Episode 182: Apocrypha

Click here for the direct download link for this week’s episode

1) The Pegs discuss their recent game plays including Seastead, Court of the Dead: Dark Harvest MonsDRAWsity, and many more;

2) All the Pegs review Apocrypha: Adventure Card Game; and

3) Look back at Abomination: Heir of Frankenstein.

Join in the conversation for this episode over at our Board Game Geek guild.

Show Notes

00:01:22 – Trivia: Medieval Identify Theft


00:04:40 – Upcoming Google Hangout

00:06:20 – Blue Peg, Pink Peg Discord Channel

00:10:56 – Robb on Geek Allstars

00:12:18 – Jeremy Hosts a Birthday Party

00:14:43 – Harper Has Standards

00:19:24 – Robb Plays Baldur’s Gate 3 Beta

00:24:13 – Peghead Spotlight: Joe Pilkus and The Professor’s Lab

00:26:44 – Frosthaven Contest! Ends November 8th


00:30:07The Few and Cursed [Buy] – Rock Manor Games; Designer: Mike Gnade; Art: Felipe Cagno, Fabiano Neves;

00:40:15MonsDRAWsity * [Buy] – Deep Water Games; Designer: Eric Slauson;

00:45:32Cartographers: Heroes * [Buy] – Thunderworks Games; Designer: Jordy Adan, John Brieger; Art: Davey Baker, Luis Francisco, Lucas Ribeiro;

00:51:50 – And Now a Word from Out Sponsor: Queen Games

00:53:27Court of the Dead: Dark Harvest * [Buy] – Skybound Games; Designer: Ben Kepner; Art: Abigail Larson;

01:02:45Gloomy Graves * [Buy] – Renegade Game Studios; Designer: Jeffrey D. Allers; Art: David Szilagyi;

01:09:44Seastead * [Buy] – WizKids; Designer: Ian Cooper, Jan M. Gonzalez;


01:19:04Science and Séance Society Kickstarter

01:20:34 – New Novels by Aconyte Books

01:23:30 – Spiel Digital

01:24:34 – Kokopelli by Stefan Feld

01:29:33Kabuto Sumo Kickstarter

01:33:41 – And Now a Word from Our Sponsor: Grand Gamer’s Guild

REVIEW: Apocrypha Adventure Card Game


Apocrypha: Adventure Card Game is a deck-building horror adventure game for 1 to 6 players designed by Mike Selinker and published by Lone Shark Games.  Normally, I would also list the artists, but in this case there are 61 artists involved in this title, so I encourage you to visit its BoardGameGeek page to see everyone involved in bringing this game to life.  In Apocrypha, players take on the role of heroes – called Saints – solving mysteries and taking up arms against dark forces threatening their town.  The game is a campaign-style title, with players traversing through an overarching narrative with increasingly difficult challenges, and increasingly powerful rewards, as the move to the story’s conclusion.

At its heart, Apocrypha is a deckbuilder.  Each Saint starts with a set of specific cards that makes up their “Gifts,” which could include everything form allies, to mystic powers, to items like the Murder Board.  As the game progresses, players will have the ability to replace cards in their basic deck with more powerful cards they may find over their course of their adventure.  In addition, characters will grower stronger through the application of Fragments, cards representing memories of the character’s past – often horrific – that will be obtained when completing adventures and will grant special one-time or, potentially, ongoing special powers.

At the start of play, the game will be set up based on the current scenario.  This will involve putting out certain specific location cards – each of which have unique effects as well as a Doom side and a Hope side, which will be manipulated throughout the game.  Each location will set a certain number and types of cards to be included in its unique deck – gifts, threats, and omens.  Finally, the scenario will set other rules for threats and True Threats in the deck – these represent the Final Boss or other objectives the players will pursue over the course of the adventure.  Much of this is done through a series of Structure cards, the combination of which describes the overarching goal of the scenario, such as Track Down the Monster On the Path Before the Sunset, where each of those clauses – “Track Down,” “On the Path,” etc. – apply different goals and structures to the scenario.  These cards will be mixed and matched over the course of the campaign.

A game round in Apocrypha is fairly simple: The active player will draw an Omen card from the Clock deck, which serves as the timer for the game – once the clock deck is empty, game over.  Then, they may use that Omen, an Omen in their hand, or some other power to Investigate their current location – which just means turning over the top card of that location’s deck.  The card may be a Gift, which the player may attempt to collect, or a Threat, which the player will have to fight.  

Collecting gifts and fighting threats is done by rolling a pool of dice, the assembling of which really is the main action of the game.  Assembling this dice pool is a matter of using the character’s inherent abilities and skills, receiving assistance from other players at the same location, playing cards from the player’s hand, and applying effects from the threat or gift being faces, scenario rules, and other rules.  We’ll tackle this process more in the review, but suffice it to say this is a process of deciding risk and rewards, strategic thinking and card play, and, ultimately, luck.  When the pool is assembled the dice are rolled, the three highest dice (in most cases) are selected and checked against the strength of the challenge, and victory or defeat determined.

As players play cards to face challenges, these will go into a discard pile or recycle back into their deck based on various rules and card effects.  A player’s draw deck also represents their life – if a player ever runs out of cards, their Saint starts to Fade – not exactly death, but close enough.

This is the basic gameplay of Apocrypha, though suffice it to say there is far more complexity than is being described here, involving cost steps, skill keywords, gift manipulation, dice mutation, scenario management, and more. 

01:38:50 – Review

02:11:06 – Ratings


02:24:23Abomination: Heir of Frankenstein * [Buy] – Plaid Hat Games; Designer: Dan Blanchett; Art: Mikhail Palamarchuk, Tony Sart;

Check out our original review for GAME during Episode 157.

Gameplay Photos

* Disclosure: These titles were received free of charge by the publishers or distributors. If you are interested in submitting a title for review, please read our Review Policy.

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