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Merchants of Magick is a roll-and-write game based in the Set a Watch universe

Shop until you drop.

Open the doors to a shoppe filled with fantastical and life-saving wares in Merchants of Magick: A Set a Watch Tale, the first roll-and-write game in the series.

Announced by designer Clarence Simpson on Twitter, Merchants of Magick is an upcoming board game based in Set a Watch’s dark fantasy universe that sees players becoming proprietors of unusual items and powerful spells. Designed to support one to eight players, Merchants of Magick has players compete to source and sell the most to the Adventurers of the Watch - the band of heroes that starred in the original Set a Watch.

Over a series of 10 rounds, players roll four polyhedral dice before choosing two results to use in order to craft fresh new items or conduct research into new enchantments. Performing these actions will enable the players to stock their shop with whatever products they’ve created, as well as earn additional potions that allow them to change future dice results.

As the Adventurers of the Watch move between each player’s shop, they’ll be looking for specific items and spells to help them out on their dangerous upcoming quests. These desirable products will be displayed on order cards that each player places in front of them. If a player is able to source the item or spell an adventurer is seeking, then they acquire a healthy amount of coin. However, if the player takes too long to fulfill their customer’s order, they’ll move onto their adjacent opponent’s shop. Whichever player earns the most coin over the 10 rounds is named the winner.

Set a Watch is a co-op board game designed by Todd Walsh and released in 2019 that saw one to four players attempting to protect their kingdom from hordes of vicious monsters. Players could choose between a selection of different characters, each based on a classic fantasy archetype, who had their own unique abilities and sets of dice.

The party travelled to a series of locations and fought the monsters residing at each, making sure to keep their campfire burning and their fellow Adventurers of the Watch alive. If the players successfully killed all the enemies at each location, they won the game. However, if any of the players died or if the campfire burned out completely, all the players lost together.

Merchants of Magick: A Set a Watch Tale is Clarence Simpson’s debut title as a tabletop designer, having previously developed several mobile-based video games.

Rock Manor Games is the publisher responsible for both Merchants of Magick and the original Set a Watch, as well as another co-op board game series called Maximum Apocalypse - an adventure game that has players surviving in a dangerous randomly-generated world - and a deckbuilding game called The Few and Cursed, an adaptation of a comic book series set in a post-apocalyptic world where water is incredibly scarce.

This year will see the release of Set a Watch: Swords of the Coin, a standalone expansion focused on a team of mercenaries willing to slay monsters for payment. The set adds four additional characters to the main game - the Barbarian, Heretic, Witch and Bounty-Hunter - and introduces a system that enables players to earn and spend money on items sold by a travelling merchant. The merchant’s items can provide players with additional protection and the ability to deal more damage, as well as heal damage dealt to them.

Merchants of Magick: A Set a Watch Tale will be released sometime later this year at a retail price of $20 (£15). (Thanks, BoardGameGeek.)


Alex Meehan avatar

Alex Meehan

Staff Writer

Alex’s journey to Dicebreaker began with writing insightful video game coverage for outlets such as Kotaku, Waypoint and PC Gamer. Her unique approach to analysing pop culture and knack for witty storytelling finally secured her a forever home producing news, features and reviews with the Dicebreaker team. She’s also obsessed with playing Vampire: The Masquerade, and won’t stop talking about it.

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