Title: Dungeons & Dragons
Designer(s): Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
Dungeons & Dragons has always been known as a pioneer in role-playing games, before the video game industry took the concept and added the visual settings, effects, and other graphic elements we are so used to today. However, there is always that extra element of surprise when you play D&D with just pencils and paper, and this experience was something we were looking for.
Coincidentally, Weiman, a friend of ours, introduced us to a couple of her other friends who used to play D&D quite some time ago. Looking to get back into D&D again, they agreed to help us ease into the game.
The thing about D&D is the amount of prep you have to go through before the game starts. Apart from getting your Dungeon Master and finding your team mates, you need to read through your rules and create your characters and setting accordingly. This includes your character name, race, class, back stories, setting, and what not. You don’t need many tools as a participant, just these:
STORY OF THE GAME
For our setting, our wonderful Dungeon Master a.k.a. Game Master a.k.a. Cedric, created a setting of a Post-Apocalyptic Singapore, at the risk of being overrun by evil care bears. So our band of characters has been called to fight this evil.
Gluteus, Son of Maximus
Alessandria “Contacts” Kuasimi
Like many first timers into D&D, we started late because of prep and not knowing how to react to Cedric’s role playing antics. But as we went along, these were the main things we managed to take away from our first game:
Those aside, it was fun being able to explore role-playing games with that extra dimension of immediate and unpredictable interaction. While you may miss your attack in a video game, rolling a “1” in any of our attack rolls may warrant something which will render you paralysed with stomach-clutching laughter.
Just note that this is a trial scenario, so we may or may not continue with these characters. If I could, I would class my character as a Ranger. Or a Fighter Mystic. Heh.
So far, we have slayed:
Our trial session ended quite well, and the beauty of D&D is that with all the information you gather with your own character sheets, you games can stretch for as long as you want.
At the same time, side plots and actions can be twisted into the game – something you can’t have in many video games – so everything is just down to your creativity.
However, we may be looking to have more sessions so please drop a comment if you would like to get episodic commentaries for future D&D hijinks!
Dungeons & Dragons was created by Wizards of the Coast and continues to expand. To find out how you can get started, click here.
Designer(s): Oleksandr Nevskiy, Oleg Sidorenko
When Mysterium was released, I was intrigued. When they announced a US-version of Mysterium – the version translated to English – I was excited. And when Dave said he bought the game and wanted to test play it, we all said yes.
Mysterium may not take a lot of time to play, depending on how your “ghost” fare, but the game trades your Eldritch-Horror-Play-Time for real estate. The visuals of Mysterium rivals Dixit, and for a game with its fundamentals on pictures instead of words, setup is key.
Within each box, you have:
This game requires at least two players, and plays like a partial co-operative with individual points.
Firstly, choose one player to be the “ghost”, while the rest of the players will play the mediums.
The “ghost” gets a screen and sets up accordingly. There’s going to be quite a bit of distribution going on, differing with the number of players as mediums, so I’m not going to go into details here. For a point of reference, here’s what you need to have before you start:
(Note: This game takes up a bit of real estate and will require quite a bit of assembly. This post is only my experience with the game, so please consult your instruction manual before you play your game.)
STORY OF THE GAME
A murder most foul has happened in between reality and the parallel universe. Stumped by the limited amount of clues, the police initiated a hush operation, engaging specialists from around the world to reach out to the best witness in this crime – the victim.
Players: Myself, Max “The Tiger” Loh, Ben “Charsiew Space” Chee, Dave Chua
Each of us take the role of mediums from around the world, making contact with the victim’s ghost to the best of our abilities.
This time, we reached out to two ghosts – Dave during the first round, and Ben during the second.
Each of us takes the role of mediums from around the world, making contact with the victim’s ghost to the best of our abilities. The ‘ghost’ distributes image cards to point the medium to the right culprit, location, and weapon.
(In essence, it’s playing Cluedo with Dixit, and with a time limit)
The longer a medium takes to guess the correct culprit, location, and weapon, the fewer points they earn, which later translates to the amount of cards they’ll be able to seeing before casting their final decision on the real true murderer.
The beauty of this game (apart from its art), is the fact that the “true” answer, like reality, is dependent on the cards the mediums and the ‘ghost’ is dealt with. So ‘ghosts’ can’t exactly sabotage mediums and decide their murderers beforehand.
Dave’s cards were easy to interpret – thanks to a combination of skill and luck. Ben’s cards were trickier, taking us on a bit of a ride because of the cards he was dealt with. Regardless, all of us won both rounds.
Mysterium is a game of beautiful art, thrilling curiosity, and fun that won’t drive you to boredom while waiting for your turn.
Our copy of Mysterium was a translated copy from its original designers, Oleksandr Nevisky and Oleg Sidorenko. Originally published by Libellud, you can find out more about this game here.
Title: Dead of Winter
Designer: Jon Gilmour, Isaac Vega
Publisher: Plaid Hat Games
My first encounter with zombies in a board game was with Betrayal at House on the Hill. While it was a change from the House of the Dead arcade game series, it was just a couple of scenarios in a haunt book of 50.
When Dead of Winter was featured on Tabletop, it reminded me of a cross between the context of the House of the Dead and the mechanics from Betrayal at House on the Hill. And believe me, I was incredibly happy when I finally got a copy of the game for myself.
It’s one of those box games with loads of counters because there are so many characters to choose from. However, setting up was quite straight forward after playing a round or two:
STORY OF THE GAME
We’re a band of survivors in the middle of a snow-struck, zombie-infested town. Forming the last safe haven known as the Colony, we are sent to complete our game-given mission, feed the rest of the survivors, and fight off as many zombies before we all meet our fate in the dead of winter.
Players: Myself, Max a.k.a. the Tiger, Dave Chua, Ben a.k.a. CharsiewSpace
Dave decided that we should start with a short scenario first, and we got the scenario, “We Need More Samples”, where with each zombie we kill, we’d have to roll to see if we could get blood samples to find a cure. I started with Sparky the super-awesome Stunt Dog goldie, and Janet Taylor, the Nurse.
Our second scene was, “Raiding Party”, where we had to finish drawing from two location item decks before our time ran out. I started with Olivia the Doctor, and Edward White the Chemist (We lovingly dubbed him Walter White because he could turn meds into weapons). I seem to have an affinity with the characters in bioscience and healthcare during play.
When playing Dead of Winter, there are a few things to take note of apart from your main objective and individual objective. Those are:
I am a fan of board games which let you tell your own story or give you a good amount of opportunities for role-playing. As we concentrated on our individual and group objectives, the urgency of zombies, hunger, and morale threw us further into our characters. Anxiety was rife, but we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly.
Perhaps we were influenced by watching Wil Wheaton’s Tabletop before playing this game, this game was us suspecting everyone else of betrayal from start to finish. It was pretty hilarious, to be honest. Every dice roll had us go, “What a traitor-y dice roll.” (Thanks, Grant Imahara!) before we backtrack to what we’re meant to do at that point because we were laughing so much earlier.
So far, we’ve only gone through with 2 short scenarios. Looking through the longer scenarios and the objectives for exiled players only got us more excited to play this game again. Do note that this game might take a while, but in Eldritch-Horror-honesty, you won’t feel the length.
The first game we played had all of us losing because none of us fulfilled our individual missions and we went to 0 Morale even before we could cash in the blood samples we gathered. The second game we played had us fulfill the main game objective, but with none of us fulfilling our individual missions. Needless to say, the betrayer lost as well.
Dead of Winter is published by Plaid Hat Games. To find out more about this game, click here.
My adventures with in urban speculative fiction.