Yesterday, October 20, a Kickstarter campaign for Darkest Dungeon: The Board Game (opens in new tab) went live with a hefty goal of $300,000. Also yesterday, that goal was reached and easily surpassed. As of today, October 21, it has raised more than $1.2 million—and still has 15 days to go.
Darkest Dungeon: The Board Game sounds a lot like Darkest Dungeon (opens in new tab) the videogame: 1-4 players assemble a team of ragged heroes at the Hamlet, and then embark on quests to explore dungeons, battle monsters, and help restore the Heir's mansion to its proper glory. But it's not just physical harm that threatens them—the "Stressful Affliction System" means each member of the party will have to grapple with potentially debilitating paranoia, abusiveness, fear, irrationality, and "a host of gameplay-meaningful quirks."
Campaigns in the board game will unfold over 11 missions, three per threat level, culminating in a faceoff in the depths of the Darkest Dungeon itself. Each hero will select three of seven available skills at the start of each mission (or more, once they're leveled up), and on each turn will choose from two available actions, including movement, interaction, changing stance, or using a skill. Between missions, you'll head back to the hamlet, where you'll try to recover from the horrors you've encountered.
There are only two tiers of rewards available, and as a big board game with a lot of parts, the pledges are fairly high. The "Corebox," which initially included a rulebox, eight hero and 64 monster miniatures, 32 dice, 12 double-sided room tiles, 16 hero boards, four skill boards, one Hamlet board, three main dashboards, 10+ Dungeon cards, 400+ Tarot, Poker, and Mini Euro cards, and 200+ tokens of various sorts, is $100, while $150 gets you that plus the Crimson Court add-on, with more monsters, tiles, and cards.
Not cheap, no, but other hand, just look at it.
The runaway success of the campaign has already unlocked several stretch goals, though, meaning that both the core set and the Crimson Court will have more heroes, monsters, and rooms than originally planned.
Darkest Dungeon: The Board Game isn't expected to start shipping until November 2021, to ensure that the makers have plenty of time to deal with any unforeseen complications. The Kickstarter campaign will run until November 6. Oh, and in case you hadn't heard, Darkest Dungeon 2 (opens in new tab) is on the way, too—Red Hook Studios announced today that it will launch in Early Access on the Epic Games Store sometime in 2021.