Dawn of Madness

Created by Diemension Games

A mind-shattering story-driven cooperative board game for 1-4 players that is a true horror experience.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Freedom is a Masquerade, A Peek at the Future, Mordecai's Return, and Our First Video!
6 months ago – Tue, Nov 26, 2019 at 10:43:41 PM

Hi guys! It's a great day for more madness, don't you think?

Well, I've been promising you this since the start of the campaign. (Actually, for several months before the campaign as well.) And today, I finally have it for you - at least the first part of it. 

Here is the first in our series of How to Play Dawn of Madness. This one focuses on the game's various components, with me deep-diving into basically every... single... one. Because of this, this video is long. Like, 48 minutes long. For some people, this might be exactly what you're looking for. And for others, this might be like the visual equivalent of fingernails on a chalkboard. So I'll let you judge. I'll be back with part two soon, which will feature a couple of game rounds and which should be much more interesting (and also better lit. Sorry, I'm still learning on all this video stuff. "Dang it, Jim, I'm a writer, not a videographer!") In the meantime, though, if this doesn't sound (or look) like your cup of tea, be sure to swing by the campaign page and check out Lance's video instead. (Michael, the King of Average, also still has that great campaign intro and miniatures unboxing video on there, too.)

Well, without further ado, here it is:

So. Did you make it through all 48+ minutes? 

What's in the Box?

Well, first of all, it's not one box. No, definitely not. And, unlike in the movie UHF (which is what I think of every time someone says that), the answer is not "NOTHING!"

Yesterday we unveiled that we would be doing a special all-in deal over this coming weekend. And some have wondered what exactly would be in that all-in pledge. Well, we're not going to go into all of the details yet. But we are going to show you the boxes and start to get you guessing. (Some of them won't take too much of a guess, but a couple probably will.) So, here are the boxes for the mostly all-in pledge coming up this weekend. Let the conjecturing begin!

The first wave of the Gameplay All-in Pledge starts at 9am November 28th PST.

The Return of Mordecai

In one of the worst-kept secrets in board gaming, we are pleased to announce the return of Mordecai Ashford, the anthropologist!  

Mordecai has been haunted for years by the horrific expedition he led into the jungles. He had it on good authority where the ruins lay, but he was entirely unprepared for what they contained.  Mordecai went in with a team of his brightest students. He returned alone. Now, many years later, Mordecai is still haunted by that disastrous trip. However, the word "haunting" takes on new meaning when his students show up at his door late one night. The ritual they began on a whim was never completed. And Mordecai is the fourth pillar needed to complete the final, terrible structure. 

What horrible secrets are waiting for Mordecai to unlock them? What is the meaning of the arcane symbols etched into the stone tablets atop the altar? Why does Mordecai feel as though his skin is stiffening, becoming thicker and more leathery? And what abyssal horror is waiting patiently in that stifling jungle to be loosed from its bonds? Mordecai - and you - will find out soon enough.

The Forgotten Void is Mordecai's expansion for Dawn of Madness. Containing a full story book, Mordecai's Wanderer and three Malformations, three Aberrations representing Mordecai's ill-fated students, a plethora of new cards, and four smaller boss minis that join with the big, horrible, magnificent central boss to form The Ritual, The Forgotten Void will be an excursion into the unknown that you are not likely to forget.  

The Forgotten Void is available right now for $60. To add it to your pledge, first click on Manage your pledge.

Click on Manage your pledge

Next, click on Change your pledge.

Click on Change your pledge

And finally, enter the amount of the add-on you want plus the amount of the base pledge, and click Continue.

Add the amount of the add-on to the base pledge's price and click Continue.

That's all there is to it! We'll figure out what your additional funds were for in the pledge manager after the campaign is finished.

The Masquerade of Freedom

Today we are joined by Masquerade Freedom as our daily unlock! Freedom's mask is beaming with irrepressible joy. Nothing can hold her down. Nothing can stop her. Except that she is wrapped in chains. And there are metal spikes that have been hammered into her body which the chains are wrapped around. 

Masquerade Freedom wants nothing more than to share her bounty with you. She wants to entwine you in her freedom, and keep tightening until you can no longer breathe. Liberty was meant to be shared, after all, and Freedom won't rest until she's done just that. Come to her. Let her enfold you in her warm embrace. Finally, you, too, will know the joy of being truly, utterly, free.

Meet Masquerade Freedom, now unlocked for both Core and Otherworld pledges!

Masquerade Freedom is our daily unlock for today for both Core and Otherworld pledge levels. I hope you like her!

That's it for this update. Oh, except for one more thing! We've been running a contest on Facebook where we're giving away 10 copies of a Dawn of Madness Otherworld pledge to people who like and share the post, and today we wanted to reveal the first winner of that contest! Congratulations, Derek Gentle! You're the first winner! If you're currently a backer, Derek, then you can just drop down to $1 so you can still get updates and notifications as well as comment on the campaign. We'll take care of the rest after the campaign closes. (We'll also contact you through Facebook.)

Did you miss this before now? Well, the contest is still running, so go to https://www.facebook.com/deepmadnessgame/posts/962957187395019 for your chance to enter!

Okay, now that's really it. Have a great day, and we'll talk with you again shortly!

The Abomination Winner, An Awesome Change in Direction, and Vote for the Next Wanderer!
6 months ago – Tue, Nov 26, 2019 at 06:11:59 PM

The battle has been vicious and violent. The air is still choked with acrid fog that is now tinged with the metallic scent of blood, as well as the sounds of bellows, shrieks, and crunching bones. At last, though, you see one of the beasts straighten, its body ripped and oozing but its cry triumphant. It's not hard to see from its silhouette which one has dominated.

The Executioner has fallen. The Masquerade has won.

Masquerade Bliss stands victorious!

This means that the Masquerades will be unlocked as a part of both the Core and Otherworld pledges, while the Executioners will become an add-on a little further down the line. However, eagle-eyed readers may have noticed that I didn't say stretch goals in that last sentence.

A Change in Direction

We realized the last day or two that we aren't unlocking stretch goals as fast as we would like. So, we're going to change our strategy. We will still have stretch goals that will be tied to funding and to social sharing. However, we're going to add something else, too - something that a number of you guys have been recommending that we institute. You may have guessed it by now: we're going to start doing daily unlocks. These won't be based on any sort of goal. You're just going to get them. 

We're going to start doing daily unlocks as of today. And our first unlock will be none other than Masquerade Bliss for both the Core and Otherworld pledges.

Masquerade Bliss has been unleashed! Come join her family!

As for stretch goals, we are growing steadily closer on both the next funding stretch goal and the sharing stretch goal. Here's where we currently stand on the sharing one:

Only a few shares left to go!

That means that the Core goal has already been achieved, and all we have left to do is unlock the miniature for the Otherworld! If you'd like to help us unlock The Plant's miniature, all you have to do is click the Facebook share button below the campaign stats at the top of the page.

We also officially unlocked our friendly neighborhood Spider Lady! She will now be wreaking havoc in Emily's finales!

Spider Lady is probably not her final name. But it works for now.


I'm sorry we haven't gotten the videos out yet to you. I know how anxious you all are to see them. It's just taken a little longer than we thought to get them done. Having said that, after the feedback from the last update we're going to start with a couple of teaching videos. The first will be going through the various components of Dawn of Madness and saying what they are and what they do, as well as explaining some of the core game mechanics to hopefully give you a better idea of how DoM works. (That one will be in our next update.) And then the second video will be a playthrough of a couple of rounds of the game so you can see those mechanics in action. (That one's probably a couple of updates away.) Then, if we want to try the fun videos I mentioned previously after that, you guys can let me know. I also have it on good authority that several of our friends in the board gaming community will have videos done shortly, so we'll have those for you likely early next week.

More Wanderers Draw Near - Which One Will Stay?

Up ahead you see them: two more weary souls, drawing ever closer to our little band. One is a woman, her clothing decidedly upscale and the smell of expensive perfume clinging to her skin, even in this wretched place. You seem to remember seeing her picture before. Maybe in a magazine? In fact, you can almost think of her name. Anita... Clavell. That was it! Now you remember: she's that author who seems perpetually stuck on the bestseller lists. You've even read a couple of her books. You never did quite understand what people saw in them, but they certainly were popular. It seems you remember reading she was a lonely person, with no real family to speak of. But you know that sometimes the written word can take on a life of its own, becoming just like a dear friend or family member. In fact, sometimes it even seems like it can become a portal to other worlds.

The man, meanwhile, has the classic look of an old college lecturer who has seen his share of the world during his time. He seems vaguely familiar, too. Not from any books, though, but from somewhere else. Newspapers perhaps...? Oh. Oh! He was the professor who led that ill-fated expedition a number of years back! He and his students had gone to study the anthropology of a lost people (specifically focusing on their religious beliefs), but only he had returned alive. A ghastly business, if you recall correctly. The poor man still looks haunted. You remember his name now, because it had always struck you as distinctive: Mordecai Ashford. What horrific things did he see in those ruins so long ago? Could that expedition have something to do with why he's here now?

Which Wanderer will be featured in our next series of daily unlocks? Comment below to tell us!

Okay, friends. We need your help again. We need to know which Wanderer you want to see in our new daily unlocks. Will it be Anita, the author whose words can sometimes seem to take on a peculiar life of their own? Or will it be Mordecai, the anthropologist whose failed expedition has come back to haunt him, drawing him back to the temple ruins where he lost his students all those years before? Let us know in the comments, but be quick! This vote won't last for long!

That's it for this update! Be sure to spread the word and share the campaign so we can keep unlocking cool stuff! Thanks again for being here with us, and thanks for being awesome!

Stretch Goals Slaughtered, Fighting Abominations, Our First Live, and More!
6 months ago – Tue, Nov 26, 2019 at 04:15:35 PM

Hey there! I hope you've had a great day. It has certainly been another awesome day for Dawn of Madness! As a point of reference, we just hit 6,300 backers in two days, and in the Deep Madness reprint campaign we had 7,768 backers in the entire campaign. Thank you so much for being with us! 

We've busted through a number of new stretch goals today, too. Here's a look at where we are in the Clockmaker expansion: 

Clockmaker Expansion Progress

There's only one more Malformation left, and then we start working on that insanely epic final boss!

But that's not all we unlocked today. We've also had concurrent stretch goals going on based on backer numbers. Here's where we are with those:

Backer Number Stretch Goal Unlocks

 Gameplay Focus: Fighting the Abominations

Welcome to the first Gameplay Focus, where we will take a look at a part of Dawn of Madness's gameplay! 

In every chapter of Dawn of Madness, the Wanderers will be hunted by a particularly horrific creature: the Abomination. Every Abomination is part of a family of four creatures, each one sporting unique abilities, reactions, and devastating Devour effects. Abominations will sow their Devour tokens around the board (which will activate a variety of effects through the Devour card deck, a deck that triggers when a Wanderer performs a Sentience test on a World Shard containing a Devour token, or when an Abomination's ability forces one to activate) while simultaneously trying to get themselves a tasty Wanderer lunch. And the Wanderers can, by and large, do nothing to stop them. All they can do is run.

A Devour token
A Rage Frenzy Devour card, front and back

The one exception to this is the Central Wanderer - or the Wanderer whose chapter you are playing through. The Central Wanderer will get three Resistance cards in his or her chapter, which can be used to take the fight to the Abomination. However, the Central Wanderer can't do it alone. At least, not with only one version of his or herself. 

One of Catherine's Resistance cards

In order to actually defeat the Abomination, you will have to call on your Malformations, bribing them with vital Memory Shards. Only through coercing them to help you will you be able to attack the Abomination - and hopefully, eventually, kill it. 

Emily's Malformation cards.

There are some major caveats to this, of course.  First of all, the Malformations are extremely dangerous, and their main goal is still to corrupt or destroy the other Wanderers and yourself. The second is that, once their deck of three cards is discarded, the Malformation will cease to exist for the rest of the game, taking any chances it had to kill the Abomination with it. 

Whether a Malformation or a Wanderer decides to resist the Abomination, the Resistance card (or Resistance section of a card, in the case of the Malformations) will trigger, and a battle with the Abomination will begin. The Sentience icons along the bottom of the Resistance card and Malformation cards show you what dice you can roll, while the effect text lists any special abilities you can use. But the Abomination is going to fight back, too, by revealing one of its Confrontation cards - cards that are all very different from one another, making it very difficult to predict how the confrontation will go.

One of Rage Frenzy's Confrontation cards (front and back)

The earlier you kill an Abomination in the game, the better for you and the entire remainder of the campaign. That's because Abominations pass on parts of themselves to the next member of their family, leaving some of their personal Devour cards behind. And the worse you do, the worse cards will remain at a higher quantity. If you are unable to kill the Abomination, it will be the worst outcome of all. (In fact, if you don't kill the Abomination in the final chapter before the finale, then you automatically lose the entire campaign.)

The back of Rage Fury's Abomination card, showing its potential legacy effects.

The core game of Dawn of Madness comes with one family of Abominations: the scorpion-like Rage family. 

The Rage family, along with some of their components

So why are we talking about the Abominations now as our first gameplay focus? Well, it's because something is coming. Something that will help shape the future of Dawn of Madness. And it's coming in just a few short hours. So stay tuned! =D

Speaking of Staying Tuned...

Who's ready for a Live Video? These were really popular and fun when we tried them in the reprint campaign, so hopefully you all will enjoy them again. It won't be exactly like last time, because since then Kickstarter killed their (incredibly awesome) Kickstarter Live feature, so we will probably be on both Facebook and YouTube instead. Regardless,  we'll embed the video on the campaign page, so you'll be able to head over to the DoM campaign page to see it when it goes live at 4pm PST!

Now, because of the change in technology platform (and because I'm not exactly the most widely versed in live streaming) there may be a few technical glitches, so please bare with me as I get everything up and running. But hopefully this will again be a lot of fun for all involved. =)

Talk to you again soon, guys! And stay tuned for some more awesome stuff coming soon!

The Abomination Onslaught
6 months ago – Tue, Nov 26, 2019 at 04:15:31 PM

There's something looming in the distance, everyone. It's hard to make out, but I see it twitching through the fog. It's rising, rising - how can it be so huge? 

Wait. No. There are two of them. Both seem radically different. In fact, you think... you think they may be enemies.

The fog clears slightly. You see one is large and bulbous, with small... creatures bursting out of pockets of flesh bubbling on its body. A porcelain mask has been stapled to its head with thick, corroded metal. The mask looks so happy. It seems to be such a strange contradiction to the lumbering, twitching thing that wears it. Appendages like crab or insect legs flail spastically around its body, pressing out of its mass between the chains that encircle it, contain it, and bind  it.

The other creature, meanwhile. is muscled and imposing. Seeming to be a combination of flesh and bone and volcanic rock, fire leaps inside its cracked, jagged skull. Its guts, which almost seem to have a mind of their own, twitch spastically, and its left (actually, only) hand cradles a mallet made of bone and stone that is larger than the creature itself. With uncanny strength and nimbleness it raises its giant hammer. Underneath the mallet you can see the jellied remnants of its previous victims adhered to its surface.

The beast with the masquerade mask raises its razor-sharp appendages as the other slowly turns. It has become clear to you that these two monstrosities are about to rip each other to pieces.

Which Abomination Family Will be Our Next Stretch Goal? You Decide!

Meet the Masquerades. This family of Abominations is all about appearances - though what lurks beneath their masks is not at all the image they so carefully project. They are mad, cunning, deceptive, and hungry. (You would be, too, if you had a mask stapled to your face.) The Masquerade featured in this image is Masquerade Bliss. She seems like such a happy mother, with her children skittering around her feet. But the chains, and the wounds that look like howling mouths, seem to imply otherwise.

And then let me introduce you to the Executioners. This family is utterly brutal, overpowered, unforgiving, and consumed with carrying out the sentence they have imposed on their victims. Forged of fire, flesh, and bone, there is only one thing left in their warped, feverish minds - and it involves you. The one displayed here is Executioner Gallows. When his mallet doesn't finish the job, his intestines will.

One of these families will be one of our next series of stretch goals (for both Core and Otherworld) in the not-too-distant future. The other will be included in a future add-on expansion. So which will it be? The Masquerades? Or the Executioners? Tell us your favorite in the comments, and let the battle begin! (We'll let you know in a future update when voting is closing!)

Drowning in Despair, Video Update, and a Sharing Stretch Goal!
6 months ago – Tue, Nov 26, 2019 at 04:15:16 PM

Hi there, my friend! I hope you've had a great day! 

We keep plugging along on Dawn of Madness. There's some fun stuff coming up, and some fun stuff that's happening right now! Let's get to it!

Dawn in the News

First, there are a couple of different videos that have prominently featured Dawn recently, one from our friend Adam over at Rolling Solo, and another from the fine folks at Roll for Crit! This is interesting because Adam was a pretty big Deep Madness fan, while the gents at Roll for Crit found it... a little on the difficult side? So it's cool to see both groups excited for Dawn. (In both cases Dawn is at the start of the video, so you won't have to look far.) 

Also, for those who didn't see them on the campaign page, we also have two videos thus far from our good friend Michael the King of Average, one about the campaign and one about the miniatures. He will be diving deeper into the game before too long here, so expect another one from him. 

There will obviously be a number of videos from other reviewers and board game channels as well, so we'll let you know when they come out. Speaking of videos:

Video Updates

Some of you may have already heard about our (now infamous) try at a live stream yesterday. We struggled valiantly on two different services, but apparently my internet connection is junk. So we're going to try to work out the bugs, and have another shot at this live stream soon.

In addition, I am currently filming several videos for you, and I think I've just about worked out the kinks to be able to tell you what I've been hinting at the last few days.

I am going to do rules and how to play videos. But, at the same time, I personally find that sometimes  How to Plays can be... kind of dull? Nothing against them, and obviously they are a very necessary part of deciding if you actually want to buy a game. Plus, there are those videos that rise above the rest and really are engrossing to watch. But for this campaign I want to try something a little bit different. I want it to be interactive! 

So, what I'm going to do is play a bit, explaining how things work, and then pause and ask you what you think I should do next.  We'll let people vote for a day or two, and then I'll come back with the next installment. 

Could this completely fail? Absolutely. Maybe there's a reason I can't remember ever seeing this done before. And, if it doesn't work, then we'll scrap it and I'll just do a proper, normal walkthrough. But I think this could be fun. So what do you think? Should we give this a try?

Let's Get Social!

If you're an introvert like me, hearing those words might make you feel... conflicted, to say the least. =D But this isn't that kind of social, and it's for a good cause!

We're currently just under 40 backers away from unlocking this lovely damsel:

To quote backer RealCele, "Spidergirl, Spidergirl, does whatever a Spidergirl does."

So, to help push us over the edge, we decided to put out another stretch goal: this time for a new final boss for Catherine!

So many bad puns... So little time...

In order to unlock this stretch goal, all you have to do is spread the word! Click the share button right below the campaign stats, and we'll get this swamp thing (with no disrespect or copyright infringement intended to DC (translation: please don't sue us)) unlocked in no time! 

The Depressions Arrive

But that's not all we have for you today. There are new horrors arising from the depths, new creatures that are shambling toward you through the mists of the Otherworld. Their heads hang in dejection, their limbs ripping in angst at their skin. They are the Depressions. And they come for you.

Meet the Depressions.

The Depressions are available right now as an optional buy for $14, which will include both the miniatures and the standees. If you would like to add these to your pledge, just follow these steps:

Click the "Manage your pledge" button.

Click Manage your pledge

Next, click the "Change your pledge" button.

Click Change your pledge

Lastly,  add the amount for the add-on that you would like to buy to your total (in this case $14) and click Continue.

Add the amount of the add-on, and click Continue

That's all you have to do right now! We'll determine what additional items you ordered in the pledge manager later on.

I'll do more of a centerpiece on the Depressions soon (once I have some more time to get away from video stuff), and go over more about them and their stories. But, for now, let's all welcome the sunny new additions to the Dawn of Madness family!

Also, just as a reminder, we haven't yet finished voting on our epic Abomination battle! If you would like to decide if the Masquerades or the Executioners will be a future stretch goal, click here to go to that update and vote in the comments! (For those interested, of about 600 votes cast the Masquerades currently have about 400, so if you're team Executioner go make your voice heard right away! And Masquerade fans, this is no time to be idle! Be sure to still cast your votes for them, too!)

Click here to cast your vote!

Lastly, we are also running a poll to determine if we will offer an Italian translation of the game. If you're an Italian backer and you want to see that happen, let all your friends know and click here to go to the poll. (Only one vote per backer, and you must be a backer to participate.)

Okay, that's it for this update! Talk to you again very soon, guys!