Direwild: Co-op Deckbuilding Dungeon Crawler on Kickstarter

I saw a lot of neat upcoming Kickstarter-hopeful games at PAX South earlier this year. One that always stuck with me was Direwild. It’s finally arrived on Kickstarter.

Direwild plays like a fun combination of Pokémon, a cooperative deckbuilder, and a tactical RPG.

Cards are made up of 130 creatures. Each creature card has modifying traits and abilities that can be added to other creature cards, letting you create a single super-creature through a unique crafting system.

I’ve loved other games that use a similar system of modifying cards, such as Evolution, where the same cards act as both units and enchantments depending on how and where you use them. You can read the rulebook here.

On top of charming, summon, and creating creatures, you also navigate a series of tactical battle maps, battle evil minions, cast spells, collect treasures, level up heroes, and fight your way to the final boss battle.

The game is designed as an ongoing campaign using all three grid maps, and includes tuckboxes so you can save your current game (ha!) and bring the cards into the next scenario.

Direwild is designed for 1-4 players, with an estimated play time of 60-90 minutes and an age of 13+, though the material itself is family-friendly. In fact the starting creatures are puppies and kittens!

It includes a double-sided map board, standees, 10 hero boards, tons of cards, and some dice and tokens. Optionally you can upgrade to a Premium edition to receive miniatures of the 10 playable heroes and five enemies.

direwild

The Kickstarter campaign has been up for about a week and is already a resounding success, reaching its very modest funding goal of $38,000 within the first two days. It’s a short campaign with only 14 days remaining, and already over 1,000 backers have nearly doubled the funding goal. The next stretch goal unlocks new minions.

The current minimum bid to receive Direwild is $59, not including shipping (US is $10). Estimated delivery is August 2018, though I’ve never experienced a Kickstarter project not receiving at least some sort of delay.

The Direwild Kickstarter campaign ends December 1.

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PAX Unplugged to Feature Critical Role and Acquisitions Inc.

It should come as no surprise that the first tabletop-focused PAX convention, PAX Unplugged, will feature live shows of the some of the biggest live streamed D&D groups, including Critical Role, Acquisitions Incorporated, and Dice, Camera, Action!. PAX Unplugged 2017 will take place November 17-19 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. Here is the full schedule of events.

“The mission of PAX Unplugged is simple,” said Jerry Holkins, co-founder of Penny Arcade and PAX. “We want to recognize the tabletop community that’s grown year over year at our events with a show just for them. It’s going to be pretty amazing first outing, and I can’t wait to attend the show myself.”

The extremely popular Geek & Sundry powered, actor-fueled Critical Role ended their 100+ session campaign earlier this month. In lieu of a live adventure, several members will be hosting a panel called “Critical Role: Talks Machina” on Saturday, November 18. Marisha Ray, Liam O’Brien, Taliesin Jaffe, and DM Matthew Mercer will discuss the entire campaign of Vox Machina, hold a Q&A, and tease their next campaign.

If live D&D shows are more your jam, Dice, Camera, Action! will feature beloved DM and Wizards of the Coast designer Chris Perkins leading his group through Chult as part of their ongoing Tomb of Annihilation storyline. Holly Conrad, Jared Knaubenbaur, Anna Prosser Robinson, and Nathan Sharp will be joined by an unannounced special guest on Friday, November 17.

My personal favorite D&D group, Acquisitions Inc.: The “C” Team will host their very first PAX live play. Like TwitchCon last weekend, Ryan Hartman, Amy Falcone, Kate Welch, Kris Straub, and DM Jerry Holkins will play through a special one-shot session on Sunday, November 19.

And of course it wouldn’t be a PAX show, and especially a tabletop-centric PAX show without the venerable Acquisitions Incorporated team of Penny Arcade’s Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins, and best-selling author Patrick Rothfuss, with DM Chris Perkins.

Over the last year they’ve rotated their player fourth slot after Scott Kurtz’s departure. I’m really excited that they’ll move one of the “C” Team players, Kate Welch’s halfling grandma Rosie Beestinger into the group for their continued adventures in Chult. Acquisitions Inc. will take the stage on Saturday, November 18.

The keynote address for PAX Unplugged 2017 will be delivered by Wizards of the Coast president Chris Cocks.

PAX Unplugged is less than a month away but tickets are still available, including the discounted Three Day pass (though stock is low).

I personally would have loved to attend but the timing is bad, with just a week from Thanksgiving and two months from PAX South. Obviously as someone who enjoys playing and streaming our own D&D adventures, I adore watching other groups, particularly the PA teams and anything with Chris Perkins. I’m looking forward to watching all the streams!