Another great game day at Osterville Village Library today as we welcomed two new gamers. Wingspan continues to be a popular game as it was up and running on two tables today. We also got Carcassonne out and Sushi Go Party for a fun wrap-up to the afternoon.
Meanwhile, six kids enjoyed D&D Club for Kids. Summer session ends next Sunday and then D&D Club for Kids Autumn Session stars Oct. 6 for six weeks of D&D fun.
Thanks to everyone who came out today. We’ll see you next Sunday the 22nd for more gaming.
Creating a character for Dungeons & Dragons can be a daunting task. You’ve got to pick a race and class, write a backstory, deal with lots of numbers and decide if your character is basically good or basically evil (or somewhere in between). I struggled with this for a long time, wishing to come up with a compelling character that would be enjoyable for me and my fellow players. That’s why I empathized with this tweet from my internet pal Lyz*:
Now, I’ve not written this post to bestow the definitive answer upon the D&D-playing masses. Instead, I want to give a few simple tips that have made the process easier for me. If they work for you, dear reader, great. If not, please share your tips for character creation in the comments below. With that said, onward!
For me, the most confounding aspect of character creation in D&D is the backstory. For years, I would write elaborate, multi-page tales for my characters involving missing parents, burned villages, oaths of revenge, sworn allegiances and “last of my tribe” sorts of thing. All of it pre-history as far as the campaign was concerned. Jonny Ironsword would enter my DM’s campaign hell bent on avenging the death of his father or tracking down his twin brother, drafted into servitude by a nomadic tribe of marauding half-orcs when Johnny and Jimmy were only 12…
Only to have that never come up in the campaign, which is about delivering tainted mead to the Zhentarim’s block party.
Your story arc
That’s when I decided to let my character’s story arc happen in the campaign, not before. Here’s what I mean.
The character I’m playing as of this writing is Reed Greenbottle, a halfling druid botanist. He leaves his village to collect samples of plants to record in his book.
That’s it. That’s his whole story.
This is Reed’s first time “off the farm” if you will and his naivety informs his interactions with the people, beasties and situations he meets.
Is that a Kenku? Neat, let me get a close look.
In combat, Reed casts a spell in a way that endangers the attacker as well as his allies. He’s never fought anything before, you see, so he kind of sucks at it.
Eventually, young Reed’s belief that all things are inherently good will begin to erode. A few things try to kill him and his new friends. Maybe he gets robbed. Maybe he gets double crossed. After 12 weeks of play, Reed probably won’t be the same person he was at the beginning. In other words, I’m letting my DM’s plans shape who Reed is. It’s a lot less pressure on me, feels more organic, and alleviates the frustration of realizing the intricate backstory I wrote has no place in the campaign.
As for the other aspects of character creation — race, class, alignment, ability scores — just pick whatever sounds cool. As for ability scores, let the dice decide. Maybe you end up with a wizard with very low wisdom. That’s not bad, it’s a story-telling opportunity! Perhaps she flunked out of wizarding school and learned from back-alley charlatans.
Now I understand that “just pick whatever sounds cool” probably made a lot of you cringe. If you enjoy the deep dive, by all means have at it. But if the question is simplicity, this has worked for me. It’s fun discovering who Reed is as I play him week to week.
*By the way, Lyz custom-inks gaming dice and they’re beautiful.
Hello, gamers. Here’s a quick update on our hunt for a new gaming space.
I’m currently pursuing locations in Mashpee, as I know it’s convenient to most of our audience. I’m scheduled to have a conversation with Mashpee Library later today (Monday the 8th). It’s a very nice spot and they have a pair of big, clean, well-lit and open rooms. It looks like they’ve only got Saturdays open, so we’ll see what happens. Cross your fingers to wish us +1 luck!
The Boys & Girls Club is quite close to Mahspee Commons, and has rooms to rent, but at $75/hr it’s a bit outside what we’re willing to spend. I’m also looking at the Sandwich Recreation Center.
This is my main focus right now, so I hope to have an answer to you all soon. Thanks for your continued patience. We’ll get back to gaming together soon!
Earlier today we played Dungeons and Dragons at our home at Cape Cod Coffee in Mashpee Commons. I have to say it was tremendously fun as eight people joined the adventure. For four hours we explored the secret of Yokotoro Village along the Sword Coast. I don’t want to spoil anything but I’ll say that things were not what they seemed.
If you want to join us for adult D&D, follow us on Meetup, as that’s were we arrange things. We’ll be back next Saturday, 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM for more fun.
Never played before? Veteran with a drawer full of characters? This is for you! I provide dice, characters, adventure, and minis (of course, you’re more than welcome to bring your own). I hope to see you at the table soon.
In this massive game (we had to push two tables together), you play as humans who have to assassinate the “Epics” who’ve taken over Chicago, now called “Newcago.” There’s a lot of planning, plotting and assassinating. Here are a few photos from today’s epic (see what I did there?) battle.
As I sit here prepping maps and minis for tomorrow’s summer session of our Dungeons and Dragons Club for kids, I can’t help but get excited. The adventure we’ll be running is one I’ve run three times now and it’s a LOT of fun. I won’t name it specifically, just in case and young eyes are reading this, but I will share one minor spoiler: nunchaku made out of pufferfish.
See you tomorrow at Cape Cod Coffee in Mashpee Commons, 12 PM - 4 PM.
We’ve been running Dungeons and Dragons Club for kids for several months now. What started with three kids has grown to over a dozen, and summer session is about to start. It’s been a lot of fun, and now several of you have asked:
“What about D&D for adults?” We hear you, and we have a plan.
We’d love to host this for you all. After all, beheading kobolds with friends is one of life’s simple pleasers. The challenge right now is location and timing. Let’s start with location.
Currently, we meet every Saturday and Sunday at Cape Cod Coffee in Mashpee Commons (map). It’s a great spot, albeit a little small. We currently run D&D Kids Club there and that plus drop-in gaming really commandeers most of the available space in that tiny cafe.
The next issue is timing. Many of you have asked for evening D&D, and we get it. People typically work during the day and have free time for leisure activities in the evening. The current location closes at 4:00, so there’s that.
Just like a barbarian swinging his battleaxe with a buff of Bardic Inspiration, there is hope.
Soon, Cape Cod Coffee will move to its new, bigger location across the street from the current spot in Mashpee Commons, and we'll be moving with them. The new place will have a full menu, beer, lots of seats and evening hours. When that happens we can have an RPG night, no problem. That’s great, but what about now?
Until then, we’ll offer one-offs at the current location on Saturdays. Bring your own adventure, or I can even DM a one-shot. We can use Meetup to coordinate the who’s, what’s and how’s. I can provide graph paper for maps and minis. You provide the fun.
It’s not perfect I know, but it’s something to tide us over until we're across the street. Let me know if you’re interested, either here in the comments or on Meetup.
Last weekend at our weekly game day meetup in Mashpee Commons featured a theme: The Lonely Games Club.
Let me explain.
We all have those titles on our game shelves that never get played. Perhaps life got in the way, you couldn’t find the right group or if you’re like me, you buy games more quickly than you can play them. Last week I looked at my game shelf and said, “That’s it. We’re playing some of these games.” I tossed Lewis & Clark, Elfenland and Legendary into the trunk and headed for Mashpee Commons.
I’m glad to report that we got Lewis & Clark (L&C) to the table. As the name suggests, it’s about leading an expedition across the North American continent in the name of exploration and expansion. L&C is a resource management game that has you gathering resources to convert into items you need, like canoes and horses, as well as to hire new people into your expedition. Each new traveler brings unique abilities that let you move more quickly, navigate difficult terrain or convert primary resources into the more effective secondary resources efficiently.
My favorite mechanic if the game is that you power the cards in your hand with…the cards in your hand. Thus, the dilemma becomes, which card effects do I want to use this round, and which will I “sacrifice” to power those abilities? Additionally, hiring people into your expedition lets you build your deck and plan for future rounds.
While the game was fun, there are some off-putting aspects, like the fact that the “Indian” tokens are referred to as “stock” and, honestly, once in the village, you’re essentially trading them for goods. The game says using their labor, but that’s not how it feels here in 2019.
Once you get past the blatant colonialism (if you can get past it), Lewis & Clark is a solid game, with aspects of worker placement, drafting and resource management.
What game(s) have you been itching to play? Dust it off, toss it in the car and meet us at Mashpee Commons this weekend. We’ll gladly give it a shot.
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
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 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
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:
Thursday, April 11 at The West End in Hyannis, 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM.
Saturday, April 13 at Three Fins Coffee in West Dennis from 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Saturday, April 13 at Cape Cod Coffee in Mashpee Commons, 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Sunday, April 14 at Cape Cod Coffee in Mashpee Commons, 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Stay on top of where we’ll be next by joining our Meetup group. See you soon.
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.
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!
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!
For 25 years, Dream Day has helped hundreds of 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. Those families receive the chance to create loving, lasting memories that transcend illness and struggle.
All of Dream Day’s programs are at no cost to the families they serve.
We think that’s amazing. With your support, this much-needed program can continue for some incredible kids and their families.
Join us at Cape Cod Coffee in Hyannis (map) on Wednesday, December 5th for a fun, entertaining night of charity gaming, tournaments, raffles, auctions, food and drink to benefit this wonderful organization. We can’t think of a better way to kick off the holiday season, when the spirit of giving is at its strongest. Register below!
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.Read More