A Beautiful Game II: Kisses, Blood, and Lavender

So, for those of you who missed the first announcement I made on the blog a couple weeks ago, we’re a little more than halfway through the Tak Kickstarter.


As I write this, nearly 6000 people have joined up with us to produce a game that previously existed only as shape and shadow in my head. Over the last couple weeks, we’ve raised more than $550,000, and that is strange and wonderful to me.

As the kickstarter gets bigger and bigger, we have more and more resources available to add and improve things. And as a result, there have been a lot of additions to the kickstarter over the last couple weeks. Too many for me to go over here, especially as they’re all covered in perfect detail in the updates on the kickstarter page itself.

But there are a few things that I’m especially excited about. Things that, much to my delight, make this beautiful game even more beautiful. I can’t help but show them off to you….

*     *    *

Let me tell you a true story. And yes, I know that all stories are true. But this story is a little extra true, because it really happened.

I’m in LA right now (typing this update in a hotel room). Earlier today, I met up with Clint Evans to hang out a bit and chat. At some point, the subject of Tak came up. I mentioned I had a prototype set in my bag, and before too long, we were playing a game in the hotel bar.

(Actual footage.)

At one point the waitress comes over to bring us some drinks. She asks what we’re doing. We say we’re playing a game. What’s it called? Tak.

Then she says, “It’s really beautiful. I mean aesthetically. I just like looking at it.”

And I beam like a proud father. “Thank you,” I said. “We worked really hard on that.”

Part of what made the game we were playing a little extra beautiful is the fact that I had a early prototype of the wooden board with me.

WoodBoard2(We’re calling it the Arcanist’s board.)

It’s a little silly how much I love this board. You might think it’s because it’s pretty. (And it *is* pretty) But for me the real appeal to it is how it *sounds.* When you put one of the wooden pieces down on the wooden board, it makes the most *marvelous* sound. It’s the auditory equivalent of being given a sharp, sweet, kiss.

I’m not saying the basic game isn’t lovely. It is. What’s more, the boards in the boxed game will have levels of graphic coolness in them this wooden board simply can’t match. I love them both for different reasons.

But seriously. The sound of wood on wood. It’s like being kissed.

*     *     *

Lastly, here’s something that we really weren’t sure we were going to be able to do at all until just a coupe weeks ago.

Devi's Box1A complete wooden collector’s set of the game. The cover/board is be two-sided, so you can play in whichever way you feel is the most beautiful….

Devi's Box2It’s made primarily of walnut and maple. I say primarily because that reddish wood you see in the diamonds and on the border of the board? That’s called bloodwood.

Also? One of the sets of pieces is made out of bloodwood.

Devi's Box3

Which is only appropriate. As this is Devi’s Tak set.

James and I have been trying to figure out a way to make a posh, all-wooden box set for a long while. Something you’d be proud to have on display. Something that was a joy to touch. But up until now, every prototype we saw was either shoddy, clunky, or would have ended up costing more than a thousand dollars…

But much to our delight, the folks from Wyrmwood came in and knocked it out of the park. This is the most attractive prototype I’ve seen so far, and while it is spendy, the lovely folks at Wyrmwood have worked with us so that we can make it available in the kickstarter for less than half of what some of our previous options were.

devi's box pieces(I’d never even heard of Bloodwood before. Isn’t it gorgeous?)

We’re still finalizing certain elements of the design, including the piece shapes and the capstones. This is mostly for me, because if we’re saying this is Devi’s set, I need to make sure all the details are perfect. But the folks at Wyrmwood have been amazing so far. (Hell, they’ve already figured out a way to make the set smell slightly of lavender.)

So yeah. This prototype is already amazing, and the finished version will be as perfect as I can make it. But because the clock is ticking on the kickstarter, James and I decided to pull the trigger on this set and make it available for people to buy sooner rather than later.

And part of the reason for that is:

  • Fair Warning: Devi’s set will only be available through the kickstarter. So if you want it, you’ll need to pick it up by during the campaign, or early on when finalizing your kickstarter order.

You can find more details about Devi’s set and other cool things over on the kickstarter page.

Later Space Cowboys,


This entry was posted in Beautiful Games, cool news, cool things, gaming. By Pat36 Responses


  1. Haay
    Posted May 9, 2016 at 3:43 AM | Permalink

    Devi’s Box looks gorgeous! I’m positively drooling here. :-)

  2. jdaems
    Posted May 9, 2016 at 3:49 AM | Permalink

    Holy, Devi’s box is amazing. I admire the sense of detail that goes into everything you do.
    I tested the beta version of Tak during a family weekend and everyone absolutely loved it. Should try to get my hands on the real deal now (although I’m afraid Devi’s is just a tad too expensive for me).

  3. Erzberger
    Posted May 9, 2016 at 5:18 AM | Permalink

    I was dreading the end of this blog post, because I kept expecting something like this: “Unfortunatley, because of the weight and other complications, Devi´s set will only be availaible to US citizens.”

    So thank you for enabling international shipping!

    • Posted May 9, 2016 at 12:58 PM | Permalink

      We’re doing our best to make sure everyone can participate….

  4. James
    Posted May 9, 2016 at 7:44 AM | Permalink

    Oh no…

    I have this horrible twisting sensation in my gut at the thought of missing out on Devi’s board… But $475 USD is a gigantic chunk of change I cannot afford at the moment, and am unlikely to be able to afford in the next 11 days…

    It is absolutely gorgeous and you should be proud Pat. Any board game lover would be proud to have that set on display on their mantle. Provided of course that they have a mantle on which to display things.

    I’m going to have to discuss with my girlfriend, see if I can get her on board for this, then maybe I can bump up my pledge level to get that beautiful board into my home. Anyone know a good Gaelet?

    • Posted May 9, 2016 at 8:42 PM | Permalink

      You’ll be able to buy it as an add-on when you’re completing your order in kickstarter, too. But only for a limited time. It won’t be a forever thing, but that will give you a little more time to figure out the money stuff…

      • James
        Posted May 10, 2016 at 2:05 PM | Permalink

        I appreciate that info Pat. I’ve decided that seeing as this is pretty much a once in a lifetime chance that I will find a way to make it work. I’ve updated my pledge.

  5. driftwoodslog
    Posted May 9, 2016 at 8:09 AM | Permalink

    If you need another player to, you know, test this lovely board, I’m about 30 minutes outside LA.

    [email protected]

  6. cpatriquin
    Posted May 9, 2016 at 8:17 AM | Permalink

    Devi’s set is gorgeous and I wish I had the space to display it in my home. I also second the comment about needing a good gaelet to acquire it.

    If I may use this space to ask a Tak question related to the books: Is there any particular reason why Kvothe hadn’t played prior to his time abroad? Based on the information available it would appear that the game is well known in the world and it seems like something Ben would have played with him or set as a mental exercise during their time together. My apologies if this has been asked and answered elsewhere.

    • Posted May 9, 2016 at 1:16 PM | Permalink

      I’ve seen people answer this question before, but it comes up enough that I’ll make a point of anwering in the Tak FAQ I’ll be posting in a couple days….

      • NinjaofDoom
        Posted May 9, 2016 at 7:31 PM | Permalink

        Awesome, thanks Pat! I actually just asked this question as well on the KS since there’s a stretch goal about adding the Tak traditions of the Ruh into the companion book. I look forward to your FAQ, curious minds are curious!

        -The guy on the stage at the Eolian with his wife unit

  7. pkrug539
    Posted May 9, 2016 at 9:13 AM | Permalink

    So, when I heard this was a thing, I thought it was so awesome that I decided I couldn’t wait for the Kickstarter set to get here, and went to make my own. (Turns out finding materials that could stand up on their edge was harder than I anticipated, but success was finally achieved.) I put a photo up of my first attempt on the minion’s page on Facebook for those interested. I don’t have access to my wood shop back in Wisconsin while I’m in the Twin Cities for law school, so I wasn’t able to make a really nice looking board, but I have some other larger squares that were an early purchase to try to use for tiles, and I just arrange them as a grid.

    I took my set and my makeshift travel “board” down to a brew pub where board games are popular down the street from where I live and just set up shop on a table playing against myself. It took all of five minutes for someone to walk over and say, “What is that? I’ve never seen that.” It took about three minutes for that person to learn how to play and start playing me. An hour later, I had five people sitting around our little table learning the game. The owner of the place even came over and asked about it. (He’s a huge Catan fan.)

    I’ve had the game all of a couple of days, and I love it. It’s a great break from law school final paper writing when I need to do something else and still exercise my brain.

    It is, indeed, a beautiful game. I honestly can’t believe that someone has not invented this timeless game up to this point, because this is the kind of game that people will play hundreds or thousands of years into the future. It is the best kind of game, and exactly as Pat describes it: simple in its rules, but incredibly rich and complex in its play.

    From being one of my best college professors, my favorite authors, and now part of the inventive force of what will surely be one of the most beloved games out there once it takes off, Pat has enriched my life beyond measure. Thanks, man.

  8. Muller
    Posted May 9, 2016 at 10:14 AM | Permalink

    I would love to have a set of the clasic, or the Arcanist set, but i´m unaware of how packaging works. I live on mexico’s city, and i’ll be leaving for italy on june the 16.
    How do i get one without having to take a plane to the U.S.

    • Posted May 9, 2016 at 8:43 PM | Permalink

      They could probably answer this one better over on the kickstarter…

  9. Rmyers8888
    Posted May 9, 2016 at 12:05 PM | Permalink

    Hi fellow gamers ,

    I’m super excited for tak, I’m a big gamer another awesome kickstarter for a new game called legends of mist sorry to post here but they still need 3 thousand and only have 9 days left I’m hoping some game enthusiast will help out thanks guys


  10. Posted May 9, 2016 at 12:24 PM | Permalink

    The sound is why I prefer to play RPGs around proper wooden tables. Dice just don’t sound as satisfying when rolled on plastic or those silly cheap padded card tables.

  11. MereShadow
    Posted May 9, 2016 at 1:18 PM | Permalink

    I’m under the impression more boards will be released? Will any other boards be as high quality as this one? I don’t want to commit here- only to regret it later if another amazing board comes out. Sorry if this is a silly question, only my second time doing a Kickstarter.

    Thank you in advance!

    • Amanda
      Posted May 9, 2016 at 2:15 PM | Permalink

      There’s still a few things up in the air, but the good news is that even once the campaign is over you’re not set in stone on what you ordered. After the campaign, you’ll go through a pledge manager that lets you pick, choose, and rearrange your perk to make sure you’re getting exactly what you want. I say back for what you’d like now, and then if something nicer *does* get added, you’ll be able to adjust your pledge accordingly.

  12. Fourthwolf
    Posted May 9, 2016 at 3:35 PM | Permalink

    Warning! Long Post:
    Let me start by saying that I don’t comment on the internet. I don’t read comments either. This comes from two points: 1) I don’t care what I have to say, so I can’t imagine that anyone else could, and 2) every set of comments turns to infighting by page two and makes you dumber.

    Since Tak, I have downloaded Twitter, posted, joined, read, shared, commented, etc.

    I have to. I can’t properly describe how this game makes me feel, but I’ll try.

    The Kingkiller Chronicle has connected to me more than any other work. It feels realer somehow. It makes me want to DO something. But I can’t even figure out what. It connects more than LOTR or Star Wars. It has me trying to bind objects together with my mind, just in case, just IN CASE the magic exists in my world too. I believe it all, somewhere deep down.

    Tak has become my totem linking me to that world. It makes me feel like I’m part of it and I can be there, if just for a moment. I backed as soon as I saw that it existed. I’ve re-read every update. I’ve written a bad poem, I’m trying to figure out how to make a cape. I’m telling my friends. I’m making my own set and I’m still trying to figure out how much money I can justify spending all at once.
    What’s more, with every post I get more engaged and excited. It’s not just the game, the book, or the world, it’s EVERYTHING. I love how you’ve held fast to your vision and how you are running the campaign and how you’re building and sourcing the materials. I have almost RESPONDED to other people’s negative comments. I hit caps lock and everything, before my common sense grabbed hold again.

    So thank you. Thank you and well done! Sorry if this came out gushy, but I feel like Luke Skywalker asked me to hep him build his lightsaber, and I really get to. Keep up the good work, you don’t need to change a thing.

  13. peterMac
    Posted May 9, 2016 at 4:35 PM | Permalink

    I really like the wooden board and pieces but do you think this game would transfer to a smartphone app as well, it might help broaden its appeal and at the same time be a potential source of revenue for World Builders.

  14. onewhitetree
    Posted May 9, 2016 at 5:11 PM | Permalink

    Every time I read about Tak–especially when the sound of the pieces is described–I thought it was describing mah jong, which is very concerned with the beauty of the hand (there is even a variation, called richi, where you can’t possibly win without an at-least-somewhat beautiful hand.) The tiles, made of bamboo, or tile, clink together like so many dice. And to top it all off, mah jong is played in rounds called Winds (East, South, West, North) and the “honor” tiles are made up of winds and dragons.

    So I understand the sound you are describing. I understand that lovely happy sound perfectly.

  15. JessicaMay
    Posted May 9, 2016 at 5:51 PM | Permalink

    Heya Pat,

    I love what you’re doing with Tak, it’s a really fun game!
    I’ve made myself a cardboard set and forcing it upon my friends as I’m way too poor to buy the lovely Devi’s box.

    Do you plan on ever making a cheaper, less luxurious wooden set in the future for the Tinker’s Packs?
    I’d love to be able to save up and treat myself to a wooden set, but £329 in 11 days is simply impossible for me. Infact, even £38 is a stretch for the merchant set.

    If not, I may just have to borrow some tools, find some wood and make my own!

    Looking forward to your future works!

    And despite what other fans may say, be sure you take it easy once in a while – you must have an awful lot on your plate.

  16. A Sunny Moo
    Posted May 9, 2016 at 7:10 PM | Permalink

    Will the companion book be available after the kickstarter?

    • A Sunny Moo
      Posted May 10, 2016 at 6:17 PM | Permalink

      It will be. Sorry for the disturbance.

  17. mrscartola
    Posted May 10, 2016 at 12:26 AM | Permalink

    I liked Devi’s box so much, I wish I could buy it, but R$1800 (taxes not included) is ridiculous!
    Currently my scholarship is R$500, and even when I worked full time my wage was R$1200.
    Would you mind if tried to make my own?

  18. spoiler_alert
    Posted May 11, 2016 at 2:21 AM | Permalink

    I love the way the Tak project is advancing, and I’ve been giving it some thought too. The game looks fantastic, and I’m looking forward to making my own set.
    I reckon you must have already thought about all the possibilities for making the game as similar to the book as possible, and I understand how difficult it must be soucing stone pieces. The thing is that while I was thinking about this matter, I came up with the idea of ceramic pieces. They should be easier to come by and to make even in the US, they would be similar to stone and really easy to customize. I guess you may already have given this option some thought, but as I cannot be sure, I decided to share my idea.

    Lots of love!

    • spoiler_alert
      Posted May 11, 2016 at 2:22 AM | Permalink

      sourcing* Kist!

  19. Kimberlyand
    Posted May 11, 2016 at 8:51 AM | Permalink

    It’s so pretty!! I want it badly, but can’t justify spending the money on it. Instead, I upped my perk to the alchemist’s pack, so at least I get a wooden board. I just couldn’t resist Pat’s comment about the sound of the game piece kissing the board.

    Pretty psyched to have a travel version too.

    I haven’t played many board games in the last decade, but I really plan on playing this one. Now, I just have to find a fellow nerd to learn this beautiful game with me.

    • Kimberlyand
      Posted May 13, 2016 at 10:08 AM | Permalink

      Devi’s board!! And a cloth board!!

      I think my excitement level at this point could be called “gibbering”.

      • Kimberlyand
        Posted May 13, 2016 at 10:10 AM | Permalink

        .. my poor credit card.

    Posted May 12, 2016 at 12:29 AM | Permalink

    While you game may be exciting it has been 5 years since your last book has released and book 3 has no tentantive dates you need to start working on that or you are going to start losing alot of fans includoling myself. I am sure you have already started to lose far bit. Enough to make a difference, fucking come on, already. We are sick and tired of waited for book three, who cares if the series is unfinished. Release what you have with the promise of a quick fourth book. You will get the money just give us something. For fucks sakes man, give us something.

    • jdaems
      Posted May 12, 2016 at 6:58 AM | Permalink

      fan: noun [C] (PERSON) someone who admires and supports a person

      Pat has created not just books, but an entire world. A world that, for many fans, including myself, is made more tangible because of the creation of this game. A feat which, frankly, I thought was impossible until I tried playing it myself. To have something that is so intricately interwoven with his wonderful world transcend that world straight into our own, to have a game that is so fresh yet timeless at the same time, that’s a whole different kind of magic altogether.

      Everything Pat has created since the Wise Man’s Fear: the short stories, Auri’s story, the Pairs games, and now Tak, every single thing is as much a part of that world as the books are, as a future book 3 would be.

      This game is Pat giving something. Much more than ‘something’. A story lives beyond the pages of the books you read it in, and those who understand that respect that, and have the patience to wait for more, whichever shape it takes.

  21. Posted May 12, 2016 at 4:03 PM | Permalink

    This set looks phenomenal! It reminds me of a chess set I had as a kid. Really nice quality. Also bloodwood? Could there have been a more perfect wood for Devi’s set? I think not. Thanks for taking the time to assemble such a magnificent piece of joy into physical form and for making it affordable enough that I don’t have to eat gruel all month! You rock Rothfuss!

  22. Bokonon
    Posted May 14, 2016 at 9:29 AM | Permalink

    So, I asked this last week on the KS page, and got an answer from James from the pragmatic “I did it to conserve space” side of things, but I wanted to know your thoughts on a question we discussed at some length over on the subreddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/Tak/comments/4hjxia/question_about_6x6_hybrid_board_odd_sized_or_even/).

    It seems to me that in Temerant, the average tavern player probably wouldn’t be spending the several talents it would likely cost to have a custom-built fancy Tak board built with hybrid inlays to play multiple board sizes, etc. After all, it sounds like tavern players just play on whatever they have handy, even if that’s just a coin or a pile of salt to mark a center square.

    Instead, it seems to me that if anyone in Temerant were to own a fancy wood/marble/metal board with diamonds or circles inlaid for multiple board sizes, it would be those with money – i.e., those in the courts. And, since the “default” board size for court players is the 6×6, it seems natural to assume that they would prefer boards with 6×6 squares, with the circle/diamond inlays used to play the smaller odd-sized games like 5×5. I’m working on building a wood board along these lines (still not finished – need to add molding, final sand, and add linseed oil: http://imgur.com/NH2oMVk

    What is your thought on this? I know that James made his hybrid design around the 5×5 because a) it fits in a smaller box for shipping/shelf space and b) because he assumes probably correctly that most people picking up his game will play lots of 5×5. But, from a Temerant lore perspective, do you agree that it seems likely most courtly hybrid boards would have been built around the 6×6 square board, to make the game the courts play more, well, beautiful?

  23. Twitch
    Posted May 14, 2016 at 6:45 PM | Permalink

    I would love to see a four-plate door version gameboard of copper, tin, and iron. I know that is probably outside the scope of the kickstarter, but can you imagine the epicness? I sure can!

  24. Maxtorq
    Posted May 15, 2016 at 9:19 PM | Permalink

    How close is the archanists board to devi’s board?

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