Swords & Souls
Earn your escape from the underworld by fighting your former friends in this fast-paced combat card game. Get ready to get aggressive.
We didn't make our funding goal this time, but Swords & Souls will be back. Visit us at www.fridgecrisis.com for future updates and other projects. Thank you for your support!
You were so close. Your party was one adventure away from reclaiming the stolen Amulet of Morgoth and returning it to the rightful king of Riverwood. But none of you were prepared for the elder dragon waiting at the end of the dungeon, nor its fiery breath that snuffed out your life.
And now you're stuck in the Underworld: dark, damp, and packed with more ghosts than you've seen in any ancient tomb during your questing days. You're just another one of those ghosts now, and those days are over.
Or are they?
It turns out that Hades, Lord of the Underworld, is bored with his work, and he's offered you and your heroic friends the chance of a lifetime: entertain him by fighting one last epic battle, and you can return to the world of the living. But here's the catch—there's only one ticket back. And you're going to have to fight your friends for it.
For one last time, take up the shield of the valiant Guardian, employ the Assassin's sneak attack, or crack open the Arcanist's dusty book of tricks to prove your worth in free-for-all combat. Earn Hades' favor by inflicting pain and he'll throw some new weapons and spells your way. Only the most aggressive hero will earn passage to the surface and the life they've left behind.
Blood will be shed. Legends will be born. Feelings will be hurt.
Swords & Souls is a quick combat card game with deck-building elements for 3-6 players. You and your opponents will take turns drawing and playing attack cards against each other. If your opponent can block or dodge your attack with a card of their own, they're safe... for now.
If not, they'll take damage and you'll earn obols, the silver currency of the dead, which you can use to buy more powerful cards from the arsenal.
Finish an opponent and you'll take a fragment of their soul. Earn 3 soul fragments to become Hades' chosen champion and return in glory to the life you once lost.
Each player begins by choosing one of six heroes, each with their own unique talent and starting deck of 5 cards that represent their core abilities. The Guardian excels at blocking, the Berserker draws extra cards, the Heir has greater access to obols, and so on.
From there, each turn in Swords & Souls follows 3 simple steps:
1. Draw cards from your deck until you have 3 in your hand. If you need to draw more but you've run out of cards, reshuffle your discard pile and keep on going.
2. Play cards from your hand. It's as easy as putting the card on the table, doing what it says, and moving the card to your discard pile.
3. Buy cards from the central arsenal deck by spending the obols you get from playing cards and attacking other players. These cards go into your hand, ready to be used on your next turn.
By playing the right cards in the right order at the right time, your attack cards will disarm and damage other players, turning their heart tokens into obols and soul fragments. And if you lose all of your own hearts, don't worry--you're already dead, so your spirit will respawn with new heart tokens, allowing you to continue the game without missing a beat.
Want to know more? You can read the rules in detail here: [Swords & Souls Rules (3 pages)]
We've also got a prototype of the game up on Tabletop Simulator on Steam! We will be hosting a few preview livestreams throughout the campaign. Feel free to check it out for yourself in the meantime.
Fridgecrisis Games is technically a one-man team of me, Jaron Frost, but I couldn't do any of this without the help of my wife, Rachel, and so many of my friends near and far.
Swords & Souls is my second card game. The first, Villages, raised over $132,000 on Kickstarter in February of 2014. It was a huge and unexpected success and there are now over 3,000 copies being played around the world. Woah.
Soon after finishing Villages, I started a new project. I was inspired by the straightforward battle mechanics of Bang! and I'd been wanting to try designing a simple deck builder, so the two ideas came together to form what would eventually become Swords & Souls.
The game was a hit with our friends and family, one of whom actually bought our very first prototype from us sometime in 2015. By playtesting the game further with the Board Game Designer's Guild of Utah, attendees at SaltCON and other conventions, and fans of Villages far and wide, we've sanded down the rough edges and were left with a game I'm proud to bring to Kickstarter today. And I'd like to offer all of you a chance to improve it even further through your ideas and feedback as we move toward launch!
Here's what a few of our playtesters had to say about the game:
- Leigh: "While each card is easy to understand and the rules are simple, there's still room for devious strategy and malicious backstabbing between friends - the fun kind you probably forgive after the game is over."
- Jacob: "Super easy to learn. Fast gameplay after the first turn."
- Summer: "Quick and easy to play, and the time just goes by while you're having so much fun fighting your way out of Hades' domain."
- Sophia: "'Oh s***, that's a dodge!' - sad players next to the Assassin"
Thanks for checking out Swords & Souls. Tell your friends (and then beat them at the game later)!
Want to score a copy of your own? Keep reading below or check out the reward levels in the right sidebar to learn more and make your pledge!
$1 - Hades' Favor: In exchange for your support, Hades' messenger imps will send campaign updates to your inbox. It wasn't easy to train imps to use the internet!
$5 - Digital Demon: A Print and Play (PnP) copy of Swords & Souls, delivered as a file you can print out at home or your local print shop. It's all the fun without all the cost!
$20 - Soul Contract: One copy of Swords & Souls, delivered straight to you via a puff of magical fire (or your local post office, whichever is more practical). Also includes access to the Print and Play version.
$20 - Home Fires: This one's for Salt Lake City locals or travelers! One copy of Swords & Souls, available for pickup at our launch party. Stay tuned for details. Also includes access to the Print and Play version.
$30 - Hand of Hades: Well, aren't you special? Hades himself will personally sign one copy of Swords & Souls for you in his native language and include a special message with the game.
$60 - Triple Trouble: Get three copies of Swords & Souls in an economical package: one for you, and two for your unsuspecting friends. All three will be signed by Hades and include his secret message.
$100 - Underworld Elite: The ultimate Underworld getaway package. Includes one copy of Swords & Souls signed by Hades, a special message from beyond the grave, a premium black T-shirt featuring the Swords & Souls logo, and a 1-hour video chat with the game's designer, Jaron.
If your pledge contains physical items that need to be mailed to you, Kickstarter will calculate shipping costs based on where you live. Be sure to keep an eye out for this while you're entering your pledge information.
A Note for Backers Outside the US
For our Kickstarter campaign for Villages, we vastly underestimated the cost and complexity of doing our own international shipping. It was a mess. So, for this campaign, we will be using an international fulfillment company for all of our deliveries outside of the US, which should help cut down on costs.
We have set shipping rates according to the calculator provided to us by the fulfillment company. The value of each package should be low enough to avoid any significant customs taxes and fees, but I can't safely guarantee it, especially if we're sending you multiple copies of the game. If your government ends up charging you customs fees and this is a problem for you, please let us know and we'll see what we can do.
Add more money to your pledge to get extra copies of the game. More add-ons will be made available later once we reach certain stretch goal amounts--read on below for more info.
$20: An extra copy of Swords & Souls.
$20: A premium black T-shirt featuring the Swords & Souls logo. See Update #3 for the mock-up image.
No additional shipping charges are required for add-ons.
If we go above and beyond our campaign goal, the magic of bulk discounts will allow us to make upgrades and add in some extra stuff! These bonuses will be unlocked as we hit the funding levels listed below.
We can also begin to offer copies of our previous games as add-ons once we reach our campaign goal, helping propel us to future stretch goals even faster.
Free Arsenal card: Hook - Attack any player. If this attack fails, draw a card from your deck.
Free Arsenal card: Focus - At the start of your next turn, discard this card and draw cards until you have 4 in your hand.
Custom metal tokens! This would be a paid add-on, but it would be amazing. At this funding level, we'd be able to manufacture custom tokens made of actual real-life metal. Imagine slamming hefty custom coins around on the table. Mmm. We're planning on offering a very affordable commemorative set of 3 tokens (1 large, 2 small) and a full set that could replace all of the chipboard tokens in your game.
Free extra Hero: Hunter - Play when your attack is dodged. Ignore the dodge. Other effects written on the dodging card still apply. Starting deck: Bow, Dodge, Spy, Favor, Favor.
More stretch goals will be added as we cross these ones off! How high can we go?
We are planning to use the funds from this campaign to get Swords & Souls printed by a major board game manufacturer. These manufacturers have high minimum quantity requirements, making it difficult for us to pay for even the smallest print run ourselves. So, thanks to all of you, we can combine our efforts and get a high-quality product at a decent price!
If things go well here, we are planning to print more copies than we need to fulfill this campaign, and continue to sell those extra copies through our website and Amazon. Villages has proven to have a steady record of sales since its release, and we expect Swords & Souls to do the same. The profits from these copies will first go back to the company bank account to pay for further reprints in the future. Only after securing a healthy, sustainable financial foundation for the company will we begin to pay ourselves, hopefully allowing us to spend a little more of our time making new games and less time working extra jobs to make ends meet in our personal lives. That's the goal!
Risks and challenges
As I mentioned above, this is my second Kickstarter campaign for a card game. The campaign for my first game, Villages, grew larger than I had ever imagined, but I was still able to deliver all of the promised rewards and stretch goals. I feel that I learned a lot from that campaign and will be able to use that knowledge to make this campaign an even smoother experience.
The manufacturer we're currently planning to use, Panda Game Manufacturing, is primarily located in China, but they have a strong reputation among board game designers for being easy to work with and producing high-quality games. We've chosen them over a few other less expensive options for this reason, and I'm confident that the peace of mind will be worthwhile.
This is also the first time we will be using Floship fulfillment services to deliver rewards to countries outside of North America. Floship is one of the fulfillment companies officially listed on Kickstarter's website, so we are cautiously optimistic about working with them. As stated above in the Rewards section, there are some difficult obstacles to face when it comes to international shipping, but going with a fulfillment company should keep costs down for everyone.
In the event of delays or problems of any kind, my pledge to you is that I will be as transparent as possible and keep you updated on how things are going. You deserve to know where your money is going and how the project is developing.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. One of us will personally respond to you as quickly as possible. Thanks.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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