Archive for May, 2008

Paranoia XP – The Only Real Name for the New Version

I had mentioned in a previous post that I still call the new version of Paranoia, Paranoia XP even though the XP has been removed and I figured I might as well look up a bit of information on the change and fill people in about it.

A Game by Any Other Name

The story is actually a pretty short one but first I wanted to give a bit of background about the game. Mongoose Publishing now has the rights to Paranoia and quite frankly I think they did an amazing job with the new version. If I had been writing more frequently on this blog when I read the book (or writing at all, I can’t remember exactly when I picked it up) I would have certainly written a positive review of it.

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Scion – Chronical Concept – More Statistics (As Promised)

As usual with this kind of post I will ask my players not to look any further as the following is plot related.

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Carcassonne: The Discovery – Review

Carcassonne: The Discovery

I mentioned yesterday that I picked up two random games for my birthday, this was the other game.

Overview of Carcassonne: The Discovery

Carcassone: The Discovery is, in many ways, your standard Carcassone game with mountains, grasslands, and oceans in place of cities, farmland, and roads. You still draw one piece a turn and play one piece a turn and you still have little followers that you place on different aspects of the board to try to score points. The game is fast moving and can be taught to new players easily. The parts are all sturdy and the rules are fairly clear.

But What if I Haven’t Played a Carcassonne Game Before?

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Stunt Dice, Role Playing XP Rewards and How Not to be a Jerk While Game Mastering

Perhaps this does not deserve a whole post but I came across this while reading up on D&D 4th and found it to be quite interesting.

“I’ve seen a lot of games (both in early RPGA and home games) that gave XP for good roleplaying. By good roleplaying do I mean the quality of your character acting? The problem with the roleplaying reward is this: You’re almost always going to give out the maximum to everyone at the table. Why? Because telling someone that they didn’t do a good job of roleplaying in a game where everyone is there to have fun seems overly judgmental, can create hurt feelings, and is… well… just downright crappy. It’s also so very meta and arbitrary that it begs questions about other forms of bonus XP. Why not give similar bonus XP for rule knowledge? Playing well with others? Bringing the most snacks?”
-Stephen Radney-MacFarland

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Catan: Dice Game – Review

Catan Dice Game by Mayfair Games

So today is my birthday, which really only matters because my wife had me grab a couple of random games at the game store as an early birthday present. There were a lot of cool-looking games of course (I love random games, I’m usually willing to try anything) but I wanted something that would be fun and easy and not involve a lot of stress. Here I’ll review the first of two games I picked up.

Catan: Dice Game Basics

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Scion – Chronicle Concept – Explanation of Things Previously Mentioned

The following is yet another post about my Scion game and again it is the kind that my players cannot read. For the rest of you I hope you find it interesting and I welcome any comments about it.

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Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition – Skill Challenges

Yes, it’s me, talking about D&D again. Honestly, I’ve never been a fan of the game but this new edition really has me excited. I wanted to hate it. A friend mentioned that he had it pre-ordered and I scoffed at him. Then another friend mentioned how excited he was and I shook my head. Then I took a look for myself… and shook my head again. I had to admit, it sure looked cool.

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The State of My Gaming Life

This is fluff. It’s so absolutely, completely, and amusingly fluff that it hardly needs to be read or looked at or edited or posted and it certainly doesn’t need to be written. Of course I have already written it and gone ahead and posted it so well… go ahead and waste your time reading it if you want to. But you are wasting your time. I mean, at least I warned you. It’s not like they had an announcement like this at the beginning of In the Name of the King that politely informed you that you were wasting your time. At least I am being nice about it.

Actually, it does serve some purpose. I find that knowing a writer can help me enjoy books and many people love watching director (or writer or producer or whatever) commentary on their special edition DVDs. Think of this as a brief look into me that you might be able to refer to as you look at some of the other things I have posted.

Still, it’s pretty much useless fluff.

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Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition – A Pre – release Perspective From a Long Time Detractor

Dungeons and Dragons Player
Cover of Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition Player’s Handbook

Most people that know me know that I don’t like D&D. I have played both 2nd and 3rd edition and I have run games for both (sometimes under some amount of protest… from me) but it has never been my favorite game and while I considered the move from 2nd edition to 3rd edition a huge leap forward I still came to dislike the game and find it lacking.

So, why should you care what I think about 4th Edition? Well, simply put, so far I kind of like it.

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Iron Dragon House Rules: “Good” Events

Iron Dragon Board Game Box - Fantasy Rail Building Game

Iron Dragon by Mayfair Games is a board game I was introduced to years ago and haven’t forgotten its fun rail-building, drawing-with-crayons gameplay. Out of print for a little while, Mayfair seems to have solved that problem and recently I picked it up.

Overall the game is a lot of fun, though quite long. My group has tested a few house rules that reduce the playing time considerably, which I’ll also cover. However one facet of the game that stands out as “needs improvement” is the events.

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Scion – Slight Change in Plans (Also Some Statistics)

I must again ask my players not to read this post. I apologize for the lack of posts that they can read lately but this week has been a tad on the busy side and I have not felt well. As always those who can read the post are welcome to comment and make suggestions.

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History of the World – Balance of Power Variant

The so-called Help the Little Guy Variant was essentially a building block for what I am now calling the Balance of Power Variant. I feel that this new Variant, which uses several of the same rules as the old one we tried, works fairly well to do the things we wanted it to do.

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