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Beast of Gévaudan

The Board Game of Influence, Mystery and Terror

Ages: 14+

Players: 2-6

Game Time: ~ 60 minutes

Competitive

Weight: Medium

Theme: Historical / Mystery

Beast of Gévaudan Official Site

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  • A Novel Mechanic where the Nature of the Beast can be one of 24 options, which players try to discover during the game to prepare for the Final Hunt!
  • Dealing with the Four Estates and secret patrons to spin the public opinion of what the Nature of the Beast is… and gain Influence above your rivals!
  • There are numerous ways to gain the most Influence and win the game… tactics and strategy are key to being triumphant!
  • The use of Fear and Trauma mechanics to help players also appreciate the terror people faced in those dark times… and that one’s faithful hound or trusty steed was all the treatment that existed back then!

In Beast of Gévaudan, players take on the role of hunters, competing to become the most famous, and ultimately hold the greatest influence over Gévaudan. There are many dangers in the wilds of Gévaudan and players will find themselves facing a variety of different threats, whilst attempting to win through:

  • Serving the interests of one of the Four Estates and Secret Patrons
  • Battling to sway the public opinion of what the Beast is
  • Inflicting and avoiding intrigues
  • Acquiring special weapons, hounds, and horses before their rivals do
  • Exploring the dangers and wonders of the land
  • Investigating the nature of the Beast to face it at the climax of the game
  • The true nature of the Beast is not known until the Final Confrontation unless players seek out its identity

The player with the most Influence Tokens (IT) at the end of the game is the winner. Influence Tokens are earned, acquired, lost, and spent throughout the game. Influence is the currency of the realm, and one must ensure it is not squandered.

The Nature of the Beast is randomly set at the start of the game and revealed at the climax. Discovering the Beast’s identity allows changes in strategy crucial to winning. Players are also assigned a secret Loyalty; promoting the interests of that party may reap huge rewards at the end of the game.

The game mechanics also emulate the psychological effects that Hunters develop after surviving a horrible hunt or suffering in a devastating intrigue. Reactions of Horror and Terror impair a Hunter’s abilities. In the 18th century, one of the only healthy ways to cope with trauma was having an animal companion, such as a loyal Hound or a trusty steed.

Each player takes on the role of a hunter. Each hunter has a unique Ability and special Forte.  The current hunters include: An upstart Heir, a Veteran of the Seven Years War, a wily Forester, a deductive Naturalist, a mysterious Zealot, and an Agent Provocateur.  Each hunter also starts with two Allies who also have unique skills and abilities.  Over time, adding animal companions such as a faithful hound or trusty steed, and perhaps trading Allies results in the creation of a richly diverse Hunting Party.

No Two Games will be the Same!

Between 24 different possible Beasts to battle, 24 Secret Loyalty Agendas, 6 Asymmetrical Hunters, 12 unique Allies, and numerous options to make use of Encounters and launch Intrigues… the replay value of the Beast of Gévaudan is one of its greatest features!

Historical research was not spared for content or style!

Part of the vision for the Beast of Gévaudan is to create a product that pays tribute to the style and form of 18th-century board games. Imagine if this game was actually from the 18th century, found by the antiquarians at Hounds & Jackals, who have updated and restored it to a blend of the modern and the historic. A massive amount of time has been spent researching the history of the Beast and insuring as much accuracy as possible could be used to develop the essence and rules of the game. So too has been the consideration of the final forms of the components.

The game is designed as entertainment that includes the goal of helping educate/raise awareness of the issues surrounding psychological trauma. Although playing the Beast of Gévaudan can be entertaining, the topic of psychological trauma is a serious matter, and the game never makes light of the subject. In fact, it is the use of the game that allows learning about psychological trauma to be more subtle, nuanced, and appreciated due to the subject not being overtly forced on participants. Experiential learning is the process of learning through reflection on doing. The learning is active versus passive. People construct their own understanding of the world by experiencing things and reflecting on those experiences. When encountering something new, the person must reconcile it with their previous constructs, maybe changing what they believe. Hence why experiential learning is a powerful method to address stigma and dispel the myths surrounding mental health issues. Although this game has the intention to also teach and educate regarding the mental health issues related to psychological trauma, it is in no way intended to replicate exactly the experience of people with trauma and stress-related disorders. The elements within the game are more of an emulation/simulation to help people empathize and understand these conditions, dispel myths, and battle the stigma surrounding them. The game includes images from the 18th century depicting the Beast and the world at that time; no modern graphic violence, nudity, or profanity is contained in this game. It has been designed for youth and older audiences. The game mechanics were all developed from adhering to the theme history of the Beast of Gévaudan, as well as contributing to showcasing aspects of psychological trauma. The material in the “BEHIND THE BEAST” booklet is for optional use, intended for players to reflect on their experiences of gameplay, and through such reflection, be able to emphasize and understand more about those who deal with psychological trauma. The game is intended for the general public or education and mental health awareness and is not intended to be used as a therapeutic modality. It may be that some people who play the game, after reflection, have had undiagnosed psychological trauma issues of their own, or realize a friend or family does. It is hoped that anyone affected this way would seek out appropriate health care providers to assess and provide support if that is the case. Included at the end of the “BEHIND THE BEAST” Booklet is a list of resources for those who wish to find out more about these conditions or wish to seek help.

 

In the age of digital reckoning, H&J endeavours to provide immersive, engaging and social experiences that take place off-screen!
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