Thursday, December 7, 2023

GenCon Report: There’s Always Another Secret At Crafty Games

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It’s hard to place Crafty Games. On one hand, they’re the main destination for lovers of the work of Brandon Sanderson, carrying not just his fiction but also the licensed tabletop RPG (The Mistborn  Adventure Game) and the acclaimed board game based Mistborn: House War, but also for their games aimed as younger players like Nosh, and their new work at GenCon was no different.

Storm Hollow

Retail: $149.95


Storm Hollow is actually not a Crafty Games original. Created by GrowingUpGamers, it was Kickstarted by Escapade Games before Crafty acquired it, and Crafty is now working on the second edition of the game. A double ENnie nominee in 2018 (for Best Family Game and Best RPG Related Product), Storm Hollow is a rather unique example of a big box game aimed primarily at children. Much like other campaign games work to introduce adult board game players to RPGs, Storm Hollow is meant to introduce aspects of the genre to younger kids in a fun and easy to understand manner.

Each adventure is a stand-alone story with problems to overcome and goals to meet that fit into a story. They can also be strung together into a campaign that resembles a more traditional RPG. It has everything in it that a new adventurer needs, from dice to pre-gen characters to creature cards to aid in visualization. And while its aimed at younger audiences, the world is incredibly rich and well rendered, meaning that adventurers of any age can have fun experiencing the game. Crafty’s new edition of the game will streamline the box a bit more, reducing its size and making it a little less bulky. They’ve also tweaked the rules a bit and redone some of the art. That new edition should be ready to go fairly soon.


Retail Price: $9.95

Set in the Storm Hollow universe and aimed at about the same audience, Rift Walker is sort of like a crazy version of tic-tac-to. Players play and shift cards on a grid that represent elements, and when activated they have special abilities to affect the game. Players ultimately want to line their elements up, maximising their score with well placed cards and bonus points from special rifts. Crafty was nice enough to give us a copy of this came to review, so keep an eye out for more details and a full breakdown very soon.

Mistborn House War: Siege of Luthadel

Release: Early 2020

Crafty’s first expansion to their fan-favorite Mistborn: House War board game, Siege of Luthadel was a stretch goal on the first game’s Kickstarter. Since that campaign was an overwhelming success, the new expansion was greenlit and is about ready for release (Backers recently received a print-and-play of the expansion to tide them over). The game was co-designed by Kevin Wilson (who designed the first game) and Alex Flagg (Crafty’s Mistborn line developer).

The expansion moves the action of the game into the second novel in the Mistborn trilogy: The Well of Ascension. While the core gameplay of the game is largely the same, several new things have been added to bring it in line with the changed story. For one, the Unrest Tracker will become “Vin’s Journey,” while the Problem, Spoils, and Pass board is replaced with a new board reflecting the siege the expansion is named after. This siege is also reflected in the new goals for players, who must now take the side of those besieging the city of Luthadel and those defending it (and, being Mistborn, you’re also able to play both sides).

I don’t know much about Koloss, but I imagine a rogue one isn’t good

The Problem deck has also been added to, with new art, quotes, and themes taken directly from the novel. As an added twist, solved or erupting problems now go to one of the two sides of the conflict, requiring more negotiation and strategy when dealing with things. New personalities have also been added, including Vin, Elend, and Sazed. Vin, by the way, will be represented by a beautiful sculpted mini that travels along the Vin’s Journey tracker as she learns more about the Deepness and her own destiny. When she reaches the end of the track, the “Battle of Luthadel” problem is added that, when solved or allowed to erupt, ends the game.

“On the catwalk, yeah, on the catwalk,”

There will also be a Koloss mini as part of the game, used to represent the rampaging monsters despoiling the land. As the game goes on, resources accumulate under the Koloss as they pillage the Final Empire. These resources can be claimed by a house, but they also “take the Koloss” as represented by the mini. When you hold the Koloss, all Problems with the “Rampage” trait will cause you pay out the nose or face a severe consequence.

The Siege of Luthadel game was demo’d at GenCon, with the full game expected in early 2020.

Mistborn Allomancy Dice

All 20 Allomancy dice on display, plus the miniatures for Vin and The Koloss from The Siege of Luthadel

Crafty’s newest project is a collaboration with metal dice maker Die Hard Dice to produce a twenty-piece set of d6’s to correspond to the twenty Allomantic metals of the Mistborn world. Each die is solid, die cast metal with a special plating and finish on each to reflect the metal it represents. They also bear that metal’s Allomancy symbol on the six face. And, as a final bit of insane detail, the faces of the dice are either engraved or embossed depending on if it’s a pushing or pulling metal, respectively. Crafty had a couple sample pieces out at GenCon, and they feel really great in the hand and roll beautifully. While they fit easily with the Mistborn Adventure Game that Crafty publishes, they’d make a great game piece for any Mistborn fan.

Look how they shine!

Announced in July, the Mistborn Allomancy Dice will hit Kickstarter this fall


You can pick up any of Crafty’s games from their store as well as many of your local game stores. And keep an eye on The Fandomentals for all the latest from Crafty Games and Mistborn House War. We’ve also got plenty more GenCon coverage left to come, so stay tuned!


All images via Crafty Games


  • Dan Arndt

    Fiction writer, board game fanatic, DM. Has an MFA and isn't quite sure what to do now. If you have a dog, I'd very much like to pet it. Operating out of Indianapolis.

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