Mistborn: House Warputs you in command of the Final Empire's great Houses during the cataclysmic events of Mistborn: The Final Empire.
Together, players must cooperate to solve myriad problems facing the empire, from environmental and social turmoil to political strife and outright rebellion. You'll even face off with Kelsier, Vin, Sazed, and the other heroes of the novels to maintain the delicate balance held in place for the last thousand years.
Simultaneously, you’ll compete to become the most powerful House in the land by currying favor from the almighty Lord Ruler. To win, you must build alliances, negotiate deals, and undermine both your enemies and your allies — all at just the right time. But be careful! Should your stewardship fail, unrest will tear the Final Empire asunder and the House most distanced from the Lord Ruler shall emerge the victor.
Mistborn: House War is created and developed by Crafty Games, publishers of the Mistborn Adventure Game, in cooperation with Brandon Sanderson and Dragonsteel Entertainment.
Designed by Kevin Wilson (Arkham Horror, The X-Files, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shadows of the Past), Mistborn: House War is the perfect addition to any gamer's table, and every Sanderson fan's collection. Whether you're a cunning strategist or cautious diplomat, there's plenty to love in this box...
Status of the Project
Crafty Games and designer Kevin Wilson have been developing Mistborn for two years. The rules are fully playtested and edited, though small changes (examples and guidance) may be added before we go to press. You can find a current version of the rules above (look for the "Click Here to Download the Rules" graphic).
Most of the game's lush graphic design is nearly done, thanks to Michal E. Cross and Peter Wocken. Michal's pitch-perfect House sheets and card designs are ready, and his preliminary work on the tokens is very close. The card backs you see on this page are in fact temporary, as we have a great design for those coming from Waclaw Wysocki that we think will look stellar on your boards.
Peter's minimalist board design is at about 95%, with only minor tweaks pending. This light frame was developed to show off Waclaw's gorgeous board illustration, which is entirely finished.
About half of the other illustration for the game is already in hand, and the rest is underway. You can see samples of the amazing work our team has produced all across this page, and you can find a list of our incredible illustrators in the Meet the Team section below.
You will receive one (1) Malatium die with each copy of the game you receive via the Kickstarter campaign. To confirm eligibility, backer names will be compared to the newsletter list when we close down the pledge manager for this project, just before we ship your rewards to you.
Undead Viking Review
"Mistborn: House War is an enjoyable resource management game that perfectly captures the feel of the Mistborn world, definitely my highlight from Gen-Con." (Ryan Parry)
"Our table really got into the negotiating, role-playing our Houses and actions. While the theme was obviously awesome being set on Scadrial, being able to role-play that and negotiate with the other players was why it was so fun." (MorinTedronai on reddit)
"At Gencon 2015, on a lark, some friends and I decided to try a playtest of the game. We had a blast! The game was easy to learn yet challenging enough to keep us all engaged. Fans of the books will certainly appreciate it but even if you haven’t read them (as some of the players hadn’t) the game stands alone as a fun experience. I look forward to getting my hands on a copy when it’s released!" (John G; Virginia)
"I played a Rioter to ensure that a particular Problem would erupt on the turn, but the player of Erikel responded by playing a Soother to ensure the Problem wouldn't erupt. I responded by playing a Smoker to redirect the Soother to another Problem, so the player of Tekiel played a Soother of their own to ultimately foil my plot. It was a beautiful moment that really captured the feel of Houses deploying their Allomancers against each other." (S. Beioley; playtester)
The base retail tier includes three (3) copies of Mistborn: House War, each upgraded by all unlocked stretch goals (see the Stretch Goals section above).
You may add more copies of the game by increasing your pledge by $25 per additional copy. All copies you order will include all unlocked stretch goal upgrades.
You may upgrade any number of your copies to the Prestige Edition by doubling your pledge for each of those copies (to $50 per Prestige Edition copy).
Add-Ons: You may boost your pledge to receive any add-ons listed for the campaign. In all cases, we will double the number of copies you order as Add-Ons. For instance, if you pledge enough to add two (2) copies of the Mistborn Adventure Game, we will ship you four (4) copies.
Retail verification is required and will occur after the close of the campaign.
Shipping costs will be charged after the campaign ends (via our pledge manager). Please see the Shipping section below for more information.
Important Note on Dates
We want our retail backers to be able to sell Mistborn: House War for a significant period before it's stocked through regular distribution. Therefore, we pledge not to send Mistborn: House War into distribution until after retail backers are sent their copies. This should provide at least a full month of sales for our retail backers before the game is available through normal channels.
We're using BackerKit for this project. This allows us to charge actual shipping costs as packages go in the mail. For this reason...
Shipping costs are not included in your pledges for this campaign. You will be charged for shipping later, once Mistborn: House War is ready to ship.
Estimated Shipping Costs
Crafty Games currently plans to ship all pledges from either our warehouse in Washington state or our European and Canadian fulfillment centers.
To help us determine how much shipping could be when we send the product to you, we've put together some estimates. These are conservative estimates, assuming a 4-5 lbs / 2 kg game. We will continue to search for new shipping methods throughout and after the campaign, but please recognize that we cannot control or predict actual shipping costs to every destination.
United States: $6.00 - $12.00
Canada: $15.00 - $25.00
Europe: $20.00 - $35.00
Rest of World: $35.00 - $50.00
Value Added Tax (VAT) Outside Canada & the EU
Unfortunately, due to the limations of the US postal service, there is no easy way for us to collect or pay VAT for pledges made outside of Canada & Europe.
Since there’s no economical way for us to know when and how VAT will be charged in every case, let alone fairly charge you to cover any VAT fees the product may or may not incur, you will be responsible for those fees when the product gets to you – most likely, having to pay them at the post office, if at all.
We are continuing to look for fulfillment outside the US, Canada and Europe, which will determine whether we can collect VAT as part of your pledge. We will keep you apprised of any changes throughout and after the campaign.
Planning to Move between Now and April?
No problem. BackerKit also lets you update your shipping address all the way up to just before we ship your game.
If you have any questions, please email email@example.com and we'll do our best to get you a prompt response.
Latest Updates from Our Project:
Production & Shipping Update (and more)
1 day ago
– Mon, Apr 24, 2017 at 11:48:55 PM
This update is long, so here's a brief summary. For full details, please refer to the following sections.
BRANDON SANDERSON HUMBLE BUNDLE (only 2 days remaining): The current Humble Bundle contains over $170 in Brandon Sanderson awesomeness, plus a few of our Mistborn Adventure Game titles. A portion of every contribution goes to charity. It's one sweet, sweet deal, and you can grab your bundle HERE.
SHIPPING UPDATE: The current shipping estimate for Mistborn: House War and other physical rewards is July to (possibly) early August 2017. As of Friday, the factory assures us this is doable.
PLEASE COMPLETE YOUR SURVEYS! With the pledge manager closing soon, it's vital that we have your correct shipping address, as well as your complete order. If you haven't completed your survey, or need to update it, please use the link in your original email from BackerKit. If you can't find your email or link, sign in HERE using your Kickstarter email.
THE WHITE PROOF IS (MOSTLY) APPROVED: We reviewed this pre-production sample of the game at our company summit week before last. There were several issues, all but one of which were immediately corrected. The factory is working on the last issue - that the cards and sheets we received aren't as sturdy as the early samples we were shown - and doesn't expect it to delay the release.
MISTBORN: HOUSE WAR MSRP: The cost of materials went up dramatically since we originally budgeted the game and we need to raise the game's final retail MSRP to $54.95. This doesn't apply to current orders, so right now you're saving $5.00 with every order of Mistborn: House War.
Brandon Sanderson Humble Bundle
The latest Humble Bundle is dedicated entirely to Brandon Sanderson! It contains over $170 of Brandon's work and ours, and a portion of every contribution goes to charity! Over 16,000 bundles have been purchased so far. Click HERE or the image below to check out the bundle for yourself.
Grab it fast! It's only available for another 2 days.
It's April, the original ETA for Mistborn: House War, and we're understandably starting to hear from backers curious when the game will ship. We previously updated our shipping estimate to July due to unexpected art reassignments before the new year, and if that estimate slips it should only be by a few weeks. We currently expect to ship the game in July or early August.
Meanwhile, Alloy of Law: Masks of the Past is in layout this month. Assuming that process is completed on time, the presses will fire up in early May. That should put the books in our warehouse a little ahead of Mistborn: House War, as planned.
Speaking of deliverables, a few of you have asked about digital products. All digital products EXCEPT for Alloy of Law: Masks of the Past were delivered months ago, so if you haven't received yours it means something went wrong. Perhaps we have the wrong email address on file? If you haven't received your digital products, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your full name, the tier you backed, your total pledge amount, and the email address you use on Kickstarter. Thanks!
Please Complete Your Surveys!
Any of you who haven't filled out your BackerKit surveys should do so very soon. We will be closing the pledge manager as soon as we have a firm manufacturing calendar, after which it will be difficult if not impossible to change your address or add to your order.
As of today, 96% of you have completed your surveys. This is down from 97% a few weeks ago, which is strange but we're chalking it up to a weird output anomaly in our BackerKit reports.
Thanks to all of you who've already locked in your pledges! If the rest of you could do so shortly, we would be eternally grateful.
Even if you have already locked in your pledge, here are a couple things to consider.
Has your address changed?
Do you want to add any last-minute items? Remember: If you want to sleeve all of Mistborn: House War AND all of the Siege of Luthadel expansion, you need TWO (2) sets of the custom sleeves.
How do you check or finalize your pledge? Each of you should have received an email from BackerKit with a link to your own personal survey. You should also be seeing daily reminders if you haven't walked through the process. If you're missing the email and / or link, sign in HERE using your Kickstarter email.
The White Proof is (Mostly) Approved
A "white proof" is our chance to review component production. It's called a white proof because it's the finished product without art - an uncolored box containing all components you would find in the finished product, using the materials chosen for the final print run. Here are a few pictures of the Mistborn: House War white proof.
The Mistborn: House War white proof revealed several issues (and an opportunity). All but one of these adjustments were quick and easy.
The board wasn't laying entirely flat. This is common with game boards and in many cases it's not an issue (for example, when typical components flatten the board out). In this case we weren't happy with the result, so we had the factory present other options. The fix we settled on was a gutter fold, which should result in zero rise from your play surface.
We somehow crossed wires on the dimensions of the quickstart sheet and rulebook. The white proof components look and feel great but they're the wrong size (US letter instead of 11 inches square, as we've designed). It's no biggie, and doesn't slow us down at all.
We decided upon seeing the white proof box that we wanted more depth - enough for you to spine cards in the custom insert if you want. This added 20 mm to the box height. The other box dimensions remain unchanged.
The game board and the box sleeve were scuffing rather easily. You can perhaps make out some of our scratch tests in the pictures above. We're now looking at a matte lamination finish, though the factory has one or two other options in mind as well.
The card and sheet stock wasn't sturdy enough. It didn't match the early samples we received, and we asked the factory to look into the issue. It turns out the linen finish actually weakens the stock a bit, rather than reinforcing it as we expected. Fortunately, there are workarounds, and new samples should be on their way to us shortly. Liya assures us this won't slow down production.
Mistborn: House War MSRP
The cost of many materials required to make board games - most notably paper - has gone up dramatically in the months since we originally quoted Mistborn: House War. Unfortunately, this has forced us to revisit the game's retail MSRP. After several agonizing conversations, we've settled on a final retail price of $54.95.
We are NOT changing the pre-release price, however. Any orders placed before the pledge manager closes remain at the original MSRP of $49.95, meaning you save $5.00 per copy of the core game.
That should about do it for this very long update. If you've still got a question we haven't answered, please feel free to post a comment or email us at email@example.com.
We're a tad busy this week with final graphic tweaks and delivering press-ready files to the factory, so please forgive us if we're a little slow replying.
Thanks again for all your support! We're almost there, and we're as excited as we've ever been to see a product out there in the wild, bringing new fun to all your gaming tables.
Alex, Ed, & Pat
The Calm Before the Storm
2 months ago
– Fri, Feb 24, 2017 at 12:30:30 AM
It's been a busy month. The miniatures are being prepared in China and our graphic designers are working through the other components here. Well, not *right* here. Crafty Games is a remote company and even Alex and Pat aren't in the same place most of the time.
This is Pat. I live in Southern California, just outside Los Angeles, and Alex is up in Portland. Michal, our primary graphic designer, is in Amsterdam, and for this project we employed artists from all over the world. This week Michal is prepping cards and other components, and once they're done we'll finish off the rulebook.
One of the things that became very clear during the Kickstarter is that the rulebook for this game needs to be heavily illustrated with clear examples of each stage of the game in progress. Based on your feedback during the campaign, along with data from Dragonsteel and our own playtests, we've been able to refine the rules text and clear up many ambiguities throughout the game. Combined with liberal final component examples, this should produce a rulebook with very few questions once the game is out in the wild. As few as you can manage with a negotiation game, anyway.
Pretty soon we'll be posting final cards and other updated components, and with those in hand the full rulebook becomes possible. As soon as we have that, we'll be uploading a PDF for all of you to check out.
This isn't just to show our progress but also to offer you one last chance to point out any mistakes we may have made. There might also be some simple ways we can improve the rules for everyone.
In the meantime, we have a couple related updates...
We recently received the following pictures from Liya as (very) early renders of the two miniatures going into the core box. These aren't final - they're factory prototypes produced for early review.
We're really happy with how these are coming along. There were a couple issues with the figures' alignments on the bases but those are being corrected now. (This is why you don't see any pictures of the bases here.)
Also, the prototypes in these pictures show lugs coming out of the miniatures' feet. For a variety of reasons related to the bases, it's very likely the final miniature designs will be inverted, with holes in the miniatures' feet and lugs extending up from the bases instead.
We're this close to finalizing the PennyGem designs. The prototypes we had at Gen Con last year were good, but we wanted all the icons to pop a bit more. We also wanted the Ruined, Active Player, and Unrest replacements to be as striking as possible. Dave Howell over at Improbable Objects worked up the following new designs for us.
Apologies for the shaky cam! I literally just filmed this at my desk, on my phone. Also, remember that this is only one-half of a full set of PennyGems. The final set consists of two sheets so you can cover both sides of a U.S. penny or local equivalent.
The Ruined PennyGem design might still see a few tweaks. The word is little too long to allow for additional graphics, especially complex ones like the original lava design. One idea we're batting around is to add cracks encroaching from the edges of the PennyGem, though we have to discuss that with Dave. It may ultimately not work in practice, and so this may be the final Ruined PennyGem design after all.
That's everything for the moment. Keep an eye out for the next few updates! We'll start posting samples soon, as they come out of layout, and we're eager to hear what you think.
Alex, Pat, & Ed
Closing the Deal
3 months ago
– Thu, Jan 19, 2017 at 03:06:13 PM
Hello Mistborn: House War backers!
We hope you’ve all had a safe and happy holiday season. This is Alex, with your first update for 2017. We’re back from the first holiday break we’ve taken in 10 years of operation, and primed to get Mistborn: House War on press and out to all of you. In this update we share some insights about the development process as we near full production.
All the art is in now (yay!) and revised quotes are in from the manufacturer (double yay!). Final layout is underway, including a new version of the rulebook. We save this step for the end run so we can ensure the rules line up with every decision to date, plus all the minor tweaks we’ve made to the cards and other components.
This step also offers us one last chance to refine the player experience and make it as smooth, clear, and easy as possible.
A Problem in Hand
In the case of House War, the trickiest game play issue has involved deals: specifically, how and when they end. In numerous playtests a deal would seemingly be scuttled after it ended through late use of Informants (increasing the Problem’s cost) and aggressive Mistings like Lurchers (stealing resources used to solve the Problem).
This potentially turned one of the game’s most crucial moments into one of its most frustrating. The issue was especially acute when the Problem being solved was Vin. Upsetting the end game negotiation could cost one side a well-deserved victory and leave a sour taste in everyone’s mouths.
This was a timing issue, of course. Card play has always been encouraged during deals. Surprising the other players with a well-timed Personality is one of the most thrilling parts of the game. Unfortunately, certain players would save their cards for the last possible moment — sometimes until resources were spent and Favor was already split — and this left many groups unsure when a deal was really concluded. In the worst case, there was a sense that the entire deal needed to be negotiated all over again.
The original rules were not written with this situation in mind. The timing of card play was intentionally fluid, and deals had as few steps as possible. We wanted to preserve as much of this as possible in the new rules, but also cure the recurring problem of late card play.
Solving the Problem of Solving… Problems
This issue was made significantly stickier thanks to a number of overlapping design goals…
Personality cards need to remain as flexible and easy to use. For example, a card that says “Play at any time” should literally be playable at any time. This reduces rules questions and ensures the game is accessible to everyone.
All players must be able to participate in a deal. Player interaction and horse-trading are the bread-and-butter of the game. Everyone must have a chance to contribute in every negotiation.
Gameplay must remain as brisk as possible.Mistborn: House War is already a fairly involved game, with healthy debate at its core. It’s important not to weigh that down.
Clarity and order cannot generate additional complexity. Forcing players to roll back a completed deal is unacceptable and, generally speaking, unfair to everyone. Players need structure that promotes confidence in their very first playthrough, but we can’t upset the ease and smoothness of gameplay in the process.
Together these goals eliminated many initial solutions. We considered a rule prohibiting Personalities past a certain point in the deal, but this flew in the face of goals 1 and 4.
We thought about letting the Active Player decide when a deal was closed. This kept play brisk (goal 3) and left Personalities alone (goal 1), but it also invited chaos (violating goal 4), and actively undermined everyone’s chance to participate in a negotiation (working against goal 2).
The safe decision seemed to be a “check-in” when the Active Player gave everyone a final chance to sound off on a deal. The most obvious way to do this was a round-the-table call for last actions, similar to bets in Poker. This satisfied goals 1, 2, and 4 but it also radically extended playtime, which wasn’t ideal.
Sometimes you need to let a design sit for a while to reach clarity, and in this case that’s what we did. For a time we went with the “check-in” option and kept our eyes open for a better solution. Eventually, one presented itself.
Answers from Unexpected Quarters
The seed of our solution was provided by the mechanics of a single card — the Con Artist: Play when you solve or help solve a Problem, before Favor is awarded.
You gain all Favor from solving this Problem. All other agreements made during this deal are unaffected.
The Con Artist introduced a new, discreet stage to Mistborn: House War — the period after a Problem is solved but before Favor is distributed. In our initial playtests this was not a defined period of time; all actions after a Problem was solved were taken on an ad hoc basis. It was only when we introduced cards that interfered with Favor rewards — by adding to them, changing them, or eliminating them — that the need for a discreet sub-phase became clear.
Thus, we created a “post-negotiation” phase with three specific steps. In order, these are…
Apply “when solved” effects
Discard the solved Problem card
We also looked at ways to give the Active Player authority over this phase, just as they have authority over the rest of their turn. When the Active Player chooses to negotiate a Problem, they take a visible action by placing the Inquisitor pawn on one of the cards in the Problem track.
Now, as the final step of deal negotiation, the Active Player places their hand back on the Inquisitor pawn and declares a “last call.” Any players with cards to play or lingering offers to make must speak up at this point or lose their option to do so. Each group can decide their own tolerance for this but we recommend the last call be no less than five seconds in length.
Once the Active Player picks up the pawn, the deal is officially closed and the final steps listed above take place without interruption.
These simple additions provide crucial structure to the timing of deals, without undermining player interaction or substantially complicating gameplay. They also solve one of the biggest lingering issues raised during our playtests, and strengthen the overall game for everyone.
Whew! That’s it for this month’s update. In the coming weeks we’ll have layout samples to show off, and production updates as they arrive from the manufacturer. Exciting times!
As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions. Thank you again for your support, and for sticking with us through this exhilarating process.
Alex, Pat, and Ed
Happy holidays everyone!
4 months ago
– Sat, Dec 17, 2016 at 09:17:21 PM
We're deep in the holiday season now but Crafty Games HQ is still going strong. This will be our last update for this year and there's a lot to cover, so let's dive right in.
Here's a brief overview of what we'll talk about this time around, so you can skim or skip around as you like.
BGG Most Anticipated Game of 2017 Nomination
Digital deliveries are complete!
Production update: including another art preview
Manufacturing update: we are a little behind (not much, but definitely behind)
No BackerKit goals: we don't want to risk any further delays
Siege of Luthadel design is complete!
BGG Most Anticipated Game of 2017 Nomination
As we mentioned in the Comments section a couple weeks ago, Mistborn: House War has been nominated as one of the Most Anticipated Games of 2017. This is splendid news and we'd love it if you could help us get the game into the Top 20. Here's how you can do that...
Scroll down to Entry 147, if the link doesn't automatically take you there.
Upvote that entry. The more upvotes we have, the better our chances of getting Mistborn: House War on the final voting block.
Digital Deliveries are complete!
All PDF backer rewards should be out now. If you're due one and didn't receive it through BackerKit, DriveThruRPG, or both, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know.
The new Crafty Games webstore is getting closer and closer to live every day now - it's one of our highest priorities when there's nothing we can do to push Mistborn: House War forward - and once we launch we will begin the process of crediting everyone with digital copies there as well.
There's a lot of good news here and a little unfortunate news. First, the good news...
Layout is well underway and should be complete soon. All the art save one piece is entirely done now, which means we can begin knocking down all the graphically complex components, like the packaging and the rulebook, and finish laying out all the cards and other bits.
The rulebook is getting a significant upgrade from the Kickstarter version. The new draft addresses all the comments you posted during the campaign, along with requests from Brandon's crew and our own new playtest findings. This level of polish would not be possible without everyone who commented during the campaign and we are eternally grateful to all of you.
We will post a link to the finished rulebook, complete through layout, once it's ready for prime time.
Now to the unfortunate news. As we all know, very little goes exactly according to plan, and in our case the art proved to be this project's weak spot. About half the art was done before we launched the campaign, but the other half contained many intricate pieces and quite a few of those also depicted major characters and events from the Mistborn novel series.
We were extremely focused on getting these right and in the end several of these pieces had to be reassigned to make sure they rocked the house. Happily, this project has identified several breakout star illustrators we'll be working with for many years to come, and they were more than up for the challenge. Sadly, these reassignments pushed our production schedule well beyond our original deadline and that's now having an impact on our release date.
We're not positive just how much the schedule will be impacted at this time but we expect a delay of about two to three months. We should have a new estimate by the next update, which will arrive sometime in January. In the meantime, here's some of what we worked so hard to ensure for the project...
We're currently working out the final logistics for the game with our manufacturer, Liya International. We chose Liya because they're known for extremely high-quality miniatures, having produced many games for companies like Ninja Division and Days of Wonder. Liya's great care, attention to detail, and support though this process has been invaluable, and we're extremely excited to see the first samples come off the line for review.
We're currently working very closely with Liya's spectacular U.S. reps to settle the final logistics for the game run, and identify a new estimated delivery date. We should be able to include that information in our next update.
No BackerKit goals
Several backers suggested further stretch goals based on our pledge manager results. We considered this for a while but the reality is that it would probably add to the schedule and with the art delay we can't afford to soak any more time. We're going to let the pledge manager run until we have to close it to get all the final data to Liya and our shipping partner in time for a smooth delivery.
The earliest we expect the pledge manager to close is late January, so we may set a deadline for survey replies in the next update. You shouldn't wait, however! There will be no further additions to the pledge manager for this project, so you can confidently close out your surveys now.
As of today 96% of you have completed your BackerKit surveys. Thank you! If the rest of you could get those done sometime soon, we would greatly appreciate it.
Should you have any further questions you need answered before you can complete your survey, please contact us at email@example.com.
Siege of Luthadel design is complete!
We saved some of the best news for last. Kevin Wilson has completed design for Siege of Luthadel, the first expansion for Mistborn: House War! We are reviewing the design documents now and will be playtesting them in January and beyond. We'll keep you posted on this process and the rest of production as we nail things down.
That's all we have for now. Once again, thank you all for your kind and generous support. We wish you and your families and friends the very best this season, and hope you close out 2016 with love, happiness, and warmth.
Making Trouble (for You)
6 months ago
– Sat, Oct 29, 2016 at 12:33:45 AM
Hello House War backers! Alex Flagg, Mistborn brand manager and Mistborn: House War developer here, bringing you a new behind-the-scenes look at the ongoing growth and development of the game as we move toward publication.
One of the last stretch goals unlocked during the Kickstarter campaign was the addition of 6 additional Problem cards to the 50 that we started with in the core deck. These new Problem cards gave us the opportunity to add a few more key players and events from The Final Empire — namely, the final members of Kelsier’s crew and a few plot-critical moments we had originally initially left out to avoid spoilers for players new to Mistborn.
After a few months of noodling and design, we settled on the new character Problems: Marsh, Yeden, Lord Renoux, and Captain Demoux, as well as two key events: the Eleventh Metal and Kelsier’s attack on the Pits of Hathsin.
The Marsh card portrays him during his infiltration of the Steel Ministry. He’s annoying whenever he appears. When he’s on the board, players cannot use Personalities to solve any Problems, and when he erupts he removes all of one House’s Personalities from play. This is of course similar to the Steel Inquisitor mechanics, because reasons. Fortunately, Marsh is worth a whopping 13 Favor, making him a high priority Problem for any Great House to solve.
Yeden is the current leader of the skaa rebellion, and perhaps my favorite of all the new designs. He’s not particularly costly to solve (the skaa rebellion was never all that effective), but he adds a few new features to the game. First, his Favor reward is always equal to the current Unrest, which means the Houses may choose to ignore him if the Empire is stable, or go after him hard if things are unsettled. Second, when Yeden erupts he is not discarded but rather a new Problem is added to the board and then Yeden returns to play at the lowest available Urgency (much like Ham does). This combination of traits presents an interesting dilemma for players; while makes sense to ignore Yeden and his rebels until they’re worth enough Favor — particularly when resources are limited — Yeden can really jam up the board if he’s left alone too long. We look forward to seeing players squirm a bit whenever Yeden makes an appearance.
As novel readers may expect, Lord Renoux is a challenging character to model as a Problem. To represent his… strange nature, when he’s solved, the Active Player must choose one iconic character Problem — such as Breeze or Kelsier — from the discard pile and bring it back into play at its starting Urgency. Annoying! You could let him erupt, of course, but his politicking and double-dealing increase the Unrest by 2. Pick your poison!
Captain Demoux, the aspiring young soldier with a bright future, is not a flashy Problem. However, like all the crew Problems he presents a unique dilemma. His men go on a rampage when he’s solved, forcing all Houses to destroy one resource. If he’s left to erupt instead, he strikes the Houses hard by ruining a resource on two different House sheets! Of course, the Steel Ministry is above such rabble-rousing and so they suffer no penalties from the young rebel — whether he’s solved or not.
The legendary Eleventh Metal is perhaps the oddest of all the new Problems. Like many of society-focused Problem cards, this one increases Unrest by 1 when it’s solved, so even dealing with it has long-term ramifications. Befitting a gold / atium alloy, the Eleventh Metal has an eruption effect similar to the Augur Personality… but instead of letting the Active Player reconfigure their resources from the supply, it lets the Active Player choose reconfigure any other House’s resources! This can be terribly disruptive for a player who’s been carefully planning for a while, and it’s a great opportunity to level the playing field at just the right time.
Finally, the Attack on the Pits of Hathsin focuses, appropriately enough, on Atium. Personalities can’t be used to solve this valuable Problem and the consequences for letting it erupt are dire: each House must discard all its Atium, gaining 2 Disgrace for each token lost! The Lord Ruler doesn’t take kindly to people blowing up the most important financial asset in the world... Fortunately for Steel Ministry players, this is another game effect they can ignore. It’s good to be (employed by) the king! House Venture players, on the other hand, had better learn to play nice when this Problem card is drawn...
This part of the project was a lot of fun to dig into, and we think the results really add to the finished game. They provide exciting and unique challenges for everyone at the table, and we can’t wait to hear how you face them.
That’s all for now. We’ll have more on the design and other fronts soon.