Taelmoor Board Game
Cooperative Fantasy Adventures with Digital and Physical Gameplay
1–6 Players | 45–90 Min| Age: 14 | Designer: Eli Delventhal, Willem Delventhal, Zac Delventhal | Artist: Brendan Milos, Paola Bonacina, Dattan Porto
Puzzles, love them, especially when it is in a dungeon. Taelmoor board game is a fresh take on a dungeon crawl. Steeped in fantasy and adventure with "Oh!" of surprise immersive experience played with the Scan & Play QR codes. The story unfolds through the DM (narrator) that points you in a direction than it is up to the players to work together to escape the dungeon.
Can you have a collaboratively generated mystery that also allows the element of surprise to be present? Absolutely, yes! Tasked to investigate and collect items while battling through tumultuous booby-trapped dungeon dodging to complete missions in hopes of joining the Scattered Band- the most prolific mercenaries. It is sleuthing with the ability to collect items and utilize powers with spell and combat cards.
We played the game via Tabletop Simulator, and after playing the demos, we got such a kick out of the game that we jumped over to Kickstarter and backed it. It is – as of posting- is ninety-five percent funded with many days to go. We keep the faith that Taelmoor reaches all their stretch goals because that will be the chef's kiss on the game.
I spoke with Zac Delventhal - The Guru of Tech at Delve Bros Games, about the provenance of Taelmoor and the next steps.
Do you play D&D?
Yes! All three of us grew up playing D&D and a bunch of other TTRPGs together. Most of what I learned about interactive storytelling came from the hours I spent DMing campaigns in high school. These days I do not get as much time to play, but Eli still roleplays regularly. Actually, most of the lore and backstory for Taelmoor comes from a long-running Burning Wheel campaign of his.
Was the intent to teach folks about Dungeons and Dragons?
That is a happy side effect. We are targeting a more approachable experience than full roleplaying, so hopefully, Taelmoor is a game that hardcore role-players get a kick out of, but also casual players can pick up and enjoy in a single night. If it is a gateway for those casual players to get into the world of roleplaying, so much the better.
Why did you pick the characters in the game (besides other D&D characters)?
There are so many cool classes out there. We definitely have our eyes on a few for future expansions. For the base game, though, we wanted the roster to feel classic. We reached right away for those original four: Cleric, Rogue, Wizard... and the Barbarian instead of warrior/fighter because we just loved the 80's flavor of him. We also loved the idea of including the Elf and Dwarf as classes. It keeps the mechanics simple while bringing back fond memories of HeroQuest and that old Gauntlet arcade game.
How difficult was it to integrate the scan and play process?
The basic tech was not too hard to implement. We all have strong software engineering backgrounds, so that was a skill we were able to lean on from the beginning. Once we had the basic functionality working, though, there was still months of playtesting and tweaking the gameplay before it felt right.
It is important to us that there be a tight scan and play integration that makes it feel like the app is reaching out and touching every piece on the board. At the same time, you can go too far, and scanning can become tedious. Some of our early versions required two QR scans to accomplish anything, and that was just too much. Since then, not only have we made the scans themself smoother (with a smooth manual backup option too), but also reduced the number of scans to only those that are the most interesting and impactful. We really love how the game plays now.
What is next?
Our first focus is finishing our Kickstarter campaign strong. Afterwards, there will be plenty of work putting the finishing touches on the pieces and the app and getting everything shipped out to everyone. But we all feel strongly Taelmoor has a big future beyond a single Kickstarter campaign. We can deliver new scenarios digitally as long as there is an audience for them, and of course, we are kicking around some ideas for physical expansions as well (steampunk pirates, anyone?). Also, the game is very English focused right now, and we would love to ship some proper international versions with local translations. Probably the most exciting thing we are thinking about is user-generated content. That really would start to turn Taelmoor into a kind of casual D&D alternative. It is a big task though. We have to get the base game out the door first.
The Last Word
Taelmoor is a dungeon crawl board game, and players face multiple scenarios and challenging quests. With powerful abilities, magic weapons, and spells. You must overcome traps, fight monsters, and find treasures. It has unique interactions between an app and physical board game pieces.
Taelmoor is a solid crawler board game with exciting problem-solving chances with numerous characters and puzzles. It has an intriguing storyline and a delightful experience. Did I hear SteamPunk Pirates?! Please and thank you.
The Nerdz Garage relished getting lost in the story and solving the puzzles.
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Let us be honest; there is still a bit of drama when we play.
Sit Down. Grab a Drink. Join the Game.