Normally I’d write up a game idea, but todays Friday Night D&D is going to be a list for what to get that person who loves their RPG’s. This person probably is the type of person who already has a lot of the books for …
Tag: Dungeons and Dragons
Become those who songs are sung about in the epic dungeon crawler from Steamforged Games. Pros Quick to set-up Non-standard fantasy races/classes Dungeon crawl Session Length Campaign Game Price Cons Dungeon Crawl D20 based Very much D&D inspired Price The Page I think that they …
So, we were back to the virtual table last night for some Dungeons and Dragons. This session was a little bit different because we were down one player, but because we had three players, the game went on.
Last time the players had just finished up a test in the Tower which had gotten them up to level 3. It was a bit of a challenge as they had to figure out a number of different puzzles.
When they made it back to Strawgoh, Kip, Thrain, and Barrai were pulled aside by Assendial, the player playing Bokken was the one who couldn’t make it, in order to get their help trying to figure out how the scarab that had attracted the dragon had gone missing. Since they had previously found out the two spies, she entrusted this to them before the school year ended. She also told them to be more discrete about it, not to use their normal tactics, of theft, destruction, antagonizing, threatening, and general ignoring of people, rules, and common sense. But they had previous success which is why she asked them.
They started to dig into everything that had gone on while they were gone at the test. Three of the teachers, Assendial, Tormin, and Linken had all been with them for the test. So that only left Dadellous at the school. Plus Sanphire was keeping watch and all the second year students were still there as well. Plus Parrag had been there while he was sick.
Barrai decides to go and check with Sanphire first, see if he had seen anything from up in the tower. Sanphire, now incredibly bored because it’s been months since the dragon attack, was able to give them some idea. He’d seen a couple of second year students, Parrag, Addrus and Dadellous all around the building that has the teachers quarters and offices. But he wasn’t able to give them a ton of information.
Their next idea is to go and look at the scene of the crime. Tormin had the scarab in his office, even though according to Assendial something like that would normally have been stored elsewhere with other magical items and should have been when Tormin left to go with them for the test. However, he had left it in his desk. Kip decides, since it’s before dinner in the evening to knock on the door. He knocks, and knocks, and knocks, until the door across the hall, Assendial’s office, opens, and she unlocks the door for them.
In there is a fairly standard office. Tormin has a desk and some book shelves, a few pictures on the wall. Since the scarab was stolen from within Tormin’s desk, that’s where they started looking. Kip gives it a once over and sees that there are two locks that look like they’ve been used or messed with more than the others. He gets one open and sees some papers with a box underneath it. Grabbing the box, he is surprised when the box grabs back on and bites his hand. Turns out that the box was a mimic. A quick battle ensues while Thrain and Barrai attack, Kip tries not to die and tries not to cut off his hand. Whether or not Kip would have made it through the fight is questionable, but Assendial hearing the commotion casts a high level sleep spell knocking everyone out, including Karl the squirrel who has been with Kip. When they wake up Assendial is standing in the doorway shaking her head at them as she has put the mimic back into the drawer.
They are a bit more careful and Kip tries to pick the other lock that looks like it’s been opened more times. Try as he might the lock won’t open. He kicks the desk and there is a sound of a spring. He goes back to picking on the lock with Barrai’s help, bardic inspiration and enhance ability, and eventually gets the whole front of the drawer to fall off, only to find that it isn’t a front of a drawer, there is just desk behind it. Thrain then takes a look around the room and sees that there is a safe behind one of the pictures but no visible lock. Instead he also notices that the underside of the desks looks a bit off. On the right side where Kip had been picking the lock, there is a not a bit of a bump out. He pulls on it, it doesn’t move and pushes it and it pushes it back in. It clicks back into place. They try pushing on the desk, but they find that kicking it is a more successful way to get it to open. After spending some time poking around, Thrain uses mending and attaches the drawer front to it. They get it further open and then using some leverage manage to swing it open revealing a hidden compartment. In that compartment there is a small book that contains poison recipes, a statue of a toad, a necklace with 8 black beads on it, and a bag containing some gems. The gems, to Kips semi-trained eye, look as if there might have been some spell cast on them.
They are interrupted by Assendial again who reminds them that supper is coming up and that they should clean up this room putting it back as they had found it and go have supper as not to be suspicious. At supper, Barrai watches the second year students to see who stands out. There are twin dwarves, a half-orc, giant, and tabaxi who all are out of the normal, but no one seems suspicious. Most of the second years head off to their barracks to prepare and rest before their test in the tower tomorrow.
Two of them, an elf and a human, head off to Moody’s Bar. There they find a spot in the corner, and Thrain finds a spot at the bar to watch them. Barrai and Kip tag along as well and Kip spots Zaphir across the way. Zaphir seems very concerned about Kip and still very mad at Thrain and Barrai, not knowing which one of them robbed him after he started a bar fight with them. Kip decides to order a round for the two second years and goes and talks with them. It turns out, after a bit of persuading (casting friendship) that they are there to test out a theory to rig a fight. But he also does find out that theft has been up a little bit on campus over this year, which the students found odd, but not too concerning since it wasn’t there stuff.
The three, Barrai, Thrain, and Kip head out as the fights start. As they do, Kip makes it so Zaphir’s beer tastes like urine. Then they go back to their barracks and Bokken realizes that they had been gone for most of the time after the test.
Behind the DM Screen
This was a loosely planned session. I wanted it to be something that is important towards the main thing that has happened so far, the dragon attack, so it didn’t just seem like filler, but I also wanted it not to be so important that it wouldn’t make sense for Bokken to be there. I feel like logically Assendial would have known that Bokken was not stealthy from the dragon attack, but would know that Thrain, Barrai, and Kip definitely are and that Kip was part of the group already, which is why she’d go to them instead of all of them.
As for the desk, I decided that a puzzle door would be interesting to get into that one drawer. Basically whatever, unique or interesting thing that the players did with it, that would get it open, they just needed to do a few things. I like the creativity of trying mend on the door front onto the hidden door.
What do you think of this session? How do you run investigation in your games?
I won’t lie, some of this was retail therapy. With the election season wrapping up and daylight saving time and the fact that MN has had snow accumulation before Thanksgiving (and before Halloween), it’s been a long few weeks. So I spent a bit of time looking on CoolStuffInc and Miniature Market, before narrowing down an order to three games from Miniature Market.
If the name sounds familiar, that’s because I have Silver Amulet, Coin, and Bullet as well. This is a game that uses a bit of memory and a bit of push your luck and bluffing as you try and build up your lowest scoring village possible. To do this can be a bit tricky though, because you have five cards in front of you and they are all face down. At the start of the game you can look at two of them, so you know a little bit, but not that much. Each card has a number and an ability. The number is how many points they’ll be worth in your village. The abilities can be one time use when you draw it, or it can be an ability that works if the villager is face up in your village. So already having three of them, why would I need another game that does the same thing? Simply for the variety. You can mix the cards from Silver Amulet, Coin, Bullet, and Dagger together, you just need one group of cards from 0 to 13. Needless to say, I’ll have more combinations than I’ll ever be able to play, but it’ll be fun as I can make it more “take that” if I want, or more focused on your own cards.
I could have just done a whole order of Roll Player with the Fiends and Familiars expansion and the Monsters and Minions expansions, and eventually I’m sure that I’ll get them. But I thought, let’s just start with the base game. Here’s a little secret, I’ve played this game only once with a physical copy of the game. Now I’ve played it more than that this year because of Tabletop Simulator. But only once with a physical copy. I like this dice drafting game a lot, I think that there are cool things about it and I love that you’re rolling up a D&D character, basically, and seeing how good you can make them. The game play is pretty straight forward and I love the variety of strategy that you can have based off of your background, class, and race, that’ll make you want to target different cards. Plus the traits that you can get can massively change how you’re going to score at the end of the game as well. This game has a good amount of replayability, and while I do want to get Monsters and Minions, because the game does seem like it ends before it could, and I think that getting to use your character will get me to get the expansions, and eventually Roll Player Adventure and being able to take my character through a whole campaign. But even without that, the game is a lot of fun, and hence why it’s in my Top 100 so it is one that I have felt like I’ve wanted to own for a while, and now was the time.
Shadowrun: Crossfire (Prime Runner Edition)
Another one in my top 100 that I want to play more. It’s a deck building game, but I like the setting that it is in so much. Shadowrun is a cyber punk world, mainly known for an RPG, where you are going on runs, hacking into big corporations, trying to keep from being found out. This makes it into a card game where you are taking on missions, defeating bad guys, and it’s interesting, because you are playing cards to deal with your own bad guys but also others. You also, slowly, level up your character as you play through what is basically a campaign. The setting is what drew me in and I have Shadowrun: Sprawl Ops to play as well in the same world, but I’m excited a lot for this one, because I’ve played it before. It’s one that I think has been a hit or miss for some people, or because of the original having a fairly poor rule book might have just flown under the radar. I think this one might take more time to get to the table, but I know I’ll be glad to have it.
Those are the new games that I’ve ordered. I’m definitely excited for all of them, and I really think that there are some interesting games in there. One thing I forgot to mention with Silver Dagger, since each game is a standalone, I’ll be able to play it with a larger group, have a few groups playing the game at once, maybe do a mini tournament, something like that.
Which of these games seems most interesting to you?
So, one of the common issues when people are trying to play D&D is scheduling, scheduling is just really hard for everyone because, well, people have busy lives. Now some of this is something as you become older, if you’re playing D&D in high school, …
So, this was a question that I posed on The Dice Tower Facebook group, Board Game Geek forums, and Board Game Geek Facebook group, what are games that are campaign style that would play well through Zoom? The reason for this is that we’re about wrapped up with Gloomhaven, one scenario left in the expansion, and yes there are side scenarios, but we won’t be playing those, at least right now. So I started thinking, what is the next big game we’re that we’re going to play and how are we going to play it. And with that I mean, we are finish up Gloomhaven outside wearing masks, and that’s not a long term plan for Minnesota with winter coming up, so we’ll be moving back to Zoom, what will work.
I got a few good ideas that I hadn’t thought of, and I came up with a few of my own, so for those who maybe have missed the bigger gaming via Zoom or are tired of just playing games like Scattergories, Codenames, or other more party style games via Zoom, here are some ideas that I was given and were given to me.
Now, this is a game that I was recommended and there is only one way to make this work and that’s playing it through the app. Everyone can connect to the same game and you just sit down and play it all together remotely on your device while chatting via Zoom. This is actually a really good one for a lot of people because all it requires is that you have a camera pointed at a board on a table or anything like that, this is done purely with digital gaming. Now, I have played through all but 1 game of this in the physical form, and one of the other people who I play with has played through it all, so it wasn’t the game for us, but for a lot of people, this is going to be a really good option.
Now, Gloomhaven can work two ways, if you are playing it with people near you, you can drop off their character and show the game on the board so that people can play with their own physical thing, one person will just have the duty of moving everything and doing all of that house keeping, which could be a lot. Though, with the Gloomhaven Helper App, someone else could be in charge of monster initiative and what the monsters are doing, so not the worst option and personally, I like playing with the physical components better than option two which is play it through the mod on Tabletop Simulator. Now, the base game is scripted, which means it helps with set-up, but there is still a lot of book keeping and if it seemed like a lot on the physical version, it is slower on the Tabletop Simulator version. This, obviously, also wasn’t an option for my group because that’s the game we’re literally finishing.
Pandemic Legacy Season 0, 1, and 2
Now, this one shows up and from here on out, you’re going to need a camera on the table. But Pandemic is a great game because there is no hidden information in the game. You play with the location cards out in front of you, so you can plan and worth together, your character is also open information as to what they can do. The only thing someone might need is a sheet of what the actions are that they can take, and that’s something that the person who owns the game can write up and add to as more actions are unlocked. Like Gloomhaven and basically anything that requires a camera pointed a the table, one person is going to have to do all the book keeping, but with Pandemic, that isn’t too hard, fairly often when playing Pandemic Legacy Season 1 & 2 with four players one person would be moving more of the pawns anyways just because of how it was positioned on the table. This again, though, for my group, falls into the category of games that won’t work as well because two of us have played them before, and I’ve played Season 1 twice now. And while none of us have played Season 0, that is one that I want to play with the people we played Seasons 1 & 2 with.
Folklore: The Affliction
This is one that I had recommend and I hadn’t thought of, but it’s actually one that wouldn’t be too difficult to do. Folklore is an RPG type of game in a box. You roll dice for your attacks, have a character sheet, and go through stories and scenarios. What I hadn’t thought about was the fact that beyond needing your own set of dice, which everyone in my gaming group has because they are all RPGer’s and of course they have at least one set of dice, I think one only one who doesn’t have at least five sets of dice is playing in my D&D campaign, and he probably has two sets of dice. But this one all you need is a camera pointed at a board, and sure, there are items and stats and things to track, but that’s like a regular RPG, so that can be done between sessions via e-mail or text messages without much trouble as players level up their characters. And, again, technically there is no or very little hidden information so that isn’t an issue with the game. Definitely one for people who want more of a pen and paper RPG feel. Might be one for my group.
Now, I own this game, and I am excited to play it, I just don’t know a ton about it. But according to one person in our group who has the game as well, this is one where there is no hidden information in it, the god cards and their powers are out there. This is game that I hope would work well, my concern about this one is that because it has a 3D tree element you would need to know fairly well what is on all sides of the tree as things rotate and it changes. That for me would be the biggest challenge, granted, it wouldn’t be an issue for me because I have the tree in front of me, so I could see all sides at once, but for other people it might be a bigger deal if they get distracted or lose track of what is on what side and what is rotating which way. This one definitely interests me, but I’d want to play it in person a couple of times first so that everyone knew what was going on, it seems less intuitive than some others.
Now, I’m sure there are more but this is the last one that I’m going to talk about. In Tainted Grail you are exploring a large, about 50 hour, campaign as you explore through the lands of Avalon, journey to Kamelot, and keep Menhir lit to fight back the wyrdness that threatens to overtake the land. This is one that I’m definitely interested in trying, it’s already in my Top 10 games, and I’ve made it part of the way through, but to restart with more players seems like a lot of fun, though challenging in some other ways. This game would work if you could get the players their characters. They’d need both their character, the basic cards for their character and class and the upgrade cards as well. Items could be sent via text or e-mail between sessions. This is really such an exploration game, I think it would work well, the person who owns the game would just be reading the passages, which I actually like not the person who is doing the action reading the passages because it feels like there is more mystery in the choices. This is one that is definitely in consideration for our group as well, it’s one that I am enjoying already and I’m confident that our group would enjoy as well.
Now, I’m sure there are many a campaign game that I missed. Some of them, like Arkham Horror: The Card Game, could work as well, but people would probably need their own set of the base game to make it work. Forgotten Waters is another one that can work well, which I failed to mention, but see on my shelf, and because of when it got released, around May this year, I know they have focused on supporting it in a way that it can be played with more people. I’m hesitant to use that for my group, because I know my wife is interested in it, so I want to leave that free to play with her as well. Which would you try? Have you considered doing a bigger campaign game via Zoom, besides something like D&D?