Introducing Barricades Mode
In days past, when the people of a city needed to defend themselves, they would erect barricades in the streets, giving them a strategic advantage in an urban warfare setting. This is the exact position our Champions find themselves confronting in Barricades Mode, the all-new game play system for Thunderstone Quest.
In Barricades Mode, 1-6 players will work cooperatively (or by themselves) to defend the village of Thunderstone Keep from the challenge of Quest 6: What Lies Beneath. Barricades Mode is fully compatible with the first 5 Quests from the first Kickstarter, though when the village is under attack there is no time for Side Quests! Side Quests are the only card type not used in Barricades Mode.
When development began of Barricades Mode, there were three core elements needed to convert the competitive mode into a cooperative one: a New Ending, an Engine to push the players there, and a Clock to punish players for failing to get there.
First things first, Thunderstone Quest needed a New Ending.
The form that ending would take was written on the wall from Day 1 – a true boss battle against a Guardian. Standard competitive mode of Thunderstone Quest concludes with a battle against a Guardian in which the focus is to give players one last opportunity to get the best out of their deck and receive maximum rewards for doing so. This formula works for competitive modes, but obviously not for cooperative modes. Barricades Mode will feature brand new, Level 7 versions of all of the Guardians of Thunderstone Quest. These Level 7 versions are forces to be reckoned with as the players will have to form parties of Champions and work together to win. Level 7 Guardians will be discussed in more depth in a future blog post.
Throughout the game a Guardian will be attacking the Village. These attacks come in the form of the new component Guardian Dice. Guardian Dice are customized 12-sided dice that act as our Engine in Barricades Mode. Players begin the game rolling small numbers of Guardian Dice, but as the game progresses, so do the number of Guardian Dice being rolled. As you have likely guessed, these dice are not good for the players. They will generate extra Monsters that attack the Village; inflict extra Wounds directly on the players; attacks by the Guardian itself; and more. But every once in a while, a Heroic Opportunity presents itself. The Guardian Dice have a 1 in 12 chance of bringing the player good fortune, instead of more obstacles to overcome. Guardian Dice will be discussed in more detail in a future blog post, but rest assured that they mostly bring pain.
That pain is our Clock in Barricade Mode, mostly in the form of Damage Chits, which were covered in depth in a previous blog post. When the Guardian or its minions attacks the Village, they will damage it, and if the Village gets too damaged, it is destroyed and the players lose. The object of the game is to defeat the attacking Guardian before that happens.
Barricades Mode also left us with another problem to resolve, though not one of the three main problems covered above. “What do we do with all of these excess XP tokens we hoard in the competitive version of Thunderstone Quest?” Well, I’m glad you asked that question Bryan! We are introducing another new component, the Prestige Class Board. When the game begins, players will choose 1 Prestige Class to specialize in and place it next to their Player Board. To gain ranks in your Prestige Class requires a feat to be achieved and XP tokens to be spent. As players gain ranks in their Prestige Class, they will gain access to new abilities, and sometimes even Legendary cards. Prestige Classes will be discussed in depth in a future blog post.
That it is the essence of Barricades Mode. You and your friends will work together to try and overcome the onslaught of a Guardian as it and its minions try to destroy Thunderstone Keep. Think you can save the Village?
— Bryan Reese, Development Lead for Thunderstone Quest