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Blending pen and paper role playing games with interactive storytelling: mechanics


I promised a follow-up post to my original thoughts on blending pen and
paper role playing games with interactive storytelling, but I'd like to
take an aside to talk about mechanics in tabletop games.

Mechanics in tabletop games are there to help facilitate a particular
type of story. When we think of a game like D&D we immediately think of
buff warriors, wizards, elves, dwarves, and rogues / thieves banding
together with the occasional cleric to go into a series of rooms, kill
the monsters, and gain treasure for their effort. It's become such a
cliche that there are games that openly mock the concept to great effect
(Steve Jackson Games' Muchkin comes to mind, along with many others).
The mechanics of D&D support this kind of play, delineating characters
into various core attributes of Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom,
Dexterity, Constitution, and Charisma (there may be others in later
editions and other versions of D&D, but these were current when I
imprinted on D&D) With these attributes you would define your character.
Throw some spells and equipment on your character, choose a race and
alignment for other benefits, and you were ready to tackle the world
according to D&D.

For many folks D&D is the first and last of their experience with
tabletop roleplaying, so when thinking of a RPG they immediately bring
up this concept in their head. And while that may be excellent for some
folks it does tend to foster particular styles of play.

I've been noodling around an idea for a while for a game where you play
a group of individuals building computers in a computer company in the
late 1970s and early 1980s. There was so much drama and intrigue that I
find fascinating in this period that I feel others might enjoy as well.
I've noodled various systems for this game and different styles of play.
I'd like to show what different systems might look like in this setting.

The basic ideas are that a group of engineers and a founder get together
to form the company. Over time they build their first computer, which is
entered into the market. The computer competes against the market with
various decisions either faring well or terribly in the marketplace.
Ship with too little memory and no expansion and people degrade it as a
toy. Ship with too much memory and the machine is expensive and solely
used for business. Ship with little external documentation and your
company can reap the rewards of creating software internally, but with
little 3rd party support. Ship with too much documentation and your
machine is regarded solely for hobbyists. Also not reading the market
properly could result in shipping a machine that underperforms in the
market. There's a lot of interesting ideas that can come from reading
the market and shipping machines and software to meet that, but there's
also the human aspect of the company and the personalities clashing
internally that could really add a dimension to the whole struggle.

If I were to port this setting to D&D I'd have an immediate problem:
strength is not terribly useful for a bunch of programmers and hardware
engineers building a computer. Constitution might be useful for how well
someone could pull several all-nighters in a row, but do I have
something in there for making saving throws against complete exhaustion?
What of modeling the intelligence fog of crunch time, or trying to
persuade others by using your charisma? And how would one model the
company itself?

Sure I could bash something together with D&D to try to get the market
that D&D holds (which is alot) but ultimately I'd be trying to merge two
sets of ideas that aren't going to mesh well. The focus of the game
would be on combatting fatigue, stress, and other things that are
designed to wear characters down and create tension. D&D also rewards
clever behavior with experience points, so at some point these plucky
engineers would become super-engineers and dominate the game. That's not
what I'm looking for. I'm looking for struggle, not conquest.

I bring up D&D not to disparage the game but to highlight that a set of
rules and mechanics that are designed for one set of play aren't
necessarily the best mechanics to plop onto another setting in the hopes
that they'll magically make things interesting.

The same is true of the more simulationist game systems like GURPS or
even Basic Roleplaying (BRP). They're not going to model what I want to
show in the game.

I've thought about Fate and Fudge for this game. Fate and Fudge allow
for a more story-focused modeling of entities and characters. So you
could have an attribute for things like "hacking" for how well someone
could cobble together a solution based from Terrible to Superb (or even
Legendary). You could have attributes for things like Willpower to show
how much someone can stick with something before bailing. You could even
have a Stability attribute to note the rapidly erosion of one's ability
to drive themselves through crunch time. This would model the characters
well, and could even be used to model the computer and the company that
they have formed. So there are options there. Depending on the type of
story that you want to tell you can reframe the encounters and the focus
of the game (Is this the story of the engineers, the founders, the
computer itself, or the company? What is the main focus and the
emotional pieces you wish to highlight?).

Fate and Fudge give you a lot of flexibility (almost too much at times)
because you can add things to this that might never come into play.

If we wanted to just focus on the computer and the company we could turn
this into a euro-style board game with various pieces of the computer
represented as tiles. We could then add a market board to show how the
computer is performing in the market. Perhaps we could also show the
interpersonal interactions of the employees as some abstract performance
tracker. Maybe it could be a card game where folks draw various bits of
the computer and then have to create a low-cost, performant computer
using 1980s technology? (Can't make a low-cost machine because you drew
the S100 bus. Sorry, Player 3.)

We could also put the computer and company into the background and focus
on the interpersonal relationships of the employees. For something like
Dramasystem we could make relationships between the founders and
employees and use the success and failure of the computers and company
for Tightening the Screws, which is a term used to highlight more
dramatic tension in the game. The themes could be of working toward a
common goal, betrayal, wanting to outshine the rest, I work with fools,
our success depends on this machine or we're doomed, I can't work for
that man again, and more. And this is where things get interesting
because you're focused solely on the mindset of the characters
themselves and the stories they're living. The computer and company fall
into the background only to resurface as dramatic tension between the
players.

These are just some of the ways I've been tackling the question of how
to portray this story. There's no right way to model this (though I'd
argue that using D&D to model this is assuredly the wrong way), but
different ways to highlight different aspects of the story. And this is
where mechanics become a useful tool and show the opinion of the game
designer for how they wish the scenarios to play out. Fate is about
interesting people doing interesting things. Fudge is about flexibility
in telling the sorts of stories you wish to tell. Dramasystem is about
letting the mechanics serve a story and hitting certain story beats
without having to explicitly model them. And board games are about using
mechanics to drive uncertainty and tough decisions.

Which brings us to interactive storytelling. If we just port the
mechanics of these games to the computer we'll arrive at an
unsatisfactory result. The mechanics are there to facilitate play around
the table and to help drive the story along. With interactive
storytelling the computer is having to take on the load of not only
rendering the world but the other players. With something like
Dramasystem the point of the game is to get everyone else around the
table to work together to create the story through various dramatic
scenes and point spends. Porting those point spends to the computer
won't provide a useful result.

This is also part of the reason why the earliest computer-based RPGs
used D&D as a model. D&D is number-based and can be codified into the
computer with ease. It has a binary result: you hit or you miss, you get
what you want or you don't. It even has tables for things like treasure,
wandering monsters and even randomized dungeons. One such game (Rogue,
and Rogue-likes) take this to the extreme and create randomized dungeons
and randomized results. The pass-fail idea of D&D and the idea of using
numbers is directly portable to the computer. But trying to have the
computer handle a game like Fate where you can create aspects for the
world based on your own abilities? That's harder.

But I still think there is value in applying the ideas of pacing, story
beats, and dramatic tension to interactive storytelling. This is where
the computer could be taught how to model human fickleness and emotion.
This is where the creativity of the storyteller could influence
computer-generated AI to behave less like a traditional NPC in a
computer game and more like a player at a gaming table saying "how will
my needs be met?"

More to come.

http://decafbad.net/2020/12/13/blending-pen-and-paper-role-playing-games-with-interactive-storytelling-mechanics/
#misc #Adayinthelife #InteractiveStorytelling #GameDesign #Dramasystem #d20 #Fate #BoardGames #ChrisCrawford
 
#ThrowbackThursday

What are some good 2 player board games?

One of my oldest Ask the Bellhop blog posts. Even the format looks odd to me now.

I break my recommendations into categories like Wargames, Abstract Games, Mini games, etc.

Check it out:
https://tabletopbellhop.com/gaming-advice/2playergames/

#Boardgames #Tabletop
What are some good two player games? – Ask The Bellhop
 
Salut les gens, je suis #nouveauici, je me prénomme David et vient chercher une alternative aux réseaux sociaux des GAFAM. J'utilise ces derniers comme outils pour mon entreprise, je suis auto-entrepreneur dans le milieu de l'animation, cherchant à répandre la lumière du jeu de rôle et de la gamification dans les collectivités, les boîtes privés, voir même chez les particuliers. Bref, mon propos tournera souvent autour d'activités ludiques, mais pas que!
#boardgames, #j2s, #jeuabstrait, #jeudecartes, #jeudeplateau, #jeuderole, #jeudesociete et #jeudesociété.
Collège Jean Zay, Rue Buffon, La Marègue, Cenon, Bordeaux, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France métropolitaine, 33150, France 
#Boardgames I very much play the rules. Although have added new pieces to an existing game with swapable pieces (I am planning on building some new monsters for Horrified for example)

For #RPGs I play pretty close to the rules - since my goal is to allow the players to have expectations. If I am playing a rules light game, it's usually pretty easy to build small rules on the fly if they rules don't cover it, but generally there's little to stick close to. For more rules heavy RPGs we're playing for all the PCs to have access to the same tools. I definitely don't change the core rules - but again, addons definitely exist to allow cool stuff.
 

Tabletop QOTD 2020-08-27

Borrowing from the idea of the Pluspora #CheckIn in order to get some tabletop conversation going. If you have any questions that you want to get on the list to be asked, let me know. Also, if you'd like to be added or taken off the list of participants, let me know.

Do you generally play rules-as-written (RAW) or have house rules to better tailor your game to your group?

For #RPGs, I generally find that because of the open nature of the type of game, some forms of rulings are necessary as GM. In order to make those consistent, I usually codify them. In some cases, even before the game starts, I find some things that I feel need tweaking.

For #BoardGames, it really depends on whether it is a classic game or not. I find that in many cases if you read the rules of games that you've played for a long period of time, there are rules that you've never implemented, or are not quite like you remember. An example is Monopoly and rolling to get out of Jail. We just recently found out that after the third roll you have to pay. For newer games we pick up, we play by the rules.

#Tabletop #QOTD

@Eric Franklin
@frasersimons
@Board Games Forum
@Curt Thompson
@Douglas Bailey
@Jesse Butler
@Keith Davies
@Martin Ralya
@Martijn Vos
@Nathan V
@Marsha B
@Stuntman
@Moe Tousignant
@PresGas (OSR) Aspect
@Craig Maloney
@Patrick Marchiodi
@Nathan Norway
@silverwizard
@Stephen Gunnell
@Joseph Teller
@Charles M
@UnclePirate (Stan McCann)
 

Tabletop QOTD 2020-08-25

Borrowing from the idea of the Pluspora #CheckIn in order to get some tabletop conversation going. If you have any questions that you want to get on the list to be asked, let me know. Also, if you'd like to be added or taken off the list of participants, let me know.

What's your gaming life like these days?

Sorry for the long silence- I've been pretty much keeping up with my #RPGaDay2020 posts, but realized I'd not posted anything here recently!

I know that people are getting used to a new normal, and wondered what everyone's gaming life looked like these days?

For #RPGs, my gaming has picked up, with people becoming much more amenable to meeting digitally. For someon that doesn't really like to go out that much, pushing myself to find a group with strangers, and then go to it is asking a bit much. But virtual, there's more of an appeal, and I'm currently playing campaigns of Pathfinder, Exalted, Silent Legions, and Lords of Olympus. I'm also finishing up a Fate World that I was working on, and will be starting a playtest of that, and hopefully getting my Swords of the Serpentine group back together now that I have the final text.

#BoardGames, on the other hand, have fallen by the wayside. Those were, for the most part, just pickup games, with the family, or when friends came by. My daughter is more interested in making preparations to start her new life, and no one else is coming over, so there's not much in the way of boardgames going on.

#Tabletop #QOTD

@Eric Franklin
@frasersimons
@Board Games Forum
@Curt Thompson
@Douglas Bailey
@Jesse Butler
@Keith Davies
@Martin Ralya
@Martijn Vos
@Nathan V
@Marsha B
@Stuntman
@Moe Tousignant
@PresGas (OSR) Aspect
@Craig Maloney
@Patrick Marchiodi
@Nathan Norway
@silverwizard
@Stephen Gunnell
@Joseph Teller
@Charles M
@UnclePirate (Stan McCann)
 

RPGaDay2020 Prompt 07 - Couple

#rpg, #RPGaDay2020, #Tabletop

https://write.as/chuckdee/rpgaday2020-prompt-07-couple

Prompt: Couple

I know that many people game with their significant others, but I've only played World of Warcraft with one girlfriend- never #RPGs. I currently play #BoardGames with the family, but never have played just with my wife. When I did play WoW with my girlfriend, it was nice and also I could see myself falling into a malaise where our life was completely consumed with it when we weren't at work. I've seen some other friends experience the same as the hobby bled the sides of their lives together into one indistinguishable whole. I suppose that, and the fact that most of my significant others have been pretty dissimilar in interests has made me not want it.
 

Tabletop QOTD 2020-08-06

Borrowing from the idea of the Pluspora #CheckIn in order to get some tabletop conversation going. If you have any questions that you want to get on the list to be asked, let me know. Also, if you'd like to be added or taken off the list of participants, let me know.

What is your Ralya Index?

On G+, Martin Ralya once made a post about the Ralya index (Coined by Jonas on RPG Geek), referring to a gaming h-index, i.e. X games have been played at least X times (in bibliometric citation, the h-index is x papers by writer y were cited at least x times).

For #RPGs, my index is 14 as I can recall, i.e. 14 games played 14 times or more (Rolemaster, Amber, All D&D editions, Lords of Gossamer and Shadow, Exalted, Aberrant, Fate, GURPS, Silent Legions, Stars without Number, Lords of Olympus, Cyberpunk 2020, Champions, Marvel Super Heroes)

For #BoardGames, the number comes in at 12 if I exclude standard store games, including Shogun, Risk, Axis and Allies, Ticket to Ride, Carcassone, Roads and Boats, In the Shadow of the Emperor, Ur, Samurai, Wallenstein, Indonesia, Talisman.

#Tabletop #QOTD

@Eric Franklin
@frasersimons
@Board Games Forum
@Curt Thompson
@Douglas Bailey
@Jesse Butler
@Keith Davies
@Martin Ralya
@Martijn Vos
@Nathan V
@Marsha B
@Stuntman
@Moe Tousignant
@PresGas (OSR) Aspect
@Craig Maloney
@Patrick Marchiodi
@Nathan Norway
@silverwizard
@Stephen Gunnell
@Joseph Teller
@Charles M
@UnclePirate (Stan McCann)
 

Tabletop QOTD 2020-07-24

Borrowing from the idea of the Pluspora Check-in get some tabletop conversation going. If you have any questions that you want to get on the list to be asked, let me know. Also, if you'd like to be added or taken off the list of participants, let me know.

What do you do when a player gets knocked out of a game?

#BoardGames

In general, I don't like games where someone can be knocked out of it before the game is done. However, there are those that we play a lot where it happens. It can become a distraction- especially when there are multiple people out- which is one of the reasons I don't like those types of games. We usually try to wrap things up if they go on for too long.

#RPGs

If a character meets an untimely demise, a lot depends on the game, but I'll generally do one of three things.

a) games like Fate where you can use aspects without being there, I generally expand it so that the player is still involved.
b) games where it takes a while to create a character, the new character gets a portion of the experience, so the player can start to generate a new character.
c) I might also turn over an NPC to them to play in the game, if the NPCs permit that.

#Tabletop #QOTD

@Eric Franklin
@frasersimons
@Board Games Forum
@Curt Thompson
@Douglas Bailey
@Jesse Butler
@Keith Davies
@Martin Ralya
@Martijn Vos
@Nathan V
@Marsha B
@Stuntman
@Moe Tousignant
@PresGas (OSR) Aspect
@Craig Maloney
@Patrick Marchiodi
@Nathan Norway
@silverwizard
@Stephen Gunnell
@Joseph Teller
@Charles M
@UnclePirate (Stan McCann)
 

Tabletop QOTD 2020-07-20

Borrowing from the idea of the Pluspora Check-in get some tabletop conversation going. If you have any questions that you want to get on the list to be asked, let me know. Also, if you'd like to be added or taken off the list of participants, let me know.

What's the most you've spent on a Tabletop Gaming item?

I can't find my copy of the Supernatural RPG- I just purchased it on ebay for a reasonable price, so figured at worst I could replace it. The only one I see is $186(!). I started delving into the prices, and saw a game that I have (Dune- Last Unicorn Games) listed for $1200(!).

#BoardGames

I have only paid higher than retail for a few games that I lost during moves and they were out of print. But Shogun was $60 which isn't that much higher, and they came out with another version of Twilight Imperium so I was able to find it for $75 even after that second version was OOP. The same thing happened for Talisman after I lost my copy in the move. A few of the more obscure expansions still elude me, but the most I've paid for anything was about $10 over retail.

#RPGs

I've actually never paid higher than retail for any of my games- and in many cases a lot lower. It's one of the eason

#Tabletop #QOTD

@Eric Franklin
@frasersimons
@Board Games Forum
@Curt Thompson
@Douglas Bailey
@Jesse Butler
@Keith Davies
@Martin Ralya
@Martijn Vos
@Nathan V
@Marsha B
@Stuntman
@Moe Tousignant
@PresGas (OSR) Aspect
@Craig Maloney
@Patrick Marchiodi
@Nathan Norway
@silverwizard
@Stephen Gunnell
@Joseph Teller
@Charles M
@UnclePirate (Stan McCann)
 
The Giant List of Tabletop Game Mechanics - UPDATED!

Have you ever heard a board game term and had no clue what people were talking about?

Worker placement, area control, action selection, drafting, etc?

Click here for our list of mechanic definitions:
https://tabletopbellhop.com/gaming-advice/game-mechanics/

#Boardgames #Mechanics #BoardGameMechanics #GameMechanics
The Giant List of Tabletop Game Mechanics
 
New YouTube Review:

Lost Cities Rivals a 2 to 4 player version of the classic two-player card game Lost Cities.

How does this updated version from Thames & Kosmos compare?

Check it out:
https://youtu.be/WmXIl890T10

#Review #Boardgames #BoardGameReview
 

Tabletop QOTD 2020-07-10

Borrowing from the idea of the Pluspora Check-in get some tabletop conversation going. If you have any questions that you want to get on the list to be asked, let me know. Also, if you'd like to be added or taken off the list of participants, let me know.

How do you store your digital collection?

Last time I asked about storing collections purely out of self interest in my move and trying to brainstorm how it was going to look in the new house. Someone answered about their digital collection, and it got me wondering what others do.

#BoardGames

I have a pretty extensive PnP collection, though I've actually never printed and played any of them. As such, I have never really given much thought to it, and they're spread all over the place. I've lately tried to consolidate them into the same location as my RPG collection, but it's been slow going.

#RPGs

In contrast to my board games, I'm methodical to the point of being OCD because I depend on it so much. I rarely use my dead tree books anymore, which is the reason that most of my books are in pristine condition.

I store them in two different root folders- one for books that I access all the time, and another for books that I just have and rarely read. In each, I have the folder structure set around system (in most cases), drilling down to the specific game and type of expansion. In some cases, I have to separate out more than that, i.e. Eberron, which I actively play, but D&D itself is archived.

My root folders are synchronized to all of my devices in the case of my primary games. For both primary and archived, they're on OneDrive, and on a massive NAS that I have set up on my network.

#Tabletop #QOTD

@Eric Franklin
@frasersimons
@Board Games Forum
@Curt Thompson
@Douglas Bailey
@Jesse Butler
@Keith Davies
@Martin Ralya
@Martijn Vos
@Nathan V
@Marsha B
@Stuntman
@Moe Tousignant
@PresGas (OSR) Aspect
@Craig Maloney
@Patrick Marchiodi
@Nathan Norway
@silverwizard
@Stephen Gunnell
@Joseph Teller
@Charles M
@UnclePirate (Stan McCann)
 

Tabletop QOTD 2020-07-07

Borrowing from the idea of the Pluspora Check-in get some tabletop conversation going. If you have any questions that you want to get on the list to be asked, let me know. Also, if you'd like to be added or taken off the list of participants, let me know.

Sorry it's been a pretty hectic couple of weeks, so I haven't been able to keep up with the questions.

How do you store your games?

#BoardGames

I actually don't have a good way to store my boardgames. They're in boxes and bags in the storage room, and I keep a few out on the shelf. But I don't have a dedicated place to showcase them.

#RPGs

I have several shelves in my office that have all of my books and boxes on them. In the house that I'm purchasing, there are several built-ins for bookshelves which is something I've always wanted. I never realized that would make me switch up how I store my books though.

Because I'm reconsidering how I store things, I figured this a perfect question, and for selfish reasons I'll be very interested in the responses!

#Tabletop #QOTD

@Eric Franklin
@frasersimons
@Board Games Forum
@Curt Thompson
@Douglas Bailey
@Jesse Butler
@Keith Davies
@Martin Ralya
@Martijn Vos
@Nathan V
@Marsha B
@Stuntman
@Moe Tousignant
@PresGas (OSR) Aspect
@Craig Maloney
@Patrick Marchiodi
@Nathan Norway
@silverwizard
@Stephen Gunnell
@Joseph Teller
@Charles M
@UnclePirate (Stan McCann)
 

Tabletop QOTD 2020-06-23

Borrowing from the idea of the Pluspora Check-in get some tabletop conversation going. If you have any questions that you want to get on the list to be asked, let me know. Also, if you'd like to be added or taken off the list of participants, let me know.

Do you have different rules for people new to the game?

It can be hard to get people interested in the hobby- I try to make my games friendly for newbies.

#BoardGames

In the first few games, I try to give suggestions to the other players, and allow them to take back moves that I know are bad- letting them know why its bad. I try not to take it to the level of playing the game for the person, but I try to make it at least competitive.

#RPGs

I aid in building characters, and allow a few games until the character is solidified. When actually playing, I tend not to hold hands as much during the role-playing part, but in the combat part, it's pretty similar to board games.

#Tabletop #QOTD

@Eric Franklin
@frasersimons
@Board Games Forum
@Curt Thompson
@Douglas Bailey
@Jesse Butler
@Keith Davies
@Martin Ralya
@Martijn Vos
@Nathan V
@Marsha B
@Stuntman
@Moe Tousignant
@PresGas (OSR) Aspect
@Craig Maloney
@Patrick Marchiodi
@Nathan Norway
@silverwizard
@Stephen Gunnell
@Joseph Teller
@Charles M
@UnclePirate (Stan McCann)
 
How do you deal with a stubborn player that is not willing to try new things?

A gamer who will only play the same game week after week or who always makes the same character for every RPG they play.

Check out the Ask The Bellhop Segment from our last live show where Sean and I talk about dealing with a tabletop picky eater.

youtu.be/BgA89IkafVE

#Tabletop #RPGs #boardgames
 
#Unboxing - The Fox in the Forest from Renegade Game Studios and Foxtrot Games

Thanks to a friend I got my own copy of The Fox in the Forest and took the time to record an unboxing video so that people can see what they get in this two-player trick-taking game.

Check it out:
https://youtu.be/BbEgWp9nSS8

#Boardgames #Cardgame #Tabletop
 
Looking for something to do on a lazy Sunday?

Here's a list of over 200 free print and play tabletop games that were released by publishers and designers to give us all something to do while stuck at home.

Check it out:
https://tabletopbellhop.com/tabletop-gaming-deals/free-covid-board-games/

#Boardgames #Tabletop #PrintAndPlay #free
Over 200 Tabletop Games to Play For Free At Home, To Keep You Busy During Quarantine
 
What do you do with a tabletop gaming picky eater?

A player who only wants to play the same game over and over or a player who always makes the same character in every RPG?

Check out my latest Ask The Bellhop article for my suggestions on what to do when this comes up in your group.

https://tabletopbellhop.com/gaming-advice/stubborn-players/

#Tabletop #Boardgames #RPGs
How do you deal with a tabletop gamer who isn’t willing to try new things? – Ask The Bellhop
 

Tabletop QOTD 2020-06-17

Borrowing from the idea of the Pluspora Check-in get some tabletop conversation going. If you have any questions that you want to get on the list to be asked, let me know. Also, if you'd like to be added or taken off the list of participants, let me know.

Last time, we asked "In your opinion, what sets the truly great games apart from all the rest?"

In contrast to this, "What sets the truly memorable sessions apart from the rest? Do you have any examples of a session that sticks out in your mind?"


Memorable sessions usually consist of unplanned moments when something truly extraordinary happens.

#BoardGames

I have a few, but my most memorable one was in Shogun (Samurai Swords), where one player was decimated in the beginning, having only one army left, though it had a good composition. Normally, that wouldn't matter, as attrition hurts any army that cannot be replenished. But everyone else was rolling terribly that night, and he ended up somehow almost winning.

#RPGs

In one Rolemaster campaign based in Middle Earth, we had a series of bad choices that kept making the situation worse and worse.

It started with a 66 crit on our paladin that destroyed his helm, but did no other damage. Right after that, we found some loot- and in there was a helm. It turned out that it was a helm of opposite alignment.

The paladin's opposing deity which he now worshipped counseled him that a turning pont was coming and that he should hide his changes. I'll have to give it to the player- he played it well, and in retrospect, he threw out a lot of signs that he was no longer LG, but LE. But we ignored them.

The fellowship was ambushed because of information that he gave, and the split that happened because of Boromir happened because of this betrayal instead. We were tasked with taking up for the original fellowship and finding and shepherding Frodo and the hobbits. One of the nazgul attacked the party, and that's when the Paladin revealed himself, killing the hobbits, and throwing Frodo to the Nazgul, who took off with him.

The rest of us tried to recover from that, and get to Sauron before the ring did. We thought that we were fast enough, but we weren't, and ended up fighting Sauron at the height of his power. As we teleported in, he met us immediately with an amped up shock bolt of all things that incinerated one PC. Another attacked, and actually did damage- he cast 'Be Not' on that PC. The rest of us fled.

The only thing good about that encounter was that the PC that had 'Be Not' was one of those players that talks endlessly about his character's exploits. Whenever he started with "I remember when Renegade..." we'd interrupt him with "Who?"

#Tabletop #QOTD

@Eric Franklin
@frasersimons
@Board Games Forum
@Curt Thompson
@Douglas Bailey
@Jesse Butler
@Keith Davies
@Martin Ralya
@Martijn Vos
@Nathan V
@Marsha B
@Stuntman
@Moe Tousignant
@PresGas (OSR) Aspect
@Craig Maloney
@Patrick Marchiodi
@Nathan Norway
@silverwizard
@Stephen Gunnell
@Joseph Teller
@Charles M
 
Check out the YouTube version of our latest live show!

Ep 94 - Black Games Matter

We highlight some of the best games from Black designers, including a review of Mermaid Adventures.

Then my first thoughts on 878 Vikings and plays of Black Box, Clans of Caledonia, Fox in the Forest and Codenames Duet.

Also, my thoughts on my first online game convention, Renegade Con.

https://youtu.be/_O8EEoI5kdE

#Tabletop #Podcast #RPGs #BoardGames
 
#Unboxing - Sanctum - A board game version of Diablo with the serial numbers filed off from Czech Games Edition

Check it out:
https://youtu.be/0XBrFPSmL5k

#Boardgames #Tabletop
 
I've been refining weapons rules ideas for "Blue Max in Space" - a space combat game on cubical grid. I've decided on a general principle that you can only shoot in the six axis directions. Therefore, the "missile" rules have changed to be more ... Vietnam era Sidewinder/Sparrow-ish.

So, the basic weapon styles are:

1) Direct fire - can shoot at a target lined up in front of the firing port (range 0 shots aren't allowed)

2) Mine - prox fuse explodes when something enters its cube

3) Torp - like a mine, but it moves forward; it explodes if it enters an occupied cube

4) Missile - has two modes of operation:

4a) Inertial mode - like a torp, but if something enters a cube in front of it, the torp locks onto it. If a missile has multiple targets in front of it, the player chooses which one to lock onto.

4b) Locked mode - only explodes if it's in the same cube as its target. When it moves, it can maneuver like a spacecraft. However, the player must chose a move which minimizes taxicab distance to its target. If the target is destroyed, the missile immediately reverts to Inertial mode.

Ideally, you'll want to launch a missile in Locked mode, which means maneuvering to get your desired target directly in front of the firing port. This invokes the feeling of Sparrow boresight mode for initial launch, although the missile can then seek the target on its own after launch.

Alternatively, you can just sling a missile vaguely toward the enemy and hope that it locks afterward at some point. This invokes the feeling of launching a Sidewinder without tone. Friendly fire can be a risk, though, since a missile in Torp mode will lock onto anything that enters its line of sight.

These missile restrictions are weird, but I think they make for more interesting gameplay than simply being able to launch missiles at targets in any direction while other weapons require obtuse maneuvering to line up a shot.

Fundamentally, the game is about maneuvering and restricting enemy maneuvers. It's not so much about range control as it is about lining things up along axis directions.

BTW, I'm still not sure about a good game title. I kind of like "The Speed of Warp", but I don't think many people would have ever heard of "The Speed of Heat". So ... ???

#BoardGames #GameDesign #BoardWargames #Wargames
 

Tabletop QOTD 2020-06-09

Borrowing from the idea of the Pluspora Check-in get some tabletop conversation going. If you have any questions that you want to get on the list to be asked, let me know. Also, if you'd like to be added or taken off the list of participants, let me know.

In your opinion, what sets the truly great games apart from all the rest?

The best games to me are the ones that I can play and get people to play. If I can't get it to the table, it never really becomes a game. In those, there are different criteria for board games vs RPGs.

#BoardGames

Ones that make you interact with the other players in interesting ways, postiively or negatively. Games where you don't have any interaction with others might as well be solo, in my opinion. And when those interactions become interesting, you get some truly extraordinary experiences.

#RPGs

Those games that are able to stoke my imagination, and have everything pushing you towards buy in and losing yourself in the game world in a perfect combination of rules and campaign lore. Sometimes, the latter can be provided by the GM, elevating a so-so game into something great.

#Tabletop #QOTD

@Eric Franklin
@frasersimons
@Board Games Forum
@Curt Thompson
@Douglas Bailey
@Jesse Butler
@Keith Davies
@Martin Ralya
@Martijn Vos
@Nathan V
@Marsha B
@Stuntman
@Moe Tousignant
@PresGas (OSR) Aspect
@Craig Maloney
@Patrick Marchiodi
@Nathan Norway
@silverwizard
@Stephen Gunnell
@Joseph Teller
@Charles M
 
New Video: Eminent Domain Box Insert Building.

In this video you can watch me build a box insert from Folded Space for Eminent Domain (and it's expansions) from Tasty Minstrel Games

https://youtu.be/L9Cs_c-TdTc

#Boardgames #BoxInsert #FoldedSpace #TastyMinstrelGames
 
#Unboxing - The Alpha - a Wolf Pack themed hobby board game from Bicycle Cards for 3 to 6 players.

Check out what you get with this new Light Strategy Game from Bicycle Cards

https://youtu.be/S6Yq0XfMGOE

#Boardgames
 
New Podcast Ep - Tabletop Gaming Enhanced

Set the mood and create immersion on your game night using all five senses.

Also a full review of King Me! from Ravensburger

Finally another look at Unlabelled, Eminent Domain Exotica from Tasty Minstrel Games, and some Asmodee Digital games in our week in review.

https://tabletopbellhop.com/uncategorized/ep091

#Podcast #Tabletop #Boardgames #RPGs
Tabletop Gaming Enhanced – Tabletop Bellhop Gaming Podcast Ep 91
 
#Unboxing - Eclipse Second Dawn for the Galaxy - Kickstarter Edition including the Worlds Afar Expansion with all stretch goals.

Check out my latest unboxing video of the newly Kickstarted second edition of Eclipse here:

https://youtu.be/rXLxZNrgxLw

The only things I didn't get was the Ship Wash and the Map.

#Boardgames #Tabletop #Eclipse
 
#Unboxing Hall of Heroes, the first expansion for Raiders of the North Sea the Viking board game from @PlayRenegade

Check it out:
https://youtu.be/PEDG5ww65E0

#Boardgames
 
New podcast episode:Spring Fling AMA

Topics include: easy games for toddlers, games to play over Discord, newish games we want to try, favourite dexterity games, gaming gifts we didn’t appreciate, Kickstarters we lost enthusiasm for, best Cthulhu games, a pile of shame update, the first upgrade we would make for our shows, and more.

Also a review of The Fox in the Forest Duet followed by some online gaming, date night gaming and another Renegade #WorldWidePlayDay event.

https://tabletopbellhop.com/podcast/ep089/

#Podcast #Boardgames #Tabletop
Spring Fling AMA – Tabletop Bellhop Gaming Podcast Ep 89
 
New Podcast Episode

Six Pack – Great board games for six players. Also a review of the two player trick-taking game The Fox in the Forest. Finally a mix of digital and physical gaming in our week in review with a look at the Happy Meeple website.

https://tabletopbellhop.com/podcast/ep088/

#tabletop #boardgames #podcast
Six Pack – Great Board Games For 6 Players – Tabletop Bellhop Gaming Podcast Ep 88
 
Review - The Fox in the Forest from @PlayRenegade

Check out The Game Room segment from our last live show where we take a look at The Fox in the Forest a two player trick taking card game.

https://youtu.be/BiEaYUlQ5bY

#Review #CardGame #Boardgames #Video
 
Clank! A Deck-Building Adventure - Board game actual play.

Watch us play Clank! with 2 players.

We recorded this game yesterday as part of the Renegade Game Studios #WorldWidePlayDay

Check it out:
https://youtu.be/7tUbUDtF_O0

#ActualPlay #Clank! #Boardgames
 
Clank! A Deck-Building Adventure - Board game actual play.

Watch us play Clank! with 2 players.

We recorded this game yesterday as part of the Renegade Game Studios #WorldWidePlayDay

Check it out:
https://youtu.be/7tUbUDtF_O0

#ActualPlay #Clank! #Boardgames
 
Card Game Review:

Fox in the Forest, a trick-taking card game for only two players from Renegade Game Studios

I admit that I was skeptical of trick-taking working with only two but that was unfounded. This has quickly become one of our favourite two player games.

Check it out:
https://tabletopbellhop.com/game-reviews/review-fox-in-the-forest/

#CardGame #Boardgames #tabletop #review
Review of The Fox in the Forest, a trick taking card game for two players.
 

Tabletop QOTD 2020-04-22

Borrowing from the idea of the Pluspora Check-in get some tabletop conversation going. If you have any questions that you want to get on the list to be asked, let me know. Also, if you'd like to be added or taken off the list of participants, let me know.

Do you watch/listen to other people play games? Let's play, twitch, or any other formats?

Sometimes I like reviews, but I get the better feeling for a game watching someone else play. With #RPGs I prefer to listen to podcasts to get the feel of the game, though I have watched a couple of solo sessions of Me, Myself, and Die- mostly because his characterizations are entertaining. But #Boardgames, I have to watch to get the feel of them.

#Tabletop #QOTD

@Eric Franklin
@frasersimons
@Board Games Forum
@Curt Thompson
@Douglas Bailey
@Jesse Butler
@Keith Davies
@Martin Ralya
@Martijn Vos
@Nathan V
@Marsha B
@Stuntman
@Moe Tousignant
@PresGas (OSR) Aspect
@Craig Maloney
@Patrick Marchiodi
@Nathan Norway
@silverwizard
@Stephen Gunnell
@Joseph Teller
@Charles M
 
Dig some video with your audio? Check out the YouTube version of our latest podcast.

Digital Boardgame Battle Royal - The Three Best Sites for Playing Board Games Online as well as a review of Pulsar 2849 and a mostly digital week in review.

https://youtu.be/A2IkFwLl7js

#Podcast #Tabletop #Boardgames
 
New Podcast Ep!

Digital Boardgame Battle Royal - The Three Best Sites for Playing Board Games Online.

Comparing Board Game Arena, Yucata and Boite A Jeux.

A review of Pulsar 2849 from CGE and a mix of physical and digital games in our week in review. Pulsar 2849 and King Me! in person. Online games including 7 Wonders, Race for the Galaxy, Terra Mystica, Carpe Diem, YINSH, Attika, Imhotep, Imhotep The Duel, Hacienda, Egizia, Dungeon Lords, Tzolkin and Town Center.

https://tabletopbellhop.com/podcast/ep087/

#Tabletop #boardgames #podcast
Digital Board Game Battle Royal – The best sites for playing board games online – Tabletop Bellhop Gaming Podcast Ep 87
 
#Unboxing - CO2 Second Chance board game by Vital Lacerda, Including the Kickstarter Exclusives.

Check out my latest unboxing video of CO2 from @Giochix

https://youtu.be/5xdrgM62FbA

#boardgames #tabletop
 
People live streaming their tabletop gaming hobby is becoming more and more popular.

We've collected a list of over 120 gaming streamers. These include miniature painters, actual play, board gaming, how to plays, GM advice and so much more!

Check it out:
https://tabletopbellhop.com/actual-play-twitch-streams/

#tabletop #Boardgames #roleplaying
Actual Play Twitch Streams
 
Comparison of the 3 Best Sites for Playing Board Games Online for Free with no Software to Download

Check out the Ask the Bellhop segment from our last live show on YouTube:

https://youtu.be/OLW_bsowbsI

#tabletop #Boardgames
 
Check out my comparison of three of the best sites for playing board games online: Board Game Arena, Yucata and Boite A Juex.

I list the pros and cons of gaming on each of these free sites and point out which I prefer to use.

Check it out:
https://tabletopbellhop.com/gaming-advice/best-online-boardgaming/

#Tabletop #boardgames #OnlineGaming
Comparison of Three of the Best Sites for Playing Board Games Online For Free – Ask The Bellhop
 
Check out my comparison of three of the best sites for playing board games online: Board Game Arena, Yucata and Boite A Juex.

I list the pros and cons of gaming on each of these free sites and point out which I prefer to use.

Check it out:
https://tabletopbellhop.com/gaming-advice/best-online-boardgaming/

#Tabletop #boardgames #OnlineGaming
Comparison of Three of the Best Sites for Playing Board Games Online For Free – Ask The Bellhop
 
Pulsar 2849 - Board Game Review - A Dice Driven, Sci-Fi, Eurogame, Point Salad, for up to four players.

Check out The Game Room segment from our last live show where we lookat Pulsar 2849 from Czech Games Edition

https://youtu.be/MOXiRfdDol4

#Boardgames #Tabletop #Review
 

Tabletop QOTD 2020-04-17

Borrowing from the idea of the Pluspora Check-in get some tabletop conversation going. If you have any questions that you want to get on the list to be asked, let me know. Also, if you'd like to be added or taken off the list of participants, let me know.

Do you read-through/learn the rules before you play? Or as you play?

For #RPGs I prefer to have done at least a read through of the rules. I'll learn a one-shot on the fly, but I like to have read through at least the more prevalent rules and have made a test character or two. The only time I've seen that I might do otherwise is through PbF, PbEM, and other asynchronous methods. If I'm not GMing, then I have more time to work through the rules as I play.

For #boardgames it seems that the opposite is true. I think nothing of cracking open a game with a group and learning, or learning online as I play through there.

#Tabletop #QOTD

@Eric Franklin
@frasersimons
@Board Games Forum
@Curt Thompson
@Douglas Bailey
@Jesse Butler
@Keith Davies
@Martin Ralya
@Martijn Vos
@Nathan V
@Marsha B
@Stuntman
@Moe Tousignant
@PresGas (OSR) Aspect
@Craig Maloney
@Patrick Marchiodi
@Nathan Norway
@silverwizard
@Stephen Gunnell
@Joseph Teller
@Charles M
 
#ThrowbackThursdays

Tech at the game table, does it help or hinder?

Check out this classic Ask The bellhop article from Sept 2018:

https://tabletopbellhop.com/gaming-advice/technology/

#RPGs #Boardgames
Tech at the table, does it help or hinder? – Ask The Bellhop
 
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