Dark Souls™ - The Board Game

Created by Steamforged Games Ltd

Dark Souls™ - The Board Game is a strategically challenging, deeply immersive combat exploration game for 1-4 players.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Summons Update!
over 1 year ago – Wed, Sep 27, 2017 at 01:51:05 AM

Greetings Unkindled,

In today’s update, we’ll be looking at white phantoms, the SUMMONS from Dark Souls™ The Board Game.

Some elements of Dark Souls™ The Board Game came together very quickly with few iterations throughout the design and development process. The die types, for example, were established quite early and maintained the number of swords you see now throughout playtesting. Traps, on the other hand, changed numerous times throughout development to get to the final version that made it into the game.

The summons were one of the game elements that involved more growing pains than most others, because there are plentiful conundrums that lie behind their glowy white exteriors:

• What cost can we use to offset gaining a summon so we don’t disrupt game balance?

• Are summons a new type of treasure card?

• How do summons work with differing numbers of players?

• How and where can they be used?

• How do we balance them for the early game without making them useless late game?


…and plenty of other questions we considered throughout the process. Rather than meandering through an extensive narrative of dead ends, however, let’s skip to the final implementation of summons in the board game.

To start with, summons specifically (and exclusively) join players during boss fights. When the party defeats the encounter on a tile with the Fog Gate token, they can choose to forego gaining souls from the encounter in exchange for adding a summon to the boss encounter that awaits.

Safety in numbers?
Safety in numbers?

 They will choose one random summon out of the five that are used for mini boss encounters if they are heading into a mini boss fight or one random summon out of the five that are used for main boss encounters if they are heading into a main boss fight.

In a boss encounter, players roll dice for their characters’ attacks against static numbers for a boss’s block or resist values. And when a character defends, the player rolls block, resist, or dodge against the boss’s static attack values.

Since summons assist characters in fighting a boss, they roll dice against the boss in the same way. Rather than having a weapon loadout, however, each summon has a behaviour deck that works much like a small boss behaviour deck. Let’s take a look at Eygon of Carim’s cards as an example:

Eygon of Carim's behaviour cards
Eygon of Carim's behaviour cards

Eygon will perform the top card of his behaviour deck after each character activation. Summons activate more often than characters (except in a single-player game, of course), but they have fewer options during their activation, simply following the behaviours listed on the card.

You may have noticed a new icon on one of Eygon’s cards that looks remarkably similar to the Aggro token. The Distract icon allows a summon to take attacks that were intended for whoever currently has the Aggro token. Some summons are very proficient at taking hits meant for the party. Others have attacks with better damage dice, magical damage, or conditions. Yet others are highly mobile, making it easier for them to get into a boss’s weak arc for added damage.

It will be up to the players to make the most of their summon to maximise their chances of defeating the boss. Each summon also comes with a special ability, some of which provide a small adjustment to how that summon plays while others provide a substantial advantage if used when the party needs it most.

Eygon of Carim's data card
Eygon of Carim's data card

Eygon of Carim’s special ability is quite simple, allowing him to get into position to flank the boss more quickly or get into a forward node to distract the boss.

Summons, much like characters, have a taunt level that determines if the boss will attack a nearby summon or nearby character when the model with the Aggro token is farther away. Some summons, like Eygon here, have a taunt level of 11 while more cautious summons have a taunt level of 0.

When a summon is inevitably attacked, they all have block/resist values OR dodge values but do not have both. While choosing to block or dodge can be an important decision for a character, we eliminated that decision for summons to keep things moving right along.

And that’s the gist of summons!

• Which ones are you most interested in seeing how we interpreted in the board game?
• Which ones do you hope are earmarked for mini bosses versus main bosses?
• What custom rules or campaigns are you interested in trying out with summons?

Let us know in the comments, and…

Praise the Sun! \[Y]/

ITALIAN & SPANISH SHIPPING UPDATE!
over 1 year ago – Thu, Sep 21, 2017 at 01:39:35 AM

For all Italian and Spanish backers, thank you for your patience, we are so very close to getting you your games at long last. With a project of this magnitude, there are literally dozens of moving parts in the supply chain and with 100’s of pallets whizzing all over the world. We’ve managed to deliver over 95% of Wave 1, mostly successfully…but this simply isn’t good enough! 95% completion means there are 5% of our backers who haven’t been looked after as we would have liked. Unfortunately, sometimes parts of the supply chain don’t quite line up as we planned them to, despite our best efforts and intentions.  

It wouldn’t be fair, or professional, for Steamforged to make excuses, or to do anything else but accept the full responsibility of all delays. We have worked extremely hard to minimise the impact but we’re as unhappy as you guys are that you haven’t got your games yet! We can only say sorry, we tried our hardest, and will continue to do so until each and every one of you has your Dark Souls board game in your hands.  

So today we really wanted to acknowledge these delays and to say we’re very sorry. We do want to share with you the current timeline we, and our logistics partners, are currently working to…  

All games are finally now on hand in the fulfilment hub in Europe. The next step is for Backerkit to provide the fulfilment data to the hub, this will happen today (20th September) when their US office opens.  

From this point, the fulfilment centre will immediately begin processing the data, and very quickly start getting packages prepped and out the door.  

Optimistically, shipping from the fulfilment hub will start as early as 21st/22nd September. Realistically though, the 25th September (i.e. next week) is a much more reasonable expectation for shipping to start in earnest. This means that all packages should be in the post to you guys by the 26th September at the latest. Allowing usually 2-4 days for postage, we fully expect you to have your games by next weekend…at long last!  

Again, thank you for your patience, we massively appreciate your support and understanding, but we must stress that we are not happy with this and will be doing everything we can to prevent these kinds of delays in the future.

Vordt Mega Boss Expansion Overview
over 1 year ago – Wed, Sep 20, 2017 at 01:15:51 AM

Hi Unkindled,

As promised, below is another article about one of the Mega Bosses that will be available for Dark Souls™ The Board Game. Like Kalameet, Vordt is on a 150mm base so comes with the 560mmx560mm tile set.

SPOILER ALERT – THERE ARE IMAGES OF BEHAVIOUR CARDS BELOW, IF YOU WANT TO GO IN TO YOUR FIRST FIGHT AGAINST VORDT ENTIRELY BLIND PROCEED WITH CAUTION!

Vordt Encounter
Vordt Encounter

Vordt is a boss, so of course needs some behaviour cards to show the players how he moves and attacks. Vordt comes with 17 behaviour cards in total, but much like Kalameet these are not all standard behaviour cards.

When it came to the development of Vordt, we knew from the get go that the way he moved around the board was the most important part of the encounter. Initially, we’d intended for him to have a special rule that saw him turning around and continuing his movement when he hit the board edge. However, after a lot of variations and playtesting, we found that this implementation led to very high movement distances, which led to the play time of the boss fight being significantly longer than intended, so… back to the drawing board.

We then started to experiment with less targeted movement, similar to the Dancer, and then we were getting somewhere. The next hurdle was the 3 icons per card limitation on the behaviour cards; Vordt was now moving as we wanted him to… just not enough.

After a lot of playtesting, number tweaking, and fine tuning, we were able to finalise Vordt in a form that truly resembles your encounter with him… and the answer was really very simple. Vordt features two standard behaviour decks – a Movement deck and an Attack deck. Each deck features 6 cards. When creating the decks at the start of the game, you draw 4 random Movement cards and 3 random Attack cards. This offset in the number of cards in each deck will really test the memorisation elements that you’ll be aware of from the bosses in the Core set.

Some examples of Vordt's Attack and Movement behaviour cards.
Some examples of Vordt's Attack and Movement behaviour cards.

When Vordt activates, you first resolve a Movement behaviour card, then an Attack behaviour card. This continues until you hit a Heat Up point. Because Vordt has two behaviour decks, he also has two Heat Up points. When you hit the first Heat Up point, you’ll add one of the two Attack heat up cards to the Attack behaviour deck and shuffle it. When you hit the second Heat Up point, you’ll add one of the two Movement heat up cards to the Movement deck and shuffle it. For each Heat Up, you only shuffle the deck that you added a heat up card to, not both!

Vordt's Heat Up behaviour cards!
Vordt's Heat Up behaviour cards!

 That covers 16 of the behaviour cards, so there’s still one that isn’t accounted for. Another key piece of the Vordt encounter is the Frostbite condition. This is most prevalent when he performs his Frostbreath attack… so of course we couldn’t leave that out.

When Vordt hits each Heat Up point, the Frostbreath card is placed beside the Movement behaviour deck. Before performing his movement behaviour during his next activation, he will first perform his devastating Frostbreath behaviour. So you really need to consider where everyone is standing before dealing the damage that will cause him to heat up!

Frostbreath!
Frostbreath!

You may have noticed that Vordt’s attacks don’t inflict a huge amount of Frostbite themselves, take a look at the data card below and see just how Vordt gives you the chills!

Vordt's Data Card
Vordt's Data Card

As was unveiled in the Kalameet update, all Mega Boss expansions come with 4 Level 4 encounter cards, and Vordt is no different! Two of these cards use content from the Core game only, and two feature content from other expansions.

Level 4 Encounter!
Level 4 Encounter!

That rounds off this update all about Vordt and what the Vordt expansion contains! We hope you enjoyed this brief insight into how he came to be!

 Praise the Sun! \[T]/

More Production Samples Arrive!
over 1 year ago – Tue, Sep 12, 2017 at 12:18:45 AM

Hi unkindled,

We have now received the last set of miniatures we were waiting on for our final approval stages now they have had the first production run sample - the Darkroot Basin:

Darkroot Basin - Add-On Expansion
Darkroot Basin - Add-On Expansion

This set has taken the longest time due to the approval process on some of the iconic characters. For example, Artorias went through several rounds of revisions to ensure he really captures the correct look and feel that backers will expect.

As we mentioned last update, now we have all these sets we can do any final tweaks and changes we need. Generally these will be minimal but where we feel we must act we will.

On that note...

We have spoken to Bandai Namco over the armour set. Listening to the community is just as important to Bandai Namco as it is to ourselves here at SFG. Although we can't update everyone fully yet, the news is good. Once we are able to tell you more, we will - as always :)

Final Reminder

If anyone is still having difficulties with their Wave 1 pledge arrival, please email support@steamforged.com. All parcels have now either arrived or are in transit. If you haven't got yours for whatever reason, support will help you out the best they can!

Praise the Sun! \[T]/

New Update Schedule + Card Approvals
over 1 year ago – Wed, Sep 06, 2017 at 01:08:57 AM

Hi unkindled,

New Update Schedule

We will be moving back to one update per week from next week onward now that the bulk of the Wave 1 Shipping is complete or in the final stage.  The development team are already working on some updated content in relation to the Expansion Sets that are coming in Wave 2 and we should see the first of those arrive soon.

Wave 1 Shipping

Italian and Spanish corrected copies we expect to start arriving next week. Thank you once again IT/ES backers for your patience in getting these corrected copies out to you. Everywhere else in the world has now been sent so your parcel is either on its way or if it has not arrived it may have had some difficulties finding you.

Fear not, for support have you covered. support@steamforged.com will handle any issues you may have. We have increased our support team again recently in size to help cope with the demand at this stage as we have fell behind on our ideal of 24 hour response time. 

We hope to catch up as soon as we can on this so please, if you have sent an email already we will answer it - no need to follow up with a second.

Wave 2 Production - Cards

Today's update is all about cards! We have recently had the final bunch of cards approved from all expansions. This means over 400+ card designs have now been approved and are in full production. 

WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW!

Firebomb Hollow
Firebomb Hollow

Cards are usually made alongside the main production run or just before as they can take some time to actually produce. We are very specific about the quality and finish on the cards that come in the game and this means we have to be selected when we look at what manufacturing partner we use.

Great Grey Wolf
Great Grey Wolf

As we have already made the core game, we will use the same factory that produced those cards to ensure the same quality, colour and finish on each card.

Pursuer's Greatshield
Pursuer's Greatshield

We have been slightly behind on getting the full approval on the cards - when dealing with over 400+ different designs its understandable that the proofing, checking, approval, testing, sampling can take a considerable amount of time. With a project of this scale these kind of delays are usually understandable.

In the development of a lot of the expansions the cards are something that increased in size and scope quite significantly. The good news is everyone gets some more cool cards - whether they are boss behaviour, armour, items, etc. it all helps expand the core game experience.

Armour Set

Finally, last update we put a photo up of the Armour Set Expansion. We have had some mixed feedback relating to the armour sets not having weapons - some people liking the fact they have the in-game emotes...while others don't.

We always listen to the community and will of course always assess what we can/cannot do within practical realms. We are already in discussion with Bandai to see if this is even an option.

We will keep you updated - but please understand that although we cannot always act, we do always listen.

Praise the Sun! \[T]/