Tuesday, August 17, 2010

a little less D&D, a little more boardgames

Looks like my 3.5 hero, the greco-paladin Polymachus, is going into retirement along  with the rest of Dane's campaign.  We've been having trouble getting a critical mass of devoted players for serious WotC style combat grindery.  So here's my guy in fabulous Cut & Paste-O-Vision:

I blacked out the street address of the host of the game.

My charsheet actually ran to four pages, but the last two pages didn't have anything on them but stuff from the SRD detailing my guy's paladin abilities. I think page four was devoted to nothing but the ridiculous level of detail needed for 3.5's version of detect evil.

So the three of us who showed up last night played Puerto Rico instead of D&D.  Dane came in first but I'm still congratulation myself over coming out one point ahead of Carl.  That guy is super-smart.  I've played quite a few games with Carl over the years and I rarely beat him.

The three of us decided that even though D&D was looking non-viable, we still liked getting together every week.  So we agreed to do boardgaming on the week I'm not running my campaign at the game store.  And more importantly, we agreed on a method for picking a game each get-together.  This was an important issue for me personally because over the years I've found that not having an agreed upon decision making process can be a formula for disasters ranging from spending the first hour or more dithering/debating to outright arguments and hurt feelings. 

So what we're going to do is take turns picking a game for the night.  The game selected will be announced beforehand at my D&D session the week before.  For more complicated games rules summaries and other handouts can be made available at that time.  Personally, I'm thinking of setting up a Dawn Patrol dogfight when my turn rolls around.  Other games discussed included Bohnanza, Space Hulk, various German type games and Illuminati.

If you live in Champaign-Urbana or thereabouts and want to get in on this action, please feel free to shoot me an email.  Jrients.  Gmail.  Etc.


  1. Good call. Better to still play something like a board game until things pick back up.

    Hope the tabletop gaming resumes soon!

  2. Sadly, C-U is about four hours from me, a bit much for a weekly game. But if you're even in the New Albany area...

    When we played 3.x/D20M, we rarely wrote down more than the basics of our abilities. Generally, about 10% of the rules for any mechanic covered about 90% of the situations. What WOTC decided to do in 4e was say, "Ah, to hell with the other 10% of the situations." (Having been "trained" in the era of AD&D 1e and the ludicrously detailed subsystems therein (see the rules for campfires in the 1e Wilderness Survival guide, for example), I often have trouble cutting down my own work to "the stuff that matters", because making up rules (as opposed to trying to remember and apply them all in play) is just fun. I'm weird.)

  3. If you have the opportunity, give Rail Tycoon a go. I've never won a game, but I still love to play it. For me, that speaks volumes.

  4. Lizard: I cut and pasted every possible rule I would need because I hadn't played with Dane at the helm before and I don't own any WotC rulebooks any more. Figured it would be better to show up with a four page charsheet than constantly bum PHBs off of people.

  5. Makes sense, Jeff. I usually just played with my laptop and had the SRD in Windows Help format. It was a bit of a milestone for me when I took the link to that file off my hotbar. :)

    We also had one of those scary players that seems to memorize rules intuitively, right down to page numbers. He's a great player and not TOO much of a rules lawyer, but it's scary how FAST he basically inhales rulebooks. For Ghu's sake, he knows Earth Delta better than I do, already!

    When we played Mutants & Masterminds, which is just different enough from vanilla D20 to get us in trouble, there'd be times in the game when we'd all haul out our books at once to look something up, and I often said things like "Everyone, please turn to Page 57 in your hymnal", because that's what it looked like.

    PS: A written on character sheet is a thing of beauty. Mine are all plain text files these days, because I can't read my own handwriting anymore, but I miss the sense of "history" you have when you see crossed-out hit points, checkmarks by spells, etc.

  6. Feh... still playing with goldenrod character sheet. Text files? I say thee nay.

  7. @Joseph: In 1982, I laboriously typed in an Applesoft BASIC program from "Creative Computing" magazine to roll up AD&D 1e characters.

    One of the first things I did when I got my first computer, an Atari 400 with 16K of RAM and a cassette drive, was write a program to generate mutants for Metamorphosis Alpha.

    Computerization is old school!