Monthly Archives: September 2013

Board Game Inventory Reduction

The Great Game Roundup and Inventory Reduction

 

I have too many games. So I’m going through them, in preparation to get rid of some of them.

 

I’m using the following Rating system:

 

An A game is one I actually regularly play, either by bringing to Boardgame Nights, Cons, or playing with Tim, All A games are staying on the shelf.

 

A B game is a game I like but haven’t played in a while, or a game that I have some emotional attachment to. I want to make an effort to play more of these, forcing them to justify their existence on my gaming shelf. A B+ game is one I really want to keep. A B- game is one that I will probably end up getting rid of.

 

A C game is one that I can’t really see myself playing again. These games are probably either not to my taste, or otherwise rendered obsolete by other games in my collection.

 

If a game is labeled (Tim), I’m pretty sure that’s Tim’s game, and I should probably ask him before selling it.

 

If you want a game that’s a B- or C, let me know, and we’ll talk price.

 

7 Wonders: A

Ascension: A

Battlecon: A

Beowulf: A

Betrayal at the House on the Hill, 2nd Edition: A

Blood Bowl: Team Manager: A

Bohnanza: A

Boss Monster: A

Castle Ravenloft etc: A

Carcassone, plus many expansions: A

Cards Against Humanity: A

Citadels: A

Colossal Arena: A

Cosmic Encounter: A

Democrazy: A

Descent 2nd Edition: A

Dixit: A

Epic Spellduels of the Battle Wizards: Duel on Mt. Skullsfyre: A

Facts in Five: A

Fairy Tale: A

Fantastiqa: A

Fortune and Glory: A

Get Bit: A

Glory to Rome: A

Infernal Contraption: A

Innovation: A

Jenga: A

Jungle Speed: A

Last Night on Earth: A

Liar’s Dice: A

Lord of the Rings: Confrontation: A

Lords of Waterdeep, plus expansion: A

Lost Cities: A

Kahuna: A

King of Tokyo: A

Kingdom Builder: A

Netrunner: A

Nuts!: A

Penny Arcade Game: A

Quao: A

Quarriors: A

Race for the Galaxy: A

Seasons: A

Sentinels of the Multiverse: A

Shadowfist: A

Small World, plus expansions: A

Smash Up!: A

Sole Mio!: A

Super Dungeon Explore!: A

Sushi Go!: A

The Duke: A

The Stars are Right: A

Tsuro: A

Tsuro of the Seas: A

Village: A

Wiz War: A

 

Aladdin’s Dragons: B+

Alhambra B+

Battle for Alabaster: B+

Battlestar Galactica, plus all expansions: B+

Blue Moon City: B+

Carolus Magnus B+

Castle: B+

Chaos in the Old World, plus expansion: B+

City of Thieves, plus expansion: B+

Copy Cat: B+

Death Angel: B+

Dominion, all the expansions: B+

Eclipse plus Expansion: B+

Elfenland: B+

Gang of Four: B+

Girl Genius: The Works: B+

Ingenious (Mint): B+

In the Shadow of the Emperor (Mint): B+

Jaipur: B+

Keyflower: B+

Keythedral: B+

Khet (Laser Chess)(Tim): B+

Kingsburg, plus expansion: B+

Last Night on Earth: Timber Peak: B+

Ninja: B+

Octiles: B+

Power Grid: B+

Puerto Rico: B+

Rumis: B+

Senji: B+

Ticket to Ride: Europe, and Switzerland: B+

Tigris and Euphrates (Mint): B+

Torres (Mint): B+

Trias: B+

 

Abalone: B (Tim)

Agricola, plus some expansions: B

Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small: B

Android: B

Arcane Legions: B

Arcanum: B

Arimaa: B (Tim)

Banzai!: B

Battlelore: B

Carcassone: Hunters and Gatherers: B

Campaign Manager 2008: B

Conquest of Nerath: B

Cthulhu Gloom: B (Tim)

Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb: B(Tim) I have no idea what this is.

Destruct: B. Whatever this is, it looks pretty cool.

D&D Command: B

Dreadfleet: B

Dungeon Quest B

Empyrian, Ltd: B

Entdecker (Mint): B

Feudal: B

Fury of Dracula: B

Gosu: B

Hacker: B (Tim)

Hero Card (Orc Wars, Shogun, Cyberspace, Nightmare): B

Heroscape: B

Hobbit Card Game (Mint): B

Horus Heresy: B

Lord$ of Vega$: B

Mage Knight: B

Mage Storm (Mint): B

Make a Scene: B (stupid party game, but entertaining)

Megachess: B (Tim)

Merchant of Venus: B

Osterreichreise: B

Rider Taror: B (doesn’t belong on game shelf)

Roborally: B

Runebound: B

Samurai and Katana: B

Scrappers: B

Settlers of Catan, plus Cities and Knights: B. I’m pretty sure Tim and I have multiple copies of this.

Settlers of Catan card game: B

Spark: B

Starfarers of Catan: B

Tales of the Arabian Nights: B

Three Dragon Ante: B (two copies, different editions, I think)

Ticket to Ride: Dice Expansion: B

Titan: B (I really need to find an excuse to play this.)

Tongiaki: B

Twixt: B

Vampire Tarot (Mint): B (Tim)- I don’t think this is even a game, just a tarot deck.

 

Carcassone: Princess and the Dragon: B-

Carcassone: The City: B-

Claustrophobia: B-

DKT: B-

Ideology: B-

Infiltration: B-

Jump the Shark (Mint): B- (Tim?)

Poo!: B-

Spanc: B-

Star Trek Deckbuilding Game plus first Expansion: B-

 

3012: C

A Touch of Evil: C

Are You a Werewolf? (Looney Labs): C

Arkham Horror, plus several expansions: C (Tim)

Balderdash: C

Battle of the Bands, plus Expansion: C

BSG CCG Cards: C, free to good home.

Burn in Hell: C (Tim)

Car Wars Boxed Set: C

Chrononauts, plus expansion: C

Confusion: C

Conquest of Pangea (Mint): C

Doctor Faust: C

Domination: C

Dork Tower: C

Early American Chrononauts: C

Eminent Domain: C

Guillotine: C

Hell Rail: C

Hex Hex: C

History of the World: C

Illumuminati (plus at least one expansion): C

Inflatable Whack a Zombie: Not really a game, but on my game shelf, for some reason: C

Inn Fighting: C

Junta: El Presidente: C

Kung Fu Samurai on Giant Robot Island: C

Lord of the Rings (Reiner Kniza co-op version): C

Lord of the Rings CCG Cards: Free to good Home: C

Mad Gab: C

Miskatonic School for Girls: C

Mutants and Masterminds Beginner Rules: C (Free to Good Home)

Original Netrunner Cards: C

Pentago (Mint): C

Pictionary (Mint): C

Power Grid: The First Sparks: C (Tim)

Scrabble Sentence Cube Game: C

Soft Landing: C

Spoils CCG Cards: C

Spy Ring: C

Spycraft CCG Cards: Free to good home! C

Star Trek CCG Cards: C

Star Wars Monopoly: C

Strata 5: C

Ticket to Ride: Dice Expansion: C (A second copy!)

Vinci: C

Warlord CCG Cards: C

Yu-Gi-Oh Cards: C, Free to good home!

 

Cheapass Games:

Before I Kill You, Mister Bond: C

Captain Park’s Imaginary Polar Expedition: C

Deadwood: C (Tim)

Escape from Elba: C

Freeloader: C

Kill Doctor Lucky: C

One False Step for Mankind: C

Safari Jack: C

US Patent #1: C

 

Special:

Agent Double Double Agent: Missing cards.

Descent, 1st Edition: Special (strip for minis and bits, break down into fewer boxes)

Game of Thrones, first edition (missing Stark tokens) Strip for parts?

Risk Legacy: Special (am I going to play this copy again? Probably not, but I’d like to.)

 

How do I run D&D?

In regards to Exploding Kingdoms, I’ve been thinking about what’s supposed to happen between the adventures in D&D, which made me think more than I have consciously done about how I run D&D when I’ve run it.

 

I’m going to mostly use examples from New Haven, Thunderspire Labyrinth, and Descent into Madness. The New Haven game was 100% original content; Thunderspire Labyrinth was mostly the adventure plus about 25% custom sidequests and elaboration, Descent into Madness was 100% original content.

 

For contrast, the Revenge of the Giants game was based on the supermodule and was probably 60% or more original content, but was much more adventure goal focused, and the Godstorm game was the accumulation of this style of play and the choices made earlier.

 

I identify style of play as a subset of Adventure Play, but it draws heavily on having a home base from which to operate. I’d probably run Dungeon World largely the same way (these steps look a lot like maintaining threats and fronts), and if I were to continue running the Deadlands game I’d expand the setting to include some of these techniques.

 

BEFORE THE GAME STARTS

 

Come up with an adventure filled setting with multiple possible adventure hooks. Set up multiple factions/NPCs with incompatible or competing interests that the PCs can help/hinder. Pitch general premise to players. Include short term opportunities and long term threats.

 

The New Haven game was set in a dungeon boomtown outside the newly rediscovered capitol of Bael Turoth, and had groups like two different families of dwarves, an adventurer’s guild, a gang of halfling bandits, an evil church, and a couple of other adventuring parties. There were multiple dungeon sites the players knew of worth exploring, and the initial long term threat that I envisioned was uncovering things Man Was Not Meant to Know.

 

The Thunderspire Labyrinth game used the module of the same name, so had the town inside the Minotaur Labyrinth, and dealings with duegar Traders, a drow Exile, the halfling inn, and the mysterious mages. While mostly focused on the main adventure thread, there were things like trying to figure out where Argent, a silver minotaur shaped warforged came from, and what happened to Maribelle’s paladin mentor.

 

The Descent into Madness game had two main locations, the Dwarven City of Goldenspire and the Vault of the Drow, both with their own backbiting factions and struggles. The overarching threat was the god of madness, Tharzidun’s influence escaping through a crack in one of his prisons, but in both locations there was lots to do to try to stabilize the situation.

 

FIRST FEW SESSIONS

 

Offer multiple avenues of exploration.

 

Find out about the PC’s backgrounds, and incorporate it into the setting.

 

The New Haven game was pretty simple for avenues of exploration: introduce a couple of ruined sites, ask the PCs which one’s they are most interested in. The various groups they talk to give them different sources of information. The Dragnarok plotline, which was essential to the later Thunderspire, Revenge of the Giants, and Godstorm game, was inspired by musing about the background James provided for Tor.

 

The sidequests in the Thunderspire game were entirely inspired by the information the players gave about their PCs backgrounds.

 

Descent into Madness didn’t feature as many player background quests, but the players had multiple options of what to do and who to support in the Vault of the Drow.

 

PREPPING THE GAME

 

Prep what you need to: find out what the players want to do and prep for that.

 

This means at the end of the session you need to know what you’re doing next week, and the players have to have enough information to make those choices.

 

LINEAR ADVENTURES, OPEN ENDED CHOICES

 

Most of the Adventures fell into a pretty direct 3 encounter gauntlet, with an opener (which was sometimes a “random” encounter on the way to the adventure), a middle, and a finale, with maybe a puzzle or skill challenge thrown in there.

 

I did very few adventures where mapping was an actual element; the only ones that come to mind were the Fortress of the Fire Giants in Revenge of the Giants, the Frost Island in the same adventure (where the players had a map, labeled in a foreign language), and the Temple of Chaos adventure at the end of Descent into Madness. In each of these, the maps were relatively simple, and the adventure required several forays to complete. The Temple of Chaos was the only one of those that was 100% original content.

 

However, while the adventures followed a pretty steady pattern of Warmup Fight-Rising Action-Finale, with scripting to ensure that the players moved from one encounter to the next, and little details like mapping and traveling staying out of the way, I put lots of choices into the adventures.

 

Who do you give the magical resources to? Which factions do you back? When these NPCs disagree, who do you side with?

 

Some memorable choices included the PCs naming the town of New Haven, ending up as a tie-breaking vote/voice of advise and installing Black Bart (the halfling outlaw), of all people, as Sheriff, giving an extra Warforged Creation Forge to the dwarves of Goldenspire, and most memorably, Zyorn at the end of Descent into Madness choosing to destroy the Vault of the Drow and everyone within.

 

BETWEEN ADVENTURES

 

What do you do between one adventure and the next? Figure out what’s changed, based on the ongoing factions and their actions, what the consequences of PCs choices might be, and what’s gotten worse due to not being given attention.

 

*W games with fronts and threats encourage you to think about these consequences upfront, and have them occur as they happened, but I generally only thought about them when they came up.

 

Meanwhile, the situation changes, you come up with new adventure possibilities and present them to the players. Some old options stay open, others get closed off.

 

EXPLODING KINGDOMS

 

So, what does this mean for Exploding Kingdoms? Should the game run like this?