Root: The Underworld Expansion

Created by Leder Games

Return to the world of Root with new factions, maps, and an alternative game deck! ** Please note that only the retail edition of Root: The Underworld expansion is available for order. The Kickstarter edition which came with the Kickstarter extras for free is now sold out but all extras from the campaign are available for separate purchase.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

You did it!
over 1 year ago – Wed, Apr 03, 2019 at 01:33:21 AM

I am at a loss for words, but I will still try to write something. I talked to my co-workers, all exhausted with me from PAX East, about how to even approach writing a letter accepting the this amount of money as well as the monumental tasks ahead of us. Had the campaign been a moderate increase from our last campaign, I would have gone in writing thank yous for our current success. Then I would rest and get back to work. 

That isn't what happened though is it?

The past year has been filled with amazing displays of affection for Root. In Brooklyn, there is a weekly meetup for people to play Root. In one of their videos we saw that folks were already playing the Crows from the design I had released on BGG. Seeing rooms filled to the brim with enthusiastic players encouraged us to continue working on new factions. 

And, it wasn't just folks playing the game! From before the game's first public release, we saw dozens of fan made factions, maps, and scenarios. Designing material for Root seemed almost contagious. I was secretly hoping this would happen, but there's no way to know for sure if players will ever make that leap. I think its a credit to the streamlined core rules to Root that this was even possible. I encourage people to keep working on their designs and to know that we are reading them.

Root also seemed to ignite something in players. At numerous conventions people have walked up to us, describing how the game's presentation had tricked them into playing a conflict game—and how thankful they were for the experience! 

Fans have made all sorts of supplemental material: miniatures, box inserts, various tokens, and an impressive body of strategic analysis. We have seen many beautiful photos of the game being played and have been treated to countless reviews praising Cole's design and Kyle's illustration as well as how we delivered the game.

Because of all of this, we knew early on that we wanted to build this Kickstarter campaign around supporting the community. The incredible response has been an incredible validation of this approach. 

As a group we have been taking a more studio-oriented approach to design that capitalized on our talented team. Although Cole oversees the game's growth and development, we have all had a moment where we get to contribute to the game. Being able to test the game rigorously in-house has made the process, in my opinion, much more smooth.

I would like to extend my personal thanks to the following people:

Cole Wehrle: Continues to be the guide of the Root series. As I pulled the factions and maps together I valued his council, and thank him for his hard work on our Kickstarter strategy and helping to put the page together so quickly.

Nick Brachmann: Over the past year, Nick has has grown into a formidable developer. Vast: TMM is a stronger game for all of his hard work, and I can say the same about Root: the Underworld Expansion. He has deeply impressed me with his dedication and hard work. 

Kyle Ferrin: There is no way to express enough thanks for Kyle's contribution to Root. He has breathed so much life into this world and is an amazing coworker and friend. I am so  excited to show you all what he has cooking for the future.

Josh Yearsley: Thank for your current and future help editing. It's been remarkable to see your thinking about usability develop over the years, and, I think, every publisher in the business should pay attention to your work on Root and Vast. 

Caryl Tan: Our master controller of all things related to the community and customer service. She is amazing, and you should all buy her treats. Or I should.

Marshall Britt: He has proven to be an invaluable member of the team as we juggle our existing projects with those on the horizon. Also Marshall has been helping us with the bots!

Clayton Capra: Thank you for help with retail support and for all of your hard work managing our trip to Pax East during the campaign.

Alex Werner: Our incredible intern! Over the past few weeks, Alex has been assisting this project in dozens of ways. She also has been out hitting the comments as well. Thank you!

Our Playtesting group: Thanks everyone!

And all of the team would like to extend our thanks to the community and our supporters as a whole.

Three weeks is a tight timeline for a campaign and we have been to 2 conventions this month. I need to go into seclusion for a few days to rest with my family. I have ordered my employees to take it easy too where possible. Unfortunately some have had to agree to go later to help finish out the campaign and we all appreciate their support. The rest of us will all be back to it next week as Cole, Nick, Kyle, and I are on a pretty tight timeline to get this expansion through final development and ready for printing.

Take care everyone and I will speak to you all again soon.

Patrick Leder

Creative Director and Owner

Leder Games

Shipping to Brazil
over 1 year ago – Tue, Apr 02, 2019 at 01:48:18 AM

Hi everyone,

After much back-and-forth we have arrived at a solution for potential backers currently living in Brazil.

One of the biggest issues in shipping packages to Brazil is the high variance in cost based on weight. For this reason we couldn't arrive at a single shipping rate in the same way that we could for our other shipping zones. So, here's how we are going to proceed.

If you are living in Brazil and would like to back the game, please pledge at the $1 level. After the campaign you will be able to complete your order in BackerKit. Within BackerKit, we'll be able to adjust you shipping cost based on what you order so no one is overcharged. And, of course, if the shipping costs we offer are prohibitive, we'll happily refund your $1 pledge. 

As always, if you have any questions and concerns, please contact We are all travelling back from Pax East today and many of us are taking a few days off this week, so there will likely be some delay in getting back to you all. 

Exiles & Partisans PNP & New Projects
over 1 year ago – Mon, Apr 01, 2019 at 12:45:42 AM

Hello from PAX East! 

First, I want to say a little thank you to the many fans who have come out to Boston and stopped by the booth. It's been a pleasure meeting you folks and getting a chance to show you the Underworld Expansion in person.

Today we're releasing the final print-and-play kit of the campaign: the Exiles & Partisans deck. The original deck in Root was built mostly as a compliment for the core game design and was, in general, conservative in nature. While many cards could be leveraged in interesting ways, most of them were only good in certain circumstances. In contrast, the Exiles & Partisans deck is built around a completely different ethos. The special powers in these cards are strong and often game-warping. Like the expansion factions themselves, I wanted the deck to push the limits of designs and to offer new strategies to old and new factions alike. 

After things calm down in a week or so, I'll be writing a longer design diary about the creation of the deck and how it works. If you'd like to take a look at it, you can find the new deck here.

One of the best parts of going to a convention is that everyone on the team has a lot of time to brainstorm and work on new projects. Even though shows like PAX are a lot of work, they also function a little like creative retreats for our staff. Over the past few days we've spent a lot of time talking about the future of Root and the kinds of places we want to take the design. There are a lot of exciting things happening behind the scenes right now that we'll say more about later, but, in the short term, it's looking like we may be exploring a fan-driven smaller expansions in the near future, perhaps even a design contest. Details to come! 

Finally, we wanted to let everyone know that our partners for the Root role-playing game, Magpie Games, have a Kickstarter ending today for Wizard Kittens. Normally we don't do any cross-promotion, but, because we were already working together on the role-playing game, it only seemed natural to have Root's most prominent cat featured on a card. You can find their Kickstarter campaign here.

There are many questions popping up in the comments and Kickstarter messages and it is very difficult for us to track. If you have any questions or concerns please contact us at Remember that since most of us are in Boston there will be some delay in getting back to everyone. 

Last 72 hours!
over 1 year ago – Sun, Mar 31, 2019 at 01:54:16 AM

Hey everyone! We are almost down to the last 72 hours of the campaign!

As a  thank you for your support we are adding a new extra to the campaign. We are adding 2 more Vagabonds to the mix that Kyle, Cole, Nick and I have been working on at PAX: East.

The Harrier is a squirrel character that will have a movement based action.

The Adventurer is an Owl character that will have a an advantage while questing.

The Vagabond cards will be in the Exiles and Partisans deck and we will include new meeples for them in the meeple packs. 

There are many questions popping up in the comments and Kickstarter messages and it is very difficult for us to track. If you have any questions or concerns please contact us at  Remember that since most of us are in Boston there will be some delay in getting back to everyone.

Thanks again and we will talk to you all soon!

Digital Rules for Root
over 1 year ago – Sat, Mar 30, 2019 at 01:41:13 AM

Hi everyone,

Over the past couple of days we've been out here in Boston preparing our booth at Pax East and showing Root to convention attendees. The show has been great so far, and we're all excited for what the next few days have in store.

That said, this morning I wanted to share with you a small bit of news. Over the course of the campaign, many people have asked us if the success of the campaign would unlock some kind of secret stretch goal. As I've said in the comments section, the answer to that question is no. At the same time, this campaign has reminded us of the outstanding community of players that have gathered around Root. It's success is an incredible testimony to you all and we want to find ways to say thank you. So, as the campaign comes to a close, we will have a few small surprises for everyone. 

Today I want to share the first of those surprises: a digital adaptation of the Law of Root. We hope that this digital version will be extremely useful for quickly looking up faction specific rules on your computers, tablets, and phones. You can use the digital rules right now, and we’ll be updating with the new factions and map-specific rules once they’re finalized. We’ve been working with Jason Kotzur on this project, as he’s developing a system to make digital rules accessible to players without a lot of intensive development and maintenance from publishers. This is still an early version, and Jason is working on a few known bugs. We invite you to explore the adaptation (link: and reach out to Jason if you encounter any bugs or have any feature suggestions. Here’s quick word from him below.


I’m on a small crusade, like a noble Vagabond, to make tabletop rules more accessible to players, through digital rules adaptations that are easy to search and navigate. If you click on the link provided, you will discover that you can now easily access the Law of Root (Third Printing edition) on any device connected to the internet, including the one that you’re using right now. There’s a bit more happening behind the scenes, but the really exciting thing is that this process uses the original rulebook files as a source, which means it’ll be super easy for Leder Games to update with the all new content. 

I’ve written about the process in detail on my website (link:  which you might be interested in if you’re in the industry or strongly believe in the emancipation of content from medium, as I do. Please feel free to send me an email (jwkotzur at gmail dot com) if you’ve got any feature suggestions or would like to pursue an adaptation for a game that you’re working on.

I’ve identified a bug on Chrome iOS (and possibly other devices) which pops up when using the Find feature, and not properly closing it. Details on site. Please let me know if you experience the bug on any other device, and if you pick up anything else that doesn’t seem like it’s behaving as expected.

Cheers, Jason

We know that Root can be a little overwhelming for new players, and we hope that these digital rules help make the game a little more accessible. When Jason first showed me the project, I was floored by how well-executed his digital rule-book was and we are delighted to be working with him on this project. 

Alright, that's all for now. Take care everyone!