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A tabletop adaptation of the epic poem. Build your kingdom, raid your neighbors, and secure your legend in the world of Beowulf! Read more

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This project was successfully funded on July 2, 2014.

A tabletop adaptation of the epic poem. Build your kingdom, raid your neighbors, and secure your legend in the world of Beowulf!

About this project

HWÆT!

From King Post, creators of Moby Dick, or, The Card Game, and Highline Games, co-creators of the hit iOS game W.E.L.D.E.R., comes the next tale of adventure, struggle, and fate - BEOWULF: A BOARD GAME.

Beowulf: A Board Game is a dynamic tabletop strategy game for 3-6 players, adapted from one of the oldest and most celebrated works of European literature.  

The game uses the Anglo-Saxon epic poem as a point of entry into a vast interpretation of the Viking Age. As the legend of Beowulf's life and death unfolds on the game's board, players will trade, scheme and raid one another to grow their own kingdom's influence and power. After the death of Beowulf at the fangs of a dragon, the game moves forward in time, as players scramble to preserve the brave legacies of their kingdoms in the face of a quickly changing religious landscape and the relentless tides of history.

Hwæt! Praise of the prowess of people-kings
of spear-armed Danes, in days long sped,
we have heard, and what honor the athelings won!

Beowulf: A Board Game finds each player building and managing their own Viking kingdom in the world of the poem. On each turn, Beowulf moves along the course of his life, altering the balances of power and affecting risks and rewards for all players. Beowulf is also a powerful hero who will come to the aid of any player struggling with a monster that is too great for them to handle. However, as Beowulf is building his own kingdom, he will claim any Trophies (the corpses of monsters he kills) and exact a costly tribute of gold for his heroism.

Each player collects a hand of cards from the DÆD Deck which is made up of the various powers, abilities and resources that they can bring to bear as they try to grow their own kingdom. Each players' DÆD cards are held in secret, creating a captivating game of social brinksmanship and deception as the players attempt to secure the powers they need while preventing any other kingdoms from growing too powerful.

Raiding is an important mechanic of the game, allowing a player to use their armies in offensive and defensive maneuvers that pit player vs player in a battle for Trophies or for specific DÆD cards that another player might possess. When raiding, the player can use their own kingdom's Armies or spend their Gold to hire Mercenaries to enhance their offense. Depending on the size of the attacking and defending armies, the players will roll either a four, six, or ten-sided die to determine the victor and claim the spoils

On each turn, players draw a card from the WYRD Deck, which is composed of events, hardships, and instances drawn from the source text and the greater Viking Age. The player must either face the consequences, or reap the benefits of these cards throughout the game. Among the WYRD Deck are the various monsters that inhabit the game; these portentous creatures are brutal and deadly, but if killed by the player, they are immediately claimed as Trophies.

As each game draws to a close, Beowulf dies by the fang of the mighty dragon, signalling the beginning of the end for the tribes of the North. In this final section, players scramble to secure Trophies from the Geats or bury their own holdings of gold and Trophies to honor the glory of their tribe and keep their Trophies safe from last-minute raids. The player with the most Trophies at the end of the game is the winner and cements their own legend before the tides of history wash them away forever.

Click HERE for a PDF of our in-progress Rule Book!

The game features:

  • Foldable Game board
  • 2 Decks, with 100+ original cards total
  • 150+ Gold and Army tokens
  • 1 Custom Beowulf Token
  • 1 4-Sided Die
  • 1 6-Sided Die
  • 1 10-Sided Die
  • Rulebook
  • 6 Tribe Shields
High in the hall: there harps rang out,
clear song of the singer. He sang who knew
tales of the early time of man.

There are many translations of the infamous manuscript of what we know as Beowulf, the epic poem of the North. There are even more adaptations of the text—into plays, films, paintings, even other game systems. Our unique approach uses the text as a jumping off point to explore the world of the early Middle Ages, the lore of Vikings and Northern kings, and our collective cultural imagination. 


High fantasy owes everything to the scribes of old and Beowulf's influence underlies the works of JRR Tolkien, George RR Martin and countless others. Here, we attempt humbly to honor the tradition of storytelling that still thrives 15 centuries later. 

 

 

We're working with some incredible artists to craft the fantastic creatures found throughout the WYRD Deck. Each artist brings their own distinct style to the cards, presenting a range of interpretations of Norse mythology and iconography.

Tim Harrington is the incredibly talented frontman of Les Savy Fav and creator of the hilarious and crazy sketch comedy series BEARDO, along with being a topnotch visual artist. Tim attended The Rhode Island School of Design with our art director John, so it's a special treat to have him aboard our project! Here is an early look at Tim's FROST GIANT: 

Read up on Tim's collaboration with King Post in Kill Screen Daily!  

Havarah Zawoluk is an honorary member of the King Post team and creator of the incredible Whales and Port Card illustrations from Moby Dick, or, The Card Game. Here is a very early sketch of her MOUNTAIN DWARVES:

Navid Rahman is an incredible illustrator who we were lucky enough to be introduced to by a mutual friend. Navid's style is as gorgeous as it is refined and we've given him some incredible monsters that will take advantage of his stark and clear style. Here is his Earth Giant, EOTONAS:

John Nora is an illustrator and comic book artist. His style harkens back to the classic high fantasy illustrations that captured our young imaginations. We're thrilled to have him bring our BRUNNMIGI to life: 

 

Check back throughout our campaign for exciting new rewards!

Pledging at the OSTROGOTHS Tier will get you high-quality printable PDF(s) of original art from our game shortly after our campaign is completed.  

Pledging at the SCYLDINGS Tier will get you a set of 10 beautiful 5” x 7” postcards of key art from the game, to send word of your glorious battles to remote relatives across the Sea.

Pledging at the JUTES Tier will get you a screenprinted tote bag featuring key art from the game, made by Kayrock Screenprinting in Brooklyn, NY. 

Pledging at the DANES Tier will get you the fully manufactured, high quality game with shipping costs included for the US.  You will receive the physical game as soon as it arrives from our manufacturer.

Pledging at the RING-DANES Tier will get you the game, plus the commemorative postcards.

Pledging at the VANDALS Tier will get you the game, commemorative postcards, and tote bag.

Pledging at the FRISIANS Tier will get you TWO copies of the game, plus commemorative postcards.

Pledging at the WEDER GEATS Tier will get you the game, commemorative postcards, tote bag, and an 18" x 24" silk-screen print of the Runes used in our game (also made by Kayrock Screenprinting), ready for framing.

Pledging at the RUNE MASTER Tier will get you the game, commemorative postcards, tote bag, print, and a set of two limited edition hand-carved wooden Rune Staves, for use as a gameboard. These staves are made by made by King Post's resident shipwright and woodworker, Forest Lowry

 

Pledging at the BEOWULF, SON OF ECGTHEOW AND KING OF THE GEATS Tier will get you the game, postcards, tote, print, extra goodies, and a 14 FT HAND-CRAFTED VIKING LONGBOAT, made by Forest Lowry

THIS IS NOT A JOKE. LIVE THE DREAM. BE A VIKING CAPTAIN. 

Goal: The game is funded!

 Reach Goal 1: Online Rune compendium!

Reach Goal 2: Higher quality card stock!

 Reach Goal 3: Custom dice!

Reach Goal 4: Custom BEOWULF Miniature! Designed in style of the Lewis Chessmen:

 

 Reach Goal 5: ???

 

Risks and challenges

We've learned so much through the process of creating and manufacturing our first game, MOBY DICK, OR, THE CARD GAME, but there are always potential complications and risks through the production cycle.

To help ensure realistic deadlines, we have completed the majority of our development before launching the Kickstarter. Our manufacturer (the same one who did such a fantastic job with Moby Dick) is ready and we have gauged our expected delivery times to match our most realistic estimation of delivery. As this game is much more involved component-wise compared to Moby Dick (the game board, 3 different dice, more tokens and cards, etc) we were quoted a longer production timeline for this project, and estimate that rewards will get to you by March of 2015.

In addition, as with Moby Dick, there's always a chance that customs, delivery schedules or other factors in the physical supply chain can change, but we are committed to turning each order around as fast as possible to get this game to your table.

We are also committed to supporting our game after the initial launch with constant communication and customer support.

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR INTERNATIONAL BACKERS: Import duties, taxes, and charges are not included in the shipping cost. These charges are the backer's responsibility. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience.

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    16 backers

    OSTROGOTHS - Our sincerest thanks, and an original hi-res PDF of in-game art.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    17 backers

    SCYLDINGS - A set of commemorative Beowulf 5x7" postcards, featuring original game art

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $20 or more

    15 backers

    JUTES - Screenprinted tote bag featuring key art from the game, printed by Kayrock Screenprinting in Brooklyn NY.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $35 or more

    200 backers All gone!

    HEATHOBEARDS - Early Bird Sale! One copy of BEOWULF: A BOARD GAME

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $45 or more

    358 backers

    DANES - One copy of BEOWULF: A BOARD GAME

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $55 or more

    25 backers

    RING-DANES - One copy of BEOWULF: A BOARD GAME, plus commemorative postcards

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $65 or more

    56 backers

    VANDALS - One copy of BEOWULF: A BOARD GAME, plus one tote and commemorative postcards

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $90 or more

    19 backers

    FRISIANS - TWO copies of BEOWULF: A BOARD GAME, plus commemorative postcards

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $140 or more

    7 backers

    WEDER GEATS - One copy of BEOWULF: A BOARD GAME, plus custom 18" x 24" print of original game art, tote bag and commemorative postcards

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    2 backers Limited (8 left of 10)

    GRENDEL - One copy of BEOWULF: A BOARD GAME, plus exclusive 18x24" print of GRENDEL Card art, tote bag, print of original game art, and postcards - all signed by the King Post team!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $300 or more

    5 backers Limited (45 left of 50)

    RUNE MASTER - One copy of BEOWULF: A BOARD GAME, plus set of two custom hand-carved wooden Rune Staves, print, tote bag, and commemorative postcards

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $10,000

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    BEOWULF: SON OF ECGTHEOW AND KING OF THE GEATS - The game, postcards, tote, print, extra goodies, and a 14 FT VIKING LONGBOAT. FOR REAL. HWÆT!

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (30 days)