Achroma: Chronicles of the Five Realms
Inspired by Studio Ghibli and Nintendo, this next-gen collectible card game uses technology to bring it to life.
Achroma: Chronicles of the Five Realms
Inspired by Studio Ghibli and Nintendo, this next-gen collectible card game uses technology to bring it to life.
Welcome to Achroma: Chronicles of the Five Realms
Set in a rich fantasy universe created by Realm Runner Studios, play to shape the future of the Five Realms where the ravages of a dark energy called Achrom is spreading. Pick your realm, choose your side and draw cards to begin a game of fast action, immersive fantasy and magic. There are 256 super high quality and beautifully illustrated cards to collect, trade and play with. Gameplay is easy to learn and takes 10-15 minutes for two players and 45-60 minutes for multiplayer action.
Achroma: Chronicles of the Five Realms is much more than a collectible card game. We’ve created a companion app to bring digital tools and real world play together … this is only the beginning!
To get you started with Achroma, we're introducing two player box sets called Realm Boxes. A Realm Box contains two 30 card decks from one of four factions and a Players Guide. One deck is an Achrom palette and the other is a Chroma palette. Each palette contains:
- 1 Legendary Card
- 3 Rare Cards
- 10 Uncommon Cards
- 16 Common Cards
Any of the Realm Boxes can be played as a self-contained two player card game. Try other Realm Boxes to play as different factions with their own play styles. Expand your Achroma card collection and build custom decks with 10 card booster packs – taking you into the CCG element of Achroma!
Spend Achroma from your bank to deploy heroic Characters, arm them with Objects of Power, harness vital Locations, and unleash cunning Actions. Doing so will enable you to Gain, Drain and even Steal Achroma. Gain 30 Achroma in your bank or drain your opponents to 0 – you decide.
If you are used to playing collectible card games, you'll find Achroma easy to pick up. It's simpler than Magic: The Gathering with more to it than Pokemon. Two player games are around 10-15 minutes and multiplayer games are 45-60 minutes.
Each player starts with a deck of 30 cards called a Palette, and an Achroma Bank of 10. The Bank is both your life total and a currency that allows you to play cards from your hand. There are two ways to win a standard game of Achroma:
Chroma: Be the first player to have 30 Achroma in your Bank.
Achrom: Reduce your opponent(s) Bank to 0.
And remember, don’t let your Bank go to 0, or you will lose the game.
The game is played on a Canvas as shown below:
All Achroma cards fall within one of four types:
- Character Cards represent heroes, residents and creatures of the five realms. Characters may only enter the Canvas in your Deploy step and stay on the Canvas until defeated. While in play, Characters can attack and defend players and attack other Characters.
- Location Cards depict landmarks, significant sites and areas of power. Once Deployed, they provide passive benefits. Locations can’t be attacked, nor can they defend. Locations may only enter the Canvas in your Deploy step.
- Objects of Power are mighty weapons, talismans and tools wielded by Characters. Once Deployed, they are attached to a Character card and affect them in different ways. If the Character they are attached to is removed from play, the object of power goes in the Dregs.
- Action Cards are single use cards. You can play them at any time during your turn. When Deployed, carry out the effects immediately and then place the card in your Dregs.
We chose to make Achroma a CCG (collectible card game) because it provides us with the best way to tell our expansive story and flexible options on future formats for the game. We love the community aspects of gaming and we understand the frustrations of players past and present with CCGs. Our goal is to make a fun, ever evolving game that embraces community feedback right down to the storyline itself.
Our focus is on creating products that encourage spending quality time together with friends and family. We are building an app among other digital aspects of our product with the intention of bridging the gap between digital and real world. We do not want to encourage people to sit on their devices not interacting with other people around them, so will never make our game available to play on a digital device. We want to make digital tools for our game that help the tabletop experience. We are currently building a Companion App that can sit on the table next to you providing you with an easy way to track the score, tutorials, rules and tips.
Our prototype App is currently in iOS and we will build an Android version too. The purpose of the app is to add to the playing experience of the game, with the ability to add features. The companion app is a gateway into the world of Achroma, and some of the features will be:
- Achroma Bank to keep track of your bank total throughout the game
- Tutorial to help players learn the game explaining each step of your turn
- Rulebook with a glossary of terms and a search function
- Card Database showing all of the cards in Chapter I and a camera function to add your own cards to your collection
- Profile with account functionality so that you can keep a track of wins and losses, and change your avatar
- Ranked Leaderboard Play against your friends and climb the leaderboard
- Tournament Manager host official events
- News & Updates to find out the latest from Realm Runner Studios
With these digital tools we want players to join Achrom or Chroma teams and help one side win the war against the other. This will change the storyline of future chapters depending on how the war is going in each realm.
Digital has a part to play in our lives, and at Realm Runner Studios we really feel that there hasn’t been a breakthrough game that embraces real world play with digital tools since Pokemon Go 3 years ago. We want to build games that make playing easier with digital support and encourage socially getting together and enjoying time with friends and family.
We've worked hard creating 256 unique cards for Chapter 1 of this collectible card game split across Five Realms. These will be available in semi-randomised 10 card booster packs containing 1 rare/legendary card, 3 uncommon cards, and 6 common cards.
All cards will be printed on high quality 350gsm* card with a matte finish. The suppliers we are using are local in the UK and can provide quick turn arounds. *the higher the number the higher the quality - average playing cards are 270-300gsm.
It's our ambition to create environmentally friendly products. Our first product Achroma is plastic free, using only paper and card packaging to avoid single use plastic. We're using high quality materials with the intention that everything we create is reusable or recyclable. The underlying message throughout the storyline of the game is that of environmentalism, hoping to save the planet form a black gooey tar that infects and corrupts everything and everyone that it touches.
Choose your Realm:
The Realm Runners, the heroes and heroines in our game, are based on children in dire situations in our global society today. For example, one is living in a refugee camp, whilst another is forced to work in dangerous mines everyday. We want to raise awareness of real world issues that are happening across the planet. These diverse heroes and heroines represent the world we live in and give a beacon of hope to children like them.
These children touch a relic that transports them through to fantastical realms, and now you must choose yours:
The dragon realm of Draco Planum was a beautiful place before being drained of nearly all it's chroma due to the great seige of Flutterby Falls. It's been over a year, and with no chroma to fuel their magic all but 2 of the elder dragons have turned to stone. Tenebris the achrom elder dragon, is feeding off of the dark energy covering the realm, leaving the young dragons to fend for themselves. A squad of fairies led by Poggle Chudders and Maple Flutter have found themselves stranded in the realm hiding out in draco temple, the final refuge and beacon of hope for the dragons. Inside the temple is a young group of dragons, lead by Tengri under the protection of the temple's powerful Elder Dragon Darnacusk.
Chroma Palette: Draco Temple Dragons
Achrom Palette: Stonewaste Drakes
Flutterby Falls was once the most revered painting school in the five realms before The Great Collapse - now it is the last refuge for the resistance. You enter this realm amidst a great battle caused by the corrupted wingless fairies known as The Ravaged led by the mad PixieKing Craven Tratorious. Meanwhile the peaceful painting fairies scramble together an elite team of protectors led by the creator of colour Dr. Cornelius Hue, whilst the school attempts to continue to paint the realms. As the long seige takes it's toll on the Guardians of Flutterby Falls, squads of fairies are fired out through toadstool cannons across the realms to perform their painting duties at risk of being shot down, captured by The Ravaged and transformed into pixies themselves.
Chroma Palette: Flutterby Fall Fairies
Achrom Palette: Fallen Stone Pixies
A ceiling of ore, rock and ice replaces the sky as if the earth folded in on itself in the underealm. Shards of light jut through the cracks in the ceiling like stars in a nights sky. The Jotnar created this realm as a safe haven for their kinfolk after being hunted by humans. This crude realm isn’t lavish - but it’s what these trolls call home. The Lacringi tribe, led by their beautiful cheiftess Astrid, is made up of Hulder Trolls, attractive human looking creatures with long tails and hollow backs filled with moss and bark. They work tirelessly mining and quarrying the magical metal 'orium' residing in the ceiling. Using catapults and mining equipment they scale the ceilings with rope, holding on with their tails, hacking away at the Stalagtites dropping orium down into the nets below ready for processing. Back in Lacringi village the realm renowned blacksmiths craft beautiful metal work from the orium; embuing objects of power with colour, causing sparks of rainbows to dance out of their forges. The village is carved out of the cliff of the quarry, at the centre isa huge beautiful Hulder Totem covered in colourful orium.
Chroma Palette: Lacringi Hulder Trolls
Across the quarry in the distance there is a crack in the ceiling with water cascading through creating a beautiful waterfall filling a lake. This is where the Brisgavi tribe live led by the unruly cheiften Snorre. The Samr Trolls that live there are large Ice trolls that hunt and fish in and around the lake. But recently the cascading waterfall has turned an ominous black, and the Brisgavi tribe has become more restless than ever. Thankfully the Lacringi Shield Maidens keep the Brisgavi Beserkers at bay from invading their village...for now.
Achrom Palette: Brisgavi Samr Trolls
It is a time of confusion across Salum Planum as The Great Plague spreads through the realm causing madness and eventually death to engulf its inhabitants as it drains them of all colour. A pitch black cloud hovers over Curdle Hill, and the high witches and wizards of Ludlam are certain it is the cause of this dire scenario. They have sent a team of the Magus Elite's best detectives into certain danger to investigate in the hope the may stem this plague before it hits the city and consumes all.
Chroma Palette: Magus Elite Detectives
Nestled in the thick forests of Curdle Hill sits the village of Curdle itself, now consumed with darkness. All manner of dangerous creatures reside in the forests, and the residents of Curdle, now completely colourless, are either mad or dead. Just entering the forest sends panic through the detectives. As the plague creeps ever closer to the city, the high wizards and witches summon their crystal-gazer to tell them what the future holds, however the future is impossible to read, showing nothing but black. With their best detectives out of the city and struggling to foresee the outcome this dark cloud brings the high wizards and witches resort to calling upon the mythical Realm Runners for help.
Achrom Palette: Curdle Hill Occultists
This is earth as we know it. Completely disconnected from the other realms, only a few relics remain that, if touched, send you through to one. Four children from earth are in dire situations finding themselves thrown into a new world tasked with the great responsibility of becoming a ‘realm runner’. One of those children is Ray...
Ray Kasongo and the Realm Relic
A small 9 year old Congolese boy in the Democratic Republic of Congo fits perfectly in the tight cobalt mining tunnels. His father died and he was taken from outside of his village by guerilla forces who told him is village was destroyed and mother was dead, tricking him into joining them at their camp. Ray joined dozens of children with similar stories, being kept in awful conditions with very little food or water, before being put to work down the dangerous hand dug tunnels mining cobalt. As the heavy rain lashed down on Ray his boss hit him hard on the back of the head shouting at him to get down the mine and dig fast. Ray headed down the dangerous handmade ladder into the dark wet mine shaking. As he dug further and further into the earth his hands began to feel raw he felt something warm under his fingertips. He dug around the warmth revealing a beautiful purple glowing relic. He picked up the relic and put it in his pocket. The earth began to shake around him. As the muddy walls of the mine shaft slipped he scrambled to reach for the wooden ladder, shouting for help it fell apart in front of him. His boss shouted for him to throw up the cobalt he had found and then he would throw down a rope. Ray threw the cobalt up to his boss, the walls fell in on him, flooding the narrow shaft with thick mud. Ray panicked, struggling to free himself from the tightening grip of the mud glimpsing up at the tiny ray of light that remained at the mouth of the mine. As the mine collapsed, the mud slid over Ray’s face and the light vanished. He was gone...
A pulsing buzz woke Ray. The last thing he remembered in the pitch black mud of the mine was a strong vibration emanating from the relic.
History behind the creation of Achroma
2004 - Flutterby Falls
15 years ago my wife and I had our first child, and in that time, circumstances were tough so we decided to create a world for our new little family to escape to. We wrote a book called ‘Flutterby Falls’. It was about achromatic fairies that came down to earth every night to paint our black and white world with all the colours of the rainbow ready for the next day. I also asked an old school friend who is a fantastic illustrator to work on illustrating the book for us, which he kindly agreed to. After about 2 years we had a beautifully illustrated children’s book:
my wife sent the book to 100 publishers and unfortunately didn’t get any luck with getting it produced. Disappointed and disheartened we put the manuscript on the shelf and didn’t look at it again.
The story always had a place in my heart, and often played on my mind. We had built a universe for our book to live in, writing out and creating elements of the worlds that didn’t even make it into the book. Ultimately we were planning out a book series, going to different fantastical realms full of rich environments and creatures - each with it’s own characters and challenges.
2010 - Colourless
Then, a few years later I had a mental breakdown and was signed off work for a few months. In that time, I picked up the manuscript and tried a different approach with it. I thought perhaps we could choose a different story in the timeline and go back to the origins of colour in our magical universe. A quaint fairytale told through an iOS app that would guide the reader through the story with voice over, music and animation called ‘Colourless’ was what emerged.
I leaned on the skills of my talented illustrating friend again to help bring this story to life. We released it after a small investment and 2 years of work, but unfortunately it disappeared into the sea of apps on the App Store never to be seen again.
2016 - Studio Ghibli X Zelda
In 2016 Matt Vince, the illustrator of Achroma had huge success with a fan made poster and trailer.
2017 - Achroma: Chronicles of the Five Realms
You would have thought by this point I would give up - but no! Not me! A few more years go by and I’m on holiday on a farm in Devon with some friends and I decide that it would be a great idea to take the universe we created all those years ago and put it into a collectible card game.
I’ve always been a keen gamer, and when I was a teenager played the Star Wars CCG. In more recent years it has felt as if, since the wii, digital gaming had become a very solo experience, and that gamers are reaching out to tabletop gaming to get their social fix with some hands on boardgames and card games. This included myself as I picked up card games 20 years after I had played my first. So moving the five realms into an ever expanding game felt like the most logical step.
A friend came onboard and began helping me with the game mechanics and logic of how we would create a tangible game out of this creative work. I decided to take a different look than the past two attempts to bring this world to life - this time I went into the future.
The game is set after the events of ‘Colourless’ and ‘Flutterby Falls’ in the midst of chaos as Chroma (the magical colour this world is built upon) is running out. A strange dark source of energy ‘Achrom’ is corrupting the realms and sapping them of all their Chroma.
In order to make this work in the game mechanics I thought it would be interesting to make Chroma your life source, resource, and power source - so basically you pay with it, your cards are as strong as the amount of it they have, and you lose it or gain it like life. This was an interesting game design challenge because it can easily go wrong in so many ways! But thankfully, I think we have got something pretty unique and actually quite simple.
So for the past 2 years I’ve been working with a small team pulling together ‘chapter one’ of the Chronicles of the Five Realms.
Risks and challenges
We’ve already invested a lot of time and money into Achroma. From the artwork, design, and game balancing, to printing for playtesting and packaging samples. Because of this, we feel we’ve eliminated a portion of the risks involved with a project like this. We’ve already identified and ironed out early problems and built relationships with local suppliers. It means we can use the investment wisely and the end product will be better because we’ve already done a lot of the groundwork.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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