Gloomhaven: Second Edition Revealed, Updates Overhaul Original Game

Gloom Haven, the popular dungeon crawling board game from Cephalofair Games, will soon be getting a proper tabletop RPG, as well as a set of over 600 new miniatures. Polygon has learned that in addition to those core products, the Backerkit campaign will also include the opportunity to pre-order Gloomhaven: Second Editiona newly revised version of the original award-winning board game that has been in production for some time.

Polygon sat down with creator Isaac Childres to learn more about the ambitious multi-product crowdfunding campaign, and why it’s so important to him to make changes to his smash hit. But first, some details on what fans should expect inside the new box.

According to Childres, the overhaul of the original game is incredibly in-depth thanks to the help of project leads Drew Penn and Dennis Vögele. Starting with the modular map tiles themselves, longtime fans will see graphical and artistic design clarified, revised, and improved throughout. Mechanically speaking, the game’s many character classes have also been tweaked, and in several cases completely rebalanced.

Image: Cephalofair Games

Image: Cephalofair Games

“Obviously there has been a lot of community feedback over the years,” Childres said. “We have put everything online to do [classes] they all feel the same, but they also feel fun to play, even more fun to play in some cases.”

Childres called out “Eclipse,” long considered an overpowered unlockable character class, as just one example of the changes reserved for die-hard gamers.

“It’s fun to be invisible and kill everything very easily,” Childres said, “but it gets old after a while, so we’ve done the [“Eclipse”] fun and easy to play, rather than cheesy.”

But perhaps the most substantial changes to the game come in its deeper story and lore, which in the past have played second fiddle to the franchise’s unique card-based combat mechanics.

Image: Cephalofair Games and Image: Cephalofair Games

“We’ve basically rewritten everything,” Childres said. “We have brought this conflict […] between merchants and the military at the forefront of history.”

In the revised version of the game, players will feel more empowered to join one of three different factions, including the military, merchants, and demons. Then, through their actions, players will be able to bring their preferred faction to power in the city of Gloomhaven. When that happens, Childres said, the in-game benefits and opportunity for unique quests and quests will be more substantial than before.

We have tried to integrate [factions] best in history and mechanics [of the game]Childrens said. “When you hit that ultimate goal with a faction, you get to open a pack and there’s a ton of new stuff you can play with.”

Image: Cephalofair Games and Image: Cephalofair Games

Along with that complete rewrite, Childres also took the opportunity to return to the game’s many fantastic ancestors and make amends for what it sees as oversights and slights against the real-world groups that inspired them.

“Besides all the balance issues with Gloom Havensaid Childrens, “[these have] It’s also been a huge personal thorn in my side – the sort of rambling nature of much of the writing in the original. Gloom Haven and the characterization of some of the ancestry there, where there were clear parallels to real-world ethnicities that didn’t sit well with a lot of people.”

As advertised for Gloom Haventhe sequel, frozen haven, Childres has worked closely with cultural consultants to align this revised edition with the kind of values ​​you want to express in your work. For example, the Inox have been dramatically altered so that they no longer diminish, even casually, Native American and First Nations peoples.

“At this point, it’s a bit embarrassing to me that it’s still available to the public,” Childres said. “It also goes hand in hand with the development of the role-playing game. All the lore that is being written out of the role-playing game is also very important, and we can take advantage of that as well.”

Gloomhaven: Second Edition it will also include newly designed miniatures, multi-part sculpts with even more detail and dynamic poses, just like the miniatures planned for the RPG line. Childres said that he updated minis for the original Gloom Haven they will be available to buy on their own. But unlike other highly successful crowdfunding campaign style games like Kingdom Death: Monster, there will be no separate converter box that owners of the original game can purchase to upgrade their settings. The changes, Childres said, simply run too deep.

Cephalofair will launch its next crowdfunding campaign, which includes Gloomhaven: Second Editionon Backerkit starting June 20. Fans can sign up to receive notifications – over 55,800 have already done so, making this the most subscribed crowdfunding campaign launch on any platform to date.

“It’s crazy to think about it,” Childres said of the popularity of his campaign. “I try not to think about it too much. There are so many people clamoring to get in on this, and we’re working to make it the best crowdfunding experience we can and then have a good time with it.”

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