North Star GamesNorth Star Games’ flagship title is getting a new edition, one designed specifically to honor the geeks that helped drive the game’s early success. The company’s Dominic Crapuchettes explained it this way:

The BoardGameGeek community enthusiastically embraced Wits & Wagers from the start, and for this I feel a deep sense of gratitude.  It was because of their fanatical support that Wits & Wagers snowballed into a breakout hit.  It has now won more awards than any party game in history and sold over a million copies!  So we’re celebrating the 10 year anniversary with a version designed specifically for our biggest supporters: Geeks!  This version is the be-all, end-all edition of the game.  It has over-the-top components, stunning art, and unique in-game powers that create a new layer of interactive fun.

I visited North Star Thursday to get the lowdown on this new Wits & Wagers Epic Geek Edition. The game is distinguished from original Wits & Wagers in three ways.

First, Epic Geek comes with an entirely new set of questions, every one of which is focused on a major geek brand or topic—Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, Marvel superheros, and more. The idea is that the questions will cover things that are not only geek favorites but also are now well-known enough in the general culture for geeks to be able to share the game with their family and friends.

Second, the player boards, on which individuals or teams write their answers, have received a major upgrade. Epic Geek player boards are both larger (8×5 inches) and decorated with original work from famous geek artists such as Boris Vallejo and John Kovalic. The board art and associated betting tokens have each player representing one of six genres: fantasy, science-fiction, vampires, parody, superheros, or zombies.

Third, the genre each player represents confers a unique thematic power. The superhero player, for example, is able to move another player’s betting token to the correct answer, and in return for helping the downtrodden is awarded a bonus token by the figurative town mayor. The fantasy player has the power of dragon flame. Once per game, they can burn down another player’s wager, removing all their betting chips from the board. The parody player is the “wizard of odds” and can switch any two payout ratios.

Mockup Box for Wits & Wagers Epic Geek Edition

North Star is planning to have the game in time for Gen Con 2016 (actually the company’s 11th anniversary and apparently a reference to This Is Spinal Tap) but in the meantime will be running a Kickstarter project to fund some very cool enhancements. As an exclusive for Kickstarter backers, there will be a series of Epic Geek cards with questions and answers provided by designers, including Alan Moon, James Ernest, Andy Looney, and others—one personal question each and one question about the person’s favorite geek subject. Among the stretch goals planned are:

  • A seventh player board, most likely representing either a cartoon or monster genre.
  • Specialized question packs—seven cards, each with two questions about science, music, or extra geeky topics like Firefly or Dr. Who. (These’ll be grouped in to “Super Geeky” and “Ludicrously Geeky” packs.)
  • A collection of cards with every question from every edition, plus a larger box so all of it can be stored together.
  • Miniatures (a dragon, a vampire, a zombie, etc.) to help ID the genre being represented by each player.

North Star Games’ goal with the Wits & Wagers Epic Geek Edition Kickstarter project is to raise $100,000. The project is scheduled to launch this Sunday, the 8th Wednesday, the 11th. However, North Star is also soliciting fan input regarding genres, topics, and potential questions via a GeekList on BoardGameGeek. There are even cash prizes for participating.

North Star Games is a Purple Pawn advertiser.

UPDATE: Revised launch date for the Kickstarter project.