GROWL: Madness and Plagues

Created by Joey Vigour

Pre-order the new expansions, which are estimated to ship in March 2021. We also have the Howly Growly deluxe version and other expansions. TO PURCHASE AN ADD-ON: Click on it, add it to your cart, then close the window and select any other Add-Ons before checking out. There will be some small fees added to the shipping due to weight increases. These prices are directly based on actual shipping costs. Contact us if you have questions.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

VIDEO UPDATE- nothing too exciting!
about 1 month ago – Fri, May 14, 2021 at 09:28:48 PM

This post is for backers only. Please visit Kickstarter.com and log in to read.

Here's the rulebook. Still on target for May 15th to begin manufacturing.
about 1 month ago – Fri, May 07, 2021 at 03:07:42 AM

Still on Target

We are on-target for going to print May 15th. This is the revised timeline from the last update.

Rulebooks

Here's the rulebooks. Sorry there's not a lot of images in it; I had to squeeze it to fit into the limited page count. You can leave a public comment by hitting the (+) button at the top. Constructive comments only, please.

Rulebooks for Plagues and Madness 

I updated a rule for Madness (which will necessitate having to film new instructional videos). Newer playtests revealed that having multiple triggers listed on the Gold cards and "pairing" a Gold with a Bite was simply too much "brain chaos" for mainstream players. So now each player has a madness trigger card and replaces it each Night. Works almost exactly the same, but less complicated.


This also allows for a fun setup method of playing with Madness Bites now - instead of having to have a separate deck of Madness (and each time you get a Bite discarding it and drawing a Madness), now you can just shuffle the Madness cards *face-down* into the face-up main deck. When a face-down card is revealed in the deck, announce it as a Madness Bite and give it face-down to the player of your choice. (You can instead choose the old way of setting up the game; this doesn't change anything.)


I also added more Madness cards that don't require a trigger at all. Keeps things simpler and keeps the focus on the deduction aspect. Some of the Madness cards cause in-game hindrances, which is fun because wolves can specifically choose to pass a Bite that is appropriate for a specific situation.

Plague of Covid I mean Darkness

Long delays, but project is healthy!
2 months ago – Fri, Apr 16, 2021 at 04:10:21 AM

Hi guys,

In the last update I asked if it is okay to delay this project to complete the playtests, and the response was universal support in favor of giving us time to finish it properly. Thank you so much for understanding that this past year has been absolutely brutal – the pandemic has had a huge effect on my publishing schedule.


I've been able to finish the Plagues expansion playtests, but the Madness expansion can't be fully experienced using online platforms, so it is (still) extremely behind schedule testing the new stretch goal content at high player counts. I've been running it at my weekly in-person playtest group, which thus-far has been limited to only 4 or 5 people (due to my extreme difficulty getting in-person players during the lockdowns). Several of my friends and playtesters have offered to help once they get vaccinated this month. I've set a goal to submit the project for manufacture on May 15th, which is 6 months later than my original schedule. At the current rate, we're not likely to ship until end of summer at minimum. I'm very sorry.


Why so far behind?

We're still dealing with Covid-related delays. Los Angeles has been a major hub of virus cases, and lockdowns have been brutal here for a full year. While I was happy with the state of the game a year ago, the huge number of new stretch goal cards we added during the campaign created a bottleneck - we can't include the content without testing it, and we can't test it while all of our playtesters are under mandated quarantine. To be perfectly honest, I finished what I thought was the complete Madness and Plagues sets back in February or March of last year – but I STILL have not been able to get an in-person testing group together to test with the full player count (10) due to the lockdowns. I very likely will not be able to do in-person tests at high player counts in the coming weeks, but I'll be able to confirm game balance by testing at 6 and 7 players and simulating higher player counts with tricks like playing with dummy hands. I can also test a lot of it online. In other words, I will do my best to make it perfect, but I won't delay the project much longer - I intend to submit for manufacturing very, very soon - certainly within a month at latest.


Minor Improvements

Plagues has not changed, but in the past few months I've improved the Madness expansion. The previous iteration played great for hardcore fans of the base game, but was too complicated for casual players – every single Gold card had a unique trigger that each paired with the madness effects of a different Bite. Now most of the madness effects are static and don't require a trigger – and the ones that do are triggered in a simpler way, using a shifting trigger card you keep in your hand. Gold has a slightly different function as well, and can be spent to gain powers. Everything is more elegant now, but the basic gameplay is the same: Bites carry madness, so the more mad you are acting, the more likely you are to be a human (since humans can't pass Bites). Mad players who start acting more sane are likely to be wolves who have passed their madness away. Wolves have to be careful to pass madness that won't give themselves away, but they can target their neighbors with specific types of madness that advantage the wolf team. I'm not sure which of these expansions is my favorite, but I am positive that they are different enough that one or the other (or both) of them will be a hit with your group.


Moving Forward

Since I don't want to launch any new projects until this one has delivered (or at least until we have a firm, committed shipping date), I haven't been able to keep an assistant or full time contractors. I've been doing most of the asset-generation myself for cost reasons, so I'm spread thin on my time. The pandemic has severely impacted my income stream, as distributors and game stores have paused business and/or closed completely, Brexit cost me thousands in fees, and at the worst possible time Amazon took down all my GROWL listings because they want to charge me a massive child-safety testing fee – which feels like a shakedown. But we're still here, and the state of the game itself is very good despite the delays. I personally am very happy with these expansions; they are so different from the other expansions for the game.


Once I submit the game for manufacture I'll shoot new teaching videos, and at some point once I have some extra time I will make an updated print and play version. Everything is behind, but I guess I've already explained that. I can't offer refunds at this time; shipping costs have raised significantly in the past year, so please understand the position I'm in. You will get your product; I promise!


Let me know if you have questions. If you need to message me about your address change, please give me until Monday to respond.


As soon as I have an actual manufacturing date and shipping date, I'll let you know. Again, very sorry for the delays.


Cheers and stay safe!

-Joey 

back of trigger cards

Quick Update; Pandemic Woes
5 months ago – Tue, Jan 19, 2021 at 12:50:37 AM

Hi all, here's a quick update for you since there's not a lot of momentum on this project. It is not possible for me to get large playtest groups together; I still have not been able to test all the new stretch goal cards at high player counts - the pandemic lockdowns here in L.A. are very strict, and my game group is out of commission. I can't test anything with more than 4 or 5 players currently, and I need to be testing up to 10 player games to guarantee proper balance and compatibility at all play counts. (Yes, we do playtest the Plagues expansion online using Tabletop Simulator, but it is not easy to test Madness, which is more of a physical expression style expansion. It works much better in person.)


Madness/Plagues was supposed to ship in March, meaning I would need to have submitted my files already. So it is already going to be at least a month late, even if I stop playtesting now.


If I'm not able to get the bonus content properly playtested, should I simply delay the release of Madness and Plagues until the summer? Vaccines are supposed to be available in Los Angeles by March, so I should be able to get my group back up again by then and finish all playtests. And since this is a party game, how many of you would even be able to play this earlier than summer anyway?


A couple new cards

Thanks WereDino!

Undead bonus cards

Here's a couple bonus cards for your old Undead expansion that will come inside Madness/Plagues. You need Undead to use them. (Undead is currently sold out if you didn't already buy it from the Kickstarter, but it will be back in limited print before we ship.)

Sorry for the delays; this is a strange time to live in. I'm excited to show you some of the new games I've been cooking up while we wait to get this one out the door.


Masters of Mutanite

Here's a new game from Knapsack Games that I worked on with designer Andrew Federspiel. It is a really fun game where you build a deck of mutant powers and then throw toxic waste and trees and cars and things. There’s lots of social/surprise aspects with cardplay and I really think you should give it a chance. It is LIVE on Kickstarter now.

click to check it out

That's all for now. Stay safe.

Joey

Playtesting and Preview of Plagues!
7 months ago – Mon, Nov 16, 2020 at 07:27:08 PM

Hi guys,

I've been drifting behind schedule due to playtesting delays (see below), but likely will submit the files to the printer within a few weeks. Hoping to submit everything by early December, followed by 2-3 months of manufacturing and 1-2 months of logistics getting things delivered. I'm not going to hold up delivery in specific regions in order to deliver worldwide simultaneously. (I tried to do that for the original GROWL Kickstarter and it ended up delaying the game for almost everyone.)

Playtesting

Playtesting all the new content continues. All the art is in at this point, other than the art for some of the stretch goal cards. One bad thing about hitting all the stretch goals is that each new card needs time to be playtested at multiple player counts, and that has been a huge frustration for me. Covid quarantining and lockdowns are very strict here in Los Angeles, and I have not been able to get more than 4 people together in person for a few months. Separate from the government mandates is the social pressure that prevents our playtesters from doing their own group gatherings, even with other people who have been quarantined. This Kickstarter was primarily focused on two new expansions, GROWL: Madness and GROWL: Plagues. Plagues is not difficult to test online, but Madness is incredibly difficult to test online due to its nature, so most of my testing has been for Plagues thus far. 

Plagues - Print and Play Next Week!

My goal is to get a printable version of GROWL: Plagues up for you by next week - it consists of 22 cards and 30 Plague tokens (formerly "heresy" tokens), so it won't be too difficult or expensive to print out. I will likely also make it available on Tabletop Simulator some time later. If you would like to volunteer to print out the expansion and be an official playtester, please join the Social Deduction Network on Discord and pop into the GROWL channel, or message me on Kickstarter if you get this update after the link above expires.


Preview of Plagues art

Sorry for the low resolution; next week you'll see everything in high res.

Plagues!
more Plagues!
Example of a Spell from the Plagues expansion
Plague tokens!

Ok, that's it for today!

-Joey