Evil Hat Productions

 

Evil Hat Productions

Improv For Gamers

Sep 10 2018
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2-20 13+ 1-4 hours $20

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Improv for Gamers

Improv for Gamers

Do you want to be a better roleplayer or GM?
Do you want to encourage spontaneous creativity in your gaming group?
Do you want to create dynamic, compelling characters?

If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” Improv for Gamers is for you! Based on the popular workshop series, this book provides a selection of fun and easy improv exercises designed to take your tabletop or live-action gaming group to a new level. Pick and choose exercises to develop a particular skill, or run through a variety of them at random! No improv experience required.

Improv for Gamers will help you develop the following skills:

  • Smoothly building on the information provided by other participants in the game
  • Using one small starting point to build a multi-faceted character
  • Building authentic relationships between characters
  • Interacting with invisible objects in a way that is believable
  • Knowing when and how to end a scene and share the spotlight

BOOK INFORMATION

Number of players: 2-20
Age of players: 13+
Length: 1-4 hours
Type of Game: Gaming Workshops
Pages: 120
Format: Hardcover and digital formats.
Languages Available: English
Product Number: EHP0041
ISBN: 978-1-61317-154-7
Suggested Retail: $20
Game Designers: Karen Twelves
Release Date: November 2018

The DFCO Strategy Guide Updates

Aug 14 2018

Today, we’ve updated the Picking Your Characters section of the DFCO strategy guide to include the Dead Ends and Winter Schemes expansion. You can check that out here!

Did you miss the rest of the updates? Check out the guide to Expansion 4: Dead Ends here! Or the guide to Expansion 5: Winter Schemes here. And if you’d like to see the whole thing, we’ve got a handy dandy table of contents here!

Thanks again to Shannon Appelcline for writing this all up! Fuego!

The Dresden Files Coop Card Game Strategy Guide, Section VIII-G: Playing Expansion #5: Winter Schemes

Aug 9 2018

We’ve got new expansions for the Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game, and that means more of Shannon Appelcline’s excellent strategy guide! If you’re struggling with the new decks or just looking for a little advice to get you started with them, we’ve got what you’re looking for! And if you somehow missed the rest of the articles, we’ve got a handy link to the rest of the series at the bottom of this article. We’ll be posting a revised guide to picking your characters, including the new expansions! So, without further ado…

The Mechanics & Meeples DFCO Strategy Guide, Section VIII-G: Playing Expansion #5: Winter Schemes

by Shannon Appelcline
Game Historian of Designers & Dragons
Board Game Analyst of Mechanics & Meeples

Caveat Reader: the very names of the two characters in expansion #5 are spoilers for character developments in Changes (#12) and Cold Days (#14). They’re arranged in that order.

Winter Knight Harry (Harry v2)

Harry’s focus has changed ever so slightly from predominantly investigative to combative. (It’s just a 1 Fate swing, as those two suits were always pretty balanced for Harry.)

Cards of Note. Replacing Harry’s old area-attack cards are “Infriga!” (Attack) and “The Za Lord’s Guard” (Investigate), which can each place up to 6 tokens for a 4 Fate cost, but are very specific: they place 3/2/1 tokens on the first, second, and third cards of the appropriate type. On average, these are slightly better than Harry’s old area-attack cards because they offer a better than 1:1 Fate:token ratio with two targets in a row, while the old ones needed three to excel. This is particularly true for “Infriga!” because there will almost always be a row with at least two Foes; “The Za Lord’s Guard” is somewhat more likely to be discard fodder, especially for the three Books that only have two Cases. “Mab’s Voice” is also notable. It’s an Overcome that optionally lets Harry take another turn. Use this if Harry has drawn extra cards (or will do so) and would otherwise be out of sync with the rest of the group.

Best Suit [Attack: 12]. Besides “Infriga!” Harry also has “Rexus Mundus!” and “Arctis”, offering more hits without drama.

Talent: Mantle of Winter [Early Game]. Move Case or Foe. Harry’s Talent is still intended to advance Obstacles and Advantages that need to be resolved, but now he’ll do so by moving back Cases and Foes. Remember that those Cases and Foes must be free of tokens. This means that Harry will only be able to effectively move cards early in the game, and the other players have to be careful. (There is some opportunity for Harry’s Talent to be usable late in the game to move Foes and Cases to the group’s advantage, but because of this restriction, it’ll come up much less often.)

Stunt: Infriga … Forzare! [Late Game]. +5+2dF Hits to Kill Foe. Harry’s blasting rod did 4 damage as long as it killed a foe, while the Winter Knight’s Infriga Forzare does an average of 5. That’s better, right? Actually, it’s trickier, because if you try to target 5 damage, you’re going to waste Harry’s Stunt 33% of the time, and if you try to target 4 damage, you’re going to waste it 11% of the time. Only 3 damage is truly safe! You should usually use this Stunt to finish off a foe who has 4 or fewer Hits left, but wait until late in the game because it can alternatively be used as a Hail Mary if you really need 5 or 6 Hits.

Team Notes. Just like before Harry took up the Winter Mantle, you should work carefully with him early in the game to ensure that he can get Advantages and Obstacles into Range; and just like before, you should set him up to finish off a Foe with his Stunt. Just be aware that this Harry might be a little more constrained in what he can do and a little more chaotic in his results.

Winter Lady Molly (Molly v2)

Molly saw a larger shift than Harry, with her Investigate notably decreasing and her Attack notably increasing, leaving her more balanced, but ultimately an Attacker (and still a manipulator).

Cards of Note. Molly now has her own pair of area-attack cards. For 5 Fate she can use “Illusory Betrayal” to add a total of up to 3-7 Hits on 1-3 adjacent Foes, or “Agents of Sidhe”, which does the same for 1-3 adjacent Cases. These cards are beneficial if at least two cards of the appropriate type are adjacent, particularly given their strong range of 3, and they’re superb if three of the correct card types are lined up. As usual, that’s harder to do with Cases than Foes.

Best Suit [Attack: 12, Take Advantage: 8]. Molly only has three Attacks, but they’re worth 3-5 Fate, so they’re strong. She also has a strong set of three Take Advantages, of which “Winter’s Guidance” is cheap, “Lea’s Lessons” has strong Range at 3+2dF, and “Flawless Illusion” gives a rebate.

Talent: Power of the Lady [Intermittently, Any Time]. Ready to Eliminate Dice. The old Molly could precisely predict results on +1dF rolls and could avoid the worst results on +2dF rolls, all by flipping just 1 die to + or –. The new Molly instead flips all the dice in one of her rolls from – to “0”. Although this sounds more exciting, it’s not as good: it only allows her to ward against low rolls, not to guarantee the best results (e.g., both Mollies could turn “–  – ” to an average result, either “– +” or “0 0”, but the old Molly could also turn “– +” into “+ +” or even “–  – ” if she wanted, while the new Molly can only make it into “0 +”). So, Molly’s now more consistent, but has less upside and can’t lower high rolls.  The new Molly has a single +3DF card in her deck, and that’s the only time that her results can ever be better than the old Molly, because 1/27th of the time, when she rolls “– – –“ she turns that into “0 0 0” (+0), not “– + – ” (-1). Still, risk-averse players might like Molly’s new Talent better, because it feels better. As always, Molly’s talent is especially useful because most of her cards involve die rolls: 80% this time around. You should usually set Molly’s Talent up on the first turn and reset it every turn when it’s not ready, unless you have no +dF cards left in your hand, or it’s your last play of the game.

+1dF +2dF +3dF
Old Molly Minimum +1 +0 -1 (N/A)
New Molly Minimum +0 +0 +0

Stunt: A Favor Owed to Winter [Late Game]. Copy Unplayed Stunt. OK, this can be a little tricky and a little annoying, since you have to remember all the Stunts not in the game. If you want, grab all the unplayed Stunt cards and line them up next to Molly’s card. But, generally, you’ll go with a favorite: if you want to deliver Hits, use Kincaid (+3 Hits to Hurt Foe & Swap); and if you want to pile up Clues, that’s Sanya if the Case is uninvestigated (+3 Clues to Uninvestigated Case & Pull) or Butters if lots of Cases have been investigated (Add Clues to Investigated Cases), but their particular uses come up less often. More likely if you don’t want to straight up deliver hits, you’ll instead reuse a card by asking a favor of Ramirez (Return a Discarded Card). Amusingly, Molly can also effectively use the Stunts for the characters that are in the game by borrowing Mouse’s Stunt (Choose to Return a Used Stunt). You’ll usually want to save Molly’s Stunt until the very end of your game, when you’ve identified your biggest remaining obstacle to winning.

Team Notes. With Winter Lady Molly in play, you should carefully consider what characters everyone else is using (or rather: not using), to give her the most options for her Stunt. If you do that, you can ask the Winter Lady for almost anything and expect her to deliver. If there’s a gap in your path to victory, Molly’s your woman.


Missed some of the other articles in the series, or looking for advice on a particular gameplay element? Go here for the full list of articles and Bob’s top ten favorite romance novels. (We’re kidding about that last one. It’s probably for the best.)

The DFCO Strategy Guide, Section VIII-F: Playing Expansion #4: Dead Ends

Aug 7 2018

We’ve got new expansions for the Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game, and that means more of Shannon Appelcline’s excellent strategy guide! If you’re struggling with the new decks or just looking for a little advice to get you started with them, we’ve got what you’re looking for! And if you somehow missed the rest of the articles, we’ve got a handy link to the rest of the series at the bottom of this article. We’ll be hitting Expansion 5 on Thursday! So, without further ado…

The Mechanics & Meeples DFCO Strategy Guide, Section VIII-F: Playing Expansion #4: Dead Ends

by Shannon Appelcline
Game Historian of Designers & Dragons
Board Game Analyst of Mechanics & Meeples

Jared Kincaid

You knew Kincaid wasn’t going to be a diplomatic guy. He’s all about hits, hits, hits.

Cards of Note. “Tripwire” is a great card. For 4 Fate it can deliver an unthinkable 6 Hits, and its targets can be quite far away … but it requires legal Foes at the shortest range in both rows to be efficient, else it’s probably better to discard for Fate. Generally, Kincaid has great range, with all but two cards working at range 2 or better. That’s why “The Archive” is pretty nice too: though it only delivers an average of 4 Clues for 5 Fate, it does so at range 5!

Best Suit [Attack: 16]. Kincaid has the best suit in the game, with four Attack cards totaling 16 Fate, but perhaps that’s due to a last-minute rebalancing of the “Snap Shot” card, because Kincaid is also the only character to have 31 Fate worth of cards in his deck instead of 30. Of the Attack cards, “Head Shot” has a great Fate:Hit ratio with a Range of 2; “Snap Shot” and “Sniper Rifle” are a bit costly for their damage … but they have a Range of 4, which is spectacular for an Attack. Count on being the guy who finishes off things at Range.

Talent: Cover Fire [Any Time but Late Game]. Store 1 Hit. Kincaid’s Talent allows for precision, because it can be used to later do +1 Hit, usually on an Attack that’s oh-so-close to killing something. This can be particularly helpful if someone is making an Attack with variable damage, because Kincaid can help push the damage upward when the dice roll badly. Note that Kincaid’s stored Hits can be used on anyone’s turn, which is otherwise unknown for a Talent. The catch is that you can only apply +1 Hit per Attack, so don’t store up too many Hits or they might end up wasted. Have Kincaid make Fate early, so that the extra Hits are immediately available, and definitely don’t have him make Fate Late, or his last Hit might not be playable. [See Also Mortimer: Store 1 Clue.]

Stunt: Isolate & Eliminate [Mid to Late Game]. +3 Hits to Hurt Foe & Swap. Kincaid’s Stunt is almost as good as Harry’s, since it does 3 Hits to a damaged foe. Note that it has three limitations. First, the Foe already has to be Hit. Second, there must be a second Foe. Third, the two involved Foes are swapped. Note that the swapping occurs even if the Hit Foe is eliminated. This is actually a great thing, as it allows Kincaid to eliminate a Foe and then bring in a distant enemy, so try and plan for it. (Kincaid’s alternative is to just swap two Foes who are both near in, which isn’t as useful.)

Team Notes. Depend on Kincaid to damage your Foes. Whenever you’re considering delivering Hits, think about whether a Cover Fire of +1 Hit would be helpful to finish off the Foe, and either ask Kincaid to apply the Hit or if he doesn’t have extra Hits stored, wait and ask him to use his Talent so that he can apply the Hit on a future turn. Also, work carefully with Kincaid to determine how his Stunt can be best used, because its ability to change the Range of a Foe can be quite powerful … and also quite problematic if used incorrectly.

Mortimer Lindquist

Mortimer is focused on investigation, but otherwise has some good variety.

Cards of Note. “Sir Stuart” is Mortimer’s most notable card because it takes an Advantage at up to Range 3 and simultaneously can take an adjacent Obstacle, which could be at Range 4! Since distant Obstacle placement can be one of the most painful problems in DFCO, this can be a real boon in an unlucky setup … but less useful otherwise due to the high cost. It feels like “Angry Ghosts” should be a great card because it does 3 Hits plus one more per solved Case … but many Books don’t have a lot of Cases, and they’re often not solved until late in the game, so it’s actually hard to get this up to 4 Hits, which would deliver a 1:1 Fate:Hit ratio, let alone higher. It might actually be a good choice for a discard.

Best Suit [Investigate: 14]. Mortimer can deliver up to 12+1DF Clues to Investigations, but other than that his Investigate cards aren’t that notable, except for the fact that “Spectral Map” and “Séance” also have strong Range and so can be helpful for those Cases that are otherwise out of reach.

Talent: Ghost Magnet [Any Time but Late Game]. Store 1 Clue. This is the equivalent of Kincaid’s Talent, but it places Clues instead of Hits. That means it follows the same strategies: make Fate early; use it carefully when you need that 1 extra Clue; don’t store up too many; and don’t make Fate too close to the end of the game. [See Also Kincaid: Store 1 Hit.]

Stunt: Whispers of the Dead [Early Game]. +2 Clues to 2 Uninvestigated Cases & Swap. Mortimer’s Stunt is one of the hardest to use in the game, probably eclipsed only by Thomas’ “Inner Demon”. The problem is that you need to have two Cases that don’t have any Clues placed on them, and there are three Books with only two Cases (Small Favor, Changes, and Skin Game), plus another seven with three (including Mortimer’s spotlight, Ghost Story). To minimize the chance that you lose out on Mortimer’s Stunt, use it on the first turn. As for the Swap ability: that can be used tactically to make a specific Case more accessible, but only if there’s a choice, which requires there to be three or more Cases in play.

Team Notes. Early on, you need to treat Mortimer with kid gloves: make sure not to touch the last two Cases on the board until he’s talked with the dead about them. Later on, you can work Mortimer much as you do with Kincaid. When you want to apply just one more Clue to a Case, he’s your man. This should help you minimize inefficiencies where you might otherwise have overkilled a Case by a few points.


Missed some of the other articles in the series, or looking for advice on a particular gameplay element? Go here for the full list of articles and Bob’s top ten favorite romance novels. (We’re kidding about that last one. It’s probably for the best.)

Scum and Villainy

Jun 28 2018
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3-6 13+ 2-6 hours $35

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Scum and Villainy pre-order open now!

Unwise deals. Blaster fights. High adventure among the stars.
Welcome to the world of Scum and Villainy.

Scum and Villainy is a Forged in the Dark game about a spaceship crew trying to make ends meet under the iron-fisted rule of the Galactic Hegemony.

Work with the members of your crew to thrive despite powerful criminal syndicates, warring noble families, dangerous aliens, and strange mystics. Explore the ruins of lost civilizations for fun and profit. Can your motley crew hold it together long enough to strike it big and insure your fame across the sector?

Scum and Villainy is a stand-alone RPG based on the Forged in the Dark game engine. In this book, you’ll find:

  • A clear gameplay structure that puts the focus on the criminal undertakings of the crew. A session of play consists of a job followed by recovery, downtime projects, and advancement.
  • Ship “character sheets” that allow for XP spends, upgrades, and leveling up alongside your characters.
  • Crew advancement opportunities to reflect the change from a ragtag group barely flying in the black to a reputed crew that has built a name across the sector.
  • Forged in the Dark tools to help keep the focus on the action of the job rather than the extensive planning needed to make it happen.
  • Character and ship types to help create a unique and interesting crew at light speed.

May your ship fly true, and may your blasters never jam.

GAME INFORMATION
Number of players: 3-6
Age of players: 13+
Length: 2-6 hours
Type of Game: Roleplaying Game
Languages Available: English
Product Number: EHP0040
ISBN: 978-1-61317-153-0
Page Count: 368
Format: Hardcover black and white interior and Digital formats.
Availability: Check here
Game Designer: Stras Acimovic and John LeBoeuf-Little

DFCO Expansions

Jun 20 2018
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1-5 13+ 30 min $9.99 ea

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Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game: Expansions

Play Harry Dresden and his friends as they take on the cases from the bestselling Dresden Files novels, with these additional characters and books! Each expansion includes two characters and two book decks. Pick up your favorites or buy them all!

Expansion 1 – Fan Favorites (EHP0023)

POLKA WILL NEVER DIE!
… and neither will you, with help from the new heroes in this expansion for the Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game! Inside you’ll find two new character decks—Thomas Raith and Waldo Butters—and two new book decks—Blood Rites and Dead Beat.

Expansion 2 – Helping Hands (EHP0024)

NEED A HAND?
You’re in luck as more of Harry’s friends join you in this expansion for the Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game! Inside you’ll find two new character decks—Sanya and Molly Carpenter—and two new book decks—Proven Guilty and White Night.

Expansion 3 – Wardens Attack (EHP0025)

WE’VE GOT YOUR BACK!
The White Council’s grey cloaks, the Wardens, join the fray in this expansion for the Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game! Inside you’ll find two new character decks—Carlos Ramirez and Anastasia Luccio—and two new book decks—Small Favor and Turn Coat.

Coming later in 2018

Expansion 4: Dead Ends (EHP0037)

Dead on your feet?
Step lively as more of Harry’s friends join you in this expansion for the Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game! Inside you’ll find two new character decks—Jared Kincaid and Mortimer Lindquist—and two new book decks—Changes and Ghost Story. (Release in Q3 2018)

Expansion 5: Winter Schemes (EHP0038)

Feeling Winter’s bite?
Warm up with this expansion for the Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game! Inside you’ll find two alternative character decks—Winter Knight Harry and Winter Lady Molly—and two new book decks—Cold Days and Skin Game. (Release in Q3 2018)

Expansion Information

Requires the Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game to play.
Suggested Retail: $9.99 (USD) per expansion
Game Designers: Eric B. Vogel
Release date: Summer 2017

Tachyon Squadron

Jun 9 2018
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2-6 13+ 2-8 hours $25

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Tachyon Squardon

Tachyon Squadron

Join the ace pilots of the Tachyon Squadron. Enlist today!

The universe is in trouble. Take your stand against the overreaching arms of the Dominion of Unity. Stand up against piracy and lawlessness. Ensure that all members of the Draconis system enjoy peace and prosperity. Join the Tachyon Squadron arm of the Draconis Volunteer Group! Engage in interstellar combat; steer your ship among the stars, and join your fellow fighter pilots in a quest for danger, glory, and victory.

Tachyon Squadron is a Fate Core supplement that blends space opera and military sci-fi. The game requires Fate Core to play. This 179-page book includes:

  • A highly structured starfighter combat engagement system, with a focus on phased combat and maneuvering for advantage
  • Instructions on creating fighter pilot characters in Fate, including pilot interactions and vices to blow off steam between battles
  • Personal and gear stunts, which provide a streamlined mechanic for sci-fi necessities like energy blasters, hand scanners, and deflector screens
  • An overview of the galaxy and the key players within it
  • A sample mission: The Pirates of the Kepler Valley

The Tachyon Squadron needs you!

SUPPLEMENT INFORMATION

Number of players: 2-6
Age of players: 13+
Length: 2-8 hour
Type of Game: Roleplaying Game
Pages: 184
Format: Hardcover and digital formats.
Languages Available: English
Product Number: EHP0042
ISBN: 978-1-61317-155-4
Suggested Retail: $25
Game Designers: Clark Valentine, Mike Olson, Leonard Balsersa, and Amanda Valentine
Release Date: November 2018

 

Evil Hat at Origins!

Jun 5 2018

Why yes, Evil Hat will be at Origins! Come see us at booth 823 for game demos of Greedy Dragons and the Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game expansions, and all of our new stuff! Indie Press Revolution will be selling the two new DFCO expansions, plus copies of our latest releases like Fate Horror Toolkit.

Also, did you see that Blades in the Dark is up for an Origins award? Congrats to John Harper and all the scoundrels out there who supported the game!

Personnel News! Excitement!

May 16 2018

We’ve got some exciting personnel news. Like, the kind that deserves sound effects. So let’s get right to it, shall we?

(Drumroll. Cymbal crash. Random frog noise.)

Not sure what that frog’s about, but anyway! First, we’d like to congratulate Brian Patterson! Folks who are Hat-familiar might recognize Brian’s name—it’s on most of our products these days. Brian is our art director, which means he’s in charge of figuring out what the art is going to look like and working with the artist to make sure that happens. (He’s also a mighty fine artist in his own right. Have you seen the beautiful work he did for Greedy Dragons?) Anyway, we’re happy to announce that we’ve promoted Brian to Senior Art Director! He’ll be branching out and adding some supervisory tasks to his day, and we’re exceptionally excited to see him take them on.

(Crowd cheering. Roaring dinosaur. Random frog noise.)

Seriously! Where is that frog coming from? I didn’t order up any frog sound effects.

Um…anyway. Sorry. Was distracted by the frog. Next, we’ve got some news that’s both good and sad. Our very own Leonard Balsera is growing his role as COO and Creative Director of John Wick Presents. First, we’d like to send Lenny our congratulations! This is a big step, and we’re very happy for you!

As a result, Lenny is stepping down as the Fate Line Developer. But fear not! We’ll keep working together on individual projects. He can’t escape the time-turning and mind-bending horrors of Fate of Cthulhu!

Lenny was with us since Spirit of the Century. With many other brave souls, he worked on the original Dresden Files RPG and became the creative director and lead developer on Dresden Files Accelerated. Along the way he did a few small other things too… like being the lead developer on Fate Core, mentoring a whole generation of new writers and developers, and eventually stepping up as our Fate Line Developer.

Stepping up to fill his formidable role is Sophie Lagacé who has already been doing a killer job project managing Fate projects and now will be leading the line!

All the best to you, Lenny!

And congratulations to Sophie, Brian, and Lenny on their new positions. We (and that pesky frog) are super excited and proud to know you.