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Kingdom Death: Monster

A Collection of Designer Notes

The following information was originally culled from forums and the Kingdom Death: Monster Kickstarter pages by aredman and Gtz Kirchhauser and originally edited by Ashan. Further notes were compiled with final organizing and editing by Victor Garrison. This is a fan document and is not intended to be perceived as an official Kingdom Death release.

Part I: Kingdom Death: Monster Game Play Comments and Notes

Game Play
The design "vision" if you will, is that in a single game session you will have 1 hunt phase ,1 showdown phase ( fight ) & 1 settlement phase. Spanning about 30-90 mins depending on what happens and how long your gaming group takes. We personally game for extended periods of time and usually do 1-3 sessions in total. It's a campaign so your looking at a minimum of around 15-20 sessions in total to take down the boss, but there are a lot of built in variables that can greatly extend or shorten this overall estimate. There are no dungeons, with doors and rooms in the traditional sense. There is a bit of random exploring while you "hunt" a target, but that is done with dice rolls and a table based on the creature you are currently hunting. The board is pretty much an arena, with some exceptions on how different monsters interact with it. Some will fly, drag players around, hide, etc. Currently yes, you will only be fighting one monster at a time. There may in the future be monsters which have several parts or characters, but for now I am focusing on the core "boss" concept. The settlement/civ part of the game is basically the "shop & manage" phase. The board is not needed and instead you use information tiles and innovation cards that express what you can do, build, visit etc. If you are familiar with warhammer quest, imagine the settlement phase with modular locations and a bit more depth connecting everything. I've had many backers request that the locations be made into tiles or little physical houses and while I must admit I am totally charmed by this idea I don't want to complicate the civ part of the game and require building positions etc, etc. Not crazy about tokens or token tracks. They are the kinda thing where once you have loads of em, you forget to move them or worse yet lose the token and up using scrap paper or a dice anyway. To keep things simple, the game does not have any derived stats and everything is basically gear based. The "settlement" consists of several 4"x8" heavy cards (might make them tiles), each representing a location. You begin with just 3. The card itself has all the rules of what you can do at the location, what stuff you can craft or what special rules happen when a survivor interacts with it. Generally speaking,

you can craft freely from any location, but only participate in a single endeavor (a locations special property) once a settlement phase. This really helps streamline things. Exactly how you use the armor kits is up to you as a hobbyist. I looked into plastic snap options and determined it would end up being more restrictive and also greatly limit the design of each part. I provide the parts, you decide how best to utilize them. All of the models in the game box are needed to play, any doubling up or extra sets are purely bonus figures. There will be a story section with important events that can trigger during the game play. These will lead you to the ultimate goal of confronting the Watcher, the last boss monster of the campaign. The game can still continue past this point if you wish to "get every upgrade / little detail possible" but it makes for a good natural ending. The game can also be played without the story events in a lets just see what happens sort of way.

Win Conditions
You lose if all your survivors die. You 'win' if at least one of your survivors lives past the last boss which at this point can either be The Watcher or the Dragon King. But as has been stated previously, getting up to and defeating the last boss isn't going to be a cakewalk. It will take prepping your survivors correctly, a well upgraded settlement and some luck before you'll have a chance, however small it may be. The whole idea is the concept of humans 'surviving' to struggle to make an existence in a nightmarish world dominated by monsters that would have no qualms about eating them or using them as foot rests.

While a survivor can live thru multiple game sessions and rack up certain bonuses(for example crazy blind john, who is really great at fighting lions!), they are not as important as making sure your entire settlement endures from generation from generation. 90% of the stats / abilities come from gear which can be taken from fallen survivors and passed thru generations. Having a clean slate survivor is often great, because he won't be missing any limbs or have any disorders! Actually... you do get +1 survival point for naming a survivor! Survival points let you dodge an attack that might have killed you, let you activate a piece of gear a second time and sometimes are used for special maneuvers. Names are also a great way to get attached to survivors before they die!

The Gear System

The Gear System is a 3x3 grid, and the gear cards are square. Essentially granting you 9 slots to be as creative as you like with. Wanna be a crazy naked guy covered in monster grease, lucky charms and trinkets? You got it. Wanna be a armored powerhouse relying just on your favorite weapon? Done. That is of course provided you craft the gear required for your builds. I designed the system to reward experimentation and to be organic. In some cases what people might consider "low level gear" from easier to kill monsters might be more viable then "high level" gear from harder monsters. I personally do not like games that have a smooth and easy level advancement to follow. With an organic system, you might feel on top of the world one game and the next get your teeth knocked out. It also fits the overall theme of the game more than a strict level up system that scales along with you.

Gear cards can be combined for a different use. The cloth gear card and the sharp stone gear card (Those two seem to be every survivors starting equipment) can be combined into a crude sling - so you actually have a ranged weapon at your disposal right from the beginning.

Each survivor can equip up to nine gear cards, arranged in a 3x3 grid. Some cards have colored areas (tabs?) on one or more sides. If adjacent cards have the same colour on the corresponding edge, a conditional benefit would be granted. For example, a monster tooth necklace would grant +1 strength if its red tab was completed, and the lucky charm would grant +1 luck if its blue tab was completed. However, depending on what gear you have, you will have to arrange the grid to maximize benefits, optimizing your gear for that particular encounter. You can have as many "weapon" type gear cards as you can fit in your 9 slots. Normally you can only activate one piece of gear per turn. But there are many ways to gain more gear activation's. By default you can spend a survival point and take an extra move or gear activation. There is also a piece of gear that when activated, allows you to activate weapon type gear that is on its left and right side. So for a single gear activation, you can attack with two weapons! This is a powerful combo tho, and basically takes up 3 slots of your total 9 slots in a horizontal line. The game design naturally limits how many powerful combos you can fit into your gear load out. So its sort of like a puzzle. When an area of the body is struck, the gear on that part of the body is not destroyed. It's assumed you later auto repair it at the settlement, as anything else is too much annoying book keeping that does not really add much immersion. There are of course exceptions to this general rule, but they are rare. Gear is also not limited to just weapons. A Fecal Salve can be applied to make yourself not a threat, a whisper harp can be strummed to remove a mood card and a Rawhide Drum can be beat to negate damage from intimidation attacks like roars or stare downs.

The Gear In Play:

There seem to be 4 types of gear: armour, weapons, shields and trinkets (that's what I call them). There seem to be different classes of weapons e.g. dagger and sword, as well as ranged weapons. It is unknown if there is a limit on how many weapons a survivor may carry. There are 5 locations for armor: arms, legs, torso, waist and head. Presumably only one piece of armour can be worn per location. There seems to be no limit to trinkets (other than the maximum of 9 gear cards). Presumably, a survivor can use only one shield. Adam stated that the items in a survivors possession auto repair after a showdown-HOWEVER, there are items that are labeled as frail. These items can be destroyed in an encounter. After a showdown roll a D10. If you fail the roll specified on the gear card the item is destroyed (discard the gear card).

There were said to be two different kinds of resources: basic and monster-specific. Examples for basic resources: hide, bone, monster organ. Example for monster specific resources: white fur (from the white lion). Some armor is more about spiritualism and a sense of "becoming" the beast. The dragon king armor for example, has an exposed chest on both the male & female because they are imitating the creature itself, which has an exposed chest.

There Are Several Things That Can Be Done With Resources:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Consumables (e.g. Monster Organ - 10% chance of catching a parasite + ??) Craft gear with them Upgrade/build settlement locations Trade them in for innovation cards at Lantern Hoard settlement locations Broken lanterns can be harvested for scrap metal, once you've built a foundry and have a decent way of purifying it. Metal is super limited and usually unless it's found or given to the settlement, you just won't have it.

Skills / Settlements:
The basic game comes at least with: Lantern Hoard: kind of hard to read but it seems you can trade resources for innovation here. Organ Grinder: seems to be the most basic craft - fashions trinkets out of organs and sometimes one other resource. Location is upgradable. Skin Worker: fashions 5 different pieces of rawhide armour out of one hide each as well as a weapon (whip) and a trinket (drum) out of one hide and one bone each. Location is upgradable.

Bone Smith: fashions 3 different hand to hand weapons, one ranged weapon and one piece of armour (skull helmet) out of bone (and in some cases one other resource). Location is upgradable. Interesting: The helmet can be fashioned out of either 2x bone or one skull. Leather Worker: can produce leather (hard to read but presumably out of skin resources), can fashion 5 different pieces of leather armour out of leather (and in some cases other resources), as well as a shield, a weapon and a trinket. Appears not to be upgradable. Catarium: this is where armour and other equipment is crafted out of lion specific resources. Again, we get 5 pieces of Lion Armour and 8 weapons/trinkets. Appears not to be upgradable.

Monster AI Deck
Monsters have around 25+ AI cards and 25+ hit location cards each. Monsters have 3 difficulty levels that are made up of a combination of these cards. So each monster kinda ends up with its own personality when you go to fight it. You might end up with a lion that growls and jumps around a lot one day, then a lion that is short tempered and likes to drag its prey away from the group on the next. Yes, when an AI card is used its discarded face up next to the AI pile. When the monster can no longer draw an AI card, shuffle up his discard and draw a fresh card from the top. However, when an AI card is removed as a wound. It's set to the side face down so you don't know for sure which of its cards you have removed. Certain gear and in game skills will interact with the monsters AI deck so you can remove problem cards early on or take appropriate counter measures for its upcoming actions. I asked myself; what happens if the last card in the AI deck is a mood card? Well, the mood card is played as per normal and stays in play. It still does count as a wound until it is discarded from play. The Monster then uses a desperation attack that is printed on its stat card. If the mood card is removed from play for any reason, the monster dies. So, in the example from the game play video, let's assume the enraged card was the lions last AI card. Had he killed that poor survivor with his desperation attack, he would have met the discard conditions for that mood card and also have killed himself in the process.

KD - Showdown
You can : move, use survival points, gain positioning advantages, potentially interact with two different decks that effect the monster, cause persistent injuries, play dead, interact with terrain, hide behind other survivors etc etc etc This mechanic was inspired by watching boxing matches. As the two opponents constantly try to out wit each others movements and gain a rhythm advantage. When a boxer attacks, he drops his guard and depending on how he and his opponent are moving, he might end up taking a face first counter punch, hitting an elbow painfully, luckily striking the underside of the chin or maybe landing a solid body blow. The hit location deck abstractly represents the chaos of combat and myself and play testing groups have found it to be both incredibly fun and exciting. It's a lot more organic and feels like more of a fight. Then say a typical video game rpg where you have a single physical attack option and simply deal consistent damage. Hide from a monster? There are certain things that make you count as not a threat, but hiding from a monster... they are superior beings It would more likely ignore you because your an insect. But it still KNOWS where you are. That is a key difference between KD:M and other game systems, these creatures are not just simple beasts.

The Game Board

Right now I have a 2'x3' board illustrated but not painted. The entire thing was unique and was put together the extremely talented artist that handles the majority of the concept art. ( Not the Pinup Stuff ) I plan on having it printed and mounted to a proper foldable game board so that you can use it when its time for a showdown with a monster! I can also so it being used for any popular grid based game as a

board, however I will mention that the squares are a little larger then 1". I prefer the extra room and it doesn't feels better from a design standpoint when a model can fit in a square with a little breathing room. Your more "in it" then kinda on it.

The Story System

The story system is tricky to describe, it is a collection of folk stories and more major events that may or may not happen. The "True Story", is you and your friends sitting down to play and it ends either when you are wiped out, defeat the watcher or decide to close the campaign out. A fully interactive novel is way too heavy for a tabletop game, it would also distract from the real goal of telling a shared story through game play. It's not a singular story, with a beginning middle and an end. It is a collection of "major events" that can happen during the settlement's period of existence. So there is no path to follow or not follow, the path is you and your friends playing the game. For example, based on the choices you make In one campaign, the Kings Hand may visit the settlement, while in another campaign he might not. While its arrival and unfolding events might affect your settlement in a permanent fashion, it is not a requirement to finish the game. The problem I have with fixed scenarios is that they don't feel fresh for very long. After the initial excitement of learning the scenario and running it, it's usually does not offer much replay. When I was in the early design phases of Monster, I wanted to ensure that the game was more of an experience and less "10 scenarios" in a book that were fun once. A great throwback example of this is Hero Quest, with its limited scenarios vs Warhammer quest which could be played 100% randomized. The design conclusion I came to is what I feel to be a more modern combination of both of these amazing game experience types.

There is a storybook that comes with the game, depending on financial/printing realities it might just simply become a part of the rulebook, but the hope is to have it a fully independent book. The storybook is designed to be your starting point in KDM and the first few pages will have the introduction story that is in the game pitch video. Directly after being introduced to the starting survivors you will be lead into the first "showdown" that will give a quick introduction to the game rules. You will learn by going through the battle. The story then continues bringing us to the settlement and going over how to use the resource cards you earned from the battle. At this point, that is where the story leaves you. Nestled right up against the dawn of your civilization. From here you will play and make your own choices until the game system prompts you to re-open the story book for a "story event". Gameplay will then proceed, directing you to major "story events" when appropriate. They are triggered in a wide variety of the ways and some of the events themselves have multiple outcomes. The "story" of your settlement and survival will be a combination of the experience you have playing the game, major story events and most importantly the decisions and outcomes of the many pivotal moments that develop during game play. Keep in mind that many of these story events are not essential to completing the game and you may have a campaign that ends up only ever touching on a few! That is essential to the "campaign mode" of the game and is it designed with the intent of being a repayable sandbox. It's not really possible to see all the content in a single play through and between gaming groups the overall experience should be quite different. Some stretch goals have introduced another game type within the game that I am pretty excited about. I couldn't fit them into the initial scope so I am pleased that we were able to add them. These are the one shot challenge scenarios. These are planned to be designed more like a puzzle. You will start with very specific conditions and will need to work towards an objective to win. It might range from a "kill this monster, with this exact gear and here is its exact AI deck". Or it might be a longer single shot giving you a certain number of lantern years ( the in-game time unit ) to topple a challenge. I feel very strongly that a proper story is "shown" instead of just told. In game terms to me, that means it's something you experience in game, instead of just reading a few pages in a rulebook. The game is designed so you will learn more about the story as its happening to you. That is of course, unless you are the type that likes to skip ahead and reads everything beforehand! Thankfully doing so will not spoil everything as it will only reveal what can possibly happen instead of what WILL happen. Kingdom Death : Monster is a love song to the types of games myself and my gaming group adore the most. It is a game that has been slowly coming to life thanks to years of hard work, the hands of many talented artists and the support of fans, hobbyists, collectors and friends. A fact: this is not a mass market project, nor is the game intended to be mass market and it might never go into major distribution. There are lots of reasons for this and I would be happy to get into them at another time and another place. A 5 minute gameplay explanation video is very long to simply cover a single phase of a game. As much as I'd love to cover all 25 of a creatures AI cards, along with the various combinations that can happen as they are played, and a set of 4 survivors each with a full load out of 9 gear cards, I struggle to see that as an effective way to manage my or the viewers time. I do still want to touch upon all of that and

give a better view of all that can happen outside of what was highlighted in the gameplay video. But it is certainly a challenge!

Monsters and Combat

Every monster is quite unique and a tremendous amount of time and effort has gone into providing each one with their own flavour. For example, the Lion has an isolate prey AI card, where he will drag knocked down survivors away from the group. And survivors themselves get powerful survival points, which can be used to dodge, move at any time, gain another gear activation or in some cases are required for special manoeuvres. When I was working on the basics of the combat system, I had a few major essentials for a combat that supported a game that is essentially about cooperation, survival, tools and human tenacity from generation to generation. No Sure Bets, for example the idea of "I am level 20 you are lvl 1, I win GTFO", doesn't exist. Knowledge is Power - Both what you know about fighting the monster and how the survivor is geared can make a big difference. The lion has a particularly dangerous head chomp AI card, if a survivor has an insight ability he might be able to keep peeking the deck for it. Or an opportunity might arise when the lions jaw is struck, a critical on this location would ruin the lions mouth and change the effect of the head chomp AI card. Critical hits are not just limited to pure luck rolls, but it all depends on the gear of the survivor, the settlement, and how the battle unfolds. There is also a survival point system I left out of the video because I was worried about over complicating the explanation. A survival point lets you take another action and you can use them whenever you want. If a monster hits you, you could use a survival point to move out of the way. Or you could use a point to activate a piece of gear a second time. Survival points are limited and do not regenerate from game to game. So its crucial to manage them. I wanted an actual challenge - I will get a little personal here. I find most games to be either painfully easy or worse yet, give me endless duplicated content to grind thru in order to make progress. The default difficulty of this game will be hard. Unless your group is filled with game geniuses your first settlement will fail, you will not make it thru to the end in a single campaign and a lot of survivors will die. I understand a lot of people and groups do not enjoy this and I will design a much easier setting for them. But for me? I want it to kick my teeth in, I want the game to get my hopes up high only to grind the life out of my poor survivors and leave them helpless in the darkness, endless monsters closing in on them only for the S**T to hit the fan and everyone to just start flipping their garbage. That moment when your group takes down a lvl 3 phoenix, when you planned and crafted a specific gear list, risked life, limb, sanity and... you managed to pull it off? You'll always remember that group of survivors, those baddasses that despite the odds came back home and the sting on your hand from all the high fives will warm your memory for years to come! That brief, vibrant spark in the darkness you'll share with friends is the true design purpose, and has been the single most motivating factor behind the project itself. Without risk there is no reward. The game very much embodies that.

The confrontations with monsters are indeed more like boss fights and there is no dungeon crawl aspect to this game. We found during early play testing that dungeon crawl + boss fight + settlement + hunt phase + crafting was just too much. It became tedious as we always ended up having to un build the dungeon when it came to the boss fight and really that's what everyone was excited about anyway. In order to deliver a more focused product that avoided drag a room based dungeon exploration was removed and instead the settlement / innovation system got more attention. The game will come with a static but gorgeous 2'x3' battle board. And each monster has a few unique "terrain" or "terrain" like features that will be added to the board when you encounter them. We found that this was the best way to handle it and it kept the focus where I wanted it. On the thrill of a single big challenge. In regards to traps and abilities that manipulate both the board and the monster, all I can say is yes those do exist! Lore, miniatures, flavor text, tiles, art are not limited to just theme. They are to me essential parts of the game experience. This also includes the game rules themselves which all work together, several instruments in a band to create a unique symphony. Games are made from more then just pure rules and the more detailed the rules become and the further away they are from the other components the more it becomes a detailed simulation and not a game. This is of course my opinion. There is no "theme" in poker and it is a game and not a simulation. However there is a long standing romance that brings more to the table then just number crunching and card draws. That "extra" component is what I am most obsessed with capturing. In Kingdom Death combat is structured to fit the feeling of the game. There is indeed a targeting mechanic survivors can gain access to and the choices you have during combat while deep, does depend mostly on the gear you bring into the fight with you. Man innovates, man learns, man creates tools. I had no desire to create a hyper detailed combat simulation wherein a limitless realm of possibilities was open. That type of game is better served with a human game master, which this game does not have. I wanted to de-humanize the experience and the lack of a human player controlling the monsters lends to the "extra" feeling you get when everyone is in the same boat and you can't be positive what will happen next.

Multi Boss Game Play?

Multi Boss stuff might be written into the book, but it would be for advanced players or "one-shot" challenge scenarios. Just like dungeon crawls where you can simply end up with TOO MUCH to keep track of, I wanted to keep the focus very isolated and clean for the core game play. On the monsters turn, draw an AI card and refer to it's cards in play. On the survivors turn, examine your current gear which will all be right in front of you (each survivor has 9 gear slots, each piece of gear is represented by a 2"x2" card). I want to keep referring to the rulebook during combat to an absolute minimum as it slows down game play and disrupts game play immersion.

Concerning The Non-Game Component Pin-Up Miniatures

The pinups are not part of the game world. I really need to untangle this at some point. It is tricky! They are alternates and pieces of art. I won't beat this to death since everyone else jumped in on it, but yes. The Pinups are separate from the game world. They were inspired by the american classic pinups from the 40's, 50's & 60's. I give the artist that I work with on them a ton of creative freedom so a lot of his personal views on pinups come thru in the designs. The pinups in all honesty have played a very critical role helping the project gain momentum and despite them not being "cannon" I won't be turning my back on a single one. They are what they are, to those that it offends I apologize, but that is all I can offer in respect to the artists whom pour so much effort into the art and their physically sculpted incarnation. They are more art to me then anything else, but I guess a lot of the project is like that! Now, in regards to the normal non pinup woman, the proportions were exaggerated a bit to make them more easily identifiable from their male counterparts on the table top. So there is a definite design choice there. There is also a game world reason, being that the original humans in the game were made in a certain image by something. I don't want to give out spoilers so I won't say any more. As you all can see, there's quite a bit of information, if you only look hard enough.

Part II: Kingdom Death : Lore Compilation

The World
Kingdom Death is an exploration of a world wherein the focus is on the relationships between humans & monsters. Further development upon this core concept lead us to discover that humans are not the dominant race and thus there is very little human recorded history. In the world humans are seen by monsters as simply another type of monster. Depending on the monster or entity their viewpoint on humans can be vastly different. Some might require them for food, others drawn to a particular emotion they exhibit, some even fearing humans ability to quickly procreate learn and create tools. Humans do not have a special place in Kingdom Death. They do not have souls that other monsters lack, nor any specific ability or lack thereof. What does make them special is our own perspective and that they are the window in which we can hopefully experience and explore a world that is very unlike our own. I am pretty obsessed with how stories are told and with Kingdom Death I wanted to look at things from a different perspective then the usual. The world is quite large and we are just seeing small isolated facets of it. There are many entities and gods that are far beyond human understanding, but I feel its important to still "show" things from a human perspective and to not just "tell". There is no singular ruler over all the lands, The Golden Entity is merely the entity that rules the Holy Lands. It is vain but

has no mortal shell and the lands are an extension of its will using humans ( not quite as slaves ) to create its bizarre empire of self appeasement. The Wet Nurse is a sterile entity, it can neither create or host life. It's sole purpose is to raise human children and pass nutrients that chemically program different type of workers in the society. There is no free will, nor can these people be freed. Hence why I do not call them slaves. I am calling the area Monster takes place as "The Kings Land", but that is just a name I use to describe it to myself. The reasons for the stone faced floor and the perpetual darkness might be revealed thru the game or in an expansion. I love stories, and to show glimpses of this odd world. But I am afraid when it comes to "tell", I am very cautious! The survivors have an abstract concept of time and record it as the strange lanterns naturally die. In the game they are called "Lantern Years". There are monsters in the KD world that eat maps, specifically. You would run the risk of inviting such a thing to your home, which would be bad! The human cultures on Kingdom Death are not advanced enough to figure out the planets shape. think of it more like... an organism that is being invaded by several viruses at once. most of what humans see and perceive is false so it is quite likely that if there is a moon, it's actually something far from what we consider it to be.

The Twilight Knight

The Twilight Knights order once protected the recorded knowledge of humanity in Kingdom Death. Now in shambles, the Twilight Knights, with their archivists, struggle to keep the tiny flame of knowledge alive. Initiates to the Twilight Knight order are permanently altered to protect their minds from the horrors they use face in their quest. Detached and unfeeling, they are prepared to pay any cost to salvage and protect the valuable records of wisdom that remain in the world. The Twilight Order

Stories lament the fall of the Grand Library in hushed tones. The surviving archivists and their sworn knights fled clutching precious armfuls, all that remains of the knowledge assembled by humanity. Today the Twilight Order is scattered, working in isolated pairs to do and record what little good they can. Mind Locked How a man becomes a Twilight Knight is not well known, even within the order. The "initiation" alters the mind, locking it to protect the knight from the incomprehensible abominations that he must face with a steady sword. Their mind does not truly rest, preventing knights from absorbing the horrors that would cripple others. The process robs them of the quietude of dreams. How They Play A Twilight Knight is an expert swordsmen and a surprisingly sturdy melee fighter. High sanity combined with trained and tempered will can thwart most psychological attacks and makes sure they do what they need to: dish out punishment at a consistent rate. The Twilight Knight is very special figure. It was the first character to be conceived for the project and the first glimmer of the Kingdom Death world. Art : Yasmine Putri Sculpture : Yannick Hennebo

The Kings Hand

The Kings Hand are the King's highest ranking guard. They see through the eyes of every Kingsmen that patrols the King's territory. The Hands are highly intelligent master swordsmen. The King's Hand is sculpted by Thomas David Based on concept art by Yasmine Putri.

The Lion Knight

Three brother generals command the vast armies of the Golden Entities domain. Each imbued with a different temperament and a strong will of their own. The middle brother is the most attached to the human industry and artistry. He cultivates a courtly civilized appearance and graceful swordsmanship, surrounding himself with human thralls allowing them to enjoy their short tragic existence in his awesome presence. The Lion Knight Expansion introduces the first Monster that can sometimes directly help the Survivors. The entity is obsessed with humans and finds great value in their often primitive artisan crafts. A settlement that has a high level of art & dance may find random gifts and education sessions, while a more war oriented settlement might evoke his wrath. The Lion Knight is a strange entity and finds no beauty in tools of war.

Hunted as prey, herded and domesticated as draft animals, humans occupy a low rung on the food chain of Kingdom Deaths many strange ecosystems. Often living unawares of their purpose, occasionally,

nightmarish trauma will snap an ignorant human from their delusion of safety. These survivors are often shaped by the particular events that tears the veil from their eyes; some driven by vengeance, grief, curiosity, or insanity, they share a desperate desire to persist despite the horror of their newly discovered reality. Survivors are marked by the artifacts they create from the ordeal that put them on their new path. Female - Concept : Lokman Lam Sculpture : Thomas David Male - Concept and Sculpture: Raul Garcia Latorre

Kings Men
The Kings Men herald the appearance of powerful entities such as the Scribe and the King. From a distance the strangely fashioned lantern halberds are glowing harbingers of the mountainous King lumbering behind. Concept artwork by Yasmine Putri Sculpted by Thomas David.

The Man-Hunter
The Man Hunter is a nemesis monster. If you add him to your campaign not only will he show up at your settlement for his nefarious reasons he will also sometimes track a particular Survivor, to

represent this he has a few special event cards that get scattered into various places. If your really unlucky he might even show up while your fighting another monster! ( don't worry he'll either just kill you outright or wait his turn... ) Sculpted by Juan Navarro Perez Artwork by Danny Cruz

The Dragon King

The Dragon King changes the game in a huge way, as you can begin a settlement from scratch... under the dragons kings rule! I don't want to spoil to much but this new starting point will offer a a whole new way to experience the game and will change how you encounter the existing monsters and in some cases, your relationship with them. Another fun little detail I wanted to share, (and i will just say this in plain english) he is radioactive! Instead of a breath attack the monster can control radiation levels in a radius around him reducing foes to a smoldering, dry heap in a mere instant! So basically... you are his ramen noodles and you have the option of starting your struggle right under his terrible might! It's such a depressing fate its down right EXCITING me to talk about it!

The Gorm
The lure is actually an evoled testicle that has grown out on a specialized stalk. Common bacteria in the air cause the exposed testicle to glow. Gorm lives to feed. Eating bring Gorms to a euphoric state. Accordingly, they have developed

incredibly extensive and specialized consumption and digestive organs. The fleshy walls of its mouth allow it to constrict and suffocate difficult prey....consuming human waste stored inside the bowels of a living person is a particularly delicate ecstasy for Gorms.... Sometimes Gorms will hold hands ( the small ones protruding from their mouths ) or stick their bulbs into each others mouths to signify affection....

The White Lion

Huge terrifying lions with a strange human curiosity and human hands. Their white fur shines with flecks of gold when the sunlight hits them directly, a strange contrast to their bloated and sad faces. They are a dominant predator in the holy lands and have become a symbol of inspiration and beauty for the entity that resides over all. Occasionally they are trained and kept as partners by Man-Hunters. Conceived by Caitlin Hackett and realized in 3D by Stephanie Alison Everett

- Can vibrate at a high frequency making him near invisible to the human eye! - Sometimes will hide in human settlements - Venom will instantly kill a survivor when it enters their bloodstream! - Can use a human corpse to trick survivors - Yes you can chop off all 8 limbs - Can have babies, lots of them!

The Dung Beetle Knight

The Dung Beetle knight is a beetle that evolved from the unique otherworldly bacteria found in phoenix droppings. The phoenix has slight domain over time itself and it's droppings are super special. The Knight is quite keen and makes for a very dangerous foe. It's large food collecting ball crushes bones and armor with ease and he is capable of quickly burrowing thru the stone floor, sometimes dragging its victims with it. Having a high culinary level will attract these strange creatures to your settlement as the bowels of humans whom have ingested a large variety of food are some of its favorite snacks. Kingdom Death is very much the "animal planet" of a nightmare world and even a bottom feeder like the Dung Beetle knight is a deadly and powerful advisory for the human settlement. Agriculture innovations DO come with the Dung Beetle Knight. There is no sunlight and things don't normally grow. However using some of the dung beetle knights resource cards this development can be added to the settlement. Reproduction is quite different and thankfully humans don't need sunlight to make that happen!

The Sunstalker
Sunstalkers are creatures that manipulate and swim through light, shifting the colors of the spectrum at their whim. A tribe of humans began to worship a very ancient Sunstalker as the sun itself when it

stepped down from the sky to rest on a mountain top. Countless generations and centuries have past and a strange human & monster relationship has emerged. The human culture tends to the young spawn, feeding it with a combination of food and ritual sacrifice. Only the fairest of maidens are selected for the horrifying honor of being a caretaker and not many survive the creatures period of infancy. The Sunstalker is a monster that can "swim" through light. A known technique to hunt these dangerous entity is to travel with a strongly dyed piece of fabric and monitor it closely for strange color shifts and desaturation patterns. Ancient Sunstalkers will sleep for centuries at a time, floating high in the sky and pulse with vibrant rays of light as they slowly and deeply breath. In an attempt to create a lasting relationship between the human and monster, the child of a mighty sun warrior is umbilically attached to the young sunstalker. A highly dangerous practice that occasionally results in a symbiotic link between man and monster. Sometimes the human child gaining some of the creatures strange ability to manipulate light.

Saviors are undaunted heroes, single minded and suicidally reckless in their quest to make a change in mankind's horrible existence. This meteoric existence ensures their lifespan will be short but bright. Burning Brightest The Saviors unwavering guiding star is a shared destiny to change the world for the better. Their eyes constantly open to the tormented existence of others, they dedicate the whole of their being to others. Each act of heroism intoxicates the Saviors, delirious from the heady realization of their higher purpose they are emboldened to greater risks to their own safety. Saviors seek to symbolize hope in a dark and

drab world, often adopting bright bizarre garb to match their stations as self-appointed heroes of mankind. Dreamers with Blackened Feet In their dreams Saviors travel to an entity they call the Ethereal Dreamer. Nightly, they trudge through the twisting scape of the world's collective nightmares seeking the Dreamer's secrets of power and magic. Over time their dream pilgrimage leaves the Savior threadbare; their feet become sooty and gnarled , their faces sallow with deep shadows under their eyes. Saviors who exceed their expected lifespan eventually begin to fade bit by bit, devoured by the dream world that once empowered them. How They Play Saviors are easy to play but hard to maintain. They have a wealth of useful abilities and last second miracles that can save a party from wiping out... but relying too heavily on them can greatly shorten the lifespan and max level of a savior. Concept : Yasmine Putri Sculpture : Sylvain Quirion

Selected Lore of Characters Not Appearing In KD:Monster

The White Speaker
White Speakers are cannon to the game world. They are hyper sensitive story keepers, that share knowledge thru generations by very strict oral traditions. There are 3 stories each White Speaker knows and they empower them with their most defining traits. The story of death, which allows them to stop aging, the story of blood, which gives them blood manipulation and the story of the body which grants them physical hyper sensitivity. Knowledge in Kingdom Death is dangerous. White Speakers hold a great amount of information that is layered in riddles and verse. The way things feel, the subtle shifts in the atmosphere and the way things smell can all give the white speaker clues to untangling a repressed story and gaining knowledge that is crucial to the current situation. White Speakers are prone to seizures when chunks of information become too much for them to comprehend all at once. Their ceremonial outfit is often used to restrain them from damaging themselves. Tall strong women who's ferocity is only matched by their deep mystery. Through sadistic rituals and dangerous story telling traditions they balance the twisted nature of kingdom death and can manipulate the "other" through unique blood techniques. Speaker Cult Veils worn by the devotees represent a past shrouded in guilt and secrets. The White Speaker cults are forbidding, rituals of blood and delirious narration keep most people clear. The number of White Speaker remains constant, as one dies another is initiated; too few and they would disappear and too many might create a blood frenzy that the speakers fear they could not control. The Chanting Ritual White speakers power is rooted in the names and tales of things. Elder speakers share stories with young listeners bound in chains. The secrets and lore she chants drive them into violent twisted seizures as they try to absorb the words of power. Speakers learn in layers and riddles to protect their mind from dismantling under the weight of what they know. How They Play

White Speakers offer tactical diversity. Effective in melee and at range, but lacking armor. However, their ability to change what "stories" they have on tongue opens a wealth of options. Blood transferring, scab armor and stopping the flow of blood to monster hearts are some examples. The game world is intended to be mature and has many mature themes. The White Speaker is currently the only female character that embodies themes such as sex and power. I can't comment on if there will be more in the future.

White Speaker Nico

Long ago, the White Speaker cult's savagery threatened the few enclaves of human civilization. The Order of Twilight Knights rose up nearly destroying the cult. Now, small covens of White Speakers can be found meeting in abandoned places, sharing the secrets of their blood magic, passed on from one White Speaker to another through intricate tales, whispered and screamed in frenzied, transcendental rituals.

The Forsaker has lost so much that his perspective has been skewed beyond repair. They see nothing but darkness and suffering, accordingly, they have abandoned their own humanity to better suit the struggle they see all around them. Ruthless, and fueled by despair, the berserk state of the Forsaker is dangerous to friend and foe alike. A Forsaker's fury is so consuming and violent that they often fix their weapons with rope or chain to their hands in anticipation of succumbing to their mindless rage.dreams. How They Play Lacking finesse and magical abilities, the Forsaker makes up for their tactical inflexibility with raw power. Wait for their mind to snap, then throw them towards the biggest thing on the board!

Standing over his fallen companions hoarsely crying devotions over the screams of battle. As terror extinguishes hope, the questionable dogmas begin to make sense, inspiring the wretched to feats of reckless strength and steadfastness. The Gods of Men The world is abjectly cruel to men, grinding its few survivors without mercy. No god exist to hear people's cries for salvation. When Preachers find their faith they merely slip into madness and the gods of their dogmas are results of their divine delusion. The short and harsh life of survivors rarely allows Preachers to form organized religions so their beliefs tend to vary wildly. Regardless of what gods a preacher worships, he draws power from the bottomless faith in those delusions. Force of Charisma A preacher is a fanatic. Capable of sharing the uncompromising force of their beliefs with others who teeter on the brink of despair and destruction. With meaningless relics and words, the Preacher whispers in the ears of the hopeless who are deranged enough to receive his encouragement. To those susceptible minds, a Preacher's rotgut feels like salve to a gaping wound.

How They Play A Preacher is actually incapable of restoring any life or sanity points. In fact, they become more effective the closer the group is to destruction! Capable of dealing high bursts of damage and bestowing a variety of buffs, a Preacher requires a bit of group sanity management for maximum effectiveness.

Great Game Hunters

Great Game Hunters are a character class for Kingdom Death. They come from the largest standing human city. Great Game Hunters venture beyond the safety of the city gates to win fame and fortune on behalf of the bickering noble houses that control the city. Rich with finery and honed weapons, they confidently stride into the unknown, often never to return.

The Scribe
The Scribe is the power behind the Kings and their armies. To men, he is a god made flesh, appearing in repose atop his throne with his tome hoisted by a grotesque tableau of slaves. In his book his words are writ into reality, sewing the seeds of small human settlements into existence with the stroke of his quill. Once the humans grow and reproduce the Scribe will return to harvest his crop. Art : Yasmine Putri Sculpture : Jacques-Alexandre Gillois

The Forge God

The Forge God minds the furnaces of the Holy Lands, a massive creature who's very pores produce the holy steel that the edifices of the Holy Lands are made of. He is consumed by the desire for perfection in his works, the Mothers, Grandmothers and White Knights are his personal masterworks. Art : Danny Cruz Sculpture : Allan Carrasco

Few chosen victims survive the treatment of raw god metal that prepares a womb to withstand and nurture the ghastly cocktail that gives rise to the monsters of the Holy Lands. The truly holy mothers are beatified as Grand Mothers, transformed into creatures embodying the maternal life-giving ideal of the Entity. These special few give birth to the Entity's most precious children, the massive winged Blessed Ones. The Grand Mother's womb is braced heavy ornate gut plates. Within, a hostile furnace of creation churns. She has a mouthed cord growing from her belly that devours male organs of her mates to better the chances of divine conception. The Grand Mother is a rare, horrifying foe, possessing a master the Other and protected by the watchful eye of the Entity itself.

The Illuminated Lady

The Illuminated Lady appears to survivors hopelessly lost in the darkness. A nude figure glowing softly by the light of her lantern, other lanterns grow dim as she nears. Her presence fills survivors with comfort and serenity and she will guide them into the darkness never to be found again. Some joke meeting her is a kinder end than most.

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