Tag: Role Playing Game

Back or Brick: Tales From the Loop

Back or Brick: Tales From the Loop

This game made it on my radar because of the fact it’s based off of a pencil and paper RPG, let’s checkout Tales From the Loop. Let’s get into the pros and cons. Pros Cooperative Based off of a successful RPG Previous fulfilled kickstarters from 

Board Games – Campaign vs Legacy vs Story vs Normal vs RPG

Board Games – Campaign vs Legacy vs Story vs Normal vs RPG

This might sound like a battle, but it’s not. It’s something that I have been thinking about, and you can see why if you check out my Back of Brick of Stormsunder. There are a lot of different types of games, but I think that 

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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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 

D&D Alignment: True Neutral

D&D Alignment: True Neutral

The alignments are interesting because, in the middle you have this state of both being neutral on the good and evil axis and the law and chaos axis. And I don’t know that I have the greatest grasp on what this true neutral position is 

D&D Alignments – Neutral Good

D&D Alignments – Neutral Good

Neutral is an interesting position to talk about when it comes to Dungeons and Dragons characters. I mainly have a harder time nailing down what I think it is and how you use it in role playing.

I think, the best way that I can describe neutral is that you’re going to do the best option in a given situation based off of the other part of your alignment. So a neutral good character is going to do what they perceive as the best option after they’ve thought about it. Neutral is going to lean away from the impulsive that you can get with both Chaotic and Lawful alignments. In the case of a neutral good character, if they are in a just land, they are going to appear fairly lawful, because the laws are just. However, they aren’t basing their decision off of the law being there, they are basing off of what they believe to be good in the given situation.

Image Source: D&D Beyong

This is going to create a more introspective character, which is going to be better for a character who is less combat focused. The martial classes like fighter and barbarian aren’t going to be the best fits. And as normal, classes like rogue and warlock which can have a more chaotic bent to them, don’t fit the easiest. With that said, any class can be any alignment. I think the two classes that I would lean towards playing Neutral Good would be Druid and Monk.

For me, both the Druid and the Monk classes are those more focused on the long view of things. The druid is surrounded by nature which is going to do what is good for it, and when looking at how long a tree can live and how unchanging mountains are, a druid will take a longer view and more of a loo at what is good. And they are not just going to look at the good for the people living in the land, but also of the land itself. A monk has meditation and that calm and martial arts sort of feeling for their play style. While they can go out with a rush of action and hit you a lot, it seems more like their traditions are built around the discipline of learning those skills versus using them, so again it fits with that long view of figuring out what is good before taking any action.

Let’s look a little bit back at some of them that are less ideal? How could you make a fighter into a lawful good character? I think that it is not that difficult because you would have the jaded soldier who thought that the laws of the land were good, but then saw violence done in the name of those laws against those who were only guilty of not being from that land. While they understand that the sword can be a tool of justice, they weigh it out to determine if using the sword is going to be the just option and the good option or if there is another way. And while they might not themselves know how to do the other option or at least do it well, they can know that the sword is not the right option. The rogue is also fairly easy, because they can have a Robin Hood sort of mindset. They will only ever steal from someone that they know is evil. And they will only do so to improve the state of the common folk who are being oppressed, and not for their own riches.

Image Source: D&D Beyond

Now, you still need to tie those things into why you’d go adventuring. Even the monk and druid. Generally you have to threaten something that they think is good. For a druid that might be their grove. For a fighter that might be a people that they see as innocents. If I were to play a neutral good character that would be the direction that I’d lean into it anyways. I’m sure that there are other ways to play a neutral good character that I haven’t mentioned yet.

If you have some interesting ideas for playing a neutral good character, leave them in the comments below. If you have played one, let me know how you did that, and what the story of your character was.

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Building a D&D Player Character – 201

Building a D&D Player Character – 201

Alright, we’re going to take that character creation to the next level. The first level, 101, is the very basic that you need to do. I go into details in the post on what those three things are, but to recap:1. Make a character that 

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) 

TableTopTakes: Gloomhaven Part 3

TableTopTakes: Gloomhaven Part 3

I said that I was going to come back to Gloomhaven at some point in time, the first two parts were from when we had started playing the game, now we are a ways in, so I wanted to come back to it as the game is a monster and I was curious to know how it would hold up over time. I also wanted to give people an idea if this game was going to be worth their investment, both time and money.

Image Source: Cephalofair Games

I don’t think my opinion of the game has changed much really. I find it a fantastic game still, so let’s get that out of the way. The staying power of the game is really good, and we’ve gotten to open two new things in a box from when we started until when we played last night. And that is okay, because you get to like your character that you are playing, and you want to get to their higher level abilities. The story is still cool and the monsters change from section to section as you find out crazy things that are happening.

Let’s talk about some things that I want to call out from what I’ve noticed in the game:

Image Source: Across the Board Cafe

We get rules wrong once in a while. We messed up big time at one point picking the correct level for the mission. That math isn’t tricky, it just isn’t what you’d think it would be immediately. I’m sure we’ve messed up rules with how certain effects work from time to time. However, when we mess something up, we tend to mess it up for both ourselves and the monsters and when we mess up a rule, so it isn’t like we’re giving ourselves an advantage.

Leveling up is simple and fun. There’s honestly not much more than swapping in new combat cards and getting a few more hit points. That is, however, plenty, because what you really care about is adding in those new combat cards. I went from having a few cards that did a little bit of damage and a contraption that I could toss out that could soak up damage to having a contraption that can attack, an auto turret firing arrows on my back, and a death ray. Everyone else has found new cool things as they’ve leveled up as well, and looking forward to leveling up and watching those XP climb is exciting, because you want to get to that next spot and to that next card.

We’ve also had our first character retire. Retirement is a little bit bittersweet from what I can tell, and I’ll be likely retiring my character next week. The reason for that is that you’ve grown attached to your character, you know what they can do and how you want to play them. At the same time, it is exciting, because you get to play a new character. I believe that most of the retirement conditions allow you to open up a new character box, but you also have the original characters as well that you can play. That’s one of the things we’ve gotten to open as well as the town records which has led to some interesting discoveries about the world that we’re playing in.

Image Source: Cephalofair Games

Another thing that I’ve enjoyed is that Gloomhaven gives you a chance to have absolutely epic moments. In the case of my character, I go through a lot of cards where I can play them once and they do something great, but then they are gone for that scenario. That means that I’m working on a pretty tight timeline for what I can do. I like the ticking clock that you have over you, but that means sometimes I don’t make it to the end of the scenario. So if I’m smart about it, I have a card or two saved for the last room, the toughest part to do something epic. In the case of last night, we were facing off against a large demon. It had 36 HP, and I had three turns left before I’d be exhausted. Instead of doing a little damage and trying to keep up with the action with lasting as long as possible, I decided to “burn” my cards so they would be used up for the scenario and ended up doing 17 damage to the demon in a single turn. So I, in a single turn, nearly did half the damage to the monster and left it greatly weakened for the rest of the players. We’ve had a number of those moments where someone has rushed in and killed half the enemies in the room in one fell swoop or thrown rocks at an enemy dealing them damage. There are a ton of cool moments that you can have in Gloomhaven.

I do want to offer a piece of advice as well. Gloomhaven is an investment to start out with, like a big investment. While it’s definitely worth the money, it’s probably worth it to invest even more into it. Now, I’m not just talking about the expansion that is being worked on, what I’m really talking about is a box insert. While my system isn’t bad and it makes set-up a whole lot faster and easier than it would be without the envelopes that I’ve used, I’m moving three boxes, the big box, a tackle box, and a shoe box full of monster envelopes out every time that we play. If it were to fit in one box neatly or even if it fit in one box with the lid slightly higher than it should be, that would be great and make it so much easier to move. Now that I’ve already sorted mine this way and spent a little bit of money on envelopes, I don’t feel like re-sorting it and spending more money, however, if you haven’t yet, I’d get an insert for the game, you’ll appreciate it. Broken token has a very nice one that I’ve heard nothing but good things about.

So clearly I’m still loving the game. I don’t see myself getting bored of it, and I’m already planning on getting the expansion when it comes out. Gloomhaven is very much worth the money investment and the time investment. If you can find a couple of other people to play it with weekly or bi-weekly, you are going to have a blast.

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

So just a tiny bit on the casual grade. B is still a very good grade, however, there is a fair amount of complexity to the game and to combat, and while I do think that my wife, who is more of a casual gamer, would be able to get it figured out after a few times, it does have a steeper learning curve and is a heavier weight game than a lot of casual games were want to jump into.


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Dungeons and Flagons Episode 84: The Beholder

Dungeons and Flagons Episode 84: The Beholder

Finja, Nimrose, and Torin finally face off against the Beholder. What will happen to them?   If you have questions for Nerdologists: Dungeons and Flagons emails them to nerdologists@gmail.com or find us on Facebook or Twitter! We’ll be doing a recap and Q&A every twenty-five