Feed the Shoggoth! is a devious and fast-paced card game, in which players each control a different cult faction, facing a very angry and hungry Shoggoth in the middle of the table. Players earn points and win the game by sacrificing minions from their cult to the Shoggoth (bad news for Minions, but what do you expect when you join an evil cult?). However, the Shoggoth is indiscriminate in who he eats; if you can't feed the Shoggoth on your turn with a Minion, it eats you, and you're out of the game!
(A Shoggoth, in case you don't know, is a large, amorphous blob of protoplasmic flesh, and the creation of horror author H.P. Lovecraft. Capable of creating eyes, mouths, and pseudopods at will, a Shoggoth is an extremely powerful beast, not to be trifiled with. Unless you're an insane Cult Leader with delusions of grandeur, of course.)
Feed the Shoggoth! is a game for 3-6 players; games average about 45 minutes in length.
The Necronomicon Artifact card has been unlocked! And we're already close to unlocking the first Shoggoth short story, penned by horror maestro Tom Lynch. Scroll down to the Stretch Goals section to see the progress!
The Shoggoth Lord card has been unlocked! Next stretch goal features the Necronomicon exclusive card; check the Stretch Goal section below for the newly-announced stretch goal!
Stretch Goal #3 announced: The Necronomicon Artifact! See below to read more about it!
We have now used our Essential Saltes to bring alive the following add-ons, if you so wish to add them to your order:
- Additional copy of the game: Please add $20 + $3 shipping ($23 total)
- 30 Sacrifice score tokens: Please add $10 + $1 shipping ($11 total)
- NEW! Get your storage box custom painted by Jason McKittrick! Select up to two colors, just line the custom painted Shoggoth miniature. Please add $30 to your pledge (no extra shipping needed).
-NEW! Order an additional Shoggoth miniature for $40 (+$3 shipping), or a custom painted mini for ($60 (+$3 shipping).
These prices are for shipping anywhere in the world. For example, if you lived in the UK, were backing at the HIGH PRIEST LEVEL $80 (+ $9 shipping), and wanted to add the score tokens, your total cost would be $89 + $11 = $100.
If you wish to get any add-ons with your order, simply keep your backer level the same, add the appropriate amount of money to your pledge, and send me a note indicating which add-on(s) you desire.
The latest card designs (still in progress):
Feed the Shoggoth! consists of a 120 card deck, which includes the following:
- 72 Spell, Artifact, and Action cards
- 36 Minion Cards
- 10 Unique Cult Faction Cards
- 1 Shoggoth Card
- 1 Graveyard Card
A comprehensive version of the rules can be found HERE.
Goal: to be the first Cult Leader to reach the victory point total (variable depending on the number of players), or to be the last Cult Leader standing!
Cards: There are five basic types of cards in Feed the Shoggoth!:
- Cult Faction cards–these designate which Cult you rule over. They are selected randomly at the beginning of the game. Each has a unique special ability that can help you during the game.
- Spell cards–spells can be cast during anyone's turn, at any point in the game. You can cast as many spells as you want (just remember that you only draw back up at the end of your turn). Spells can do many different things, from moving the Shoggoth around the table, stealing an opponent's artifacts, causing them to lose a turn, to any number of other nasty effects.
- Artifact cards–artifacts are a bit different than Spells. They need to be placed in front of you face up on the table, and need an activation period of one round before they can be used. While a bit more difficult to use, artifacts are generally more powerful than spells.
- Action cards–like Spells, action cards can be used at any point during the game. They're primarily defensive in nature, and have the advantage that they can't be countered or stolen from you.
- Minion cards– these represent the lowly members of your Cult, a.k.a. Shoggoth food.
A sample of the art for the cards, and the old version of the designs
At the beginning of the game, players randomly select a Cult Faction card, which is placed in on the table in front of them, as well as 7 cards from the deck. The Shoggoth card is placed in the center of the table. The Shoggoth will move directly in front of the first player to declare that they're sacrificing a Minion. On subsequent turns, it may be necessary for a Cult Leader to cast spells or use artifacts to move the Shoggoth in front of them.
- Activate any Artifacts that have been on the table for at least one turn
- Play any new Artifacts from your hand
- Attempt to Sacrifice one Minion to the Shoggoth
- If the Sacrifice is successful, move the Shoggoth in front of the player to your left, and gain a Sacrifice Score Token
- Draw back up to 7 cards
On each player's turn:
After the artifacts phase, the player may attempt to Feed the Shoggoth, if the Shoggoth card is in front of them on their turn.
Once the Shoggoth is in front of the Cult Leader and they declare that they're sacrificing a Minion, the other Cult Leaders now have a chance to disrupt the sacrifice by casting spells to move the Shoggoth in front of a different Cult Leader. But, the sacrificing Cult Leader can cast their own spells (and Artifacts) to bring the Shoggoth back. This can lead to some frantic spell battles. If the Shoggoth is still in front of the Cult Leader, their sacrifice is complete, much to the consternation of the Minion who's just gotten eaten. The Cult Leader that completed the sacrifice gains a point, moves the Shoggoth in front of the player to their left, and draws back up to 7 cards.
If the Shoggoth is in front of you on your turn, and you don't have a Minion to sacrifice, the Shoggoth eats you, and you're out of the game!
If it's not your turn, then you can attempt to disrupt the sacrifice process by casting spells. You can try to move the Shoggoth away from the cult leader, cause them to lose artifacts, or any number of nasty maneuvers with your spells.
Why Feed the Shoggoth!, anyway?
I've been both a Keeper of Call of Cthulhu as well as a board/card game fan for a long time, and it dawned on me a couple years ago that cults in the Cthulhu Mythos are a particularly vicious bunch, constantly vying for more knowledge and power. And Shoggoths, those gigantic, amorphous blobs of pseudopod-producing flesh, are powerful (yet incredibly dangerous) creatures indeed. Well, what if a bunch of different cults were trying to fight over a single shoggoth in order to control it?
Next, I wanted the game to be fun, something that I would want to play. The best games, I felt, were ones that gave everyone an equal chance to win at any point in the game. With the right amount of strategy and luck, a player could come from behind and achieve victory. Plus, I've always been a fan of screw-your-neighbor mechanics; this, combined with a hot potato element, can (and has, in many play tests I've witnessed) cause frenetic and desperate game play.
While Feed the Shoggoth! can be played as a quick beer-and-prezels game, one can find deeper strategies within; especially when Minion cards run out and the players are forced to keep the Shoggoth away from them because they're unable to sacrifice.
We've got some amazing supplements for your copy of Feed the Shoggoth!:
The Shoggoth Miniature:
Each copy of the game will come with a Shoggoth card, but at pledge levels HIGH PRIEST and above, you will receive a resin-cast Shoggoth miniature, designed and sculpted by Jason McKittrick! Each miniature will be hand-painted in a standard color scheme of black with yellow accents.
The CUSTOM PAINTED Shoggoth Miniature:
You can also have the Shoggoth mini custom painted to your specifications! Want your Shoggie ichor-green, a sickly flesh tone, or even hot pink? Let us know what you want the base color and highlight color to be, and Jason will wield his mighty brush to make your Shoggoth color desires come alive! He can even paint it glow-in-the-dark, if you so desire!
Sacrifice Score Counters:
Of course, you're more than welcome to use pennies, spare buttons, dice, pieces of your old Call of Cthulhu character sheet that you tore up when your Keeper TPK'ed your party in the last scenario...but why not avail yourself of some official Feed the Shoggoth! Sacrifice Score Counters? You'll receive a set of 30 plastic counters, printed on both sides, in an attractive green and black color scheme.
The Custom Minion Card:
To help make your copy of Feed the Shoggoth! truly your own, you'll have the opportunity at the RENDER OF VEILS level to acquire a Minion card with your portrait depicted, painted by artists Paul Carrick or David Grilla. Both Paul and David are veteran artists for Call of Cthulhu, and we're thrilled to have them on board. To check out their respective portfolios, feel free to visit their websites at http://www.nightserpent.com or http://www.davidgrilla.com.
The Storage Box:
For the ultimate discerning Cult Leader, we'll have a limited number of hand crafted storage boxes, again created and sculpted by Jason McKittrick. These boxes will have room enough to store your copy of the game, the Shoggoth miniature, and score tokens (with room left over for future expansions to Feed the Shoggoth!).
As of this writing, the design of the game mechanics and rules has been nailed down. Feed the Shoggoth! has been through two years of play testing, including more than a dozen gaming conventions. Now, all that remains is for the card art to be cleaned up for production, and the cards to be designed. Both of these steps are currently underway, with the artwork more than half completed. I fully anticipate the artwork and card designs to be completed within the next 2-3 months.
The answer is simple, really; there's no way I can afford to bring this game to life, and get it into people's hands, unless I raise the money via Kickstarter. The goal of $8000 is the bare minimum for getting 500 copies of the game professionally printed, with a tuck box, rules, and shrink-wrapping, plus shipping costs. The more we raise, the more copies we can produce!
Badger McInnes–game design, art:
You may not be familiar with my name, but if you're a player or Keeper of Call of Cthulhu, you've probably seen my work. I've been working as a book designer and layout artist for over ten years, for such publishers as Chaosium, Pagan Publishing, Miskatonic River Press, and Golden Goblin Press. My grubby paws have put together books you may be familiar with: Cthulhu by Gaslight 3rd edition (winner of two ENnies!), The Legacy of Arrius Lurco, Bumps in the Night, Secrets of San Francisco, Tales of the Sleepless City....oh, and some book called Call of Cthulhu 7th edition.
If you would like to see the full list of credits under my name, please feel free to check out my Squamous Studios website.
Jason McKittrick–sculpture art:
I have the distinct pleasure of working with Jason McKittrick of Cryptocurium, who has lent his considerable artistic madness to creating the shoggoth miniature, and the storage box for Feed the Shoggoth!. In addition, Jason will be painting the custom shoggoth minis!
Damion Mosier-Tidd–Additional art production and design:
Damion has been doing Graphic Design, Typesetting & Layout in quietly capable obscurity for the past 20 years. He spent his formative years learning the ins and outs of practical design and graphic communications in prepress and printing sweatshops across the Bay Area. In the slightly less-distant past (a.k.a. the 90's) he worked as a designer and production artist for many of the big dot-com companies that no longer exist. Currently he resides on a team that handles packaging and design tasks for a large medical corporation.
Risks and challenges
The main challenge right now is getting the rest of the artwork for the game done in a timely fashion; it's more than half finished now. Then, the task of finishing the design and layout of the cards themselves. This is why I've set the estimated delivery time to be November. My goal is to get the game in your hands sooner than that, and I'm confident that I can.
Of course, there are always the chance of unforeseen problems, such as with printing and shipping, but I will be working with well-established printing and fulfillment companies (such as DeLano and Chronicle City), so that the chances of hiccups are minimized as much as possible.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)