Fate of the Elder Gods - the boardgame of Lovecraftian cults
The time has come. All signs and portents point to this momentous night, and you and your siblings of shadow stand ready. Your cult has sacrificed much - and many - to prepare the ceremony to awaken the dread god whose name twists your tongue and whose dark purpose twists your mind. But this night is one of great power, and your lodge is not the only one who seeks to harness that power. Other cultists prepare similar yet horribly different ceremonies, and investigators roam the streets and locales of Arkham, seeking to stop the inevitable annihilation. You must strike now, before a cult of a different old one ushers in their own maddening end times. In your hands lies the Fate of the Elder Gods!
In Fate of the Elder Gods, 1-4 players take on the ever-maddening role of cults trying to summon ancient evil and herald the fall of mankind! Each cult is competing to be first to summon their god, but they must also repel intrepid investigators working to seal off the gate to beyond with Elder Signs. Gather arcane artifacts, cast powerful spells, embrace the Dark Gift of your Elder God, and be first to awaken your dread master... before it's too late!
During the game, players use a variable hand of spell cards to aid their cult in their mission. Use a spell's Astral Symbol to navigate the areas around Arkham on the unique Fate Clock board, and activate symbols in a location's Astral Column to ready powerful spells. Readied spells can be cast at any time and their Astral Symbols aid in readying future spells while in a cult's Spell Reserve, creating an engine for harnessing even greater power.
As cults travel to the six locations on the Fate Clock, they activate specific powerful abilities, such as gaining useful artifacts at The Museum or enabling their Elder God's Dark Gift at The Ceremony. As a cult sends more and more cultists to a location, they can take control of that location, gaining far more powerful abilities. However, cults must be careful when navigating Arkham, as a location with lots of activity will attract pesky investigators. Tempt fate too many times and the investigators may raid your cult's lodge, place Elder Signs, and forestall the summoning of your Elder God. If a cult gains too many Elder Signs, it's game over!
If any cult manages to raise their Summon Track to 9 before the investigators save humanity, their Elder God awakens and they win! Of course, "win" is a relative term as it will certainly herald the end of the world, or at least destroy Arkham, but that's a small price to pay for eternal servitude to the Ancient Ones.
Fate of the Elder Gods comes with a beautiful Fate Clock board, custom screen-printed dice, cards and panels for spells, curses, and more, and over 100 gorgeous miniatures! Here's a complete run-down:
- 19 inch by 22 inch (480x550mm) custom-cut, quad-fold playing board
- 80 sculpted plastic Cultists (in 4 player colors - purple, green, yellow, and black)
- 25 sculpted plastic Investigators
- 2 sculpted plastic Cthulhu Fate Piece markers
- 65 Euro mini-sized Spell cards with linen finish
- 20 square Artifact cards with linen finish
- 20 Euro mini-sized Curse cards with linen finish
- 16 Euro mini-sized Gate cards with linen finish
- 8 player reference cards
- 8 Elder God Lodge boards in fine card stock (Cthulhu, Yog-Sothoth, Nyarlathotep, Tsatthogua, Bokrug, Ithaqua, Atlach-Nacha, Hastur)
- 8 Elder God Selection cards
- 10 custom resin dice
- 4 wooden Summon Track tokens (in 4 player colors)
- 40 thick punchboard Elder Signs
- 6 thick punchboard Squall tokens (for Ithaqua's Dark Gift)
- 18-page full color glossy rulebook
From the very start of this project, we all envisioned a top-notch production that would make the game wholly immersive for every player. Drawing inspiration from older classics like Twilight Imperium 3 and newer games such as Blood Rage, we turned to the talented team of artist Jorge Ramos and veteran sculptor Chad Hoverter to create some truly awesome minis to represent the Cultists, Investigators, and the impressive Fate Piece for Fate of the Elder Gods.
We wanted a very distinctive Cultist for the base sculpt. Since we were going to be basing the Fate Piece around Lovecraftian-classic Elder God Cthulhu, Jorge chose to entwine the two designs and craft the cult's tall hood around the kraken-esque crest from his Cthulhu sculpt. The tentacle embellishments on the sleeves and hoods just make this Cultist even more awesome, and Chad executed it all perfectly.
We gave Jorge some 20s, 30s, and 40s fashion directives, but this rendition of the plucky Investigator is all his vision. Chad added his distinctive flair to really bring this sculpt of the woman of action and investigation to life.
Our only direction to Jorge for this Fate Piece statue was to take Cthulhu in a unique direction. His vision of a kraken-like Cthulhu complete with spiky carapace certainly set it apart from the typical bulbous-headed predecessors. Chad added his signature dramatic flair, making this statue even more menacing.
There are a lot of cool things about Fate of the Elder Gods, but the heart of it all is the Fate Clock game board. Cults will use spells to move the Fate Piece around the Clock to a location, activating that spot's special action and - if they happen to have control - an extra action that can grant a huge boon. The physical Fate Clock will be a custom-cut quad-fold board that will have an amazing presence on any gaming table.
If videos aren't your thing, or you'd like to delve deeper into how to play Fate of the Elder Gods, download and peruse the latest version of the preliminary rules that were provided to our playtesters and reviewers right here!
You can also watch a full game of Fate of the Elder Gods played by the designers at Gen Con 2016!
"Fate of the Elder Gods is one of the best games I have ever designed. It is a work far greater than I would have achieved alone because I believe teaming up with Darrell and Chris brought out the best ideas from each of us, making the whole much greater than any of the individual parts, and creating a game experience far beyond my initial vision." - Richard Launius, co-designer of Fate of the Elder Gods
Review of Fate of the Elder Gods by Joel Eddy of Drive Thru Review!
Review of Fate of the Elder Gods by Kevin and Melissa of Tantrum House!
"I had a ton of fun playing Fate of the Elder Gods and was looking forward to more plays during the convention. I was faced with tough decision like whether I wanted to use spell cards for movement or try to ready them for use, to use my readied spells or save them to add to my pool of symbols to ready more spells, should I activate a location with an action I desperately wanted to take or one with symbols that will allow me to ready a spell I really wanted to have on hand. There definitely seemed to be different paths to victory and tons of replayability due to the variety of Elder God’s to choose from. I will definitely be backing the Kickstarter and eagerly await another chance to summon an Elder God and bring about the fall of mankind." - Dan Licata, review on BoardGameGeek.com
"I played a four player and two player game with the near-final prototype. The unique abilities of each elder god really mixes up the strategies and makes you approach the game differently each time. This variable play, mixed with a solid core of mechanics and an epic end game, makes Fate of the Elder Gods a great game." - Bryan Fischer, Nevermore Games
Fate of the Elder Gods is a distinguished alum of the Unpub program - a series of public and private playtest events held each year to help designers present, hone and polish their game designs with the gaming public, as well as board game production professionals.
This 3-foot x 3-foot vinyl playmat can bring even more awesomeness to your gaming sessions of Fate of the Elder Gods! If you'd like to add this playmat to your pledge, simply add an additional $39 to your pledge level and we will clarify your order after the campaign concludes. Please note that any pledges for the ELDER GOD pledge level include the playmat, so you can get all the things for $199!
Achieving our base funding goal will ensure that Greater Than Games will be able to publish Fate of the Elder Gods at the quality that we all have come to expect. The base game of Fate of the Elder Gods is priced according to our initial funding goal; if we are able to exceed that then we can afford to upgrade some game components and add in a lot of other really cool stuff... including monsters! The Mi-Go and Ghatanothoa mentioned below will not be in the retail base game; if we unlock enough stretch goals beyond them, though, we can produce a whole beastly expansion that Kickstarter backers will get for free!
Every backer of Fate of the Elder Gods will receive the special promotional Elder God, Azathoth, not included in the retail version of the game. As the ruler of the Outer Gods, Azathoth's greatness is reflected in the special passive ability of his Dark Gift - Elder Signs only make him more powerful! When serving Azathoth you'll be begging other Cults to visit the Streets of Arkham and send those pesky Investigators your way to Hasten Doom!
Backers at the Cultist level and above will also receive the special pack of promotional Cult cards that grant even more powers from your Ancient One!
These cards can be optionally added to any game. There is a Cult card for every god in the base game, as well as Cult cards for Azathoth and any of the gods that are unlocked through stretch goals. There are even a couple of unaligned Cult cards for even more variety! This promotional pack will not be available in retail and is a little something special to say thanks for supporting the Kickstarter.
Backers at the Dark Gift pledge level will receive a special hardcover book, Forbidden Lore: Uncovering Fate of the Elder Gods, filled with over 50 glossy, full-color pages of awesome Lovecraftian goodness! Inside this tome you'll find a ton of behind-the-scenes information on the art production process, including preliminary sketches and final pieces for the locations, miniatures, Elder God portraits, and more. You'll also uncover the literary histories of the Elder Gods and more deep facts about the history of Arkham and its mysteries. Forbidden Lore will include three of the designers' personal favorite Lovecraft stories - The Whisperer in Darkness, At The Mountains of Madness, and The Shadow Over Innsmouth - with special illustrations!
Backers at the Elder God pledge level will receive the book, Forbidden Lore: Uncovering Fate of the Elder Gods, as well as a copy of Fate of the Elder Gods signed and numbered by designers Richard Launius, Darrell Louder, and Chris Kirkman! Backers will also receive the special 3-foot x 3-foot vinyl playmat, and two limited edition, 24" x 36" canvas prints of the art pieces for The Ceremony and Streets of Arkham, signed and numbered by artist Nolan Nasser!
Fate of the Elder Gods is truly a project of passion, born from a group of creators who not only have a love of boardgames but also a love for the Lovecraftian lore that surrounds the game.
Call him the Duke of Dice, the Titan of Theme, or just King Launius; Richard has been designing and championing boardgames that tell good stories for 30 years, ever since his classic hit Arkham Horror was first released in 1987. Richard is known for his other great game designs, such as Defenders of the Realm, Elder Sign, Dragon Rampage, Cthulhu's Vault - a Lovecraft storytelling game, and more.
Darrell is a graphic designer, multimedia director, father, science geek, grilling enthusiast, and game designer from Dover, Delaware. Darrell counts himself blessed; his best-selling first design, the chemistry game Compounded, is currently in its fourth printing, and his baseball game, Bottom of the 9th, is already headed to its third. His former knowledge of the Cthulhu Mythos was fairly limited, but now considers himself an expert by osmosis after developing Fate of the Elder Gods with Richard and Chris.
Chris was born with boardgames in his blood and has been designing and developing games - both digital and analog - for over 30 years. Chris is founder of Dice Hate Me Games, and serves as Game Development Director at Greater Than Games, where he scouts for new and awesome things and then helps to make them even awesomer. The only thing he loves as much as gaming is the Cthulhu Mythos, so this project is a dream come true.
Nolan’s career in board game illustration is relatively young, but the pure passion for his craft has quickly made him a rising star. Nolan has worked with the Greater Than Games team on three past projects - Spirit Island, New Bedford, and Exoplanets - using his talents for digital painting to craft those gaming worlds. Nolan is responsible for crafting the landscapes in Fate of the Elder Gods, creating the art for the Fate Clock locations, as well as the gorgeous game cover.
Jorge is a concept artist from Madrid, Spain with an incredible talent for character illustration. Jorge worked with the Greater Than Games team on Spirit Island, creating the incredible visages of the island's many protector spirits, and did character design for the ship captains and salty sea-dogs of New Bedford as well. Jorge is responsible for the character and monster concept sketches for miniature sculpting reference, as well as the awesome Elder Gods illustrations.
Chad is a veteran miniature sculptor from Dallas, Texas who has been a part of many projects in the boardgame world. Some of his most recent and well-known projects are sculpts for Mice & Mystics, Tailfeathers, and Specter Ops. He is, of course, responsible for all the sculpts in Fate of the Elder Gods, including the monsters... provided we fund high enough!
For US and Canadian backers, we are offering free shipping. For Canadians, this also covers import taxes and customs duties.
Unfortunately, we can't offer the same outside the US and Canada, because it is simply too expensive. However, any EU orders will be "EU Friendly", in that they will not incur VAT or customs fees on delivery.
This means that the shipping charges for this campaign are as follows:
- US & Canada: FREE
- EU & AUS: $29
- Norway & Switzerland: $29
- Other: $59
We know that international shipping is annoyingly expensive; believe us, we are just as annoyed as you are! However, to help offset the shipping costs a bit, we have a work-around. For those of you living outside of the US and Canada, if you have a bunch of friends who want to support this project, just make one group pledge for as many games as you’d like, and you'll all receive every stretch goal! Just send us a PM first letting us know what you are doing so that we can watch for it and help you out.
Risks and challenges
As with any project that involves the production and manufacture of a good to be delivered, there is certainly a real chance for hiccups, delays and more than one or two gremlins gumming up the works along the way. Many boardgame projects on Kickstarter have been seriously hampered by art production delays, problems with an overseas factory, missing units and one shipping snafu after another.
Luckily, we have a few projects under our belt, and have dealt with many of those snags along the way. We try to plan for all contingencies, and we've been fairly successful with that in our past projects.
We won't lie - stuff happens. Delays can occur. Sometimes you have to go back and forth on color samples six times just to get the color right, and even then the color isn't perfect. But what we do promise is that we will hold ourselves to the same high standards we expect from other board game publishers and our previous projects, and we will be completely honest and open with each of you every step of the way.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)