, signal your intentions, and raise the stakes.

The Intrigue & Muster Deck. When you play Intrigue and Muster, play your card out on the table to mark out areas of conflict and create a visual record of ongoing events.

And a custom-backed deck of standard playing cards to complete the set.

As a backer you can add the Map Deck and the Companies & Notables Deck to your basic boxed set, or go all-in with the complete set of custom decks.

You can also opt for the print and play PDF version of the game, if you prefer to do your own printing.

Risks and challenges

Because of the game's five-booklet boxed format, we can go to print only if we can print in volume.

There aren't very many roleplaying party games out there, so we honestly don't know whether there's demand for such a thing, and if so, how much. This is an experiment for us.

Still, the game's finished and well-tested. The print and play version is ready to release, and we're already lining production up for the boxed set and custom cards. We're grateful for your interest and we're excited to be creating a game off the usual path!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    PDF Print & Play

    You get the print & play PDF of The King Is Dead. To play, you'll need a printout for each player, plus a deck of standard playing cards.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Boxed Set

    You get the physical boxed set of The King Is Dead. To play, you'll need a deck of standard playing cards.
    (Also includes the print & play PDF)

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    154 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Boxed Set + Map Deck + Companies Deck

    You get the physical boxed set of The King Is Dead, plus the Map Deck and the Companies & Notables Deck designed by Venn Sage Wylde. To play, you'll need a deck of standard playing cards.
    (Also includes the print & play PDF)

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    Boxed Set + All Custom Decks

    You get the physical boxed set of The King Is Dead, plus the Map Deck, the Companies & Notables Deck, the Intrigue & Muster Deck, and a custom-backed deck of standard playing cards.
    (Also includes the print & play PDF)

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    333 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)