The World of SMOG: Rise of Moloch is a one-vs-many adventure game set in a steampunk version of London at the end of the 1800s. The Cult, led by the evil Nemesis, is working to summon Moloch, a fire demon from the past. The only thing standing in its way are the Gentlemen from the Unicorn Club, who are sworn to protect the city. Rise of Moloch is the ultimate showdown between good and evil, and the decisions players make along the way will determine its outcome.
The Gentlemen of the Unicorn Club are a skilled bunch of adventurers. It’s a good thing too, because they’re going to have their hands full facing The Cult and all their minions. Throughout the course of the game, players will get to add to the skill set of their Gentlemen. Each improvement is helpful, but which will be most advantages in the next Chapters of the game is a mystery. Having a well-rounded team is very important, so players will have to carefully decide how they’re going to proceed.
The Intermission (read more about it here!) is a chance for the Gentlemen to recover from the battles of the previous Chapter, removing wound and torment tokens. However, the Intermission is also a time when they can gear up for the coming adventures. As they visit different Locations around London, they gain Gear, Arsenal, Artifacts, and Upgrades. Going to the Unicorn Club will give them the chance to Upgrade their abilities, and considering how determined the Nemesis is to summon Moloch, they’re going to need all the help they can get!
Some of the Upgrades will boost the overall stats of a Gentleman, increasing their Health, Ether score, or Physical Attributes. In the heat of battle, having an improved ability to absorb or dish out damage can really come in handy. Other Upgrades include improving their mobility, allowing them to draw enemies towards them during battles, or helping them to defend their teammates.
The Gentlemen can only take Upgrades that improve their specific class. For example, Drago has Upgrades available to him that play off of his Monster class, like Berserker, giving him bonuses when he’s taken a certain amount of damage, or Bloodlust, which allows him to take damage to perform a free attack action. Meanwhile, Sir Walther Cavendish can enhance his thermoelectric suit or fire off a homing rocket. Abigail Sutherland can cast an aura of protection around nearby Gentlemen, or drain the life of opponents. The Upgrades work really well thematically with the different characters, and as the game progresses, the Gentlemen develop into customized warriors, with a set of skills chosen by the players.
Sometimes, Upgrades can cost Ether to activate, so the Gentlemen will be wise to keep a steady supply on hand. Other Upgrade cards allow players to collect or generate extra Ether. There are little synergies like that between the cards that can be found and exploited by an observant team.
Nothing in life is free, and while the Gentlemen visit different parts of the city getting ready for the next fight against evil, said evil is also plotting. Each Location that the Gentlemen visit costs them time and earns Conspiracy points for the Nemesis that they can spend to advance their nefarious goals. They will have to weigh the benefit they receive with the potential they provide the Nemesis to complete their plots.
Upgrading your Gentlemen in Rise of Moloch is an incredibly important aspect of the game. The choices made about what Upgrades to take and how to develop the team will reverberate through the Chapters. A simple decision may lead the Gentlemen down one path or another. Rise of Moloch is a story that is waiting to be written by the players. Different campaigns can go in wildly different directions. The choices the players make go a long way towards telling that story.
The Rise of Moloch adventure starts on January 17th with the launch of its Kickstarter campaign. Discover more about the Intermission portion of Rise of Moloch here.