“Play the player, dear. Not the game.”
Tellstones: King’s Gambit is a tabletop game created by Riot that’s all about bluffing and memorization. The strategy game has had board game enthusiasts curious since Riot got the name trademarked in 2019.
Now, the game’s developers have provided a narrative trailer for tabletop fans. The video already has more than 1.5 million views on YouTube. The trailer shows a young Cithria being outplayed in a game by her father.
“How do you beat my every time, old man?” Cithria exclaims.
“Because I stole your focus,” her father responds.
This hints at the type of board game Tellstones will be. Cithria’s father describes how Demacians play games. They’re generally fair, but always play to win. They are always looking for the opponent’s weaknesses.
When Cithria asks what to do if opponents don’t have a weakness, her father simply replies that everyone does. All you have to do is “bait them into carelessness” or “distract them.” These are likely to be major aspects of play in Tellstones: King’s Gambit.
“It’s a contest of focus. So make sure yours is steel,” the father said.
In the fall of 2019, League of Legends gave some hints about Tellstones in Patch 9.20. It’s become clear by now that Tellstones takes place in the world of Runeterra, expanding on League of Legends’ existing lore.
The hints explained that King Santon of Demacia avoided civil war by playing Tellstones, which saved thousands of lives. In honor of Santon the Great, Demacians play their own version of Tellstones. The Dauntless Vanguard also play their own version of Tellstones, using it to “settle disputes within the ranks.”
Tellstones will be a two to four-player game that takes no more than about 20 minutes to play. Players are recommended to be aged 14 and up. No release date has yet been given, but Riot states that it’s coming soon on its official website.