The Witcher and the Bard
Preview Two Heroes from The Witcher Adventure Game
Behold our hero: subjected to mutations and rigorous sword and sorcery training as a child, he has become a superhuman monster slayer. Always penniless and often disdained by those whom he protects, he wanders the world seeking work. Fate has little mercy for him, piling obstacles in his way, yet he trudges on. –The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
In The Witcher Adventure Game, you take on the role of an iconic character and undertake adventures and quests in the Northern Kingdoms. Struggle to become the greatest hero in the realm, gain fame and renown by completing quests, and exterminate dread monsters from other spheres. Only the greatest of heroes will rise above his opponents to shape the history of the Continent!
In past previews, we’ve examined different aspects of The Witcher Adventure Game, ranging from the actions you use to move through the land, the quests you strive to complete, and the monsters you battle along your path. Most recently, we posted a video of The Witcher Adventure Game, providing a detailed overview of the game. In addition, we posted the learn-to-play booklet and the rules reference guide, which you can download from the support page.
Today, we turn our attention to two of the heroes that you can play as in your games of The Witcher Adventure Game: the titular witcher, Geralt of Rivia; and Dandelion the bard.
Slayer of Monsters
Every hero in The Witcher Adventure Game possesses a distinct identity, illustrated by his hero sheet and hero dice. Each hero has a certain quest deck that he must draw from: in Geralt’s case, he draws from the red, or combat-oriented, quest deck. The hero sheet below also shows Geralt’s exchange rates for different kinds of proof. As we explored in previous previews, leads and proof are your principal means of completing quests. As a seasoned fighter, Geralt can easily gain red proofs, only needing three red leads to create a red proof. The subtleties of diplomatic interactions, however, often strain Geralt’s patience, and he requires seven purple leads to make one purple proof.
Geralt’s role as a witcher and monster hunter is further supported by his hero dice, shown above on his hero sheet. Most heroes possess one hero die, but Geralt has three. These combat dice feature a variety of symbols, but the majority are swords and shields, making him most deadly in pitched battle against a monster.
Geralt’s hero sheet also displays the various actions that he can take, as we covered in our first preview. Most actions are the same across all heroes, but every hero also has a unique, hero-specific action. Geralt has the option to brew, which allows him to place a common marker on each of his Potion development cards. Spending common markers from these Potions gives Geralt a variety of benefits, as we’ll explore below.
Mix Your Potions
Like every other hero, Geralt possesses a fifteen-card development deck. Whenever he chooses the develop action, he may draw the top two cards of his development deck and choose one to keep. Each of these cards provides Geralt with some kind of benefit, including a number of Potion cards. Before these Potions can be used to their fullest effect, Geralt must use the brew action to place common markers on the cards.
One Potion in Geralt’s development deck is the Brock Potion. By spending a common marker from this card at the start of battle, you can reroll any number of battle dice once during the battle, giving you much better chances of defeating the monsters you face. The counterpart to this Potion is Zeugl’s Vigor, which has an identical effect, except it allows you to reroll any number of your hero dice, rather than battle dice. Of course, you can’t always rely on your dice to produce the results you need to win battles. Fortunately, Geralt has Potions that can remove the element of chance. By spending a common marker from the Maribor Forest card, you produce one sword, one shield, or one ritual result, granting you whichever result is most needed.
Geralt’s development deck also offers a number of Witcher Signs, which have equally potent applications in battle. For example, Axii allows you to spend a witcher sign die result to have each shield that you rolled produce an additional sword, maximizing your attack without sacrificing your defense. Alternatively, the Quen Witcher Sign allows you to spend a witcher sign result to immediately produce two shields, safeguarding you from a monster’s attacks.
Paid in Gold
If Geralt of Rivia’s skill with arms isn’t your preferred style of play, you may prefer to spin new tales and songs as Dandelion, the bard. Far from focusing on combat, Dandelion is as adroit with his words as Geralt is with a sword. Accordingly, his quests come from the purple diplomacy Quest deck, and he needs only three purple leads to make a purple proof. Blue, or magic, proof require five leads to create, while acquiring a combat proof forces Dandelion to truly exert himself and spend seven red leads.
Dandelion’s hero die also illustrates his preference to avoid combat in The Witcher Adventure Game. The majority of the results on his hero die are dodge results, which can create a shield result when combined with a sword. By using his dodges to create shields, Dandelion can escape the worst effects of being caught in battle with a monster.
His hero-specific action grants Dandelion a way to gain gold quickly and reliably. Most heroes must scrape together whatever gold they can find on their adventures, but Dandelion’s ability to sing allows him to immediately gain two gold. Gold can be used to purchase passage aboard a ship, to receive valuable information in diplomatic dealings, or, as we’ll see, to enlist the aid of Dandelion’s friends and allies.
A Silver Tongue
Like Geralt, Dandelion has his own fifteen-card development deck. Dandelion’s Development cards, however, share a much different focus than Geralt’s. While Geralt has the skills to battle and defeat any monster that stands in his way, Dandelion must rely on his Friends and Skills to stay out of danger.
A number of Dandelion’s development cards are Friends, and each of these requires you to spend a gold to place a common marker on the card. Although you may need to bribe them to help you, Dandelion’s Friends can prove highly useful. Vincent Meis and Cahir can prove especially handy in a fight: after you’ve paid the gold to place common markers on their cards, you can spend those common markers to produce shield and sword results during a battle. Other Friends of Dandelion, such as Blasco Grant, allow him to safely bypass any monsters in his region.
Some of Dandelion’s most powerful Skills allow him to gain victory points from the accomplishments of others. With his Epic Ballad Skill, Dandelion gains a victory point whenever another hero defeats a silver monster in his region, and he gains two victory points whenever another hero defeats a gold monster in his region! On the other hand, Half a Century of Poetry allows Dandelion to gain a victory point whenever another hero in his region completes a side quest, support quest, or main quest. Completing quests is the predominant means of gaining victory points, and Half a Century of Poetry allows you to gain points simply from other heroes trying to achieve their own victory. In The Witcher Adventure Game, every character offers a radically different style of play. You can choose the hero that suits you best, or take the time to master each one individually, bringing your adventures to new levels of replayability.
With Song or Sword
You may choose to play as Geralt of Rivia or Dandelion the bard, or you may choose another hero of the Northern Kingdoms. No matter which hero you select, you must complete quests and claim unending renown if you wish to be victorious in The Witcher Adventure Game.
Join us next time as we preview Triss Merigold and Yarpen Zigrin, and pre-order your copy of The Witcher Adventure Game at your local retailer today!