Master Tailor’s Poltergeists is a small box expansion for Aventuria The Adventure Card Game that works as a demo kit for the game. It is the English edition of Aventuria: Schneidermeisters Poltergeister.
Game demos are a great way to both learn and try out a new board game. I love doing a demo of a game to help me try before I buy. A demo can also serve as a great first step in learning the game.
Master Tailor’s Poltergeists features four very simplified hero decks, one deck for each of the main heroes from the Aventuria core box, as well as a short adventure. This demo set can be used to fight competitive duels or to play in cooperative adventure mode.
Disclosure: Thanks to Ulisses Spiele for sending me a copy of this Aventuria expansion to check out. Some links in this post are affiliate links. Using these links doesn’t cost you anything extra and it helps support this blog and podcast. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
What do you get with Master Tailor’s Poltergeists for Aventuria?
This is an expansion for the Aventuria Adventure Card Game, which is designed to be the perfect introduction to Aventuria for one to four players. A duel with this set will take only about ten minutes, while playing through the cooperative adventure will take around half an hour.
You do need to own the Aventuria Adventure Card Game core box to use this expansion.
I was not able to find an MSRP for this demo kit. It was originally offered as a backer reward for people who took part in the last Aventuria Kickstarter.
This small box expansion provides a beginner adventure and four pre-made beginner hero decks that can be used to play through a short duel or the included short, but rather fun and whimsical, adventure.
If you are curious to know more about the base game that this box expands check out my Aventuria Adventure Card Game review.
For a look at the cards and small instruction book, you get with this expansion watch my Master Tailor’s Poltergeists unboxing video on YouTube.
This Aventuria expansion comes in a small card pack that contains fifty-five cards and a small six-page adventure booklet. The cards match the quality of the cards in the core game perfectly and are broken into three sets.
With Master Tailor’s Poltergeists, you get eight Henchmen, all of which have the Supernatural, Spirit and Servant keywords, as well as three adventure cards, and four hero decks. The hero decks each contain only eleven cards, five of which are Action Cards and six of which are Endurance Cards.
The rules are clear and well translated, taking up the first three pages of the adventure booklet, with the actual adventure taking up the rest.
I have zero complaints about the components here. Actually, I’m impressed by how much content got packed into such a small box.
How do you use Master Tailor’s Poltergeists for the Aventuria Adventure Card Game?
The entire point of Master Tailor’s Poltergeists is to be an introduction to the Aventuria Adventure Card Game. This set was originally created as a demo kit for fans of the game to use to show off the game at conventions and other public events. It also works great for introducing your own game group to the game at home.
The reason Master Tailor’s Poltergeists works so well as an introduction is that it presents a simplified version of each of the four hero decks you get in the Aventuria core set.
As you can see in my Aventuria Adventure Card Game review, in a normal game, each hero has a deck of thirty action cards. While there are some duplicates most of the cards in the decks are unique. This makes it hard for a brand new player to learn what’s in their decks, what cards they should be watching for and most importantly which cards to convert to endurace each round, if any.
The beginner hero decks in this demo kit greatly simplify things by providing only an eleven card deck, sorted in order (the cards have numbers in the bottom left corner). Each deck has only five unique action cards, which are the cards you will draw at the start of the game.
The rest of the cards in these small hero decks are endurance cards. Instead of drawing them and putting them in your hand, at the start of the turn, when playing the Master Tailor’s Poltergeists demo, you start each round by drawing two of these cards and placing them face down as endurance without even having to look at them.
Using these decks to play Aventuria:
When playing a demo or a learning game of Aventuria with these beginner hero decks from Master Tailor’s Poltergeists you follow most of the rules from the core game with some small changes to make the game simpler.
- Hero Special Abilities are not used.
- Critical Hits and Failures are ignored during combat.
- Fate points can only be spent to re-roll dice.
- In a Duel heroes only start with 20 life.
The Beginner Adventure included in Master Tailor’s Poltergeists features a very short Narrative Phase, with just one check, leading to a rather engaging and whimsical combat against some animated garments. The combat features a unique hero action and players won’t be able to win by simply defeating all the Henchmen.
Note only one time scale card is provided for this short adventure. You don’t get four difficulty levels, as you do for the adventures in the core box and later expansions. Along with this, there are no rewards given. Which makes sense as this is meant to be a one and done demo kit and not the start of an ongoing adventure or campaign.
The Master Tailor’s Poltergeists expansion is worth picking up if you plan on teaching the Aventuria Adventure Card Game.
I am so glad that when Ulisses Spiele sent me a bunch of Aventuria products to check out they included Master Tailor’s Poltergeists. This small deck of cards and beginner adventure really were a great way to learn the game.
I loved how the simplified, eleven-card decks removed some of the most difficult decisions from the game while still keeping it interesting. Just because you don’t have to worry about endurance doesn’t mean it’s obvious which of your action cards you will want to play each turn. I’m very glad providing pre-set non-shuffled decks didn’t remove all of the player agency.
Duels fought with these beginner hero decks are super fast and furious and great for learning the basic mechanics of playing cards, using endurance, taking actions and combat. Each of the included action cards was hand-picked to be basic and simple to use.
All of the cards in the Hero Decks are permanents, so you don’t have to worry about any timing issues or using cards when it’s not your turn. The removal of critical hits means that you won’t ever be drawing from your deck or discarding cards either. This lets you focus on the core rules without getting caught up in card combos and minutia.
The cards you do get are a mix of buffs, weapons, checks and armour that do a surprisingly good job showing off how each character is different from the rest.
I was excited about the sample adventure in Master Tailor’s Poltergeists from the moment I opened it up during the unboxing video I recorded for this Aventuria demo kit. As soon as I started looking through the Henchmen and saw that they were all animated sets of clothing with amusing actions like “Flutters about frantically.” or “Flutters about in an elegant manner.” I couldn’t wait to try out this quest.
Having now played it, I was very happy to see that the demo adventure isn’t just a simple fight. That’s what I would expect from a demo of a card game like this but I’m very pleased to see that Ulisses Spiele didn’t go that way. Another aspect I love about this is that by not having a straight-up fight it shows off what to expect from later Aventuria Adventures where every combat is unique.
Another aspect that I appreciate from this demo kit is that it is not JUST a demo kit. The cards in this set are all valid Aventuria cards. Most of the Hero Action Cards are non-unique cards that can be used for deck building when combined with the core set. Similarly, there’s nothing stopping you from taking the Henchmen from Master Tailor’s Poltergeists and adding them to your core Henchmen deck, meaning that you could end up running into magical garb in future adventures.
My only real complaint about this box is that you do need the core set to use it. This demo kit does not include the full rules and you are going to need things like the hero cards, tokens, and health trackers from the core box to use it. Now as far as I know the only way to get this kit, so far, is to get it as part of a set that includes the core rules, so I guess this really isn’t a problem.
Which I guess does lead to another potential problem, getting a copy of this Aventuria expansion could be difficult. The Kickstarter where it was offered only ended earlier this year, so it’s possible that this demo kit will be sold separately in the future. I don’t see it listed on their website though. There isn’t even a Board Game Geek entry for it, though I have seen copies for sale in the BGG geek market.
Master Tailor’s Poltergeists, to me, is a perfect demo kit. A great introduction to the world of the Aventuria Adventure Card Game. It is a fantastic way to not only learn the game but to get you and your players excited for more. It does a great job of presenting a simplified, quicker version of the game without losing the feel of the original.
If you are thinking of picking up Aventuria I strongly suggest getting a copy of Master Tailor’s Poltergeists, that is if you can find a copy. If you already own Aventuria and know how to play, you may still want to pick this up. The short adventure is cute and fun and most of the cards in this set can be added to the core set to increase your deck building and henchman options. Plus you never know when you may want to teach the game to someone new, and this is a great place to start.
Now having played both a duel and the beginner adventure in Master Tailor’s Poltergeists I now wish every game could come with a small demo kit, something perfect for teaching the game and getting people excited for the full experience.
For more Aventuria content check out my review of the Aventuria Adventure Game Core Set and/or my Aventuria Arsenal of Heroes Unboxing Video on YouTube.