Thornwatch is a hybrid board game/roleplaying game set deep in the Eyrewood, a magical forest that covers all the land, filled with mystical creatures, ancient spirits, the common folk dwelling in their towns, and the darkness that would corrupt them all. All of this is illustrated in the beautiful style of Penny Arcade’s Mike Krahulik for The Eyrewood webcomics.

When you sit down to play, you take on the role of the Thornwatch, ancient spirits of once living adventurers, bound to the forest and sworn to return when summoned by those in need. Each player receives a deck of cards that represent your character’s abilities and must work together with other members of the Thornwatch to complete the task for which you were called. One player takes on the roll of the Judge, an ancient spirit of the forest, and controls the monsters and other actions of the game while all players work to finish one of the 15 storyboards that come with the game (with 9 more storyboards included in The Dark of the Wood). Each story lasts up to 60 minutes and can be played alone or linked together in a broader story.

Fans of the Eyrewood create and share stories, drawings, paintings, poems and more at our fansite, Eyrewood Adventures. That’s also where you’ll find all the updates and news for Thornwatch.

If you’d like to see Thornwatch in play, you can check out two of its creators, Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins, playing with friends in the Penny Arcade office.

Thornwatch Rulebook (PDF) Dark of the Wood Rulebook (PDF) Thornwatch FAQ (PDF) Thornwatch Demo Booklet (PDF) Thornwatch and Dark of the Wood Card List (PDF)