The Decemberists…Boardgame?

Here’s something I didn’t know: The Decemberists (indie folk rock band from Portland, Oregon) love board games.

They love them so much, they made one based off of a photoshoot they did back in 2009. They wanted the photos to depict a secret society playing a mysterious board game named Illimat. Over the years the band has made a ritual out of playing a board game before each sound check at their concerts and recently they decided to bring their prop game Illimat to life via the handiwork of Keith Baker (designer of Gloom and Ebberon).

jessasm chatJess: Keith and Twogether Studios have created a 2-4 player game that looks to evoke a feeling that the game is from another lifetime. Illustrated by the band’s artists Carson Ellis, Illimat hits the nail on the head in appearances. I can totally imagine men in Morning coats and ladies bedecked in Victorian ruffles, corseted within an inch of their lives, setting aside their Ouija boards to play the forbidden, yet intriguing Illimat.

“If this ghost hits me one more time with the damn guitar, I swear… Why couldn’t we play Illimat tonight?”

The game comes with a cloth board, a deck of 65 cards, 8 tarot sized Luminary cards, plus tokens and counters. Similar to a poker deck, the cards are divided into suits of 13 cards each, except this time you get five suits total: four season suits, plus the star suit. The stars are a special suit, only used in a 4-player game. Each turn you will choose whether to play a card, stockpile a card, or harvest a card. The Illimat (box in the middle of the board) designates which season it is and the seasons specify certain rules on how you can play:

Winter: you may not Harvest.
Spring: You may not Stockpile.
Autumn: You may not Sow.

You can control the Illimat by playing a court card (Knight, Queen, King, and a Fool).


Once all of the cards have been played, the hand ends and you get points for being the player with the most cards of each suit plus each Fool, Luminary, and okus is worth 1 point. The game ends when one player collects 12 points.

jessasm chatJess: You can get a copy of Illimat on Kickstarter plus the stretch goals for $45. It has already funded several times over so you know the game is getting made. Head on over to the Illimat Kickstarter to pledge now!

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