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When the realm of adventure game was ruled by Talisman, grabbing dice and strapping in for a wild, mostly uncontrollable ride was the standard. Thirty years after the magical quest game first hit the shelves, cardboard adventuring seems very different. But is it really?
I’ve recently purchased a copy of Runebound 3rd Edition, and even managed to get it to the table a good few times, to see how exploring the world of Terrinoth has changed since the previous version of the game, and I must say I am quite impressed. The game is somewhat streamlined, with a healthy mix of old and new mechanisms, and altogether driven more by player decisions, than by RNG. That is, driven more than many other adventure games, including Runebound 2nd Edition.
Adventure gaming has been steadily moving towards increasing player agency for years. Newer games, such as Mage Knight, the much less known Venture Forth, or my own Mistfall and Heart of the Mists would offer meaningful decisions centred on deterministic mechanisms in place of simply rolling dice. The very idea of strategizing in an adventure game became a valid notion, instead of a joke.
However, before you think that Runebound 3rd Edition is now a game driven purely by player decisions, you should know it is not. For all the smart mechanisms working under its hood, it can still make you a king or a beggar within a few turns. Even with very deliberate probabilities meticulously worked into its new decks, your game can still be royally screwed if Fortune decides to take its cigarette breaks during your turns.
Many well-known adventure brands take the agency plunge. Talisman became fat with expansions some of which gave more power to the players, and somewhere on its way it spawned Relic, a game using the same base system, but from the start geared more towards agency. Arkham Horror seemingly never gave up on what it was, only now you have an alternative in the form of Eldritch Horror, once again, a game allowing for more meaningful decisions.
It seems the general consensus is that more agency is good… unless it isn’t. While I never encountered anyone saying that Relic is less of an adventure game than (base) Talisman, I’ve heard people complaining about Mage Knight (or Mistfall for that matter), that the optimization required ruins the experience for them, and that it no longer feels like an adventure.
Similar complaints were levelled against Venture Forth or the more recent Witcher, were some people said that they are not there to do pickup and delivery, but to be a hero in a land of magic, monsters and wonder. And I fully get that.
It seems that a certain degree of randomness is required for many adventure game fans. Maybe it’s because we’re escapists at heart, and we want to stand a chance of winning the game even if we don’t feel up to the task of forming a strategy out of a string of meaningful decisions. Or maybe we don’t want to completely control the environment of the game, as letting it do its own things makes it feel more like another world which we get to visit.
It’s easy to see Runebound 3rd Edition and Relic as parts of one group, and Mage Knight and Mistfall as parts of another. But what about games like the Witcher? What about Legends of Andor or Darkest Night? Is there more of a general line which allows us to precisely divide adventure gaming into two (or more) distinct groups? Or maybe, everybody has a line of their own, and trying to build two distinct categories is a fool’s errand?
The world of Heart of the Mists is one of both heroism, and villainy. Today we present to you three stories of antagonists you will be able to take down in the quests featured in the upcoming expansion.
Eredai the Hunter
Some villains are born when a champion falls, or when a misguided individual finds nobody able to point him in the right direction, before it gets too late to counter the consequences of their actions. Some are born weak, and they seek strength among those, who are most eager to show off their power. None of this was ever true for Eredai.
Even as a boy, always taller and stronger than his peers, Eredai would exploit every opportunity to bend others to his will. Over the years of his childhood he perfected the art of bullying, and revelled in the hatred and fear other children would feel towards him. And since Valskyrrian parents usually believe that their offspring should fight their own battles, he had never been stopped, until it was too late.
Although hard to believe, all that changed for even worse, when Eredai accompanied his father into the woods, to hunt with him for the first time. Exhilarated and filled with bloodlust, he could not stop thinking about taking another life. And soon he would.
The hunt became everything for Eredai. The fear of his victims would make Eredai’s blood boil with pleasure, and he soon started to spend more time in the wilds, than in his home village. He hunted for the thrill, often flaying prey and leaving it otherwise untouched, for an entity that appeared in his thoughts, as sacrifice. And after his final and bloodiest sacrifice had been accepted, he became what he is today.
Tall as a giant but gaunt and grim, Eredai still bends the will of the creatures of the wilds. Wielding a gift bestowed by the Mists, he makes even beastmen and ravenok bow to him, as he leads them into a bloody hunt. His petrifying cry, one that Eredai unleashes only moments before making the kill haunts the wilderness from Naar to Valskyrr.
Atherak the Undying
Once a powerful master of the arcane arts, Atherak feared nothing but the passage of time. Drawing his fill from the wells of both light and dark energies, he would seek the key to unlock the secret of immortality, until his obsessive research bore grim fruit.
For decades known as a somewhat puzzling figure, sometimes ready to lend a hand to the inhabitants of Naar (but never without naming a price for his aid), Atherak became an almost forgotten recluse in his old age. Many even thought that he died, before he made a return back into the lands of the living.
Calling forth power never before seen in the world, Atherak caused a magical cataclysm that blotted out the sun and made the dead rise up from the ground. Having struck a deal with a dark power that touched his mind, now ravaged by insanity, Atherak performed a ritual that would transform his body, as well as the lands surrounding his dwelling. Hence, the first true dragon was born.
Seemingly immortal and drunk with power, Atherak raised an undead army, ready to forge an eternal kingdom of his own. Before he marched on Hammerhome, however, he was found by a Myrmidon captain by the name of Alekar, and struck down after a long and exhausting battle. And though it seemed like his reign of terror had ended before it even started, the dark power did not release its grip on the dragon. Revealing itself for the first time as the Mists, it raised Atherak, fusing his will with a skeletal body of the creature he had become. Believed to be a legend for hundreds of years, Atherak has now returned in his terrifying form, leading a massive army of undead ready to deal a crushing blow to the lands of the living.
Kesrah the Dreaming
Many new threats have emerged from the Mists since the battle of Ravencrag, and the cataclysm that tore the world apart. Some of them are merely a tale spawned by terrified minds of those, who came into contact with the Mists. Others turn out to be painfully true.
Nobody really knows who she is, but they call her “Kesrah” which means “Mother of Nightmares” in the language of the Kerathi. Wherever she appears, eyes always closed and hands dripping with blood, the land seems to freeze, as if suspended in a perpetual dream, with no day coming after the night. Those who stay there, lose the ability to sleep. Tired and tormented, they fall prey to demonic creatures that seem to walk in Kesrah’s path.
Those who survived these raids, also speak of another strange phenomenon: barely audible sounds of battle carried by the last gusts of wind. And within those sounds, a female voice shouts the Myrmidon battlecry, and calls those fighting beside her not to surrender, just before an ominous silence falls upon the land.
Some say that Kesrah can be awoken, and when that happens, her true form – for good or ill – will be revealed to the world.
Today the Heart of the Mists has just gotten a new playable character many of the fans of original Mistfall wanted to see. Once a villain, now joining the ranks of Heroes of Mistfall, here’s the story of Sigraed the Dawnfire.
Once a promising student of the Dathnafar Loreforge, Sigraed was drawn into machinations of a powerful noble Steadholme family, who felt spited by Thaela, Sigraed’s teacher and headmistress of the Flamecaster Academy. The intrigue resulted in Thaela’s violent death in a trap that was supposed to destroy Sigraed herself.
Driven to the brink of madness by despair, Sigraed first left Dathnafar and travelled north to seek a noble death, destroying servants of the Mists, but was instead corrupted by their power, and turned against both those who tried to destroy her, as well as those who were once on her side. She returned to Dathnafar, incited a rebellion in the ranks of young Flamecasters, and set most of the city ablaze in a rampage that killed all but one member of the Steadholme house.
Barely driven away, Sigraed moved to the north again, where she continued to sow destruction, until Frostvalley dispatched a group seasoned adventurers to deal with her. After a dramatic race against time, Sigraed was finally cornered by three of them: Celenthia, a Wizard of Dathnafar; Hareag a Ravencrag Frost Mage; and Crow, a Frostvalley Seeker.
The three managed to overpower Sigraed, and as the two mages held the destructive power at bay, Crow moved in for the kill. But as the Flamecaster saw his face, her fury exploded with an even greater strength, and then turned into a violent maelstrom, which swallowed both her and the Seeker.
Sigraed the Mistflame, Villain of Mistfall
The Battle of Ravencrag
Over a year later, after Frostvalley Keep had already accepted the bitter price of victory over the Mistflame, Crow returned, bringing with a him a mysterious figure clad in dark cloak. Refusing to talk about his absence, he only said that he is bringing a warning, and that both Forstvalley and Ravencrag must mobilize immediately, as a great force is amassing in northern Valskyrr.
The grim news checked out, as returning scouts were reporting next to no activity in the closer regions of lands formerly corrupted by the Mists. The forces of Frostvalley moved with desparate speed, and managed to reach Ravencrag just as a grand battle was about to begin. The Ravencrag Furies and Shieldbearers stood together with all who would answer the call, but it became quickly apparent that their chances were slim, as the forces of the Mists were led by Rahlfors, the betrayer of Frostvalley and Sigraed.
Just as it seemed all would be lost, Sigraed suddenly turned on Rahlfors, laying fiery waste to the ranks of the servants of the Mists. Her betrayal tipped the scales of battle, and despite huge losses suffered by the defenders, Ravencrag did not fall, and a decisive blow was dealt to the Mists. Rahlfors however, once again eluded Frostvalley’s grasp, and even managed to do what he once failed to do: kill the Lord Commander of the Keep, before taking flight and vanishing in the Mists once more.
Those who saw the moment Sigraed switched sides, tell stories of a shadowy spirit being torn out from the body of Sigraed by a sudden surge of energy, originating from the ranks of Shieldbearers. Only few know, that the phenomenon was a carefully prepared ritual, based on knowledge Crow brought back with him, and performed by Celenthia, protected from Sigraed’s view by her magic and the shadowy art of Melekai, a new ally that had come to Frostvalley with Crow.
After the battle Sigraed returned under guard to Frostvalley Keep, where she spent months with priests and Loremasters, all astonished by the change she had undergone. Seemingly chosen by Dawn herself, she is now the bearer and guardian of Dawnfire, a mystical force that has been granted by the goddess to only few mortals.
Now, as Sigraed joins the ranks of protectors of Valskyrr and Naar, she has already let herself be known to the forces of the Mists, and even as the dark power strikes at humanity once again, its minions flinch or outright flee, as the fiery gaze of the Dawnfire falls upon them.
What you see above is also the render of Sigraed’s miniature. However, this is work in progress, and we alredy know that there will be a few changes between now and the final version. Still, this should be quite close to the final outcome.
Yesterday a Print and Play version of Valkea the Myrmidon was released (which you can find here). Now, it's time to tell you who she really is. Also, I decided to show you a few Enemies already present So, are you ready to jump into another piece of Heart of the Mists lore?
The deserts of Naar are a harsh environment to live in, and an even harsher for those who want to wage war under the scorching sun. Since the Mistfall, the rocky planes and labyrinths of red stone have seen their fair share of strife, so the Kerathi, a brave and stout nation that inhabits Naar, are no strangers to conflict. And wherever there is conflict, Myrmidons are always the first to clash with the enemy.
Both armoured and mobile, able to traverse the sea of dunes with an almost unnatural speed, Myrmidons are to Naar and Hammorhome what Shieldbearers are to Valskyrr and Forstvalley Keep. Not quite as resilient, but more mobile and equally as disciplined as the warriors of the frozen north, Myrmidons are known around the world as the tip of the spear that strikes the abominations and horrors spawned in the deserts and caverns of Naar.
Now, after the world has almost shattered and the Mists have made the lands of frost neighbours to the realm of fire, Myrmidons are once again ready to stand firm against the tide of darkness. Able to adapt to new environments and ready to lock shields with their new allies, the Myrmidons fight to push the Mists back once again, and restore the world to what it once was.
Valkea the Spear of Hammerhome
Some say in jest that Valkea was born with shield and spear in hand, and that she killed her first Ravenok when she was nine. And while the latter claim is only a joke, the second one is most certainly true, as the story of a young, fierce girl driving a spear through a brid-like warrior’s gut while defending her infant brother, spread like wildfire in Hammerhome.
Drafted into the ranks of Myrmidons at the age of 12, Valkea became the youngest captain to lead her own squad, and before she was twenty, she had already locked shields with the legendary wielders of the Myrmidon spear. She had also found her one true love: Terhu, a Myrmidon just like her, both a lover and a companion always at her side both in battle, and in times of rest. But Valkea's happines was not meant to last, as it was in battle that the two were torn apart.
Short after the cataclysm that reshaped the world, Valkea and Terhu stood against a mysterious winged sorcerer, whose corrupting power made short work of their battle gear. Deprived of her shield, Terhu was struck down with a mighty blow and overwhelmed by the Mists. Valkea, wounded and surrounded by enemies, could only hear the screams of Tehru and the laughter of their demonic adversary, as they both faded away in the swirling Mists.
Now, with a determination and discipline unparalleled even by the greatest Myrmidons, Valkea pushes onward through corrupted lands, travels between Valskyrr and Naar, and seeks to find and free Terhu. Aided in her quest by those who have seen her in battle, as well as by new allies ready to stand by her side against any odds, Valkea knows that she will not rest until Terhu is once again by her side.
Ravenok Stalker, Valkea's first kill.
Valkea as a Player Character
With a bit less fortitude, Valkea is nonetheless a warrior type, able to withstand Enemy attacks, and strike a countering blow that will cripple even the toughest foes. With what she lacks in pure resilience, she makes up for in a certain dose of mobility and range.
With a style of play not as complex as some other Heroes of Heart of the Mists, Valkea seems the right choice for those only making their first steps into the fiery lands of Naar, or the icy realm of Valskyrr.
Do you like Valkea's story? Do you like how she handles in battle? Tell us what you think!
A new Hero has recently joined the ranks of playable characters of the Mistfall universe. Today I want to present you with that Hero’s story, and introduce you to the mechanisms behind her theme.
They are called differently around the world, although “bard” seems to be the most common name. Singers, storytellers and performers, travelling alone or in troupes, they are usually welcomed wherever they go, as especially for those living in smaller settlements, they are a source of information on the outside world. And since the world has become much more volatile of late, the news they carry can be more precious than riches these days.
Although well liked almost everywhere, bards are held in especially high esteem in Valskyrr, as they are perceived as not only entertainers, but also keepers of knowledge and messengers of hope. Their accounts of heroic deeds often allow the common people of the cold north to reinvigorate their efforts in facing the horrors of the Mists.
Also, because of a belief (almost universal in Valskyrr, but also quite common in the rest of the known world) that one is not truly dead, as long as their name and deeds are not forgotten, bards are called Namebearers in Valskyrr. Indeed, their connection with heroes of old often allow them to tap into a fraction of their power, and inspire their companions to real greatness.
Aseke of the Dale
Aseke was born and raised on the road in a travelling troupe of performers. Although she is Valskyrrian by blood, she has spent most of her life moving from place to place, and performing for people everywhere between the Free Cities in the south, Valskyrr in the north and Naar in the east. She has also faced the threat of the Mists on more than one occasion.
Always cheerful and helpful, Aseke has found many friends around the world. She has on more than one occasion travelled into the wilds with the Shieldbearers of Forstvalley, or help the Myrmidons of Naar hold their ground with a war song. Her voice seems to possess the ability to calm ravenous beasts, instil strength in her allies, and pierce the darkness brought on by the Mists. The power she wields made her earn the status of a true Namebearer time and time again, and she is always welcomed in Frostvalley and Hammerhome alike.
It has also been said that she had been more than friends with the previous Lord Commander of Frostvalley keep. And while she has mourned his loss like many others, his passing did little perceivable damage to her character and demeanour. However, those who travel with Aseke have already seen that she exhibits even greater resolve when facing the horrors of the Mists, and that the name of Frostvalley’s fallen hero unlocks a power not seen in Aseke by anyone before.
Aseke as a Player Character
The Nambearer is the first Hero designed mostly with multiplayer games in mind (or for those who prefer to run two Heroes as they play solitaire). Most of Aseke’s abilities are based around supporting others, which means that she is somewhat weaker on her own, as her Feats centre around controlling Enemies and buffing friends. To offset for her lack of immediate strength, she is able to bring two Allies with her to any Quest.
Aseke also possesses a few Feats that allow her to use those Allies more effectively, as well as the ability to occasionally influence the number of Objective Tokens on the Time Charter.
So, how do you like the new Hero ready to venture into the Heart of the Mists
With Heart of the Mists going strong on Kickstarter, I think it’s time to tell you a piece of the story of the world of Mistfall, and introduce you to the new lands the events of Heart of the Mists will take place. I’m also proud to present you with some pieces of art that will make their appearance on Location Tiles in the game. And you’ll find a tiny bonus at the end of the update.
Rage of the Nightfather
The oldest legends of the world tell the story of its creation, of the fall of Dusk, one of two divine beings that forged lifeless matter into land, sea, sky, and all the beings that exist upon this earth. They also tell of how Dusk became disgruntled with the Firstborn, the children that turned away from him, wanting to forever bask in the warm glow of the goddess Dawn.
Disappointed and enraged, Dusk struck the earth with all of his destructive power, annihilating his children in hellish flames, and leaving part of the lands an ever burning desert. A desert now known as Naar.
The History of Naar
After the cataclysm, Dusk and Dawn met only once more, to labour together for the last time. Together they created men, and gave them free will to choose between the Shadows and the Light, and an unquenchable need to make the world their own.
Neither the cold nor the scorching heat would stop men from exploring and settling, and so, from the coldest parts of Valskyrr to the hottest regions of Naar, humans would claim the land as their own. And even though they would have to stand against threats forged by Dusk himself, who once again turned his back on his children, they would make the world their own.
The harsh conditions of Naar spawned in time a tribe of men both strong and resolute, able to not only adapt to the scorching sun and the burning sands of vast deserts, but to even tap into the strength of earth itself. Now the Kerathi, the first people to settle the hot wastelands, are known as fighters and craftsmen, able to wield the sword and arcane powers in the battle that is to decide the fate of this world.
After a great battle, in which men stood against the monsters and abominations of the Mists, for a while it seemed that humanity has finally gained the upper hand. But the devious power was only lying in wait, as only months after what felt like a victory, the Mists have struck again, changing the face of the world forever.
Twisting the paths and almost ripping the world apart, the Mists have done what seemed impossible. Now the burning deserts and the lands of frost and snow, once thousands of miles apart, can be traversed within a day. And it seems that only those with the strongest will can find their way to the same place more than once.
This new world immediately created new alliances. Humanity, now fully aware of the destructive and corrupting power of the Mists united, and heroes from every corner of the world are ready to stand together, to face the new threats spawned by the Mists.
And maybe, just maybe, find the legendary Heart, which will let them finally know how it feels to live in peace.
Bonus: Rules Supplement
Do you want to know what are the rules changes for the expansion? If so, you can download the Rules Supplement. I will also upload it to BGG, and inform you in the comments that it is also avaialble here.
The next chapter of Mistfall introduces new threats and new enemies. The world is more dangerous and more unstable than ever before, which calls for new and unexpected alliances. And with that, let me introduce Melekai, a priest of the Nightfather, and a new hero of Heart of the Mists.
Just as Dawn has her priestly orders, so does Dusk, albeit smaller in number and much less known. Since the time the Nightfather decided to withdraw from the world, revoking the power he would bestow upon his beastly creations, many thought that his grasp on the world was reduced to nothing. However, there were still some, who would retain the link to their god.
While the old legends tell mainly of those, who would invoke the name of Dusk hoping only to grow in power, there has always been some that were not scared of the shadows, and ready to walk a road less travelled. This order, known as the Duskbearers, while very far from the selfless ideals of Dawn’s priestly orders, would nonetheless often oppose the Mists, knowing that corruption and perversion of all creation was not what their god had intended.
More flexible and more adapted to the world today, Duskbearers seem to possess the skill to manipulate the Mists themselves. Tapping into their corrupting reservoir of eldritch power, they remain immune to madness and mutation, at least on the surface. And now, in a time of a great tide of darkness, they decided to step out of the shadows and aid those who oppose the Mists, knowing full well that if they don’t, soon there might not be anything to fight for even for them.
Melekai the Duskbearer
Reputedly born in Blackwood, eldest son of a bringand lord of great stature, Melekai speaks little of his past, but his sharp mind and the ruthless way he often deals with his enemies speak volumes of where he is coming from. Still, nobody seems to know much of him beyond this – and few seem to care.
Walking into a skirmish about to turn ugly for four Misthunters, Melekai managed to help them win the day, instantly securing the trust of those he saved. Some later said that this trust went a little too far, but none of those who would fight by his side have ever doubted him again, trying to ignore the fact that the powers he wields can alter or outright bend the will of others.
Nonetheless, after making the acquaintance, Melekai decided to accompany Elatha from Naar to Valskyrr, and then back again, to join the informal brotherhood of Hammerhome, sworn to rid the wounded lands of the Mists’ influence. Whatever his real motives are, he has not given anyone reasons to doubt him since, and in a time as dire as this, picking allies is a luxury none can really afford.
Melekai as a Player Character
In essence, Melekai is a priest, and that means that he is able to wield a mace and aid his allies by healing them and removing conditions. However, unlike Arani, he is quite limited in his healing abilities, being much more focused on something else entirely.
Able to turn attacks away from himself, or at least make Enemies suffer the same damage he suffers, Melekai may be a bit tricky to play. His power often depends on the power of his foes, so he also possesses a certain degree of control over positioning of Enemies in different areas. To be able to eliminate them, he also has a few effects that do direct damage, not to mention the fact that most of his cards have to Combat keyword, very much needed when taking up a weapon against an enemy in melee.
The Kicker once again!
Just like with Elatha, a Hero you can play now, a playtest Print and Play version of Melekai will become available for download next week. So, if you want to try out some of what is coming up for Heart of the Mists, you can sharpen your scissors now… and tell us what you think of the newest addition to the roster of the Heroes of Mistfall.
The world of Mistfall has changed. New machinations of the nefarious Mists have transformed the lands and their inhabitants, new threats emerged, and new heroes are rising up to the challenge. Continuing the tradition started before Mistfall made its debut on Kickstarter, I present to you the story of the first of the new heroes featured in the upcoming Heart of the Mists expansion: Elatha the Misthuntress.
Known as versatile warriors and trackers, the Misthunters can be found around the known world, always ready to find and eliminate monstrous threats spawned by the Mists. Not as specialized as archers of the Arcaneweave, not as heavily armoured as the Shieldbearers, the Misthunters are still able to often succeed where none other could, making up for the lack of arcane abilities with the skill to adapt and work effectively in varied environments and conditions.
Unlike the Shieldbearers of Frostvalley Keep, Misthunters are not as much a formal military organization with a single seat of power, as they are a fellowship with a network of companions spread around the known world. This made adapting to the world changed by the Mists easier for the Misthunters than for anyone else.
Elatha the Misthuntress
Although born on the southern border of Valskyrr, Elatha would never stay in one place for longer than a few weeks. Being the eldest daughter of merchant-explorer parents, she’d seen more of the world before she was eight, than most people see within a lifetime. Always self-reliant and headstrong, always taking care of her younger siblings, Elatha nonetheless could not see herself following in her parents’ footsteps; especially that she was drawn more to the sword, than to the map and coin.
With a family background such as this, and a natural skill for the bow and blade, becoming who Elatha is today seemed like almost a formality. After being apprenticed by an elderly Misthunter by the name of Sandrel for merely a few months, she was ready to face the enemies of mankind on her own, and merely a few months more made her name recognizable both in Naar and Valskyrr.
After the cataclysmic events that followed the Battle of Ravencrag, Elatha suddenly found herself far from where she had initially started one of her hunts. The Mists took her from the edges of a frozen forest right back to Red Sands. However, as it turned out quickly, the same happened to her prey: a young Kerathi noblewoman, and a suspected ringleader of a wyrm-worshipping cult Elatha is determined to take down. Now, having met some allies, she is more than ready to continue her pursuit.
Elatha as a Player Character
The Misthuntress is a curious mix of different skills, giving her the options to effectively (albeit not spectacularly) deal with opponents both at close range, and from afar. Her deck introduces two centre mechanisms: Traps and Marks; the former punishing Enemies for entering her Hero Area, and the latter making it easier for her (and sometimes for other Heroes) to rapidly convert damage into mortal Wounds.
Quite self-sufficient and well rounded, Elatha is a great Hero to play solitaire, but the range of her combat Feats, as well as Traps, make her a great choice when pairing her up with other Heroes. Not as specialized at deadly shots as the Arcaneweave Archer, she is nonetheless versatile enough to also work well as the Hero to take on your first adventure into the burning sands of Naar, or the cold wastes of Vaskyrr.
And here’s the Kicker…
Would you like to take this Hero for a trial run with your copy of Mistfall? If you’re interested, Monday the 25th is the date to wait for, as Elatha will become available for download. So, if you want to try out some of what is coming with the Heart of the Mists expansion, you can start here – and tell us what you think!
Since last time I wrote about Mistfall, I received some questions about the expansion, both as comments, and as (quite a big bunch) of emails and personal messages. And since I have a few pieces of art I’d like to show you, I will take this opportunity to expand on what Heart of the Mists will (or will not) be.
Will this be just a reskin of Mistfall?
Simply put: no. Heart of the Mists continues the story of the world of Mistfall, introducing new charcters, monsters, and a new region together with a set of new places to visit. Mechanically, it will give you four new Heroes to play with, three new decks of Regular Enemies, new Quests, new Gear, and more.
I don’t own Mistfall, will Heart of the Mists work for me?
Yes. Heart of the Mists is a standalone expansion, so all you need to play will come with the upcoming set. Complexity level wise it will probably clock in a bit higher than the base game, but not by much. And you will get an online “Learn to Play” guide for your first solitaire game, similar to the one already available for the Mistfall base game.
I own Mistfall, how much stuff will I be re-buying with this set?
Very little. Heart of the Mists will come with new Heroes, Enemies and Quests, none of which will be copied from the base game. As for elements like the Quest Charter they will not be simply ported from the base game. Some new mechanisms require incorporating them on the basic game elements, so I decided to make them different, to serve as a new challenge or an alternative to what you already own. Regrettably, you will still receive cubes identical to the base game. We will try to give you a different colour, though
So, can I just mix whatever I want?
Yes. You can combine Enemies and Locations, use any Heroes in any Quests (old and new). Only some of the elements will require a bit more caution – like Gear, which gets a new set of rules in terms of Heroes receiving new loot – but generally, you’ll be able to use any elements you wish in any single game.
I didn’t like the rulebook, will I get a better one this time?
Yes. The rules are being completely re-written, and we will make them available online before the campaign starts in different draft forms, so that everyone can send us their feedback. Many people offered me insight during the last year, and I intend to make full use of anyone who wishes to help with creating a rule set for Mistfall.
Some first printing Mistfall cards had errors; will I get corrected card in print?
Yes, the Heart of the Mists expansion will include them. We are also working on making them available outside of the expansion, but I am not able to say anything definite yet. For now you can download them here.
What about cool loot? Am I getting more of it?
Yes. One of the systems that are going to change is rewarding Heroes for successfully completing Encounters. Heart of the Mists will not only introduce a satisfying number of new items to add to your deck, but also a more decision-based process of acquiring rewards, so that you will decide if and when your Hero receives one of their personal reward items.
The Mistfall rules and cards mentioned Allies. Am I getting Allies?
You most certainly are. This new mechanism will allow players to make use of new abilities and go on Quests with not only other Heroes, but also helpers and protectors offering their aid in a time of need. Mechanically, Allies will work a little bit like Enemies (some of them may even be converted Enemies), but controlled by players, and able to help in overcoming different types of threats.
Am I getting a campaign system similar to Valskyrr?
Not this time. A much more robust campaign is in the works as a possible separate (and big) expansion for the future. Much still depends on how everything pans out with Heart of the Mists, but I am working on tying both sets together (or just playing with one) into a massive storyline, during which both Heroes and Enemies will grow in power, and all Quests form a large, narrative story to play through. This, however, is something for a more distant future.
Okay, so what happened to the Mistfall world since the base game?
This is a story to be told in a separate post. For now, I can say that the Mists are far from being beaten, and are working with renewed strength. As their power grows, the world changes more than ever, bringing together places that had never shared a border before, unveiling new threats and leading to unlikely alliances. But, this is something for another time.
Mistfall: Heart of the Mists is slowly closing in, but before we start delving into the second chapter of this dark fantasy adventure, we have something for all of you who are already fans of the original Mistfall – and for those who are only planning to become fans themselves.
There is no doubt about Mistfal being a complex game, with many different mechanisms working at the same time. Learning and remembering everything Mistfall has to offer may seem like a daunting task, so I decided to make the first step a little easier.
Here you will find a document called Mistfall: Learn to Play (you can also find it on the NSKN Games website here). All you need to do is sit down to a solo game of Mistfall and take the guide with you, either as a printout or on your handheld device – and start on page one. The text will guide you through the setup and two full turns of a solitaire game, and tell you what you need to do afterwards, to be able to play the whole game.
As I have already said, the Heart of the Mists expansion is coming with completely new rules, and although it will fully integrate with the base game, it can also be played standalone.
So, whether you’re an owner of Mistfall who has never had the chance to play the game, or you want to jump in with the “expandalone” (and read through an example turn or two, to know exactly how the game works), looking over the Learn to Play Guide might be worthwile.
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