Tag: Dresden Files

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 […]

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 where you face off against a single monster.

For a campaign though, I think that you have to find some lower level monster that seems classic campy horror that starts out harrowing the town that the 0 level or maybe level 1 characters are based out of.

Just as an aside, you might be wondering what a 0 level character is. That is basically that you’re just playing a villager, someone who wants to become a wizard might have a cantrip or two, but no first level spells. The characters probably don’t have anything more than a rusty short sword and a little bit of leather armor at best. Basically, you are really leaning into them launching into being heroes.

Image Source: Forgotten Realms

Anyways, back to what I’m going for. In the world you’re building these monsters should be normal. The players should know that the scary castle a long way up in the mountains that seems to be always casting a shadow over this town as a monster in it. They should know that the woods has werewolves in it. The creature from the Black Lagoon should be a few towns over, and this is a world that has campy and classic monsters around.

Now, something like this could just be the monster of a week, and while that is going to be good for a little while, eventually I think you should start dropping hints of something or someone bigger controlling everything. You don’t need to use Strahd’s stat block for your vampire lord, it can be lesser than that. I think that it would make sense for a Mummy Lord (or maybe a Lich) to be running this group. They are experimenting with other ways to extend life or something like that, or maybe the bodies are going missing and the Mummy Lord is using the monsters to kill off to create an army of the shambling dead.

Image Source: Wizards of the Coast

I’d play around with whomever your BBEG is, give them some sort of curse. And make that a way either for the players to eventually win by solving the riddles and taking care of the mummy’s curse, or the riddles/curse could just reveal a weakness that the players will be able to exploit. The BBEG should also be very into monologues and having that evil genius mindset, though that might make more sense for an evil wizard in a tower or a lich as compared to a mummy lord, so there are different ways that you can lean into campiness and movie monsters.

What would probably take the most time would be finding those classic monsters you want to use. Some of them don’t fully exist in D&D. However, there are going to be things close, and just reskin them so that they look like what you need at the challenge level you need. And if you wanted to you could also pull in horror movie villains like Freddy Krueger or Jason Vorhees for your game to flesh out the cast of characters. Or you could also steal monsters from things like The Dresden Files and Supernatural to get an idea of how to be a bit campy, but also to use a wide variety of monsters instead of just limiting yourself to the classic movie monsters.

I think that something like this could be interesting for a game personally. It would allow you to pull in the players real knowledge of these things while they have to deal with them in the game. And it wouldn’t have to be a super high level campaign at the end, but you’d get a nice building feeling, especially starting at level 0 and going up.

What do you think? Would you want to play in this game? Have you used classic movie and movie monsters in your games?

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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 […]

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 that’s something that I want to think about as a person who hosts a board game night, what games provide that range in player count or allow players to split up more.

But we finish off with action points. What are action points, they are points or tokens that tell you how much you can do on a single turn. Maybe you can take five actions, and then you allocate those points to specific actions you can take, like moving or attacking.

Image Source: Board Game Geek

5. Dead Men Tell  No Tales
A cooperative game, in this one you are spending actions to try and find treasure on a pirate ship that is haunted and currently on fire. You have to contain the fire, try and find the treasures, deal with skeletal deck hands, and you have a certain number of actions you can take to do all of that. This game is like a lot of cooperative games in that you feel like you can never do enough. The interesting thing this game adds in with action points is that you can pass on your unused action points to the next player. So it might be that you are limited in what you can do, but the next person has a lot of useful things that they can do. You can move closer into position to set-up what for your next turn and then pass any unused action points to the next player so that they can do more. In a lot of cooperative games the action points are static but you can act upon other characters, in this one, you can’t do that, but you can pass out action points.

4. Dead of Winter
Dead of Winter is an interesting game on this list as it uses dice as your action points in the round. The dice don’t encompass every action you can take in the game, but the strongest actions, the ones that help you complete objectives are going to spend a die. Not only that, but the number you roll on the dice makes a difference as well. Some characters aren’t able to search or kill zombies with a low die roll. So in that case your die, which is supposed to be your strongest action is now made weaker and it looks like you are hurting the colony and people are starting to suspect you are the traitor more, but at the same time, they can see the roll, so they know it wasn’t great. And then you get more dice and actions when you have more survivors, but you are also responsible for more zombies showing up and more mouths to feed and making the game harder that way.

Image Source; Geek Alert

3. Arkham Horror LCG
This game doesn’t use the points as a physical token, but a lot of the games with action points don’t. Action allowance might be a good way of describing it as well, because you have a certain total number of actions you can take on a turn. Arkham Horror does this well, limiting you to two actions, and while you can do the same actions multiple times, you always feel the crush of not being able to do enough. Arkham Horror LCG is a placeholder on this list for all of Fantasy Flights Lovecraftian games as you feel the crunch Arkham Horror, Elder Signs, and Mansions of Madness as well. It’s a system that works well for them as it keep the tension high when you don’t have enough actions to do everything that you’d want.

2. Blood Rage
Action points are huge in Blood Rage as you try and get into territories, move troops around, and be able to hang in the round long enough to stop your opponent from doing what they are trying to do. What I like about the action point system in Blood Rage is that certain actions cost a certain number of action points. And the monsters, who are possibly more powerful or useful in some other way, also have action point costs. So you’re trying to balance using your action points so that you don’t run out much before anyone else, because once you are out of action points, you are out of the round at least in being able to take the large actions that are going to be most useful long term.

Image Source: Z-Man Games

1. Pandemic Legacy
This game does great with action points, basically each turn the active player spends up to four action points, moving around, curing diseases, trading cards, and finding cures. Then as the game continues, you gain more and more actions that you can take. At the end of the game, you’re trying to balance out these actions in hopes that you’ll be able to survive. Pandemic does a really good job with these actions, because it evolves over time. A lot of games have more of a static action pool with maybe unique characters have special player power actions that they can take, but Pandemic Legacy, both seasons one and two, give more options as you play and unlock more of the game.

Image Credit: BoardGameGeek

There are a ton of games that use this action point/action selection mechanic. It’s a strong mechanic for adding tension to decisions, because you’re almost always short of the action points you want to use in a round. This mechanic, however, isn’t always an ideal for players who might have AP, because it makes your choice really matter. But let’s talk about some honorable mentions:

Forbidden Desert/Forbidden Island – Cooperative exploration games that feel like Pandemic light.
Flash Point: Fire Rescue – Another Pandemic like game that also has a bit of a Dead Men Tell No Tales feel to it as well, this time you’re being fire fighters though.
KrosMaster Arena – Plan your movement and attacks in this Chibi MOBA style game. A little bit simple at times, and almost ways a best way to use your action points.
The Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game – This game is all about the Fate Points, as the action points are called. It’s a pool of action points which is a very different feel from a lot of the games as you as a team have to replenish and manage that pool of points.

What are some of your favorite games with action points? Is action points/action selection a mechanic that you enjoy?

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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 […]

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) […]

RPG – Epic or Small

RPG – Epic or Small

As I’ve been thinking about finding people to run a new D&D game with, I started thinking, what sort of scope do I want for my D&D game?

Image Source: Wizards

Do I want to do another epic story like the first season of Dungeons and Flagons where things are going crazy in the world and there are plenty of plane hopping and epic travels around the world and seeing new places?

Or, do I want to do a tighter more defined story that takes place in a single location over a shorter period of time?

That’s somewhat what the second season of Dungeons and Flagons was going to be, though I was adding scope to it to tie it into the previous season.

Now, I’m not going to say that there are either of them better than the other in terms of gaming, but they are both two very different things. And I would say that you should check with your group or give some game ideas, but I’ve been liking the idea of running that tighter more defined single location or small area story.

Why might you want to do one or the other of them?

Image Source: D&D Beyond

For the smaller story it’s easier for the DM and the players to keep track of what is going on. There are fewer crazy things happening, and fewer places to really track. There are also going to be fewer NPC’s. In a larger game you are going to have NPC’s from each city and town that they visit. With that though you are going to see a greater variety of characters for the players to interact with and are going to have to plan the story less, in my opinion, because you can always create a new location for what you need.

The advantage of a bigger game is that you can play the fantasy that people think of. People think of Lord of the Rings and Kingkiller Chronicles when they think Dungeons and Dragons and fantasy. They aren’t really thinking about a game that might be more similar to a Dresden Files book where it’s a more tightly contained story. However, if you think about it, Frodo and Sam’s journey to Mordor and getting rid of the ring would make a pretty boring D&D game, what Legolas and Gimli are up to would make a better game, so there’s a balancing aspect so you don’t have to rush through everything to make your characters the main story of the game.

So what do I want to do in my next game?

I think that I want to do a smaller scope game. I liked parts of what I was doing in Season 2 of Dungeons and Flagons, but parts I didn’t too well. The part that I didn’t love too well was the fact that I wasn’t always prepared enough for a small story game. I think that a small location game, I guess I should say over story, requires more planning and focus as I’ve mentioned above. And I was very used to winging it as I had some general beats through the first season I knew I wanted to hit, but beyond that, they could do whatever. The tighter game is a bit more focused and some might call it a bit more rail road, I would disagree with that assessment, but some people might say that. There’s a difference on limiting the location for the story and making the players doing certain things in certain order so the story progresses as expected.

What sort of game do you enjoy? Do you like the big epic game or the smaller game?

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A Series of Unfortunate Books

A Series of Unfortunate Books

First, let me say that I’m not knocking a Series of Unfortunate Events, I actually enjoyed that series when I read it in high school. The option of using that as a title was just too good. What I am talking about is how series […]