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:

Portals Written in Words, The Plant, A Frail Masquerade, and a Great Video!
6 months ago – Tue, Nov 26, 2019 at 12:20:27 PM

So much to discuss, so little time. Let's get to it!

I hope you all had a great weekend full of rest and relaxing. As for us, we've kept going full-steam ahead, and now we're back with more fun stuff. First of all, though, we have something we are dying to show you, and many of you are extremely excited to see. Our good friend, Lance, over at Learn to Play released his video overview for Dawn of Madness! He'll have a playthrough video coming soon as well, but in the meantime you can whet your appetite on this:

Our own video has taken yet a little longer to get finished, but it will be out in tomorrow's update. For real this time. It will be the first of two, with this one focusing on the components and how they work, and the next one focusing on actual gameplay. It's also right around 45 minutes long currently. So, yeah. It's detailed.

Anyway, while that is some of the biggest news for the day, it is far from the only news!

A Thanksgiving/Black Friday to Remember

In the US, this week we celebrate Thanksgiving. It's a time when families come together, eat copious amounts of food, and also remember all the things they have to be grateful for. Our US team members love Thanksgiving. But we arguably feel even more at home on the day that comes after it: the day where Stygian madness reigns, and sanity (as well as safety) is discarded for unnatural lights dangling oppressively overhead, fist fights in aisles and parking lots, and the snarling menace of holiday cheer. We speak, of course, of Black Friday. And, with this campaign launching in November, we couldn't resist throwing our hat into the celebrations. 

So here's what we're going to do. We are going to have a Thanksgiving weekend blowout, complete with early bird doorbusters. We are going to offer our gameplay mostly-all-in really early in the campaign, and those who act during this coming weekend will get a deal so good it's... insanity. (Or terrifying? Maddening? Pick your favorite horror marketing pun and insert it here.) 

Now, there are certain items that will not be included in this pledge. Some things we can't talk about yet. Others (like the Watchers) many of you are already getting free, so it doesn't make sense to include them. And others just don't really fit in this particular pledge level. But essentially, it's a pledge level that will be $348 for most of the rest of the campaign. And during this weekend, the prices will start at the 9am PST doorbuster level of $288 (in limited quantities on Thursday, Thanksgiving day), and will go no higher than $313 (with no quantity limits) over the rest of the weekend. 

We'll be revealing much more about this in the coming days (including what you'll find inside this pledge.) 

The Dust Clears, and Anita Remains

This one was much tighter than the Abomination vote, but, in the end, only one Wanderer remained. Anita Clavell, the author, has officially become our next series of daily unlocks for the Otherworld pledge level following the Masquerades, alongside the daily unlocks for the Core pledge level already listed on the campaign page.

The words are being written. The portal is beginning to open. What lies on the other side? I suppose we'll all find out soon enough, won't we?

The Executioners Come to Call

You didn't think you had seen the last of them, did you? Of course you didn't. After all, when they have punishment to mete out, they don't stop until the job is done. What makes matters even worse, though, is that you didn't choose them in the vote. So now the Executioners are out for vengeance. It will be bloody, and it will be brutal.

The Executioners are now available as a $30 add-on. You can add them to your pledge by clicking on the "Manage your pledge" button. From there, you will click the "Change your pledge" button, add the amount of the add-on to your total, and then click "Continue". That's all you have to do for now! We'll figure out what you ordered in the pledge manager after the campaign closes.

Today's Unlock: Masquerade Frailty

Masquerade Frailty's mask is full of despair and pain. He wants you to think that he is frail. Broken. Weak. 

It is a lie.

Masquerade Frailty is a brutish, hulking beast, with thick limbs to snare you, retrieve you, and crush you. There is no joy in Frailty, at least on the surface. But could it be that, beneath its mask, it is reveling in the destruction? Could it be gloating and sniggering at us right now, as it slithers in our direction? Something tells me we'll find out soon enough.

Today's Unlock: Masquerade Frailty

The Plant Grows

We have finally unlocked The Plant's miniature! Thanks so much for all of the shares, guys! You did it!

Catherine has a very special connection with the plant. It is almost as if they have become one in the same. Or perhaps it just germinated in her mind. In any case, the plant may be a friend - or it may be a foe. Or, possibly, it's a little bit of both. Only time - and your choices - will tell us for sure.

The Plant is unlocked for both Core and Otherworld backers!

Okay, that's it for this update! See you all again tomorrow!

Translation News, Stretch Goal Explanation, Deep Madness, and Other Q&A Stuff!
6 months ago – Mon, Nov 25, 2019 at 01:40:53 AM

We're not yet through the first day, and it has been one to remember. We have over 5,000 backers, almost 1,200 comments, and a lot of questions. So, in this update I'm going to try to answer some of the most common questions we've been seeing. 


As our backers from Deep Madness know, with that game we released translation packs that covered the rulebooks and all of the cards for the game and expansions. So, an obvious question has been, are you doing that again with this game? The answer is, we will be doing translations, but we won't be doing the packs. Here's why.

Dawn of Madness has a TON of written content in it. Even with all of the cards and everything, though, it's the books that really push it over the edge. Because of this, translation packs would be extremely expensive to make - and extremely expensive to buy. Even if we subsidized them, you would still end up paying at least $30-40 for translations on top of the core game. So, rather than doing that, we have decided to release full language core boxes of the game. The core box will be available in each of the languages (English, German, French, and Spanish) at no additional cost, and then every expansion will contain each version automatically.  (It could end up you would choose a language version for really big expansions, but for most cases every version will just be included.) The biggest problem with this is that there will be a delay of several months as we create the alternate language versions versus the English version. However, you will be saving a good chunk of money on translation packs, so hopefully that helps to offset this.

Now, one other thing that has been noticed is that we haven't committed to doing an Italian translation at this time. The reason for this is that, across both Deep Madness campaigns, the total number of Italian translation packs sold compared to the next lowest translation was about 1/5th. We lost money on all of the translation packs, but we lost a lot of money on the Italian translation. Now, several awesome backers have offered to help with the Italian translation (here's looking at you, Fabios and Luca), but even with their help the cost of the Italian translation would still be exorbitant for not necessarily very many copies. So, we're not writing it off yet. But what we need is to see confirmation that there is indeed interest in an Italian translation - and when we say this, we mean hundreds of confirmed individual backers who are interested in it. Having said that, I've set up a poll to gauge the interest on this. Italian friends, please forward this to every Italian backer you know, and please help us by answering truthfully. You can find the poll right here. (Should you want to spread the link, by the way, it is https://forms.gle/WWvqFZgbcYd62Sn77.)

Will Deep Madness be available in this campaign?

Currently the only Deep Madness expansion being offered is Faces of the Sphere, and if anything else was offered it would likely be more crossover content rather than previous expansions. While we know this will likely be disappointing for people, the reason for it is that adding in the Deep Madness stuff on top of the Dawn of Madness stuff would be a logistical nightmare. Deep Madness was not a small project, and Dawn could very well be pretty big, too. So, combining the two would make a lumbering beast the likes of which would break factories and shipping companies (and poor Cherry, our production manager) the world over. Speaking of shipping companies, they charge for every different SKU that they have to handle. So, if we add in Deep Madness, we will suddenly have something like 40 more SKUs we'll be paying for - regardless of how many people actually purchase it. (Translation: you think shipping prices are rough now? Hold our beer.)

For these reasons, we think our best bet is likely to postpone offering much of the Deep Madness content in this campaign, and instead offer it as a second reprint at some time in the not too distant future. If you guys would be interested in something like that, let us know.

(Side note: speaking of Faces of the Sphere, people have been wondering if they need Deep Madness in order to play and enjoy it. The answer is, not at all! Faces of the Sphere will be an awesome addition to Dawn of Madness whether you have DM or not. Additionally, DM backers have been wondering if they are eligible for the free cards mentioned for Faces. If you bought Faces in the reprint, then you are eligible for the free cards. No worries. And, if you own DM but didn't get Faces in the reprint, the Dawn cards will be automatically included if you purchase it now.)

How do I know if I'm eligible for the early bird?

If you back the campaign by 9am PST November 20th and eventually end up backing at least at the Otherworld Experience, then you are eligible. Whether you upgrade later on or in the PM doesn't matter. We are going by backer number with this campaign rather than having an actual early bird pledge level, so as long as you back in those first 24 hours and the pledge manager closes with at least an Otherworld pledge in your order, then you'll be good to go.

And, if you miss the early bird, fear not. The Watchers will be available as a separate $14 expansion after that, so you will still be able to get them and they will be just as awesome. 

Why are some stretch goals not available for every pledge level?

This one is certainly a pain point, both for us and we know for a number of you. We would love nothing more than to offer every stretch goal to every backer, regardless of pledge level. But the truth is, these things cost money, with some items costing significantly more than others. And, while our margins on this game will hopefully be better than our margins were on Deep Madness, on Deep Madness they were basically non-existent. LOL! So some things are obviously expensive, such as miniatures (which require tooling, etc.), but other things are less obvious - and those other things actually dwarf the cost of making the miniatures. Books, for example. Or double-thick player dashboards. The cost for these items is actually exorbitantly more than the cost of making miniatures, which is why it is basically impossible to offer them at the lower pledge level, as much as it may suck. 

We realize some people will be extremely disappointed in this, and we may even lose a few backers because of it. But we feel that it's always better to be up front, honest, and integrous about this stuff, and the honest truth is that this isn't a ploy to get you to up your pledge. We just can't do it, as much as we want to. I hope this makes sense, and that you can understand our reasoning on this. And even if this is a deal-breaker for you, I hope we can still be friends. =)

Why so long for delivery?

Have you ever backed a Kickstarter campaign, gotten really excited about it, and then been told "Oh, shoot! We've run into some delays, guys! We're going to have to push back the Kickstarter delivery by 6 months!" (Or 9 months, or a year, etc.) I have. Dozens of times. Maybe more than that. And, to be perfectly honest, it's also what happened on the first Deep Madness campaign. 

One of our main deals (as I've mentioned) is being up-front and honest with our community. We know that we still have a ton of content to make for this game. I personally have three more books and some change to write on this, and that's just my stuff. (And not including stretch goal content.) We are a passionate team, but we're also a small team, and we know we have limits. As such, we don't want to give you a rosy picture up front that we know we will have to smear later on, even if it costs us some backers and support now. There are enough problems that arise during a Kickstarter without being knowingly dishonest up front. And, hey, maybe we'll have a shot at actually delivering early for a change. Wouldn't that be a Kickstarter novelty?

Will there be gameplay videos?

I actually touched on this in the last update, but the answer is: yes! We're going to have a bunch of videos during the course of this campaign. You will end this campaign knowing exactly what type of game you're pledging for, and hopefully we'll all have a great time with it in the meantime. (You'll see what I mean soon.)

Okay, that's it for this update! I know that for some people this may have been a dryer update, but I also know that for others these are the answers to some of your biggest burning questions. We'll be back with more fun stuff very soon, though, so stay tuned! We're just getting warmed up!

P.S. I just realized that you could probably start a drinking game for every time I said "honest" in this update, should you be into such things. LOL! Have fun, guys! (Don't go too crazy, Russ, Kevin, Jim, and Shane!)

Purging Flames, A Mother's Child, and a Clockmaker
6 months ago – Sun, Nov 24, 2019 at 11:33:26 AM

So, funny story. Today I had to go to the studio where I shot the last two-thirds of the campaign video and clean everything up, because I hadn't gotten a chance to get there yesterday. As I left I thought, "It'll be fine." "No worries," I thought. "I won't be too far behind by the time I get back."

And then I come back to see that we have over 3,300 backers and are also currently over $430,000! WOW! Thank you all so much! We appreciate you all and are so humbled and grateful that you've joined us! 

But, as I said, I'm way behind. I don't have time to go really in-depth with the new unlocked stretch goals, but I can at least parade them past you!

Purging Flames

After the three Toxins, the next stretch goal you unlocked was a new final boss for Lynas the priest. On the campaign page this mini is currently called Flame of Purge, but I have a feeling its name is going to change to Purging Flames very shortly. ;-) 

Lynas Gershwin's story involves a lot of fire. Even the title of his book is In Fire Cleansed. So perhaps it's no surprise that his next boss apart from Eminent Glory is a pyre. The question is, though, were the people on that pyre already dead? Were they a sacrifice for some strange, otherworldly beast? Were they burned alive as a punishment for their wickedness? Or is the truth something else altogether? The answer is... complicated. And, as with most things in Dawn of Madness, it's ultimately up to you and your choices to determine what actually happened. 

Purging Flames front
Purging Flames rear

That's all we have time for right now about Purging Flames, because now we need to get onto Claude's next boss!

Mama's Boy

Claude the detective is a family man. A good chunk of his story revolves around his wife and unborn child. As such, this boss might be another one that is no surprise at all. (Then again...) 

Meet Mama's Boy. The little bundle of joy is nestled securely in one set of his mom's arms, snug as a bug. It's honestly kind of touching, when you think about it. 

Is this Claude's wife and child? What happened to them to turn them into these horrific monstrosities? Are they just a manifestation of Claude's haunted psyche? Or are they something far more sinister? You'll find out when you play the game, and the answer might be different depending on your playthrough - as might be their dispositions. In one ending they may be helping you. In the next, they could be actively trying to relieve you of your face. 

Mama's Boy front
Mama's Boy rear

You might think that's enough for one update. But oh no! You guys just couldn't slow down! (Which we are extremely grateful for, once again. =)

Edward Hirshfield

We have officially begun unlocking our first Wanderer expansion for Edward Hirshfield! Unlike in many games where the characters are the stretch goals that everyone groans and bears with, in Dawn of Madness the Wanderers are the game. As such, this isn't just a character we're unlocking: this will be a major expansion to the game. And Edward's story is going to be a doozy. 

Edward is a clockmaker who, like Claude, also happens to be a family man. Unlike Claude, though, he knows that it is already too late for his family. Or... is it? What if there was a way to undo what had been done? What if he could bring her back?

We'll have a lot more about Edward as we move deeper into his expansion. But for now, here's a picture of the Wanderer dashboard that was just unlocked! 

Edward's dashboard

Since we happen to have his dashboard right in front of us, I might as well point out a few things. On the bottom-left is Edward's Existence and Mental Capacity levels. Existence is his health in the Otherworld, while his Mental Capacity determines where he will start out on the Mental Capacity track. Every time he takes actions he will move down the track, and then the characters who are now above him will take an action - whether a monster, or a Wanderer. Edward will go again as soon as he is once again on top of the track. Then, when all characters have expended all of their Mental Capacity, the round will end.  

On the right side of his board you'll notice the two concentric circles of symbols. The inner circle (with the numbers around it) contains the Sentience icons. The icons themselves aren't really important, but the color is. The numbers next to each color reflect how many dice you will begin the campaign rolling for tests, as well as the number of resources you'll start off a round with. Next, the outer circle are called Concepts. These five images show up regularly in Dawn of Madness, from the dice to the story books to cards. And when they are combined with a certain color of Sentience, they become a Domain. So you would spend a Red Skull Domain when that is called for, or a Yellow Tentacle Fingers Domain (my own loving name for them) in a story's test, etc. If this isn't quite hitting home yet, don't worry. We're going to start having all sorts of game-related videos very soon, where we will dive deeper into this topic and many others. Speaking of which:


I'm not yet quite ready to start doing videos for all of you as I just got all my equipment back and haven't had a chance to set it up yet. But as soon as I have then we'll get this video thing rolling. I'm hoping to do live videos again (like we did in the Deep Madness reprint campaign), as well as gameplay videos and everything in-between. I have another idea, too, that's kind of crazy. I don't want to tell you what it is yet because I still have to work out how to do it, but if I can then I think we are all going to have a TON of fun with it. 

Okay, well that's it for this update! I will talk with you all again very soon!

Funded in 17 minutes!
6 months ago – Sun, Nov 24, 2019 at 05:15:58 AM

Holy crud! Guys, we just funded Dawn of Madness in 17 minutes, and the train is not stopping or showing any signs of slowing down! Currently we have over 1,500 backers, which is absolutely crazy! That is an awesome start to this campaign, and we couldn't be happier that you all are with us. It's so great to see so many familiar faces, and welcome also to all of our new friends! 

Let me take a second to introduce myself. I'm Byron Leavitt, and you'll probably be hearing a lot from me. I'm the guy who writes the stories for Dawn of Madness, edits stuff, and also hangs out with all of you. =D In case we haven't met before, it's nice to meet you! And, if we have, then welcome back! Either way, this is going to be one heck of a ride.

So, I just wanted to lay out a little bit of what to expect from this campaign. Basically, we're working to make this a campaign that is highly interactive, a ton of fun, and very memorable for all involved. I was thinking back to my favorite campaigns, the ones I couldn't look away from, and I want to recreate that feeling in here - and maybe even push past that. Will we succeed? I guess you can tell me when the campaign ends. ;) 

We're going to be doing a lot of live videos, a lot of other videos, a lot of story stuff, and, yes, hopefully a lot of stretch goals! So stay tuned, because there is some fun stuff on the horizon! (I have an idea in my head that I really want to make happen, too, but I need to figure out how to do it first before I officially announce it.)

Stretch Goals!

Ah, but I know what you are really reading this for: stretch goals! We're still scrambling to catch up on everything, so I don't have a lot of content on these yet. But here are our initial bunch of stretch goals (several of which you all have already smashed right through!)

I had to change out the stretch goal graphic before posting the update! You guys are unlocking things like crazy!

Actually, I just looked at the campaign page again and... yikes! We need to get started on another stretch goal graphic! =D

Distortions and Toxin

I'll be back with more info on these guys soon, but let me explain two things right now. First, what are Distortions? In Dawn of Madness, a lot of the creatures and monsters are tied to a specific Wanderer (which are the playable characters in the game.) Distortions, however, are not. They can pop up in any chapter, wreaking havoc wherever they go. Often they were once people who were snatched up by the Otherworld, and their inner souls have helped to warp and twist their outer appearance.

The Toxins specifically are based on the idea of murmuring, backbiting, and tearing others apart with their toxic words. Venomous fangs creep out from their upper lips, and torturous collars are around their necks - a reflection of the ways they used their voice to destroy others. (At least that's the idea I came up with at 3am last night.)

Like I said, I'll be back with more details on these guys later once I've had some time to catch up.

In the meantime, thank you all so much once again for being here! This is going to be a crazy ride, and I'm so glad you're here from the very beginning to help us kick things off!