Unboxing: Stranger Things Dungeons and Dragons set

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The D&D “red box” has gotten stranger.

Long-time Dungeons and Dragons fans remember the starter set released by TSR in 1983, which shipped in the now iconic “red box,” featuring cover art by Larry Elmore. Today, Wizards of the Coast has teamed up with the gang behind Netflix’s mega hit Stranger Things to release the Stranger Things D&D Starter Set which ships in, you guessed it, a glorious red box.

The set features everything you need to play Dungeons and Dragons:

  1. Rule book.

  2. An adventure “written” by Mike himself, featuring a monster of Mike’s own creation (don’t worry, we won’t spoil it).

  3. A set of dice.

  4. Two Demogorgon minis, one painted and one not.

You also get five character sheets featuring third-level characters that are ready to play, including a half-elf wizard, a hill dwarf bard and a human paladin. What I really like about the character sheets is they tell you what each character can expect to receive at 4th and 5th level. So you can keep playing them as long as you like.

It’s a solid kit and fans of the show will really enjoy playing Mike’s adventure. It’s really meant for players new to the game, but veterans will get a kick out of it too, provided that they enjoy the show. You can pick it up at a game store near you, or online. Check out our unboxing gallery below.

Eager to play? We have D&D Clubs for kids that meet weekly: one co-ed and a D&D Club for Girls. Additionally, if you’re looking for a place to meetup with your adults and play — or you want us to expertly run a terrifically fun one-night adventure for you and your friends or coworkers at your home our business (D&D is a FANTASTIC team-building activity) let us know. We can being the Demogorgon — or the upside-down — to you.

New board game arrivals

We’re always looking for new and interesting games to add to our collection. Here are a few we’ve added recently, with a little something for everyone.

Monopoly Cheater’s Edition

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Oh, Monopoly. The game designed to be more of a lesson than a game. Did you know that Monopoly was created by an American anti-monopolist called Lizzie Magie, who hoped her invention would explain the single tax theory of Henry George?

Are you excited to play yet?

Here’s what I remember of playing Monopoly as a kid: cheating. It was the only way to make it fun. The folks at Hasbro have now embraced the practice with Monopoly Cheater’s Edition. It plays much like typical Monopoly, with the addition of cheat cards. Several are placed on the board at the start, each listing a way to cheat, like taking money from the bank, stealing someone else’s property, lying about what that Community Chest card said, and so on. Anyone can cheat at any time, if they get away with it, the get the reward on the back of the cheat card. Get caught, and it’s off to jail with you…complete with handcuff! It takes what is typically a slog of a game and makes it fun. Plus, additional rules change things so that the game lasts about 60 minutes.

Root

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Root is an adventure and war game in which two to four players battle for control of a sprawling wilderness. Each faction of cute animals has its own agenda and game play style, which creates lots of opportunity for fun interaction between players.

The Marquise de Cat, for example, starts off controlling pretty much everything, and they aim to develop the forest with industry and buildings. Meanwhile the birds (deposed rulers of the forest) are on the march to take back what they believe is theirs while The Woodland Alliance work to rally the people against the mustering armies, biding their time in secret until a full-blown rebellion is incited.

If that’s not enough, the artwork is SO CUTE YOU MIGHT DIE. It so fun to get lost in your faction’s M.O. that the game becomes a much deeper experience than you’re expecting.

This Game Goes to Eleven

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This simple, press-your-luck card game is inspired Nigel’s amp which was, of course, one louder. It’s a race to have cards that total exactly eleven, so you can hand them off. Go over eleven and be forced to take the entire pile. Be the first to get rid of all of your cards.

You can play any or all of these games with us as we pop up across Cape Cod:

Stay on top of where we’ll be next by joining our Meetup group. See you soon.

This week's featured game: Dragoon

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Dragoon. Verb. To coerce (someone) into doing something: she had been dragooned into helping with the housework.

Or, in the case of Dragoon from Lay Waste Games: “The villagers and been dragooned into paying tribute to the huge dragon, lest their village be reduced to a smoking crater.”

Dragoon is a light strategy game for 2-4 players in which vengeful, feuding dragons threaten each other as well as the populations of the growing villages and cities on their shared, tiny island. As players it’s your job to horde the most gold (dragons love gold) anyway you can get it: stealing it from other dragons in combat, robbing their caves or demanding it from terrified villagers.

There’s also a thief about, stealing gold for himself. If you’re lucky enough to catch him, you can shake him down for a bit of his stash.

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Dragoon is played in rounds, and each round has three phases: populate, actions and tribute. In the populate phase, players roll dice to see where new villages or cities appear on the map. During the actions phase, dragons spend their three actions to do things like move, claim a village or city as their own, fight or raze villages to the ground. Finally, during the tribute phase, the terrified humans who are still alive try to appease their winged overloads with offerings of gold. Play continues like this until one dragon has amassed 50 pieces of shiny gold.

The game is fast-paced, fun and so pretty. Look at those metal pieces! Metal dragons, metal dragon caves, metal dice, metal scoring markers. It all happens on an attractive, hand-drawn map that folds up nicely when play is finished.

We’ll be teaching Dragoon this Saturday and Sunday at Cape Cod Coffee in Mashpee Commons (map) from 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM. Come down and give it a try. Our game days are just $5 per person for four hours of gaming.

See you soon. There are villages to raze!

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D&D Club for Girls

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Tabletop gaming is a hobby traditionally monopolized by men and boys. Our D&D Club for Girls provides a supportive, fun environment for girls ages 10 and up who are ready to pick up the dice and make way for adventure.

Roleplaying Games (RPGs) like Dungeons and Dragons are narrative game systems that encourage cooperation, decision-making and creative thinking. RPG players are immersed in a shared story-telling experience as they work together to overcome obstacles. This program will focus on introducing players to the core concepts of Dungeons and Dragons.

During our five-week session, girls will:

  • Create a custom character and a custom character sheet

  • Receive their own mini figure, representing their character

  • Receive a full set of seven RPG dice in a drawstring dice bag

  • Receive a copy of the basic rules of D&D

Experience screen-free fun while practicing teamwork, cooperation, critical thinking skills and playing lots of Dungeons and Dragons!

Where: Cape Cod Coffee, Mashpee Commons (48 Market Street)

When: Saturdays, March 9 - April 6, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Cost: $150 for five weeks ($35 drop-in)

Meet the developer: Peter Olotka

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Our very first “Meet the Developer” event is with Peter Olotka, co-developer of Cosmic Encounter, Dune , and more. Peter will be on hand at Cape Cod Coffee, Mashpee Commons on Saturday, March 9 from 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM to say hi, play games and hang out. Always wanted to play Cosmic Encounter? Here’s your chance to do so one one of the game’s designers!

Cosmic Encounter a science fiction game in which each player represents a different alien race. Each race wants to expand in five worlds outside their home system. To so so, they make challenges against other players and enlist the aid of interested parties. Alien powers, which are unique to each race, give players ways to bend or outright break some rule in the game.

Here’s a great opportunity to talk games, game design and play with an accomplished designer. We’ll see you on the 9th at 12:00 PM.

RPG club for adults

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The problem: You and your friends want to play RPGs together, but struggle to find a reliable location. People cancel, availability of each others’ homes changes and so on. It can be frustrating.

The solution: Reboot Game Lab. We provide the beautiful, clean, well-lit cafe as a reliable location for your RPG night. Dungeons and Dragons, Star Wars, Pathfinder, Fiasco, Gloomhaven…whatever. Gather your party and get ready to play.

Play begins every Saturday at 12:00 pm and ends around 4:00 pm. Late arrivals and early exits should try to notify their DM in advance. The average table takes 5-6 players, so be sure to show up on time! There is a $10 door charge for all players. You can also purchase our discounted $80 Encounters Pass which covers TEN entries. And as always, DMs (and GMs) play free!

Upcoming Occurrences:

  • Saturday, March 9, 2019 at 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM

  • Saturday, March 16, 2019 at 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM

  • Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM

  • Saturday, March 30, 2019 at 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM

  • Saturday, April 6, 2019 at 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM

  • Saturday, April 13, 2019 at 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM

  • Saturday, April 20, 2019 at 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Register now and start playing!

Gaming benefit for Calmer Choice

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Calmer Choice is a pioneer in secular mindfulness across eight school districts on Cape Cod, bringing positive change to nearly 21,000 students since its inception in 2010. Now, we’re thrilled to offer a family fund raiser to help them reach their goal of serving more than 26,000 students by the end of the 2018-2019 school year.

Join us on Wednesday, February 27th at The Daily Brew Coffee House (map) , starting at 6:30 PM. There will be games (of course), snacks and delicious coffee (naturally) and because no RGL fund raiser would be complete without it, our third…

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Hungry Hungry Hippos tournament! Assemble your team of two to compete to have your name inscribed on the Reboot Game Lab Hippo Trophy! Here’s how this works:

  • Assemble your team of two

  • Compete in bracket-style elimination against other teams

  • When it comes down to two, we have a head-to-head playoff and crown the Hippo Champions!

  • The winners get their names added to the trophy via permanent engraving, and may take selfies to share. Hippo bragging rights are on the line!

It’s a five-dollar buy-in to participate and of course all proceeds go to Calmer Choice and the Cape Cod students who benefit from their fantastic services.

Of course, Will and Dave will be on hand with piles of games for all ages to enjoy. Register for this free event below, and join us in a night of fun, laughter and a great cause.

Announcing board game “speed dating!”

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Meeting someone special can be agonizing. Board games are always awesome. What happens if you combine looking for someone with playing board games?

That’s exactly what we’re doing. Here’s how it works.

Imagine this: you’re in the beautiful lounge at The West End in Hyannis on Thursday, February 14. Game Gurus walk you through several simple, fun games, including classics you know and some new ones you might not. You play each with different people, getting a chance to meet fun singles, all the while enjoying adult beverages and delicious snacks.

At the end of the night, you write down the name of who you’d like to get to know better as a friend, and who might be a little more than that, on a card and hand it to the Game Gurus. If there are any matches in either column, the Gurus will make sure you get each others’ emails so you can coordinate a time to hang out.

You know that awkward silence that always happens when you’re meeting new people and no one knows what to say? Just concentrate on the game. Awkward silences, eliminated!

  • Best case scenario: You find the love of your life, discover new board games and meet lots of cool people.

  • Bad case scenario: Only one of the three above.

  • Worst case scenario: At least there’s games.

Ready to sign up? Click the button below. The deets:

  • The West End, Hyannis (map)

  • February 14, starting at 6:00 PM.

  • $10 at the door.

Introducing Encounters: Dungeons and Dragons for adults

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For the past 12 weeks, we’ve been running Dungeons and Dragons clubs for kids. It’s been a great time, and now we’re ready to give adults a space to play a little D&D.

Introducing Encounters, our D&D group for adults. Here’s how it works.

Encounters is our weekly, casual format for new and experienced players of 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons. We have numerous campaigns to choose from, or you can bring your own. Players with little to no experience with role-playing games are welcome, as are those returning after a long absence and veteran players. Encounters is open to adults 18+, and games are run by volunteer DMs, who play free!

Play begins every Saturday at 12:00 PM and ends around 4:00 pm. Late arrivals and early exits should try to notify their DM in advance. The average table takes 5-6 players, so be sure to show up on time! There is a $10 door charge for all players. You can also purchase our discounted $80 Encounters Pass which covers TEN entries. And as always, DMs play free!

Upcoming Occurrences:

  • Saturday, March 2, 2019 at 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM

  • Saturday, March 9, 2019 at 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM

  • Saturday, March 16, 2019 at 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM

  • Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM

  • Saturday, March 30, 2019 at 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM

  • Saturday, April 6, 2019 at 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM

  • Saturday, April 13, 2019 at 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM

  • Saturday, April 20, 2019 at 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Now you can play D&D with friends in a cozy, warm cafe in Mashpee Commons, grab a coffee and a snack, roll some dice and have a great time. Details here.

What is a "breadstick game?"

Anyone who’s ever eaten at an Olive Garden has had those warm, lovely bread sticks. No, they aren’t what you came for (Ok well they probably aren’t what you came for), despite their garlicky goodness. The breadsticks are meant to give you something to nibble on while you wait for your entree to arrive, and to get you in the mood to enjoy dinner.

Breadstick games work the same way. When sitting down to an afternoon or evening of board games, be it at your local board game cafe or at home, a few quick, simple games can get you in the mood to hunker down with a more substantial title. In this post, we’ll describe a few or our favorite breadstick games.

Kulami

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Kulami is an abstract strategy game for two players, who must arrange marbles on a randomly-generated board of wooden tiles. A player may claim a tile — and its points — by having the majority of his or her marbles on it. Ah, but there’s a bit of a catch: your opponent’s move dictates where you can place your marble.

Word A Round

This super-simple game takes seconds to learn, is fast-paced and light enough that you’ll want to play a couple of times. In it, players must flip over a card and be the first to read a word inside one of the card’s three concentric circles. It sounds simple enough, but each word is presented as one continuous string of letters, with no clear beginning or ending. It’s quick and funny.

Spot It

If you’ve ever played I Spy while enduring a long road trip, this one will be familiar. Spot It features circular cards bearing eight symbols each: snowman, whistle, lightning bolt and more. There is exactly one matching pair of symbols across any two cards. Your job, as you may have guessed, is to spot the pair before your opponents. There are five ways to play Spot It, though that core mechanic remains the same.

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Sushi Go

Imagine you’re at your favorite Japanese restaurant, trying to piece together a meal from all of the delicious offerings. That’s the idea behind Sushi Go, a set-collection card game that has you gathering sashimi, tempura, wasabi into sets to score points. Played in three rounds, this quick game features cute art and fun gameplay.

Animal Upon Animal

This cute dexterity game from Germany has you stacking wooden animals on top of each other, without knocking the whole thing down. A roll of the die determines which animal you must place next, or lets your opponents decide. Each player starts with the same pool of oddly-shaped animals and it’s a wobbly race to see who can get rid of their menagerie first.

Bananagrams

This son-of-Scrabble has more in common with a crossword puzzle. Players each have a collection of lettered tiles and must build off of each other’s words. But hold on, opponents may steal letters and more in their effort to become “top banana.”

There you have it. There are more, of course, but these are some of our favorites. These titles and more are available to play every week with us at Cape Cod Coffee in Mashpee Commons (map) from 12:00 - 4:00. If you have a breadstick game that you love, bring it! We’d love to give it a try.

Santa, BBQ and board games

We celebrated early Christmas at Y’all’s Wicked Kitchen with Santa, William the elf and several happy gamers on Wednesday. BBQ was on the menu and Santa took pictures and played games with the kids. Big thanks to owners Sara and chef Jason — who was also celebrating his birthday on Wednesday — for hosting this fun holiday event! Here are a few photos.

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Why we're supporting Dream Day on Cape Cod

Dream Day on Cape Cod is the deserving focus of our first game day charity event, taking place Wednesday, December 5th (tomorrow as of this writing) at Cape Cod Coffee cafe in Barnstable Airport (map).

In this video, Executive Director Tracey Sperry shares a little history of this amazing organization. See you Wednesday (yes, tickets are still available).

Hungry Hungry Hippos tournament

Hungry Hungry Hippos Tournament

Our spectacular night of gaming to benefit Dream Day on Cape Cod will feature games (of course), food (natch), drinks (because beer + board games = win), raffles and an auction (very cool stuff) and best of all, a Hungry Hungry Hippos tournament, with a trophy! WHAT.

Here’s how this will work.

At the night of the event, teams of two can register to compete in this bracket-style, elimination event. Play will continue until it comes down to the final two, who will battle it out for fame, glory, and the very first Reboot Game Lab Hippo Trophy!

This will be frantic, crazy and a lot of fun. You’ll want to be a part of the mayhem.

Buy your tickets now and register your team on the night of December 5th, starting at 5:00, at Cape Cod Coffee in Barnstable Airport (Map).

DM'ing Dungeons and Dragons for young kids

DM'ing Dungeons and Dragons for young kids

Running a game of Dungeons and Dragons is tremendously fun. You and your players have agreed to collectively tell a story with their characters in the starring roles. As the dungeon master (or DM), you’ve prepared a fun and engaging adventure to be everyone’s source of entertainment for a few hours. When everything clicks, it’s great. It has a tendency to fall apart when you’re DM’ing for young kids.

Here’s a scenario that might sound familiar. You’re committed to running a game of Dungeons and Dragons for young kids, maybe eight, nine or ten years old. Some of them have never played before, while others have minimal experience with the game.

A few minutes in, their attention starts to wane. Some kids talk at the same time, they all want to act simultaneously and the fun game you planned for has become a chaotic exercise in frustration for you and the kids. Feelings are hurt, patience is gone and your vision of introducing new, young players to the wonderful world of D&D has evaporated.

It’s easy to feel stuck, frustrated and out of control when DM’ing for young, inexperienced players. We’ve felt that for sure, and it’s a genuine bummer to walk away from the table knowing some of your players didn’t have a good time. Fortunately, you can take specific action during your prep time and game play to reach your goal of a fun, rewarding session of Dungeons and Dragons for everyone. Let’s start with preparation.

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Gamers Giving to Dream Day Cape Cod

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I’m elated to announce that we’ve partnered with Cape Cod Coffee to host a night of charitable gaming to benefit Dream Day on Cape Cod. It all happens Dec. 6.

For the last 25 years, Dream Day has helped hundreds of these families disconnect from the daily struggles of hospital and doctors’ visits and round-the clock care to reconnect with one another and to connect with others who understand and accept what they have been going through at its Camp Nan-Ke-Rafe, a 31-acre facility located adjacent to Nickerson State Park.

Each summer Dream Day operates eight sessions of family camp – bringing families together for a week of fun, family, and respite.

All of their programs are at no cost to the family.

We think that’s amazing and we want to keep it going. You can help.

On December 6 at Cape Cod Coffee in Barnstable Airport we’re going to host a fun, amazing night of games, food, drinks, raffles, tournaments and more all to benefit this incredible organization and the exceptional kids they serve.

Click here to learn more and here to buy tickets. We can’t wait to see you, have fun, play games and raise money Dream Day on Cape Cod and some pretty amazing kids. Mark your calendar for December sixth right now!

Let’s get together and play

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We are experiencing a golden age of board games. I blame smartphones.

The mini computer you probably have in your pocket right now (and if not in your pocket, certainly within reach) is just short of a miracle. Nearly all of the world’s knowledge is available to you at any given moment:

Information is just the start. Phones keep us connected to fiends, family and co-workers far and wide. With just a tap we can see photos from the weekend at the beach or review the TPS report, properly stapled and ready for submission. It’s amazing.

However, every silver lining has its shroud of grey.

The connectedness can be relentless. The information can be addicting. Time spent “socializing” with countless people hundreds or thousands of miles away can feel…isolating. We yearn to disconnect from our phones and reconnect with our friends in a real, in-person way.

Enter board games. In 2016, Chris Reynolds wrote:

“We’re physical beings who like touch and tangibility, especially when engaging in shared activities. Companies are trying to replicate that by creating screens that vibrate when you touch them to try to give the person some sort of tactile feedback, but in a tabletop world you have that feedback right away. Handing someone cards, rolling dice, moving pieces on a board — these bring that game to life in a way that never happens if it’s just on the screen.”

Not only that, but playing together lets you see that smile that precedes a winning move, the cringe that accompanies and crushing defeat, and the laughter, chatter and sense of fun that happens in between.

Bored with digital games? Join the Board Game Resistance. Create fun, memorable times together.

May the dice always roll in your favor.