Rise of Man: Stone Age is our new strategic card drafting tabletop game. You'll select actual Stone Age resources among hundreds of cards to overcome Obstacles in each of 5 Rounds of play. You're a tribal leader, and you'll need to collect resources like Obsidian, Flint, Juniper Tree, Trout, the Woolly Mammoth, and more. The Stone Age is a treacherous time. Can you not only survive, but thrive?

This is an awesome new card drafting game with HUNDREDS of resources in-game. This is a real "gamer's game" with a lot of depth and strategy. There are 6 turns in each of the 5 Rounds of play, and the player with the most Victory Points wins. Victory Points are earned by overcoming an Obstacle or Hazard each round, and then accumulating specific Resource Cards in special sets to play Special Events, with true Stone Age implications. Players begin each round with 10 new Resource cards. Each player will choose a Resource card (all players play this card simultaneously on the table in front of themselves and keep the Resource card for the remainder of the game) and then pass the rest of the cards. (Each Resource card has attributes in each of the 5 categories in the game: Food, Predator, Health, Environment, and Tribal. Levels gained from Resource cards or earned and accumulated by each player throughout the game). This continues for 6 turns each Round. A player has 3 option each turn: 1) Choose a Resource card to keep and play (most common) 2) Play a Special Event for bonus Victory Points, or 3) Draw and play a Wild Card, which could be good or bad (gain or lose Resource levels, earn more Victory Points, etc... The game is over after 5 Rounds of play, and the Tribal Leader with the most Victory Points wins.

Check out this preview trailer of some of the game art, incorporated into our Stone Age story.

Some additional Video Tutorials regarding Rise of Man: Stone Age, via YouTube

Rise of Man: Stone Age, Game Pieces and Setup. (prototype components)

Rise of Man: Stone Age - Quick Gameplay Overview

Rise of Man: Stone Age - Resource Cards - closer look

Rise of Man: Stone Age - Obstacles and Hazards - closer look

Rise of Man: Stone Age - Special Events - closer look

Rise of Man: Stone Age - Wild Cards - closer look

Rule Book - Rise of Man: Stone Age - (Click and link will open in new window).

Why a game about the Stone Age?

I didn’t choose the game, the game chose me. I am fascinated by this time period. It’s full of beauty and danger, so it’s mesmerizing to me. People in the Stone Age were extremely smart and resourceful, just like us in today’s times when we need to be. Each new generation makes new technological innovations at an increasing rate, but the Stone Age times hadn’t yet reached the rate of innovation that we have today, as resources build upon themselves over years.  The Stone Age represents a time when what we call “resources” in a game were actual resources that were used on a daily basis to sustain life. No part of an animal was wasted, for example. An animal could be taken for meat to give energy and life to the hunters. Sinew from the animal could be used as a rope, thread, or an instrument to fashion together other tools and resources. The hide, skins, or furs of an animal could be used for clothing, blankets, and shelter from the elements. Teeth can be strung into jewelry. Antlers were used in tool making, as well as a multitude of other tools, and even carved into art sculptures. The bones can be used for everything from making tools to musical instruments. Bird bones are lightweight and hollow, which are tailor-made for flutes. When thinking of life 25,000 years ago, we sometimes make the mistake of thinking that these people were somehow not as smart as we are today. It’s in fact the opposite. They were people just as we are today, just in a much harsher environment. 

Why are there so many cards in the game?

Having a greater variety of Resource cards improves and maximizes gameplay. Instead of “Wood” as a resource, I included 19 different trees, for example (Maple, Birch, Ash, etc...).  Each tree has different real life benefits to the game. For example, some types of wood are better for building shelters or boats. An Ash tree was fantastic for creating a spear. Maple and Yew trees were perfect for fashioning bows, and all of this is thoroughly research to have historical significance. The number of “core” Resource cards in the game stay the same, while introducing an element of change with a number of new Resources each time you play. This keeps the game functional for 2 to 6 players, but also gives a lot of variety in strategy and game play. 

How did you assign value to each Resource card?

It was a time consuming process to add value to the Resource Cards. Each resource is different, and can represent different ways to be used. An elk, for example, can be used for food, and its hide would be used for clothing. Its antler could be used as a tool or a medium for art. So each new card’s value has lots of meaning behind it. Red Ocher was used as the color in cave paintings that are so well known today. Ocher was also used as a body paint for special ceremonies, including in burials when a valued member of the tribe passed away. 

What are some of your favorite Resources in the game?

The Woolly Mammoth and Elk are two of my favorite cards. Woolly Mammoth have been romanticized in the Stone Age. Elephants and humans are friends in many ways, as we can see in examples today. Woolly Mammoths would have been wild, and were hunted for food, but they also gave shelter through their hides and tusks. I love the elk because it was also relied upon for food, it’s a beautiful and majestic animal, and it’s also my personal favorite kind of meat to eat. Another Resource card I like is the Ash tree because it is extremely useful, and has a lot of uses in game. It’s a fantastic wood to use for spears because of its strength. The Burin is amazing because it was a tool used for engraving. Archaeologists have discovered some amazing art sculptures from the Stone Age made of antler, bone, ivory, and other material.

Can you explain more about strategy in Rise of Man: Stone Age?

One of the beauties of this game is that there is a lot of strategy, and the same game is never played twice. There is so much ability to replay the game because there are so many different levels of Obstacles and Resources, not to mention Wild Cards. With different Obstacles in each game, players must choose Resources to a degree that help them overcome those specific Obstacle categories. Some Resources then are in higher demand in different games. In addition, there is a core of specific Resources in each game, but there are a number of “random” Resources that are dealt each time a new game is played. This affects the strategy and outcome of every game. Further, when players need different Resources to overcome their new Obstacles each round, this affects which Special Events they try to accomplish during the game, as well as their opponents’ needs. 

Special Event Reasoning

RISE OF MAN: Stone Age is coming to Kickstarter. There is a ton of strategy in this game. Players need to keep an eye out for their own Obstacles and Hazards, and then choose Resources like "Obsidian", the "Yew Tree", "Elk", "Woolly Mammoth", or any other of hundreds of resources. Then, players will combine their own Resources in specific combinations to earn additional victory points through special events like "Feast", "Coming of Age Ceremony", or "Bow of Legend".  

Below is a list of some of the Special Events in Rise of Man: Stone Age, and the reasons why some Resources in the game combine to create a Special Event, based upon true history from the Stone Age. 

  • Animal Whisperer – One could theoretically begin to tame a wild horse by feeding it carrots. A wild dog could be begin to be tamed by feeding it meat.

  • Aves Necklace – This would be a beautiful necklace, fashioned by feathers from multiple birds, including feathers from a prestigious bird like the now extinct Teratorn or an Eagle. The teratorn was a gigantic bird which would have given prestige to the hunter.

  • Big Hunt – Multiple hunters would be needed to hunt larger animals or animals in higher quantities. This is represented by needing multiple spears and hunters, requiring multiple woods and stones to make spears and weapons. Animal hides and sinew are thrown in to clothe the hunters.

  • Board Game Night – Yes, board games have been around for a while. Wood is used for the game board; Bones and ivory are used as dice, meeples, and other game pieces. And who doesn’t want a snack (Fruit) on game night?

  • Boating – Birch, Elm, and Juniper are strong enough woods which also would be used in boat making. Sinew would help to fashion the parts of the boat together. An Oar will help to propel the boat. Various boating skills such as needle making, net making, and weaving will help in boating.

  • Bone Toss Game – A simple game to see who can throw a bone closest to or ring it onto an antler. Compare it to today’s “horseshoes” or “washers.”

  • Bow of Legend – Maple and Yew are legendary for making amazing Bows. Sinew needed to complete the Bow.

  • Bracelet – Various jewelry pieces are made with sinew as the string to wrap ornaments around. Ornaments could include shells, bones, or other items.

  • Care of Elderly – Specialized herbs were used to help various ailments in people in this era. These herbs help. Buckthorn cleanses blood and intestines, treats gout, and reduces fever. Chickweed is a leafy vegetable with various healthy attributes, and is also used to treat skin, as well as cuts, burns, and bruises. Devil’s Claw treats arthritis and fever. Foxglove is an herb used to treat rapid heart rates. Green Chirayta treats arthritis, colds, and upper respiratory infections, and is also a mosquito repellant. Parsley is a green leafy herb, and a good source of antioxidants. Sage improves attention, memory, and mood, and is now used in treating Alzheimer’s disease. Snakeroot is used to calm blood pressure, reduce fever, and fight snakebites. Watercress is used as a digestive aid, is a source of antioxidants, and is used as a stimulant.

  • Cave Painting Art – A feather from a bird is used as a paintbrush. The combination of animal fat (from a mammal) and coloring (from red ochre or yellow ochre) act together to draw and produce art on the walls of caves.

  • Celestial Navigation – A canoe or raft as well as an oar will allow one to travel via water. The Spruce tree is amazing with a multitude of uses, notably here as using the spruce needles as a source of Vitamin C. Other uses for the Spruce tree include resin used in boat-making, as well as the actual wood, and even parts of the tree used for weaving.

  • Chieftain – A rare and high-point value part of the game. A tribal chief would have items of significance in the tribe, including an important pendant, a staff of command signifying leadership, red ochre used as face paint during important meetings, and of course life-giving meat!

  • Coming of Age Ceremony – A ceremony in which a young man celebrates his coming of age. He would have meat (from his first kill), an herb of either ginseng, St. John’s Wort, or watercress, all of which promote general well-being and act as a stimulant. In addition, he would paint his body with either red ochre, yellow ochre, or woad (a yellow herb which produces a blue paint).

  • Fashion Wrap – A tribal member would have loved to wear a gorgeous wrap to keep warm during cold weather. It would be made from the luxurious furs of a small animal, attached together with sinew, and adorned with bird feathers at the clasp.

  • Feast – A feast isn’t complete without a variety of foods, including fish, fruit, red meat, nuts, and herbs such as rosemary or sweet woodruff to flavor the food.

  • Fisherman – A fisherman had a few ways to gather fish. He could fashion a fishing pole from wood and sinew and a bone fashioned into a hook. The skills of harpooning, needle making, and net making would also improve the chances of catching some food.

  • Flint Knapper – A flint knapper would create tools and weapons from a variety of stones, including Obsidian, Flint, and other Quartz. The hide is used as the apron to protect against stone shards, and an antler is used as a knapping tool. The hand axe skill is of obvious benefit.

  • Flute – Flutes were created using bones from birds, which are long, straight, light-weight, and most importantly, hollow. Holes were bored into the bone to create the flute. Chamomile or honey can be used by the musician to clear their throat and prepare them for making music!

  • Funeral – People were buried with flowers, even long ago. The buried could have red ocher applied to them in a funeral ceremony. Food may have been served as part of the various ceremonies, as people still tend to eat food today when getting together. Chamomile and Valerian Root act as a sedative to calm the mourners.

  • Fur Coat – A beautiful fur coat could have been fashioned from Elk or Caribou and fastened together at the chest or neck with sinew and the appropriate skills.

  • Healing – Various herbs and remedies were used to heal people. Aloe Vera is used to treat burns. Buckthorn cleanses blood and intestines, treats gout, and reduces fever. Chickweed is a leafy vegetable with various healthy attributes, and is also used to treat skin, as well as cuts, burns, and bruises. Chrysanthemum stops mosquitos from biting, fights air pollution, wards off insects, and treats fever, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Comfrey heals broken bones, and treats burns and arthritis. Devil's Claw treats fever and arthritis. Elderberry treats flu, respiratory problems, and allergies. Green Chirayta treats arthritis, colds, and upper respiratory infections, and is also a mosquito repellant. Hawthorn treats cardiovascular troubles and aids in digestion. Sage improves attention, memory, and mood, and is now used in treating Alzheimer’s disease. Snakeroot is used to calm blood pressure, reduce fever, and fight snakebites. Thyme is used as an antiseptic as well as an incense. Sphagnum Moss is an antiseptic, and treats cuts and wounds.

  • Meeting of Clans – A tribe would want to be prepared for anything, as well as show their skills to other tribes. A tribe would have a variety of uses for wood during their travels, and will consume meat (including dried meat) on their journey. Mint is an herb that also freshens breath (nice to meet you)! Rosemary is an amazing herb, used in weddings, as a lovely fragrance, works as a pest control, and is also used as a spice or to make tea. Spruce has a variety of uses, including spruce needles as a source of Vitamin C during travels. Sphagnum Moss is an antiseptic, used to treat cuts and wounds along the way. And who knows what new wounds will appear once multiple tribes come into contact.

  • Music Concert – A Flute Event will make up part of the orchestra. In addition, drums / percussion will be created through animal hides tied with sinew over wood. Antlers help to make up part of the percussion. Throw in some watercress to act as a stimulate (not to mention good health), and you have a concert.

  • New Baby – Wood will be needed to give a good fire, helping give light throughout the night and to ward off predators. New animal skins will give warmth and clothing to the new baby. Popular meat will give the mother and her attendants needed calories. Buckthorn, Chickweed, and Watercress are important herbs that will work together to cleanse blood, reduce fever, give pain relief, treat cuts, burns, and bruises, give antioxidants, and act as important stimulants as needed.

  • New Mate – No one in the history of time has tied the knot (or even gone on a proper date) without the following: flowers, dinner, a gift of jewelry, and fresh breath.

  • Obsidian Antler Knife – Someone would have put a lot of time and effort into crafting a remarkable obsidian blade, attached to a useful and beautifully engraved antler knife handle.

  • Pendant – More than a necklace, a pendant signifies someone of importance. It also holds the trophy of successfully hunting a Predator, which could include the claw of a Saber-tooth tiger, the tooth of a cave bear, or some other reminder of exceptional bravery.

  • Ritual – Tribes took part in various ceremonies to mark special moments in their lives as a community. Red ochre or yellow ochre would have been used to adorn their bodies while herbs gave special effects to their celebrations.

  • Sculpture Art – Various wondrous sculptures were created by artists who could carve objects into bone, wood, antler, and even ivory.

  • Shaman – This person was known as a healer, and helped to lead the tribe in various ways alongside the chief. Yellow ochre would paint this person’s body. Juniper had various uses, including as a medicine, as well as incense. The Shaman would have had a Pendant to show off their importance, and a horn could be used as part of an ornament on clothing, or as part of telling a story.

  • Shell Necklace – Beautiful necklaces could be made from shells, and strung together with rope or sinew.

  • Shelter – A strong shelter was vitally important. Using specific woods built for strength and/or flexibility would be great for shelter building. Some woods were natural insect repellants. Some woods burned less easily, which is a factor. Having the right skills to create shelter pieces and to put the shelter together play a large part here.

  • Spear of Thunder – Ash is the perfect wood for creating a flawless spear. Ash is strong, yet light while remaining straight. Obsidian will give this spear all of the piercing power possible.

  • Staff of Command – This staff is a status symbol, giving the holder special significance, symbolizing their power. It will be elaborately engraved from popular, strong, and useful woods like birch, juniper, or oak. Fastened to the top of the staff would be a special object, sculpted out of wood, bone, antler, or ivory.

  • Story Time – A good story teller tells of people and animals of ancient times. A great story teller also uses props, including these antlers. Chamomile will prepare people for bed, while rosemary acts as a fragrance. And let’s not forget food for a midnight snack. No one wants to go to bed hungry!

  • Trade – Some important items to use in trade could benefit others. Some items were exotic, hard to obtain, had multiple uses, or were simply out of stock. Shells were used in jewelry making. Herbs had a variety of uses, important to all tribes.

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