20 years of Warlord


After two decades, a classic of the CCG era returns.  Warlord: Saga of the Storm is back for a birthday celebration. This year will see the release of a 20th Anniversary Celebration pack featuring all-new cards for the game.  This pack is a look at who some of the Medusan Lords were when they were but Warlords. You can build entirely new decks around them!  Including my favorite, and the first Medusan Lord defeated, Nassiral Hate.

You may be asking yourself, “why is AEG producing a set for a game that has not been published in nearly 15 years, and have no current plans to bring it back?” 

Four reasons:

  1. We still love the game.
  2. The fans, who have become our friends over the decades, are still connected, playing and trading cards.
  3. We loved the idea of exploring the history of some of our favorite characters.
  4. 20 years is an amazing milestone for any game product.

Warlord was pitched to me when the d20 craze was in full swing.  I loved the game but the cherry on top of the pitch was they wanted to use my game world as the setting for Warlord.  We launched Warlord using the tag line “The game you already know how to play” and if you had ever played a d20 roleplaying game you did indeed know how to play. We gave away 400,000 decks, inserting them into all of the major magazines, distributor catalogs, and handing them out at shows.  Yes, you read that right, 400,000.  That’s almost half a million.  It was a huge gamble but it paid off and Warlord: Saga of the Storm was the greatest launch of a new game in AEG’s history.

The Overlord/Medusan Lord promotion was inspired by a number of things.  My long running campaign was started as a response to the group playing super evil overpowered characters in solo sessions between regular games.  I told the group I was running a big session for those characters.  When we showed up to play the session I asked to see all of the character sheets and when I had them I said, “These characters have formed an alliance and taken over the world.  Last night they implemented an Assassins Strike, killing most of the leaders and heroes of note in the world in one swift and deadly assault.  Roll up first level characters, you need to save the world from your evil characters.”

The Overlord Challenges were a tiered challenge system.  We created three levels:

Overlords – More powerful than standard Warlords. These were published as decks that players would have to defeat.  Were they successful, they would claim an Overlord as their prize.

Dragon Lords – Should a player be willing to offer up an Overlord they had defeated, they earned a shot at a Dragon Lord, an even more challenging opponent.

Medusan Lords – The ultimate challenge.  Medusan Lords were singularly powerful decks that required a puzzle to be solved to defeat them, along with a serious level of luck during the game. There was only one copy of each Medusan Lord, each piloted by a single person in the world.  To challenge a specific Medusan Lord, you had to encounter that person at an event, and offer up a Dragon Lord you had defeated in an earlier challenge.  In exchange for that, you had your one shot.

A young Nassiral Hate

My research shows that there were, over the years, 42 Medusan Lords. Amazingly 19 Medusan Lords have been killed and claimed by those who defeated them. 7 have been retired as unbeatable. 16 remain alive and still challengeable to this day.

I will write more about this in my history blogs when that part of our AEG history comes up.  Originally each staffer ran their own Medusan Lord and I ran Nassiral Hate.  He was designed to be fire and forget because I was not the best Warlord player and I can say this.  I ran him many times and I broke into a cold sweat when I had the realization that I was in trouble and about to lose.  It was equal parts exhilarating and terrifying.  One of my top 10 moments in almost thirty years of publishing games.

It is very easy to get sucked back into how exciting it was to publish Warlord.  Publishing multiple successful CCG’s in that era is a legacy we are very proud of.  Warlord players, we hope you enjoy the new cards and the opportunity to dust off your collections and once again join us on the field of battle!


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