Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Cunning Folk available now on kickstarter

Greetings, artisans! You likely know that I design games outside of Magic. I'm proud and excited to announce that my bluffing and deduction micro-game Cunning Folk launched this morning on KickStarter. It funded quickly, but I'd be grateful if you'd take a moment to check it out and see if it's of interest to you.

Cunning Folk is a micro bluffing game for 2-4 players. You are townsfolk, hunting the houses of Ipswich for witches, good and evil. Look at a card and tell the others which character you see to use its ability. Of course, you could lie. Your opponents might call you out, but everyone should tread carefully: Wrong once, and the town suspects you of witchcraft. Twice, and you are ostracized! Keep your wits about you and—if you lie, do it well.

Spread the word!


  1. Awesome! Forwarded the link to my Resistance-playing friends.

    'Tis a good year for Artisan creativity (my board game is getting published this October as well) :)

    1. I think I heard something about this, but I don't remember hearing the name or publisher. Tasty Minstrel Games? Hot!
      Congratulations, Alex!

  2. Congrats Jay!

    Mine is still years out, but I've been working on a game that seeks to capture the joy of cube in a premade box (so no randomization). Each draft environment is different, being composed of cards from 3-5 of the many possible clans, so that cards shift in value or purpose from draft to draft.

    Sadly I don't have a sharable version of the rules right now, but here is a site that will make a random booster for you: . If you make the Booster Style "Magic" it will give you a 14 card booster with 10 commons, 3 uncommons, and a rare in that order, if you prefer looking at things that way (otherwise it shuffles together four copies of each common, two of each uncommon, and one of each rare, and chooses 10).

    My husband and I have been working on this project for over 5 years, and have playtested this game with a variety of people, though we're always interested in more. If you want to see the iterative process at work, you can look at the lower left of each card. There is a number in tiny print like BW04 that identifies the card independent of its name. Then there is a dot, and a version number, followed by the date it was last modified.

    The version number is the number of iterations the card has gone through since some point relatively early in the process. When Mark used to say almost nothing made it though design unchanged, I never really appreciated just how true this is, but looking at it now I see tons of cards on revision 35 or higher.

    Note: Crystal Clash is the playtest name that will probably not survive. There is another Crystal Clash on boardgamegeek, which is of no relation.

    1. That's very cool, Tommy. And it's impressive you created your own site to proxy boosters. Who's your audience?

    2. My main audience is all the people who are always making posts on the Magic portion of board game geek asking how to make a cube or if anyone sells premade cubes, etc.

      That is people who are likely new to a game like Magic, and are not interested in deckbuilding in advance. I should note the game also has a non-drafting mode where players just shuffle up decks and play them that works better for new players than drafting.

      Of course, I'm a more serious Magic player, and I like playing it, so I imagine there will be some splashover there, but the main audience is board gamers.

      As to the site, that is all my husband. He made a lot of very useful tools to make iteration easy. There are very simple textfiles we modify and the program generates the images automatically and updates them on the website. At any desired time we can print out copies of all the cards that have been changed, cut them out, and replace the old versions. It is still a ton of cutting, but way, way easier than it would be otherwise!

    3. Have you tried Fairy Tale? It's one of my favorite quick games.

    4. Have you had much luck getting Magic players to try a game like Magic but different? Have you had much luck getting non-Magic players?

    5. I have had a lot of luck with non-Magic players or light Magic players. I don't actually know any hardcore Magic players in real life, so I haven't had much opportunity there.

      The one Magic player who did play the game (that I can think of at least) was someone a friend brought over specifically to play the game, and we ended up playing over and over until like 3 am when I had to sleep. It is one data point, but that's something.

      This actually suggests another target audience, which is the lapsed Magic/Other CCG player who misses a lot of the aspects of Magic but doesn't have the playgroup etc.

      @Havelock: Yes, I've enjoyed Fairy Tale. It has seen a lot less play lately because Sushi Go is a tad lighter and 7 Wonders is a tad heavier, so most of the time one or the other of those gets the nod. Fairy Tale's graphic design, from a usability point of view, is atrocious, which makes teaching it way more painful than it should be (a property it shares with Race for the Galaxy that we've talked about before).

      My game is considerably heavier than Fairy Tale, in that it involves drafting a deck and then playing a game with it. (So it also isn't a deckbuilding game with Dominion where you play/draft at the same time. For the record, I do wish I had come up with Dominion!)

    6. I should note, Fairy Tale holds a special place in my heart because we played it probably a hundred times with people at our wedding!

  3. Congratulations, Jay! I can't wait to try it out.

    I'm going to be teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts at an inmersive camp this summer. Typically, there's some heavy lore involved, as well as a smattering of natural history, but we usually have the students play what amounts to elaborately flavored rock-paper-scissors games (vampire/werewolf/dementor, or a duelling club with an RPS system of spells & motions.)

    I mention this because it seems like it could be a unique opportunity - if any artisans have any games they'd like to see playtested by a specifically 8-11 year old audience. I'd be looking for 1-5 minutes to learn the rules, and gameplay anywhere from 30 seconds (like RPS, with rounds) to 30 minutes, preferably with some sort of fantasy or magick theme.

    1. Nice!

      I'll be going to Poland this Fall for College of Wizardry. Wizarding is fun.

      Cunning Folk sure does seem like a good fit for your class.

  4. Congratulations Jay! That's awesome.