Iron Chest: What is it all about?

Iron Helm has been a big hit for me and I have loved every moment of its creation. From the original design and the deck box, through all the boosters, and up to this point where we stand. I want to explore new designs and want to take what I have learned from Iron Helm, Desolate, Gate, and Tin Helm and build something new from the ground up… But I want to release one final, and larger, expansion for Iron Helm. Folks have been so supportive of this design since day one and I want to leave this work with one final bang!

The Glorious Box!

That brings us to Iron Crate. So many questions, but I am here to answer the majority of them. I have been working hard at this one behind the scenes, and I want it to be truly special. There will be a lot of new content in this box, but before we dive into that pool, we should talk about the box. Iron Chest will come in the Small Stout Box from the Game Crafter. This is fantastic little box that I adore. There is a reason a box will be included. Once all the new cards from this expansion are added to the base game box, it should be near full. That leaves no room for the chits, dice, and other bits. Enter the Iron Chest. It can be used to house all of that plus the instruction booklets. In fact there will be enough room in there for Ben Haskett’s amazing Iron Helper. No, the roll-up neoprene mats will not fit, but that would require a huge box, and not everyone has the neoprene mats, and this way keeps the cost down. I am being clever in my attempts to make Iron Helm as affordable as I can.

Okay, so lets break down what is in the box.

  • Adventure Pack #7 The Spire of Zogar (18 Cards)
  • The Lonely Troll Inn Booster Pack (18 Cards)
  • Realms & Relics Booster Pack (18 Cards)
  • Beasts & Burdens Booster Pack (18 Cards)
  • New Deck Dividers (All new dividers for all the Adventure Packs and for new card types added in this expansion)
  • Wizard Mini (The Game Crafter now has reasonably-priced minis, so you bet your ass I am adding one to track your level)
  • 12mm Die (To track henchmen morale)
  • New Dungeon Level Cards (6 jumbo cards to track your position in the dungeon)
  • Maybe? I may add up to 18 more cards, including fan-made content, previous and new promo cards, and who knows what else I will come up with) 

I imagine all of the content has you asking even more questions? I think the easiest way to discuss this is to first talk about the four new card types in Iron Helm and then we can look into the four booster packs.

Afflictions – These are everyone’s favorite from Desolate, so I thought I would carry them over to Iron Helm. Afflictions will be gained in a three ways. (1) If you cannot feed yourself at the end of a dungeon level. (2) When your poison level reaches 3. (3) New enemies will give them to you… Muhahahahahaha! Enjoy!

Artifacts –  I cannot just add mean stuff like afflictions without giving you something nice to balance things out a bit. Enter shiny artifacts. Artifacts work just like Trappings and Loot, except they are a bit more powerful. They are not easy to get however. There is only one way to get one. Whenever you gain a loot card, after defeating an enemy, you may pay 1 blessing token and draw an artifact instead. Not too shabby right? If you was to try this a second time, it will cost 2 blessing tokens. This continues on like this, with a third artifact costing 3 blessing tokens, making getting more than 2 pretty tough. 

Environments – These new cards add a fun little twist to the game. At the beginning of each level one environment card is drawn. Each one takes on a life its own and will challenge the player in many different ways. They may be nasty and make the enemies on that particular level a bit stronger, or they may be a little side quest asking the player to gain locate a gold coin in return for healing. Some will simply alter the state of the dungeon level, while others will reward the player for playing a certain way.

Henchmen – This has been a big request for awhile now. Henchmen are hired at the Lonely Troll at the beginning, or in-between adventures. They typically add a passive bonus for the player such as increasing encumbrance, avoiding traps, or gaining more coin. You can only ever have one henchmen at a time. A single 6-sided die controls their morale. Some Henchmen have more morale than others. Morale drops in various ways based on each Henchmen. Some lose it when you are ambushed. Some lose it when you battle the undead. Some lose it when they see you take a big hit. Once their morale drops to zero, they ditch you just like any good mercenary! You can always raise their morale with a little coin. Gold always makes danger and fear disappear… Oh, and I understand that henchmen doesn’t seem to include the female gender, but half of the Henchmen will be of this variety… 

Let’s now take a look at each of the four packs that will come in Iron Chest. It should be noted that these will not come individually in foil wrappers. The Game Crafter certainly allows for this, but by eliminating four foil wrappers (that will be tossed anyways) allows me to cut the price down by $6.00! Again, I want content in this box and at an affordable price. Instead, each pack will come in a zip bag, but will include an instruction card with the artwork above on one side. In this way you still get a cool cover!

Beast & Burdens – As you might expect this one includes all the Affliction Cards. Beast & Burdens, Realms & Relics, and The Lonely Troll Inn are all companion packs, meaning just like the Loot & Lore pack, you may add any or all of this content to the base game. You choose how nasty you want your dungeon! In addition to the Afflictions, B&B comes with 6 all new enemies and 3 new plot cards. However these plot cards are not you normal plot cards. They are actually filthy mini bosses! You never know what will happen in a clearing now… Defeating a mini boss will garner you some nice loot and will progress you on your track to the main boss quickly, by giving you 4 eye icons!

 The Lonely Troll Inn – The Lonely Troll is a place of legend. It is the last known Inn on the far outskirts on civilization and is home to heroes and scoundrels alike. Here you will find Henchmen to hire and Trappings to purchase, along with rest between adventures. In addition to Henchmen and Trappings, this pack will come with a character to play as. He is feeble and not right in the head, but if you manage to complete an adventure with him, you will gain 10 bonus points!

Realms & Relics –  This deck is home to all the Artifacts and Environment cards. You should have a good idea as to how both of these work if you read their respective sections above. Again, this is content you can add or subtract as you see fit. 

The Spire of Zogar – Finally, you can face off against the infamous Zogar! This is Adventure Pack #7 and the only level 4 adventure, meaning you must complete a base adventure, a level 2 adventure, and a level 3 adventure before you can make this journey. For fans of Grey Gnome Games, you will know that Zogar is the biggest of all the baddies and has never been presented before. He is hinted to in many of my games including Iron Helm, but here he is, ready to throw down! Outside of the fact that Zogar is in the game, you will notice this Adventure Pack is void of a character, trappings, and a skill. Instead you will find more enemies, loot, and plot cards. Good luck! Yikes…

Well, that is all I have for now. I will delve more into other details soon. Remember there is an active thread on Board Game Geek right now, where I am looking for ideas for fan-created content. Folks whose ideas I implement will get a $20 Game Crafter gift card and their name added to the game! Here is that >>>LINK <<<

As always, I appreciate the support and happy delving!

Tin Helm Crowd Sale is Off to a Thunderous Start! Only $11.80!

The Crowd Sale for Tin Helm launched Friday and we have already broke the 500 backer mark! That is amazing! With a Crowd Sale the price of the game drops as we gain more and more backers. All backers end up paying the lowest possible price. It is a nifty way to pass the manufacturing saving directly to you, the backer.

Right now you can snag a copy of Tin Helm for the insanely low price of $11.80!

>>>Tin Helm Crowd Sale Link<<<

You can learn all about the solo dungeon crawler that is Tin Helm on the Crowd Sale page (link above). Obviously with this format spreading the word is important. More backers impact everyone as the price will only lower. I will answer any questions you might have below.

Grey Gnome is 10 Years Old!

In September of 2011 I started Grey Gnome Games. The very first project I tackled was an advanced ruleset for Lego Heroica. Oddly that garnered the site many views in the early days. The first actual game I designed from the ground up was Plague the Card Game. The trick-taker would start out sold only on the Game Crafter in the very early years of its existence. I launched my first Kickstarter for Plague in August of 2012 and the rest is history!

Grey Gnome Games has seen many changes over the past ten years. At first I was solely focused on running Kickstarters, but as time passed, the pressure built up, I decided to step away from that format and now all of Grey Gnome’s library of games are sold through the print-on-demand services of the Game Crafter. This allows me to focus just on designing and illustrating and no more of that icky stuff like dealing with overseas manufacturers, U.S. customs, and fulfillment. What a blessing!

How about a quick look at how the logo for Grey Gnome has changed over the years.

I have a lot of plans for Grey Gnome Games moving forward. I want to focus on making designer journals on this site as a way to connect with fans and potentially other designers. All of the free art assets from Indie Conquest have also been moved to this site, so feel free to use them for your own creation. It is just my way of paying it forward.

Please enjoy the following video that celebrates the anniversary of Grey Gnome Games. Thanks again for all of the support over the years! It really has meant so much to me.