I mean, apart from 16 new characters and a new campaign book filled with 100+ scenarios, and a whole new app that allows for your campaign to be voiced by professional actors
A co-operative dungeon crawler based on euro-style mechanics, Frosthaven is the sensational follow up to the smash hit Gloomhaven, a 22 pound box that's sold a quarter million copies.
Like Gloomhaven, Frosthaven is a big game, and you may be deciding whether or not to plonk down a cool hundred for the base box. Here are 7 things that are new to Frosthaven that set it apart from the hit original.
More complex starting characters
Whether this is a pro or con is up to you, but Frosthaven is clearly trying to set itself apart from the newbie-friendly Jaws of the Lion set (approx $40 MSRP) which is set to release later this year.
The six new starting characters feature a teleporting melee assassin, a necromancer who sacrifices health for summoning, a shapeshifter who has two entirely different decks of cards, a spearmaiden who requires very specific positioning to her allies to pull off cool combos... you get the drift.
Gloomhaven's unlockable heroes slowly ramped up the complexity from its starting six, and it seems like Frosthaven has let designer Isaac Childres let his imagination run free from the start.
More secrets to explore
Frosthaven comes with a new puzzle book that allows players to really lean into the exploration and unlockable aspect of the first game. While Gloomhaven came with 3 sealed envelopes for players to discover, Frosthaven has more than 20. If you enjoy opening new things to alter how your game plays, this part of the game just got a lot bigger.
Weather and the passage of time
Timed scenarios were an aspect of Gloomhaven that the designer wanted to add; demons attack the town! deal with them before they rampage over everything! but he couldn't find a way to make tracking them not a complete pain.
But now in the frozen north a solution presented itself. Summer and Winter will pass as you journey through the game; when time has passed 15 times, the season will change. Winter brings significantly more dangerous threats - a new, more challenging journey deck, attacks by enemies, the closure of certain shops and buildings in the town...
Wait, Calvin, I hear you say. Shops and buildings?
Shops and Buildings
The town of Frosthaven can be built up by the players using resources found during their dungeoneering. An example given was the smith, which allows players to craft new weapons and items, and a herbalist who can brew potions. Players must choose which buildings to help construct, which leads us to:
A whole new resource game
Gold holds less meaning in the frozen north - here raw resources hold sway. Instead of looting just money from scenarios, the game now has custom resource decks (that change based on which scenario you're playing) to see what you can loot from the dungeons.
These resources can be used in town to construct buildings or craft items; you can also loot items directly from the resource deck. Perfect for those who felt like the looting system of Gloomhaven left a lot to be desired.
New retirement and character unlock rules
When characters reached their personal goals in Gloomhaven, that character retired and you unlocked a new character class to play. Not only have personal goals been streamlined so that players don't get stuck with difficult ones on their first character, when characters retire in Frosthaven they set up shop in town, providing you with a new building that you have access to.
Character unlocks also happen through buildings - if you construct certain buildings, one of the game's 10 unlockable characters will be attracted to your town and unlock for you.
More dynamic scenarios
A lot of Gloomhaven's missions boiled down to 'kill all the monsters', which made for an awesome dungeon crawl but less of a story based affair. Apparently Frosthaven will shake this up; obviously we don't know any of the scenarios yet, but the mind leaps to escort missions, protect missions, or maybe even heist missions. The more variety the better!
You can check out the Frosthaven campaign for the next 30 days on Kickstarter to see whether this game is right for you.