Alright Seekers, we hear you! You’ve been giving us fantastic feedback via our social media and Discord. “The characters are so cool!”, “The art is gorgeous!”, “We can’t wait to see more,” but we’ve been getting one major question above all others: How does the game work?
We figured we’d walk you through a basic rundown of how the game works and what to expect in your first couple of quests. And if you want to see the game on the table, we have our Kinfire Playthrough series where tabletop favorites such as Felicia Day, Chrissy Costanza, Brian David Gilbert, and B. Dave Walters get together and play through the first few quests.
Without further ado, let's talk about how Kinfire Chronicles: Night's Fall works!
A Hero’s Journey
The first thing you and your group will need to do is choose your characters. Kinfire Chronicles: Night’s Fall plays 1-4 players, but there are 6 playable Seekers to choose from:
From L to R: Valora, Feyn, Asha, Naz, Roland, and Khor
Valora was raised as a noblewoman before running away to pursue a life of travel and adventure. She is a born leader and a skilled archer who prefers to strike from a distance rather than get her hands dirty. Valora's ranged attacks keep her at a distance, and moving allows her to give armor to her allies in the form of cover fire. Perfect for players who like dealing high damage and taking a straightforward approach.
Feyn is a lighthearted human bard who was born lucky and is trying to keep it that way. He hides his mysterious past behind his ever-present grin and witty sense of humor and has a song or story for every occasion. Feyn’s songs allow him to chain action cards, meaning he can cycle his deck faster than most characters. Perfect for players who enjoy the intricacies of gameplay and love to inspire others.
Asha was orphaned at a young age, and taken in by a sect of the Temple to be trained as an assassin. After fleeing from the sect, she took to the streets as a thief and eventually joined the Seekers’ Guild. Although she prefers to do things her own way, she has a soft spot for her team. Asha's cards help her redirect enemy focus off of her so she can sneak in for the kill. Perfect for stealthy players who prefer to attack from the shadows.
Naz is a farm girl who longed to make a difference. When her orcish weather sense told her something menacing was coming, she left her home to train and learn how to best protect those she loves. Though quite young, she has grown into a master strategist. Naz’s abilities focus on battlefield control, and moving allies and enemies to advantageous positions. Perfect for players who enjoy a challenge and the ability to affect the entire battlefield.
Roland is an inquisitive member of the dwarven Scholars’ Guild who specializes in fire magic. He’s always willing to jump into battle with an overpowering blow, even when it means putting himself in harm’s way. He specializes in fire magic and status effects, so he can be a bit of a trickier character to master. For those up to the challenge, Roland is perfect for players who like helping others and understand the term "glass cannon."
Khor is a revenant—a departed soul inhabiting a metal shell through the power of kinfire. They have no memory of who they used to be, but they know they enjoy the company of their teammates now. They’re always accompanied by their faithful pet mothling, Flickers, who is drawn to the kinfire burning inside of Khor. Khor specializes in protecting the rest of the party and drawing the attention of enemies. Perfect for players who don’t mind being the tank and are willing to step up and take damage for their team.
Each character has a deck of 18 cards: 9 Action cards, and their corresponding 9 Boost cards. Each card has a color assigned to it: Red, Green, Blue, or White (which is a wild card), with each color representing a particular talent/skill: Red is power, Green is finesse, and Blue is wisdom. You can see your Seeker’s basic deck makeup on their character sheet, along with their special character ability.
In the case of Feyn, he is strongest with wisdom (Blue), followed by finesse (Green), and finally power (Red)
Once you’ve chosen your characters, it’s time to open Quest 1 and begin!
Choose Your Path
Kinfire Chronicles: Night’s Fall provides an RPG-like experience that doesn't require a game master. The cards will tell you what’s happening, who you can talk to, and what choices you can make. There are 15 playable quests, and each quest takes about 45 minutes to an hour to play.
As you progress on your adventure, players will need to overcome challenges to continue on in the story, such as crossing a river or chasing down a suspect. Usually you’ll do this via a skill check, and try to flip the correct number and color of cards from your decks. As you progress in the game, these checks can change, including more choices, and certain quests being easier (or harder!) if you have certain Seekers in your party.
Some decisions are a true test of character–questions of tactics, ethics, or deep reflections that try the souls of heroes. Questions like, “Do we go find the McGuffin, or go rescue the person in distress?” or “Do we take the path by the river to hide our tracks, or the path up the hill that will be faster?” In these instances, the players will need to make a choice on how to proceed. If you and your companions choose the path that your playable Seeker agrees with the most, you’ll receive a kinfire token, a valuable resource representing your Seeker's personal growth. You can use this kinfire to level up your player deck later, but sometimes it’s worth it to go against “what my character would do,” in order to move the story in a particular direction.
If It’s A Fight You’re Looking For
Of course, sometimes you can’t talk your way out of a situation and it’s time to draw swords. During battle, Kinfire Chronicles: Night’s Fall uses the Destiny Bag to determine initiative. Inside the bag you’ll put 12 number chits that correspond to actions your enemies can take in combat. Then you’ll put in 12 hero chits divided evenly amongst the number of players (6 each for 2 players, 4 each for 3 players, 3 each for 4 players). Last you’ll put in 3 heart tokens (which allow you to choose which Seeker’s turn it is), and 2 Darkness tokens (which usually trigger the enemy’s strongest move).
Khor, Feyn, Roland, and Asha fight a Wyvern on the battlemap
You’ll pull out a token from the Destiny bag, and whatever you pull out, that’s who’s turn it is. Both Seekers and enemies get to move one space and perform one Action, and then players can play Boost cards. You can use Boosts to do things like increase your ally’s damage, reduce incoming enemy damage, give your allies extra movement, or even put a pulled chit back into the bag without performing its action (great if you know a certain enemy action will cause certain death). Heart and Darkness chits go on the Time Tracker, and once you have 4, you'll reset the bag by putting back every chit pulled so far.
If even one Seeker falls in battle, the entire party loses, so make sure to take care of each other. The game isn’t over, but it will affect later gameplay and choice options.
[If you want to learn more about the development of the Destiny bag, Game Design Director Kevin Wilson wrote a blog about it that you can read here]
Moments Like These Build Character
After certain quests you’ll be able to visit towns and cities to explore. There you can do things like purchase new weapons, train new skills, find sidequests, and talk to NPCs. New skills and equipment are represented by new cards, and while you’re resting at the inn you can build your deck. You’ll always have 9 sets of cards (Action and Boost) in your deck, but you get to swap in different cards that you find, buy, or otherwise acquire. You might even find higher power cards that require a certain number of Kinfire to use, so hopefully you’ve been getting your way during those Conundrums. While you’ll need to abide by your character’s skillset (represented by the column on your Seeker’s character sheet), you can build your Seeker to play however you want.
The town of Vinna, with some locations you can visit
TL;DR- Kinfire Chronicles is a quest-based cooperative adventure board game for 1-4 players, with each quest taking about 45-60 minutes to play. If this sounds like the kind of game you’re looking for, that’s awesome!
We ran a successful crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter in August and September of 2022, raising over $300,000 to make this game a reality. If you missed the campaign but still want to get Kinfire Chronicles before it hits stores, you can pre-order via our fulfillment partner, BackerKit. We are expecting the game to be available on our website, conventions, and select Friendly Local Game Stores in summer 2023, with pre-orders and Kickstarter backers receiving their copies first.