Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The boardgame Secrets of the Lost Tomb is a tribute to the pulp genre

My friend Jeff and I got together to try out his RPG-like boardgame Secrets of the Lost Tomb by Everything Epic Games..

We're basically pulp adventurers working for a good secret society fighting the forces of darkness presumably in the inter-war years.

The game pieces and art all are of high quality and mesh well with the Indiana Jones's theme..

This game piece below right away struck me as being deliberately reminiscent of the ancient Greek owl symbol prevalent in the Ancient world, and it goes over your character board to mark your character's health and "audacity" (your reroll attempts).

The character board was standard fare, with a bit of fluff for the character in the back. Dripping with 1930s theme of course. I picked a Sam Spade gumshoe type of tough guy for the adventure.

These rifle bullet pieces are a nice touch to keep track of your actions. You flip them over once you do a an action.. Once everyone does all their actions, the turn is over.

This game turn marker is very The Mummy-ish.. you turn the "ancient device dial" to mark the turn.. Nice touch! The designer is well versed on the genre. Probably a guy like myself into von Daniken, In Search of, Unsolved Mysteries and Ancient Aliens.. I've been eating that stuff up with a spoon since the mid-1970s and it was nice to see this done lavishly for a game.

This game is basically a dungeon crawl, but there are plenty of tiles to keep the variety going for a long time it seems...

Some symbols to remember, and a bit fiddly with lots of counters to keep track of things but that is par for the course in these types of RPG-like boardgames.

Like more and more games these days, this game takes up a lot of space on your table..

The only really annoying part of the game pieces was the dice. What neither Jeff nor I liked was the green wax on a black background d12.. It was hard to read the numbers which was a bit annoying and it was basically 1-6 twice. A bit annoying especially as this game can be a dice fest at times. It's like picking gnat sh*t out of pepper every minute or so.

Like a good dungeon crawl of course, you got monsters galore..

Vampiric Gargoyles, Revolutionary Poltergeists, Menacing Mists, Deep Ones, Skeleton Pirates, Eye Monsters, Werewolves.. you name it..

And like any good dungeon crawl, you got traps and exotic "rooms" (more like dimensional portals I think) to stumble upon..  Mineshafts, quicksand, spike traps, nest of scarabs, evil shrines, lava pits, and even in true Indiana Jones fashion, a "Well of Souls"  to name a few..

Lots of tiles to discover.. 

Your reward for surviving these rooms are of course, treasure and artifacts from the Gods.. The Lightning bolt of Zeus, Ruby Scarabs, etc.. you get the picture, O Adventurer..

As you kill monsters, you get the game's currency, "soul shards", which you trade in with this being..

who is always present in one of the tiles, for magical items..

We played the first scenario, which I'm told is pretty easy..  It seems to be an almost exact copy of the plot of The Mummy.. an evil ancient Egyptian noble villain is reviving.

His name strikes fear..

He is..






before he plunges mankind into an eternity of darkness..

Our objective is to kill Rhaz and no matter what, not let him escape out of this foul, dark tomb...

Jeff's character and my character, and our sidekicks (did I mention we have trusty sidekicks) enter the tomb entrance..

My trusty sidekicks..

Shortly inside, I come across Shiva's Pit of Lava, and I see 3 sarcophagi.. Like the eager adventurer I am, I uncover the lids, and 3 mummies shamble out, and we fight it out..

Jeff in the meantime ran into some trouble, avoiding getting trampled upon in another room by a brontosaurs, and later, a foul stench black cloud, spiked pit and poltergeists out to hurt him..

The mummies and I fight it out, but aha!.. I defeat them and get the SHAFT OF RA...

I then meekly enter the Tomb of the Illuminati, but to my horror, find myself cursed.. cursed I say.. the Curse of the Tomb, which greatly hinders me game-mechanics wise.

After Jeff fights off the polergeists, he encounters witches from the Library of Alexandria whom he frees and they gift him the AMULET OF LYN, making him immune to curses...

After a brief rest, I discover the Lake Cam Picchu, and following a trail of blood on some mushrooms, who turn out to be Trinidad toadstools.. Tempting, but I don't eat any..

Some more monsters shamble in.. Blackbeard skeleton crew and a Stone Spirit of Olmec .....

I go downstairs and see some sort of sacrificial altar...The altar seems to have parts of an alien space ship with a voice in my head calling me to turn it on.. I find the inner strength to resist the mind pull and keep going on..

Meanwhile Jeff finds a Shrine of Fertility and we shudder to find out what foul deeds were being done in here...

He then gets into the Antechamber of Anubis, but is attacked by carnivorous scarabs..

Meanwhile, I find myself face to face with a giant anaconda snake..

After killing it, I discover an artifact in the room, no doubt one of the snake's earlier victims.. A fedora..

Naturally, I put it on and head to meet mystical man, to trade my soul shards to remove the Curse of the Tomb off of me.

I then rush to help Jeff fight off the carnivorous scarab swarms.

After we do that, he pries out an artifact, the RUBY SCARAB.

He gets the ruby artifact, but I on the other hand, enter an armoury shortly afterward and pick up a measly dagger.

Jeff then moves off and avoids falling into both Khepri's Nest of Scarabs and quicksand..

I keep moving and encounter Davy Jones' locker.. avast me hearties.. again, I am urged mentally to drink from a bowl, but with the assistance of my trusty sidekick, resist and move on.

Jeff meanwhile is faring better, entering Mt. Olympus and acquires the Bolt of Zeus!

Eventually, Jeff goes into the Well of Souls and has to fight several Sphinx statues.. I run in to help him and we fight them off in two turns.

After we do so, we open up a sarcophagus and get another artifact, the COWL OF ANUBIS..

The tomb keeps filling in with monsters all this time.. Doppelgangers, Maoi Men, Olmec, Followers of Anubis, Tomb eyes, and such..

We rush to and fro fighting them off easily enough for the most part..

 I fought one too many fights though and had low health by the end, so I had to rest a bit as well as drinking some Heart soup, to get me back up to healthy again.

Rhaz finally shows up, and Jeff and I run back to the cave entrance to make sure he doesn't leave it..

Armed with the AEGIS OF HERCULES, THE RUBY SCARAB, THE COWL OF ANUBIS, THE STAFF OF RA and a hearty bowl of  Heart Soup..  we heroically smited him after several rounds of combat..

The world became safe again..

For now.

All in all, this was an enjoyable session... very RPG-like.. and dripping with the pulp theme. Thumbs up!

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