Necromolds is a tabletop wargame that takes inspiration from various horror sources, including Goosebumps! I had a chance to talk with creator Clint Bohaty about his upcoming game.
Edit: help create Necromolds by checking out their Kickstarter campaign!
PopHorror: How did Necromolds come to be?
Clint Bohaty: I’ve been developing Necromolds for the last two years. My passion for the project comes from a desire to create a new type of wargame experience that young and new players can enjoy, and to create a toy reminiscent of those of my childhood: Mighty Max, Creepy Crawlers, Dr. Dreadful, and Goosebumps.
What do those toys have in common? They felt like something out of the classic Grimm’s Fairy Tales. They were frightening. They were challenging. I remember when I got my first Magic: The Gathering card from a friend in elementary school. It felt taboo because the artwork on it was so creepy and adult. That is how I want kids to feel when they pick up a Necromold toy and look at the monster on the cover.
Why miniature wargaming? One thing I’ve loved seeing more and more of at gaming conventions are families tabletop roleplaying together – but the wargaming rooms are always full of people my age or older! I set out to create an entry point for children and new players to experience the hobby of miniature gaming in a way that isn’t expensive or intimidating. My friends and I wanted a way to share our passion for miniature gaming and painting with our young children and relatives.
PopHorror: Will it be available outside of Kickstarter?
Clint Bohaty: Yes, after we’ve completed the Kickstarter campaign and have finished backer fulfillment, we will begin shipping inventory of both the Necromolds Battle Box and Monster Packs to retailers. We’ve already had a number of retailers and distributors reach out to us directly, interested in carrying Necromolds products once they’re available.
PopHorror: What is the target age group?
Clint Bohaty: Necromolds Monster Battles is a miniature wargame targeted for ages 10 and up. The rule set includes both basic and advanced experiences and encourages players to expand on the rule set with home rules of engagement. Both versions are fun to play, but the advanced rules add more decision making and strategy for veteran tabletop gamers looking for a deeper gameplay experience in this lite battle game.
Once the game is released, we’ll be launching a community portal where fans can share their home rules, variants, and other support material. One article that I’m working on now is a parent guide for teaching younger players (7-9 years old) how to play the game.
Of course, it’s always great to just let young children play with the clay and monsters themselves!
PopHorror: What would be the average playtime?
Clint Bohaty: The current playtime is 30-45 minutes for a two-player battle. Each additional player adds an average of 10 minutes to the playtime. Players can reduce their starting volume of clay to reduce the game’s play time.
PopHorror: How does balancing the armies work?
Clint Bohaty: I designed Necromolds’ gameplay to feel more like playing with toys and less like following a tedious rulebook. One great example of that design decision is how armies are balanced. There are no point pools or unit values as in traditional wargames. Instead, each player begins with 4oz of clay to build their army. Players are free to build any army they choose as long as they have the clay. The stronger the monster, the more clay it demands! In the end, both players are balanced on the battlefield.
PopHorror: Will any modeling clay work or does Necromolds have its own specific kind?
Clint Bohaty: Necromolds is compatible with many popular soft modeling clays. We plan to include clay for both players in the Battle Box. Additionally, we’ll be releasing a volume measuring tool for those who wish to use their own clay or order in bulk.
PopHorror: Do they hold up when painted after they dry out?
Clint Bohaty: As I’ve learned during the prototyping process, not all soft modeling clays are created equally. Some dry and crack less than others. The monsters that I’ve dried out and painted have held up really well! On the community portal, I’ll be writing a list of recommended clays and paints to use with Necromolds – and fans will be encouraged to add to the list. Drying and painting your monsters is a fun way to use up clay that has already begun to harden naturally after many battles.
PopHorror: Are there any plans for expansions in the future?
Clint Bohaty: Necromolds isn’t a single, one-off experience. It is a dark world full of lore, monsters, and stories that I intend to share through future toys, games, and more. That doesn’t just mean more battle playsets, but entirely different game types compatible with the Necromold monster toys!
PopHorror: Can you dive into the lore of Necromolds a little bit?
Clint Bohaty: My background and primary education is in narrative filmmaking, so the story of the Necromolds is one that I’m really excited to explore and tell. The story’s development has followed what I’d call the He-Man Approach, where the toys came first and the narrative was developed along with them.
Necromolds the story centers around a group of inquisitive middle schoolers who happen upon one of the dangerous caster rings and its mystery. The middle school they attend is located within a rural mining community that has been selected to pilot program a private “education processing facility of the future.” This corporate middle school is more machine than faculty – where even the traditional lunch staff are trained robotics engineers. The pilot program isn’t everything that it seems, however, and very soon, the kids find themselves racing against the school’s nefarious staff to unlock and wield the Necromolds’ secrets.
Buried under the modern story, you’ll discover the history and lore of the Necromolds. Some of that lore can be found on our website – but its details will be revealed as the story is told through future games and other media. I’m working to make every board game or toy tie into the lore in some way. For example, the first battle playset’s illustrations tell the story of the battle of Twins Vale, where the evil wizard Basalt LaSeur, also known as The Librarian for his vast collection of spell books, raided the farming town to test the strength of his Necromold army.
Necromolds has officially gone live on Kickstarter! Be sure to check out the campaign and help create this game. Stay tuned for an upcoming PopHorror review!