Fathoms is a deep sea, turn-based, action-adventure miniatures game. Team up against a horde of underwater denizens and their Master.
Fathoms is a deep sea, turn-based, action-adventure miniatures game. Team up against a horde of underwater denizens and their Master. Read more
About this project
Fathoms is a cooperative adventure game, with miniatures, in which a group of players fight against hordes of undersea monsters controlled by a game master. Gameplay is designed to pit players against a changing environment as monsters swarm and water pours through hull breaches. By gaining experience, players advance their skills and armament to overcome challenging obstacles. Play in campaign mode, growing your character as you progress through a series of missions, or choose from 9 stand-alone scenarios.
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Fathoms has two main things that I believe set it apart from other games in this genre.
The first is water. During missions hull breaches may open, spilling water onto the game board. One simple rule guides the flow of water from room to room, lets it build up when a door is shut, and flow out when that door opens. Even better, the aquatic nature of your foes grants them increased strength and ferocity the deeper the water gets. You may even find that some of your weapons grow weaker or stop working underwater, while others become even more powerful.
This second element is elevation. Gain a combat bonus as you snipe enemies from the high ground, or hold them off at a staircase while your allies rain death from above. If they slip by, kick, throw or blast them over the edge. Or take shelter from the rising water, holding out hope to the very end.
These two elements work together to change the way you think about and interact with your environment. The skills and weapons you choose, the formation you hold and the unpredictable dynamic added by hull breaches creates a game where strategy must evolve to cope with the horrors that await you.
One player chooses to be the Fathom Master, acting as the antagonist to the other players who choose from 5 characters with unique abilities.
Equipment: Characters can be equipped with weapons, armor, items and skills to aid them as they fight their way through hordes of undersea monsters. There are 14 unique weapons, 12 unique armors and 17 unique items. Equipment is separated into three tiers, indicating the strength of the item and the point at which it is unlocked in the campaign.
Playing a Character: Gameplay is turn based and simple. All players roll for initiative and on their turn are given two actions, which can be used in any way the player wishes. They can attack, move, use an item or skill, open a door, activate a terminal or rummage through an equipment locker. These actions may be performed in any order and in repetition. Players gain EXP when they kill a monster, explore a room, or use a terminal to perform certain functions. This allows players that are having a hard time to gain exp through other means.
When a new room is explored, the Fathom Master may place new enemies into that room. Sometimes they are predetermined types, while other times he can craft his own selection based on their difficulty rating.
The Fathom Master: The Fathoms Master functions much like the other players in terms of actions, only he can perform actions for all of the creatures at his disposal. For each one in play he can move, attack and sometimes open doors. Each creature is separated into one of three tiers, like equipment, and has a unique ability that helps the Fathom Master craft a strategy to sow fear into the hearts of the other players. He also has other means of frustrating them.
Aside from hideous creatures, the Fathom Master can unleash hull breaches, add new monsters to the board, grant special bonuses and unleash events that make life difficult for his opponents. He does this by spending his experience points, which he gains by damaging players. The EXP system for the Fathom Master allows him to gain EXP any time a player is damaged during a round, but it does not stack if a player is damaged multiple times during a round, encouraging (but not forcing) the Fathom Master to spread out his attacks. He also gains EXP each round equal to the difficulty tier.
Modes of Play:
Gameplay has two modes: campaigns and scenarios. In the campaign, players move from room to room, fighting monsters and unlocking clues about their predicament. Each mission flows into the next, allowing the players to become stronger over time as they progress through the campaign.
Scenarios are similar, but are snapshots of potential variations in the storyline. They allow players to jump into the game at a predetermined level of strength and fight their way through challenging mission concepts. Missions vary greatly and allow diverse gameplay, such as holding off waves of monsters, swimming through entirely submerged levels, fighting against the clock, splitting up to accomplish objectives, fleeing waves of acid and more!
Everyone has heard the line, "Wouldn't it be cool if . . ." But let's be honest; most of the time we allow ourselves to become distracted. My story begins with the same line, but this time I picked up a pencil, determined to see my idea through.
For the next few years, one day at a time, I continued to write and draw. Sometimes it was one line at a time. Other times weeks went by with nothing. Over time this idea took shape, evolving with each play-test. While I drew inspiration from games that I loved growing up, I was determined to add something unique and different. I have worked hard to make that a reality, and now you have a chance to help.
The funds generated by the success of this project will go primarily towards production, which is the most costly part of a miniatures game. There is also shipping, storage and distribution, and hopefully the development and fulfillment of stretch goals.
Risks and challenges
Launching a Kicktsarter is a new experience for me. I've designed games before, but this is the first time I've taken my idea to the next level. I started young playing with my own game designs after I desperately desired a Nintendo system but was unable to have one. I spent time making my own games on paper to satisfy that desire. Over time that evolved into using CRPG makers, then to programming my own mini games, then to crafting entire worlds for Dungeons & Dragons, and finally to where I am now.
But none of that was ever as intense as creating a full-fledged board game with it's own rules and art. New challenges arose, like how to spend money efficiently. What are acceptable deadlines? What are the hidden costs? What technical challenges will miniatures create?
These are questions I devoted myself to understanding before launching this project. I have researched the industry, been in contact with manufacturers and made friends with people in board game production.
In order to alleviate many of the concerns above I plan to use a fulfillment company to handle shipping, distribution and other aspects of game production. Drawing on their experience I can help mitigate the risks and make a successful delivery. I will begin to answer some of these questions in the daily updates as well.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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