[First Look!] Deck Quest II: The Verdant Grove

Hi everyone! Ash Black here, lead creative designer for Garage Sofa Games. I kept forgetting that we have a blog on our new website… Anyway! I think we’re long overdue for an official overview of Deck Quest II: The Verdant Grove!

Early Prototyping

Early prototyping for Deck Quest II actually started all the way back in September of 2018. Sky and I had just shelved development on one of our other games due to unforeseen circumstances, leaving us back at the drawing board. It was around this time that Deck Quest Classic had run its full course and we were reviving a crazy amount of emails inquiring about the next printing. Unfortunately, Deck Quest Classic was a little too bloated to reprint, and Sky and I had some things we wanted to adjust with the overall gameplay. Don’t get me wrong! We love Deck Quest Classic, but it was definitely a “first attempt” at making a game.

Deck Quest Recasted

A look at a Deck Quest Recasted Class, the Druid!

Our first endeavor into making a more streamlined Deck Quest came in the form of Deck Quest Recasted. Not much work was done on this version of the game outside of some development on how classes would look and function. This really pointed us towards focusing on combat and class individuality. We also looked into a possible “Class System” that would have made classes able to evolve into other classes.

Deck Quest Recasted Classes

Deck Quest Rerolled

A more “back to roots” attempt at making a Deck Quest successor. This version of Deck Quest went back to picking a unique Race and Class, much like the Deck Quest Classic. The added structure came in the form of your Race influencing which Class you could play as. A lot of the ideas we formed in Deck Quest Rerolled followed into the development of Deck Quest II, most importantly the idea of resource management for Combat instead of using die rolls. As we moved away from dice-based combat and gameplay, the title “Rerolled” (which is play on re-rolling your character in RPG and re-rolling dice) started to make less sense. It was at this point we made a major shift away from trying to encapsulate all of an RPG into one game and instead focus on smaller, more affordable, thematic sets which would revolve around one strong theme.

Deck Quest II

And so we moved on to the framework of Deck Quest II! Why the name Deck Quest II? Well, as development continued further and further, there was really no better name or description for the game. Simple and straightforward, it truly is a sequel to the original Deck Quest, taking the concepts we put into that game to the next level and creating a more elegant, sleek game overall. During the early development of Deck Quest II back in April, we decided on three unique “Sets”: The Verdant Grove, The Sinking Desert, and The Lost Sea. At this time, only the Verdant Grove has been fully developed, while the Sinking Desert and Lost Sea are waiting for the Verdant Grove’s mechanics to be tightened up and perfected. So, what makes the Verdant Grove and Deck Quest II special?

The Classes!

Card text very… rudimentary

Deck Quest II has a simple philosophy for classes. Each Set in Deck Quest II will come with 4 Classes to choose from: a Fighter, a Mage, a Cleric, and a Rogue. Going from 25 unrelated Classes to 4 interconnected classes makes each class feel more impactful, unique, and important. In The Verdant Grove, these 4 Class Archetypes come in the form of the Golem, the Terramancer, the Druid, and the Greenskeeper. Each class comes with a description, a defining “Role,” starting stats, 3 Basic Skills, and 5 Unlockable Skills.

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The Bosses!

What good is an RPG adventure if there isn’t a Big Bad waiting to be taken down? Each set comes with 4 unique Bosses, each tied with one of the four classes. Each Boss comes with a flavor text (a reason to “Defeat Them!”), Starting Stats scaled for 1-4+ Players, and 6 deadly skills to use!

Card text not final.
We just needed the ideas down okay?

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The Adversaries!

Of course, you can’t just dive right into a boss fight without taking on some lesser enemies first! Adversaries have returned from the original Deck Quest, better than ever! Each Adversary comes equipped with a flavor text, starting stats scaled for 1-4+ players, 4 dangerous and deadly skills, and a simple Adversary AI system based on die rolls if you’re not playing with a GM.

They smelly

They smelly

The Items!

Also returning from the original Deck Quest are loads of neat and unique items! Items are split into four categories: Consumable, Equippable, Treasure, and Cursed! Every Item comes with a small description, at least one special skill tied to it, and some form of condition (Uses, Durability, or the effects of Curse)! Oh, and Items now sport spiffy artwork too!

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The Spirits!

Getting tired of fighting the same old “Wolf” Adversary for the hundredth time? And where’s all their loot? Look no further, for Spirits have arrived! Spirits love attaching themselves to Items and Adversaries to add some spice to life! Why fight a regular old “Wolf” when you could fight a “Golem Wolf” or an “Overgrown Rocky Wolf”? And hey, maybe that Overgrown Rocky Wolf dropped a Rocky Terrasphere or an Overgrown Harvest Scythe? Spirits come with an alteration for both Adversaries and Items to create a Deck Questing universe of endless (almost) possibilities!

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And finally…

The Events!

What good is an RPG without a story? And what good is a tabletop RPG without a GM? Well, that’s where the Events come in! If you are playing with a GM, Events can help your GM figure out what to do next without having to write a campaign before hand (although you’re still more than welcome to write your own campaigns!). And if you’re playing without a GM (or an inexperienced GM…), Events can help craft a great, fun story on the spot! Each Event has 3 Acts. Act 1 will never have your players fight Adversaries, Act 2 might throw in some Adversaries or other “mid-game” experiences, and Act 3 always calls for a Boss fight! Each Act also has a “Proceed” and a “Leave” option, letting you Proceed with your current Event or Leave your Event to draw a new Event Card.

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This is gonna be awesome…

Hey guys, Sky here!

Just wanted to add that we are super, totally, amazingly excited for Deck Quest II: The Verdant Grove. As we tidy up prototyping and balancing, we’ve really been having lots of fun tooling around with the game.

For all of you who come from Deck Quest Classic: We love you all. Despite its rudimentary state, we are so genuinely happy that you guys found some fun in our game.

All said and done, we really don’t think Deck Quest II will disappoint — keep your eyes peeled for future blog articles and posts on social media!

See you soon…