Ever wondered what games the guys behind the counter enjoy in their off time? Wonder no longer! This is What We're Playing!
Ben - Genesys
The long wait is finally over! Genesys is here, friends, and it is beautiful.
Genesys is a role-playing game system from Fantasy Flight Games that uses the same narrative dice system that its popular and ongoing Star Wars RPGs currently employ. Essentially, this narrative system adds two new elements to the binary success/fail of most RPGs by way of Advantage/Threat and Triumph/Despair. Failure can still yield positive results (if unintended ones), and success has its consequences. Perhaps a character manages to hot wire a vehicle while under fire, but in their haste, they also sever the steering mechanism. The car runs but only in a straight line!
The Triumph and Despair symbols rarely appear, but when they do, the characters get an opportunity to significantly contribute to or possibly alter the entire narrative! In RPGs I've run, it has always been important to me that player characters feel like their role and actions matter in the story. Games like Genesys with its narrative dice system make every action have consequences no matter the actual, intended result.
So why Genesys when we already have the wonderful Star Wars RPG? Genesys brings versatility. It is designed as a neutral system that Game Masters can apply to whatever setting they want, from modern day horror to medieval fantasy to steampunk to everything in between! I'm currently adapting Call of Cthulhu to the Genesys system and setting my PCs in Cold War Europe, and so far, the conversion has been seamless. This system might very well be my favorite so far, and I highly recommend giving it a try! If you're curious about learning more, feel free to shoot us a message, as I am always happy to chat and demo RPGs!
Nick - Legacy of Dragonholt
I have been playing Legacy of Dragonholt. It is an RPG like none I have played before. The game is based on story more than combat. It uses choose your own adventure instead of dice or other ways to progress through the story.
Me and my friends all made characters and went to work. The setting in this game is the world of Runebound. The game uses an active and inactive mechanic to show who can make the decisions. Once a person has made a story point decision they are inactive and then when it comes to another point an active person makes that decision. Once all players are inactive they reset.
So far the game has been very fluid and has been funny and very fun. Every choice you make will have a big impact on where you go from there. I highly recommend this to anyone who is just starting into RPGs or just wants to try something different.
Logan - Fallout
This time around I'm playing the new Fallout Board Game! I can't begin to tell you how much fun this game has been! This game allows you to pick a few major locations from the popular video game series and begin your adventure. Once you choose your location, you are assigned to a faction. Your job is to assist your faction in gaining control of the area. However, you must also keep yourself relevant to the faction by collecting victory points. The twist being, the game can win itself without you! If you don't have enough victory points after the faction gains control of the area, you lose. So choose carefully if you and your friends wish to work together or choose rival factions.
Fans of the video game series will appreciate several of the in-game references and familiar locations, and fans of board games will appreciate the detail of the pieces and play style. Just remember, "War. War never changes."
Corey - Queendomino
I wrote about Kingdomino when that released, so it's only appropriate that I give its big brother (big sister?), Queendomino, the same treatment.
Queendomino is the gamer's upgrade to Kingdomino's simple but fun tile placement mechanic. If you ever thought Kingdomino was too simple, this is the game for you. In addition to choosing a tile and connecting it to your kingdom in the usual manner, there is a new red tile type for buildings. Buildings can be bought from a track in the center of the table for increasing gold amounts. When you buy and place a building on an empty red tile, it will count for Victory Points based on your other tiles, as well as often providing an immediate benefit, such as some number of Knights or Towers.
Knights can be added to a freshly placed tile to collect gold for you, so you can fund your buildings. Towers are placed anywhere in your kingdom to attract the queen. Whichever player has the most towers controls the queen, who does a couple of things for you. First, she reduces the cost of all buildings by one. Then at the end of the game, she counts as an extra crown in your largest territory for scoring purposes.
At first I was worried that all these new mechanics were being added just for the sake of it, but after playing Queendomino a few times that is not at all the case! As much as I loved Kingdomino, I think Queendomino improves on it in every way, adding a very appropriate level of complexity and overall bringing a very balanced game that might appeal more to the heavy gamers out there without excluding the family in the process.
That's all this time around, but be sure to check back in next month for a glimpse into what's new, what's good, and What We're Playing!