The Familiar Tales App
How the Journal and App Work
Hello, and welcome back to our preview series introducing our upcoming adventure game, Familiar Tales, an exciting narrative board game for 1-4 players, ages 8 and up.
This is the second article in the series. You can view the previous article by going here.
In Familiar Tales, the players take on the roles of a wizard’s lovable and loyal familiars who have been thrown into a perilous quest that spans three eras. Along the way, you will be traveling across the kingdom escaping capture, searching for safety, and shaping the future of a child and her lost kingdom.
Today we will be talking about two components included with the game, that you will utilize to assist you on this journey: your campaign journal, and the handy Familiar Tales app. Together, these useful tools will keep track of your quest, both while playing, and also between sessions. That’s not all, let’s take a look.
Your Campaign Journal
When you first start a Familiar Tales campaign, you and your play group will create a journal. The Familiar Tales story spans three eras with each era having its own journal sheet. Players will start with the Era One journal sheet and fill out the information at the top to get started. Feel free to write as much information as you like on the journal — that’s what it is for!
The journal has a travel map of the land where that era’s adventures take place. Each location has a bubble with an associated number. When you travel to a new location, you will use a pencil to fill in the bubble, and then type that location code into the app. From there, the app will guide you.
The journal also has an area for writing key words. Occasionally, the app will instruct you to write a key word or phrase into your campaign journal. These may or may not affect your adventures. Occasionally the app will ask you if you have a specific word or phrase written in your journal, and your answer will have bearing on the outcome.
Finally, each campaign sheet has a place for you to track your misfortune. Misfortune is generated during the game any time the child in your care becomes upset. Gaining misfortune can turn the game against you, making your journey tougher and making your task of raising this orphan child more difficult. At the end of each era, you will total that era’s misfortune, and transfer that info to the next era, filling in the number on the next era’s sheet. In each new era, you will be adding new components to the game and these will be affected by the misfortune you accrued in the previous era.
The Familiar Tales App
Familiar Tales utilizes a free companion app that is required for play. You can access the app via a free website, or by downloading the free Windows or MacOS program. The app tracks the danger, character turns, dictates the enemy actions, and more importantly, it reveals the story to you using professional voice acting and ambient sounds. It also features a dynamic musical score created exclusively for this game by the talented Andrew Manson and Christopher R. Sabat. Here, take a listen!
The app will also have features to help you setup the game and to get comfortable with the rules.
When you first access the app to start a campaign, you will choose the Start New Game button. This will ask you for a new game name. Fill in the name, and click continue. You’ll be prompted to choose turn order. Use the arrows on the character portraits to change the order. You can change character turn order from the options menu any time you like. If you are playing two characters, try to organize the turns so that no player is taking back to back turns with their familiars. No matter how many players, all four familiars will always be in play and have independent turns.
Once done, you’ll click continue and now you are at the main screen where you’ll spend the most time.
On this screen you will see a portrait of the familiar whose turn it currently is, a thumbnail of the location book page you’re on, the goal for that page, a field for entering codes, and a danger counter for adding or subtracting danger. Danger mostly determines when the evil forces against you will get their turn.
At the bottom, you have options to access the digitally-assisted rulebook, change turn order, or look back at your entry history if you feel you’ve entered a code incorrectly.
Throughout the game you will be discovering three digit codes, either from the travel map or the location book spaces, and sometimes even from cards. Type the exact code into the blank field and you will be presented with story elements along with instructions or effects. Listen to the audio clip, then follow any instructions given.
Saving Your Game
Frequently, when the familiars are finishing a location book page, the app will ask if you would like to stop and save the game. The app always remembers what state it is in without needing to press a “save” button, but when you go through the save process at the end of the chapter, it walks you through how to pack up the physical game for the next session.
When you come back to the game, click ‘Continue’ in the app instead of starting a new game. The app will show a list of your saved games. Choose the game you want and continue the adventure!
Pre-order your copy of Familiar Tales today! And be sure to check out our next preview article going over Skill Tests next week!