Dungeons of Dread is a collection of dungeons, but not just any dungeons. Old school dungeons, dungeons from the earliest era of Dungeons and Dragons, when life was cheap, and your game master would laugh at you if you thought your character would respawn ten seconds after he died. See that demon face on the cover of the book? That face was the last thing that probably hundreds of character saw before they were destroyed. Not just killed, but rip-up-your-character sheet destroyed…and that’s just the first room in the first of the four dungeons here.
Perhaps the most famous battle of the 19th century is Waterloo, where two titanic armies, led by the finest military minds of the age, Napoleon and the Duke of Wellington, clashed. Napoleon lost, forever changing the destiny of Europe; had he won, what we call Europe would probably be better known as the “Greater French Empire.” There have been a few boardgames based around the classic battle, but perhaps the most popular was Napoleon: The Waterloo Campaign 1815. It addressed the mighty battle (along with skirmishes in the area in Waterloo) in a mere two hours, using a rules system that anyone can pick up and play without studying the rulebook. It’s been 20 years since the third edition of the game came out, so Columbia Games figures it must be time for new edition.
This time of year, I start to fantasize just a little bit about going to the beach and being warm, and such fantasies attracted me Tahiti, a game where players take the role of tribespeople on a Pacific island, exploring the local islands and gathering resources, with the winner being the best gatherer of food. Tahiti exits only due to a successful Kickstarter campaign; it’s amazing how many little game products come to market now through Kickstarter.
Easily, the best board game I played in 2012 was Mage Knight, no doubt about it. I played it long after I was done reviewing it, only putting it away when I really needed the space for a Christmas tree. It was also the most complicated board game I’ve played in years (and I’ve played hard core games like Squad Leader), meaning I could only play it with serious gamer friends, “pick and play” gamers took one look at the many cards with the eensy print and asked if we could just play Smallworld instead.
Welp, I was wrong. With a few hours to go, the Pathfinder massively multiplayer online game (MMO) found it’s way to a million dollar Kickstarter goal. It’s amazing what goodwill can do for a company when it comes to raising money, as the average backer kicked in over $100 to see this sandbox game come to reality. A few backers kicked in thousands of dollars (including one guy for $10,000) for the privilege of contributing to the game. Funny thing is, the MMO doesn’t even plan to play like Pathfinder, promising a classless system–tabletop Pathfinder, based on 3rd edition Dungeons and Dragons rules, is all about developing your character along optimal class lines.
There was a time when there were many gaming magazines on hobby shop shelves: Dragon, Scrye, InQuest, TopDeck, and others. They’re all in the graveyard now (except for Knights of the Dinner Table, more comic book than magazine), like so many other victims of the digital age. Despite the track record of magazines, Ernie more »
With a month to go, it doesn’t look like the Pathfinder Online Kickstarter will reach it’s $1,000,000 goal. Granted, the online game based on the Paizo game is about a third of the way there (including 31 backers willing to pony up $1,000 for the privilege of alpha testing the game, among other things), but I just don’t see it happening, and I don’t even see what the plan was, here.
If any single game is responsible for the Eurogames phenomenon, it’s Settlers of Catan. There are dozens of products based on this great game (including a vaguely religious themed Settlers of Canaan), so I suppose it was only a matter of time before the game was crossbred with a very identifiable license.
Perhaps the very first dungeon crawl board game was Dungeon!, released by TSR hobbies wayyyy back in 1975. Wizards of the Coast (WotC) purchased the rights to TSR games along with Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) and have re-released the game after many years of being off the market.
In Dungeon, players take the role of a character and go down into the dungeon to bash monsters to get loot. Whoever gets sufficient loot (depends on the character, with more powerful characters needing more loot) and makes it out of the dungeon first, wins.
For tabletop games, gamemasters are supposed to either build a world for the players or take the easy way out and just purchase a book on a ready-made world, like Elminster’s Forgotten Realms.