Hey there, ‘Scapers! Today, your tabletop RuneScape adventure truly begins… sort of.
Before you can play the RuneScape board game, we’ve got to print it. Before we can print it, it’s got to go to Kickstarter. And before it can go to Kickstarter, we need to tell YOU all about it!
So, in the coming weeks, we’ll be taking you on a Tutorial-Island-style tour of RuneScape Kingdoms: Shadow of Elvarg, the co-op campaign board game for 1-5 players.
Because RuneScape Kingdoms: Shadow of Elvarg draws from both RuneScape and Old School RuneScape, there’ll be lots of things familiar to those who play the video games. But because we’re translating digital mechanics to the tabletop, we’ll need to run through how those aspects work in the board game.
(Of course, that means the Old School RuneScape and RuneScape fans among you will be encountering places, NPCs and bosses you know and love in a whole new way. And here you were, thinking you’d never get to experience ‘new player’ feeling again)!
Now sit back, relax, and — if you’re a Gielinor veteran — cast your mind back to when you first set foot on the shores of Tutorial Island, many moons ago…
(Psst. If you haven’t already, go follow the Kickstarter now so you don’t miss the launch)
BUT WAIT. Before we dive in, we’ve got a brand new mini to show off!
Today’s Mini: Skiller!
We’ve already met the knight and wizard player avatars, which are both equipped with more combat-focused gear. While combat is a big part of the RuneScape video game experience, some of you prefer to concentrate on other skills. For you, we have the skiller mini!
There’s nothing combative about this player avatar. Instead, with their pickaxe, chef’s hat, and fishing rod, this mini pays homage to the many hours players have whiled away fishing for sardines and mining ore in the video games.
While cooking, fishing, and crafting are things you can do in the board game (although you’ll interact with those skills in different ways — more on this in next week’s post!) RuneScape Kingdoms: Shadow of Elvarg is a classless game. So, you don’t have to choose the skiller mini to do those things, nor are you limited to maxing skills if you play with the skiller.
Think of your mini more as a costume. No matter which one you choose, the way you play your character is entirely up to you!
What is RuneScape Kingdoms: Shadow of Elvarg?
by Jamie Perkins (Product Owner)
Hello again, everyone! I’m Jamie Perkins, Product Owner of RuneScape Kingdoms: Shadow of Elvarg here at Steamforged Games.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be taking you through how to play the game (and sharing sneak peeks at cards and minis along the way!)
Today, we’re covering some core concepts by answering one key question:
What kind of game is RuneScape Kingdoms: Shadow of Elvarg?
RuneScape Kingdoms: Shadow of Elvarg is a cooperative game. Whether you’re playing solo or with up to four friends, you’ll be tackling this adventure on the same side.
While there are ‘player versus player’ (PvP) areas in the RuneScape and Old School RuneScape video games (hello there, Wilderness), most areas in both games are ‘player versus monster’ (PvM) experiences. Staying true to the heart of those experiences, RuneScape Kingdoms: SoE is a PvM board game.
As a group of players, you’ll effectively operate as a team (or clan, if you prefer), completing quests together and even sharing items and resources.
RuneScape Kingdoms: Shadow of Elvarg is an open world (sometimes called a ‘sandbox’) style boardgame. This means you’ll have the freedom to go about playing it almost any way you want – just like in RuneScape and Old School!
Want to hone your adventurer’s skills to the max? You can. Want to experience all the side quests before taking on the main story? You can! Want to explore Gielinor searching for all the cabbages you can find? YOU DO YOU!
Of course, it’s not all about meandering around town. Much like the Grandmaster Quests you've embarked on in the video games, RuneScape Kingdoms has an overarching narrative and a big finale – but you have complete freedom to progress the way you like.
Think of the board game like a nice dinner. There’s a starter, main course, dessert, and a cheese platter, sure. But there are also plenty of sides and appetisers to sample at your leisure!
Levelling up your skills (or ‘skilling’) is absolutely central to any RuneScape experience, and this game is no different. Your adventurer’s skills are how they interact with the world around them. Simply put: the higher your skill levels, the more success you’ll have completing quests and exploring the game board.
Remember, though, that this is a co-op game. You don’t need to max out every single skill to win, even when playing solo (although it helps). It’s usually a good idea to specialise in a few skills that complement those of your fellow adventurers.
Choosing to specialise can even help you decide which mini to play with. Going all-in on melee and defence? Maybe you should play with the knight!
At its core, RuneScape Kingdoms: Shadow of Elvarg is driven by rich narrative, inspired by the quests of RuneScape and Old School RuneScape. The game is littered with familiar quests, NPCs, and even the occasional niche reference. You’ll have the opportunity to assist the Lumbridge Castle cook, help the witch, Gertrude, find her missing cat, and — if you’re very unfortunate — have a close encounter with Death itself.
It’s important to note, however, that even if you’re intimately familiar with the video games, there are plenty of surprises waiting to be discovered!
RuneScape Kingdoms: SoE isn’t an exact translation of the video game narrative, either. Dialogue and elements of story have been iterated on to create an experience that’s both new and familiar for veteran players, and equally exciting for those who’ve never visited Gielinor before.
At every step, we’ve worked very closely with the game designers of both RuneScape and Old School RuneScape to make sure any new or evolved narrative feels suitably ‘RuneScapey’.
Finally, RuneScape Kingdoms: Shadow of Elvarg is a campaign game. This means after each play session, you’ll be able to ‘save’ your progress and keep track of the game state for your next play session. It's easy to pick up where you left off!
Can’t commit to an entire campaign? No problem! Gaming groups ebb and flow, and we understand not everyone has the time to play multiple sessions. So, we’ve designed RuneScape Kingdoms in a way that lets players join an active campaign partway through, or drop out of an active campaign, without disrupting the experience for everyone else.
Gameplay is also divided up into individual campaigns, which you’ll play through one-by-one. Each campaign is themed around an iconic quest from one of the RuneScape video games (you’ll also find other video game quests represented as side quests).
To create the campaigns in RuneScape Kingdoms: SoE, we’ve taken inspiration from low, middle and high-level quests in RuneScape and Old School RuneScape.
We’ve also created brand-new campaigns inspired by iconic bosses that don’t have their own quests in the video games! Want a narrative campaign featuring a boss you can only face in the TzHaar fight pits? You might just get one…
Where to Go Next
That’s all from us for now, ‘Scapers! We’ll be back at the same time next week with part two of the Tabletop Tutorial Island series, where we’ll be diving headlong into gameplay.
Want to back the game on Kickstarter? Follow the campaign now so you’re ready for launch!
Want to get hyped with other ‘Scapers? Join the dedicated tabletop group over on Facebook (where we’ll also be sharing ALL new reveals)!
Want to hang out with us and the video game mods? We’ll be making a guest appearance on some of the upcoming RuneScape and Old School RuneScape Twitch streams to answer your questions and talk about the new minis. Keep an eye on the Facebook group and SFG socials to find out when.