Das Zepter von Zavandor
Author: Jens Drögemüller
Publisher: Lookout Games
Year: 2004

review by


Two to six magician's apprentices compete in a quest for the Scepter of Zavandor, which is guarded by nine different sentinels. At first, the apprentices don't have sufficient magical powers to fulfill this quest, but along the way they learn to use the energy of gems to obtain powerful items, that can in time enable them to defeat the sentinels. The apprentices try their best to learn as much as they can from the Books of Knowledge they encounter on their way.
At the beginning of the game each player receives at random a character board of one of the apprentices. On this board is shown the amount of 'money' he gets at the beginning of the game, as well as the initial hand card limit. Warelia the Elf for example starts with only 10 'magic dust' and has a hand card limit of 4, whereas Botilo the Magician can hold 6 cards and has 15 magic dust at his disposal.

Each character has also advanced to the first chapter of one of the six Books of Knowledge. These books teach the apprentices valuable things; the more chapters they read, the more they learn. The Knowledge Book of Gems for example gives a 10% discount when purchasing new gems, and the Knowledge Book of Artifacts gives a discount on the purchase of items. The Knowledge Book of Fire teaches the apprentice how to 'enchant' (buy) rubies, and those who study the Knowledge Book of Energy Flow get an extra and variable supply of magic dust for every apprentice that has studied chapter two and after.
The Knowledge Book of the Nine Sages rewards the pupils with a one time sapphires, emeralds, diamonds or rubies for every completed chapter, and the Book of Storage teaches the apprentices about efficient ehm, yes, storage techniques, which allows them to possess more than the usual five gems.
Every apprentice starts with a sapphire and two opals that can be used to get energy and magic dust. Call it what you want, but in fact the 'energy' and magic dust represent money, and can be used to enchant (buy) more expensive gems or artifacts. There are various types of artifacts in the game: some of them give a discount when purchasing a specific artifact, and others allow the apprentice to enchant valuable rubies or emeralds, which produce more energy (money) than sapphires and opals. Some artifacts enable the apprentice to advance one chapter of one of the Books of Knowledge for free.