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New to the Game

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  • New to the Game

    The way life went, I pretty much missed gaming. I played some pinball, but video cabinets were just phasing in. About as close as I came to D&D were a few text-only games on a friend’s commodore. I got a Nintendo (first generation Zelda time-frame), but gave it away after using a years vacation on it in one go (to be fair, I only got one week because it was my first year). I’m frankly amazed at how big this phenomenon is these days. I’m particularly impressed by the
    board games. There’s a face to face to them that I like better than the screen. I played (actually, we all kept straight faces as we mis-played) a board game with DeadAir and Co. based on Mountains of Madness. One person told me about a cafe called Mox Boarding House. Turned out there are two, with a third opening in PDX. I went to the one in Bellevue and was amazed at how huge the crowd is (several parking lots full) and just how successful the place is. At any rate, I’m starting with a game called Arkham Horror, the card game as a way to learn the basics. I’m quite interested in a multi-player game called Middara, but doubt I’ll be able to get three people to commit to that much time and might not be able to manage it myself. My sense is that Magic: The Gathering is king of the hill. But, it strikes me as being just a tad too much about money. What’s cool and in between folks?
    Kevin McCabe
    The future is there, looking back at us. Trying to make sense of the fiction we will have become. William Gibson

  • #2
    I enjoy some board games. As being a bit of a social recluse is my default setting a table game is good way to give me a focus during social settings in such a way as to actually make socializing fun rather than simply exhausting. I haven't really gotten into too many of the new games, though. One I do enjoy because it is easy enough to play while still being varied enough to stay interesting is the classic "Settlers of Catan" and its various expansions/additions. Otherwise, I tend to gravitate to the board games/table games I grew up with: Trivial Pursuit, Balderdash (very fun for a word-nerd), and various card games such as Hand and Foot, Poker (Seven Stud is my preferred), Gin Rummy, and especially Cribbage.

    Even though I don't get much opportunity to play anymore, D&D (well, AD&D Second Edition mostly) will always be my weakness. I was a tinkering Magic: The Gathering player for a time but never really got too into it. Same is true of Tabletop wargaming (Warhammer, Warhammer 40k)--I enjoyed the model building more than the actual playing and could never justify the thousands of dollars needed to stay competitive.

    I cannot say much about video games as it is one trend I never got on board with.
    "In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro"
    --Thomas a Kempis

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    • #3
      Thanks Everking! I’m getting pretty convinced that I may yet be able to do this Middara thing. I’ve never done D&D, but after watching a bunch of YouTubes about it, I’m pretty convinced Middara (and some games like it) are the Tabletop version of D&D. I’ve been laid up with a sprained wrist for a month, which means no pinball. But, I headed to Ye Olde Pinball Pub for New Years and found there were a bunch of folks up for board gaming. Now, whether four of us can actually get it together for a game with a 90 hour estimate is still unclear. But, I have found some friends who are up for trying out the Arkham Horror stuff,. So we’ll see. It may not be as outside the realm of possibility as I originally thought. Plus, the cons are coming up and I may meet some people there!
      Kevin McCabe
      The future is there, looking back at us. Trying to make sense of the fiction we will have become. William Gibson

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      • #4
        You could also try playing D&D face to face at the tabletop like The Great Gygax intended. Because while Middara looks pretty interesting (and thanks for bringing it to my attention), I don't think any boardgame can really do D&D the way D&D does D&D.

        That said I recommend you take a look at Dominion. I think it's somewhat in between Magic and games like Arkham Horror. It's a deck-building card game, but there are no booster packs so there's no costly arms race and it plays, or can play, rather quick too.

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        • #5
          Well, I’m hoping to meet some people who are into it enough to spend the time. Middara is estimated to be 90 hours, and I have to figure D&D would require the same kind of commitment. I met one guy who’s interested. I’ll see what’s up at Norwescon. I’ve never really spent much time in the games rooms at a con. Maybe I’ll meet one or two more. We’ll see. At any rate, THANKS. I intend to learn a bit about deck building games and that sounds fun. Plus, it doesn’t sound like a game that can be bought.
          Kevin McCabe
          The future is there, looking back at us. Trying to make sense of the fiction we will have become. William Gibson

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Kevin McCabe View Post
            At any rate, THANKS. I intend to learn a bit about deck building games and that sounds fun. Plus, it doesn’t sound like a game that can be bought.
            Cheers, mate. Dominion's many expansion sets are where the money sink danger is.

            Originally posted by Kevin McCabe View Post
            Well, I’m hoping to meet some people who are into it enough to spend the time. Middara is estimated to be 90 hours, and I have to figure D&D would require the same kind of commitment. I met one guy who’s interested. I’ll see what’s up at Norwescon. I’ve never really spent much time in the games rooms at a con. Maybe I’ll meet one or two more. We’ll see.
            That 90 hours is rather intimidating, but so long as you can do an episode/encounter/scenario in 2-3 hours it seems do-able. And even if your group doesn't ultimately make it through the whole campaign if you get enough play sessions completed, the game could still be totally worth the expense. Like if the game costs $100 and you spend 50 hours having fun playing it, that's like going out to see 20 movies in the theatre, which I'm pretty sure would cost much more than $100. So... you're practically saving money! ;)

            As for a D&D campaign taking 90 hours, that doesn't sound unreasonable and could easily go much longer. However... (I think) that sort of depends on the campaign having some sort of overarching narrative or goal, which isn't really a requirement. There are plenty of "adventures" that can be played in less than 90 hours and plenty of short adventures that can be completed in a few hours.

            D&D can have a very self-contained episodic play experience. For instance, you gather your players and play through the Adventure of the Leaning Tower of the Tipsy Wizard in, say, half a dozen 3-4 hour sessions. And it's over and done with and life intervenes for a couple months, maybe even half a year. But then the group gathers again and this time plays through the Adventure of the Citadel of the Chronomancers, which has no connection, other than the players and their characters, with the previous adventure. It can go on like that for years.

            Anyway, if you ever decide to go the full D&D route, I recommend the D&D Essentials box. It's sort of the starter set that the actual Starter set should have been.
            Last edited by Heresiologist; 01-09-2020, 11:48 AM.

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