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Thread: Gaming Unplugged - Old School Style - Luddite Gaming - Nerdtopia

  1. #251
    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    Mouse Guard is a good RPG at low numbers, although the system can take some time to get used to. It's not difficult, but it is very different than most, and has a very different flow.

  2. #252
    Administrator Ezee E's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'd be all about that if there were people I knew IRL that would play it. Typically, the closest I've gotten was a play by e-mail online approach which understandably took a very long time.

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  3. #253
    The Pan megladon8's Avatar
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    Oh and my copy of Mountains of Madness arrived today and looks awesome.
    Last Seen (out of 10):

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  4. #254
    The Pan megladon8's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting D_Davis (view post)
    If you have any interest at all, I highly recommend playing one, face-to-face, at some point.

    Some of the best times I've had in my life were during RPG sessions.

    I have tons of interest, just have no idea what to go with.

    Thanks for the recc on Mouse Guard, I'll take a look.

    Know of any decent horror themed ones?
    Last Seen (out of 10):

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  5. #255
    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    The Call of Cthulhu RPG is fantastic. A total classic. Tons of great stuff out there for this one.

    Lamentations of the Flame Princess has some amazing horror resource books (the world of the game is more adult in nature, and deals with sex, body horror, fetish, that kind of stuff. One of the main contributors is Zak Sabbath, who runs the D&D With Porn Stars blog). The rules for the game itself are basic old school D&D. I don't even play the game but I buy a ton of the resources because they are some of the most beautiful books around. The latest - The Veins of the Earth - is 400 pages of incredible horror-fantasy monsters, background, and setting. It was created by Patrick Stuart and Scrap Princess, the two minds behind one of the greatest monster manuals of all time, Fire on the Velvet Horizon.

    http://www.lotfp.com/store/index.php...product_id=262

    I recommend Fire on the Velvet Horizon to people who are into weird fiction in general, and rank it along with the best things written by the likes of Dunsany, Lovecraft, Chambers, et al. It doesn't have any rules or anything, it's just a collection of details about the most creative creatures ever created. Seriously.



    Print on demand only.

    http://www.lulu.com/us/en/shop/scrap...-22807768.html


    Beyond the Supernatural
    is a good, classic horror RPG from the 80s and 90s. Books can be found for very cheap on eBay.

    Don't Rest Your Head is pretty cool. One of the new bread of RPGs - light on rules, heavy on collaborative story telling.
    https://www.evilhat.com/home/dont-rest-your-head-2/

  6. #256
    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    Why I Play - Part One: In the Beginning

    Typically, the following things are true:
    I don’t play board games to win.
    I don’t play board games for the challenge.
    I don’t play board games to test my intricately designed strategy.
    I am not driven by competition.


    The main reason I play board games is to create stories in my head, with my friends. I play for the experience of the emergent narrative. This is why I’ve always been drawn towards the dungeon dive style board games. These lite RPGs in a box give me exactly what I want in a game, with a smaller time and energy commitment than a traditional RPG does. They allow me to live in my imagination, which, even as a 42 year old adult, is something I find important.




    My first foray into traditional fantasy gaming came in 1984, when a friend introduced me to red box Dungeons & Dragons. Now, this was during the height of the Satanic Panic era, and both of my parents were ministers. While they were never close minded or fanatical about things, they did have some reservations about D&D, probably based only on things they heard. I always thought this was weird seeing as how it was my mother who introduced me to fantasy via the worlds of Narnia and Middle Earth (although both were "safe" for Christians). All of this is to say, I had to keep my new found hobby a secret.



    And somehow this made it better! This might have been the first BIG SECRET I kept from my parents (or maybe it was when I stole a package of Jaws 3D cards from the local Foodland, and then, overcome with guilt, hid the cards under my bed when I got home, only to look at them many years later when we moved to a new house). They will of course be happy to know that now, 30-plus years later, my friend and I were not worshiping Satan, we were not sacrificing animals upon altars to cast spells, and we certainly never contemplated suicide when one of our characters died (thanks for those nasty rumors, Jack Chick!).




    But there was something truly magical about those afternoons and evenings spent in my friend’s room, huddled on the floor around a small lamp, with those oddly-shaped dice determining our fates, and all those pencils and erasers being passed back and forth. I know we played the game completely wrong, and there were dozens of rules we overlooked and ignored. But that didn’t matter. We were having fun. We were creating brave warriors, powerful wizards, and conniving thieves, and sending them on adventures in our minds reflected on all that graph paper, carefully plotting our way around tunnels overflowing with traps, secret doors, treasure and monsters.





    Those early moments in my life helped to define who I am today as strongly as any other. They were far more important and long lasting than anything I would learn in school, and I am grateful for them. I sometimes think of my old friend, and what he is up to now. I wonder if he is still into games, still into using his imagination, or did he push those things aside in favor of more grown up things? I hope it is the former, but I fear it is the later.

    Next up...Part Two: Enter Games Workshop (and how this all relates to board games)

  7. #257
    Planet Earth is blue. bac0n's Avatar
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    Great read, Dan - and I see many parallels with my own youth and experience with role playing and table top games.
    When I walk across the living room from my chimney to my window, it takes me 10 seconds, but for a bird it takes one second, and for oxygen zero seconds! -- Jean-Claude Van Damme

  8. #258
    The Pan megladon8's Avatar
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    Great post thank you for sharing D. Look forward to more.

    I have often wished I was born 10-15 years earlier. I know many are saying right now is the "golden age" of tabletop gaming, but I feel like the mid 80s would have been moreso, especially with the revelation that was DnD.
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  9. #259
    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting bac0n (view post)
    Great read, Dan - and I see many parallels with my own youth and experience with role playing and table top games.
    Quote Quoting megladon8 (view post)
    Great post thank you for sharing D. Look forward to more.

    I have often wished I was born 10-15 years earlier. I know many are saying right now is the "golden age" of tabletop gaming, but I feel like the mid 80s would have been moreso, especially with the revelation that was DnD.
    Glad you guys liked it. It was written to kick off my Dungeon Dive blog, but I'll just cross-post here.

    When I look back on my life, it's hard to overstate just how important analog gaming has been. I spent countless hours from elementary school through high school playing these games - mainly RPGs, because board games just weren't there yet, at least not like they are now. There were a few though, which brings me to part 2:

    Why I Play – Part 2: Escalating Escalation




    After my introduction to Basic D&D, the next two games to pave my hobby-path were TSR’s Dungeon!, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Other Strangeness. Dungeon! showed me that it was possible to capture a bit of that RPG spark in a more traditional board game setting, and, in 1986, T.M.N.T proved to me that there was more to RPGs than just wizards, warriors, magic and dragons.



    BUT more importantly, It was also during the late ‘80s that I discovered Ian Livingstone’s and Steve Jackson’s Fighting Fantasy series and Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf series of RPG books. These two series created a solo gaming experience nearly as good as a cooperative or competitive one; these were RPG-like games that I could experience at any time, even late at night, safely under the covers in bed, armed only with my Lightsaber flashlight! These advance Choose Your Own Adventure books took over my life and imagination for many years. One time I discovered an error in one of the books, one of the choices had a misprint on which section you were supposed to turn to. I wrote to Livingston and Jackson detailing my discovery, and they wrote back, along with a box containing dozens of free books! This is still one of my favorite memories.



    HOWEVER an even bigger change came in 1989, when I switched to a new High School, and met a whole new group of people into all kinds of games. This was a watershed year. It was through these new friends that I was introduced to RoboRally, Steve Jackson’s Illuminati (and subsequently Robert Anton Wilson), Awful Green Things from Outer Space, Champions, Ninjas and Superspies, and many others. We spent hours during lunch at school and at a local community center on the weekends playing all manner of imaginative games, exploring the theater of the mind, rolling dice, and creating adventures.

    AND THEN (this is the final escalation, I swear!) I was introduced to Games Workshop through two incredible board games: Talisman: the Magical Quest Game, and Space Hulk. Next to D&D, these two games stand as the most important in my life.

    Talisman: the Magical Quest Game.



    I know its super hip and trendy to hate on Talisman now (and Games Workshop in general for that matter). Yes there are better games with better tactics, strategy and difficult choices to be made. But remember, that’s not why I play games! I play games to create stories, and Talisman is nothing but a story-creating machine; everything about the game facilitates an emergent narrative. It’s all about taking your hero and roaming the land, killing monsters, getting loot, and surviving all kinds of (mis)adventure. The game is simply overflowing with beautiful art and fluffy flavor text – there isn’t a game producer around that creates better lore and flavor text than Games Workshop. I played dozens of games of Talisman with my Odyssey of the Mind team in high school, and continue to enjoy the game today (although with a multitude of house rules, which I might touch upon in a later article).

    And finally (not really) there was Space Hulk.



    Being a child of ‘80s meant that the Alien franchise was a pretty huge deal. And here it was – a board game that simulated almost perfectly the best parts of Aliens. But Space Hulk actually made it even better and more evocative, by incorporating the bafflingly-complex and seemingly-ancient lore from Warhammer 40K. GW injected the marines-fight-aliens genre with a backdrop of political intrigue and religious warfare. These weren’t just space marines; they were Inquisitors, exploring the universe to bring the might and power of the great Emperor to the uninitiated! These weren’t just aliens; they were cultists performing all manner of chaotic and inhumane gene-slicing experiments!

    And like all things with GW, once you start it’s hard to stop. Weekends were spent playing Warhammer 40K, Talisman, Space Hulk, Heroquest, and Warhammer Quest. Soon I was spending every dollar I could get on models and armies, paint and tools. This was my foray into what we now call the Lifestyle Game, a hobby that encompasses much more than simply sitting around a table and playing the game; these games require you to reach deep into your soul (bank account) and spend an (unhealthy?) amount of time (to be fair, as far as hobbies go, gaming is actually on the more affordable side, and entirely healthy so long as you ditch the soda and chips)!
    Last edited by D_Davis; 09-07-2017 at 05:45 PM.

  10. #260
    Planet Earth is blue. bac0n's Avatar
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    I spent many an hour slobbering over the Warhammer stuff in my local gaming shop, I can tell you, and even bought one of the books and a set of minis to try to get into it, but maaaaaaan, that shit was expensive. I seem to recall the entry book itself was 50+ bucks, which for a teenager back in the 80s was quite the chunk of change. If you were wanting to stage the sorts of epic battles pictured in the books, we're talking hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars spent on stuff, not to mention all the time spent painting, assembling, what not.

    Ultimately, I decided that shit was too rich for my blood and returned to my go-to RPGs: AD&D, Marvel Super Heroes, and Star Wars.
    When I walk across the living room from my chimney to my window, it takes me 10 seconds, but for a bird it takes one second, and for oxygen zero seconds! -- Jean-Claude Van Damme

  11. #261
    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    Easily thousands of dollars for the proper stuff.

    I outfitted my WH40K stuff with the boxed games. Space Hulk, Advanced Space Crusade, and the GW/MR crossovers Space Crusade and Mutant Chronicles, both of which I was able to find multiple copies on clearance at KB Toys.

    Could never afford much, that's for sure, especially not any of the terrain or the expensive models. We'd make our own terrain out of blocks of Styrofoam.

    Have you ever played Space Hulk?

  12. #262
    I am not your foot. Spinal's Avatar
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    The fun thing about Dungeons and Dragons as a kid was that you didn't even really need to know how to play the game properly for it to spark your imagination. I remember being absolutely captivated by those hard-bound books when I saw them at Toys R Us. I saved up my money to buy them. Around $15 apiece, as I recall, which was a lot for me at the time. The Monster Manual, The Fiend Folio, The Monster Manual II and especially Deities and Demigods became some of my most cherished possessions, right alongside my baseball cards. I loved Deities and Demigods because it was a rich mixture of world mythology. I thought about how amazing it would be to create a character that became so powerful that it could take on one of these legendary figures. I loved the stats that were alongside each character. I loved the vivid artwork. And it didn't hurt that there was often fantasy-style nudity. And they sold this at Toys R Us! Even though I didn't really play the game as it was intended, I never regretted those purchases.
    Wind River (Sheridan, 2017) ****
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  13. #263
    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Spinal (view post)
    The fun thing about Dungeons and Dragons as a kid was that you didn't even really need to know how to play the game properly for it to spark your imagination. I remember being absolutely captivated by those hard-bound books when I saw them at Toys R Us. I saved up my money to buy them. Around $15 apiece, as I recall, which was a lot for me at the time. The Monster Manual, The Fiend Folio, The Monster Manual II and especially Deities and Demigods became some of my most cherished possessions, right alongside my baseball cards. I loved Deities and Demigods because it was a rich mixture of world mythology. I thought about how amazing it would be to create a character that became so powerful that it could take on one of these legendary figures. I loved the stats that were alongside each character. I loved the vivid artwork. And it didn't hurt that there was often fantasy-style nudity. And they sold this at Toys R Us! Even though I didn't really play the game as it was intended, I never regretted those purchases.
    I've probably spent 5 times as much time reading and looking at RPG books than I have actually playing them. I still buy game books today with no real plans to ever play the games. I simply enjoy reading about the fantastic worlds and their inhabitants.

    And I agree. Back in the day, those D&D and AD&D books were absolutely mythical tomes. Nude harpy boobs? Yes please! They really were magical in their ability to transport my imagination to another world. It was a combination of the art, the illicit nature of some of the material, and the fact that they were somewhat taboo during the Satanic Panic era; they felt dangerous, but we all knew there really was no harm. And while they weren't cheap, the amount of entertainment I got out of them made them an absolute bargain.

  14. #264
    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    Larry Elmore








    My favorite, Gary Chalk:








  15. #265
    Planet Earth is blue. bac0n's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting D_Davis (view post)
    Have you ever played Space Hulk?
    Saw it many a time in the store, tempted every time, but ultimately never pulled the trigger, for pretty much the same reasons I never went all in on the warhammer stuff. Looks really cool tho, and Space Marines were all the rage back then.


    Quote Quoting Spinal (view post)
    Even though I didn't really play the game as it was intended, I never regretted those purchases.
    Did anybody, ever? My friend and I, we had a continuous campaign going on for, sheesh, years, and over the span of that time, got our characters leveled up to the mid teens, but along they way, they got their hands on such over-powered weapons that we were taking on some of the lower-level deities before we were through. Good times!
    When I walk across the living room from my chimney to my window, it takes me 10 seconds, but for a bird it takes one second, and for oxygen zero seconds! -- Jean-Claude Van Damme

  16. #266
    I've had zero exposure to D&D. Then tonight I watched a guy play it on the computer with 4 people remotely. He tried to explain it to me as he went but holy smokes that has to be about the least stimulating game I've ever seen. I can understand enjoying the social aspects of it when you're a young teenager, particularly if playing table-top, but I could stand all of about 20 minutes and I bailed. Maybe I'm just too conditioned by video games. I'd say maybe it was nostalgic appeal, but he'd literally started playing the game in December for the first time. I could see enjoying it as a throwback, like breaking out the dusty Game of Life or something, but to pick it up when you're an adult? I can't fathom. I don't keep tabs on this thread, but I'd be curious to know if any of you picked this up beyond childhood and could explain the appeal. (I didn't want to ask him because he was actively playing and talking to people and, you know, rude much?)

  17. #267
    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    5 people in my current group picked it up in their 30s and 40s.

    Its all all about having fun using your imagination and hanging out with people in a social setting telling stories. The human mind has a deep need to tell and listen to stories and RPGs facilitate this.

  18. #268
    Quote Quoting D_Davis (view post)
    5 people in my current group picked it up in their 30s and 40s.

    Its all all about having fun using your imagination and hanging out with people in a social setting telling stories. The human mind has a deep need to tell and listen to stories and RPGs facilitate this.
    Yeah on further reflection I think I was unfair. I mean, there's plenty of other board games that, if you enjoy the RPG aspects of game-play, those people might say the same about whatever I've played. Some friends and I broke out Pandemic a few times over the last year and I can imagine everybody BUT my group of friends thinking it's the least stimulating table top game of all time.

  19. #269
    Planet Earth is blue. bac0n's Avatar
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    When I walk across the living room from my chimney to my window, it takes me 10 seconds, but for a bird it takes one second, and for oxygen zero seconds! -- Jean-Claude Van Damme

  20. #270
    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    All in again, sans minis. Standees all the way.

  21. #271
    Planet Earth is blue. bac0n's Avatar
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    Me, I did the minis, just like last time...

    And they got funded their first day! Cool!
    When I walk across the living room from my chimney to my window, it takes me 10 seconds, but for a bird it takes one second, and for oxygen zero seconds! -- Jean-Claude Van Damme

  22. #272
    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    Anyone playing This War of Mine?




    This might be the most important board game of the last 20 years.

    This is seriously the only board game I've ever played that made me feel something beyond excitement. The last time we played, the game actually made us sad. I'm sure most of you are familiar with the video game, but I'd say that the board game is actually more successful in accomplishing the goals of the game. Every single mechanism strengthens the core, thematic concept. Even down to how the game is learned - you don't learn the game by reading the rules. The "rules" consist of a 7 page journal. Any other game this complex would have a 40 page manual. In this game, you learn as you play, just as your characters learn about their world. For a lot of the game, you won't even know what certain icons or numbers on things are. And you are told to ignore everything you haven't learned yet. This drives a lot of gamers mad, because they want to have the knowledge in order to min-max their turns. But this game isn't about that.

    This is a game about small victories, and moral-crushing defeat. I've never been happier to find a broken guitar. I've never had to make a more difficult decision than when we had to choose to take a can of food being hidden by an elderly couple, close to death. They didn't really need it, did they? They were already almost dead. We had a chance at survival, but it was their last bit of food. I've never been sadder in a game than when our last bit of coffee ran out, sending my character into a state of depression, and her epilogue described her spiritual decline and what happened to her.

    This War of Mine is a monumental achievement in the field of analog gaming. I think we will look back upon its release with the realization that it elevated every aspect of the hobby to a next level.

  23. #273
    YES! Love the video game. I'll go out of my way to get this.

    I'm getting mixed reports on length and ideal player count. Would you suggest embarking on a lengthy campaign with my roommate, introducing it at board game day with a bigger group, or both? Single player variant is salivating.

  24. #274
    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    I've played with 1 and 3. Works great with both.

    The best way to play with a group to avoid quarterbacking, is to always allow the person who has the journal the final decision for that part of the turn.

    I'd definitely play this in a controlled environment, away from any distractions, with a group that will take the premise and theme seriously.

    As far as length goes, I'd play a few turns before saving the rest for later. The game also comes with shorter 1-off scenarios. I haven't played those, but I've heard they are quite good.

  25. #275
    The Pan megladon8's Avatar
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    Sounds wonderful. Will definitely check it out.

    Found a B&M yesterday with fantastic selection, but their prices tend to be about $15-$20 more than online. They're also really out of the way.

    It's where I found "Fast & Fhtagn", which now that I've read about it I should have gotten it. Sounds like goofy fun.

    I did buy the Cthulhu expansion for King of Tokyo/King of New York.
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