Dark Rituals: Malleus Maleficarum Attacking Hordes Pledge
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Dark Rituals: Malleus Maleficarum Attacking Hordes pledge includes:
- Malleus Maleficarum Core Box
- Kickstarter Exclusive Dark Rituals: The Cursed Fjord Expansion
- All Unlocked Stretch Goals
- 30 Kickstarter Exclusive Stretch Goals
If you'd like to order additional Kickstarter-exclusive content from this game, please contact us directly.
As the many planes of existence turn and churn, occasionally worlds come into alignment. For brief moments in the multiverse's timescale, these Conjunctions allow objects to slip from one world to another, sometimes unnoticed, sometimes causing chaos.
One such Conjunction occurred between Earth and Neemoss, during the Dark Ages. Two dimensions could not be more different. Physics in this alternate plane is more akin to magic and its corrupting effects create worlds of monsters and cruelty. When items from Neemoss appear on Earth they are still imbued with their magical essence, which is soon discovered by healers, alchemists, fakirs and all manner of snake-oil peddlers. But things become decidedly worse when the Conjunction strengthens and the first Witches from Neemoss cross into our plane of existence.
Help the Heroes master their newfound magical powers as they defend their lands from the malevolent Witches and the disciples they summon. Or control the Witches as they complete their rituals to ravage the Earth!
Dark Rituals: Malleus Maleficarum is an asymmetric “One vs Many” miniatures board game for 2 to 5 players with an expansion for a solo mode where one player controls the Witch Master. In "one vs many", a team of people control a small band of Heroes defending villagers from a single player controlling the vile Forces of Evil. All players manage a pool of stamina that is used to pay for their character’s actions. Game play is dynamic with little downtime: turns alternate between the two forces with a player on each side taking one or two actions each turn, so long as they still have stamina.
Play is organized around scenarios with unique objectives. The scenarios can be linked into a longer campaign or played individually if your group is more casual. Story driven scenarios, game mechanics, detailed miniatures and lush modular boards bring the game world to life.
Can you use the magic of Neemoss to defeat the invading horde? Or will you complete your Dark Rituals to summon the ultimate evil?
Dark Rituals: Malleus Maleficarum is a dynamic miniatures based game, where 1-4 players control a band of fledgling Heroes defending their village from the vile Legions of Darkness, controlled by the Witch Master.
Game play is designed to be dynamic, keeping all players engaged in the game. Turns are short, with the active character taking just one or two actions. The Witch Master can activate any member of the Dark Legion. When it is the Heroes’ turn, they can nominate any Hero to play a turn, as there is no fixed turn order. If a Hero is in a great position to affect the game, and they have the stamina, they can get in the fight.
All players manage a pool of stamina that is used to pay for their character’s actions. The Witch Master has a single pool that is used for all evil characters. Each Hero has less stamina that they use for themselves. Every Action has a stamina cost and actions can only be taken if the Character can exhaust the required stamina. Stamina is restored at the start of the round.
As well as Actions, Characters can perform many Reactions, if they have the stamina. Reactions must be triggered by something happening in the game, the simplest example being an Action to Attack triggering a Reaction to Defend, but Reactions are far more wide ranged than this. Reactions will often be triggered when a Character is inactive, another example of players being engaged all the time.
Within each game, characters can advance their skills. When the Heroes defeat enemies or use Alchemy Spells, they improve their Attributes. As well as improving dice rolls, high attributes unlock better gear and stronger magic. Similarly, The Witch Master can access higher level Disciples once they rack up enough kills.
The Heroes are actively encouraged to cooperate. The Aid Reaction allows one Hero to help another Hero perform an Action. Heroes can use their Stamina to order NPC villagers into the fray.
The Witch Master can increase the ranks of their disciples by summoning Minions and unique Creatures, and by possessing the NPC villagers.
Each game is a scripted scenario called an Encounter. As well as the board setup, the Encounter defines objectives for both sides. These encounters form a longer story for the game and the wide variety of objectives keeps the game fresh.
Solo mode is available, where a single player plays the Witch Master and a custom deck of cards controls the Heroes. Each draw from the AI deck provides Actions for four heroes, and the first possible Action is resolved. Default actions and reactions control cases where the AI cards cannot be used. Custom solo missions are played with objectives for the Witch Master that can be interrupted by the Heroes driven by the AI deck.
The random grinding of the universe’s machinery has brought two very different planes of existence into alignment. A rare Conjunction between Neemoss and Earth has weakened the barriers between the planes, allowing objects to slip from one world to another.
Neemoss is a blighted world, corrupted by the magic that rules the world. All kinds of monsters, beasts and creatures prey on one another, for entertainment as much as for sustenance.
At first the Conjunction only allowed smaller items to transfer to Earth. You may think it was of no great import if a few new plants were found here and there but as material transfers from Neemoss, it retains its magical properties
Practitioners of exotic arts, whether they be believers or charlatans, noticed the difference immediately. When they included these new and rare herbs and materials in their rituals, charms and snake oils, there was a huge difference! Their magic worked! At first, not well, and sometimes disastrously, but it worked. Villagers slept peacefully, with their cures for toothache and charms for love.
The mystical science of Alchemy was born and flourished, as more alchemical ingredients were found and their properties investigated. All was good, as the Conjunction strengthened and more ingredients were found.
Until the Witches arrived. Pekka was the first to step through a random portal large enough to transport her across the chasms of space and time. At first, she reveled in the luxury of having no one to whip her, poke her, bite her and otherwise make her life miserable. This was a wonderful place to live! Warm, bright, with abundant food and novelties never seen before. But a scorpion’s nature is to sting and she soon got bored. Misery should be shared! Although she would not admit it, she was surprised that her first summoning incantation worked, dragging Hagatha through the Conjunction. And so it started. Some minions to bully, carry and fetch. Some creatures to manage the minions, when that was too tiresome. Ikrek to take her side when Hagatha got argumentative. The coven slowly created a little bit of Neemoss here on Earth.
Then they stumbled across their first human, a poor farmhand journeying from one village to another looking for work. Soft and chewy, sweet on the tongue and too weak to put up any kind of fight. Once again, the Witches found a paradise.
We join the story soon after this first contact. In the first encounter, our heroes, each with their own reason to battle the Witches, stumble upon each other as they approach a coven. How well they fight together is up to you.
Dark Rituals: Malleus Maleficarum already features many high quality miniatures. The core box alone has 44 minis and 19 unique sculpts. All sculpts for the core box and The Cursed Fjord expansion are complete, as are most stretch goals. A first step towards physical manufacturing is to make resin prototypes and this has started too.
We learned so much about miniature sculpting and production during our first Kickstarter, Vampire Hunters, that we are confident that our Dark Rituals miniatures will be among the highest quality board game miniatures available. In the image above, you can see how well the details of the digital sculpt transfer to the resin prototype.
Miniatures for the board game will be manufactured from a hard PVC that holds details well, but has a little flexibility to avoid breakage. Most weapons will be cast in ABS, a stiffer plastic, to minimize bending. They will be supplied fully assembled, ready for use when the game arrives. With so many bizarre monsters, the miniatures come in a variety of sizes, but the scale is 32 mm foot to eye on a normal human. The Demon Lord from the core game is roughly 100 mm tall to the tip of its sword. Impressive!
Here are close up images of the miniatures from the core box.
Here are the miniatures from Dark Rituals: The Cursed Fjord: