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Tabletop Game: Kingdom Death
"Suddenly, a monster emerged from the darkness"

A horror universe created by Adam Poots found here. It is a hellish universe cloaked in utter darkness, where humans find themselves at the bottom of a vast, monstrous food chain. There's a very good chance that most humans will find themselves brutally murdered, devoured whole, or just plain dead for other reasons. Originally set to be released as a tabletop game of notable heroes fighting for the survival of the human race, it has since expanded into a line of miniatures, a boss rush Tabletop Game featuring normal humans, and a potential hero style RPG. Known particularly for a set of monsters that could be called nightmare fuel, found here, here, and here.

Kingdom Death: Monster launched its Kickstarter campaign on November 2012 with a goal of $35,000 and a release date targeted at November 2013. It was funded on January 2013 after having raised over $2 million which, at the time of its funding, made it the most funded tabletop game on the site. The game vastly increased in size and scope after having reached all its stretch goals, leading to a delay in the project. The new release date is in Q3 2014. Poots has provided steady updates on the project's progress. The game itself has been described to be a boss game where players kill bosses for resources to make weapons and gear to fight bigger monsters. This mechanic makes it similar to Dark Souls or Monster Hunter.

Kingdom Death: Monster contains examples of:

  • Action Survivor: The survivors if they last until to endgame. Which most do do not.
  • Alluring Anglerfish: Gorm has a bioluminescent lure. Spiducules uses a human torso as a lure.
  • Ancient Order of Protectors: The order of the Twilight Knights guard what precious little history humanity has managed to gather. White Speakers may also qualify.
  • Anyone Can Die: The survivors usually do not survive for very long.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: There are a lot of monsters that are barely larger than the survivors. Then there are monsters that absolutely dwarf them.
  • Badass Abnormal: The Saviours. They are born with magical powers that prevent them from leading normal lives. Almost all die young. But they're also supernaturally equipped to deal with all the monsters in the setting.
  • Badass Normal: The survivors. It's kind of a requirement if one's reaction to a gigantic Lion with a tentacle for a face is to hunt it down and kill it. Twilight Knights also qualify; humans with little else than a magic sword and cape out to save humanity.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: The monster Spidicules is a cross between a spider, a human, and an anglerfish.
  • The Blacksmith: The creature known as the Forge God.
  • Body Horror: The monsters have all sorts of human appendages sticking out of them at arbitrary angles.
  • Boss Game: The goal is to kill monsters to make armor and weapons to secure humanity's survival. The problem is that the monsters aren't exactly tiny or easy. Even the easiest one, the White Lion, can very quickly turn a survivor into a bag of bones.
  • Breast Plate: Almost every single one of the female armors. Averted by the Green Knight Armor.
  • Cast from Hit Points: One of the unique game mechanics for Monster. The monster's attack deck is also its hp deck. Once it runs out of cards, the monster is dead.
  • Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit": The Antelope looks more like an elk. That's disregarding the gigantic maw on its belly and the numerous human hands protruding from its flesh.
  • Cats Are Mean: The White Lion and the Lion God.
  • Cherry Tapping: There are rules for unarmed combat. No word on its effectiveness, but Poots has implied that it's a last resort deal.
  • The Chosen One: Saviours are born with all sorts of powers that one wouldn't find in a normal human. They tend to live short violent lives, age quicker, and burn out.
  • Co-Op Multiplayer: A game for 1-6 players. Most videos released show 4 survivors in a hunting party.
  • Crapsack World: The setting is bleak. Humans are born into a world of darkness with no history, culture, or in some cases freedom. They're regularly used as food and chattel slaves to a number of monstrous creatures. Even if they do survive the monsters, there's usually only insanity waiting. On top of all of this, there's a mechanic that can make the settlement starve.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Averted. Survivors and monsters have unique hit locations that can cause any number of different effects on gameplay if damaged.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Eaten alive, cooked alive, butchered by armored men, Swallowed Whole, burnt alive and then driven into exile. There's probably a smaller list of mundane ways to die.
  • Death World: Part of the theme of the game.
  • Determinator: The survivors. In a world where it's much much easier to die they've chosen to try and eke out an existence.
  • Did You Just Make Clothes Out Of Cthulhu: Really any of the monsters, but especially the Watcher who is the final boss of the core game. You get his armor in the Lantern Festival, which then allows you to punch out the King and the Scribe.
  • Eldritch Abomination: All of the monsters have various hands, faces, and other appendages strewn about almost haphazardly. It gives the monsters a very unique feel.
  • Eldritch Location: The Lonely Tree has some strange interactions with the White Lion and the Phoenix.
  • Enfant Terrible: The Sunstalker baby which has a cadre of human handlers that it may eat.
  • Equipment-Based Progression: The point of the game is to kill monsters, take their parts for equipment, then kill bigger monsters.
  • Everything Is Trying to Kill You: Both straight and inverted. Nearly everything is trying to kill the survivors. But the survivors can turn the tables by hunting them down and killing them first.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: According to the play test reports from Poots. Many of the reports involve the Butcher wiping the party.
  • Final Boss: The Watcher in the core game. The Dragon King and Sunstalker in those expansions and The King and Scribe in the Latern Festival.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Not cute names, but at the very least mundane. The White Lion, the Antelope, The Dung Beetle Knight, The Flower Knight, The King, The Scribe.
  • God Emperor: The King has the makings of one but we know nothing of him. The Scribe might be an actual one with an emphasis on the god portion.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: Both male and female armor can range from plausible to completely impractical. All of them help the wearer kill bigger monsters though.
  • Improvised Weapon: The starting weapon is a sharp stone pulled from a stone face in the ground.
  • In the Hood: The Watcher wears a hood and no face.
  • An Interior Designer Is You: Monster parts are used to make weapons, armor, gear, and new settlement locations (found here).
  • Item Crafting: Everything apart from the starting weapons, clothes, and location are crafted in one form or fashion.
  • Kill the God: The Scribe is described as being able to rewrite reality. He's a boss in the Latern Festival.
  • Knight Errant: Of the monstrous variety. The Lion Knight wanders the wilderness visiting human settlements. He can be helpful to artistic settlements. He can be downright vicious to warlike ones. The Twilight Knight is a more traditional example.
  • Lampshade Hanging: In-game example. One of the hit location cards mention that the survivor manages to stab the White Lion in a human looking hand.
  • Made of Plasticine: The survivors explode in showers of gore in the concept art.
  • Male Gaze: To some extent the female minis. To a much larger extent the pinups.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: All of the monsters are various different combinations of the creature that one expects and a mish mash of human parts.
  • Modesty Towel: The survivors in the beginning wear cloths that cover their private areas. It also offers a point of protection to the torso.
  • Monster Knight: The Dung Beetle Knight, The Flower Knight, the Lion Knight, and the Gold Smoke Knight.
  • Monster Lord: The King and the Dragon King
  • Monster Modesty: Some combination of averted and played straight. The Wet Nurse is generally considered the least modest.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: The Lion God, Slenderman, The Man Hunter, The Dragon King, The Sunstalker, The (k?)nightmare ram, the Butcher, Satan.
  • Nested Mouths: The Phoenix has a beak that opens to reveal a human mouth with a human tongue.
  • New Game+: There are rumors that killing the phoenix can send the survivors can reset the survivors back to year 1 of the lantern horde with all of their armor intact. A good thing because the Watcher attacks on year 25 regardless of the survivor's gear level.
  • Our Centaurs Are Different: The (k?)nightmare ram has many of the elements of a centaur, but still somehow looks wrong.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: The Dragon King controls radiation from his body instead of the normal breath weapon. Although it's unknown whether or not he has a breath weapon.
  • Panthera Awesome: The smallest cat is the White Lion. The largest is called the Lion God, though calling it a cat may be charitable.
  • Papa Bear: The gender of the Lion God is unknown. What is known is that if the survivors kill too many White Lions, they'll get a visit from the Lion God.
  • The Phoenix: A monstrous bird with some magical powers shares the name in the core game. That's about where the similarities end.
  • Power Floats: The Watcher.
  • The Power of the Sun: The Sunstalker. Doubles in that an ancient one is the sun in this world.
  • Primal Fear: A world of shrouded in darkness with monsters that not only unafraid of humans but use them both as a food source and chattel slaves.
  • Reality Warper: The Scribe as stated above. Saviours are born with these powers too, but the human shell holding it is too fragile and they'll often burn out.
  • Recurring Boss: The nemesis monsters. Where most of the monsters are just beasts you hunt down, The Man Hunter, Slender Man, The Lion Knight actively look for and hunt down settlements of survivors.
  • Reinventing the Wheel: Depending on how the game goes, the survivors may invent something that already happened in a different game. It Makes Sense in Context though. Humans are split into distinct populations that may by chance happen on the same innovation.
  • Sanity Meter: It's possible to contract all sorts of mental disorders.
  • Scary Teeth: All of the human teeth in the game are beautiful, pristine, and white. Too bad none of the teeth belong to humans. Extra credit to the Antelope for having a maw running down its belly full of human teeth.
  • Shout-Out: To the Slenderman mythos with the inclusion of Slender himself.
  • Spiders Are Scary: The Spidicules is a mish mash of human body parts combined with a spider's.
  • There Are No Therapists: Only notable because survivors can take brain damage which can lead to all sorts of mental disorders. No information has been released on whether or not a survivor can be cured of their disorder.
  • Vapor Wear: Most of the pinups wear very little clothes. The Dragon King's armor for both genders has a giant gash down the center of the chest.
  • The Watcher: There's a monster that shares its name with the trope. Attacks after year 25, which throws the non-interference portion of the trope out the window.
  • Your Reward Is Clothes: The survivors make gear out of parts they get from beating bosses.

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