Venerable Dad and Hero Kid

Some members in one of the online communities that I am part of have been running a 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons role playing game via the online Roll20App. I’ve really enjoyed the mechanics and there is certainly alot less number crunching involved, although I think this mostly in part to the way Roll20 speeds up nearly all checks and actions so that the players can focus more on role playing and enjoying themselves.

I last played D&D since 1998 and that was AD&D 2nd Edition so it’s taken me a little time to get back into the swing of things but I’m happy to be back playing a game on a semi-regular basis. I’m exploring options to GM a game with some friends online in the new year.

Hero Kids

herokidsThis morning Littlest Troll undertook his first steps into the world of role playing with a title I picked up from DriveThruRPG called Hero Kids.

I was very pleased with how the game makes activities simple, making them easy to explain to a child yet the game still remained enjoyable for those playing. The small one doesn’t have a great attention span and can get bored easily, the first adventure felt just about right time wise, with a huge number of giant rats laying unconscious in some caves.

Since there is a Cyber Monday Sale on this weekend at DriveThruRPG I think I shall be picking up the complete bundle for this game Hero Kids – Complete Fantasy PDF Bundle [BUNDLE] which includes:

  • Hero Kids – Fantasy RPG (Core Rules book)[discounted as I already own this].
  • Fantasy Expansion – Pet Cards
  • Fantasy Expansion – Monster Compendium
  • Fantasy Expansion – Equipment Cards
  • Fantasy Expansion – Hero Cards II
  • Fantasy Expansion – Hero Cards III
  • Fantasy Expansion – Hero Cards IV
  • Fantasy Adventure – Curse of the Shadow Walkers
  • Fantasy Adventure – Escape from the Ghost Pirates
  • Fantasy Adventure – Fire in Rivenshore
  • Fantasy Adventure – Glade of the Unicorn
  • Fantasy Adventure – Mines of Martek
  • Fantasy Adventure – The Lost Village
  • Fantasy Adventure – Tomb of the Lost King
  • Fantasy Adventure – Wizard’s Tower
  • Fantasy Adventure – Yuletide Journey
  • Fantasy Premium Adventure – Maze of the Minotaur

Hopefully we can get some role playing done over the Christmas period if the little troll hold still  and If we discover that he enjoys the game and wants to play more I’m tempted to get the Flat Plastic miniatures https://arcknight.squarespace.com/shop/fpm-hero-kids.

In which I dust off my blog

The last three months have been very busy on the work front with a very tight deadline project that has been rather taxing, plus on call has been manic in May. Also I was diverting a lot of energy into driving lessons, theory and practical test preparations but happily I sat my driving test and passed on the second attempt.
Awesomely my father in law donated his car to me which was great and saved me quite a bit of hassle finding a car.

So after spending my annual bonus on car insurance and tax we undertook an adventure to Bluestone with family and friends. Of course every holiday experience has to start with hiccup and this one was no different with a bolt that holds the gear pivot shearing off and me having to call out the Breakdown service, thankfully it was repairable.

After 1 month driving I still dislike it, but do enjoy the hour or so I have reclaimed on my daily commute.

Games

I haven’t really been playing much in the way of social games recently, my Game List in the sidebar is likely very out of date.

  • Battlefield 4 – After the worst start in FPS history I decided that my trigger finger was wasting away. I have been playing a few nights a week as a drop in game.
  • Dreamfall Chapters – Man this game is so detailed at times, a great follow up the previous games in the series.
  • Always Sometimes Monsters – Part of me thinks this game is an old school masterpiece reskinned, but maybe not. Very good and harrowing story.
  • Space Run – A fun tower defense game that seeing you having to adapt mid level to counter opposing forces.
  • Kentucky Route Zero – I’ve only just started making my way through this interesting story.

Board Games

games.2015.06.01We headed down to Rules of Play in Cardiff  twice in the last 2 months, damn that shop has alot of choice and it maybe a few pound more than Amazon but supporting a “local” business is more important, plus you get to browse.
In the digital age I buy my Computer games and Music via download outlets but with physical copies of tabletop games it’s nice to read the blurbs and ask a real person about a game rather that taking those Amazon feedback scores as gospel.

This last month we have obtained:

  • Zombies!!!
  • Love Letter
  • Race to Adventure
  • The Cave
  • Bucket of Doom
  • Zombie Dice 3
  • Tsuro of the Seas
    plus our wedding anniversary gifts
  • Hobbit Love Letter
  • Machi Koro

We’ve had a great time playing through them all recently and some of our existing games too.

Reaping Kickstarter rewards

In 2014 crowd funding continued with some epically failing to reach the starting line, while others silently gained momentum smashing their targets. It was also the year that early access seemed to be everywhere, maybe a little too much in some case as the public want to make sure they are buying into the thing they have confidence in.

So in 2014 I backed a number of Kickstarters of those the following have been  Fate tokens by Campaign coins, Vye: The Card Game by Sand Hat Games and Elegy for a Dead World: A Game About Writing Fiction by Debojaan Games.

1) In December my Fate Coins arrived and I have to admit were rather awesome. The cost was more than I was originally going to back but I upped my amount and really like mixture of coins I received.
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I’m planning to put them to good use this year by running some Fate role playing games.

Elegy-2014-12-08-20-50-39-05-300x1872) I had a copy of Elegy for a Dead World delivered via Humble Bundle, and redeemable on Steam. I have a weak spot for Debojaan games but then I’m rarely disappointed. The game sees you visiting alien worlds and help you create a narrative about the people who inhabited these distant worlds.

Featuring writing prompts that aim to inspire you to detail a story the final days of a worlds population.You can share your stories with others and there is even a pay on print option with screenshots from the game.

vye queen3) Finally is Vye which was being run by some of the ex-City of Heroes staff. The game is very simple area of control game and quite fast paced, I’m rather keen to play it at home and at my work game evening.

Additionally the artwork on the cards is awesome and I have the print and play version available to test before the final version arrives sometime in June.

 

The Witches

I had Tree Frog Games’s The Witches for Christmas we have only played it once and so we decided to take it out for another spin tonight. This is the second game based in the Discworld universe but is quite different from Anhk Morpork.
The game is set in Lancre, players control one of 4 trainee witches who are honing their skills by solving problems of ranging difficulty.

Each turn the game players can move but if they get to problem tile they have to try and solve it.
Solving problems is dependant on the total of 4 dice rolls plus any additional modifiers that a player has available to them. To bring a little chance to the situation players roll 2 dice, has the opportunity to play cards to increase their total, then they roll the remaining 2 dice to complete their attempt at resolving a problem.

TheWitchesThe dice have no ONEs as they are replaced with Cackle markers which if you accumulate too many can lead to losing point at the end of game scoring section. Thankfully to reduce your cackles you can land on the same square as another witch which automatically means you have to have Tea, as it’s etiquette, this gives both player chance to reduce their negative cackle points.

The game progress with multiple factors that could lead to the end of the game and force scoring to occur.

The rules are complete and nicely ordered that means looking up things is rather easy, plus there is a crib sheet included in the box too. However the rule are detailed completely and we didn’t have any problem relearning again as it soon came back to us.

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#Blaugust #Discworld #TabletopGames

XCOM Board game

I have to admit that after seeing that a XCOM game was coming I was a little dubious as I didn’t know how it would transfer across mediums. I was even more concerned when I spotted that Fantasy Flight Games were releasing it.

It’s a cooperative game for 1 to 4 players, where as games like Forbidden Island and Castle Panic use a mechanic designed into the game to simulate opposition the XCOM board game uses a companion App to control it. This means that players need a PC, mobile phone or tablet in order to play.

box-XCOM-rightThe app brings timed deadlines into play with the players have to respond to the threat in real-time making decisions toughers and more fluid than usual in a co-op game. However the actual combat takes place without on the time limit.
The app also can be used to learn the game and teach the rules, which given how cumbersome FFG rules usual are, this can’t be a bad thing.

Destroy UFOs. Research alien technology. Defend your base. Uncover the alien invasion plan. Should you fail, humanity is doomed.

The players take on the roles of 4 department heads at XCOM, these are the Commander, Chief Scientist, Central Officer and Squad Leader, each with their own unique skills, no matter how many are playing these roles are always in play.

The game looks to use many of the features that the video game employed, so for example if a UFO is tracked but your interceptors fail to take it down, fear will spread in the continents. If it turns to panic then your funding will start to drop undermining and hindering your efforts, 2 continents go into panic and XCOM forces lose the game.

The game employs a push your luck dice mechanic that aims to get the players taking risks in order to succeed, the number of dice used is dependant on the task and modifiers you have.
Each dice only has 2 success indicators and you are unlikely to achieve success without a follow up roll, each roll carries a higher risk of failure.

From what I’ve seen the game looks rather nice, there have been some concerned raised about the longevity of a game needing an application in order to run, but I’d rather get the game and play it now than worry about the 5 years time what-ifs.

If you want to have a look at the game and app, Drive Thru Review posted these two videos from GenCon.

#XCOM #TableTopGames