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Maladum – Launch Update

9th August 2022

Maladum – Launch Update

Maladum is coming…

If you don’t know what Maladum is, where have you been? Check out our previous articles on the gameplay, lore and magic and then head back here to see where we’re up to.

A shot of our latest exciting playtest session!

We know you’ve all been waiting patiently for an announcement on the launch date. We’ve been talking about Maladum as our project for summer 2022 and you may have noticed that the summer is coming to an end. We have been working tirelessly on this game since last year, and we are proud to say that even at its current stage it’s the best thing we’ve done! We’ve taken all our experience from previous projects in terms of gameplay, terrain design, production and promotion, and have applied it to Maladum to create an awesome fantasy gaming experience that we can’t wait to send your way.

Launch Date

Frustratingly, it’s now clear that due to external circumstances beyond our control (and unrelated to the game), we’re not going to be able to launch the campaign in the summer. As much as I would love to give you a date to save up your pennies for, I can’t confirm anything just yet. We’re waiting for the stars to align and then we will announce the launch as soon as we can – hopefully in the autumn.

Nothing will change with regard to the game’s development – work will continue in the meantime, and our expected delivery date next year will remain the same. It’s only the Kickstarter launch that we’re pushing back, so we’ll just end up with a shorter period between KS and delivery :-).

A first look at the finished box mock-up. Doesn’t it look great?

We are really confident about the quality of this project, and so in the meantime we’ve taken the decision to push ahead with lots of pre-production tasks that would have otherwise waited for the KS funding. As such, Maladum is currently much further along than our other projects were even after their Kickstarter campaigns. The rulebook is pretty much finished other than the photos, and all the planned expansions are fleshed out with just small gaps left to fill as we continue testing. Over 90% of the minis are sculpted and over half are painted and awaiting photography, and most of the terrain and other game components are designed and awaiting final layout for print. With all this ongoing the product you see on the KS will be closer to finished than it would normally be – the KS funds will just let us press the button on the tooling.

Our regular followers may have seen that we recently advertised for a new designer, and we’re happy to announce that our latest recruit Jon will be joining us shortly, taking the team up to five! He’ll be diving straight into this project, going through our components with fresh eyes and making yet further improvements to the game before preparing everything for print. With him on board we will now be able to design our books, cards and packaging fully in house, speeding things up and resulting in a better product.

Jon will be helping with all our design work, including joining Colin creating new terrain!

What Are We Actually Kickstarting?

We’ve shown off lots of pretty pictures, but what will you actually receive?

Believe it or not, games were always Colin’s end goal when he set up Battle Systems. The problem is that Colin is a perfectionist who wants to immerse himself in his games and hates using proxy components. So, he started by creating 3D worlds with our terrain, and after years of design and development on our sci-fi range he finally had a setting worthy of Core Space.

A few years on we are doing exactly the same thing with Maladum, but with a bigger team in place we’re going to do everything at once! We already have a range of hugely popular fantasy terrain which covers the world above ground, and our latest Kickstarter will be about all things subterranean!

We will launch two main pledges:

The Maladum: Dungeons of Enveron Kickstarter Edition will get you everything you need to play the game, expanded with more Adventurers, NPCs, and all manner of upgrades and accessories to enhance the experience. With a full gaming table inside the box it’ll be superb value off the blocks, but if we can unlock everything we have planned it will be similar to the Core Space First Born pledge in terms of content – an unmissable deal and the perfect way to get into a new dungeon crawler!

The Battle Systems Dungeon Terrain pledge is a fully modular, multi-level, game-agnostic dungeon terrain set, perfect for D&D and many other fantasy games. It replaces our original dungeon set from 2014 and has been overhauled from the ground up and improved in every way possible. It’s separate to our game but the pledge will be upgraded by stretch goals in the same way – we’ve got loads of extras that we want to throw in to make it a one-stop shop for Dungeon Masters!

We’ve been playing around with the components of the terrain to make as many different setups as possible!

You can of course pick up both with a combined pledge offering both sets of stretch goals! We will be writing Maladum quests that can be played in the large dungeon set, and we’ll also write quests to be played above ground using our existing terrain range.

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We have listened to every piece of feedback on our terrain and our games over the years and have built it into Maladum. We are still taking suggestions now too – the best place to offer your thoughts is in the Maladum Facebook Community. Here are just some of the features you can expect from the project:

Terrain Modularity. We have spent a lot of time with our new dungeon creating a variety of different builds, and we’ve even designed three brand new types of connecting clip. As such the terrain can be built in a huge number of configurations to ensure that it will fit your setting of choice.

New Clips. On the subject of terrain clips, we’ve now run our old mould so many times that it’s wearing out! The Maladum Kickstarter will fund fresh new tooling, and we’ve taken the time to further improve our existing clips too! Many people never even noticed our clips before, and the new designs have been minimised to be even less visible so they don’t intrude on the immersion at all!

Quest Modularity. It’s not just the terrain that can be configured to your liking. The quests in the starter set will be written for a single party (playable solo or co-op), but the new difficulty system and some tweaks to quest and party rules make it far easier to scale up all games for multiple parties, or for advanced players who want a challenge!

Character Design and Progression. We have around 15 pre-made characters in the works, and we’ll also be including character design rules like the ones in Core Space, but new and improved like everything else. There are also over 20 distinct character classes – some quite wide-ranging and some specialised. Eight of these are primarily magic users but some others have access to spells too. Maladum Class boards are bigger than their Core Space equivalents, so each character has an expanded Skill tree and new innate abilities as part of their class. Whether you want a rough equivalent to your favourite RPG character or you want to try something new and unique there will be a playstyle to suit you.

A selection of the characters and NPC creatures available

NPC Variety. NPCs add an unparallelled level of immersion and character to your games and we’ve really focused on this. All unused Adventurers can turn up in your games as “denizens” – NPCs with one of more than 10 sets of AI rules to follow. Some will compete with you for loot, some will be openly hostile, some will need your help to find an item or escape, and some may offer you a lucrative side quest. All of them will provide a distraction from your primary objective, and shuffling some of these into the Event deck offers a different experience every time. There are also over 10 varieties of wandering beast which also have bespoke AI rules. Most of these are hostile, but they may prioritise targets differently or attack you (or your enemies!) in unusual ways that force you to change your tactics.

Branching Campaigns. Maladum will have twice the number of quests/scenarios as Core Space does. The central storyline will be approximately the same length, but there will be alternative routes through that story depending on your successes and failures throughout. You will also be able to unlock side quests which can influence the main narrative. All of this gives the players a lot more agency to drive the story forward. In the campaign phases we will also be adding opportunities to pick up further side quests (or distractions) from other patrons at the inn.

Interactive Terrain. We did this in Core Space First Born and we’ve done the same again here. Almost all terrain can be interacted with in game to make your dungeon even more immersive. In addition there are 3D traps that you physically place on the table, and a new Hidden Locations mechanic to find secret passageways and hidden chambers inside the walls themselves!

Callan facing off against the Revenants

That’s all for now. We will be back with an announcement as soon as we’ve firmed up the dates. Thanks for bearing with us – it’ll be worth the wait, we promise!

If you have any questions or comments, please post them below or in the Facebook Community. Otherwise, until next time, happy gaming!

The Battle Systems Team