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Dungeons and Dragons: High vs Low Magic as a Player

Dungeons and Dragons: High vs Low Magic as a Player

I’ve previously posted about this (You can find it here), but that was from more of a world building aspect, if you’re playing in a game of Dungeons and Dragons, and your character is magical how does that affect how you might role play your…

TableTopTakes: Hanabi

TableTopTakes: Hanabi

When playing cards is too easy, there are games that make it a whole lot harder. The Mind and Hanabi are two of them that make it a bit trickier to play cards in order, and while I find the mind entertaining, I don’t think…

TableTopTakes: Not Alone

TableTopTakes: Not Alone

One of the harder genres of games to get to the table tend to be one versus all games. Fairly often these games are bigger dungeon crawls and they take time to set-up and teach. Not Alone is a small game where one person can take on a crew of a crashed spaceship in this quick cat and mouse game.

In Not Alone one person plays as the planet and the monster on it where a space ship has crash landed, stranding it’s crew. The crew needs to explore the planet and survive until they can get off of it, but the monster doesn’t want that. On each turn, all plays can discuss where they want to go and will play cards face down for the location that they are going to go, they can split up however they want. However, all discussions need to be able to be heard by the person playing the monster. Then the monster will pick a location as to where they are going to go, blocking off and hurting the people who went to that location, but everyone else gets to take the actions of their locations. However, the monster, when they select has ways to manipulate where they are, where people are actually going, or to cause more places to be bad spots for the players to go. As the monsters get crew members, they progress on their track, while the players are trying out last and do a few things to speed up how fast their rescue ship is coming.

Image Source: Board Game Geek

This game is a clever cat and mouse game where the players don’t want to accidentally all end up going to the same place and getting caught by the monster, but talking about it and planning can mean that the monster will better understand the strategy. So how much information do you talk around the table is an interesting piece to the game. Plus, cards being discarded and the monster being able to see what starting cards might be left for the crew, it means that sometimes it’s fairly obvious where someone is going to go. The best example of this is the beach as to why you want to discuss. At the beach, you can either light a beacon or use the lit beacon to help speed up the ship, but only one of those actions can be taken on a given turn. So if three crew members go to the beach, you’re wasting two peoples actions there.

Another piece of this game that I like is that the monster can get the crew, but when a crew member dies, that doesn’t mean the person is out of the game. Think of it as Star Trek with their seemingly unlimited number of red shirts. They are getting sent out of the crashed ship every time another crew member dies, so there is no player elimination in the game. However, dying is still bad, not surprisingly, because that means that the monster is getting closer to their goal which is based off of hurting crew members and killing crew members. So, if you aren’t careful, even though you won’t be out of the game, you can be speeding the monster on their way to victory.

Final piece that I want to talk about is the monster cards and ability cards. The game gives everyone a chance to feel unique. There is technology and things that can be scavenged from ship, so that means that as a crew member you’ll be able to be unique. But the monster definitely has more fun cards. There are a number of different things, where a monster can force people to discard cards, or maybe the monster can go to two locations or do something to make the planet block off a spot for players for a round. But the players might not know where that’s going to be, as the monster gets to place after everyone has picked their locations. The cards do interesting things, and you won’t ever go through all the monster cards in a single game, so even if you have played a lot before, the monster is going to feel different depending on the cards drawn, when they are drawn and the strategy of the person playing the monster.

Image Source: Board Game Geek

This is a really enjoyable game for me. I like the cat and mouse nature from both sides of the game. I think I’ve played it six or seven times at this point, and about half of them I’ve been the monster, and generally, since I’ll be teaching it as well, once we’ve played once with myself as the monster, someone else will want to play again and try being the monster themselves. I also have the expansion for this, but I haven’t played that yet, but I’m excited to try it soon. When a one versus all game can make it fun to play both sides, I think that’s a good thing for the game, and because Not Alone is a pretty straight forward game as to how it works, after a play, people can figure out how to play the monster, and I think, if someone wanted to be the monster on their first play, it wouldn’t be hard to teach them that as well.

Now, if there were a downside for the game, and I do know people who don’t like it nearly as much as I do, it’s that the game is stressful, and that’s intentional for the game. As the crew, you are worried about the monster catching you and dying, and even though you come back, if the monster is on the same wavelength that you are, you can feel like your letting down the team. I think for some people that is going to turn them off from the game, and the fact that it is only a card game, so it might feel like it’s heavier than the components suggest, though, I would not call it a heavy game.

Finally, let’s quickly mention the theme. I think that the theme is a lot of fun. People know the concept of being stranded on a planet or an island, so there is something for them to grasp onto. If someone has seen Predator, they can get even more into the theme, because that’s a lot what the game feels like, someone has crashed on the Predator planet, because there isn’t much that the crew can do to the monster. Is it a massively thematic game, I think that it’s more thematic than not, and while you can definitely get into the strategy and count cards, the game works best when people are enjoying the theme.

Overall, I really do enjoy this game. I like how much it packs in, in terms of tension , for the small package that the game has. I like the them, those survival on an alien world movies and shows are fun for me. I also like that it’s a larger group game without it being a party game or social deduction game. The cat and mouse feel of the game definitely sets it a part and definitely makes it seem heavier than most games of that it’s size.

Overall Grade: A
Gamer Grade: B+
Casual Grade: B

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Dungeons and Dragons – Picking Your Spells

Dungeons and Dragons – Picking Your Spells

You’ve now figured out what type of spell caster you want to be, so you have to go through and pick your spells and there are a lot of them to choose from. Good news, I’m here to help talk you through what you might…

Dungeons and Dragons: Warlocks as Spell Casters

Dungeons and Dragons: Warlocks as Spell Casters

One of the main Dungeons and Dragons spell casting classes is the Warlock, and Warlock is a popular class. It allows you to play an edgy sort of character, because you’ve made a deal with a demon, elder god, or high fey for some reason,…

10 Minute Marvel Episode 27: Morbius and Spider-Man

10 Minute Marvel Episode 27: Morbius and Spider-Man

There’s a chunk of news to start off, first we’re getting some new Black Widow footage, but that was airing after I recorded the episode, so go track it down now. Instead, the news focuses on a Marvel movie, but not one in the MCU, instead the trailer for Morbius from Sony has released, and then I talk about a rumor that has been debunked for the Disney+ Hawkeye show.

The main topic for the show is the 1990’s Spider-Man animated show. This is a show that I loved watching as a child, even without having TV, whenever we were at someone’s place, I hoped that I’d be able to catch an episode, and I did a pretty good job of catching a lot of them. In particular, I talk about a memorable arc for me as it was one of the first super hero team-ups that I saw.

I just want to say thank you for checking out the podcast, I hope that you’re enjoying it. If you are, please consider leaving a rating and review. We are on iTunes, Google Play Music, Stitcher, and Spotify. Those ratings and reviews help more people find the podcast and join in the #10MinMarvel community.

If you have any questions are comments about the show, you can leave them below. Or you can tweet them to me as well as your ideas for future episodes to @TheScando or by using #10MinMarvel.

Share questions, ideas for articles, or comments with us!

Email us at nerdologists@gmail.com
Message me directly on Twitter at @TheScando
Visit us on Facebook here.

Behind The Box Cover – Tainted Grail: The Fall of Avalon

Behind The Box Cover – Tainted Grail: The Fall of Avalon

There are some of these larger campaign games, Sword & Sorcery, Gloomhaven, and Tainted Grail, that can be hard to get a review done quickly. That’s simply because you need to play several chapters or scenarios to really get an idea of the game. So…

Dungeons and Dragons – I Cast a Spell on You

Dungeons and Dragons – I Cast a Spell on You

We’re on to the next topic about magic, and where as the first one was more focused on story and why you might be a spell caster and the different casting classes, this one is going to focus on casting spells. Spells have a lot…

Malts and Meeples – Tainted Grail Set-up and Chapter 1 Part 1

Malts and Meeples – Tainted Grail Set-up and Chapter 1 Part 1

It was a long holiday break, mainly because it’s also generally a Kickstarter deadtime so I didn’t do a Kickstarter show, but I’m back to streaming a game. This time it’s Tainted Grail by Awaken Realms. This is a massive and immersive story set in a dark Arthurian legend.

I’m playing as Arev, a resident of Cuanacht Farmhold. I used to be a mercenary, but no more. Now I’m just a simple farmer. When the Menhir in the town started to fade, the best from the town went out to find a way to save us, but they haven’t returned. Now, even though I’m not one of the best, I’m going out to explore in hopes of savings my town and all of Avalon.

Tainted Grail: Fall of Avalon is a story driven game where you explore various locations, meet people, and try and survive the wyrdness that is creeping across the lands by keeping Menhir lit. In the first chapter my goal, thus far, is to find out how to light Menhir. I’ve made it two days in, and thus far, I still don’t know.

You can join me again probably next week as I’m going to continue the story again. I plan on streaming every other Thursday around 7:30, but, because I’m really enjoying the game thus far, it might be more often than that.

And, of course, it’s Malts and Meeples, and while there were no Meeples showing up in the episode, I of course had a malt. That is, I had Dragon’s Milk White Stout from New Holland Brewing. This is a very enjoyable beer. It has a good flavor to it, but I do think that compared to regular Dragon’s Milk which is a very big beer, 12% or so, barrel aged beast of a beer, the White Stout, while barrel aged doesn’t quite hold up.

Bottoms up!

Dungeons and Dragons: I Got That Magic In Me

Dungeons and Dragons: I Got That Magic In Me

So, it’s been a little while since I’ve written much about Dungeons and Dragons. But I did run a game not that long ago, and I got to thinking about all of the different types of magic in D&D and while I’ve talked about the…