Campaign adventure boardgames -- the new hotness?

Realmspeak? Though I guess it does not do much in the way of rules enforcement.

So here’s my question about Apocrypha as campaign game:

  1. There are certain scenarios in Apocrypha that are clearly meant to be played – if not “in sequence”, at least where “You should have completed X scenario before playing y scenario.”

  2. But one of the noted issues with the game (and I do NOT know this from firsthand experience, I will add, but have seen it brought up time and again on BGG) is that as a campaign, things apparently can get “too easy” if you use the same set of saints for a full cycle of scenarios. Campaign. Whatever.

And when both 1 and 2 were brought up in Apocrypha threads on BGG, I believe the response from Lone Shark was “Yep, you’re right about the first point, and probably right about the second. Play it the way you want.”

So has anyone come up with a good framework for that?

Yes! Very glad you asked! I’m not sure I understand your #1 point, as some chapters are designed to present difficult choices about the order you play the missions. Unless I’m misunderstanding you, that seems to be working as intended.

As for things getting “too easy”, I have two responses. They’re both related to a variant I’ve been working on to increase the amount of pushback over a chapter:

First, I feel Apocrypha simply isn’t viable as a game about developing characters over the long term. Unlike the Pathfinder fantasy games, it’s just not built for that kind of progression. So the starting premise for my variant is this:

Once you accept that the characters will reset to zero between chapters, this variant escalates the difficulty over the course of a single chapter, with rules for wins and losses, and a score at the end of the chapter. But because some of the chapters use wacky game-bending rules and variations, I’m not sure whether there are any snags with the unconventional chapters. Some of which are plenty difficult as is, by the way!

The basic idea is that the Omens of Hope are more quickly bled out of the stash, so as the campaign progresses, you’re faced more and more with the Doom side of each Nexus. Here’s how it works:

I’ve tested it a couple of times with the core set’s tutorial campaign, which isn’t saying much since they’re basically tutorial missions. But it created difficult choices about when to use Omens of Hope and it made the order of missions even more important because they’re going to get harder as you play. So do you start with the more challenging missions, to get them out of the way while you still have Hope? Or do you improve your decks first, but risk the balance of Hope/Doom turning against you?

I was in the middle of running it through the Skinwalker campaign earlier this year, with plans to write it up and post it on BGG as a variant. Here is a basic outline of the variant as it exists now.


This is awesome.

Although I will admit to taking it a bit on faith, since Apocrypha is packed up. But this makes it a good candidate for my first boardgame in the new digs! But also, this gives me some time to re-read the online “living” manual and watch some replays too.


BGG has the updated rules AND a tutorial!

And a brief overview, with in depth links:

Bonus points, it’s also on Tabletop Simulator…

Realmspeak actually does full rules enforcement. It’s pretty great, but possibly a bit dated now (in terms of interface).

Oh wow, you hadn’t realised all the work over the last few years on the tutorial project, rules re-writes/re-orgs, etc!

It’s never been easier to get into Magic Realm thanks to the insanely awesome work those folk have done.

If you want to go the whole hog, and your the crafty type with way too much time on your hands, don’t forget about Karim’s famous re-design!

lol, perhaps one day I’ll get to actually playing it as well!