Ahoy from Darrington Press, Critical Role’s new tabletop publishing company! We’re behind that tentacular horror on this issue’s cover, revealing secrets behind our flagship title Uk’otoa.
You won’t want to miss this fast-paced tactical card game of thrilling nautical adventure.
Uk’otoa: Be the Last Consumed by the Great Leviathan!
All sailors fear the tales of Uk’otoa, the all-seeing Great Leviathan beneath the sea. The nightmare scenario has come to pass—the beast has you in its serpentine clutches. As the toothy maw of Uk’otoa ravages your ship, you’ll have to run, push, and sacrifice others to win! This flagship title from Darrington Press is a tactical game of semi-cooperative card play where factions of sailors vie to be the last claimed on a quickly disappearing board by the raging sea leviathan, Uk’otoa—represented by a detailed 52mm mini of the writhing monstrosity! Players familiar with Critical Role might recognize the eerie Uk’otoa as patron of warlock Fjord, played by Travis Willingham.
Hex tiles are placed on the board to represent the wreckage of a destroyed ship, and are progressively removed as they are consumed by the dauntless Uk’otoa. Players take on the roles of two factions which they share with their neighboring players, and use cards to best position their two teams to survive. Will you play an ‘Unleash!’ card to snatch sailors off the board? Perhaps you’ll use ‘Advance’ to push Uk’otoa through the board, claiming enemy faction sailors in its wake. Will you instead bide your time to get a perfect combo ready for the winning blow? Each card in a player’s hand carries immersive, gorgeous art and easy-to-understand icons depicting the movement it provides.
Meet the Dream Team
Uk’otoa is a serendipitous marriage
of a concept cooked up by designer Jeb Havens (Burrows, Mother Sheep, You Don’t Know My Life!), who originally started talking about this game over four years ago with Ivan Van Norman, our Head of Darrington Press. Jeb is pleased that his creation is finally coming to life, saying “The core concept for this game has been rolling around in my head for years, so I’m absolutely thrilled that it’s finally found the perfect home in the incredibly rich world of Critical Role, and its larger-than-life sea leviathan.”
Joining Jeb for additional game design, Gabriel Hicks (Roll20, Paizo, Mythic Grove) contributed such goodness as an optional rule that plays off a fan-favorite running gag from the Critical Role show: Uk’otoa’s whispers. Whenever the Great Leviathan’s name is uttered in the show, the cast (and fans) erupt in whispers of “Uk’otoa...” Dive in on the fun with this rule variant, which requires you to whisper “Uk’otoa” when moving the mini onto the same space as a sailor! Fail to speak the beast’s name and you must discard a card from your hand.
Gabriel says, “This is the party game that I wish I’d had to play whenever I had game nights with a few of my friends. This is the game where you can have friendly competition and co-op in the same session and I love that.”
Uk’otoa is made all the more immersive by the excellent artists on the project, the game’s mini being a wonderful example. The Great Leviathan’s ‘look’ was not at all canonized before the production of the game, but after a creative discussion around the morphology of Uk’otoa, we were able to get this spectacular sculpt from Niklas Norman (Runewars, Imperial Assault, Fallout: The Board Game). Uk’otoa’s mini is ready to pull those terrified meeples into the murky depths!
The game’s beautiful and clear layout is thanks to Vee Hendro, known for making visual delights such as Good Society and Visigoths vs Mall Goths: “Uk’otoa has been uniquely wonderful to work on as it combines both my passion for board games and RPGs.”
Finally, we owe the vision of Uk’otoa, the ‘Pyrate’ themed card art, and that tattoo-ready box art to artist Hanna Friederichs, who first connected with us as a fan creator, saying “It’s every fan artist’s dream to get an email from someone like Ivan to work on a Critical Role project. I loved every moment of it, and I gained a new and profound respect for game designers.”
Uk’otoa is a fiendishly fun labor of love from an incredible team, and we’re so honored to bring their creative works to a table near you this year.
On the Horizon For Darrington Press
Much lies beyond the murky domain of the Great Leviathan! Behold our upcoming slate:
Critical Role Adventures
Guardians of Matrimonia
Darcy Ross is the Marketing Manager for Darrington Press. Her favorite should-be-mythical sea creature is the scaly-foot snail Chrysomallon squamiferum. So metal.