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Mice and Mystics creator’s next storytelling game features parental frogs and foxes

Tell some Familiar Tales.

Jerry Hawthorne, the creator behind beloved board games such as Mice and Mystics, has created an upcoming tabletop title called Familiar Tales.

Taking place in a magical kingdom ruled by a royal family, Familiar Tales sees one to four players becoming a team of wizard familiars who are tasked with protecting the heir to the throne. With the royal family struck down by “sinister forces”, the players must escort the youngster through the dangerous wilderness and away from harm. However, with a sorcerous usurper making more evil plans, the players will need to use all the magical power they have to stop them.

A narrative-driven fantasy board game, Familiar Tales has players becoming the unusual guardians to a princess. Not only will the players have to defend the princess against those who wish to see her dead, but they must also ensure that she is raised learning the right lessons and acquiring the right values. As her protectors, the players will need to make various decisions that will shape the princess’ world-view, giving them a direct hand in forming the future of the entire kingdom.

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The co-op deckbuilding game will take place over several decades, with a companion app helping players to tell the story and to make decisions along the way. Familiar Tales’ companion app will include narration, as well as a musical score for players to listen to - it also features a digital rulebook. Throughout the game, the players’ characters will gain experience that they can use to customise their skill card decks, which they can utilise to perform various actions in the campaign. Players can collect resources that can be used to craft new items, weapons and armour. Resources must also be saved for the familiars’ princess, as if she is not kept happy then strange things may occur.

Players win the board game if they successfully get the princess back to her throne safely, with whatever lessons they’ve instilled within her finally taking full effect.

Besides Familiar Tales and Mice and Mystics, Hawthorne is also responsible for designing the co-op storytelling board game for kids Stuffed Fables - which has players becoming the toys of a young child who needs their help - as well as 2019’s Aftermath, an adventure book game that centres around a post-apocalyptic Earth where humans have disappeared and small critters have taken over.

Familiar Tales Chalk image

Familiar Tales is set to be published by Plaid Hat Games, the original publisher of Mice and Mystics - which is now released by Z-Man - alongside the aforementioned Stuffed Fables and Aftermath, as well as another narrative-driven app-assisted board game called Forgotten Waters.

The release date for Familiar Tales is set for January 2022, with the game selling at a retail price of $79.95 (£58).

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Alex Meehan avatar
Alex Meehan: After writing for Kotaku UK, Waypoint and Official Xbox Magazine, Alex became a member of the Dicebreaker editorial family. Having been producing news, features, previews and opinion pieces for Dicebreaker for the past three years, Alex has had plenty of opportunity to indulge in her love of meaty strategy board games and gothic RPGS. Besides writing, Alex appears in Dicebreaker’s D&D actual play series Storybreakers and haunts the occasional stream on the Dicebreaker YouTube channel.
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