A journey of discovery…

A Look at the Campaign System of Dawn

G’day guys,

Today, we are going to take a brief look at the Campaign system in Dawn, how it has changed and why it is a bit different from other games.

Hidden Sungem coloured small

When playing a Campaign in Dawn: Rise of the Occulites, we call it playing a Sungem Season. To survive through the Long Dark of the extended nights on Crepusculum (lasting Earth months at a time), the Occulites need to collect Sungems (which are crystals that form in the ground and trap Sunlight within them. This trapped sunlight, gives off a soft light and a warmth that helps keep Occulite Home Caves warm over the Long Dark. Without this warmth, the Occulites will not survive. During a Sungem Season, Occulites also gain experience and learn new skills. The gaining of knowledge and skills is represented in the game by Learned Abilities and by Victory Points.

The Aim of a Campaign in Dawn

The aim of a Sungem Seasons is to gain enough knowledge and skills to survive through the Long Dark, putting them in a strong position for getting a head start on the next Sungem Season they will face. To win a campaign, you not only have to beat other Tribes, but you must actually survive in the first place. Yes, that’s right, there is a chance that at the end of the Sungem Season, your Tribe may not survive the Long Dark and will lose by default. Clever planning and play will ensure though that your Tribe survives. Sungems are important to retain heat in their Home Cave and Victory Points (representing experience) can help your Occulite get the most out of their situation by allowing you to reroll the dice your Sungems give you to create heat at the end of a Sungem Season. The player that has the most Victory Points and has enough Heat from their Sungems to survive, wins!

Innate Abilities

When playing Campaigns, you will usually use the advanced rules for Tribe creation. This allows you to not only choose which Tribe you want to lead, but also allows you to customize their starting statistics.

Once you have chosen a Tribe type, you will be granted some Innate Abilities. Now Innate Abilities are never lost. They are abilities that your Tribe members are born with and these cannot be changed for any reason. You never need to worry about losing them.

Learned Abilities

As you go through the Campaign, your Tribe will earn Sungems and Victory Points. These Victory Points can be spent to recruit Luftles to your Tribe or even gain Learned Abilities.

Now Learning Abilities can be gained in two flavours. They can be gained from the General Ability Pool, which are generic abilities available to each and every Tribe in the game. They are helpful, but aren’t particularly outstanding either. The other option is to spend them on Tribe Specific Learned Abilities. These are abilities that are only available to your Tribe. These are more powerful, but also used in more specific situations. These abilities also encourage the thematic use of your Tribe in game.

Scenario and Situational Abilities

There is also another type of Ability your figures can gain. These are Scenario and Situational Abilities. These are granted to your figures or your Tribe, based entirely on the actions that happen during a Scenario. For example in one of the Scenarios (The Ridge), there is a storm building as your Tribe fights to secure a high up ridge. Lightning splits the air in every direction and there is a chance one or more of your figures will be hit. This is terrible news during this scenario as if they are hit, they are removed from the board and count as being killed. However they then gain the ability ‘Eyebeam’ for the next scenario, a very powerful ranged ability. Another example is in the Podmothine scenario. As both Tribes are fighting against a common enemy, if either Tribe kills another Occulite figure, their Tribe gains the ‘Treacherous’ ability which allows other Tribes to ignore penalties for attacking your Tribe in a scenario. But it also gives you the ability to increase the damage your Tribe does. So what you do in a scenario really does matter! This is also reflected by statistics being awarded to Tribes for doing different things. They are not just automatically awarded.

Choosing a Scenario in Dawn

The combination of these things makes the selection of Scenarios very important. At different points in time, the different Tribes will be wanting different things and so will want to compete in different scenarios. Now, the Base game comes with 11 engaging, challenging and downright fun scenarios, with many different play styles across the board. Choosing which one to play is very important. Players both select a scenario and then refer to the appropriate time of day, adding a number of their Tribal Tokens to a bag which reflects the likelihood of that particular scenario occurring at that time.

For example, in Crepusculum, Nymphlets only spawn towards Dusk. The Scenario Nymphlet Season looks like this: 0  0  0  1  1  2  4  5  5  4

This means that you can’t even play this Scenario in a Campaign until the fourth game and don’t really have a good chance of it being selected until the seventh game. This keeps the world of Crepusculum thematic and make sure that the choices made during a campaign matters. If both players choose the same Scenario, it will automatically be played, but the Tribal Tokens are still added to a bag and are drawn to determine who is the attacker in the Scenario.

Killed Figures during a Campaign

If a figure is killed during a Scenario, it will be ‘Reborn’ in its Home Cave ready for the next scenario. But the Reborn process takes its toll on your figure and because of this, it will always come back a little bit weaker than before. This might cause it to lose a statistic, or sometimes even a Learned Ability, but you still have control even over this with the use of Boost cards from your hand if they are brought back during a Scenario due to the Reborn Track.


Objective Decks

If we can fund the game on Kickstarter and reach our Stretch Goal of $50,000 then we can afford to produce the Objective Decks for each Tribe.

Objective Decks are what they sound like, a small deck of cards that have Objectives that can be completed for benefits during the Scenario, or just held onto for a benefit for the campaign. They can be added to any Scenario, thus greatly enhancing the re playability of all scenarios (which are already very re playable).

Sample Palaudis Objective CardTaking a look at this sample Objective Card “Leap from Danger”, we can see a few things. It is a Palaudis Objective card and thus can only be used by them.

It has some blue text, in this case it reads “Take 2 successful Break Away Tests”. If you are able to successfully do this, you have two options:

1) You can claim the reward listed below that blue text. In this case it awards you a more restricted version of “Leap” a Learned Ability for the Palaudis. Then draw another Objective card Or,

2) You can place the card face down in your play area and draw another Objective Card. At the end of the Scenario, you will gain the benefits in the top right hand corner of the text box. In this case, it would award you 1 Sungem.

As you can see, the decisions made even with how you use the Objective cards is important.


We hope that this little insight into the Campaign System of Dawn – Rise of the Occulites has interested you and perhaps helped you decide to pledge and/or spread the word about the game as it will not be made if we cannot reach our target. We need your help to get Dawn: Rise of the Occulites more exposure, so please consider sharing this with your mates. We would love to have them join the fun!



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