Hildegard is a stand-alone card game adventure set in the world of Spire’s End. Over the years, I've grown fond of Hildegard -- a main character from the first game. This is her story. There's very little set-up and minimal components. No DM, or character sheets, and minor bookkeeping.
Like the previous game in the Spire's End series, the story unfolds one card at a time. You will be presented with numerous-narrative driven choices, enemies, and items that move the story along.
Navigating your way through Spire's End is simple enough. At the bottom of each card, you will be presented with choices. It may be choosing between locations, or something much more urgent. In either case, move onto the card number you choose and discard all the cards in-between.
Navigation becomes more involved as the story goes on. You may need to pull cards out of the deck or choose between duplicate card numbers. Items you discovered can also play a role. Surprises are nestled around every corner. It's up to you to uncover as many cards as you can. It's impossible to see all the cards in this game on a single playthrough. To see the game in it's entirety you would need to play each chapter many times.
Hildegard isn't yet a hardened street brawler. Her main line of defense is a slingshot, her wit, and a dashing smile.
When trouble arrives marksmanship is her main line of defense. That being said, combat is a simple, fun, and quick affair with a short set of dice rolls and an immediate outcome. The dice chucking has been mitigated to various lengths through the encounter criteria.
Whether you defeat your enemies or not, your fate will unfold after your dice "sets" are complete. The game will end when the storyline you've taken reaches its natural conclusion. There are many.
Gray Oaks Folks
In the Gray Oaks you will be confronted by all sorts of odd characters. Here are a few you might bump into!
*All characters shown are from Chapter 1.
Adversaries (or targets) have "Bullseye Criteria" that need to be met in order to successfully hit a target. These criteria will change throughout the game. Bullseye's will be achieved with your Shot Dice. There are 5 symbols on the sides of the dice that can make a Bullseye (six sides shown below).
Those are the basics, but it won't always be so simple. For example, for the encounter above "The Stalker" there are 2 symbols listed under the character art. This indicates that only 2 icons (sides of the dice) can make a bullseye.
Accuracy signifies how easy it is to hit a target, hence, how many "Shot Dice" you can roll during a Set. Sets, Finesse, Wild Shots and Bonuses are all detailed in the rulebook (see below).
Most of the time Hildegard can shoot enemies from afar and stay out of harm's way. But that won't always be the case. When it's time for a scrap you will engage in a Face-Off!
The bullseye mechanics remain the same, but with some additional layers. Hildegard now has a Bullseye Meter, and you roll for the enemy's attacks.