Three Days Left for Devil’s Playground Kickstarter

It’s been an exciting month, and an amazing success so far thanks to all the enthusiastic backers and supporters of the Dungeon Solitaire games. The Devil’s Playground Kickstarter smashed its initial funding goal in under 24 hours, and has gone one to hit seven stretch goals. We are on the cusp of another stretch goal with three days left to get in on the Kickstarter.

Time to get into the dungeon, and get in on the great rewards! There are high quality red-back cards for both the Devil’s Playground and the Labyrinth of Souls games, both featuring incredible, original artwork by artist Josephe Vandel. Included in the rulebook are a stand-alone dungeon delving game, Labyrinth of Souls expansion games, an all new card-based territorial wargame with multiple variations. And by getting in now, you will get two Kickstarter exclusive cards with special rules for incorporating them into your games.

In these last three days, please help spread the news by sharing this post or the Kickstarter page with your friends and gaming groups, on your blogs and especially on social media. This kind of word of mouth really makes a difference.

There is nothing more I can say, except to thank you deeply for all your support, enthusiasm, and encouragement. These games can only reach their full potential with the support of backers like you. And so I leave you with a few words from the introductory material for the Devil’s Playground rulebook, words taken from Malhak the Great’s Tome of Demonology:

At last, thoughts fall like shooting stars in the gravity of awareness. Some burn with the light of blinding suns, others with the light of a dim candle. But all catch fire and burn out. Nothing ever remains. Yet until that time, the soul is a house divided. It is a devil’s playground, at war with itself and everything it encounters.

I have seen the pox-ridden skies Illeanth, and the vermilion seas of Yoon. I have conversed with voices in realms of unending darkness. I have nosed perfumes so exalted that a single whiff bore a thousand years of bliss. I have walked with the first ragged tribes of humanity, and I have tasted ashes in the fallen ruins of their great civilizations. I have seen the arcs of eons and heard the silence that reigns in the depths of space.

And yet, all of these experiences have been but dreams within dreams within dreams. For in the emptiness between thoughts, there is no good or evil, no up or down, no light or darkness, no backward or forward, no past or future. There is no sight, no sound, no taste, no smell, no feeling. There is only that which cannot be uttered.

Until the sun rises beyond the distant mountains, until the spring comes, until we wake again, we remain lost in a dungeon of our own making. Until the illusion of the mind itself is destroyed, we wander in its depths. And though we ourselves designed the patterns its winding halls, we do not know the way out.”

The Art of Josephe Vandel

Dungeon Solitaire: Labyrinth of Souls and Devil’s Playground have both been the fruit of a wonderful collaboration between myself and artist Josephe Vandel. The rich world of dark fantasy he has created in the cards has been the perfect representation of the adventures, ideas, and themes I have been endeavoring to evoke in the rulebooks. And yet he has surprised me again and again with the scope and the imaginative originality and detail of the artwork.

Josephe’s skill as an artist were evident from his prior work, but the Dungeon Solitaire art has exceeded my expectation at every turn. So many pieces arrived on my screen to wide eyes and an agape jaw. The unexpected, the beautiful, the horrific, the weird, and the wonderful are all on display. He has delved deep into dark realms of the psyche, and researched rich architectural details. Time and again he has delivered pieces that are highly original and highly evocative.

We were absolutely thrilled by the funding success and reception of the Labyrinth of Souls, and are super-excited that so many backers have already made the Devil’s Playground Kickstarter such a success. We’ve had a lot of fun working together to create something incredible and unique for the gaming community. We talked quite a bit about what the Labyrinth of Souls and the Devil’s Playground are about thematically, and while Josephe has always been incredibly receptive to feedback and any direction I wanted to give, it has rarely been needed. I have been more than happy to give him plenty of latitude to express his vision, and the incredible results speak for themselves.

I am so grateful to have the opportunity to collaborate with Josephe and for his contributions to Dungeon Solitaire. He has created something extraordinary in the Labyrinth of Souls and Devil’s Playground decks. At once, his illustrations are evocative, dark, and filled with symbolic depth. And ultimately, the cards have the same classic and timeless quality I hoped to achieve with the rules. Taken as a whole, the decks present a unified vision and a grand space for the imagination to play in.

This is just some of the incredible art featured in Dungeon Solitaire: Labyrinth of Souls and Dungeon Solitaire: Devil’s Playground.

Check out the Dungeon Solitaire: Devil’s Playground Kickstarter now!

Devil’s Playground Kickstarter is Already a Great Success!

The Dungeon Solitaire: Devil’s Playground Kickstarter was launched on February 1st, and reached base funding in under 24 hours! It has since smashed through five stretch goals, and we are well on our way to the sixth. New stretch goals have been announced and new card art by Josephe Vandel has been revealed in a number of updates. And there’s more to come as we move into the middle of the campaign.

Thanks to all the backers have pledged already, and all our supporters who have shared the Kickstarter with friends and gaming groups, and on their blogs and social media. This kind of word of mouth really makes a huge difference!

I am super excited about all the content we’ll be including in the game, and looking forward to hitting more of our stretch goals! Support the Kickstarter now, and help us get there.

If you haven’t check out the dungeon-delving fantasy card game that is Dungeon Solitaire, the original game, Tomb of Four Kings, is available for free, and is playable with a standard deck of playing cards. The greatly expanded tarot game, Dungeon Solitaire: Labyrinth of Souls, launched with a hugely successful Kickstarter in 2015. The rulebook is available in print on Amazon and other online book retailers, and in PDF through DriveThruRPG, and custom tarot cards are available through Gamecrafter.

The Labyrinth of Souls has also inspired a series of stand-alone novels published by ShadowSpinners Press, with books by Elizabeth Engstrom, Christina Lay, Eric Witchey, Stephen T. Vessels, and myself so far, with new books on the way by Mary E. Lowd, John Reed, Cheryl Owen Wilson, Lisa Alber, Cynthia Coate-Ray, and Pamela Jean Herber!

I am more excited than ever that Dungeon Solitaire: Devil’s Playground is now in the works, once again expanding the labyrinth into the uncharted realms of the imagination. We’re going to deliver another great game!

Dungeon Solitaire: Devil’s Playground — Kickstarter!

Dungeon Solitaire: Devil’s Playground has been in development for a while, and has now launched an official Kickstarter campaign to reach its full potential.

Artist Josephe Vandel and I have teamed up again to bring you this new evocative fantasy adventure that includes a 54 card custom deck, with both a stand-alone game and expansion rules for the Labyrinth of Souls tarot game. There’s going to be gorgeous full-color artwork, higher quality cards, and plenty of extras. Creating the Labyrinth of Souls was a dream come true, and I am super excited about this new game, the new artwork, and the expansion rules. I hope we can all make this incredible journey together again, from Kickstarter to production. We’re planning to make the Devil’s Playground a reality, and we’re looking forward to delivering another great game!

If you don’t know what Dungeon Solitaire is, it’s a dungeon delving fantasy card game. The original game, Dungeon Solitaire: Tomb of Four Kings, is available for free, and is playable with a standard deck of playing cards. The greatly expanded tarot game, Dungeon Solitaire: Labyrinth of Souls, is available in print on Amazon and other online book retailers, and in PDF through DriveThruRPG, with custom cards available through Gamecrafter. The Labyrinth of Souls has also inspired a series of stand-alone novels published by ShadowSpinners Press, with books by Elizabeth Engstrom, Christina Lay, Eric Witchey, Stephen T. Vessels, and myself so far, with new books on the way by Mary E. Lowd, John Reed, Cheryl Owen Wilson, Lisa Alber, Cynthia Coate-Ray, and Pamela Jean Herber! And now, I am super excited to be creating a third Dungeon Solitaire game and once again expanding the world of Dungeon Solitaire.

Check out the Dungeon Solitaire: Devil’s Playground Kickstarter now, and support the creation of another great game!

Benediction Denied is Available Now

 

The Labyrinth of Souls fiction series just dropped big time with this book, Benediction Denied, by the amazing Elizabeth Engstrom, released by ShadowSpinners Press. This is the first in a series of stand alone novels that will be coming out in the coming months.

How awesome is it that Dungeon Solitaire has its own line of novels? The awesomeness cannot be overstated! Could DS be the only independently designed, Kickstarter funded game with its own fiction series? It very well might be.

Not only that, but the quality of the authors who are contributing to this project is mind blowing. Elizabeth Engstrom is the author of fourteen books and has over 250 short stories, articles, and essays in print. She is a sought-after teacher and keynote speaker at writing conferences, conventions, and seminars around the world.

And these are not generic dungeon stories either. These are original creations of dark fantasy, for the Labyrinth of Souls is more than an ancient ruin filled with monsters, trapped treasure, and the lost tombs of bygone kings. It is a manifestation of a mythic underworld, existing at a crossroads between people and cultures, between time and space, between the physical world and the deepest reaches of the psyche. It is a dark mirror held up to human experience, in which you may find your dreams … or your doom.

Adam Swan is a hydrologist engaged in humanitarian efforts in the Congo when he is kidnapped by rebels and thrown into a makeshift prison. He is left to die — or worse — if his ransom is not paid. In a surprising series of events, Adam escapes the prison into an underground labyrinth where reality and sanity no longer rule. Tested by the gods of the underworld, Adam navigates the consequences of his past actions, which take him to the brink of death — and beyond.

Dare to enter the Labyrinth of Souls …

The book is available now on Amazon in paperback and Kindle format, and can be found on a variety of other ebook formats through Books2Read.

Dungeon Solitaire Now Available in Spanish

dungeon-solitaire-spanish-coverDungeon Solitaire: Tomb of Four Kings is now available in a free Spanish language edition thanks to a translation by Pablo Sancho Fernández. Solitario de la Mazmorra: La Tumba de los Cuatros Reyes can be downloaded as a free print and play PDF here. Many thanks to Pablo Sancho Fernández for his generosity, his precise translation work, his many questions, and his patience in getting this edition out to the public. I am very happy to be able to share Dungeon Solitaire with Spanish speakers all over the world.

Help spread the excitement of Solitario de la Mazmorra by sharing the game with your Spanish speaking friends. This original version of the game is playable with any standard deck of playing cards, and is the basis for the larger, more expansive tarot version, Dungeon Solitaire: Labyrinth of Souls. The Labyrinth of Souls rulebook is available (currently English edition only) on Amazon and other online book retailers and the Labyrinth of Souls custom tarot deck is available through Gamecrafter.

Free PDF Download

Solitario de la Mazmorra: La Tumba de los Cuatros Reyes

Dungeon Solitaire Preview

LoS PreviewAs of today, all print proofs are approved for Dungeon Solitaire: Labyrinth of Souls! The game is finished! I just put in an order for 325 rulebooks for our Kickstarter backers, and tomorrow I’ll be bulk ordering more than 800 decks of Labyrinth of Souls tarot cards! I’ll be waiting on the print runs, but everything should at least be in the process of shipping by the end of the month.

It’s been an amazing eight months of development, funding, and production. And incredibly, it’s been just about one year since the release of the original Dungeon Solitaire game last summer.

My work is not done yet though. While I wait for the print runs, I’ll be finishing the final stretch goals and rewards for major donors, including editing and layout for the Digital Designer’s Notebook and Digital Artbook pdfs, and fine art prints of one of my hand drawn dungeon maps. In the meantime, here’s a preview of what the final products will look like. For anybody who didn’t get in on the Kickstarter, there will be a public release around mid July. Stay tuned for more information as we get closer.

Labyrinth of Souls Cover!

I’m very excited to reveal the rulebook cover for Dungeon Solitaire: Labyrinth of Souls! The beautiful artwork and design are by the game’s exclusive illustrator, Josephe Vandel. I’ve been so busy with the production process that I haven’t had much time to post updates here, but as we get closer to the end of this epic journey, I am more excited than ever to share this game with all our backers and then with the rest of the world.

I just ordered print proofs of both the standard and monochrome card decks. I’m super excited, but it will be a week or so before I get them. In the meantime, I’m putting in final corrections to the rulebook interior and will be ordering print proofs of that as well. If all goes well, we will be shipping to our backers on time toward the end of June. Expect a public release sometime in July.

LoS_FCover_L

A Perfect Game!

perfect game

Thirteen year old Dungeon Solitaire player August Mericle has played a perfect game of Tomb of Four Kings! That means not just a win, but a 100 point win, with all the treasure in hand as one exits the dungeon. August’s dad said he played several hours a day for about four days before winning the perfect game.

As far as I know, August is the first person ever to win a perfect game. I knew it was possible, and thought it was only a matter of time, so I was super excited to hear about his game. I was also very happy to hear the game had been played by a thirteen year old. My early gaming experiences were one of the inspirations for creating Tomb of Four Kings, so it’s great to be able to share it with the next generation of gamers.

A huge congratulations to August on his game! That’s a photo of the winning layout, with eight turns on the delve, four hit points, and all the treasure. Pretty awesome!

*Tomb of Four Kings is available free here.

Dungeon Solitaire: Tomb of Four Kings, Revised Edition Released!

dungeon solitaire coverThe new Dungeon Solitaire game, Labyrinth of Souls is funded and in production. And as another step to bringing the new game into the world, I am releasing an updated, revised edition of the original Dungeon Solitaire: Tomb of Four Kings! It’s available here as a free download.

There are no changes to the rules, but I clarified a couple rules, corrected typos, improved phrasing, and added suit symbols. Additionally, this new Tomb of Four Kings includes the winning game walkthrough, improved images, and a mention of Labyrinth of Souls in the back.

I will not be deleting the old pdfs, at least not immediately, since other websites may link to them directly. However, if you have links to the Tomb of Four Kings rules, please update those links to the newly revised rules. Or better yet, just link to this post, or to matthewlowes.com/games.

I hope you enjoy the new rules packet. Don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions about the rules. Send me your high score, especially if you get a perfect game (4/100). As far as I know, nobody has done it yet. It may be highly improbable, but it should be possible.

Free PDF Download

Dungeon Solitaire: Tomb of Four Kings

Revised Edition