Story War is now live on Kickstarter!
(Click here to go to the Story War Kickstarter page!)
Man, you guys! We’ve been making this game since last summer and we’re so excited that it’s finally ready to print! All we need now is you, the player, to actually buy the game.
What is Story War?
It’s a storytelling party game for 3 to 8 players. There’s no numbers or stats or complex rules - each card is simply a name, illustration, and description of a Warrior, Battlefield or Item. It’s up to the players to determine what each character does, and how their Warrior would beat their opponent’s Warriors.
Players start each battle by selecting Warriors that they think would have a tactical advantage in a randomly drawn Battlefield, and then an organic story evolves from the conflict. It’s not about “who would win in a fight” so much as it’s about how they’d win in a fight. Players control their Warriors by describing what they’d do out loud in an open discussion.
One player is always acting as an impartial judge that changes after every battle. If a player claims their character is too powerful (for example, claiming a Wizard could pull the moon out of the sky) their opponent can "challenge" that claim and the judge can decide whether or not to allow it - think about how objections work in the courtroom. Challenges are rarely invoked, but the existence of the rule keeps everybody’s narrative grounded.
Battles generally start with a scrimmage to control the Battlefield, then once someone has the high ground they’ll go in for a direct attack, then usually Item cards are introduced and add more complexity to the battle. In large team games, Warriors are often matched up one by one and each team gradually whittles each other down. The cards are only a starting point - where the battle ends up depends on the story lines the players try to weave.
The best part of Story War is being backed into a corner and having to use ridiculous cartoon logic or a reference to Harry Potter or Pokemon to get yourself out of a jam. “A Blob can’t eat a Skeleton - bones are what amorphous blobs SPIT OUT when they eat something!” “In Harry Potter the Basilisk’s fangs could bite through curses!” “You can’t punch a bird - flying types resist fighting attacks in Pokemon!” As long as the judge accepts your rationale, it’s fair game!
Who is Story War for?
Everybody! We went out of our way to make Story War as inclusive as possible. We playtested it with a diverse mix of ages, genders, and skill level and we’ve yet to see a single person not have fun with the game. It’s a great way for adults and children to connect on a creative level! We’ve also seen it unlock hidden potential in “non-gamers” - suddenly their storytelling powers come to life and they blow everyone else out of the water!
Big games of Story War are played in teams, and we’ve found that the team-based gameplay makes it easier for newcomers. Because you’re never having to battle against a power player alone, you can contribute as much or as little to the game as you want. It’s a game where everybody involved is going to have a good time no matter what!
Everybody who participates in a game of Story War will walk away from it with memorable stories that can just remain a special experience shared between them and their friends, or it can even serve as inspiration for their own creative endeavors.
Whoa cool, how can I get Story War?
If you go to our Kickstarter page you’ll be able to back the project and get a copy of the game. For $10 you can get a print-and-play copy, for $25 we will ship you a physical copy of the Story War cards, and for $40 you can get the game plus the expansion that we’ll be developing with creative input from our backers!
If you back at the $60 tier (or $50 after the fan art/fic discount, see below) you can get the Deluxe edition, which contains: A comic book featuring various interpretations of the characters, blank cards that you can draw on yourself, and limited edition cards based on Grumpy Cat, Keyboard Cat, Nyan Cat, Scumbag Hat and Cyberspace:
And if you can pledge anything above $100, we will draw custom artwork based on you, your favorite things, or your original characters and print a one of a kind card just for you! There’s a lot of really cool reward tiers, be sure to check them all out!
Story War is already finished, our Kickstarter is just to get enough preorders to print the game in bulk, which is about 90% cheaper than doing print-on-demand. Profits will be funneled back into making our first expansion more awesome. Our funding goal to print the game is only $20,000 - but if we reach our $100,000 stretch goal, we’ll be building out a free online multiplayer version of Story War so you can tell cool stories with your e-friends! Check out the Kickstarter page for more details!
What else can I do to help make Story War happen?
Oh wow it’s so sweet of you to ask that!
A bunch of people have decided to help us out by making fan art and fan fiction, which they’ve put in the #Story War tag! If you post original fan art or fan fiction in the #Story War tag, email your post’s URL to Fan@CantripGames.com and we’ll send you a SECRET CODE that you can use to get $10 off the Deluxe edition of Story War!
The single most helpful thing you can do is reblog this post to get the word out about the Story War Kickstarter! Lets do this!
4:45 pm • 20 February 2013 • 4,461 notes
40 prototype copies of Story War came in today! It’s so heavy!
These are all going to reviewers! (Except for 6 of them, which will be mailed to our contest winners tomorrow.) Right now, the tentative launch date for the Kickstarter is February 5th.
Our followers will be the first to know when the Kickstarter goes live! Additionally, anyone who posted fan art in the Story War tag will be sent a Secret Code that they can use to get a discount on the game!
2:15 am • 29 January 2013 • 55 notes
(Story War is a storytelling card game we’re developing, follow for more info)
Our last post got over 100 responses! OVER ONE HUNDRED! I’ve spent the last few hours reading all of them and I’m blown away. It feels amazing to see such great fan fiction based on something you helped create! I wish we had more prototypes to give away, but we only have three to spare, and we decided they’d go to:
Man okay so! With these three prototypes being sent off to these folk (once I track down their shipping addresses) we’ll only have a few left to continue to do playtests with! (If you’re in NYC, we’re doing this NYC playtest every single Saturday at 2pm.)
But ahhhh I don’t really care anyway, I wanna do another giveaway, because you guys are amazing! I’ll just have to order some more prototypes once I send the next batch out next week. Anyway, here is how we’re going to give away the next few prototypes:
Fan Art Contest Rules: Take any two characters from the above photoset and draw them fighting each other. Post it to your blog and tag it as #Story War so we can find it. You don’t have to reblog this post, but doing so would be super cool and helpful! (Optionally: Set the fight in one of the battlefields shown above.)
Okay! Fan art takes a little longer than fan fiction so I’m going to give you guys an entire week to do this. On Sunday, Jan 6th, I’ll go through the #Story War tag and pick some winners. I’ll even be periodically reblogging some throughout the week!
I’m so excited to see what you guys come up with!
8:04 pm • 30 December 2012 • 249 notes
Our new Story War prototypes came in today! They’re beautiful! (Story War is our upcoming card game where 3 to 8 players battle each other using their creative storytelling skills, read more about it here.)
Most of these prototypes are already earmarked as review copies or playtest copies, but we have a few extras that we can give away. I honestly never considered doing a giveaway until I saw them all sprawled out on my coffee table like gold doubloons. So here’s how you can get one:
Reblog this post and tell us in your caption who would win in a battle (set in the Graveyard) between the Goblin and the Manticore? And how would they win?
We’ll read all the reblogs in the notes and mail some prototype copies to the the people who wrote the most creative responses! We only have a handful of extra copies but we might end up giving out more than one if we get a bunch of great responses!
Also, our Kickstarter will be launching at the end of January, so you should follow us if you want to be kept in the loop about that!
PS: If you live in NYC, you can come play test Story War tomorrow!
4:05 pm • 28 December 2012 • 272 notes
Story War playtest #1 is happening this Saturday! If you’re in NYC and want to help us improve the game (or if you just really wanna play it) then head over to the Facebook event page. Even if you’re not in NYC, it’s also super helpful if you just reblog this post or share the event on your Facebook so that more people in NYC might see it!
1:02 pm • 25 December 2012 • 280 notes
Wow, we’re almost done with all the art for Story War! The photo set above is just 10 of the 90 original pieces of art we’ve created for our card game.
The basic premise of Story War is that you have to use visual cues from the artwork as well as allusions to popular culture or mythology to convince a player acting as a judge that your character could beat your opponent’s character in a fight. It’s really creative and fun! Read more about the game here.
Here’s a word from our artist, Vondell, about his work on the game:
It’s a big challenge to breathe life into 60 characters, not only in a way that makes them interesting to look at but also in a way that makes them interesting to play! Although all of our warriors are based on notable cultural myths and legends, what we’re really doing here is creating original characters to populate an original world. In that respect, making the art for Story War has felt less like making a card game and more like building a fantasy world and its inhabitants from the ground up. We’ve got a great mix of cool, fun, and occasionally really creepy, and it all adds up to some really genuinely great open-ended gameplay potential.
Be sure to follow us for more updates on the game, and to be alerted when the Kickstarter goes live next month!
4:38 pm • 11 December 2012 • 542 notes
Check out this 3D gif of one of our Warrior cards, the Rat King!
3D gif by Dain Fagerholm, original art by Vondell Swain.
(To learn more about our card game Story War, read this post)
Story War is a subjectivity game where you try to convince the judge that the Warrior depicted in your card’s artwork could defeat the Warrior depicted in your opponent’s artwork. So the art is very important! But it’s also important that each Warrior is based on a cultural touchstone, so that players can easily extrapolate what their powers and abilities might be. For example, everyone knows how a vampire or werewolf works.
But I also noticed, while playtesting, that people responded well to cards based on animals - there’s a logic of like, dog beats cat, cat beats rat, bees beat dog - and people can quickly visualize how a fight between those two animals would play out.
So we really needed a rodent card to cover the most common animals but there wasn’t really any rodent in mythology that was prominent enough or powerful enough to work. We were going to just do a plague rat but a plague rat feels like a low level enemy you’d encounter early on in an RPG, and all the Warriors need to be on roughly the same tier in terms of power. So we kinda went a little more “original content” with this Warrior than we did with most of the other ones, who are very much based on real mythological things.
The rat king actually is based on a real mythological thing, but not one that most people are familiar with and also not one that’s very powerful. So we decided to make him a Voltron-like humanoid of rats working together, as opposed to a tangle of uncoordinated rats. He was also partially inspired by the Mouse King from the Nutcracker. And hopefully there’s a little bit of a plague rat implication in there too.
Anyway this guy is really cool and fun to play as! One time the Rat King was in a fight with Medusa, and she turned him to stone - but only PART of him - because Medusa’s petrification curse only works on an individual target at a time, and not a group of individuals. So Medusa really just succeeded in turning the Rat King’s arm into a stone club that he used to bash her face in. It was a really cool battle.
We’re about 75% done with the art for Story War, and we expect to be launching the Kickstarter in mid January. Make sure you follow our blog so we can let you know when Story War goes on sale!
1:16 pm • 8 December 2012 • 448 notes
We just did a fun playtest today
We played a great game of Story War today! Here’s some things that happened:
- Someone used the Philosopher’s Stone to transform the air around the Fairy into a bottle - a bottle is a Fairy’s worst enemy!
- Someone used the Yeti in the Crystal Cave to create giant ice structures that mimicked crystals so he could control and manipulate the environment and confuse them, but then the Gremlin shot charges of electricity through the ice which lead right back to the Yeti and fried him!
- The Dwarf converted to Catholicism to defeat the Demon!
- The Teen Wolf used the Clocktower’s Time Energy to control his time-based wolf transformation powers AS WELL as his teenage mood swings!
- The Blue Dragon caused a blizzard that affected the Bugbear by making both his bear-aspects hibernate and his bug-aspects die from being cold blooded.
- The Lich tried to prolong her life, like Voldemort, by hiding a piece of her soul away from an enemy, but then the Mimic ate her soul when she attempted to hide it inside of his mouth!
It was so fun! I can’t wait for you guys to play it.
ALSO, the people I played with all had pretty defined play styles:
- Nick: Very scientific but lacked coherent tactics. He referenced the quantum uncertainty principle, absolute zero, and the conductivity of colder objects within a 20 minute span. But he had trouble coming up with ways to win.
- Caldwell: He was driven more on cute iconic cartoony imagery but didn’t think through consequence Ie, he thought it’d be cool to have Puss and Boots fight the Treant but CATS LOSE TO TREES ALL THE TIME IN REAL LIFE.
- Hamer: A stoner, Mike would come up with good arguments EVENTUALLY but never see them through to the end or swing the crowd in his favor because he was too relaxed to speak up.
- Barry: Super cocky about every single card and often relying on brute force. “What’s a Imp going to do to a Behemoth? NOTHING THAT’S WHAT! I’M JUST GOING TO CRUSH HIM! I’LL CRUSH ALL OF YOU SO EASILY!”
- Brad: Perfect and flawless at every turn.
11:42 pm • 28 November 2012 • 111 notes