Monday, October 16, 2017

Counterfeits

This week's Rolling for Initiative column looks at the growing problem of counterfeit products in the game industry

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Boardgame of the Week Talisman

To complement the RPG of the Week, we will start focusing one post a week on a boardgame. This week's game is Talisman, which first came out in the 1980s and has gone in and out of print ever since. I can best describe Talisman as "D&D on a board", although games like Descent and HeroQest do a better job of replicating the D&D experience. Players start off as a character with certain abilities and traverse the board increasing their strength until they can do battle with the dragon lurking at the center of the board.

Much like the classic dungeon crawls of the era, the outer rim (upper levels) are relatively easy to combat and the adversaries get more dangerous the closer you get to the center of the board. The game can take hours to finish  but players generally stay engrossed until the end (or decide to quit).

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

RPG of the Week OG

This week's RPG is one that does not lend itself to campaign play but rather to one-off sessions, so one off that Scott could be induced to run a game of it if someone approached him properly. Og has been around since the late 1990s in one form or another. The Unearthed Edition dates from 2007 and in the game, everyone plays a stereotypical caveman, or at least as stereotypical a caveman as they can given how much we know about cavemen. Incidentally, these cavemen can, if the GM wishes, co-exist with dinosaurs. Roll with it.

The key thing to remember about Og is the words. Remember how your parents told you to "Use your words" when you were young? Here, you have a maximum of 18 of them and must communicate your actions and wishes to other players using only your known words, such as "You", "Me", "Hairy" and "Bang" and gestures. You may describe what you are doing to the GM using your regular vocabulary but will get penalized should you use that same vocabulary with your fellow players.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Heuristics

This week's Rolling for Initiative column looks at the concepts of heruistics and how they affect purchasing in the game and comic industry.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

RPG of the Week: Dungeon Crawl Classics

Much like Pathfinder and Castles and Crusades, Dungeon Crawl Classics started life as a series of adventures created under D&D 3.0's Open Gaming License. Like the other two, the adventures proved popular enough that Goodman Games is one of the few companies remaining from the 3.0/3.5 Edition era, still publishing modules for the D&D 5th edition game as well as material for what became its house system Dungeon Crawl Classics.

Similar to Troll Lord Games C&C, Dungeon Crawl Classics opts to use its modified 3.0 edition rules and create adventures that have the feel of 1st edition AD and D adventures, with names reminiscent of the early TSR adventures such as "Beyond the Black Gate" and "The Sea Queen Escapes". 

Monday, October 2, 2017

Monolith

This week's Rolling for Initiative column looks at the recent announcement by Monolith to only "sell" the Batman Boardgame through Kickstarter.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

RPG of the Week No Thank You Evil

No Thank You Evil is a RPG system from Monte Cook Games targeted at beginning players. As the cover says "Ages 5 to Infinity" . The system is quite simple and relies on die rolls and tokens. As in almost RPGs, the gamemaster guides the game and creates the adventure. Whenever the players have want to attempt something, the GM sets a "goal" from 0 to 8. A goal of 0 is something the players can easily accomplish, such as walking or talking. Higher goals are set for more difficult activities. The players can spend tokens from their characters to make accomplishing the goals easier.

I had the opportunity to play No Thank You Evil a few weeks ago. It plays well, comes with lots of components and bits and a session can finish in about 30 minutes or extended longer if the players remain interested. If you are a parent looking to introduce your kids to RPGs but think D&D is a bit too complex, No Thank You Evil is a great alternative.