‘Storm Hollow: A Storyboard Game’ – A Tabletop Game Review, Part 2 of 2

Reading Time: 7 minutes

For a game of the size of Storm Hollow, one article just isn’t enough. For ease of consumption, and out of love and respect for my hands and fingers, I have split this particular review into two parts. The first part covered an overview of the game, the components, and the preparation required to begin an adventure in Storm Hollow. If you haven’t read that part, please hop over to the article here and then pop back over here once you’ve covered the basics.

**A warning, dear readers. Heavy spoilers ahead. For the second part of this review, I will be going into detail on our first scene in our first adventure. Pictures, as well as text, will have spoilers for Poppins, so just be warned.

Storm Hollow Preludes - total contents
Storm Hollow Preludes – total contents

Playing Storm Hollow

Adventure Preparation

Now that you’ve chosen your adventure you will need to gather the remaining components. As I mentioned in Part 1, “No Place Like Nome” requires the Storm Hollow Storyboard, the Quizzleplex Rift Card, the Nomes Ally Card, and the Tyrannosaurus Plex Enemy Card. But that is not all you’ll need. The storyteller will need to gather all the boards, cards, sheets, and peripherals that will be or may be needed, depending on how the Poppins make their choices.

Storm Hollow is GeekDad Approved!

The storyteller also needs to decide if The Invitation is the opening scene or not. I chose not to have this be the opening scene as this is the first time my Poppins will be in Storm Hollow and I felt it would be more believable to them with a bit of backstory that brought them to the world, ahead of the call for aid from the Nomes. So here is the list of components I, as the Storyteller, gathered the following ahead of playing:

  • Storm Hollow Storyboard (map)

    Storm Hollow Board Set Up
    Storm Hollow Board Set Up
  • Books
    • Storyteller’s Guide
    • Preludes Adventure Book
    • The Poppin’s Guide to Storm Hollow
  • Quizzleplex Rift Card

    Storm Hollow Rift Card Quizzleplex
    Storm Hollow Rift Card Quizzleplex
  • Nomes Ally Card

    Storm Hollow Ally Card Nomes
    Storm Hollow Ally Card Nomes
  • Other Ally Cards as needed to supplement your Poppins if you are playing with a smaller group. Since I am running an adventure with only 1-2 Poppins per scene I pulled the following Ally Cards to aid my Poppins:
    • Fidgewick And Gump
    • Bren Gunny and Grondge
  • Tyrannosaurus Plex Enemy Card

    Storm Hollow Enemy Card Tyrannosaurus Plex
    Storm Hollow Enemy Card Tyrannosaurus Plex
  • Preludes Opening Scene Card: Call of the Guardian – If you’re doing a custom Opening Scene whereby your Poppins get called to Storm Hollow itself, I suggest you take some general notes on how this will proceed. I share my notes in the Opening Scene I created below.
  • Scene Cards:
    • Nome’s Hello
    • Wandering the Maze
    • Nome’s Disaster
  • Folklore Artifact Cards, 1 per Poppin type that is playing
    • Lightbringer – Dragon’s Teeth
    • Riftwalker – Necklace of Nimue
    • Sparkcaller – Freya’s Falcon Cloak
    • Stormchaser – Stone of Giramphiel
    • Talespinner – Cup of Jamshid
    • Whizbanger – Clue of Ariadne
  • Storyteller Board
  • All 6 double-sided Hero Boards (you won’t know yet which type of hero your Poppins will choose)
  • All 4 Tracker Boards
  • Dice
  • Wooden Meeples
  • Plastic Gems
  • Paper and pencil (both for you and the Poppins if you think they may want to take notes)
  • Your camera. I learned a long time ago when playing progressive games to take a picture or two after each round is played so everyone knows how to set up their items and where they ended last time.

Opening Scene

This is a completely optional scene that I opted to create. When you read the pages in Preludes Adventure Book for “No Place Like Nome” the writers/designers have provided you with a way to combine an Opening Scene with The Invitation. But, this is our first time visiting Storm Hollow and I wanted the act of getting to the land of Storm Hollow to be a part of the web of enchantment for my Poppins so I wrote up something special.

Scene setup for Storm Hollow
The scene is set

I gathered all of the above items and placed them near my seat at the dining room table. In my case, I place items on an empty chair next to me or in the lid of the Storm Hollow box. You can place them anywhere discreet you wish but you don’t want the Poppins to see them too early. I opened Preludes Adventure Book to page 10 and placed The Poppin’s Guide to Storm Hollow underneath it. I tipped them toward me and placed my notes for our Opening Scene on the books and then began to play the following song, from 0:11 – 0:47 on the timer:

I didn’t play the original version, of course. As you may know, the song is actually quite dark and disturbing after this opening portion. but this portion alone was a nice setup to our adventure.

Once the music was finished I began to set the scene.

You’re sitting at home on a rainy, boring fall day much like this one. You’ve been playing games online for a couple hours when the unthinkable happens. The internet goes down. And you realize after a bit of troubleshooting by your’s truly that it isn’t coming back anytime soon. Just when the realization hits that you may have to spend your entire Saturday offline {gasps} you hear a strange, other-worldly bell chiming. It is very faint and though it is getting louder and louder with each chime it never becomes unbearable. In fact, you find the sound somewhat soothing.

Your frustrations begin to fade and you feel a calmness wash over you. You look around, noticing that the light around you is fading and the room is becoming dark. The darkness is not a scary darkness, though. It feels a bit like when you’re just beginning to fade off to sleep.

After a long and slow blink, you open your eyes and everything around you is different. Not just that you’re in a different place from before the blink, though you clearly are, but that the new place you are in is unbelievably vibrant. You are standing in a meadow of the most green of greens and I stand before you. But I am no longer me. Instead, I am Scheherazade, the teller of tales and the Voice of the Eduur.

“Greetings, Poppins. I’m so glad you are here as the denizens of Storm Hollow are in desperate need of your help. I’ve called you here from your native land because your kind possesses great powers when in the land of Storm Hollow. You and no one else will be able to aid us in this time of great need. This is, I hope just the first of many visits you will make to our beautiful land but I fear we must hurry if we are to save the Nomes from the ill that has befallen them.”

To begin, I will need each of you to choose the talents you believe you possess that will best aid our quests here. Choose from these 7 options and choose wisely as we can only have one of each sort of Poppin in our band of adventurers else the balance of power in the land will become shifted and we will have no hope to succeed.

Whizbanger board and card
First Poppin choice was Whizbanger
Sparkcaller board and card
Second Poppin choice was Sparkcaller

Details for Adventure Scene by Scene

Once my merry Poppins (yes, I went there) had chosen their roles, taken their talent cards, and chosen an adventurer kit we took a few minutes to get everyone set up with what we’d need to proceed.

Storm Hollow items for playing the game
Storm Hollow items for playing the game

Invitation Scene

Storm Hollow Invitation Card Nome's Hello
Storm Hollow Invitation Card Nome’s Hello

The Invitation Scene card for “No Place Like Nome” is titled Nomes’ Hello. The pages in the Preludes Adventure Book provide some additional info on how to set up the scene such as telling you how to explain how the Poppins arrive in the Nome village, information on the menace that caused the Nomes to summon the Poppins, data on what will happen if the Poppins are not successful, and some starting advice on how the Poppins can help.

Journey Scene

Storm Hollow Journey Card
Storm Hollow Journey Card Wandering the Maze

Once the Poppins agree that they simply must help the poor Nomes they begin The Journey. Between the card and the task details in the book the Storyteller helps the Poppins solve each task to move them along to the next scene.

Big Finish Scene

Storm Hollow Big Finish card
Storm Hollow Big Finish Card Nome’s Disaster

The Big Finish is where the truly intense action happens. The Poppins have to face their toughest foe yet and work together to save the entire Nome nation! This, however, is where the Storyteller really gets to have some fun. There are some set actions that must be taken but how those happen and how the scene is truly set are entirely up to the Storyteller. I found this to be my favorite part as I got to embellish and create and share a vision with my Poppins and see how their choices and questions melded it into something that was created by all of us.

The End (for now)

Every good story needs a logical end. Where the action winds down, the Poppins learn how well they did, are taught a few lessons in areas of struggle, if there were any, and of course, prizes are awarded if the mission was successfully completed.

Your prize, for so patiently reading all the way to the end is to see that epic surprise beast that landed right in the middle of Storm Hollow as we began to play. We were able to scare the beast off but we are quite sure that it will return someday and need to be properly defeated. We are currently discussing if water spritzing is the best option or should we try fierce rounds of petting and scratching? Only time will tell.

Storm Hollow "No Place Like Nome" mystery monster revealed!
Storm Hollow “No Place Like Nome” mystery monster revealed!

Should You Play?

I can’t recommend this game more highly. Sure, there’s nothing here you can’t imagine up if you want to build your one adventures, but the tools that are put into your hands with the books and cards and tracker boards is beyond measure in helping someone like me, who is a bit shy about running an RPG campaign. The quality and breadth of the components and the addition of blank cards/adventure sheets gives you an unlimited future of fun RPG adventures with your family.

The creativity and attention to detail that has gone into each scene of each adventure are impressive. Add in that every single one of these gives you wiggle room to put your own spin on it, or not if you prefer makes the game a home run in my book. It now has a place of honor in my tabletop game library.

Are you convinced of your need for this game? You can pre-order this version just as you see it in this review on the Game Salute website. This version is $250. I know, I know, a little sticker shock on that price? Scroll back up and take another look at what comes in this box. Those hardbound books alone make this price point more than reasonable.

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Disclosure: GeekDad received a copy of this game for review purposes.

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