Flying Frog’s Upcoming ‘Forbidden Fortress’

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Flying Frog
Jason and Scott Hill prepare to make a big announcement at the Flying Frog booth. Photo: Jonathan H. Liu

In my Gen Con photo recaps, I mentioned that Flying Frog Productions made a big announcement, but that it deserved its own post. Well, here’s that post.

First, Jason and Scott Hill mentioned briefly that 2017 will be the 10 year anniversary of Last Night on Earth, the zombie game that started everything off. So they’re planning some things to celebrate that, of course. The big news, however, was for Shadows of Brimstone fans.

The Hills explained that, yes, their first Kickstarter for Shadows of Brimstone has taken a very long time to fulfill. It was the first time they did Kickstarter and they admit they overdid it on the stretch goals that added new content, to the point that they’ve been creating all of that promised content (plus some surprise additional content) since then—but it’s finally getting close to being done. As the various teams at Flying Frog wrapped up their responsibilities and things were getting sent to the manufacturers, the teams transitioned into this next project: another stand-alone base set, fully compatible with Shadows of Brimstone, called The Forbidden Fortress.

Forbidden Fortress map tiles
Forbidden Fortress map tiles. Photo: Jonathan H. Liu

It will use the same game engine as Brimstone, but it is set in feudal Japan. Just as the map tiles in Brimstone are double-sided to show the mines on one side and alien worlds on the other, this set will be a Japanese fortress on one side, and the Belly of the Beast on the other. The Belly of the Beast was a stretch goal on the original Kickstarter that wasn’t reached, but they still loved the idea of traveling inside an enormous beast, so now that can finally happen.

Belly of the Beast map tiles
Belly of the Beast map tiles. Photo: Jonathan H. Liu
Belly of the Beast
Jason and Scott want everyone to take note: “Sphincters in the walls!” Photo: Jonathan H. Liu

After showing a couple samples of the map tile artwork, they moved on to the monsters. Some are inspired by Japanese mythology, of course, with Flying Frog’s own twists on them. First up: Acidic Tentacles. As with the tentacles in Brimstone, there are a couple models of these, but this time they’ve got little lamprey-like mouths on the ends. The illustration shows drool hanging from their mouths, and the Hills were particularly pleased to note that the miniatures have drool as well.

Acidic Tentacles
Acidic Tentacles! Photo: Jonathan H. Liu

Next up: the Dishonored Dead, who appear to be undead samurai warriors. Because what would a Flying Frog game be without some sort of zombies?

Dishonored Dead
Dishonored Dead. Photo: Jonathan H. Liu

Another enemy is the Tengu, a flying creature with a long nose and bird-like talons.

Tengu
Tengu. Photo: Jonathan H. Liu

And, of course, we have the Oni, the large ogre-like demons. This is one of the large enemies, of course.

Oni
Oni. Photo: Jonathan H. Liu

Another large enemy is the Harionago, a female ghoul who has long hair with barbed tips. This miniature was very impressive—the Harionago was suspended in the air, held up by her long hair.

Harionago
Harionago. Photo: Jonathan H. Liu

Finally, one of the extra-large enemies: the Living Statue. (A better photo of it further down.)

Living Statue
Living Statue. Photo: Jonathan H. Liu

At this point, the crowd had already gone wild over all of the miniatures, and the enormous Living Statue seemed like it was the finale. But wait, there’s more! As Scott explained, of course, with all of these monsters, we need somebody to fight them. He introduced the four hero characters: Traveling Monk, Samurai Warrior, Assassin, and Sorceress. As with the Brimstone heroes, there will be both male and female versions of each class, with one as the default and the other as an optional variant model.

Heroes
Heroes: Traveling Monk and Assassin. Photo: Jonathan H. Liu

Sadly, I think the Sorceress got passed the other way in the crowd and I didn’t realize she wasn’t in any of the photos I took. But you can see the Samurai warrior at the front of this shot with all of the different types of miniatures:

Forbidden Fortress minis
Forbidden Fortress miniatures. Photo: Jonathan H. Liu

And, finally, just for kicks, here’s a shot showing the Assassin and the Living Statue next to each other so you can see how huge that statue really is.

Assassin and Living Statue
The Assassin and Living Statue, for size comparison. Photo: Jonathan H. Liu

I’m really excited for this. I think Shadows of Brimstone is a great game—definitely more involved than Last Night on Earth (which I also enjoy) and sort of a bridge between board games and RPGs. Although I haven’t gotten to play nearly as much as I’d like to, it’s a game that I hope eventually I can play more regularly so that I can really dig into the campaign mode, and having more worlds to explore will be fantastic.

The current plan is to launch a Kickstarter in mid-October, with 1 core set and expansions. They haven’t finalized the Kickstarter yet, of course, but will be putting into place a lot of the lessons they learned from the first time around—it sounds like they’re trying to produce and deliver a smaller amount more quickly, rather than trying to pack everything into a single campaign (which will then take longer to fulfill).

Of course, I know there are people who are (understandably) upset about the status of the previous Kickstarter: there are things that still haven’t been delivered, and from what I’ve read, there are expansions available at retail that backers have not received yet—part of that is Flying Frog didn’t charge enough to ship each expansion out to backers as it is finished, because that would be so many shipments for each backer at the higher levels. The problem, then, is that those expansions are then released to retail, while the highest-level backers are still waiting for them. I backed the project myself at the “Outlaw” level, so it was just the two core sets, and I actually regret not jumping in on the everything-included “Minecart” level, because once you add up everything that comes with it, it’s easily several hundred dollars less than retail … but with a much longer wait. I do feel confident that Flying Frog has a better plan for this campaign than the first one, but as with any Kickstarter campaign, be aware that things don’t always go as planned, and if you don’t like uncertainty then it’s best to wait for retail. If you’d rather pay early to save a bit, the Kickstarter might be the way to go. Stay tuned!

(Apologies for the not-so-great photos. I didn’t have the best position and with all the posters being held up and waved around, I couldn’t always get a great shot. But thanks to Alexander Pan, who happened to be standing next to me, for holding up the miniatures so I could get pictures of them.)

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