Tag: role playing games

GenCon Vol 2 – Events

GenCon Vol 2 – Events

Woo… we’ve reached the point where event registration is open for GenCon. Let’s talk a little about how the process went with getting registered for events. There are two big things to note that we did, since there were two of us, when when we […]

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 Lite

RPG Lite

Sometimes you want to sit down and play an RPG, but you don’t want to have to find a Game Master (GM) or spend the time creating characters and have five minutes to play after after hours of preparation. So, you need to come up with something that you can get up and going fast that will give you some of the same feel.

Image Source: Board Game Geek

My first suggestion would be a game by Fantasy Flight, Legacy of Dragonholt. This game has you create your own characters, but then with your character, which you could probably create five character in under an hour, you take them through various scenarios and adventures. by reading passages in a book and taking turns making decisions. What I like about this game is that it is inclusive, both in the NPC relationships, but also in the fact that it isn’t a dark and gritty game, so you could play it with younger children and have them make decisions for their own character easily as well. You’re not getting the gory or graphic descriptions of death, and in fact, it can be fairly hard at times to actually kill a goblin instead of just knocking them out. But it’s a fun game, and while parts are fairly linear, if you go into it expecting to have goofy fun, you can definitely succeed.

Next, Choose Your Own Adventure: House of Danger. Now, you could just get the book, but the game is actually a ton of fun. Especially if you take turns reading the text, and making decisions as a group, but whomever is going to read next has the final say on the decision being made. This game is much faster to get up and running then Legacy of Dragonholt, but that’s because you are a generic investigator. So it loses the individuality of your characters as you are all playing the same person. That makes this game easy to solo play, and you can solo play Legacy of Dragonholt as well, but because you have characters with skills, you can miss out on some skills and paths just with playing my yourself.

Image Source: Zman Games

Finally, there is a series of books, these are again more solo play focused books, though you can pass them around and let people take turns making decisions. The books, put out by Van Ryder Games, are graphic novels where you are creating your own character and have skills, it changes depending on the book, but you can play through a lot of different scenarios, with one scenario per book. You could take on a case with Sherlock Holmes, travel to Japan, or take on a Werewolf. With these being graphic novels, you might think that they would, like the other two, be solid options for kids or maybe even focused more so that way. I would say that these are the least kid friendly of any of the games, and while I’d strongly consider the other two with kids, from what I know about the graphic novels, I wouldn’t recommend these until they are older teenagers, but that will depend upon the kid.

There are certainly more options out there as well in the Choose Your Own adventure style of game. A game like Near and Far gives you that opportunity in a heavier board game. Most dungeon crawl style games put you in the roll of a certain class of character and you can get into the role playing aspect of that. However, with both Near and Far, and a dungeon crawl, it is going to have that longer set-up time than any of the games mentioned here, with the exception of Legacy of Dragonholt, but that, even, is only before the first game.

Image Source: Imagining Games

What I like about these games is that they are more accessible to get people into role playing than jumping straight into something like Dungeons and Dragons. Especially with Choose Your Own Adventure: House of Danger, people remember those books and how goofy those are, and because of the nostalgia they are going to be more apt to jump into playing that game.

One final thing to add in, there are games like Fiasco and Dreamchaser. These games are much more of the classic RPG. Fiasco doesn’t have a game master, so that is nice, while Dreamchaser does. Both of them, however, the character creation is really important and part of the game creation as well, so you feel like you’re playing more so immediately as compared to just something like Dungeons and Dragons where your character might not directly tie into the main plot of the game. These games can end up having a longer total time commitment though as compared to some of the other games, though Fiasco does focus itself down pretty well. These games also require a much heavier involvement in role playing.

When you get that RPG itch, what games will you be looking to fill that need? Have you had any experience with any of these games and preferences with them?

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Holiday Game Guide: Story Games

Holiday Game Guide: Story Games

I’ll be getting to some heavier strategy games, but those aren’t going to be the games for everyone. Some people want a game that focuses more on the storytelling aspects of the game. I’m not going to say games like Dungeons and Dragons which are […]

AcadeCon 2017: Kristen’s Recap

AcadeCon 2017: Kristen’s Recap

Peder and I have a second year of AcadeCon under our belts! And I’m happy to report that it was even more fun the second time around. Having a better sense of the Dayton area and what it has to offer, being familiar with the […]

Summer Nerdery: Take It Outside!

Summer Nerdery: Take It Outside!

As I get ready to head out for a fun weekend of camping with some friends, I’m finding myself inspired to write about the great outdoors! We nerds are not exactly known for our love of outdoor adventuring, but with so much gorgeous, sunny weather (especially if you live in the Midwest and you know just how fast this season tends to fly by), indoor activities tend to kind of feel like a waste in the summertime.

There are lots of great ways to take advantage of the great weather while engaging in glorious nerdery at the same time — here are a few ideas!

Image Credit: The Odyssey Online
Image Credit: The Odyssey Online

Taking indoor activities outside

This is one of my favorite on the list, because it’s the best of both worlds–you get to do something you love doing all year round, but you also get to soak in the warmth and sun at the same time! Grab a book and a quilt and read in the yard for a while; bring your laptop outside and get to work on your latest story; take your sketchbook to a pretty spot and do some drawing; even have a backyard movie screening — this can be as simple as watching something on Netflix with a friend, or setting up a projector and screen and having your own outdoor movie theater!

Outdoor role-playing games

This type of activity is generally for the more committed nerds among us, but can yield lots of fun possibilities! Summer is the best time for those of you who are into LARPing (Live Action Role-Playing), Belegarth (a type of role-play that involves fighting with homemade foam weapons), and the like. You and your D&D group could find a spot in a park to run your next session, or even have a session on a camping trip, like we and our other two Dungeons & Flagons players did last summer!

Image Credit: Pinterest
Image Credit: Pinterest

Cosplay groups

If you’re part of a fan group that sometimes takes part in cosplay, consider planning or attending a cosplay outing, or even just having a fun hangout time in the park with your group! It’s always great to have another good excuse to cosplay, and doing so with your group in a public spot can lead to some fun conversations with passersby, and maybe even a chance to do a little role-playing! When I was at the zoo last week, I saw an anime group having an event like this in a nearby park, cosplay and all, and it looked like such a great time!

Attend a festival or outdoor convention

If you do a little looking and asking around, I bet you’ll find that there are lots of this type of event near you! Things like your local Renaissance Festival, art shows, cultural festivals (Peder’s and my favorite is Obon, a Japanese lantern-lighting festival held in a nearby park every August), or outdoor events promoting a movie release or other nerdy event, are great ways to enjoy some time outside with fellow nerds. These are often great chances to dress up as well, whether it’s in Renaissance garb, traditional dress (like yukatas at Obon! I still want to do this…), or good ol’ fashioned cosplay. Just come prepared to get a little extra-warm if you do dress up!

Image Credit: The Verge
Image Credit: The Verge

Pokemon Go!

Obviously I had to mention this one! This uber-popular game has taken over pretty much everywhere, and when you see someone walking around with phone in hand, there’s a really good chance they’re trying to catch ’em all. Not only is the game a great excuse to get outside and go for a nice walk, it’s also inspired a lot of meetups in parks and other public spaces; game players come by the thousands to catch Pokemon together and meet other players. And I have to say, with all the stuff that’s been going on recently, it sure is wonderful and refreshing to see tons of people, sometimes with very little in common, bonding over something as simple as a fun new game.

These are just a few fun ideas to inspire you to enjoy some outdoor nerding, but there are many more possibilities! What’s your favorite nerdy activity to do outside? What new activity would you like to try out?

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Role-Playing Games 101

Role-Playing Games 101

As a follow-up to the post on tabletop games, and with the launch of our actual play Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition podcast, one of the topics that I’ve heard many people say they’re confused about is Role-Playing Games. These games often seem quite intimidating, as […]