So last week I talked about some of the new stuff in Frosthaven and why I’m excited about it, but we still need to talk about the best part – how to use the resources you collect.

Let’s take a minute and look at the ramshackle craftsman in our starting town. On the building, it says that they can make us any item 001 through 012. But these items don’t cost gold, they cost resources. A Crude Spear costs a wood and a metal. That Crude Hide Armor is going to cost two hides to make.

And you might me thinking, “Ah, that’s all right. I’ve got two hides to spare and I could use some armor.” But the craftsman building is telling you something else: it can be upgraded. If you spend two wood, one metal, and one hide, you can improve the building and get more crafting recipes to work with. Maybe you built a Crude Shield before out of some metal, but now the craftsman can improve your shield. By combining the Crude Shield and some wood, you can acquire a Reinforced Shield.

But the craftsman isn’t the only building in town. We’ve gotta talk about herbs and the alchemist! Similar to the craftsman, the alchemist can use herbs to make potions, but with one key difference: you don’t know what you’re going to get beforehand. You’ve got a sealed folder with punch-outs on one side (think the dossiers in Pandemic Legacy), and it has a chart of all possible herb combinations (there are six herb types and order doesn’t matter). If you spend two herbs, you get to punch out that combination on the chart and receive the revealed results.

And, of course, the alchemist can be upgraded, too! They can gain the ability to distill potions that you don’t want, getting you back one of the two herbs you put in. And then, if you invest enough, you can even start crafting very powerful potions by combining three different herbs together.

And this is only the beginning. Other buildings are waiting to be built, as well, each giving a unique benefit to the town. Rebuild the walls of the town, and its defense will improve, which will help minimize damage when your enemies start attacking you. And yes, buildings can be damaged, losing their function until you spend resources to repair them.

There are buildings that earn you resources over time, buildings that make other buildings cheaper to upgrade, buildings that attract more mercenaries to the town, and so many more that I don’t want to spoil. Managing how the town grows will be full of interesting decisions.

Not all buildings will be available to build from the start, though. More options become available by retiring your characters. And as opposed to Gloomhaven, where retiring brought new characters into play, when a character retires in Frosthaven, they decide to settle down and set up shop in town, offering you a new building to construct. Don’t worry, though, there will be plenty of new characters to unlock, too. Also, the personal quests that lead to retirement will be unlocked in staggered batches, so you don’t encounter one that will take forever to complete. Instead, it should become available only once it is feasible to complete.

And that is pretty much the bulk of the crafting/building system, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention one last thing: rare resources. These will be very limited in the game, often found from fighting bosses or looting hard to reach treasure. There are only a set number that players can find, and so they must be used with care. Do you want to use that valuable gem to craft the incredibly powerful weapon? Or to upgrade the [REDACTED] building to its highest level? Choices!

The Kickstarter launches in one week! So exciting! You can sign up to be reminded here. And I know many of you are wondering about the web store. We just had a review meeting yesterday and everything went well. There is one last hurdle to get through, which, if we don’t run into any problems there, means it should be opening later this week. Sorry for the delay, but we really want to make sure it goes off without a hitch, which, in the end, will be better for everyone.

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