13 February 2018

Rambling Roleplayer's Random Ramblings - 02/13/2018

This week I'm going to go on about some of the things I've recently been doing, playing, watching, reading, listening to, and what have you. It will likely be a regular thing that I do at least once a month. Next week (and actually every other week) I'll be posting another review. But for now, let's take a look at what I've been up to of late.

In gaming news, things have been pretty quiet on the roleplaying front. I'm thinking about running a game soon, either online or in person depending on how interest and schedules work out. I've been reading a lot of roleplaying games and game supplements though, mainly for reviews but also with an eye towards getting some of those things to the table. Specifically, I've been delving pretty deep in to The Lost Lands: Borderlands Provinces by Frog God Games, with an eye towards using that setting if my plans to run a Dungeons and Dragons game come to fruition. I'll be posting a full review of this product at some point in the future, but for right now I'll just say that I like what I've read so far. I'm getting an old school, low-to-medium fantasy feeling from it, which I really dig. I also think it strikes a good balance between providing lots of details and giving game masters lots of room to do their own thing.

*actual throne not included

I've been a little more active on the board gaming front, and usually manage to play something or another at least one night a week. Recently, Dice Throne hit the table. The best way I can describe this game is by saying it's what would happen if Magic the Gathering and King of Tokyo had a baby. If you're not familiar with either of those things, then I'd say it combines a Yahtzee style dice rolling mechanism with some hand and resource management thrown in. There are six different heroes you can play as in the game, each with their own decks, dice, and dice combos, and the object of the game is to kick ass and be the last player standing. We played the game 1 vs 1, which is the best way to play according to the rules, but you can also play 2 vs. 2, 3 vs. 3, or as a free for all with anywhere from 3 to 6 players. There is not a lot of depth here, but it was better than King of Tokyo with only two players, and it played in less time than it would take to even build a Magic the Gathering deck. I would definitely play this again; especially if only two of us showed up for game night, but I'd also be up for playing one of the team variants as well.
I also have a group of friends that I call my "party game" friends, because none of them have a gaming background, most of them don't seem to have the stomach to sit through any lengthy rules explanations, and I fear that their heads might explode if I dumped Caverna out on the table in front of them. When we get together we typically play things like Spyfall, Codenames, and The Resistance.

One of the most important parts of playing Ticket to Ride is maintaining an orderly train yard.
Recently though, I've been trying to steer them into the wider world of boardgaming, with a little bit of success. Previously we have played a game of Istanbul, which actually went over much better than I thought it would, and last weekend I introduced some members of the group to Ticket to Ride. Everyone had a good time, but I don't think we're going to be playing any heavy Euro games anytime soon. There's a silver lining though, because one member of this group has expressed a deeper interest in "serious" board gaming, and with any luck I'll be able to bring him completely into the fold.

That's pretty much it for my personal tabletop gaming adventures right now, but here are some related and unrelated things that have been occupying my time of late:

Netflix is taking Burn Notice down after tomorrow, and at the time of this writing I still have 10.5 episodes to watch to finish the series, so that's been weighing pretty heavily on my mind and interfering with my schedule. Wish me luck! Also, look for some of my thoughts on how to apply some things I learned from watching this show to your roleplaying game in the near future.

I usually don't watch actual play videos of Dungeons & Dragon games, they are usually way too long and just don't hold my interest. Then a couple of weeks ago I stumbled across Dungeon Gamers on YouTube and watched all nine episodes of their stuff back to back. I found the actors to be charming, I liked the cut scenes, and each video was less than 15 minutes long. The theme song is pretty catchy too. I hope they put up some new episodes soon, and I recommend that you go check them out!

At the risk of sounding like a complete hypocrite, I also really enjoyed watching the three part Dungeons & Dragons actual play from Shut Up & Sit Down recently. These episodes are closer to an hour long (still better than the four hour episode length I've seen for that other show), but these guys have a proven track record of being entertaining to me so I was pretty sure I wouldn't be disappointed. And I wasn't!

In the listening department, I've recently listened to a few episodes of the Board Games in Bed podcast and I'm eager to get caught up on the rest of them! It's a weekly, informal chat about boardgames between two people who are - allegedly - lounging about in bed. They talk about the games they have been playing recently and they also discuss a different, board game themed topic each week. Check them out!

It just occurred to me that the last three things I mentioned are all British, so at this point I can't rule out the possibility that, in addition to how great these things are besides, the pleasant accents may have something to do with my overall enjoyment.

Finally, I am excited and intrigued by this tweet from @RPGKitchen and I can't wait to see what they have in store for us:

Now, if you will excuse me I have a lot of Burn Notice to watch...have a great week!

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