THE DOOMCHILD AWAITS ...
The broken lands of Aridika were once the only civilized kingdom of Eastony. Now, they lie in ruin, a mere shadow of their former glory. According to legends, all of Aridika was founded on blighted soil that was said to be cursed by the Pheras, whose empire was turned to dust by the lich queen Szera. Many believe it was that very blighted soil that led to Aridika’s eventual corruption and ruination. Others would credit Aridika’s Count Louric Morn’s fabled vampiric bloodline for his country’s downfall. Regardless of the cause, Aridika’s castles and keeps are now reduced to burned-out husks that house ragglins, profaned undead, foul poxoids, and other savage beings that now find sanctuary in this ruined country.
Now, sixteen years after the Fall of Kretch, the Five Holds of Eastony have united under the rule of a new queen. A renewed interest in prosperity and empire has brought heroes to Aridika once more, seeking glory, treasure, and the expansion of their new queen’s domain. Meanwhile, mysterious “altars” have inexplicably burst from the ground in the darkest corners of Aridika, unleashing strange magicks and drawing the attention of unsavory creatures, hungry for the mysterious power.
Old shadows will be stirred, ancient graves disturbed, and the shrouded secret of Aridika’s fall will inevitably be revealed.
Altar Quest is a cooperative game of fantasy adventure for 1–4 players. Designed by Adam and Brady Sadler, Altar Quest draws upon the success of their Modular Deck System (introduced in Street Masters and Brook City) and is based in their all-original setting inspired by high fantasy and Gothic horror.
Each player in Altar Quest chooses to play as a hero with their own unique cards and equipment. Then, players choose a quest deck to undertake, a threat deck to serve as the main enemy forces, and a sinister villain deck to face off against. Each of these decks are fixed and require no assembly (ensuring quick setup and tear down), but can be mixed and matched to create a wide variety of combinations.
In addition to the enemies in the chosen threat deck, the danger of lurkers is always present in every quest. Lurkers are represented by a deck containing enemies from across your Altar Quest collection; you never know who you will encounter on your adventures!
While heroes attempt to complete their quest before drawing the attention of the almighty villain, the unstable magic of the altars constantly affect the game. The altar dice are tied to the mystical powers known as "rhunes," which can enhance cards in different ways. Each time an altar die is used (either by the heroes or the enemy), that die is rolled to create an ever-changing mix of rhunes for all characters to draw upon. Will you use a rhune to bolster your attack, even if it risks making the enemy more powerful in return?
THE MAIN BOARD
In Altar Quest, you won't have to assemble an unwieldy map at setup, and you won't have to stop playing every time you open a door to sort through countless map tiles to find the one needed to continue the adventure. Every quest that you undertake takes place on the same large, main game board depicting various dungeon rooms just waiting to be populated. This makes setup a breeze and ensures there is never a lull in the action!
While the main board (illustrated by Henning Ludvigsen) is used in every quest, no two games of Altar Quest are ever the same! Quest layouts always change thanks to the modular nature of the quest decks and feature cards, as well as all of the other decks used to customize your gameplay experience. Each time players discover a room, they will draw a feature card and place the corresponding miniature in the revealed room; bookcases full of forbidden knowledge, weapon racks filled with deadly blades, or even coveted altars may await you in a dungeon! Then, players will draw a quest card to see what else awaits in the chamber. Finally, players will draw threat cards to populate the room with deadly enemies, traps, or events. In other words, players are free to explore a dungeon as they see fit by making their own path on the board, but they will never know what lurks in its shadows or what lies beyond its doors!
Of course, all sorts of encounters can occur outside the dungeons of Aridika as well ...
In Altar Quest, features represent furniture, objects, and structures you may find in the dungeons of Aridika. When revealing a room, a hero will draw a random feature card and place its corresponding detailed plastic miniature on the board.
Many features allow heroes to interact with them in a variety of ways to draw a search card, gain additional supplies, or benefit from other effects!
Aside from looking great on the board, each feature provides a different effect that can change up the heroes' strategy from room to room, game to game!
In Altar Quest, equipment cards represent weapons, armor, and trinkets heroes use to survive the horrors lurking in the deep dungeons of Aridika. Each hero deck has 1 or more unique equipment cards that are placed in a hero's play area at the start of the game, providing them with helpful actions and exhaust effects. For example, Rowen's Burry Knife card allows him to use 1 of his 3 actions during his act phase to perform an attack test, targeting an enemy within range (which, in the case of Burry Knife, is 1). Rowen's might is 2, so he would roll 2 hero dice during this attack test.
Equipment cards can also have rhune effects, which provide additional benefits if the appropriate rhune is available in the altar pool. If there is a "shadow" rhune available in the altar pool, Rowen can exhaust the Burry Knife to deal 1 damage to an enemy within range.
While heroes all have their own equipment cards in their hero deck (such as Sedrin having the Star of Aluna), they can also acquire new equipment cards throughout the course of a campaign.
In Altar Quest, heroes embark on a variety of adventures that are created by combining Threat decks, Villain decks, and Quest decks. While most decks present the heroes with dangerous opposition, Quest decks provide an overall objective for the heroes as well as a narrative framework.
The "Quest Setup" quest card (shown here) instructs players how to set up the chosen quest and includes special rules for that quest on its flip side. The rest of the Quest deck represents what heroes will find in the various rooms they explore, such as the "Vaulted Room" quest card (shown here) where heroes can find one of the altar stones they are looking for in "The Cleansing" quest.
A quest card usually contains narrative text to set the scene, and often features a When Revealed effect that resolves immediately after drawing it. It might also contain an Activate effect that is resolved during the quest turn.
Quest decks function in countless different ways in Altar Quest, and each game will play out differently depending on how you use them and which other decks they are combined with!
Featuring standalone quests, campaign play, and highly modular gameplay, Altar Quest is an epic fantasy adventure game that provides a deep game experience whether as a one-off game or an engrossing campaign.