World At Play Games Archive
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
You guys have heard of Dungeons and Dragons, right? No, I don't mean the online computer game, or a board game...I mean the *real* Dungeons and Dragons, that you play with character sheets, dice and books.
Perhaps I'm showing my age a bit, but I prefer the aforementioned method, where dice-rolling is involved. There's nothing more exciting than having to roll for critical's or damage...your fate lies in that roll, and hopefully, when you roll that d20, you get what you need.
Dungeons and Dragons was actually first published in 1974, by TSR, then Wizards of the Coast took over in 1997, and have been publishing it ever since. The first box set I remember was the red D&D box set and that was around 1981 or so. I know someone who still actually has that box set, and I'm sure it's worth a lot of money now, because you can't find it anywhere, obviously.
What's fun about D&D is each player plays a specific character, whether it's a Paladin, Priest, Ranger, Thief, etc. These characters embark upon adventures that are created and controlled by a DM (Dungeon Master).
The characters on the adventure solve problems, engage in battles, interact with townies, and each other. And just to let you know, it's always good to get along with the other characters in your party...especially if you need help in battle. For example, a Priest doesn't travel well with a Gypsy Bard who is chaotic evil, or lawful evil. The two just don't go together, but it can be done, as long as the Priest isn't aware of the characters alliance. I've done it before on an adventure, and it turned out to be quite good.
During the game, the characters earn points, which boost you up in levels. I mean a 20th level Paladin can do way more than say a 3rd level Paladin.
In AD&D 1e and 2e (Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 1st ed., and 2nd ed.), the levels were uncapped, and you could go higher in levels.
3e went to the 20th level, before switching to epic levels. Epic levels in 3e and 3.5 were reached after you hit 20th level, rate of advancement changed, the way attack bonuses were figured, saves, gains, spells, etc. all changed. And now, in 4e, all levels are capped at 30th.
The best part of playing D&D is wondering what the DM will have up his (or her) sleeve to try to kill or damage your characters. Will it be a Remorhaz (my favorite monster), Ocre Jelly, or will you come face to face with a dragon? (Yeah, I like the old school monsters.)
Regardless of what monster(s) your DM throws your way, it's always fun trying to fight them, which is why you must choose your weapons and armor carefully when you're creating your character. You can read more about that in the player's handbook. It's full of information on creating your character.
Another great thing about playing D&D is you only need pencils, paper, dice and imagination to play. Well, you may also need some Mountain Dew (a long time gaming favorite, thanks to all the sugar and caffeine) and some snacks, because some of these adventures can go on for many hours...unless you have a TPK (total party kill) early on in the game. The longer adventures are the most fun.
Minatures add to the game, but aren't really necessary. I remember using dice as our characters during one game. Was interesting to say the least.
Of course, a player's handbook comes in handy, but someone usually has one with them if you find yourself without one. It's the same with dice. Somebody *always* has extra dice. I have several sets-thanks to Chessex for making awesome dice!- with me, and as long as I get them back at the end of the game, all is well.
So, put down the video game controller, back away from the computer, turn off the T.V., grab some friends, and play some D&D.
You can find character sheets online, and players handbooks, DM books/screens, and the Monster Manuals are quite easy to come by. It's easy to learn and it's a lot of fun whether you're a guy or a girl, no matter what your age is.
by: World At Play Games
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
We recently got in a cool new game called Story Cubes. And I, being a creature of curiosity, had to inspect further and see what it was all about.
I found the small box contains 9 dice with different pictures on each side. With those pictures, and your imagination, you make up a story. The stories can go from normal to outlandish, depending on how much or how little imagination you have.
After I opened it up and saw the pictures on the dice, I made up an impromptu story in Noah's office, which he thought was ridiculous, but that's the whole point of the game. The stories will start out on the ridiculous level, but the more you play it, the better the stories will become.
There are many ways to begin the stories I learned, after checking out the Story Cubes website. It doesn't have to begin "Once upon a time" every single time. They have some great examples on their site to help you out, and my favorite is "It was a dark and stormy night", which sticks out in my mind, because that's how Snoopy began the majority of his stories when he was typing in the comic strips.
The Story Cubes site not only has alternate story beginnings, but they also have a page where people have posted their stories that they've come up with, which was pretty cool as well. There's also a section that will let you post your own stories, which I may look into doing after I've bought the game.
Noah has said he's going to buy this game, and I'm going to buy it as well, because with 9 cubes, 54 images and 10,000,000+ combinations, I'm thinking this game would keep me and my friends occupied for a long time, and would come in quite handy whilst waiting in venue lines for 10+ hours. And knowing my friends, there will be some crazy stories!
I'm not saying the next Bret Easton Ellis will spawn from playing this game, but it will improve your storytelling techniques and spark the imagination, which is a good thing, especially if you need improvement in that area.
I decided to give it a shot and make up a story. The dice I had to work with were: Airplane, ? (can be anything you choose), moon, turtle, sheep, castle, light bulb, cell phone and a fish. Here's the story I came up with:
It was a dark and stormy night on the moon. Inside the large castle, a sheep struggled to find his cell phone so he could call someone about the light bulb that had burned out. Luckily, the turtle that was lurking about fixed it so they could see. Turns out it was a bad thing, because suddenly, they saw a fish flying an airplane, while reading a book, heading straight toward them.
See...pretty ridiculous for an impromptu story, but still fun. Yes, I totally want the Story Cubes!
by: World At Play Games
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
In the previous blog, I mentioned that my friends and I are very competitive when it comes to playing games. Sometimes the combination of friends + games is a bad thing, especially when things get tense, but once it's all over, we laugh about it.
Here are some games, guaranteed to make you have those "debates" I mentioned in the last blog as well.
Mad Gab: This is one of the most hilarious games I've ever played, because we sound like a bunch of idiots with some serious speech impediments. Even though we're laughing like lunatics, it's still discouraging when you can't quite nail those phrases, like:
"Watch choo ear nut washer tse", or "Eye Mull of Mush Sheen"
Of course after you say them over and over during your allotted time, they start making sense, and you start hearing the phrase…even through your friends laughter, as they’re rolling on the ground, because remember, you’re saying this phrase over and over and I promise you, I sound like a serious idiot when I’m saying the phrases.
Once they make sense, you say what you think the phrase is, like:
”What you hear not what you say”, or “I’m a love machine”
If you don’t guess it by the time the buzzer goes off, you don’t get the points, and that’s the whole goal of the game…to win!
Seriously, it’s a great game, and it is hilarious. I highly recommend it for a night of fun.
Phase 10 Deluxe Card Game:
I like card games like Uno, Rook, etc., but the first time I played Phase 10, I thought I was seriously going to pull my hair out. It was the most frustrating game! But, once I got used to it, I no longer wanted to pull my hair out and found the challenge of reaching all 10 phases of the game to be quite fun. It’s aggravating to see your friends move to the next phase of the game, while you’re still 2 phases behind them, but ya know what? Fate likes to throw a monkey wrench into things, and you may find yourself 2-3 phases ahead of your friends and on the way to a victory.
Whoever reaches and completes the 10th phase wins. It’s all fun, until someone throws their cards. Definitely a strategic game, and it can take awhile to play, but it’s a good way to spend rainy or hot days when you don’t want to go outside.
Phase 10 also has a dice game, which is equally as fun…till dice are thrown, then, it just becomes dangerous.
Yahtzee has been one of my favorite games since I was a kid. My mom taught me how to play it, so she would always have someone to play against her, because solitary Yahtzee just isn’t as fun. Trust me, I’ve played it. Boring.
Yahtzee was always a challenge, because you want to get those straights, 4 of a kinds, etc. But with Power Yahtzee, it can make things happen a lot faster. It has a red Power Die, and that one little die can make or break you. It can double or triple your score, earn you a fourth roll, even speed your progress by letting you score in 2 boxes at once (I like that feature!), but it can also freeze your roll immediately, which no one wants!
There are also 2 new categories in which to score: 2 pairs and choice, and now you can score more than once in things like straights and Yahtzees (which we all want!).
Power Yahtzee is going to become one of those games that my friends will just refuse to play, much like regular Yahtzee. What can I say? I love to play, and have since I was a kid. Guess I’ll be playing a lot of solitary Yahtzee.
Ok, I’ve given you 3 amazing, fun games to try out. So stop reading this blog already and go get them, and get ready for lots of laughs, possible glares and flying dice and cards.
by: World At Play Games
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Apples to Apples! Who wants to play?"
Well, of course a lot of us wanted to play, so we did just that...well, I just kind of watched.
There are 2 decks of cards; Things and Descriptions. The chosen person to be referee chooses a Descriptions card, and the players try to pick from the cards in their hands, the Things that best match that Description. The referee has to choose the Thing that appeals most and awards the card to the player that played it.
Needless to say, there was much debating going on, which was hilarious, because everybody thought their Thing card was the best. However, only one person can win, and once that player had the pre-determined number of cards, the game was over.
Uno. Wrong. Just wrong. We tend to play "extreme" Uno, and deal out 20+ cards per person, instead of the normal 7-10 cards. It was going great until I threw a bunch of "Draw 4" cards down. The person who went after me had a hand full of cards and was not very happy. Hey, you've gotta get rid of those action cards, because the point value is high on them, and you don't want those in your hand if someone wins.
Long story short, I called Uno, and everybody started throwing down different colors, throwing skip cards, reverse cards...anything they could do to keep me from winning. Guess what? Didn't work. I won anyway.
Once several rounds of 'Extreme' Uno had been played, someone brought out a checker board. Again, not a good idea. It seems everyone in the large group we were in are very competitive. The aforementioned checker board was laid out, and the wars began. Round after round of my friends playing because they wanted to win. It was finally decided that there was only one checkers champion amongst my friends, and no one was going to knock him off his pedestal.
Monopoly would've been great, since that can be a time consuming game, but then again, "debating" could have ensued over Park Place and Board Walk if the set was broken up, and both people wanted the other really bad.
I had Pocket Farkel with me, but we didn't play it, only because I knew it would turn into us shooting craps and more "debates" would break out.
I'm glad we had the games with us, because it definitely made the time go by really fast, which was a good thing. And of course, no one was really mad at anyone else after the "debates" during the games, it was all just in fun.
Now, if I'd had some silly string and rubber band shooters, that would've been REALLY fun!
by: World At Play Games
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