Thunderstone Quest like most deckbuilding games has an interesting strategic challenge.
There is a certain point where you do not wish to add more cards to your deck. You have your deck humming and doing what it should be doing, the last thing you want to do is add more cards to it and clog it up. So what do you do with your sweet, sweet gold if you do not wish to purchase any cards?
Thunderstone Quest answer: Buy tokens!
(This illustration has nothing to do with Tokens, but it looks cool!)
Tokens are one-time effects that you buy and hold until they are needed. These tend to be smaller effects, such as producing a little bit of light. Effects that maybe you would not want to clog your deck with, but could prove crucial in getting the edge you need to win.
We have also added mechanics to the game so that some heroes and monsters have interactions with tokens.
Tokens for purchase are something we have never explored in Thunderstone before. The colored Thunderstone experience tokens released in Thunderstone Advance were popular, but were very dependent on the luck of the draw, so we wanted to take that idea and make it into a more tactical part of the game. Adding cards to your deck is great for powerful effects, such as attack bonuses which you will always want. But what about small effects, such as a little more Skill to wield a weapon? Or perhaps being a little shy on the gold needed for this turn? That’s where tokens come in, and they have added some great experiences and strategies in Thunderstone Quest. Exploring this territory has opened design space in unexpected ways, and we are excited to share it with you.
So, let’s look at a couple of tokens that we have in the game. Let’s look at the light token first. This costs 3 gold, and can be discarded to create a point of light. With light equalling movement points in Thunderstone Quest, and with the better monsters to attack lying deeper in the dungeon investing in a light token or two early is a key tactical part of the game. Often the third level rooms will have a cost of 2 light to move into them, so having tokens around for when you get the best turns with strong hands is important. The healing potion token is also a vital part of game play. Clerics are a key part of wound management, and wounds are the element that most hampers your deck from working effectively, but you cannot always rely on them being around at the right time. Investing 4 gold into a potion token, to discard to heal a wound on a later village or dungeon turn is a very worthwhile investment as the game progresses, and perhaps allows you to not have to rely too heavily on the cleric in your party all the time. After all what well-prepared adventurer sallies forth without their healing potion?
We began the campaign with cardboard “chits” for tokens but your support unlocked our 6th Stretch Goal and upgraded the tokens to painted wood playing pieces. The graphics you see on the Campaign are just placeholders. Our 3D modelers will be working with our suppliers to finalize actual designs once the campaign is finished and we’re preparing to take Thunderstone Quest into production.
— Bryan Reese
Thunderstone Lead Developer