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Deep in the Galbresian Mountains… something begins

In six weeks, Runika and the Six-sided Spellbooks launches on Kickstarter. This project has been in the works since before Lucidity launched, but it didn’t always start out as a game in its own right.

Over on the Runika Facebook group, a number of people asked to hear about the origin story of the game. Well … our story begins (insert that doo dooo dooo dooooo music that signals a flashback) back in February of 2017…

One of the earliest cards for Archly Scheming.

I was getting ready for the Lucidity Kickstarter launch and I was concerned that the dark theme might be a little off-putting for some fans. So I planned to launch the game with two themes: dark horror, and bright fantasy. At the time, Lucidity was called Darkly Dreaming; and this secondary theme was named (thankfully changed since then) Archly Scheming.

The idea was that each player was a student at an academy for wizards, learning how best to cast spells and avoiding annoying the professors. However, should a player prove too competent in one elemental type, they’d be drafted into becoming a professor in their own right and spend the rest of the game trying to earn prestige teaching other students. Heck, I’d even designed the Hunt symbol so that it looked like flames upside down.

I know right? Solid forethought right there.

A little spooky, it’s true…

Anyways, fast-forward five months and the Lucidity campaign was going bonkers. It became time to roll out the fantasy version as a secondary theme. Only problem was, in that five months, I’d been tweaking Archly Scheming (what I was now calling Six-sided Spellbooks) and it didn’t exactly work as a Lucidity clone anymore.

I had been messing around with the Professor/Nightmare powers to allow you to shift colours around in the Shadows section of your board, when I had a thought …

What about if, instead of putting dice in rows on your board, you still had a 4×4 grid, but you put each colour down from its own side? (Air on top, Earth underneath, Fire and Water each to a side of their own.)

The win condition changed from earning the most points into completing a rune first. Professors became powers you could activate on your turn to manage your board. Hunt symbols still accrued and could kill you. I also found about this time that having Exhaust symbols make you skip a turn was boring. Nobody likes a “skip your turn” mechanic. So in Lucidity this changed to losing points. But in Spellbooks, there were no points. Instead, I thought, what if they spun your board around – making it harder to place your spell dice and complete your runes?

And this is where the game was at when I was ready to introduce it to Lucidity backers. It was, in short, a completely different game. And one that I wanted to do justice to instead of merely making a retheme.

So I rethought the retheme, went back to the drawing board, and asked Tyler to come up with some awesome kids battling bad dreams instead.

Those kids look a little familiar now … but that’s a story for another day.

If you’d like to keep up with the Kickstarter in the coming weeks, you can keep checking back here or go like the Facebook group. 🙂