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Divinity: Original Sin board game on Kickstarter is worth it just for the pitch video

Inspired by the Legacy system, the role-playing board game is completely replayable

Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

The world of Divinity is headed to the tabletop. Larian Studios, in cooperation with Lynnvander Studios, is Kickstarting Divinity: Original Sin the Board Game. The campaign promises an evolving storyline, with copies up for pre-order at $120. That puts it on par with massive RPG board games like Gloomhaven.

We haven’t had a chance to demo the game yet, but the campaign page is worth a visit for the charming seven-minute pitch video alone.

Larian is no stranger to Kickstarter. Both Divinity: Original Sin and Divinity: Original Sin 2 began with crowdfunding campaigns. This time around the company is asking for $160,000, and at time of publication it’s just a few thousand dollars short of that goal.

This isn’t the only project that Larian is involved in at the moment. It is also developing Baldur’s Gate 3 with Wizards of the Coast. The effort has meant it had to previously sideline a commitment to create Divinity: Fallen Heroes, which it was producing with the team at Logic Artists.

Digging into the board game itself, the team says it was inspired by Rob Daviau’s Legacy system. (Which is ironic, since the Legacy system itself was heavily inspired by video games.)

In a Legacy-style game, players learn the game systems slowly over the first few opening games. From there, the game changes and evolves, with players making their mark on the game pieces themselves and even destroying some of them. Lynnvander’s new Chronicle system shares some of those same features, but designer Tommy Gofton says that Divinity: Original Sin the Board Game will be entirely non-destructive.

“I had a problem with destroying the game,” Gofton explains in one of the campaign’s many embedded videos. “This one, you don’t destroy the game. [...] We’ve done it in a way that you can actually reset the game and play it again, and make meaningful choices that have permanent consequences that then get reset in your narrative.”

As far as Kickstarter campaigns go, this one is extremely thorough and includes multiple walkthroughs and tutorials of its various systems. One thing that the campaign does not include is any statement on Kickstarter’s ongoing labor issues. Polygon has reached out to the team for a statement on that company’s refusal to voluntarily recognize Kickstarter United. The campaign runs through Dec. 20, with delivery dates promised by Oct. 2020.