Celtic Realm: an Heirloom Game for 2 Players
"I bought Celtic Realm sometime during in the 1980s and our family played it every day for years. After the kids grew up, we tossed most of the games but kept Celtic Realm. We have recently rediscovered it, and play after breakfast and dinner every day. We have seduced some of our friends into playing as well ! Our friends would like their own copies of the game." -Laura D.
Celtic Realm is a beautiful strategy game played on a board inspired by Senet, with a beautiful Celtic theme and some rule twists from traditional Senet or Ur. Players move their double-sided checkers along a path on the board by rolling three tetrahedral P(1/2) dice. The object is to clear a set number checkers from the board. (The number depends on how fast you want the game to go.) Each space on the board carries a bonus of either an additional move or a new piece added to the board. Players can 'ground' each others' pieces (remove them from play) if they end their move landing on a like-facing piece. The simple, yet elegant rules allow the game to be picked up quickly and enjoyed over and over as players develop their own style of play. (See rule book sample below)
Some history: The game was created in 1979 by New Hampshire artist Randy Miller (my dad). It enjoyed small-scale, local success, selling out Randy's stock of 1,000 handmade games in the process. It was last produced and assembled locally by Randy in 1998 and now is sold-out and unavailable for purchase. Owl Tree Games, a fledgling family game company, is hoping to revive and re-release the game for the current worldwide gaming community.
I grew up playing the original Celtic Realm with family and friends. More recent play-testing has resulted in some great new ways of playing the game. The New Second Edition that we are hoping to create will contain a re-written rule book with these variations.
The game's creator, Randy Miller, studied the imagery found in the ancient hand-illuminated manuscript known as The Book of Kells. His original wood engraving print, a work of art hand-engraved into a block of hardwood, serves as the layout for the beautiful game board. See some of Randy's other graphic artwork at: www.fiddlecasebooks.com/Index/GalleryPage1.html
The Second Edition board is the focus of some serious re-design. The aim is to enhance the aesthetic of the original board whilst increasing its functionality. Check out some of my initial sketches below. They show how I've been incorporating the game board itself into a unique box design. The idea is to have a game that looks as good beckoning to be played as it does when you're journeying through the Realm.
The wooden pyramidal dice in the first edition of Celtic Realm are an homage to the discovery of a version of the Royal Game of Ur (Asseb in ancient Egypt) in Pharaoh Tutankhamen’s tomb. The layout of the Celtic Realm board is also derived from the 20- square version of this ancestral game.
Celtic Realm: Second Edition will feature a new dice design created in collaboration with Jason Matses of Bold Print Shop and cast in pewter (a lead-free alloy) at Providence Casting Company of RI. Note: If you contribute at the highest level, you can be immortalized on the new dice!
The wooden checkers depicted in pictures of the original game will remain close to the original- the same dimensions and beautiful design that make Celtic Realm such an aesthetic pleasure to play.
All of the game components, from board to dice, will be manufactured in the USA and assembled by our Owl Tree Games team. Help make this second edition a reinvigorated, handcrafted version of one of the oldest board games known -- with artistic inspiration from one of the most prized of ancient illustrated Celtic manuscripts.
Why are we here?
We are so excited to begin work on developments to the game that will make it even more beautiful and fun to play, but we need your help! We are hoping that you, the Kickstarter community, will take interest in our efforts and help fund this endeavor. Supporting this campaign will also give Owl Tree Games the initial boost it needs to produce sufficient quantities of this carefully crafted game to make it available again for retail sale. To do this we need to sell about 250 games. Won't you help make this lovely game a household name?
More Videos! Back Story and Play-by-Play (below)
Free US Shipping!
No added shipping fees on orders in the US- so your donation is just what you want it to be.
Just One Goal!
We have decided against stretch goals because we want all Celtic Realm games to be the same high quality product no matter what. If we reach our goal, all our games will be high quality works of art made from beautiful materials by the following companies here in the USA:
Bold Print Shop
Providence Casting Company
Taylor Box Company
Casey's Wood Products, Inc.
Check out these great rewards!
(The original black-and-white version of Celtic Realm is shown above.)
Awesome 2.5"x3.75" sticker for your car/case/fridge/life.
Notecard Assortment w/envelopes
Randy's Pewter Button Assortment.
Original, signed Book of Kells print by Randy Miller.
Ok. Here's the thing. Backing this Celtic Realm: Second Edition fundraiser could not only get you some sweet rewards, but could seriously unlock Owl Tree Games' potential. We've got some great projects waiting in the proverbial wings, so don't be shy! Heck, take the plunge and become a Celtic Angel!
Risks and challenges
Celtic Realm has been out of production for 18 years. What we are trying to do is rethink, reproduce, and revive the game for everyone to enjoy.
Rethinking and redesigning the game involves many hours of play-testing and creative output- the sort of thing we love to do. The hours do add up, however, so we've given ourselves until August to finalize any changes to the game itself.
Improving and recreating the components of the game represents a significant challenge. We have carefully budgeted the time and cost of development, production, shipping and handling of the game. Much of the work will be made easier by referencing existing copies of the original game, and employing new technology to prototype Second Edition parts.
Despite this, there is a small chance that our costs could run over budget, or that production could take longer than expected. For example, our custom-made dice and tokens will require special care to ensure their uniformity and aesthetic beauty. The trade-off in making a beautiful, quality product is the potential extra time involved.
Owl Tree Games represents a family legacy of independent game creators. If this Celtic Realm: Second Edition campaign succeeds, it will encourage and enable us to complete more game projects. Thus, we are highly motivated to fulfill our rewards regardless of such potential setbacks. It is important to our brand that we do so.
We love this game, and we think you will too. Let's make Celtic Realm a widespread classic, and open the door to exciting new OTG projects to come.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)