So many fantasy games and dungeon crawlers around these days. Hey, they’re great fun, unless you roll dice like me. But at the end of the day, after the evil wizard has been banished to the shadow realm, the dragon’s head propped onto the mantlepiece and Orc-ish body parts swept neatly away, how many games make you think, ‘I really feel my character developed today?’ Well, right now Call to Adventure by Brotherwise Games is offering all that and more, on Kickstarter right now. It focuses on character development, looks amazing and there are no dice. This one is a Rune chucker.
Call to Adventure is a card game based on what we love best in fantasy novels and RPGs – creating characters we care about and sending them on a quest. Interesting guys and gals, who have flaws and challenges to overcome. This is a 2-4 player game, with solo rules as a Kickstarter stretch goal. As a player you are working within the ‘Hero’s Journey’ style of storytelling, succeeding and failing, but carrying on regardless. Here, achieving goals isn’t something some life coach would press onto you, with a thumbs up, pat on the back and fist in the air as you pay him his fee. Facing a rival, falling in love or slaying a dragon are all served up as a potential calling. Many are intermeshed and equally important. Triumph and tragedy walk hand in hand here.
At the start of the game you are dealt cards and the character crafting begins straight away. Origin, motivation and destiny cards set out your story. As your character progresses, story cards, challenges and character traits are drawn. These build the adventure and how he or she works through it. When your character faces a challenge runes are thrown to see if the fates are smiling or sneering on you. Every challenge offers two paths, each with its own reward. Abilities are picked up during the game, so you can build up your character slowly to better face challenges, or jump in early and test your luck. Life isn’t fun without a bit of odds-defying danger, right?
Remember the pep talks at the end of the old He-Man shows? “Today we defeated Skeletor by not following him to Snake Mountain – don’t talk to strangers, kids.” At the end of the game, succeed or fail, you get to see how your character has developed, lessons learned and the effect of choices made. Because there are a lot of choices here. You can be a good guy, a bad guy or a pretty cool anti-hero. Your character can start as a lord or a peasant, train under a mentor, study or become a mercenary – it’s your story.
The artwork looks incredible and there isn’t a steep learning curve. The world is based up on the Name of the Wind novels by Patrick Rothfuss, a rich source where expansions will certainly follow. Replayability is great due to the variety of paths on offer, while the ‘luck’ element focuses on the runes. This is nicely thematic as in many fantasy stories the fickle nature of fate often lends a hand. Cost-wise, this looks great value for money, with little set-up and pack away time too.
So, without further ado, pick up your sword, or pitchfork, would-be adventurer, and head to Kickstarter to see where your destiny lies!
From the campaign:
“Call to Adventure is a tabletop game in which 2-4 players compete to craft the hero with the greatest destiny. Play cards to build your character, cast runes to face challenges, and choose whether to follow a path of heroism or villainy.”