The Monster is out of the box – and “The Book” is right there with it. Have a peek inside the covers of Kingdom Death…
Hey BoLS Readers, AdamHarry here with an overview of what I’m dubbing “The Book” that comes inside the Kingdom Death: Monster box! I wanted to give this darkly covered tome it’s own overview/video because of the denseness of Monster. A lot of people aren’t really quite sure what to make of this game and I’m hoping to light the lanterns that shed some light on all that.
I can’t really get into the rest of the story aspects of the game with out MAJOR spoilers – and because I truly respect the vision for this game and what it’s creator is trying to accomplish – I don’t feel right just walking through the entire book. That said we do go though a few “highlights” that do include spoilers. You have been warned:
“The Book” itself is part guidebook, part rulebook, campaign book and story book. If you look at it section-by-section it’s starts by throwing you into this dark, horror filled world, gives you some basics and then kicks your butt. The deeper you delve into the book the more the mystery of this place unfolds. There is a giant section that outlines events (there are enough to support a 2d10 chart of outcomes) and there is another section dedicated to some of the more detailed story events, nemesis encounters and a slew of other things. And while you could sit and read through everything, you’d be doing yourself a disservice.
The game is meant to be played as a co-operative board game. There are some variants of rules (one of which includes a story teller who basically functions as the GM) but over-all you’re supposed to work with the other players and try to survive. If you quickly sit down and read ahead, you’ll spoil all of the surprise events. When you sit down to play just follow the book through the first “encounter” and it will basically explain how to continue on the journey.
Survivors will perish along the way. So don’t get super attached. The monsters are brutal, the game world is not fair and some of the events will leave you an amputee – or worse. Really, this game plays like a cross between an RPG, a settlement builder, and the charts from all the GW games like Necromunda. None of that is a bad thing, either! The basic game cycle is the survivors go out and “hunt” a monster in the dark, fight the monster, and come back to the settlement to sort out those repercussions. They don’t always come back in one piece physically or mentally. And some of them don’t come back at all…
I’m not going to sugar coat it: This game is dense. The setup can take a fair amount of legwork (from assembling the models to organizing the cards for the Monster AI decks to finding the right equipment cards…) but in the end it’s totally worth it. Dense is not the same as complicated. The rules work together very well and every thing is laid out in a fairly easy way to follow – but there is a lot to unpack. Thankfully the glossary in the back of the book is fantastic and will help you quickly sort out any game terms.
If you want to check out a gameplay demo of the combat we shot one at GenCon 2015:
Kingdom Death: Monster is a fully cooperative tabletop hobby game experience. Unite to survive by hunting monsters and collectively guiding the development of your settlement through a 25 year, self-running campaign. Every choice – from each showdown space moved, each desperately crafted piece of gear, to what Principles your settlement upholds – can have lasting impact on this highly replayable and challenging game experience
It’s a board gaming experience unlike any other. The models are FANTASTIC, the materials are elegant, “The Book” belongs in an art gallery and it’s got the right amount of creepy/horror/mystery to keep you coming back. Go play this game.
Human dreams… such fertile ground for the seeds of torment.