The board shows the world, split up into maybe two dozen zones for major countries and areas.
Each player gets a specific character card to play, each of which has a couple of stats. The game includes a bunch of different card types, several of which are used to generate treasure and place them in locations around the world board. Each character starts out in his or her home city.
The mechanics are all based on cards and
If one or more characters are in a country that has a treasure, they each start going through dangers. Each treasure lists the number of dangers required to acquire the treasure, and the amount of glory points you get for successfully going through all the dangers.
Lore (5+) • •
This means you need to roll the number of dice you have in your Lore attribute. Any rolls of 5 or above are successes, and you need 2 successes (the dots). Clean and clear.
If you succeed, you can stop for this turn or push forward with another danger. If you fail, you may take damage, or you may fail the entire challenge, in which case you flip the danger card over to reveal the Cliffhanger you must face next turn. No matter what happens on the Cliffhanger, you must start the challenge over again.
Collect enough damage and you’re sent back to your home city (which may not be a bad thing, depending on where the treasures are on the board).
You get glory points for completing each danger, and for collecting treasure. You can travel to any of the cities on the world board to transmute your glory points into fortune points. Whoever gets 15 fortune first wins.
There are a bunch of other twists, too. Some dangers will spawn Villains, who are tough to beat, and may claim the treasure instead of you. When your character enters a city, you draw a City card, which may have its own dangerous conflict or may be helpful. You can spend fortune in a city to get gear and allies that help you in your adventures.
The pieces are beautiful: high quality, vibrant, with a good hand feel. Glory points and fortune points are represented with plastic coins.
I was lucky enough to play this with a group of RPG and game experts, so it almost had to be fun. I had my typical bad luck with board games, and was very close to last place, but the game was a blast.
It is expensive, though: US $65 or so. You can buy it at Boards & Bits.