In Rise of Moloch, the direction of the game unfolds like a play being performed. However, in this play, the actors are writing the script as they go. The Nemesis is working with their underlings to summon the ancient fire demon, Moloch, while the Gentlemen of the Unicorn Club endeavor to stop them and end their cruel deeds for good. All of the action and drama takes place over the course of six different Chapters. The board will change each Chapter, with the streets and buildings of London coming together to form the stage for the play. Just as with any good performance, Rise of Moloch has Intermissions between the Chapters. Normally, this is a time for the audience to ruminate over what they’ve seen and wait for the next part of the play. But in this story, the Intermission is where some of the most crucial decisions in the game will take place.
In a play, the intermission gives the production a chance to reset. The scenery on stage is swapped out, and the participating actors change their costumes to prepare for the upcoming scenes. In a sense, the breaks between the Chapters in Rise of Moloch work similarly.
Between Chapters, the Intermission board is set up. Random Gear, Common Arsenal, Artifact, and Upgrade cards are laid out in the associated Locations found around London, and three random Location cards are added to the board, representing places the Gentlemen can visit to gain advantages. The Gentlemen use the break to lick their wounds and catch their breath after a challenging encounter with the Nemesis. Their first step is to remove any Wounds or Torment cards they’ve suffered in the round, and refill their Ether to match its base level shown on their character’s card. Then it’s time for them to turn their attention to the upcoming Chapter and improving their abilities before the next encounter.
The Intermission is all about getting stronger for the future rounds of the game. The Gentlemen will be able to visit different locations around London and gain cards and bonuses that will aid them in subsequent Chapters. Visiting the Wilkenson Arms will provide Common Arsenal Items, at Hardy’s Bazaar they can collect Gear Items, the Shadow Market is the place to go for Artifacts, and the Unicorn Club will give the Gentlemen a chance to Upgrade. The direction they choose to go with their Upgrades has a big impact on how the next Chapter unfolds. Upgrades can do things like improve a Gentlemen’s ranged attack, give them better defensive abilities, or allow them to move around the stage easier. The tough choice for the players will be finding the right combination of Upgrades to turn the team into a well-oiled machine, primed to take on all comers.
While the Gentlemen are gearing up, don’t be fooled into thinking the Nemesis is sitting idly by, twiddling their thumbs. Oh no, they have some plans of their own, and the Intermission gives them the opportunity to enact them. During the break between Chapters, the Nemesis acquires diabolical new powers they can unleash on the Gentlemen in future rounds. Every Location the Gentlemen visit gives them some sort of benefit, but it also comes at a price. Each stop the Gentlemen make around London costs time and gives the Nemesis player Conspiracy points and the ability to advance their schemes. They can spend those points to gain benefits listed on the Villain board. The Gentlemen will have to weigh the advantage of what visiting a new Location gives them versus the benefit the Nemesis will derive from the time they spend there. For a ‘break in the action,’ there are a lot of tense decisions to make!
The story of Rise of Moloch will continue in this fashion, alternating between Chapters and Intermissions, until the Gentlemen get to face the Nemesis in a final showdown. As the game unfolds, there are countless directions the plot may take the characters. These storylines are greatly affected by what the Gentlemen and Nemesis choose to do during the Intermissions. Rise of Moloch will push both parties to their strategic limit, and one choice could be the difference between London being saved and the return of an all-powerful demon bent on watching the world burn.
The hotly anticipated Kickstarter for Rise of Moloch launches on January 17th. Whether you want to fight on the side of good or evil, get your pledges in. For more information on Rise of Moloch, check out the Gameplay article.