I hope you enjoyed last week’s peek at the first four pieces of artwork for the Action cards in Osprey Adrift! This week, I’ll be sharing four more. These are the more mystical piratey goodies that appear in the game. You don’t have to be a sea witch (or Sister Aldina) to use these – Action cards in Osprey Adrift can be used by anyone, regardless of their Morality. Also, be sure to check out the artist, Fiona Marchbank’s deviantart page and her character art page!
Action card text: “Requires 1 Seaweed. Pick any player and look at their Morality card, but show it to no one else. Return the Seaweed back to the box and discard this.”
Strategy: This is the classic ‘Seer’ or ‘Investigator’ card that many team-based social deduction games use. However, since members of either team can use it, its function changes slightly depending on which team you’re on. If you’re Pure, you’d obviously want to use this to see which team a player belongs to – and then, work toward convincing the other Pure players of that piece of information. However, if you’re a Cannibal, then using this card can be a strong bluff tactic. You can look at one of the Pure player’s Morality card and try to lie and say they’re a Cannibal (I’ve seen it work more than once!) or you could look at one of your fellow Cannibal player’s Morality card and lie and say they’re Pure (much easier, and also a powerful tactic). The Diviner’s Bowl is added to the deck starting at 7-player games. This is the point at which a second Cannibal is added to the game, so the Pure players might need some extra help. If it were included with fewer players, it might be a quick game-winner.
Theme: I knew I wanted a strong element of magic in Osprey Adrift. The One Winged Osprey is a fictional ship during an alternate golden age of piracy. This isn’t reality. There were also certain magical tropes I wanted to play with. One of those tropes is the idea of reading tea leaves. The story behind the Seaweed card used to power the Diviner’s Bowl is that the crewmate is drying out the seaweed and using it as tea leaves – reading the soul of one of their fellow pirates.
Artwork: I love the simple clay surface of the bowl. Its magic isn’t inherent in the bowl; its magic is in the glowing green runes carved along the lip. Fiona did a great job of turning these runes into the focal point of the illustration.
Action card text: “Pick any dead player. Look at their Morality card and show them yours, but show no one else. The two of you may go into a separate room and discus the game. Discard this.”
Strategy: The Mermaid’s Mirror is one of several cards meant to interact with players who have been eliminated. It’s no fun in elimination games when you either have to just sit there or go find something else to do. The Mermaid’s Mirror can be played every round, with no Resource cards to power it, because I wanted to keep the dead players still involved in the game. Because of the rule that keeps dead players’ Moralities a secret, the Mermaid’s Mirror is the easiest way to confirm everyone’s suspicion that an offed player is who they thought they were. There’s an extra twist, however, because should that dead player come back to life due to the Voodoo Manual or The Black Conch, then they’ll also know the Morality of the crewmember who used the Mermaid’s Mirror. The Mermaid’s Mirror is added to the deck starting at 11 players, because there isn’t much reason to converse with the dead in a game that has a relatively small number of rounds.
Theme: The ‘magic mirror’ trope was something that came to me when I was trying to figure out a way for a pirate to converse with the dead, but didn’t require any additional items (Resource cards). It’s not a book of magic circles that might require chalk, for example. A mirror’s a mirror. Plus, I liked the idea of including mermaids in the world of Osprey Adrift – something that was missing.
Artwork: I absolutely adore the details of the pearls and seashells that Fiona drew. They really play up the notion that this is an object that once belonged to a mermaid. It’s beautiful and elegant, and definitely something that would tempt the greedy fingers aboard the Osprey.
Lucky Rabbit Foot
Action card text: “Look at the top 4 cards of the Scavenge deck, then put them back in any order you wish. Discard this.”
Strategy: This card is pretty much an auto-play if you draw it. Using it before your mandatory “draw 2 cards” action ensures you’ll be able to have a better chance of drawing the cards you actually want. There’s a side benefit of the Lucky Rabbit Foot, too: you can set up the player next to you to draw cards that they might not want. One person’s good luck is another person’s bad luck. The Lucky Rabbit Foot is added to the deck starting at 6-player games, because it’s simple and doesn’t much affect the team balance to the point where it could single-handedly win the game for a team.
Theme: The idea of a lucky rabbit foot comes from several cultures, many of which are represented in the crewmembers of the Osprey. It’s uncertain who brought this aboard, but it’s now become part of the clutter and refuse that changes hands amongst the tortured souls of the drifting pirate ship.
Artwork: Fiona did a great job of making the Rabbit Foot look like a charm, and less like a gruesome severed animal part. The mood of Osprey Adrift is meant to be somewhat light, despite the heavy and dark themes involved; and this piece nails that mood perfectly.
The Black Conch
Action card text: “Place this on the table and pick a dead player. All players may put any number of Coins from their hand face-up onto this. If this receives Coins equal to the number of living players, then discard the Coins and bring the dead player back to life. If not, you take all the Coins. Either way, return this to the box.”
Strategy: The Black Conch is one of the funnest Action cards in Osprey Adrift. It’s one of two ‘revive’ cards, but unlike the other one–the Voodoo Manual–it’s not limited to players killed from means other than walking the plank. Also unlike the Voodoo Manual, the Black Conch isn’t automatic. It requires a pseudo ‘consensus’ from the rest of the crew, in the form of Coins. When using The Black Conch, you’d better be prepared to make a solid case for why you’re brining a player back from the dead. Otherwise, you may not be able to accummulate enough Coins to bring them back (although you get to keep the Coins that other players did bid). This makes it a bit harder for the Cannibals to bring one of their teammates back to life because the onus is on them to convince the Pure players that the person they’re bringing back is Pure AND to be cautious about bidding Coins onto The Black Conch. If only the Cannibals are throwing Coins onto it, then it might look awfully suspicious… The Black Conch is added to the deck starting at 10-player games, because it needed to be slotted into the deck, following the balance progression of the other kill/revive cards after the second Cannibal is added into the mix: revive, kill, revive, kill.
Theme: The Black Conch was originally The Black Pearl, but I wanted to use something that isn’t the title of a major motion picture, and also because a conch shell has more thematic oomph than a pearl. The player is whispering a wish into the conch shell, and tossing coins into it, in the hope that the spirit within the shell grants their wish.
Artwork: The Black Conch is one of my favorite illustrations of all of the action cards. I love Fiona’s work with color – she plays a lot with complementary colors worked into shadows (cooler tones being applied to the shadows of warm colors, and vice versa). The Black Conch has an almost bluish tint to it, adding to the eerie, mystical nature of the shell.
Stay tuned for more developments on the artwork for the Action cards! I can’t wait to share more of the world of the Osprey with you all. Until next time, gang. Keep it plucky,