A spoiler-free look at the Veil Dancer Hero Pack for the Aventuria Adventure Card Game. This expansion set features a new hero and a one-act adventure with adult-oriented content including violence, rape and other suggestive material.
This small box adventure is useful for fans of both the competitive duel mode in Aventuria and the cooperative quest mode.
Disclosure: Thanks to Ulisses Spiel for sending us a copy of this expansion. Links in this post may be affiliate links. Using these links doesn’t cost you anything extra and helps support this blog and our podcast. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
What do you get in the Veil Dancer Hero Set for Aventuria?
The Aventuria Adventure Card Game was designed by Michael Palm and Lukas Zach. The short adventure in this expansion was written by Christian Lonsing and the entire thing was localized to English under the eye of Timothy Brown. Artwork is from Verena Biskup, Djamila Knopf, Christian Kraus, Julia Metzger, Nikolai Ostertag and Mia Steingraber.
The English version of this expansion was published by Ulisses Spiel in 2020 after being part of a successful Aventuria Kickstarter project.
This hero pack is an expansion for the Aventuria Adventure Card game which is required to use the contents of this box. Check out my Aventuria Adventure Card Game review for more information on Aventuria.
The Veil Dancer Hero Pack contains a new hero Karima al’Jamila, a Novadi Sharisad. This character can be used for both competitive duels and for cooperative campaign play. Speaking of campaign play, this box also includes a short adventure titled Orgy of Thorns which is designed to be played using the new hero and up to five other adventurers, though it actually requires at least two others as we learned through play. This adventure is aimed at adult players and “may contain erotic euphemisms”.
For a look at what you get in this box check out our Veil Dancer Hero Pack Unboxing on YouTube. Don’t worry I’m careful to not spoil any of the story, but I do show off the new hero cards, the new henchmen, etc.
As far as quality goes, these cards match the quality of the base game. The set includes both a full deck for Karima, a reference card explaining her unique card type (magical dances) and all of the cards needed to play through Orgy of Thorns. There is also a small 14-page booklet that has the adventure text as well as the character background for your new Novadi Sharisad.
Note this expansion was created after the second printing of Aventuria so it uses cards to track health. There is no life wheel for Karima included, nor is one included in the Aventuria Wheel of Life expansion. Oddly there’s also no character token in the box, so you will have to substitute another character’s token or find some other randomization method when playing Karima.
Using the Veil Dancer Hero Set with Aventuria
To start, I want to take a look at each of the various bits you get in this Aventuria expansion and highlight what you do with each of them.
The New Hero: Karima Al’jamila
Karima Al’jamila is a Novadi Sharisad, the last surviving member of the Seven Achmad’Sunni trained by the swordmaster Rashdul. Karima is on a quest to rescue her mother from the clutches of The Lord of Vengeance. She is a master of the Novadi tradition of the Rahkisa and the Nine Dances of Rastullah.
This is all represented by a hero deck featuring a brand new card type and mechanic: magical dances.
Karima’s deck contains a number of magical dance cards (oddly only six and not nine given the background), each of which is a permanent card. These cards, when played, get three tokens on them. At the end of each round, a token is removed from any in-play dances and once the last token is removed from a dance it goes into your discard pile.
Along with this. Karima’s special ability is to add one token to each in-play dance and she also has some non-permanent cards that can manipulate these tokens.
Each dance has a different in-game effect including things like increasing her damage, giving her defence, improving her chance to hit, giving her a better dodge chance, distracting enemies by adding to their rolls and more.
To combo with these new dance cards, she also has a number of equipment cards that work better once she has at least two dances in play.
While she doesn’t have much armour, she does have the highest dodge rating in the game, with cards and equipment that can make it even higher during play.
Despite coming with an 18+ adventure there’s nothing that would make this hero and her deck not safe for work. There’s definitely nothing erotic and no euphemisms here, which I think is good as that means that you can easily add this character to your other Aventuria games.
The Short Adventure: The Orgy of Thorns
The included adventure is called Orgy of Thorns and is meant to be for adults only and for good reason. While there is no nudity or sexual acts featured on the cards, the Henchmen do feature some rather suggestive artwork and you will find an even more suggestive piece of artwork in the adventure booklet. Though it’s really in the text of the adventure itself, that reads more like an erotic supernatural horror, where this set firmly crosses the line into adult material.
Despite being a single act this adventure includes not one but two combats and some very cool and interesting use of the game mechanics to tie them together. As we’ve been finding with all of the Aventuria expansions, it’s very cool to see what they do to keep each combat and story feeling different.
As for the adult part of this whole thing, the content here is both erotic and violent. The Orgy of Thrones is an orgy of both flesh and blood. The story refers to it as an “orgy of violence” to seal a pact with the Mistress of Bloody Ecstasy. While the front of the book warns that there are “erotic euphemisms”, these euphemisms are pretty damn blatant, like the “well-endowed Swordsman” showing you his “sabre”. What I wouldn’t call the adventure at all is titillating, and it features a lot of male power fantasy vibes.
The most important thing to note here for anyone thinking of playing through this adventure is that there is a complete lack of player agency in regards to what happens to your characters and that’s going to be a problem for some people.
Now I get that this isn’t a roleplaying game, it’s a card game with a linear story structure and the lack of choice and decision points matches all previous Aventuria modules, but what happens to your characters is explicit and completely non-consensual.
Due to this I strongly suggest talking about this and getting everyone at the table to agree to be part of that kind of story before starting this adventure. You may even want to go so far as to have someone pre-read the module so you can bring up specific parts you may want to veil during play.
One final note about the adventure, despite it saying that it’s for Karima and up to five other heroes, there is a part in the adventure where it has two heroes, who are specifically not Karmia, make a test and unless you are playing with at least three players in total you aren’t going to have two other characters.
New Henchman Cards:
Once you have completed this erotic adventure, or if you choose not to play it at all (a valid choice), you will have a new set of adult-themed Henchmen cards that you can now add to the rest of your Aventuria cards to have them potentially come up in future games.
All of these Henchmen have the Human and Guard keywords, which each come up in other Aventuria adventures. There’s also one Mage. All of these also have a new keyword, “Belkelel” and the included adventure calls for both Guards and Belkelel keywords to make sure you get only these new adult-themed Henchmen for your deck for the short adventure.
Note there are no new Reward or Event cards added with this set. To make up for the lack of Reward cards for completing this adventure, you are instead awarded two experience points instead of the usual one.
Is The Veil Dancer expansion for Aventuria worth picking up?
So Deanna and I broke out the Aventuria Veil Dancer Hero Set and its short adventure for a date night game night, expecting it to be something fun to play that might be just a bit titillating and add some excitement to the evening. I have to say this was not a good choice with that goal in mind. Let’s start with some of the good parts of this expansion and talk about the new character first.
Deanna took on the role of Karima Al’Jamila and I played my favourite Aventuria character, Arbosh the Dwarf Blacksmith. Deanna found Karima pretty easy to play and really enjoyed the new dance mechanic. Like every Aventuria character, it took a bit to build up a tableau of dances, talents and equipment but once she did, the deck had a very solid flow to it. The ability to combo different dances for different effects was very cool and the character proved to be very effective, especially in this particular adventure, with a number of abilities that caused the enemy to have to add to their action rolls.
The one thing I noticed is that Karima doesn’t seem to be a very interactive character. There weren’t a lot of abilities that interacted with the other players.
Overall, Deanna really enjoyed playing this character and there’s a good chance it may become a new favourite for her after trying her out in some other adventures. Right now she’s ranked second under Carolan Calavanti the Half Elf Rogue.
As for the adventure, mechanically this was the best Aventuria adventure we’ve played so far. It did something very cool with the mechanics of the game where you play through one “combat” and once it’s over leave everything set up. You then continue the story including making one important check where you could technically lose the game if you rolled enough critical failures in a row, and then start a new combat with everything still out from the first one.
This actually removed one of my main complaints about other Aventuria stories in that you reset to zero between fights. I loved that things carried over between combats in this adventure. I was also very happy to see a one-act short adventure that featured two fights and it was very interesting getting to play a fight where right at the start your character is all buffed up, equipped and ready to go.
Along with this, the mechanics for the Henchmen were very interesting and thematic. Every single one of them for their highest result, which is often do nothing or run away on other Aventuria Henchmen cards, was that they got really into what’s going on and lost a ton of heath (usually 2D6) and then acted again. With this, it was possible for a Henchman to keep rolling this result and do a ton of damage to themselves. To compensate for this all of these new Henchman enter play with more than 20 health.
It was this mechanic that made Karmia’s abilities that added to the enemy die rolls so powerful.
This potentially this could be an issue when mixing these Henchman in with the rest of your cards. While these characters mechanics and moves were thematic and made sense for this adventure, having a “Mistress of Mounting” show up with the town guards when you are trying to escape town and having her exhaust herself during the resulting combat may seem rather odd and off theme for any other Aventuria adventure.
Due to this, you are going to have to make a call on whether to include these cards or not when playing other cooperative adventures. For me, I tossed them into the deck and figure if I draw them I can make a call at the time whether to use them or not in whatever adventure we are playing through.
Next, I want to move on to the problematic parts of this adventure. I’m going to add a content warning here as some of the next parts specifically deal with descriptions of BDSM and lack of control that some might understandably not be comfortable with.
First off as I already mentioned above there is a serious lack of adjacency in this adventure. Regardless of whether you win or lose the first adventure your characters are seduced and forced to act according to a vampire’s will. The language here is particularly cringy with Karmia being referred to as a mare that needs to be broken.
This “flavour text” would fit great when reading an erotic novel about vampiric mesmerism but this is a game and the situation being described is referring to one of the characters being played by the group. It’s not just some NPC that is being taken advantage of, this is describing someone at the table.
Later in the adventure, there’s a section where other characters are forced to “bring forth the rose” together through the use of Body Control. This is the part where you need at least three players, and the adventure then basically forces two players’ characters to have sex with each other.
My other complaint with this adventure is that the story is not that erotic. This is way more about an orgy of pleasure, pain and slaughter, than it is about sex. I expected an 18+ adventure to be suggestive and perhaps titillating, especially with what’s presented on the box and with the Arabian Nights style veil dancing theme. I was not expecting BDSM, abuse and violence.
Now ignoring the rather cringe-worthy story, we did end up having quite a bit of fun telling our own version of the tale while playing. With Deanna’s Veil Dancer doing her best to either distract or exhaust the guards while my dwarf was doing his best to just get dressed and get the heck out of there (I amusingly kept drawing armour cards and no weapons). Eventually, Arbosh reached a point he couldn’t take it anymore and started smashing heads. I also ended up in a personal vendetta with a certain whip-wielding Henchman that came back for round two in the second combat.
Overall we had a lot of fun playing this adventure despite its ridiculous story. Mechanically it was awesome. This was actually the best Aventuria adventure we’ve played so far. The two linked combats were quite fun and the new Henchman proved to be rather interesting and entertaining to fight against. The twist between the two combats and how you won was awesome, and I don’t want to spoil the fun by telling you exactly how that worked.
The new character is solid. She just might become Deanna’s favourite and I look forward to seeing how Karima fares in future adventures. As for the new Henchman, while they were great for this adventure, you are going to have to make a call as to whether you want to use them in future adventures or not.
If you enjoy Aventuria I strongly suggest picking up this expansion just to get Karima Al’Jamila. She’s a very solid character that can be a lot of fun to play. She has a lot of great duelling cards that are great for competitive play and she played very well during our cooperative adventure. The new magical dance mechanic is an interesting and fun addition to the game.
Along with this great character you also get some other stuff you may or may not want to use.
The biggest question will be whether or not your group would enjoy the included short adventure. Mechanically it’s solid, so far the best adventure we’ve played but it is rife with problematic content and a lack of player adjacency which means it’s not going to be for everyone. I strongly suggest someone read through the adventure first, and make sure everyone is on board before playing. Even with this you still may want to self edit the adventure, skipping over some of the more juvenile content.
I have to say that I am still loving Aventuria, at least as a cooperative experience. I still think that it’s the best adventure card game out there and while there were some issues with the Veil Dancer Hero Pack, we still had a lot of fun playing through it and look forward to trying out the new hero in other adventures.
If you are curious about Aventuria, check out our Aventuria Adventure Card Game Review, as well as my look at the Aventuria Wheel of Life and Arsenal of Heroes expansions. Also watch here for a review of The Forest of No Return coming soon, for an early look at this expansion check out our Forest of No Return Unboxing Video.
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