A retro dungeon crawling board game for 2-5 players.
Play as one of four heroes or even as the villain!
As one of the heroes, you will make your way through the catacombs, working together to fend off dangerous creatures and traps as you search for your Wymer Stone. You must use your stone to defeat the Cursed Dwarves and save the kingdoms of Overwyrld from the evil Wymer.
As the villain, you set traps and locks for the heroes to battle. Also, you will control the Cursed Dwarves as you attempt to defeat the heroes and doom Overwyrld to destruction by the Wymer.
The BOARD game we always wanted to play
When we designed this game, we made it for players like us. We wanted it to be easy to learn, simple to play and challenging enough that we would want to play again.
With a lot of effort and fine-tuning, we arrived at a game that we would have loved if it had existed when we were 14. Does that mean you'll love it? We hope so. If you're looking for a complicated, intricate and punishing game, this probably isn't the game you're looking for. If you want a retro roll to resolve adventure with a compelling story that is simple to learn and play, this is the game for you!
Encounters have two outcomes. If the hero wins, the thumbs up side of the card is read. If the hero loses, the thumbs down portion is read. Even the game itself has outcomes based on if the heroes are victorious or not.
Encounters are decided by one die for the hero and one die for the villain. They roll against each other, and any bonuses are added to the roll to see who wins the encounter. The math never gets bigger than adding up to twelve, which is good, because math is terrible.
Backstory on Making the game
My wife and I started working on Curse of the Wymer Stones back in 2017. The game changed tremendously, every time we played it we found something to change or tweak. Little by little, it evolved into the finished product that we have today.
When we started, we knew we wanted a game that was simple to play, easy to follow and not too terrible to set-up. We finally got there, but it was a hard road to find playtesters during the lockdown, so we just played it ourselves, over and over, and over. Eventually, we got other humans to play it, and they gave us valuable feedback as well (Shout out to Playerlair).
What's the game like?
The final game is what we would call a "Classic Board Game" in that you have a character that moves on the board and interacts with pieces on the board. The part that is different is all the traps and monsters are played by a single player (the villain) and the other players (the heroes) try to beat the villain. Also, if one of the heroes dies, their game isn't over yet. They become a wraith, and the outcome of their die roll will either help the other players or hurt them. Eventually, the villain gains control of their playable characters, the Cursed Dwarves. Then, it's a head on fight between the living heroes and the Cursed Dwarves to see if the heroes win the game or the villain is victorious.
Curse of the Wymer Stones isn't re-inventing the wheel. There aren't weird mechanics that are difficult to remember. It's pretty much smash your way to victory or die trying. There are a lot of strategic opportunities, depending on how you play, but there's only one way for the heroes to win: Defeat the Cursed Dwarves. The villain wins if all of the heroes become wraiths.
It can be played by up to 5 people (1 villain vs 4 heroes)
How are we making the boardgame?
We made a bunch of just paper and pen prototypes to start with. We used a few different print-on-demand companies once we narrowed down the art, then eventually we found Gamecrafter and decided to use them to make it. They're super nice, have been ultra helpful, and they don't require us to buy a ton of these up front. Sure, they're a little more expensive, but we'd rather support them than get a little cheaper game that is built by what is essentially slave labor. Not cool. Not to mention that storing a bunch of these things would be super-duper expensive.
We wanted to make the game cheaper, but there just wasn't a way that we could afford.
There is, however, freeish ways to play it if you have a PC.
There's a Tabletopia version and a Tabletop Simulator version (thanks again Playerlair)