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Bardsung

Bardsung: The Complete Story So Far

Published on October 26th 2020

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Curious what Bardsung is, and why you should follow the Kickstarter (launching November 10)?

Then you’re in the right place.

Every single reveal, post, and article has been collected here, and we’ll be updating it every time there’s something new.

(Pssst. If you like to find things out early, you may want to join the Bardsung tavern.)

Brace yourselves, heroes. There’s a lot to get through, and still plenty more to come...

Hit 'Notify Me' on Kickstarter

Post last updated: November 2, 2020. 

Latest Reveal

Bardsung-Rhianna-Pratchett

On November 2, we announced gaming industry heroes Rhianna Pratchett (Lara Croft reboot; Fighting Fantasy: Crystal of Storms), Ian Livingstone CBE (Fighting Fantasy books; industry founding father), and Sara Thompson (Combat Wheelchair design and mechanics) will be guest writing for Bardsung!

Find Out More

What is Bardsung?

Bardsung-Exploration-1

You begin with a single tile and a destination. 

What unfolds is a branching, labyrinthine dungeon of dangerous enemies, wandering monsters, challenging puzzles, and valuable treasure.

Coming to Kickstarter on November 10 this year, Bardsung is a roleplaying dungeon explorer board game for one to five players.

It’s a game of choosing your path as you try to inspire the bard’s songs and live out your legend. From your physical passage through the dungeon to the process of building your character into a fabled hero, your choices define your experience.

It can be played solo, in standalone sessions, or as a full campaign that will evolve based on your decisions. 

Because of its swift setup and easy-to-grasp mechanics (taught by a tutorial-based rulebook), it’s suitable for beginners and people new to roleplaying games. 

And unlike traditional RPGs, it doesn’t need a game master. So, all five players can join the adventure!

Article: Initial Announcement on Dicebreaker

Article: Interview with the Designers

BoardGameGeek: Bardsung


Introducing the Player Characters (Heroes)

As you play, you’ll level up your hero to upgrade their stats, access powerful new abilities, and enhance existing skills. 

You have the freedom to either follow your hero’s designated path, or to create your own bespoke hero with a unique set of traits and arsenal of attack combos.

“We’ve looked to combine a full-strength RPG system with the visual appeal and ease of use of a board game, offering players a huge amount of agency and choice not just over in-game actions, but also over developing their character’s abilities and attributes.

"So you want to play a thief with a little bit of cleric mixed in? You can. Want to play a fighter with access to powerful magic spells? You can. Want to dig into the hundreds of combinations of abilities to discover amazingly powerful combos to pull off at the table? You can!” - Mat Hart, Creative Director

(Levelling Up blog coming soon!)

So far, we’ve encountered four core heroes: The Lightweaver, The Nightfeather, The Dawnguard, and the Stoneheart.

Bardsung-Player-Characters

Discover the four core heroes (so far!)

Other Heroes

Bardsung is a five player game. So, of course there are other heroes!

One is the Kickstarter exclusive Gladestrider, recently unlocked. 

Gladestrider-Chosen-Hero-Banner

The other is the Chosen Hero, who’s yet to be decided.

Chosen-Hero-Vote-min

In fact, you can cast your vote right now.

Vote for your Chosen Hero

Those are the heroes we’ve met so far. 

But who knows who else we’ll encounter during the campaign…?


Gameplay in a Nutshell

In the run up to the Kickstarter, we’ll be deep diving into each aspect of Bardsung’s gameplay in dedicated posts. Each post will be linked below as soon as it goes live.

Want to know more right now?

Then check out the overview below.

Exploring (and Building) the Dungeon

Bardsung-Exploration-2

Your first destination is an ancient underground settlement where you’ll have to fight your way throughto [REDACTED], in an epic dungeon that spirals ever downwards toward your goal.

Rather than building the dungeon ahead of time, as you do in most other dungeon crawlers, Bardsung focuses on exploration. 

The dungeon is procedurally generated, which means you build it as you explore, using various tiles.

During play, you’ll draw cards from one of two decks. Those cards tell you which tiles you can lay. 

How you place the tiles is up to you. Your goal is to reach the destination at the end of the map, but with treasures and other secrets to uncover (and wandering monsters to avoid!) you may decide to deviate from the path. 

Or maybe the deck will throw you a dead end, forcing you to double back through the inky and dangerous gloom...

Because the cards you draw will be different each time, no two playthroughs will be the same. Your dungeon will evolve based on how you choose to use the options you’re given, the order of the cards, and the events and enemies you encounter that will undoubtedly affect your decisions.

Read more on Exploration

Combat

In Bardsung, positioning and teamwork are vital for getting the most out of your attacks. Your abilities can’t be used over and over, so you’ll need to choose your moment wisely.

Stoneheart-Combat

Beware of who (or what) you’re fighting, too. Your heroes aren’t the only ones who can evolve. 

Enemies might change how they behave from one encounter to the next. And, like your heroes, they can also level up, evolve their attacks, and learn to hold grudges against those who defeat them…

Read more on Combat

Enemies

Speaking of enemies, who will you encounter on your descent into the dungeon?

So far, we've encountered multiple fearsome foes...

Bardsung-Ferrous-Maw-Artwork

...and we are currently amidst our song of enemies, revealing a new enemy every day in the tavern! (Full blog coming soon!)

Challenges & Non-Player Characters

Because they’re determined by three separate decks of cards, the enemies, events, and challenges you encounter will be different on every playthrough. 

Known as the Aspect decks, these cards spawn new foes and throw curveballs in the form of poisoned weapons, traps, reinforcements, non-player characters, and more…

Read more on Challenges & NPC's

Marching Order

Round length, turns, and enemy activations are governed by a mutating marching order that will keep you on your toes, encouraging you to develop tactical abilities that control the ebb and flow of initiative.

Read more on Marching Order

Wandering Monsters, Levelling Up, Weapons and Armour, and Campaign/Adventures

Full blogs coming soon!


Community Q&A with the Designers

Mat and Sherwin answer questions from the tavern!


Don’t Miss A Reveal

That’s all for now, but we’ll be updating this post each time there’s a new reveal.

Want to be first to know what’s new?

Then join us in the tavern, or sign up for the newsletter!

The tavern is a private Facebook group where we share ALL the reveals and behind-the-scenes secrets before they're posted anywhere else. It’s literally the place to be...

Enter the Tavern

Don’t miss out on the rest