Welcome to the Pericle Unboxing with Pen & Die! The fine folks at Long Dog Games sent us a review copy to go over and share with all of you. Pericle seeks to bring the fantasy adventure fun of a D&D game without requiring one of the players to play as the Dungeon Master. Powered by a web app, the game leads players through a 100+ hour campaign in which you can change characters if desired, level up, and explore a well developed world.
The art throughout the game generally brings a dark fantasy atmosphere to the gaming table. I have seen a few inconsistencies and would have preferred if they had stuck with the style from the front of the box and most of what I have seen in the app. However, all of the art and components meet high standards and are very well done. Unpacking the box, we find fewer components than we are used to.
We still encounter plenty to inspect and look over. However, since most of the game is happening in the app, we lose the need for countless cards and punchboards of tokens. The app tracks story progression as well as battle conditions. Players will keep track of their characters’ various conditions, advancements, etc on the character sheet.
Upon opening the box, the rulebook and the Hero Handbook greet us. Both are glossy covered, full-sized rule books with glossy pages.
The Rulebook covers the standard rules and actions of the game. Pericle reaches for something closer to a full TTRPG experience rather than simply a board game. The inclusion of skills in addition to the character attributes allows for a bit more depth than you might otherwise find. Being app driven however, players will be choosing between options in social scenarios rather than actual social roleplaying. For the most part, the rules cover information such as making checks (including attacks) and tactical options during combat. The rule system is generally simple on overview with more detail entering into specifics. We will explore it more in the Pericle Review.
The Hero Handbook explains everything that you need to create and run a character. While a player may be tempted to skip this book if using the premade characters, you will still need it for more complex actions such as casting magic. Both books run a reasonable length, with the Hero Handbook having 48 pages and the Rulebook having 52.
Standees and Accessories
The standees are made from acrylic and feature a double sided sticker adhered to the back. This gives a sense of depth to the art that cardboard standees lack. They surprised us when we first opened the box, however. Expecting the faces to be clear and shiny, we were disappointed to find them cloudy and difficult to see through. In fact, I wrote a draft email to the creators to address the quality issue. That is, until Alex found an Amazon review complaining about the time it took to peel the plastic cover off of all of the standees. With a little inspection, we found the edge of the plastic and were delighted to find the beautiful acrylic fronts that we were promised.
The art on the figures holds true to the theme. However, it doesn’t necessarily match the style found in the app. The standees fit well into their bases. It is a friction fit however, so I am not certain how they will wear over time. A tab on the standee fits into a slot on the base. All that we have set up so far have been snug. Altogether there are 74 standees including characters of different ancestries as well as monsters.
I like the dice. Granted, I cannot use many of them for anything else. The colors are good and the engraving is well done. The number design is interesting. I also like the design of the d4’s. Several of the d6’s and the both d10’s are custom for Pericle so they will not have obvious use with your other dice. The d4’s have an interesting design that is different from the old caltrop pyramid that most of us are used to. I like it. The edges have a nice radius so they won’t cut anyone and the weight of the dice speaks of good quality.
The Other Things
The secret envelopes present well with “seals” on them. There is also a small bag of black plastic cubes, but we have not yet found what these are for.
Pregen Characters and Character Sheets
The character sheets boast full color and nice design. The paper weight gives them a good sturdiness that should hold up to a fair amount of erasing and rewriting. The pregenerated characters all have their own folders with the character portrait on the front. The folders are a nice touch although they do have the pregen character names on them so there isn’t a generic option for those who wish to make their characters from scratch. Pregen characters have three sheets, each progressively more complicated. This allows for an incremental introduction to the system and character abilities.
The Battle Mats
Percicle contains 50 battle mats measuring approximately 12″x14″ or 31cm x 36cm. Made of thick cardboard, these mats provide a clear, brightly colored area to exercise your tactics. There’s a wide variety of environments included and all feature a legible hex grid on which to move characters and foes.
The Loremaster app will direct players on which battle mat to use for a given scenario and each is numbered for easy location.
That is all of the components that arrived in the box. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a heavy game coming in at over 13lbs or 6kg. The large number of standees and battle mats are quite satisfying but it does feel a bit weird not to have sheets of tokens and tiles to punch out. We didn’t have to solve the puzzle of getting everything back into the box or determine how we were going to keep all of the cards separated. In a lot of ways, we felt quite liberated. The app takes care of the tasks of most of those items. There have been other games that are app driven, but this one sets you into a story like an adventure book. We’re still working our way into it and will delivery a review once we feel that we have a good handle on the game.
If you’re interested in Pericle you can find it here:
Thanks for reading and we will be back with more soon!