Miskatonic University: The Restricted Collection
Hi, I'm Susan, the board games line editor for Chaosium.
Last year, after some 25 years away, Chaosium got back into boardgames. This first foray brought together Reiner Knizia and "the Grand Shaman of Games" himself Greg Stafford, for the family game Khan of Khans set in the mythic world of Glorantha. Now we're back with a Kickstarter for our first Lovecraftian board game since 1987! I'm excited to be working with Reiner again, exploring the world of horror in a fast-paced, fun-filled, push-your-luck game.
Set in the treacherous and terrifying Restricted Collection of Miskatonic University's Orne Library, the game features grimoires, elder signs, academic politics and madness — and that endlessly renewable resource, graduate students! We hope you'll join us on our journey by supporting this Kickstarter and make the Miskatonic University game a reality!
The game comes in an awesome box (8" x 6" or 20cm x 15cm), disguised as a book. Very appropriate for a game about libraries!
What's in the box?
- 5 Player Desk Boards
- 80 Library Cards
- 5 sets of Defense Cards
- Scoring Cards
- Rule Book
The game is a quest. An extremely dangerous quest. Dr Henry Armitage, Chief Librarian, needs you to search the perilous Restricted Collection for fragments of lore from among the grimoires, and recover pieces of a particular sigil.
It all began when, as leading scholars at Miskatonic University, you were gathered together to discuss who would be awarded the coveted position of Head of the Library Committee. Suddenly tragedy and horror struck—a monster had been unleashed, presumably by some foolish graduate student! Dr. Armitage leapt into action and asked for your help. He needs you to gather the necessary tools to banish the foul abomination.
You explore the Restricted Collection for the grimoire fragments and sigils he needs. However it is a perilous journey and you must be prepared to flee before you are driven mad! The victor is the professor who finds the most sets, while retaining a semblance of sanity. Also, look out for hapless wandering graduate students as they can aid in your defenses!
How to Play
There are five rounds in the game. Each round continues until no-one is left in the library, having left "voluntarily" or having been expelled.
Basic play consists of taking turns to select a Library Card and placing these cards face up on your player mats.
There are three types of Library Cards. Sigil Pieces, Grimoire Fragments and Graduate Students, that fit neatly into the player mat:
There are two ways to exit the library. Choosing to leave or being expelled:
Defense cards are a key part of the game:
You win by having the highest score:
The game ends when the final fifth round is played.
You then add up all the score cards they have received and the one with the highest score wins!
The winning scholar will become the head of the Library committee! And armed with the sigil pieces and grimoire fragments you collected, Dr. Armitage heads out into the night to take on the monster. He beckons you to follow him . . .
Susan discusses how the game unfolds...
Here is actual play of the game, recorded in the chapel at Schloss Neuhausen, Germany in October 2017. Please note, the game components used here are a prototype, but the game play and rules are exactly the same as in the final version that will go to publication. Playing, from left to right, are Neil, Susan and MOB from the Chaosium team.
Many thanks to The Kraken, the "baroque gathering of international gamers, gamemasters and game creators", where this video was filmed.
The Design and Development Team
Game Design: Reiner Knizia
Development: Susan O'Brien
Additional Development: Mike Mason
Graphic Design: Ian O'Toole
Art: Victor Leza, Goomi
Miskatonic University: The Restricted Collection is © Dr. Reiner Knizia and Chaosium Inc 2018. All rights reserved. Miskatonic University is the registered trademark of Chaosium, Inc.
It wouldn't feel like a Kickstarter if we didn't have at least a few stretch goals and surprises in store as we go forward. We will announce these as the campaign proceeds...
You'll see in the pledge levels, aside from the game itself we have some extra rewards. Here's some more details about these:
We have 10 different pledge levels, starting at student and progressing up to Dean of as yet unnamed new departments. Along with the basic level of professor, where you get the game, we have opportunities for you to join a fraternity or sorority where you can nominate the name of those graduate students wandering the Restricted Collection!
Or you can choose to be a valedictorian, with a special plaque to prove it! There are vacancies for the Vice Chancellor, the Chancellor, or even a prestigious position as a member of the Board of Trustees.
What about shipping? We hate the high cost of shipping, and have worked hard to set up the fulfillment of the rewards so they get shipped as quickly and inexpensively as possible. We do not expect to make any money from our shipping charges. However, we also cannot afford to lose money on shipping. The way it will work is after the campaign we will send out a survey to gather your addresses. We will use this data to get the most detailed shipping pricing we can based on our actual cost to ship your reward level to your home and then charge you that amount. We will ship from fulfillment centers in the US, Canada, the EU, and Australia. More locations may be added based on where backers are located. The approximate weight of the game will be under one kilogram (under two pounds), including the shipping box and packing material. We are also likely to use BackerKit to help us with fulfillment and final order processing.
Risks and challenges
Chaosium has learned a great deal from its past Kickstarter projects. Our last board game Kickstarter, Khan of Khans, was delivered to backers on time as promised. Again, every item for this project has been created. There is no writing, editing, layout, or art to be done for the core game; ALL of those things are done.
Miskatonic University: The Restricted Collection is ready to go to the printers, and we are only waiting to see if we can eek out some more fun from a few simple stretch goals. Needless to say, there is always the potential for production and delivery issues to crop up, but we have faced such hurdles before and will triumph.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (21 days)