The Five Best Board Games That I Hate to Play

Before I get a whole bunch of hate for this, let me preface it with this: these are some of the games that are most often requested by my group, and, consequently, these are games that I often teach. So even though I personally hate these games (and hate may be a strong word, it's more that I nothing these games), I still expose new people to them and respect their place in the hobby.

D&D Narrative, DMs, AND Player Autonomy 4: Player Goals

In the final installment of this series, we’re going to talk about player goals. In other words, the encompassing goal that the player has for their character. Some characters have complex motivations; a fallen paladin on a quest to find out whether their God failed them at a critical moment in time in the past. Others have very simple ones; get gold. Some players have meta goals, such as playing a class they’ve never played before; other players are simply rolling the dice.

Are You "That Couple" When It Comes to Board Gaming?

You take out your newest board game, with a gleam in your eye. You know everyone's been waiting to play this -- and you got in on the Kickstarter. But suddenly everyone's averting their eyes.

"I don't know, Tom. It's a little late."

"It's 12:00. Noon."

"Well, I have to get up early for school."

"You haven't been in school in eight years."

"OK, fine. Truth be told, we hate playing with you two."

Oh no. You've become "that couple."

D&D Narrative, DMs, and Player Autonomy 3: Player vs. Narrative Conflict

I don’t think I’m imagining it -- modern DMs are running modules less frequently. Instead of getting a boxed campaign, they’re diving into the deep end, often running their own homebrew right from the start. And that means that DMs -- new DMs, who sometimes haven't even run a game before -- need to be able to build both a world and a narrative together. 

Quarterbacking in Board Games: The Player and Developer Perspective

"This is a fantastic game," said our local game shop owner. "Everyone's loved it."

We picked up Magic Maze and set it up in a few minutes. The premise was simple: everyone controls the direction that pawns move and the movements they can take. Pawns must collect an item and then escape the maze. Oh, and it has to be done simultaneously, and in complete silence.

Tips for Engaging New Players in DND and Roleplaying

New players hesitate. It's really just a given. Even seasoned players can sometimes find themselves freezing up when presented with a new group. But it doesn't have to feel like a train wreck. Here are a few tips for getting players engaged, whether you're running a one-off storytelling RP or a long running 5e campaign.

Cards Against Humanity "Redistributes Wealth"

Every year Cards against Humanity tries to do something a little unusual for the holidays. Once, they sold "absolutely nothing" -- as in, there was nothing in the box. Another time, they did put something in the box... cow manure. At one point, they used money to dig a giant hole for no reason at all. Just kept digging as long as the dollars kept coming. And just a few months ago, they collected money to purchase land on the border of Mexico, to make it more difficult for Trump to build a wall.