The land of Kilforth is a perilous domain filled with nefarious monsters, mysterious Strangers and treacherous Locations, and dominated at its centre by The Sprawl, a huge city where intrepid Heroes begin their journey to fame and fortune. Throughout the land various factions vie for power over each other, such as the supposedly noble Order of the Rose or the terrifying Doom Guard. And presiding over the world outside Kilforth is the ever-present Overlord, Masklaw. Over the coming month, a deadly Gloom will descend upon Kilforth,which the Heroes must Battle through to prove their worth, defeat an Ancient evil, and save the land from darkness.
Gloom of Kilforth is a card game of high fantasy with a Gothic edge, playable in 1-3 hours, where 1-4 players, working individually or together, must take their humble adventurers on a journey through a dark world of magic and peril. They will visit strange places, stranger people and overcome powerful enemies in their mission to discover mysterious artefacts and mystical Spells. Players follow their Hero’s tale from modest beginnings through an epic story to an exciting climactic battle for the fate of the world. Gloom of Kilforth takes about 45 minutes per player to play.
The following is taken from my design journal:
This game has been in development for a long time and has undergone so many permutations in the last six years that I’ve literally ripped it up and started again numerous times. From board game, to miniatures game, to proto-RPG I’ve finally settled on a format I hope will be cost effective and elegant: the card game.
Gloom of Kilforth sees 1-4 players taking a humble adventurer on a journey through a dark world of magic and peril and following their tale from modest beginnings through an epic story to an exciting climactic battle for the fate of the world.
Drawing inspiration from titles we’ve already seen like combat-heavy tactical dungeon crawls (Descent, D&D, etc.), condensed overland adventures concerned either with combat (Runebound) or random encounters (Talisman), games that stretch into story-telling (Tales of the Arabian Nights), cooperative games against insurmountable odds (Arkham Horror, Defenders of the Realm), and tactical adventure card games (Lord of the Rings: The Card Game), I’ve always been looking to design a game that distils the heroic story telling of an in-depth role playing game down into an amount of time that’s playable in an evening. It’s something that many of us crave as we get older and have kids and relationships and jobs and so on which preclude us from throwing all that time away on months of role-playing games.
So whilst I wanted to include all the high fantasy stuff that many of us love, and which in many ways mostly stems from Tolkien’s work, I also tried to develop new techniques of weaving them together to create story-based gameplay.
The two key drivers for the game are the Saga Chapters and Night card decks. The Sagas represent the tales that the heroes will tell as they progress on their journey to fame and fortune, whilst the Night cards are global events that can affect everyone in the Kingdom.