Dark forces work behind the scenes to undermine the fabric of reality. One has the sense that if Arkham were to fall, it may spell the end of everything. But darkness has ways of being seen. The Ring of Shadows has been found, or maybe wanted to be found, at this critical hour. It's up to the citizens of the Miskatonic Valley to work together to wield its awful power to stop the end before it begins.
In Shadows of Arkham, 2-4 players take on the roles of citizens who work together to prevent cosmic horrors from unraveling reality. Shadows focuses on dealing with the consequences of dark forces conspiring against players, rather than combat. Players take turns spending Actions to travel the streets of Arkham researching Knowledge, hiring Muscle, collecting Assets, and dealing with Threats.
Each game revolves around an inevitable danger to Arkham which is represented by the Threat Deck, a constructed deck of cards which players must survive in order to banish the Elder Cards and win the game. Each Threat Card features an Arkham face and a Shadow face. The Arkham faces represents the visible manifestations of the unseemly things found on the Shadow faces of the cards. Whenever the player with the Threat Start Marker begins their turn, a Threat token is placed on the current Threat Card and the indicated damage is dealt to players or locations. The first/last card represents the unique Elder threat which players must contend with in order to win.
The player who possesses the Ring of Shadows is able to view the Shadow side of the Threat Deck and deal with the Threat at hand by using any resources they have, but they expose themselves and others to harm in the process. If players manage to survive the final encounter with the Elder Cards in the shadows, they unceremoniously save the world from incomprehensible danger.
...but such is the way in Shadows of Arkham.
Click the link above to download the current version of the rulebook. Please note that the rules and game components will be continually updated until the manufacturing date!
Watch this space for any video previews if they become available.
Want to try the game out? Register for Labrats! We'll be inviting people to to try a Print & Play demo of the game throughout the campaign. You'll also be helping to improve the final product! (Be forewarned: this is a reasonably complicated P&P with lots of double-sided card printing!)
If we're calling it "ameritrash," it needs to have a lot of components. We're calling Shadows a "maxi-micro" game because it's just got so much darn stuff in it! Check it out...
- 4x Character Cards w/ 3 Clips Each
- 4x Character Tokens w/ Stands
- 10x Randonomicon Cards
- 18x Threat Cards
- 5x Everyday Item Cards
- 5x Peculiar Item Cards
- 5x Otherworldly Item Cards
- 5x Claim Tickets
- 3x Shadow Artifact Cards
- 9x Elder Cards
- 10x Corruption Tokens
- 1x Threat Start Indicator
- 3x Threat Tokens
- 6x Shadow Tokens
- 1x Ring Token
And that's just to start, we're hoping to add more stuff to the base game if we make it to stretch goals. This is a co-op campaign: no tiered versions, just more stuff for everyone.
We have some really cool stretch goals planned out! If we get enough support we also have some awesome mini-expansion ideas that will introduce even more variety to the game as well!
You'll want to act fast, this is a 3 week campaign! Plus, the faster we fund, the faster we add more stuff! : D
We also have a some otherworldly rewards for the curious:
Occasionally, we get questions about how we do what we do. So much goes into a game like this. Maybe you're interested in hearing more about the process?
While working on Shadows of Arkham we were very meticulous about documenting our process. We've saved all of our notes and versions of the game with the intention of sharing a look behind the scenes of designing a game like this. Backers of this tier, in addition to a copy of the game, will receive a digital commentary book (as a PDF) that illustrates the evolution of the game from notecard scribbles to a polished prototype covering all aspects of the process.
Fancy being the victim or the perpetrator of some manifestation of Lovecraftian skullduggery? Well you're in luck, we need faces! One of those faces could be yours!
We'll render your horrible visage on one of the Threat Cards or Item Cards, and you'll receive a high-rez image of the card's artwork, your name in the credits, and a copy of the game (with the Commentary Pack). This reward requires you to submit us a photo to use before the end of the campaign! Also, please keep in mind that this is a micro game with mini cards.
We weren't planning to do this, but we're going to make it an option: If you select this Reward, your likeness will be used for one of the Character Cards and Tokens in the game. You'll receive a high resolution digital image of the portrait, your name will appear in the credits, and you'll also get a signed copy of the game and the commentary pack.
We've priced the reward at $1,250. Supporting at this tier will add a new Character (you!) to every game. This reward doesn't tie to either of the Character Goals. You'll need to provide a high resolution photo(s) for reference within 7 days of the end of the campaign.
We have passed $26,250, add we're adding two additional Shadow Artifacts (2 Cards)!
At $27,500, we'll add an additional set of Elder Cards for a new Elder to threaten Arkham (3 Cards).
At $28,750, we'll add an new Character to the game (Token and Character Card).
...and there are more...
We've never tried this before, but the goal is modest and something people can help accomplish without spending more money...
We currently have 319 likes on Facebook, and 317 followers on Twitter, and 365 Lab Report subscribers. If we can reach 500 on each of those by the end of the campaign, we'll add a new Character and Character Token to every copy of the game.
We're estimating an October delivery. Why so quick?
We've chosen to do our manufacturing in the US for both Shift and Province. We've been very happy with the communication, quick manufacturing timelines, and production quality, and so we're continuing in that tradition. While it can be slightly more expensive, at the end of the day you're getting high-quality, ethically produced games with crazy fast turn around times! No waiting on big cargo ships.
Province ended in March, and many of our backers will be receiving their games during this campaign. We expect that with the time necessary to finish art and production logistics that we can have the game ready to ship in October.
In 2013 we designed, developed, and published our very first microgame with the help of backers like you here on Kickstarter! Shift is a dueling card game that boils down Japanese-style CCG's into a single card. All you need is a friend, two cards, and some coins to throw-down in an epic anime inspired battle!
Laboratory began working differently in 2014. We decided to start small and follow what grows. At the beginning of February we Kickstarted a microgame called Province, which sold over 8000 copies. It will also be our first game to enter retail channels. Province tackled the challenge of making a competitive 2 player micro eurogame. We think it's pretty swell. Other people seem to agree.
So when considering what to do next it occurred to us: why not do micro-ameritrash? How would that even work? Ameritrash games are full of stuff and theme! Things Clayton and Sam are both quite fond of, but how do you make a micro one? The theme was obvious immediately: What better theme to represent such a conflicted concept than the mythos of H.P. Lovecraft?
After a mess of iteration, we've come to a game with some fun new ideas that we present to you today! We're proud of what we've accomplished, and we hope you like what you see! Shadows of Arkham represents a big step for us. For a small independent publisher/developer team of two, we've fired on all cylinders to bring you top-notch work that we're very proud of. We're still growing and learning, and we hope you'll come along for the ride!
Risks and challenges
This will be our second game to be manufactured in this format, and our third time working with our manufacturing partner. If there are drastic manufacturing issues, there will be problems delivering the rewards. However, by choosing a printer in the US, we have the additional benefit of easier accountability if the product fails to meet our expectations. We've handled the manufacturing of over 10,000 games with our previous project, and we've learned from that experience.
Every project introduces new challenges. If you look at our updates for Province and Shift, you will see that we try to balancing update spam with important news. We make great efforts to keep you informed of exactly where the project is in the production pipeline, and we're always happy to answer questions here on Kickstarter or via email.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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