ARCADIA: THE WYLD HUNT (though it might apply to KING IRONHEART´S MADNESS as well)
Publisher: White Wolf
So, WW has published Changeling: the Dreaming, and then the Immortal Eyes Trilogy, and we know nothing of happens in Arcadia. This guy from the marketing department suddenly has this crazy idea, "hey, what if we published this game about Arcadia? It would affect nothing on the normal Changeling line, but it is bound to attract Changeling players, and we could create a whole different plot!" Sounds like White Wolf bought the idea, and published two sets of this game.
In Arcadia, players take on the roles of characters - including humans transported there when the sidhe came to Earth on the Ressurgence - that have got somehow involved in a quest in the lands of Ardenmore, with important quests to fulfill, regarding the disappearance of Lord Gamine and the madness of King Ironheart. And how to recreate the homeland of fae, the heart of the ever-changing Dreaming? Well, have the board changing every single time to represent its mercurial nature.
The only thing necessary - in theory - to play was two packs, one for the Character, and other for the Story.
The Character pack included a Character from a random race and gender, and cards to make him unique - Merits and Flaws, which give the character unique advantages or unfortunate drawbacks. As for the Story Packs, the contain League cards in order to create the ever-changing board, Waylay cards to slow down your opponents and a Quest card, which tell you what you must do in order to win the game.
"All you need is a Character Pack, a Story Pack and a single 6-sided die". OK, so it isn´t like your average CCG. Actually, Arcadia is a crossbreed of a board game, a role playing game and a card game. I mean, you have this board - even though it changes every time - and you have to create a character and yoy play cards against your opponent. Does it sound weird? Sure. Does it work? yes, it does! You can have loads of fun, especially if you get into the whole character creation thing.
If you compare Arcadia to CCGs, you will see it does not have the same visual identity. Every type of card has a completely different look - which is just another reason to believe Arcadia has not been designed to be another CCG. The cards are a tad dark, though, and some complain that the fonts used on it are a bit on the small side. The actual art varies a lot, and you can find pieces by famous WW artists such as Rebecca Guay, Tony DiTerlizzi, Richard Kane Ferguson and Ron Spencer. All in all, it might take some getting used to it, but the cards look nice.
Roll a die, add a skill. Biggest score wins. Neat. Not really hard, but the rules can be confusing for a first time player such as myself. If you have a friend who just happens to be a veteran player, though, I bet he can tell you all that matters in five minutes or so.
Both sets have loads of cards, and the art can be really fascinating, sometimes. There is a downside, though - since the game was last published in 1996 (I think), you´re probably only finding cards on eBay or the like.
Quick to learn, fun to play, eye-catching art and a special treat to Changeling: the Dreaming players out there.
John "Omega" Williams
Arcadia falls into the incredibly rare category of CCG RPG. Of which only three exist. Ruins World, Dragon Storm and Arcadia.