The Witcher Adventure Game, a digital board game from developer CD Projekt Red, is in development for Mac, Windows PC, Android and iOS, the developer announced at an event today.
The developer is launching a closed beta on Mac and PC, and players can sign up for access on GOG. Those versions are scheduled to be released in 2014. Beta testers will receive keys "in a matter of days," likely after E3 2014 next week, a presenter said. The game will use the new GOG Galaxy service, and its Android and iOS counterparts will follow the PC versions.
Though developers did not announce a price, they did say that The Witcher AdventureGame will not be free-to-play. It will also offer cross-platform between GOG and Steam.
The PC version of the upcoming board game features plenty of investigations and monster battles
As Geralt (or sorceress Triss Merigold, bard Dandelion, or dwarven warrior Yarpen Zigrin), you'll travel across 17 spaces representing locales from the Witcher games, including Vizima and Kaer Morhen. Each turn lets you perform two actions; you can move one space (or two, if you don't mind the potentially nasty effects of drawing a Foul Fate card), draw a card to "develop" your character with bonus actions you can use during combat, rest to heal any wounds you've incurred, or "investigate." That last one's the most important, as it'll draw a card with some small objective (like getting swept up in a fight, or taking a message to another town) driven by a few sentences of story. Resolve it, and it'll net you red, blue, or purple proof tokens.
Those tokens, in turn, are the key to winning. At the start of a game, you're given a choice of quest cards, which have one main quest (usually of the "travel to a location with X number of proof tokens and/or coins" variety) as well as a couple of shorter, optional quests, like simply going to a specific city, or spending a handful of collected tokens. The more quests you compete, the more Victory Points you'll get, and the better your chance of winning when the game ends – which, depending on the pre-voted length, happens when one player polishes off one, three, or five main quest cards.
If any monsters or other threats are lurking in your area, you'll also have to deal with them at the end of your turns. You might have to draw a Foul Fate card – which could wound you (making one of your actions unusable until you've healed it by resting), leech some of your tokens, or do nothing – or battle a monster, which is a lot more fun. Battles involve a combination of "hero dice" which have icons of swords, shields, and spell glyphs on them, and monster cards, which come in bronze, silver, and gold strengths, and dictate how many of each icon you'll need to win. Didn't roll enough swords to fill the requisite attack slots? The monster goes free. Did you only roll two shields, instead of the three needed for defense? It's going to wound you, whether you kill it or not.
At first, your paltry die rolls won't yield enough swords or shields to kill anything but low-level creatures, making battles a demoralizing chore. Here's where that "develop" command comes into play, though. Development cards are reusable, and let you spend "common markers" (or, better yet, otherwise useless spell glyphs) to multiply your attack and defense icons, giving you the edge to take down bigger threats. Common markers, meanwhile, can be built up mainly using character-specific abilities during turns; Geralt and Triss can prepare potions or spells, respectively, which charge up their development cards. Yarpen, meanwhile, can call on two of his helpers to charge his cards, get money from the bank, or pursue other helpful tasks, while Dandelion's "sing" command just earns him a couple of coins, making him a potentially weaker character (but one better prepared for any investigation-related financial emergencies).
When it's finished, The Witcher Adventure Game will feature offline modes for those who want to play with friends in the same room, or against AI opponents.