The Witcher franchise is insanely huge. The invasion on English-speaking markets was a little late but in many parts of the world: from eastern Europe to Spanish-speaking countries, the books were a huge phenomenon since the 90s. A bunch of short stories and novels by a Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski got so popular in his home country that people often treat them on par with franchises like Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones.
The Witcher Phenomenon
While the English translations of the books are supposedly a hit or miss, the video games that came after the Witcher Saga was finished, mark the point where Geralt of Rivia became popular worldwide.
The games depict the world just like most fans have imagined it. They’re wonderfully translated to include all funny wordplays and the unique way of narration. CD Projekt Red, a Polish studio responsible for their development put a lot of love and detail into the projects. Witcher 3 managed to top the sales charts in Eastern Asia and in the USA, where Geralt of Rivia was barely known before. Nowadays we have a new Witcher novel, a Netflix TV series, concerts with music inspired by the universe and much, much more.
In 2021, a board game set in the world known from The Witcher is going to be crowdfunded. It’s by no means a first game set in this world, but the previous attempts were rather unremarkable. Let us show you what we know about this new project.
A Dream Come True
Łukasz Woźniak, often known as “Wookie” is a Polish board game designer, reviewer and the creator of the country’s first board-game-only crowdfunding service called Zagramw.to (literally: I’ll Play This). Thanks to his big fan base he often promotes projects launching on his own platform. Recently he also started to launch his own games on Kickstarter. You may recognize him from Valhalla and more recently: Titans.
Łukasz, like many 20/30-something people living in Poland, was (and is) deeply in love with Sapkowski’s novels and the games by CDPR. He spent around 5 years crafting a perfect recipe for a Witcher board game and, after all that effort, it got officially greenlit by the company. Official info confirms that they will work on publishing the game together.
The Old World
To give some more freedom to the designer and other people working on the project, both parties have decided to set the game in the past, at least some decades before the story we know. This way we will be able to see the world from the eyes of a team of new protagonists unrelated to Geralt. Players will take on the roles of witchers fresh out of their training at their respective schools like Kaer Morhen (Wolf), Haern Caduch (Bear), Gorthur Gwaed (Viper) and others.
Another Day of Hunting
The Witcher: Old World will be an adventure game, so we will have plenty of time to explore all the monster filled forests, hills and of course – towns. Interestingly, this won’t be a cooperative game and will have our witchers compete with each other.
The Witcher: Old World is designed for 2 to 5 players and there’s no word on solo mode yet. Considering the competitiveness, it might be unlikely, but only time will tell.
The main goal of the game will be to complete various quests all over the world. Killing monsters, lifting curses, and finding lost people will often reward you but also offer some difficult moral choices. If you played any of the Witcher video games, you know what we’re talking about. Not all monsters are evil and the world of Witcher is by no means black and white. Finishing a quest and some other activities gives you trophies, and whoever reaches a target number of these (depends on the player count) wins the game.
Swords, Signs and Some Poker
Fighting is bread and butter for witchers, so a large focus is being put on perfecting the combat mechanics. Combat uses a system where each card is dedicated to a battle action. There are different types of attack cards (remember: all schools have their own special abilities). We also have dodge cards and of course the witcher signs that can have devastating effects like the fiery Igni and Aard which can make witchers stun enemies. Playing these cards in a well planned order may lead to some crazy combos which will bring you closer to winning an encounter.
Apparently, you will also be able to spar with other witchers and spend time on less face smashing related activities like playing dice poker to earn some gold.
The Witcher: Old World on Kickstarter
The game will launch on Kickstarter in May 2021. A Collector’s Edition with some additional goodness is in the plans along some language versions, but these still have to be confirmed. If everything goes according to the plan, backers should get The Witcher: Old World sometime in April 2022.
You can sign up to get notifications about this campaign here.