• Maladum

Interactive Terrain

21st March 2023

Interactive Terrain

There is something really satisfying about physically cracking open a crate in Core Space to see what tokens are inside. This is a feature of Maladum too, with the real search mechanic being applied to chests. However, this is far from the only way that you’ll interact with the terrain in the dungeons of Enveron.


We’ve given the humble door a refresh for Maladum and they are now closed, but unlocked, by default. This can make all the difference to your Adventures, as you won’t have all your sightlines clear from the start, and you’ll need to expend an Effortless Action to swing the door open. The good news is that NPCs need a full Action to do the same, a fact that could buy you precious time.

Sometimes you will encounter that most terrible of foes in the dungeon: a locked door. Never fear though, you can open them by finding the key, applying skills or magic, or just trying brute force if all else fails.

Destroying terrain like this is a core rule in Maladum, as there will be plenty of times that you’ll need to take a less elegant approach to clearing a blockage or opening a crucial door quickly. For this reason, having at least one party member with a Bludgeoning weapon can make all the difference because this adds an extra die to attacks when used to destroy terrain.  


Isn’t it great how ancient civilisations conveniently left all that lovely stuff lying around inside their tombs? You might as well help yourself to it, the dead don’t need it anymore. Of course, some of them might object – once you’ve searched a Tomb it becomes a Grave Point. It can be worth the risk though, as this is where you’ll find large items like great swords or magical staffs that don’t fit in smaller containers.

“Who’s bright idea was it to search this?” A tomb can often contain loot that you can’t find elsewhere, but searching it turns it into a Grave Point that can lead to Revenants entering the board right next to you.
Grave Point

While we’re on the subject, Grave Points are another piece of terrain that can have an impact on how your game goes. When rolling for Revenant Arrival some will arrive at the closest Grave Point to an Adventurer. A handy tip to know is that if you’re stood on a Grave Point then nothing can arrive via it or, if you don’t fancy hanging around, you can push movable terrain over them to block them.

Having a Revenant appear right next to you from a Grave Point can really shake things up, which adds a lot of fun challenges to the game.  Do you spend precious time blocking up a Grave Point or rush forward to pick up crucial gear at the risk of a close encounter with an angry Lamentor?

Grave Points are such an integral part of most games of Maladum so we’ve printed them onto the gaming mat for convenience.

Weapons Rack

Weapon Racks are often scattered around the dungeon and are worth a detour. Although searching them only lets you draw one token, it’s always an uncommon weapon, so you can be sure of finding something useful and potentially valuable.

Arcanist’s Desk
I’m sure this Arcanist’s Desk is for totally ethical research.

Working from home is all the rage these days, but I’d probably draw the line at working in a dungeon. Arcanists clearly think the shorter commute is worth it though and you’ll find their desks in some dungeons. These are always locked and often contain items that are vital to your quest. Opening them takes a combination of skill and magic pegs which creates cinematic moments as your Adventurers fend off foes long enough for their party members to recover the objectives.


Sometimes the Malagaunt’s minions or other Denizens have helpfully illuminated the dungeon for you. You can Interact with a Sconce to gain a torch token, which can be very handy for the times that you venture into parts of the dungeon that haven’t been illuminated yet. On occasion, you’ll even have Quests that take place in dungeons with no light at all meaning that the light you bring with you will be essential. You can find out more about the rules for Darkness in an upcoming article, or in the rules download HERE.

You can Interact with sconces to set your arrows on fire to give them the Burning characteristic, for those times that you want to add a little extra spice to your attacks. Sconces are also a source of fire for magic that needs it, so you’ll want to make sure there is one close by, or you’ve grabbed a torch from one, when you want to kill every Lamentor in the room with a Fireball spell. Or to quote one of our playtesters:

“If you carry a torch and have Fireball you can really create some havoc. Of course, you need to get out of the blast but it’s really nice.”

Gilberto Guillen

When one of your Adventurers has been set on fire by the over-zealous use of a Fireball spell (you know it’s going to happen sometime, mages can’t help themselves) you can Interact with a well to remove the Burning status before you get too barbequed.  

You can also use it as a source of water for spells that need it. For example, it’s required for the versatile Torrent spell which lets you extinguish Burning Characters, knock a number of Characters prone, or choose a Character to apply Fatigue counters to. This final option has the potential to inflict damage if you stun the target – it’s not a good idea to take a nap while your head is underwater.

Crucible of Resurrection
I don’t care what you say, I’m not drinking that.

This is the local Malagaunt’s vat of magically infused chemicals. It clearly breaches a number of health and safety regulations, but it can come in handy. Interacting with it will expend your Magic pegs, but it can remove fatigue, restore health, or damage nearby Revenants. You can even tease out the threads of fate and get a preview of what the Event Deck has in store for you a few turns ahead.

Of course, dabbling with arcane goo isn’t without its risks. Rolling a Mental Overload result on your Magic Die is going to hurt.

Some terrain wants to interact with you!

It’s only fair really, some parts of the terrain can’t wait to interact with you – there are plenty of pit traps, swinging blades and net traps out there for the incautious. These will usually come into play through the Event Card deck and can make you rethink your plans in a hurry. For example, the Swinging Blade trap will inflict a three-dice attack with the Sharp ability on a random Adventurer, unless they expend a Skill peg to avoid it. The Swinging Blade is then placed on the nearest wall in play for the next five rounds, which can block a route and totally change your available options for that time.

In our games of Core Space First Born, my daughter enjoys few things more than seeing me get a Rock Worm larva token and getting bitten, instead of picking up some sweet loot. Rummaging around in other people’s property isn’t without risk in Maladum either, as Searching terrain comes with the chance of pulling out a Trap token from the bag. These range from an alarm that adds a peg to the Dread Tracker to a vicious bear trap that makes a three-dice attack with the Sharp rule to really make it sting. This is a great advertisement for having a Rogue in your party who can Search with relative impunity.

New terrain unlocked by the Maladum Kickstarter

If you’ve been following the updates on the Maladum Kickstarter then you’ll have seen that more is being added to the Dungeon Terrain set as stretch goals get unlocked. We’ve already added Prison Cage terrain that could hold an NPC that is at the centre of a quest, or a Wandering Beast that you could release to distract your foes (perhaps the recently unlocked Great Bear?). Also unlocked is a larger Weapon Rack to plunder, a Strong Room to break into, a Wine Store to raid, a Forge that you might need to shut down, and a War Room to search for intel.


While we’re on the subject of interacting with terrain, we’ve been really pleased to see the number of people choosing the Combined Pledge and the number of people excited about using the Dungeon Terrain in games of Maladum. To respond to this demand we’ve committed to creating bespoke gameplay content for all of the terrain in the campaign and Universal Quests that can be used with any of our terrain, including our existing terrain sets like the Fantasy Village.

Hold on, is that chest looking at me…

As you’d expect, this is only the start. Expansions for Core Space added cool new toys like Particle Transmitters, seedy bars and holding cells, so keep your eyes peeled for plenty more for Maladum too.

The Kickstarter already unlocked the Oblivion’s Maw add-on which sees the Malagaunt seeking more power by summoning the Corrupter*, a betentacled other-dimensional monstrosity. The otherworldly energy that comes with it can leak into the surroundings and possess inanimate objects – like that door or chest that you were just about to open! Now instead of a potential pay day or escape route, your Adventurers have to deal with a mound of tentacles and wickedly sharp teeth.

*Honestly, the name should have been a clue that it was a bad idea.