Gambit is a role playing game (RPG) system and a board game hybrid that is currently in development by Chevas Balloun and Caleb Hicks. You can read about how it started, but in essence the unique vision of Gambit is:
- A tabletop RPG game that is visual, structured, and competitive (like a board game)
- A game that tells a rich story in which the players participate and help shape
- A lengthy dungeon crawl with the freedom to explore, fight (or not), trade, and solve puzzles.
- A game with special encounters that require strategy, force competition, and can overturn advantages
- An RPG where players do not need pen or paper, but still offers extensive character progression
- A game that a 10 year old would understand with a depth that appeals to adults
- A pre-written campaign that is easy for a Game Master (GM) to run with little to no prep time required
- Game tiles and assets that could be reusable for homemade campaigns or even within other systems
Gambit is Big
The primary campaign is organized into 25 sessions that last 3-4 hours each. If your group were to play weekly, the game could last up to six months. It’s recommended the game be played on a dedicated table that can be left alone between sessions, but it’s possible for players and the GM to snap a picture of their setup at the end of a session so they can reference it when they setup for the next.
Quest vs Classic Mode
Gambit offers two modes of play: Quest and Classic. Both are role playing game experiences, but Quest is the primary mode that exposes players to the story arc, deep lore, competitive play, and a long, tailor-built dungeon crawl. We recommend everyone experience Quest mode first. Classic mode is the traditional, open world, party-based campaign experience. Classic mode is less guided and less structured as it aims to offer more of a collaborative story telling experience without competition. The Gambit universe in Classic provides a back drop for the GM and players, but determining the story that unfolds is, in totality, up those sitting at the table. The content in this Game Overview section will be oriented around Quest mode unless explicitly stated otherwise.
Gambit requires two to four players and one GM. The game is played with the following game assets:
- Character card (14 x 8.5 inches)
- Expanded inventory cards (variable sizes)
- Health, armor, and action point card (7.5 x 10 inches)
- Character, enemy, and NPC figures
- Dungeon level tiles (3×3 inches)
- Interactive level-object tiles (1×1, 1×2, and 2×2 inches)
- Loot items, treasure, and equipment tiles (1×1 inch)
- Ability, skill, and talent cards (standard playing card size)
- Story cards (standard playing card size)
- Counting tiles, dice, and various tokens
Character Cards—Choosing a Class
Players will choose a class and place their class’s respective character card in front of them. Charactrers are provided a backstory and their starting stats are ready-made. Players may further define or write their own backstory just as they would in a traditional tabletop RPG. Each class has a distinct playing style with unique abilities and motivations. At launch, Gambit will offer four classes:
Each class will have different starting values for their attributes and exclusive access to a small set of class-based abilities, but there are only a few class restrictions on what items can be equipped, what skills can be used, what talents can be used, or how a player wants to progress their character. Character cards are further explained in the Character Progression section.
As the character progresses and attributes change, counter tiles will be placed over the starting values to reflect the new values. For Classic mode, game masters may also create their own classes with unique stats and abilities. A blank character sheet with guidelines will be provided in the manual.
The Game Master will read through the short introduction to initiate the campaign. Players are encouraged to read through the longer story in the manual before the first session to ensure the richest experience of the story. Players will discover that their characters must enter a vast dungeon within the sunken city of Arkhaven.
Quest mode places the characters in competition with one another for fame points (FP). Even though a character’s success towards their goals is measured in FP, each character’s motive for entering the dungeon is different. While some actions will yield FP for any character class, many actions that yield FP are character specific. Players will come across numerous points of interest throughout the dungeon that will present a success or fail opportunity. Each point of interest type will not only yield different rewards for each individual class, but if more than one character is involved, the rewards will change based on what combination of classes are present. This delivers an asynchronous action and reward layer within the game as well as some mystery as to how the presence of other characters will affect the outcome of an encounter.
Continuing reading on The Dungeon page.