Tag: rpg

Board Game Design Diary – Building a Character

Board Game Design Diary – Building a Character

Alright, let’s start getting into the details of this game. I’m not going to build everything out in front of people, but I do want to start and give some idea of what characters and levels are going to look like in practice. Eventually there 

Holiday List – The RPG Fan

Holiday List – The RPG Fan

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 

Board Game Design Diary – In Town Level Activies

Board Game Design Diary – In Town Level Activies

I’m continuing going through the level activities. While some of them, questing for example, warrants being on it’s own, there are others that are going to be simpler to talk about. So I’m lumping those together into what I’m calling In Town Activities. Now, that doesn’t mean that they are going all take place in town, just more of them will, and their setting is less important.

The Premise

The Characters

The Bosses

The Guilds

The Levels

The Boards

Cards vs Dice

Character Leveling

Skills, Weapons and More

Quests

In Town Activities

Shopping

The first of the in town activities is going to be shopping. Shopping is going to have three parts, the second part, however, is going to be optional. The first part is simply picking where you want to go. Levels might have information brokers, weapon and/or armor smiths, general stores, apothecaries, and more. There is not generally going to be a true one stop shop for everything. If there is a general store that would be the closest, but the armor, weapons, and medicine that you’d find there are going to be worse than you’d find at location that is specific to them. A general store will have more trinkets or interesting items that might be useful for PC quests, NPC quests, guilds or more.

The next part is the optional part and that is interacting with the shop keeper. They are going to have a limited dialog tree that you can go down, and while they might have a quest or information, not all of them will. So if you’ve been somewhere once and it just seems to be general conversation and nothing that’ll lead to a quest, you can certainly skip it. Most likely you won’t frequent the same person and shop too often, but who knows.

Finally, you shop, I mean, that’s what you came there for. Shopping is split into two parts, there is stuff that you can buy for the hero, and there is stuff that you can buy for the guild. You can spend your own money to buy stuff for your character, or you can use the guilds money. Same for buying stuff for the guild. If you spend too much of the guilds money on yourself, your morale will go down and you’ll lose more people dropping out of your guild. The flip is true, if you spend your own money on the guild, you are going to raise the morale, because you’re one of the elite players in the guild, so when you’re helping those who aren’t as good, that catches people’s attention.

Now, I’ll talk more about items and how they work coming up sometime soon.

Interact with NPC’s

I’ve kind of walked through some of this with how it’ll be work when I talked about quests. Now, NPC’s won’t only give you information about quests, they might let you know about floor events that could be coming up, they might let you know about secret locations to go on the level, they might give you a quest, knowledge on the floor boss, or just knowledge on the game. You’ll have a branching dialog path that you can go through, and while it might be like an MMORPG or video game RPG in general where you can go down one path of conversation and then it’ll go back to the previous list of questions, that might not always happen. Eventually either you’ll just be able to end the conversation, or you’ll reach a decision point that requires you to use a stat or a skill and that you can modify. When you hit one of those, you know that your conversation will be ending after that, or if it does continue, you’ll need to spend another round talking with that NPC.

Interacting with PC’s

Interacting with PC’s is going to give you more of the story that is going on outside of the game. Even though you won’t know what is happening in the real world, you’ll find out the stories of the other PC’s and you’ll have to see if you can help them, potentially. There’s going to be branching dialog, but most of the time, when talking with a PC you won’t be spending modifier cards or checking your skills. Maybe if it gets into a physical confrontation you’ll check your stats against the other PC’s stats, but fairly often the decision points won’t allow you to spend a modifier card or check a skill, you’ll just need to make a decision. Those will still end your turn and to continue further with that PC you’ll need to spend another action. Also, interacting with PC’s will be different than NPC’s because PC’s aren’t as likely to allow you to loop back and ask a question that you hadn’t asked before.

Recruit to the Guild

The final thing that I’m going to be talking about is recruiting to the guild. This one is pretty straight forward, you go there, you check your morale versus the relevant skill for recruiting that you choose to use, and see what you get, granted, you can modify it. So why wouldn’t you send over the guild members to recruit. Two main reasons, firstly, sending a generic guild member will mean that you cannot modify the check of the stat, and guilds general stats are generally worse than yours. And because they are generic guild members who are recruiting they don’t generally have as much sway period, so they are working off of their own side of a recruitment card which is going to have a lower top end, so even if you have the best guild possible, you wouldn’t get as much as if you had gone there yourself.

Thoughts on how all of these would work? All of them can be done by the guild, though, there would be a few differences. Mainly that you’d not be able to modify something if a guild member went there, and the guild doesn’t have access to the players funds for shopping, just to the guilds funds.

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Board Game Design Diary – Character Leveling

Board Game Design Diary – Character Leveling

I use the word level a lot when I talk about this game. I talk about a floor or two pages from the book as being a level. But when I’m talking about leveling, I’m talking about character level and what my thoughts are currently 

Back or Brick: Darkest Dungeon

Back or Brick: Darkest Dungeon

Can you survive the darkest dungeon in this Rogue-Like RPG Dungeon Crawler from Mythic Games based off of a video game? Pros Very established company Dungeon Crawl Cons Dungeon Crawl Theme IP Based FOMO The Page Mythic Games knows how to lay out their game 

Coming to Kickstarter Vol 1: Frostpunk and 7th Citadel

Coming to Kickstarter Vol 1: Frostpunk and 7th Citadel

So I’ve decided as well as doing my Back or Brick and the Waiting on Kickstarter series, “Coming to Kickstarter” where I look at the announced games that are coming and talk about what is or isn’t interesting about them, and kind of why I picked them to look at.

Frostpunk: The Board Game

So this one I don’t know a ton about, but the theme is interesting to me. I like the idea of this frozen world, and it’s a theme we’ve seen in a few other games. This one interests me more than some of the others that feel theme adjacent because this one is cooperative, and it is scenario driven. And I actually like that this is scenario driven but not campaign driven. I’m starting to look for more games that are going to have that story element to it but won’t require a consistent group for an extended period of time.

It’s also a game that’s based off of a video game IP (intellectual property) so that means it should do well, especially with the fact it has minis and the fact that the video game company also did This War of Mine.

I’m a bit concerned about the game length. I don’t mind longer games, but I also don’t need only longer games. They say 120 to 180 minutes, at 120 it’s something that could get played fairly often especially since it can be played solo, but at 180, that’s pretty long.

Image Source: Serious Pulp

7th Citadel

Firstly, this game has a strong pedigree behind it with 7th Continent. It’s one that I have sitting on my shelf (well packed in a box right now) that I really need to play. I like the idea of exploration in that one, and this one seems to pick up with that, plus now they’ve had more time to streamline the rules and game play.

For me a neutral thing is that this is a dark fantasy setting. I know for some people that’ll get them excited, and I have nothing against dark fantasy, we’ve just seen a lot of dark fantasy as of late. Plus the world right now just with the pandemic, it feels a bit grim, so while hopefully things will be much better by the time you’d get The 7th Citadel into your hands, selling me on a dark fantasy theme right now is a bit harder.

Also for me, because I have 7th Continent but I haven’t played it yet, this is a hard sell for me to be all in on this game. I do think it’ll probably be a smoother spot to get into because 7th Continent is quite a beast, but they feel like they are going to scratch a similar itch, so I don’t know that I need two right now.

Finally, this one isn’t based off of an IP, but according to the blurb on Board Game Geek, this was inspired by the Fighting Fantasy book series, which are solo RPG’s that you can play.

So let me know what you think of these two games. Have you played Frostpunk the video game or the Fighting Fantasy solo RPG books? Do either of them stand out as a more interesting project that’s coming up to you?

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Gencon 2020 – Fantasy Flight In-Flight Report

Gencon 2020 – Fantasy Flight In-Flight Report

So, I’m going to do what I did with Frosthaven when that was announced and talked about on videos, I’m doing a video breakdown. This Fantasy Flight In-Flight report is normally a big deal, kind of a kick-off for Gencon to find out what Fantasy 

Monsteropedia – Behir

Monsteropedia – Behir

Now, this monster is a bit different than the other ones that I’ve talked about. This one is just a monster not with abysmal intelligence but with fairly low INT at 7 (-2 modifier), so it isn’t going to be your plotting or planning sort 

Dungeons and Dragons: ASI vs Feats

Dungeons and Dragons: ASI vs Feats

In Dungeons and Dragons, you have your character stats, that’ll be things like Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, and more. When you start the game you get them locked in and compared to getting +1 armor or a +1 sword in the game, you have limited opportunities to increase your stats. But, when you increase your stats, you could also be taking a feat, so how do they work and which is better?

Image Source: Wizards

ASI (Ability Score Increase)

So when you hit a level that gives you an ASI, you can use it in one of two ways. The first is that you can add two points to any single stat, up to twenty max. So if you strength is a 12, which would give you a +1 to rolls with that ability score, adding two would take it to 14 and a +2 to rolls. Or you could split it in two, so add one to two different ability scores. If your INT (Intelligence) and WIS (Wisdom) are both at 13, which gives you a +1, adding one to each INT and WIS would take them both to 14 and give you a +2 on your ability rolls. So your ASI is going to be part of the way that you get better at casting spells, attacking, persuading, sneaking, etc. It’s a very straightforward and mathematical part of the game.

Feat

Now, the other option you can do is a Feat. This is basically a featured ability that you can gain access to, or something that makes you unique. It might be something such as giving your character access to heavy armor so that they could wear plate armor if they wanted. Or it can make it so that you can automatically reload your crossbow without it taking up time. It might make you better at DEX (Dexterity) and sneaking, or maybe you’re a fighter and you take Magic Initiate to gain access to a spell. There are tons of different feats that you can use to increase stats but add in other skills that you’re proficient with, or many other things.

So, which is better?

Neither, I don’t think that one is particularly better than the other. With an ASI, you are increasing your stats which is going to give you a notable bonus, if you move it from an odd number to an even or from an even to an even. And there’s something to be said for that consistency.

A Feat, on the other hand, some of them are less great than others. But that’s not a massive issue, because most of the time when taking a feat, it’s going to help flavor your character. A dwarf who is running around healing people and wearing heavy plate armor makes a lot of sense, because that seems like a dwarfy thing to do.

Image Source: D&D Beyond

So it depends on what you need. A feat works well to help solidify and work towards a particular character design or idea that you have, and an ASI can as well, but a feat might be more flavorful. But an ASI is going to help with your dice rolls and maybe you’re role playing a particular aspect of your character and succeeding on more rolls would help bring that to the forefront, so an ASI gives you opportunities as well.

I will say that taking only feats throughout a game on your way to level twenty, is going to leave your lagging behind other players in combat and checks. So if you want to take a feat or two, that’s fine, but I probably wouldn’t take them only. I will also say that with feats, there are some much better than others. Alert or Lucky, much better than a feat that gives you a +1 to an ability score and proficiency in a skill. So there’s really time for either and if you need a feat, don’t feel bad about passing on an ASI for it.

Conclusion

Both are useful at times, and while you can easily build a character only taking an ASI and skipping over feats entirely, doing the opposite will have you lagging behind. When considering which to use, like anything in Dungeons and Dragons or an RPG, I say consider your character, their motivations, and what difference it will make in the story. The story is king for having a good time, so spend some time figuring that out and build your character so that it fits and grows within the game that you are playing.

Do you mainly go for the ASI? Or do you spend a lot of time getting feats?

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Back or Brick – The Shivers

Back or Brick – The Shivers

Is this pop-up style board game takes you on an RPG like mystery as you try and investigate, interact with objects and solve what is happening. Pros Mystery adventure game Pop-up book style rooms Artwork Developers project management experience Price RPG Lite Cons Replayability New