Tag: Dresden Files

Book’em Nerdo: The Dresden Files

Book’em Nerdo: The Dresden Files

Alright, we already know how this is going to go, I love this series. So it’s going to be me talking about why this series is good, but I’ve finally read everything that out thus far from Jim Butcher for the series. This includes the…

Malts and Meeples – Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game

Malts and Meeples – Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game

Join me as I take on the Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game. I take a crack at the first scenario, Storm Front, based off of the Dresden Files book by Jim Butcher of the same name. This game is a cooperative game that plays well…

GenCon Recap – The Con Games

GenCon Recap – The Con Games

Besides being a spot where a lot of new games are released, therea re also ticketed events that you can go to as well. In these, you can play board games, demo out new games, or play RPG’s. There’s never a shortage of things to do if you’re in these games or events. We decided to get into a few of these games, so here’s a quick rundown of how things went, and some thoughts on the game.

Image Source: GenCon

The first game that we played was a mid-Alpha version of a game called Roll Player Adventures. If you’re not as familiar what Alpha or Beta testing is, Alpha testing is when you’re testing out a concept and still fine tuning it. You’re seeing what works, what might not work, and taking notes on that, Beta testing is more focused. You have a professional or nearly professional looking copy of the game around and you can play through it, you’re just looking for those few flaws that are left, but the mechanics are generally locked in. This was the earlier stage, and there were things that were just pieces of paper, or the story book was just pages in a binder. With that said, this was one of the highlights of the con. The game play was already a ton of fun, the story in the game was good, and the table was great. Role Player Adventures is going to be a cooperative campaign game where you are winning the favor of different groups, fighting different monsters, and reading story as you go. The game it’s based off of Roll Player, is about rolling up your D&D character and manipulating the dice to get the best character possible, and this one allows you to use a character in a game for a real adventure. We had a good group, so it was a bunch of silly fun, and the story was well crafted so that it was serious, but also lighthearted at points.

The following day, we played an RPG to start our day. The game was run in the Savage Worlds system and themed around The Dresden Files. If you’ve read many posts, you know that I love The Dresden Files. It was an interesting game to play, and I definitely had a fun time playing it. However, I didn’t love the system that it was run in. Savage Worlds is meant to be that kind of setting agnostic system, where you can play a Dresden Files game in it, but you could also play a World War II game in it with no magic, or it could be a Sci-Fi game set on a far off planet. I don’t think that is a major flaw with the system, but as a person who played a magic user, I had spells that were all flavored with ice. The spell cards though, were just like “blast”, so my “ice blast” did “blast” damage, and it could have just as easily been fire damage, force damage, any sort of damage. It made the system too devoid of that flavor that would make a character seem unique. The game itself was fun, but I will knocked the GM for the game a little bit. We had the BBEG for the one-shot on the ropes in the first battle. Instead of just having this generic BBEG bite it, he had them escape after a lot of unlikely things happening. It would have been better to let us win, and then have the BBEG’s cousin show up later in the final battle to get his revenge. Overall, I had a good time, but it was lacking.

To end the day, we played Village Attacks. Village Attacks is a tower defense game. But as compared defense game where you are the heroes fending off wave after wave of bad guys. In this game, you’re the bad guys, who are fending off wave after wave of villager who is coming to your house with torches and pitchforks. We had a couple of different experiences with the game, but we both ended up liking it. I had a fun group to play with, and we bum rushed the objective of the game. The game played pretty fast, probably an hour and a half after being taught the game or a little bit less. And you feel the tension of the game as more and more bad guys are placed onto the board. The other cool thing was that we got the scenario, and the full set of scenarios that we played as well as some character sheets for moving some guys from another game into our game.The downside was that my friend got stuck in a game with a person who had slept 1 hour thus far for GenCon, didn’t pay attention to the rules, and then left for ten minutes to go get pop and didn’t actually help the team in this fully cooperative game. So that was frustrating, but my friend still liked the game a lot, and that led to the other downside, it’s hard to find the game right now. And both of us want it, because it’s a very fun game.

Image Source: Brain Games

The Saturday started out with the North American Championships for Ice Cool. And I love the game already, I learned a little bit from watching other players who were “better” than I was, and I made it to the semi finals. I won’t go into this too much, because I’ve already written about this game. Needless to say, it’s a game that I love, and playing in the tourney was a lot of fun. I might have been able to make it to the finals, but ran into a bunch of bad luck in the first round, which was just kind of funny. There were a few people who took this silly penguin flicking game too seriously, but overall, people where there to have fun.

Our other Saturday event wasn’t actually a game. We went to Hobbit Drinking Songs with Marc Gunn. That was just a funny old time, and even though he had some issues with his amp, the room was small enough that he was able to just play without the amplification and everyone could hear it. He’s a good performer and he has a lot of fun songs to sing. Also learned about ALEP (A Long Expected Party), Hobbit/Lord of the Rings event that happens in Kentucky. Seems like a small educational event and celebration of Tolkien’s works.

Sunday we were supposed to have two games. We actually skipped the first one, the Harry Potter miniatures game because the game just costs too much, so it wasn’t really worth the demo. We should have known because it was a miniatures game. But we did play in a win a box game with the new expansion for Marvel Legendary. That was a fun time, and I really liked the expansion. The most interesting part was that we were the only two people there, so that meant that one of us was winning the expansion, and with having spent $8 total between the two tickets, my friend who has collected most of Marvel Legendary, was able to get the game at a very discounted price. The expansion itself was a lot of fun, and we flew through the game, but just ran out of time at the end before dealing the killing blow, not because we were losing, but because we got started a bit late while seeing if other people would show up.

Overall, I think we planned out basically the perfect amount of gaming and events. With the Harry Potter Miniatures Game, I think that it would have been fun, but our Sunday would have felt a bit full. When we go back in the future, I think we’ll want to keep ourselves as busy as we were this time. A good balance of having things to do, but as you’ll learn in the next article, there is a lot to see and do on the dealer floor.

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GenCon Recap

GenCon Recap

There’s so much that I could talk about at GenCon, that I’m probably going to just be writing about it for the next week. But I wanted to start with a bit of recap, talk about some highlights, some things I’d do differently, and some…

Friday Night D&D – Things that Go Bump

Friday Night D&D – Things that Go Bump

I think that this idea can be used as a campaign or as a one shot, depending on what you want to do with it. When using iconic monsters like werewolves, vampires, and other classic monsters, you can always turn it into a one off…

Casting the Dream – Dresden Files

Casting the Dream – Dresden Files

This is one that I’ve wanted to do for a while, but I haven’t been able to figure out who I want to cast as the main characters. I think that is actually taken care of now.

Synopsis: The Dresden Files are a series that follow around Harry Dresden as he deals with many crazy supernatural things in Chicago. There is a big overarching story that I won’t go too much into because that would be spoilers. But he works with the police to solve these crimes and mysteries. It also helps to know that Harry is a Wizard.

Image Credit: Amazon

Let’s meet the main characters:

Harry Dresden – The aforementioned wizard, Harry is a tall man who diffuses his own stress with his own special brand of humor, which normally just gets him into more trouble. He’s not a built person, but is lanky and has good functional strength.

Karrin Murphy – Small spitfire of a police officer. She’s had to be patient as she has worked her way up in the Chicago PD, but she has made her way up. She’s athletic and doesn’t put up his Harry’s crap or anyone’s crap, but is still a very caring person.

Susan Rodriguez – A reporter who is pretty and also investigates the paranormal or supernatural. She’s onto the fact that Harry might actually be what he says and hounds him for information.

Bob – A talking skull that is a wealth of knowledge that is in Harry’s possession. Also a quite pervy spirit who inhabits the skull.

Michael Carpenter – A large strong man with a large family. He is a man of faith who is very even keeled but not afraid to step into a situation, help Harry out and make a difference when evil is threatening Chicago or anywhere in the world.

Waldo Butters – A small coroner who knows some about the supernatural. He also really loves polka and can’t stand injury, though has no problem working on a corpse.

“Gentleman” Johnny Marconne – A mobster who runs basically all the organized crime in Chicago. He helps out Harry at times and gets in Harry’s way at other times, depending on what is most useful for him.

Ebenezar McCoy – Harry’s mentor, teacher, and friend. Took Harry in when his first teacher went evil. He’s an old wizard with a ton of power and very respected. Also part of the White Council which oversees the wizarding community.

There are really a plethora more characters who could make sense to talk about and cast, but this is limited spoilers as well and does focus on a lot of reoccurring characters throughout the series.

So who would I want to play them?

Harry Dresden – Tom Ellis
Tom Ellis, who plays Lucifer in Lucifer, is sufficiently tall. He also has that long frame, that comes with height, but isn’t too built. He’s very polished looking as Lucifer, but if his hair was a bit longer and messier and, like Harry, had a beat up look about him most of the time, I think that he’d make a good Harry Dresden.

Karen Murphy – Maggie Lawson
I really only know Maggie Lawson from watching Psych. But in that show she’s very much a character who has to put up with Shawn’s crap as a fake psychic detective. The only thing I wonder about is if she can be as grouchy as Murphy is sometimes. But Lawson can definitely play a character who is caring.

Susan Rodriguez – Melissa Fumero
We’ve seen her in a comedy in Brooklyn 99, and while Susan isn’t the most comedic role, I think that Fumero would have the acting chops to pull it off. What I think works really well with her is that she’s an intense character in Brooklyn 99 who is always needing to do the best, I think that Susan possesses a lot of those similar qualities.

Bob – Paul Bettany
He’s the first person I thought off. He does a good job as J.A.R.V.I.S. and Vision in the Marvel movies, but I think it’s more his Knight’s Tale Chaucer that he could channel into Bob, this spirit who has been around for so long but also has this surprisingly pervy human side.

Michael Carpenter – Adam Copeland
You’re more apt to know him as Edge from WWE. So clearly you have someone who is going to have a larger build. Edge, though, just has a very friendly looking face and with a few beard hairs turning grey, he would make a really believable family man who is also strong and tough.

Waldo Butters – Elijah Woods
Frodo as an eccentric coroner? That doesn’t make a ton of sense, but the actor who was in Dirk Gentley’s Holistic Detective Agency, that makes perfect sense. Woods has shown that he’s up for those odd roles and has done a very good job with them. I think he’d make a lot of sense continue in those odd roles as the worried and polka loving Waldo Butters.

“Gentleman” Johnny Marconne – Ben Mendelsohn
You might know him as Sorrento in Ready Player One or Orson Krennic in Star Wars: Rogue One. He’s done a good job of playing those skeezy bad guys before who are slick. Marconne definitely has that feel and while I would think of Marconne being a bit younger personally, I think that Mendelsohn’s acting shows that he could deal with the role very well.

Ebenezar McCoy – Brendan Gleeson
Older, bigger, and still tough as nails. Gleeson fits that quite well I’d think. I’m not extremely familiar with Gleeson’s work, but if you’re not making McCoy quite as crazy white haired as he has been in my brain, just older and tough as nails, Gleeson fits that to a tee.

There are so many more characters to cast, and I really want to go through and figure out all of them, but that would be semi-spoiler heavy to describe who the characters are. So instead, I’ll hold off on those and maybe do another post to talk about them, just be warned there would be spoilers.

So what do you think of my casting, who would you cast in their place if you disagree?

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

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Friday Night D&D – The Courts

Friday Night D&D – The Courts

Alright, we’re back with another Friday Night D&D, where I write down an idea that I’ve had for a D&D campaign to help give you ideas for your Dungeons and Dragons games! Last time we were looking at Demons and Devils and their Blood War.…

Top 5: Action Point Games

Top 5: Action Point Games

Final top 5 list, I think that I could maybe come up with some more lists, but I might do eventual lists of games that play best or up to two through six or seven to give ideas for games like that. As I know…

Top 5: Cooperative Games

Top 5: Cooperative Games

One of the last two board game top 5’s I’m going to do. Cooperative games are a ton of fun, sure you might like to beat up on another person in a game, but what works well with cooperative games is the game is going to provide an appropriate challenge. There are games where if you’ve played more than I have, it will almost be impossible for me to to win because of the experience difference. In cooperative game, you tend to have games that level up in difficulty as you play them more, if they are campaign driven, or that you can make harder if you choose.

So what are my top 5 cooperative games?

Image Source: Evil Hat

5. Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game
It’s in the title that it’s a cooperative game. This is a very challenging game, but a simple game to play. You are having to balance card use for gaining action points (fate points), investigating, and fighting, and you’re probably not going to have enough time to do everything you want to do. For me, that is a hallmark of a good cooperative game, there are always going to be a handful of good things to do and you are never going to be able to do them all. The game also has some Dresden Files feel to it as you feel like you are up against it throughout the whole game and most likely you are just going to eek out a win. It has some interesting mechanics with how it deals with what cases and targets you can deal with depending on where they are on the board. It’s a fun game to play the specific characters in the books with the different scenarios based off of the books, so you feel like you are in fact playing through the book.

4. Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition
An app driven game in the 2nd Edition, Mansions of Madness allows it to be a combat game, a puzzle game, and an exploration game all at once without one person really needing to play the game itself. This can make the book keeping phase of the game, or mythos phase as it’s called in Lovecraftian games most of the time, a whole lot faster. Also, because it’s app driven a scenario is going to be slightly different if you play it multiple times because the app can set-up the house or location where you are investigating differently. You have a lot of the standard investigator pieces to it that you get in Arkham Horror or Elder Signs, but it provides it in a tighter package.

Image Source: Fantasy Flight

3. Arkham Horror LCG
I really enjoy this game as one that scales well in difficulty. Based off of the modifiers that are placed into a bag that are then drawn throughout the game. What I like is that this is a fairly heavy story game while being a smaller card game. If you get everything for the game, there are a ton of cards, but no matter what you have, it’s always a card game. It gives you feel of exploring through Arkham to complete cases. Another thing that works well in this game, is because the locations the locations are cards, you can scale the story up to as large an area as you want or as small an area. That’s something that Mansions of Madness can’t do.

Image Source: Z-Man Games

2. Pandemic Legacy
This game really works well as a cooperative game. Whereas some on the list have hidden information because that helps with the alpha player problem, Pandemic and Pandemic Legacy is a straight forward enough game that people can get up to speed quickly and start making decisions. The game also has a good story to it though not as in depth as some of them. The ability to also get the game to the table quickly is a bit different than some of the other games.

1. Gloomhaven
My favorite game, what I like about this game is that you can really tailor who you are playing in the game. You get some interesting teams, but it gives you a ton of choices as a player. This is the game that I was thinking about when I was talking about scaling, or one of them. I’ve talked about the game a ton, so I am not going to add in all that much more on this one. But the scaling is amazing in this game, and the ability to tailor your character to your style is great. It’s also a massive game that gives you tons of game play.

Image Source: Cephalofair Games

There are a ton of games I could put down as an honorable mention, but I’ll try and keep it just to five:
T.I.M.E. Stories – Super fun puzzly game where you jump to different timelines and dimensions to stop things from destroying the timeline.
Hanabi and Forbidden Desert – Check out the previous Top 5 list for more on those games .
Xenoshyft: Onslaught – A cooperative deckbuilder with some interesting choices, in particular being able to build your deck but also being able to help other peoples decks as well.
Lost Expedition – A simple game, but challenging as you decide as a group how to deal with problems as you try and advance to the lost city of Z

Image Source: Board Game Geek

There are so many more that I could have listed and that I’ve enjoyed playing. I really enjoy cooperative games as they seem easier to get to the table when you’re all working together towards a goal. Not to say I don’t enjoy a good competitive game, but cooperative games tend to feel like they are more unique even though they are common now.

What are your favorite cooperative game, do you, like me, have a big stack of cooperative games you have yet to play?

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D&D Campaign Building

D&D Campaign Building

I decided it was time to jump back into some D&D topics, and I wanted to try something a little bit different, instead of just dispensing advice, I wanted to go through the process of building out a campaign that I may (or may not)…