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Kid-friendly board game Necromolds is “not whimsical”

Necromolds new expansion adds lore, but though the board game is for kids, designer Clint Bohaty says its story has some grit to it

Necromolds: The necromolds board with a big necro ring about to squish a vampire bat creature

Beginner-friendly, playdough squishing skirmish board game Necromolds is getting a reprint and an expansion, Call to Arms, that not only adds new mechanics to the game, but also fleshes out its lore. Creator Clint Bohaty tells Wargamer that though the board game is meant to introduce kids to wargaming, and designed to feel like you’re playing with toys, it was important to him that the lore felt dark. Mysterious. Maybe even a little taboo.

Bohaty has a love of worldbuilding, and has written adventures for tabletop RPGs like Dungeon Crawl Classics. He’d already dreamed up the game’s lore in the first print-run of Necromolds, but it only existed as high-level notes. Now, thanks to 10 months of work moulding it into shape, the reprint has a 30 page lore book, detailing the world of Necromolds, its monsters, casters, and more – including a one-page comic for every character.

“We haven’t really shared the lore book at all,” Bohaty says. “I’m kind of saving that when people actually open the box.” But Bohaty was happy to share the premise. The game’s main character Harriet Puddix has collected a dossier on a hidden magical war going on behind-the-scenes, and fearing for her life, passed it on to you. “The reader’s introduction into the world of Necromolds is that it’s this dangerous world of war tomes and evil wizards and world domination. And you’ve now kind of climbed into it,” Bohaty says.

Necromolds: A cackling wizard creature in a laboratory, doing some heinous green spell

Bohaty suggests that kids playing Necromolds should feel like they’re involved in something secretive, and a little bit dangerous. He shares a memory of playing with Magic: The Gathering cards as a kid, and being surprised by artwork featuring skeletons and gore.

He explains that Necromolds is “very mature – without being inappropriate – but it’s very mature, it takes itself very seriously. The content itself is kind of dark, it almost has this aura of mystery and taboo. It’s like, this is something dangerous, you know? Like a Magic card with gruesome artwork: Oh, this is like a dangerous artifact.”

“I wanted Necromolds to kind of have that same weight to it, where when a kid’s flipping through the lore book, they can feel the weight of the world that’s there. It’s not this whimsical, light hearted world, but it’s this world of warring wizards and chaos and golems. So yeah, so I kind of wanted it to have that little bit of grit to it.”

While the lore may be a little on the dark side, that doesn’t mean the gameplay of Necromolds isn’t intended to be as silly as it looks. Though Bohaty’s has added depth to Necromolds, he nonetheless says “It’s not a game that takes itself too seriously. “The world and the lore and all that is is very serious. But the actual experience of playing is really goofy and silly and a lot of fun.”

Necromolds: A tentacled wiggly alien monster being moulded.

The Kickstarter for the Necromolds reprint and Call to Arms expansion closes in three days, after reaching almost five times its $100,000 goal. Bohaty says he found the second Kickstarter far more nerve wracking than the first, due to the feeling of extra expectation. “When people started showing up in the first hour and suddenly we blew past our funding goal,” he says a weight that had been sitting on his shoulders for 10 months was lifted.

Necromolds has an estimated delivery of September 2023. Bohaty says after that, he’s planning a Season 2 which will add campaign style play, taking the setting and character information from the Necromolds lore book, and turn it into a system with missions and scenarios, “Where the battles you’re fighting actually have repercussions in future games”.

Don’t miss our previous article with Clint Bohaty, where he speaks about expanding Necromolds without losing sight of its simplicity. And be sure to check out our Necromolds review, to see what we thought of the base game.