PAX South took place this past weekend in San Antonio, Texas, and brought forth a slew of interesting games and the developers behind them. PAX, as a convention, brings together both tabletop and video game designers alike and puts them all under one roof for the general public to venture around and discover their new and exciting creations. One such creations is a blend of both mediums in the form of a tabletop game that draws heavy influence from MMORPGs like Everquest and World of Warcraft.
Wrathborne Champions is the brainchild of Ben “Dover” Stiers and Casey “Randar” McCormick, co-founders of Randover Games. The game, which is being called a “boss battle in a box,” is a co-operative tabletop where 2-6 players become the Wrathborne, a team chosen by the gods sent to conquer the Minions of Wrath. The game shows the RPG elements from the very start where players have the option of choosing from six different classes (Warrior, Ranger, Enchanter, Cleric, Berserker, or Assassin) which each come with their own unique deck of cards and abilities. Once your class has been chosen, each player proceeds to choose between 6 weapon decks (a Wand, a Sword and Shield, a Holy Staff, Dual Daggers, a Bow, or a Battle axe.) After combining both the weapon and class deck, each player proceeds to select 5 item cards which are all shuffled together to create your character! The players then work together using their new decks to defeat one of nine different Minions adding cards to the deck to grant them new abilities as the game progresses.
A game in full progress!
At PAX I was lucky enough to be able to coordinate a small interview with CEO Ben Stiers after being taught the game by the very kind Casey McCormick.
ATGN: “So what was your main inspiration behind creating this game?”
Ben: “Well, we’re both 30-something-year-olds that love video games, that used to spend hours upon hours of raiding in WoW or playing Everquest… but as we got older we didn’t have the time to dedicate that many hours into those pursuits. I didn’t have 18 hours a week to prepare for raids on the weekends, but I still love that feeling of being able to go in and fight a boss monster. We also really enjoyed monster hunter… that feeling of kinda disassembling the monster and that raid feeling as a group combined into Wrathborne Champions. So the impetus of the games was making so that you could play it in thirty minutes or three hours, making a game that was fun enough anyone could play, even non gamers can play, but the hardcore gamers still see the fun in it.”
A: “That’s one thing I really appreciated is that it’s very all encompassing so you can have the casual gamers and hardcore gamers both enjoy the game.”
B: “That’s one of the things we really tried to accomplish in this game. If you have four friends you can fight a level 4 monster in 40 minutes and then go on about your day. If you have 6 six friends and you wanna spend all night you can start at level 1 and work your way up to level 6 with your classes leveling up over time but as well the monsters become tougher as you progress through the game.”
A: “I also really appreciate that the game keeps you interested in that you’re still able to play if your character gets taken out early in the game.”
B: “Ah, yes! The last stand mechanic
A: “Now are you guys self publishing?”
B: “Yeah, we’re currently self publishing and we’re now live on Kickstarter. We’re currently doing really well and we’re confident we’re going to to hit our goal. We have lots of stretch goals as well, such as adding more minions of wrath, giving awesome box inserts and a full graphic overhaul. As well we’re looking at pick your path scenarios is another big thing on there, a choose your own adventure style story where you encounter different monsters based on what choices you make, it’s very exciting.”
A demo game with a player’s hand full of ranger class cards.
After getting my hands on the game, I have to say it was a real stand out at PAX. Wrathborne Champions combines elements of digital games and traditional tabletop games together magnificently into a beautiful game with mechanics that flow so seamlessly together that it makes a rare treat. I cannot recommend this game enough and look forward to it gaining traction in popularity and becoming a massive hit.
For more info on Wrathborne Champions and an in depth guide on how the game is played checkout the Wrathborne Champions page on Randovergames.com
To support this fantastic game please check out their Kickstarter.