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Is Dark Venture a Mini Magic Realm?

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31 Jan 2020 17:00 #306790 by Michael Barnes
I’m going to preface this review of Gilded Skull Games’...

Against the Eggmen

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02 Feb 2020 09:25 #306791 by Shellhead
I definitely see the parallels between Dark Venture and Magic Realm, and I find it fascinating that one game accomplishes nearly as much as the other with such a brief rule book.
After two major revisions, Magic Realm leaves no rule uncovered, and still offers an impressive design where the rules and components are tightly integrated with the setting.

Magic Realm also offers an engaging and tactical combat system that gives careful consideration to factors like weight, weapon length, shield placement, and speed.

Dark Venture skimps on the rules, even requires a bit of hand-waving, and offers a straightforward dicefest of a combat system. But I think Dark Venture rises above Magic Realm with a richer, stranger setting, and the quests drive more of a sense of narrative.

Now that I have both games, I can see Dark Venture getting more play due to accessibility. Magic Realm has a formidable setup time, and the rules nearly equal D&D 3.5 in complexity.

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02 Feb 2020 11:20 #306794 by Josh Look
Aside from the setting, the most compelling thing about Dark Venture is how is asks players to be both an active participant in its world and to be immersed in it, and to play a role in shaping it. By and large, you’re choosing what locations and characters populate this strange setting and then interacting with them as your character. Some of that is linked with trying to find the right people/places for VPs, but some of it is done out of the curiosity to see what happens. Its a total unique dynamic that really separates it out from any other adventure game out there.
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06 Feb 2020 11:20 #306886 by Pugnax555
The creator just put the surplus Kickstarter copies up on their backerkit site. $65 shipped in the US with the expansion (custom dice are something like $12 extra). Looking forward to trying this.

dark-venture.backerkit.com/hosted_preorders
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06 Feb 2020 15:26 #306888 by Legomancer
Anyone going to ConnCon in Stamford CT who is interested, I have a copy (they accidentally sent me an extra) in the auction starting at $30.

www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/267271/item/7491140#item7491140
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07 Feb 2020 02:21 #306897 by Dr. Mabuse
Ordered!

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14 Feb 2020 12:13 #307117 by jeb
I snagged a copy from BackerKit. There's like 20 left, get your FOMO here, folks.
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15 Feb 2020 18:19 #307145 by southernman
I saw this thread a week or two ago and it sounded like a game I'd have fun with and that (possibly) both my fighty group and euro group will play it, then I noticed a copy + expansion had appeared in the UK Math Trade last week. Short story is now I only own electronic copies of Twilight Struggle, but Dark Venture + expansion is in the post on its way here.
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17 Feb 2020 10:36 #307182 by Shellhead
An old friend was back in town, and dropped by to play a game of Dark Venture. I told him about it when I got the game, so he was looking forward to trying it. And he did play Magic Realm once, with a more experienced player guiding him through the turns. Setup was easy and only took a few minutes, but the game took over two hours to play because we had to pause a few times to look up specific rules. We played in competitive mode, as I suspect that or solitaire is the intended way to play the game and co-op might make it too easy.

The game was enjoyable. We explored locations and got in some fights with various other inhabitants. Seriously weird stuff happened, especially when my friend's character dropped all his gear, turned into a monster, and fought another monster. There were also ghosts, time travelers, and a robot. Late in the game, we both got knocked unconscious a couple of times, and his monstrous form had a low Mind stat so he ended up missing out his last two turns due to bad rolls that left him unconscious. It is a bit of a hassle every time an NPC or monster shows up, because you have to set up their stats on a card and fish their starting equipment out of the equipment deck. And the table got cluttered and crowded after a while due to additional sites and NPCs staying in play. I was significantly behind for most of the game, then managed to accomplish two Heroic Quests in the last four turns and took the lead. My friend was disappointed at losing his last two turns, but admitted that he couldn't have caught up with me in those last two turns. Overall, we both really liked Dark Ventures.

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