Yes, that’s me squeeing in delight because the talented and extraordinary Kaela Torres aka Von Serrot (Osprey Adrift’s graphic designer and Chief of Cannibalism) has wrapped up work on all of the card, rulebook, and box files. We’re still going through a last round of blind playtesting, and there’ll be some minor additions during our Kickstarter campaign, but the overall design is done!
I wanted to give you all a sneak peek at the designs before our Kickstarter goes live. So… without further ado…
The Role Cards
At the start of the game, each player is dealt one of these to determine which of the storied pirates of the One Winged Osprey they’re playing as. There are currently 12 Roles – but we’ve got a few more that we’d like to add if we can raise enough money to finish the artwork and add the cards to the game! While all of the crewmembers of the Osprey are my children (and I’m therefore not allowed to pick favorites), I’m rather fond of the six below:
Kaela did an amazing job with the Role cards; they might be my favorite in the entire game. The design elements capture the mood and setting of the One Winged Osprey perfectly, while staying true to the fun graphic style of Fiona’s illustrations. The broken planks of wood tie the metal-framed portraits to the rules text perfectly. And the deep sea blue backgrounds with images of anchors, wheels, compass roses, shells, and bones add tons of character and depth to the cards. The textures of old parchment and tarnished metal convey the feeling of the Osprey, lost at sea, during the golden age of piracy. Look carefully, and you’ll even notice the game’s main cannibal skull-and-crossbones logo burned into the background of the parchment!
I also want to give a big shoutout to Roeland – one of our blind playtesters – for pointing out the need for player numbers on the Role cards! This was overlooked during our closed beta test, open beta test, AND our first rounds of blind playtesting. Thanks, Roeland!
The Identity Cards
Each player is dealt one of these secret cards at the start of the game to determine which team they’re on. After some feedback from quite a few of our playtesters, we decided to change “Pure” to “Sane” since it fits the theme much better and speaks more directly to the idea that a bunch of salty sea dogs are anything but pure…
We kept these cards simple and cohesive looking. They’re going to be face-down on the table for the entire game, but in instances where a corner sneaks out, we wanted to make sure the backgrounds and edges were kept common. We’re all teetering just on the edge of sanity anyway… there isn’t much that separates us from the… others. (#SoundsLikeCannibalTalk has become a favorite hashtag of our closed beta testers… haha!)
The Action Cards
These cards form the meat of the gameplay during the card-drawing and card-playing Day phase of the game. Actions allow players to do special things on their turn, such as looking at another player’s Identity card, adding Food cards to their hand, or bringing dead players back to life. There are currently 16 unique Action cards in Osprey Adrift, but again – we’ve got plans to add a few more. I’d much rather include additional cards with the base game if we raise enough during the Kickstarter than, say, releasing an expansion that people have to shell out extra money for.
Kaela nailed the design on the Action cards. The wood and the tarnished metal carry over from the broken planks and frames on the Role cards, creating a sense of unity while still showing the difference in what the cards are actually used for in the game. Despite some of the Actions requiring quite a bit of rules text, Kaela managed to keep it readable AND show off the illustrations. Not an easy feat!
The Resource Cards
On their own, these cards are useless. But they’re required to use the more potent Action cards. Because of this, they also make great currency for secret trades with other players. Got a couple spare Gunpowder cards? They might just come in handy for Iron Eye Cordelia, sitting across from you at the table. And if you can get her in a room by yourself, maybe you can figure out just why she needs all that Gunpowder… There are currently 4 different Resources in Osprey Adrift: Gunpowder, Seaweed, Rope, and Bottles. We don’t have plans to add any additional Resources, as right now, the game’s balance is quite good with just the four.
You’ll notice that the Resource cards share the same look as the Action cards above, since they’re played together. Only the colored background is different (and of course, the word “Action” or “Resource” at the top). In the earliest color prototype version of the game, the distinguishing colors were green and red, but – as should have been apparent – this wasn’t very colorblind-friendly. They were later changed to black and gray, but – as should have also been apparent – this wasn’t very exciting. Kaela used some great shades of purple and red to add a degree of separation between the Action and Resource cards while still keeping them in sync with the pirate setting.
The Food cards
These cards are “eaten” at the end of each round so that the pirates don’t starve to death. Osprey Adrift has an element of survival to it – if you don’t have a Food card in your hand to eat, you’re toast… so to speak. Food comes in two varieties: Fish and Human Flesh. The Cannibals can eat either, whereas the Sane can only eat Fish. On top of that, the Cannibals are given a free Human Flesh card to add to their hands each round… making it much harder for them to starve to death. Just don’t get caught with Human Flesh in your hand if someone uses the Rum card on you… or else you’ll need a pretty good story to avoid the plank…
Again, Kaela matched the design of these cards with the Action and Resource cards because they’re kept in players’ hands all the same. The brown background is a cue that these are utilitarian – fleshy, meaty things that are eaten by a hungry pirate.
The Coin Cards
Coins are drawn during gameplay from the same deck as the Action, Resource, and Food cards. They serve as victory points at the end of the game (there can be only one winner… pirates don’t like to play nice, after all!), and are also used to bid for the right to be Captain each round. The Captain gets the pleasure of picking the order for voting on someone to walk the plank – a subtle yet powerful psychological and tactical advantage – and the Captain breaks ties in the vote as well. Coins come in one of three different nationalities – British, Goan, and Spanish. Having a Coin from each of these nationalities grants 3 bonus Coins at the end of the game, so there’s a bit of set collection to keep in mind if you’re goal is to be the ultimate winner. There are currently 9 unique Coins in Osprey Adrift – a 1, 2, and 3 value version for each of the 3 nationalities. However, we’ll be completing artwork for 5 more if we meet social stretch goals during the Kickstarter – including some special Coins that can be used as any nationality!
Kaela treated the Coin cards a bit differently than the Action, Resource, and Food cards. That’s because these are functionally and thematically different – as victory points, they’re only used at the end of the game. And as bidding cards, they’re only used at the very beginning of each round. We wanted to differentiate them from the other cards in players’ hands to play up the fact that these are the most precious things to a pirate – even a pirate lost at sea. That said, the Coins still carry the design themes from the rest of the game – old parchment and tarnished metal frames make these obvious objects found aboard the One Winged Osprey. I especially love the staining on the parchment background that conjures the feeling of blood – without being too on-the-nose. And, again, clock the skull-and-crossbones logo watermarked on the parchment as well! Those pesky cannibals always have a way of putting their mark on everything they get their hands on…
The Ring Cards
Rings are another special type of card that aren’t drawn off the deck. Each round, players get to vote on who walks the plank (and gets eliminated), and these are used to cast those votes. The Captain’s Ring (used by the… you guessed it! Captain), is a reminder that it breaks any ties that occur during the voting.
Kaela did the illustrations for these on extremely short notice. I’d originally wanted to include custom plastic rings with Osprey Adrift, but–if you remember from a previous blog post of mine–discovered that custom injection-molded plastic is a very, very, very expensive item to produce. Rest assured, we’ve got plans to add something even better to the game for Kickstarter backers! (I’m still working with a couple wholesalers, but we’re likely going to offer actual stainless steel rings as a higher reward level to backers who want to add a bit more flair to their game. It’s difficult to explain, but there’s nothing quite like the feeling of wearing a ring on your finger and then dramatically pulling it off so you can sliiiiide it across the table toward your fellow crewmate who’s been rubbing you the wrong way all game.) One of the nice things about the Ring cards, however, is that it gave Kaela an opportunity to include a cheat sheet for the game’s rules on the backside. This’ll give each and every player a quick reminder about the gameplay – especially handy if you’re playing with a crier instead of a moderator.
Well, that’s it for today, gang. We’ve got tons of fun stuff to share over the next couple weeks! Stay tuned here, and on our social media for more news, and… possibly a giveaway or two! Until next time. Keep it plucky,