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The Walking Dead publisher’s arena dice game Bloodstone wages players against bosses - and each other

You can and will squeeze blood from this stone.

Bloodstone is an upcoming game from Skybound, publisher of The Walking Dead series, Superfight and Tidal Blades. Take on the role of a pit fighter trapped in eternal combat and to the whims of a cruel tyrant who has been corrupted by the eponymous relic, which is incredibly evil. What did she expect with a name like ‘bloodstone’, anyway?

According to a Gen Con video on Skybound Tabletop’s Facebook page, Bloodstone will boast eight playable characters with unique playstyles. All use a dice pool system for attacking where the number of matching dice on each roll provides access to a list of attacks on the character panel. These range from dealing straightforward damage to enemies in the arena to banking dice for a later turn that can aid allies or beleaguer foes. Each character also has access to an ultimate ability that is difficult to achieve but rewards in kind. The video shows a pyromancer doing what they do best: creating a devastating whirlwind conflagration at the cost of their own health.

Vanira, the current wielder of the Bloodstone, will make life difficult for those in the arena, incurring curses that affect the entire match for good and ill, depending on who she favours.

The mechanics allows for player-versus-player bloodsport or coordinated attacks against a common foe. Creative director James Hudson mentioned Bloodstone’s campaign will weave both modes together in telling the story of how the combatants became trapped and how they plan to escape.

A promotional photo on the company’s Facebook page shows what may be the contents of the physical game available to standard backers, including a board, dice, character cards and several unpainted miniatures. Skybound has said a Kickstarter for Bloodstone is planned for 2021 but hasn’t yet released an official date. Hudson mentioned a novelisation of the story that plays out in the game’s campaign will be packaged alongside as part of the fundraising.