Across the Universe: Using Characters Outside Imperial Harvest

Many game companies have properties that span multiple games. Asmodee has its Seasons, Lords of Xidit (and possibly Dixit) universe. Fantasy Flight has the Cthulhu Mythos, Terrinoth, and others. Greater Than Games has several titles set in its Sentinels universe. Here at Broomstick Monkey Games, we’re doing something similar with our first batch of titles, all set in the land of Feorhyrna. But we’re taking it a step further with two of our games: Not only does the setting stretch across games, the very characters can make the leap from game to game as well.

A unique opportunity for multi-game characters

Aside from perhaps a standard deck of playing cards, there aren’t many if any games that can take components from one game and seamlessly incorporate them into another. Part of the reason is that most games are designed in a proverbial vacuum – there’s plenty to worry about in a game design without worrying about how those decisions will affect another game.

Imperial Harvest and Royal Strawberries provided an interesting opportunity, however. While two different games, they share a similar spirit of tactical decision-making, team combat, characters with archetypes and power-granting strawberries. As a result, it wasn’t too far of a leap to create characters with abilities that could work across both games. As such, every character that ships with Imperial Harvest, its promos or any of its expansions will be fully usable in Royal Strawberries as well, and vice versa.

Bringing in a ringer

One of the key differences between the two games is the particular factions involved. In Imperial Harvest, you have the Imperial Guard and the Northern Raiders, two groups who have no claim in the annual contest of Royal Strawberries. This creates a unique opportunity for players to draft in these “neutral” characters as mercenaries for their side in Royal Strawberries. Likewise, in Imperial Harvest, you could add in a few Royal Strawberries characters to add some variety to your teams.

The only real limitation is the number the archetypes. You can only have character from each archetype on a team, but there are still 8 archetypes, which makes for over 50 combinations per team, without even counting multiple versions of archetypes.

Breadth vs. depth

In many cases, having multiple games in the same universe creates a great deal of breadth, showing different aspects of the game world, with different experiences across the games. Perhaps in one game you’re conducting war on a global scale. In another, you might be a shopkeeper selling wares in the capital city. This is cool, and gives a lot of touchpoints into that world, but chances are, not everyone is going to be attracted to every game.

What Imperial Harvest and Royal Strawberries do is a little different. They are more similar games, but they still show different facets of the world. In one case, you’re the glorious heroes battling for supremacy of the realm. In the other, you’re either raiders or guards in the “off-season.” But the core mechanics are similar enough that if you like one game, you’ll enjoy the other. And when you buy both (Imperial Harvest will be on Kickstarter on February 17th!), you’re expanding both game experiences.

NOTE: The second game in the Feorhyrna series, 8 Kingdoms, is not compatible with other two games. It does, however, include 4 games that all use the same deck of cards. Because we can’t help it; we want to give you multiple games with one set of components. We’re multitaskers like that.