About this project
The Twelve Realms have long been ruled by wise and powerful Queens, but a dark Shadow has fallen over the land. An unseen power threatens to plunge the Realms into darkness, bringing famine, war, and worse.
In the Tower of Secrets, the Twelve Queens have gathered to seek an end to the threat. But they are betrayed, cursed by a powerful spell, sending them all into a deathlike slumber, as the Realms fall into chaos...
Twilight Arcana is a fantasy card game with the look and feel of a Tarot deck, based on the wonderful children's game "Sleeping Queens" by Gamewright, (and developed with their blessing). Players take turns vying with one another for influence over the Twelve Queens, either by reviving them from their magical curse, or by stealing influence from the other players, using Kings, Dragons, Knaves, Wizards and more!
The game is player-interactive (pvp), but also has a strong element of luck. A player who is losing in one round can re-take the lead quite rapidly, as Influence over the Queens changes hands. Twilight Arcana is simple enough to be enjoyed by casual gamers, but also has a significant element of strategy and intrigue.
Additionally, the game will constitute a beautiful work of art which can be enjoyed for its own sake! The artwork will be based on medieval fantasy themes, and the large Tarot-sized deck will make an excellent prop for any RPG or LARP... or you can use it as an actual fortune-telling Tarot deck! The game will feature the work of several great artists, including:
- Rachel Kahn: www.portablecity.net
- Joseph Kelly: illustratedbyjosephkelly.com
- Pascalle Lepas: wildelifecomic.com
- Krista Gibbard: bardillustration.com
- Katrianna Anderson: www.artstation.com/artist/katrianna
- Lucy Bellwood: lucybellwood.com
- Cil Cheung: qlippoth.net
- And MORE!
Card Concept Art (Mock-Ups):
(Low resolution versions, card layouts and text NOT final)
Game Production and Timelines:
All of the production sources for the game have been identified, and the budget is in place. Once the funds from this Kickstarter have been released, the planned production timeline is as follows:
- August - continued work on card design, final layouts.
- September - Kickstarter ends, funds are released. Artists begin work on the remaining card art, final rules testing.
- October - Final rules locked, all layouts and designs locked.
- November - Final versions of card art submitted by the artists, all graphics locked and prepared for printing.
- December - Printing begins (printer timeline is 3 months). Production on additional reward items begins.
- March - Game and all extras received and prepared for fulfilment, shipping begins.
Budget: We have set the production goal at $25,000. This includes the percentage share for Kickstarter, a budget of $5000 to pay the artists, $10,000 for the initial print run (at least 2000 units), $2500 to make the items for the higher reward levels, and an estimate of about 15% for shipping and handling. We are using Make That Thing for all order fulfilment!
Stretch Goals: As our first announced stretch goal, we're going to pay each of our artists a bonus of $50 for every $5000 that we exceed our base line! So if you're a fan of their work, consider a higher pledge!
We have more stretch goals in the works, including artwork and other bonus gifts for our backers, among other surprises. We don't want to give anything away just yet, but these will be announced as soon as we approach the first production goal!
Each Twilight Arcana game comes in a tuck box with a small rules booklet, and all backers will get access to a production blog, where we'll post regular updates on the design process. But there are also a number of cool upgrades available!
At the Royal Courtier level, your deck comes in a beautiful velour drawstring bag (5" x 7"), gold-foil-stamped with the card logo!
At the Knight of the Realm level, you also receive a large (23" x 28") playmat featuring artwork from the game, with spaces printed for the draw deck, discard pile and Cursed area where the Queens start!
At the Lord of the Realm level, your deck comes in a beautiful cherry-wood hinged box, fabric-lined, with a laser-etched game logo on the lid! A beautiful art piece suitable for display!
Mock-up of the wooden box art:
And at the Queen of the Realm level, you get all of the above, AND will be invited to a special event at GenCon 2016, with special guests and signed artwork from the creators!
Our Creative Team:
- Robert's other works can be viewed online at www.diredestiny.com
- Alina and Layne's other works can be viewed online at www.weregeek.com
Rules and Gameplay:
There are twelve Queen cards, which are placed face-down in the center of the play area (see below). The remaining deck consists of numbered cards in four suits (Suns, Swords, Keys and Coins), plus the "face" cards: Kings, Knaves, Wizards, Dragons, Spells, Jesters and special Arcana cards.
Each player receives a hand of five cards. On your turn, you may make a single Ploy:
- Revive a Queen
- Steal Influence over a Queen
- Discard unwanted cards
- Special cards have additional Ploys (Wizards, Jesters, Spells, Arcana).
Examples of Ploys include:
- Kings may revive Queens, placing them in your Court (there is also a gender-flipped version of the game, where Kings are revived by Queens instead).
- A Queen may also be revived by a combination of Suns equal to their point value (this introduces a memory element to the game).
- Knaves and Dragons steal influence over a Queen.
- A combination of Keys can also steal influence over a Queen.
- Wizards allow "divination" to look at another player's hand or peek at one of the face-down Queens.
- Spells block the powers of the Queens.
- Arcana cards each have a unique effect. For example, the Wheel of Fate forces all players to exchange hands!
- Jesters are "wild cards" that play random cards from the deck or from another player's hand.
Once a Ploy is selected, players may then choose to Thwart the Ploy:
- Dragons can Thwart Knaves and vice versa.
- A combination of Swords can Thwart Knaves if they match the value of that Knave (fighting them off!)
- A combination of Coins can Thwart Dragons if they match the value of that Dragon (bribing them!)
- Wizards can Thwart Spells and vice versa.
- Some Arcana cards can thwart additional actions.
After the Thwart is played, the original player may Counter-Thwart. For example, if a Knave thwarts a Dragon, a combination of Swords can counter-thwart the Knave. Once all Ploys, Thwarts and Counter-Thwarts are resolved, the player draws back up to 5 cards and play passes on.
Each Queen has special powers that may confound things:
- The Dragon Queen is immune to normal steals (Keys, Knaves, Dragons) but may be stolen by the Dragon King
- The Fae Queen is immune to steals by Dragons
- The Snow Queen is immune to steals by Knaves
- The Witch Queen makes your Court immune to Spells
- The Pirate Queen doubles the value of all Coins that you play
- The Warrior Queen doubles the value of all Swords that you play
- The Queen of Secrets doubles the value of all Keys that you play
- The Queen of Sorrow may be sent back to sleep to Thwart the King of the Dead
- The Queen of Hearts is immune to the Lovers card
- The Sun Queen and the Moon Queen oppose one another: you may not have both in your Court at the same time
- The Rose Princess is worth only 5 points, but allows you to Revive a second Queen.
The special Arcana Cards can also shake things up:
- The Lovers card can be used to lock down a Queen (with a King, Knave or Wizard) so that she may not be stolen
- The Tower card shuffles all of the revealed Queens and deals them randomly back to the players
- The Disaster card is a universal Thwart that may stop any Ploy
- The Wheel of Chaos forces all players to pass their hand to the player to their left
The game ends once all the Queens are revived, and points are then tallied. Each Queen has a point value, and gains extra points if the player holds cards marked with the same Realm as that Queen. The player with the most points at the end of the game, wins!
We hope you are now as excited about Twilight Arcana as we are! We've been working hard, but we need YOUR help to turn this project into a reality. Every pledge helps, no matter how large or small! If you're eager to see this game come to life, feel free to share our Kickstarter page using the "share this project" button just under the video introduction!
We can't wait for you all to share in our vision, as it all comes together in the form of this beautiful, fun, and exciting new game!
Risks and challenges
The risks associated with backing this project are very low! Our budget is well-planned and based on quotes we've already received. We already have our artists signed up and our printing company is ready to go! The project will easily scale up if we exceed our goals. If we do NOT meet our goal, the game will not be made and the backers will not be charged.
Furthermore, Make That Thing is a highly reputable fulfilment company that has previously managed the shipping for a large number of Kickstarter campaigns, and we're very confident that all backers will receive their rewards in a timely manner!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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