Beginning of last year, I went on a Kickstarter Binge. I got a few things, but really wanted a bunch of miniatures to assist in bringing my Gaming to life. Although my most regular games are online using Maptools I try to run a Pathfinder game with the usual suspects. Using the Shackled City Adventure Path that my good friend Aaron sent me & converting it to Pathfinder (it's from DnD 3.5). Still, that's another post (more regularly too, now we're picking it back up a bit) - but I'm on a tangent.
In March I backed Cool mini or not's latest game, Arcadia Quest. I won't go into the details, you can read the rules on their website. A PvP/PvE game where 2-4 players take on a city that has been overrun by an Evil Necromancer. The game is quite a versatile one, so many different combinations of characters, items etc, I don't think you could play 2 games the same. The game is essentially a campaign, where you select characters for your guild. They level up, get more gear etc as you work through each scenario. There are 6 scenarios to each campaign, each scenario takes place in part of the city, 1st 3 are the outer ring, next 2 are inner city and the final battle is inside the castle walls. Upgrading occurs between scenarios. The aim of the scenarios is to complete 3 quests. 1 must be PvE, the other two can be PvP (killing other players) or PvE (killing monsters, or picking up items etc). When one of the players completes the required quests, the game stops, coins are given out & players can buy new stuff.
During the course of the game, players go about killing monsters & each other, in order to complete the quests. I played on the weekend with my wife & our close friends, Mark & Tracy after having a BBQ and putting the kids to bed (I got told off for referring to this ritual as middle age excitement when you have kids. We're not old enough to be middle aged... I'm ok with that.
The instructions were pretty easy to follow, but rather than reading them all out, we figured we'd brush over the basics and then look up any rule we weren't sure on. As the owner of the game I was told to go first, easy enough, the winner of the scenario would go first the next time. The first scenario (as suggested by the book) was pretty straight forward, PvE quests = Find the Hammers (there were 2), Kill 3 monsters (that would be easy, as there were a LOT of them). PvP quests - Kill a Player (x4, one for each guild) - You can't kill your own guild, although I thought that was a pretty basic rule, someone deemed it a requirement to print it in the rules. Some people will do anything to win huh?
I started with the basic start of opening a door, moving forward and shooting an Orc with a bow. This was pretty straight forward & would give us all an idea on the combat mechanics, a great way to learn the game, as the board was setup so that you couldn't really do much without initiating a combat. I didn't manage to kill it outright, but it was a good start. As we worked around the table, we clarified rules & assisted each other with suggestions on who or what to kill. Ness managed to use her rogue's sneaky ability to walk right into a room and pick up the first quest hammer in her 2nd turn, gaining a coin for her efforts. This would be disastrous for her later, as she tried to attack the Orc & got slaughtered for it, dropping the treasure she had picked up earlier, but luckily, she kept the Hammer.
As our guilds got closer to the middle, I used a portal to move accross the board, this worked out well as I managed to slaughter Tracy, but her other guild members took me down. There was chaos in the centre as we battled over the 2nd Hammer, Tracy's guild took 5 deaths, myself 2 and Mark & Ness 1 each. Ness got the 1st Hammer, myself the 2nd, each completing a PvE quest. Tracy was the only one not to kill another player. However with my 2 PvP kills of different Guilds, I managed to pick the right opportunity to dash into the quest room and pick up the hammer in order to win the game.
At the end, we tally up the quests and distribute coins, along with the treasure haul for picking up random objects during the game. I managed to collect a whooping 18 coins (7 from treasure chests) with some others only gaining a handful. Those who died, got a death curse, which you get based on the number of times you die. So dying has it's consequences, but you aren't out if you die, you just resurrect and continue on. After everything was tallied up, we bought new equipment and made a note of what each guild had, so next time, we set up the guilds with the same characters & gear, and move further into the city. Although this first game did take us 2-3 hours, (with setup, breaks to re-settle kids, get drinks etc) I think we'd easily nail each scenario in the advised 45-60 minute window. Now that we know the rules etc. I don't have to pick them up each time someone has a question about something.
For a kickstarter game, I give it 7 out of 10. I think some of the rules are a bit ambiguous, we had to come up with a couple of house rules in regards to PvP and also reactions, based on other games & interpretations of interacting with the environment. A few things could be better explained in the rules, but overall it was a nice way to spend the evening with good friends.