The RuneScape board game has had its first details revealed ahead of the Kickstarter for the classic MMO’s tabletop adaptation.
Announced back in January alongside a tabletop RPG based on the long-running online multiplayer video game, the RuneScape board game will be a co-op board game for up to five players - as well as supporting a single-player solo mode - set in the game’s fantasy world of Gielinor.
Publisher Steamforged Games, which has previously created board games based on video games including Dark Souls, Resident Evil, Monster Hunter and Horizon Zero Dawn, revealed the upcoming board game’s name as RuneScape Kingdoms: Shadow of Elvarg.
Explaining the ‘Kingdoms’ moniker, Steamforged confirmed that Shadow of Elvarg would include elements of both RuneScape - the most recent incarnation of the two-decade-plus-old MMORPG - and Old School RuneScape, which recreates the look and feel of the game’s earlier releases.
Steamforged said that the board game had been “heavily inspired by content and references” from both versions of the game, following its previous confirmation that specific quests from the video game would be adapted for the tabletop.
“For all those reasons, it felt right to create a name that would embody what the board game is: A new way to explore the world of Gielinor,” Steamforged said.
Shadow of Elvarg will take place in RuneScape’s regions of Asgarnia and Misthalin, areas that first appeared in the game’s earliest 2001 incarnation and serve as a free-to-play starting zone for new players. The game’s board will apparently be styled after an overhead fast-travel map, with players ‘zooming in’ for specific encounters and events.
“It would have been tough to pack every kingdom from the video game into a tabletop experience, and do them all justice,” Steamforged said of its decision to focus on the two regions. “We wanted a game that was accessible as well as entertaining, and fitting a world’s worth of content into one board game would have made for one massive (and daunting) box!”
The publisher indicated that additional regions could be added to the board game in future expansions, adding: “With a name like RuneScape Kingdoms, and 21 years of video game content to mine, who’s to say we couldn’t explore even more kingdoms as we add to the RuneScape tabletop experience…”
Details of the board game’s gameplay were also revealed. Players will be able to level up their character by maxing various skills, with the “cooperative campaign board game” aiming to capture the open-ended nature of the MMO - from fighting monsters, interacting with NPCs and completing side quests to gathering resources, crafting new equipment and baking food.
Players will seemingly be able to explore the world as they please and advance their character using a “classless progression system” that supports a variety of play styles by rewarding capes - used in the video game to display achievements, clan affiliation and more.
“RuneScape Kingdoms: SoE isn’t about complex strategy,” Steamforged said. “Instead, through rich narrative quests and lighthearted distractions, this fantasy adventure game is designed to give those who already love the franchise a whole new way to play.”
The box will include a number of miniatures inspired by RuneScape’s low-poly visual style, including specific outfits, NPCs and bosses from the game’s history. Players can choose to use any of the character miniatures to represent their character, with their equipment, ability and gameplay options unaffected by their appearance.
Steamforged’s blog post revealed two of the possible character figures - the sword-and-shield-wielding, bronze armour-clad Knight and a blue-robed Wizard using the Staff of Air - alongside the 62mm-wide model for the board game’s big bad, the green dragon Elvarg.
The RuneScape board game will launch on Kickstarter later this year, with a specific date and pricing yet to be announced.