A Preview of the Unique Character Abilities in Blood Bound
|Blood Bound | Published 19 September 2013|
In July, we announced Blood Bound, and at Gen Con Indy, this game of deduction, bluffing, and strategy for six to twelve players proved to be a sleeper hit, completely selling out. Those who had the opportunity to play especially enjoyed the way that the players' character abilities interacted, so in today’s preview, we’ll take a look at some of the character abilities found in the game. We'll also offer some tips on how you may use these to your advantage.
Trust No One
In Blood Bound, you and your clan of fellow vampires must work together to capture the leader of your rival clan. However, your adversaries won’t sit idle as you work. They will be simultaneously working to identify and eliminate your leader. Since everyone is secretly assigned an identity and clan affiliation at the beginning of the game–you can never be truly certain who is your friend and who is your foe!
In a game of Blood Bound, each character identity has a corresponding ability. Your character ability, and the abilities of your clan members will be critical in determining friend from foe throughout the game. Most of these abilities help you reveal information about other players, by forcing them to suffer wounds–tokens with either rank or affiliation icons.
The Elder’s ability allows him to take a Quill card. Typically, the leader of the clan is the identity in play with the highest rank (one being the highest, nine being the lowest). Since the Elder is ranked One, any player with this identity is automatically the leader of their clan. The Quill allows the Elder to make the lowest ranked member of the clan the new leader.
If you are playing as the Elder and suffer a wound, you must Pull your rank token and reveal that you are the clan Elder. This will certainly make you a target, but revealing two of the same color rank tokens could also make your opponents suspicious, as only the clan Elders, Mentalists, and Guardian identities draw two colored affiliation tokens, instead of question mark tokens.
The Elder's ability, then, allows an escape if you suffer your third wound, for example, and would be forced to draw your rank token, leaving you one wound away from being captured, using your ability to make someone else the leader could be a smart play.
The Mentalist and The Assassin
The Mentalist’s ability allows him to force a player to suffer one wound. The Mentalist forces a player to draw their rank token, making his ability extremely useful for uncovering valuable information for his clan.
The Assassin has a similar ability, though instead of forcing a player to suffer a wound and display their rank token, he forces a player to suffer two wounds. This ability is excellent early in the game for finding out a lot of information about a player in one fell swoop, or used later in the game, is great for capturing the rival clan leader.
Since both of these abilities allow you to force any other player to suffer wounds, you could use either one of them to intervene on behalf of someone in your clan, to keep them from suffering a wound, and deal damage to a member of your rival clan, all in one clever play.
The Beast Clan Mentalist (left) and the Rose Clan Alchemist (right)
The Alchemist’s ability can only be used when intervening, and allows the Alchemist to wound or heal the person for whom they intervene.
This has several important implications. First, you could heal a member of your own clan, which is especially good if your clan leader is close to being captured.
Second, when healing a member of your clan, they put one of their tokens back to signify being healed. They could choose to put their rank token back, giving them the opportunity to draw their rank token later in the game, after suffering a wound, allowing them to use their ability a second time.
The person you have healed could also choose to heal an affiliation token, helping them better conceal their clan affiliation.
Finally, if you are able to gain the trust of a rival clan member, and convince them to allow you to intervene on their behalf, you can use your ability to force them to suffer a wound.
The Harlequin’s ability allows him to look at any two character cards in secret, and lends itself perfectly to the bluffing and betrayal inherent in Blood Bound.
Since information can be shared freely, but honesty is not required, as the Harlequin, you can use the information gained from this ability mislead others at the table. For example, you could use your newfound knowledge to try to get your rivals to capture the wrong vampire, thereby losing the game.
Maybe you’ll find out who your rival clan leader is, and rally your clan to capture him successfully. Perhaps you’ll decide that honesty is the best policy, and tell everyone at the table the information you discovered. Or maybe, you’ll spin a complex web of trickery by giving up some of the information you learn, but not all of it. The possibilities for skillful bluffs and cold-hearted betrayals are endless with the Harlequin’s ability. It’s up to you to decide how best to implement it.
Blood Bound will be available soon, so head to your local retailer and pre-order your copy today! Keep checking back for more news, including a look at the nefarious Inquisitor and the full rules for Blood Bound.
Blood Bound is a game of deduction, bluffing, and betrayal for six to twelve players. Each player belongs to one of two rival vampire clans, and fellow clan members must work together to capture the opposing clan’s leader. The catch? Identities are hidden at the start of the game, disguising ally and enemy alike. By attacking other players and forcing them to reveal information about their identity, players must distinguish friend from foe, and root out the rival leader!