Legacy games are all the rage in the board game world at the moment. My Tuesday group has already completed Seafall and Gloomhave and are 7/12 through Charterstone. I even have my own that I worked on over Christmas that I hope to devote more time to if work wasn't trying to kill me (believe those articles about how the 40-hour week is dead). I've had the wonderful opportunity to sit in on a friend's campaign of Kingdom Death a couple times, and I have to say it surpasses all the other legacy games I've played in story and atmosphere. Seafall and Gloomhaven had their strong points, but both suffered from weak endings ("Wait, what?" and "That's it?" respectively). And granted, perhaps I will be disappointed by Kingdom Death's ending, if I should ever experience it, but for now, I'm reveling in the creative doors it's opened in my mind. So, despite being sick for the bajillionth time this year, I sat down for a quick wind sprint to excise the opening that has been playing in my head since Friday when my character was killed during the end-of-game reward phase. That's right, I was killed by post-game box text, and it was glorious.
So, with the self-conscious caveat that I've been writing academic papers for the past three years, here is a small wind sprint on Kingdom Death.
The first thing you notice isn’t the light, the cold white glow in the distance that illuminates a black lamppost that would otherwise be lost in the absolute darkness that surrounds you. The first thing you notice is the quiet. There is no breeze, no air, no sound of birds or bugs; the world holds its breath endlessly. The silence lasts for so long that the world around you feels dead, and you wonder if you’re dead, too.
Turning about brings no comfort. Away from the lamppost stretches an endless night without stars to twinkle or moons to glow. In every direction there is absence, in every direction but one. You head to the lamppost, the single white beacon calling to you like a fishing lure. You take comfort in the crunch of your footsteps. Dry grass, brittle like hay, pokes your bare feet. You accelerate your step, relishing the painful stab of each sheath. It says you are alive, and you beat that message to the world around you for all to hear.
If you were not alone.