It takes a certain kind of bravery to not run away when the monsters in the world reveal themselves. The world of the Apocrypha Adventure Card Game is full of all the monsters we believe don’t exist and it’s up to the players to banish those monsters back into the shadows from where they came. This co-operative card game premiered at Gen Con 50 to rave reviews. It was developed by Mike Selinker, whose credits include Betrayal at House on the Hill and Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, and the storylines were written by authors like Patrick Rothfuss, Matt Forbeck and several other well-known masters of fiction. We got a chance to play a game with Mike at Gen Con and try our hand at punching some werewolves in the face.
Fans of the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game will find several familiar things in this game. That’s no accident; this is the setting the designers used while developing that game. There are some tweaks and improvements to the design that have been implemented to differentiate these two games. This game uses 6-sided dice instead of the polyhedral mixture that made Pathfinder Adventure Card Game feel more like its namesake. The game is also more clearly templated with specific terms and icons to let players know where a card goes after it’s used, such as in the discard, under the player card or back in the box. Missions are also setup different to allow more variance than the usual setup of defeating minions, flushing out the master and shutting down the nexuses once and for all.
Selinker’s games often operate in the space between board game and tabletop RPG and Apocrypha Adventure Card Game is no different. There are 10 unique characters in the box and each has a different and personality and play style. Even playing the first mission, I found myself busting out a nice thick Fargo-style Midwestern accent for Diana Jones, the World’s Luckiest Grandma. But the box also includes advice on not just how to build your own missions once you’ve played the ones in the box but also how to use them in Guided Play, which feels a lot like a GM building nexus decks and telling a story with the cards in play. There’s also an app available that keeps track of player decks and also offers a small rule change for the day based on a series of odd national holidays.
There are three boxes planned for Apocrypha Adventure Card Game; The World, The Flesh and The Devil. All in all, that’s 11 campaigns with multiple decks, new characters and stories from some of the finest fiction writers out there. My experience with The World has me hungry to slip on Diana’s cardigan and do battle with the devil again soon.
Until I can call up my other Saints, here’s a video of me talking about the game with Mike Selinker:
What’s your favorite end of the world story? Let us know in the comments!
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Feature Image Credits: Rob Wieland
Feature Video Credit: Mark Harris
Rob Wieland is an author, game designer and professional nerd. He writes about kaiju, Jedi, gangsters, elves, Vulcans and sometimes all of them at the same time. His blog is here, his Twitter is here and his meat body can be found in scenic Milwaukee, WI.