We are Benjamin and Kerstin Brinckmann, both born in 1981 in Northern Germany and thus children of the golden 80es which we still appreciate greatly today for the many beautiful memories we have of them. Our enthusiasm for boardgames and videogames has its root in that easygoing decade which has imprinted itself on us with its unique style and aesthetics.
The three of us: Kerstin, Benjamin, and our beloved little sunshine, Niklas.
When we met in 2005, both of us already having finished our respective educations and professional training, we quickly discovered that we would love to develop a boardgame together. We created the first version of Mystic Path purely as a hobby and gave it the subtitle Nebel um Burg Tiefenkaastl. This version received a very small publishing run and was even presented at Essen SPIEL 2009. However, at the time, we were working with very limited resources. Today, we have gained so much experience that we finally find ourselves able to realize the huge potential for improvement that we have always saw under a new name: Ballads & Tales.Ballads & Tales‘ design has been revamped from the ground up. I (Benjamin) redesigned the floor parts and most of the other components to the highest visual standard. Fascinating 3D cardboard standees improve the playing experience by a country mile and lend even more depth to the adventures. Different tokens aid players in visualizing exciting situations even better than before. And, last but not least, our amazing collaboration with the highly talented artist Valbona Atanaskovska, or Bona for short, has given Ballads & Tales: Journey of the Brave a distinctive and enchantingly beautiful new face.Little remains of the original game. Together, we have taken the original rulebook, which hewed much too closely to many Pen-and-Paper RPGs, and reworked it completely, adding many new creative ideas while retaining some elements that had proven effective and made Mystic Path unique. Simple, dynamic, and action-packed combat rules that easily adapt to players’ individual ideas through the use of unique heroes and many different items of equipment make up the core of the new rulebook.The long campaign, which was once the whole base game, has been moved to the separate story expansion Castle in the Endless Mist, as not all player groups have enough time to commit to such an epic story. Besides the plot, we have completely reworked other aspects of the campaign, too: Adventures have become more varied, riddles underwent some retooling and Bona redrew the included map of the village from scratch.
Bona at work on the cover of the Castles in the Endless Mist expansion. Her largest painting to date.
Bona, who earned her degree in graphic design in Skopje, Macedonia, in 1997 after graduating from the state-run art school, early on started to focus on breathtaking landscapes, beautiful and aesthetic nudes and impressive still life paintings. As an artist, Bona can look back on decades of experience.Over the course of her career, Bona has won the hearts of many loyal fans and regularly holds well-received exhibitions of her unique works. If you would like to discover more of her art or even hang one of her fascinating originals in your home, please visit her website at www.bonaskunst.de or check out her profile on artoffer.
Cover art for Ballads & Tales: Journey of the Brave
Other CollaboratorsThe multi-talented Pietro D’Amore, or Piet for short, created the cover art as well as the heroes for the first version of Mystic Path. We were delighted to have him design the new logo for Ballads & Tales: Journey of the Brave. Perfectly color-coordinated with the rest of the artwork, this fantastic trademark works in perfect harmony with the whole of the product and enhances each cover by adding another exciting element.Lisa Lenz created the original logo, furniture tokens and creatures for the first version of Mystic Path. However, as other projects have since taken up the lion’s share of her time, she was only able to assist in creating the art for some playing cards in Ballads & Tales: Journey of the Brave.Whenever translator Christina Brombach is not following her passion for boardgames and RPGs, she works as a social media manager for AMIGO Spiel + Freizeit and loves translating boardgame rulebooks (for AMIGO Spiele, Fantasmagoria Games and others), novels (mostly set in the Shadowrun universe for Pegasus Spiele) and RPG books (most recently for the hugely successful crowdfunding campaign for Lex Arcana for Uhrwerk Verlag). You can find out more about her and her work at www.christinabrombach.com.