Kick The Box Dec. 16th 2013 Edition

Kick The Box

Dec. 16th Edition

Hey Kick-The-Boxers! Another week has passed, and another Monday is upon us, kicking our arses into ‘Go Mode’. I found some great treasures this week hidden behind some Kickstarter thumbnails. Take a peek and let me know what you think.

Update: Machina Arcana’s campaign is closing in on the $100,000 mark as it approaches it’s final week of it’s campaign. Gripmat’s campaign also continues to go strong as it has surpassed 300% of it’s funding goal with three weeks left in it’s Kickstarter campaign remaining. Ryuutama just wrapped up it’s successful campaign.

Everwrought – The Perils of Promise

Project by: Tall Tale Studios

I’m really liking the sounds of this  world that Tall Tale Studios has created. The world consists of two massive continents that have been at war since before the dawn of time. In between these two continents lies a string of hundreds of islands known as The Footprints. Most of these islands have aligned themselves with one or the other continent, but they all wish that the war would have ended long ago. On one of the smaller islands among The Footprints, lies one island  where your hero’s adventures will start and possibly end. This island is called Promise.

Everwrought will have it’s own simpler, easy for beginners, house rules, while at the same time are compatible with the standard existing systems,  DnD(4th Edition), Pathfinder, Fate, and DW.

Everything needed to start your campaign will be in the box, including a 350+ page campaign setting book, 10 minis, and 3 double-sided maps.

Keep checking back this week as I get the pleasure to pick at the gray mass of one of the creators, Kevin Register in an email interview. This should be done and posted by end of the week at the latest.

Shipping within the US is included. Include $15 to your pledge for International Shipping.

Mega Man

Project by: Jasco Games

Enter the world of Mega Man via Tabletop! Can it be done? Can the game that redefined side scrollers for many generations and still continues to do so be successfully br turned into a tabletop game?

Jasco Games thinks so. This 2-4 player (2-8 player ability with expansions) pits you and your fellow Mega Man competitors in a race to be the first to beat the required number of Robot Masters and enter into Dr. Wily’s lair and defeat him.

Grab your power ups, jump into your blue suit, and enter this exciting action packed side scroller themed tabletop board game called Mega Man.

All shipping is within North America. Jasco Games is looking into expanding their license to include international shipping. They are hoping to have news on that very soon.

Anime Miniatures

Project by: M&K Adventures

Sculpt by Hector (Hec) Moran.

With the amount of successful Anime themed RPG’s on Kickstarter like OVA , Tears of a Machine, and Ryuutama, it would only make sense to have some gorgeous anime inspired miniatures to use as your adventurers avatars for your newly created universes.

All 8 of the base set that are being offered in this Kickstarter campaign are gorgeous replicas of different themed anime styled figures, each  begging to have a personality attached to them and let loose upon your created universe.

There are also more figurines waiting to be unlocked in the stretch goals.

Shipping within US is free. You can visit M&K Adventures International shipping webpage here for international shipping details.

War of Keys: Overture

Project by: Nicholas D. Rossum

War Of Keys is a Final Fantasy Tactics inspired Miniatures Role Playing Game set in the Empire of Tharelia.

Instead of creating only one character, you will create a unit of 3-5 characters with 19 different classes to choose from and hundreds of unique pieces of equipment. Your unit will choose a faction in The Tharelian Empire to serve and can eventually be expanded into a unit of 8-9 characters.

One of the mechanics that stands out compared to other miniatures is the unique character activation system that captures the style of character activation in turn based video game classics like Final Fantasy Tactics.

Shipping for the physical products are US only and included.

There you go! This week’s picks it is. Hit the subscribe button or check back later this week for the interview with Everwrought’s creators. Til next time, keep on throwing the dice, meeting the meeples, and kicking the box.

Wargaming Recon #101: Jay Libby and Dilly Green Bean Games

Jay Libby and Dilly Green Bean Games

Jay Libby, indie game designer and co-owner of Dilly Green Bean Games, joins us. He discusses indie game design, New England game conventions, and mentions some of the great products released by Dilly Green Bean Games.

This episode discussed:

Some Reminders:

Continue reading “Wargaming Recon #101: Jay Libby and Dilly Green Bean Games”

Welcome to Game School – Grab your dice and cards because we’re now in session

school zone

I’ve realized something today, as my kids are waking up and heading for school and the college students, staff and faculty that surround me get ready for their day. I’ve just enrolled myself in a school of sorts as well.

I’ve always been a tinkerer of games, mostly RPGs in the past. I’ve enjoyed deconstructing and then reconstructing game ideas, and going off into wild tangents with magic items and strange characters. Over the past few years I’ve also found myself falling deeper under the spell of board and card games. So I’m going to lump all of this into one massive category, called Table Top Games, focus more on board and card games and with that, let’s swing open the doors of Game School and find out what we’re in for.

Game School


I’m not proposing to teach you how to build a game, or the best methods for finding illustrators. I’m certainly not a professor in Ludology. Like most of you, I’m a student as well. I have put together a few board and card games, some of which I’m quite proud of and many of which we shall never speak of again. Really though I’m just scratching the surface of what there is to know about table top games – their history, construction, evolution and the underlying concepts that keep them balanced and appealing. That’s why I’m officially opening this game school and inviting all of you along for the ride.

This is where I’ll be talking about what I’ve learned – anything from math and statistics that underly the games we play, through finding artist, publishers and the old do-it-yourself Print on Demand route. My goal through all of this is to increase my understanding of table top games and how they really work, from the crunchy bits underneath to the human psychology that drives us to play them and enjoy the experience.  I won’t attain that goal, at least not unless I live through a technological singularity and buy myself a lot more time.

What I do hope to realistically achieve though is a dialectic with you all. On this blog, I’ll be the conversation leader, dropping ideas, mechanics and related topics into your laps with the hope of fostering some great conversations and learning a lot. That doesn’t mean that you can’t carry on the conversation in other social media or your own space. I’ll happily follow along just about anywhere you want to lead in this! To that end, this will by my portal into Game School. I’ll set up a group over on Google Plus and I heartily invite you to use that as your portal to post your own ideas, discoveries, thoughts and opinions. If you have your own sites, blogs and forum posts, please feel free to link to them through this group. Linking is encouraged!

Now go join the group! 


Primary: Information should be free, and you should be able to find it! There are a few blogs that I follow where designers and hopeful designers post great stuff. I’m always discovering more! My biggest problem though is finding new resources and then keeping track of them. I’m hoping that the Game School group will be a jumping off point where others can discover great online resources and discuss their findings. For those using Game School as their online resource, I hope to foster meaningful conversations, usable criticisms and a safe, fun and interesting environment in which to learn and expand the skills of game creation.

Secondary: To get me off my duff and into learning and creating mode. By starting off this community, and creating a category specifically for it on my own blog, I’m forcing myself to be active and write about this. It’s a way to kick myself into gear and keep me there. I plan on using this, and using all of you to keep my ideas flowing and new stuff coming into my head as ideas and coming out as partially or fully formed games. I hope you do the exact same thing. If I come up with something you like, use it!

Tertiary: I’m taking a page from two presences in the game design and publishing world that I really admire, Daniel Solis and Fred Hicks. They’re both very open about the business of gaming, whether it’s design and mechanics or fulfillment and shipping. Our world of table top games can use more people like this and I hope to foster just that spirit through Game School. Like them, I plan on posting as much as time and circumstances will permit me about my own ideas, thoughts and the progression of the games I’m designing.

I also honestly believe that ideas are cheap and easy to come by, while good games are not. Games are what happens to ideas when someone or a group of people have invested a lot of time and effort into an idea. With that in mind, I’ll be sharing as many of my ideas as I can. They may or may not work for me. Perhaps they’ll inspire you!


Here’s a few topics I plan on talking about, with a few talking points built in. Really anything that has to do with the art, business or science side of game development, up to and including my own and other’s ideas will be posted here.

  • Art – where to find it, how to commission it, free art.
  • Layout & Design – what makes a good component or card? Iconography and symbology, rules and readability.
  • Mechanics & Design – The stuff that makes the games work, rules, statistics, the evolution of game mechanics and more.
  • Revisions – When and why throwing stuff out is good, trying to spot that ‘new thing’ by how others react to ideas, and spotting when a game is ‘finished enough’.
  • Play Testing – Solitaire play, testing through spreadsheets, finding blind test groups, print and play as a means of testing.
  • Publishing – To self-publish or not to self-publish, who’s taking submissions? How to prepare your game to be seen by others, conventions and the elevator pitch.
  • Online Resources – From font files and public domain art to great people to follow online.
  • Psychology – why people play the games they play, what keeps them coming back, and pushing the right buttons for an enjoyable experience.
  • Business – Don’t lose your shirt, basic business strategies for table top games, publishing 101.

That is enough to get me started. I hope it’ll jump start some ideas and energy from all of you as well!

Kick The Box September 9th 2013 Edition

Kick The Box

September 9th Edition

I dug up some gems this week for you guys to check out! Some Sci-Fi action, a little tile moving game, and a little card game that has you evading obstacles as you create the perfect heist and some updates on games featured before. Let’s throw some dice and jump into it.

Updates:  With a little over two weeks left, Raiders of R’lyeh has reached a little over half of what they need to fund their RPG.  If an open world Lovecraftian Indiana Jones pulp adventure RPG is what your looking for than be sure to check out their Kickstarter. I’m ecstatic for I have the privilege of receiving a copy of Warlords & Sellswords prototype in the next day or two to test play and preview for you guys. Patrick is getting ready to reboot that campaign in the next week or two.

Deep Space 

Project by: Zak Labs

Zak Labs first Kickstarter attempt is a Sci-Fi themed star ship game for two to four players. Each player takes turns trying to control the most planets on the board.  Choose to attack other players’ battleships or try to capture as many planets as quickly as possible. The choice is yours. You can even self-destruct yourself if it proves useful in foiling an enemies plans! If the artwork that is on the website is any indication of the quality and beauty that that is to be found in the game, than it will be one gorgeous, ruthless space battle in your living room.

Burning Suns

Project by: Sun TzuGames

In the galaxy of The Burning Suns, during thousands of years of peace, over three hundred empires have had room to flourish and grow. Then these empires started to grow hungry for new territories and deceit and war was inevitable.

In Burning Suns, players become the leaders of their empire, volleying for complete domination through any means necessary. Use technology, volatile diplomacy, exploitation and destruction, if necessary, to put the other emperors in their place and stake your dominance over the entire galaxy.

There is a combination of a possible 343 playable empires in the base set and up to 512 playable empires with the included promos! You could possibly play hundreds of games without you or your friends using the same empire twice! The average game time is 40 minutes per player.


Project by: Waning Gibbous Games

This looks to be an interesting filler game with tons of options for game play. The object of the game is to pick your bounty with the “Score cards”, determine what obstacles, anything from drone surveillance, laser grids, alligators to armed guards, that are in your way with ‘The Catch” deck, and then draw from “The Fix” deck to see what tools you have at your disposal to overcome the obstacles that you encountered from “The Catch” deck.

With different game modes, this could be a complete cooperative heist, a one vs. many heist, or a completely competitive heist. There are several game modes already listed on Kickstarter, and the basic game allows for you to be creative and create your own ways to play. Small enough to pack into your pocket, but big enough for some great story telling and laughs.


Project by: Game Salute

Finish this weeks selections with something a little different: Codinca

Codinca is a two to four player tile moving game, wherein each player controls  four wooden tiles bearing their perspective element (Earth, Fire, Wind, and Water).  Everyone secretly draws a card with a pattern on it.Then, during each turn, each person moves and/or flips their double sided wooden tiles trying to navigate their elements tiles to match the secret pattern.  Everyone’s patterns is hidden from each other, so no one knows what the other’s ultimate winning pattern is. A simple game to learn, but one that can never be truly mastered. I can only imagine the chaos that ensues with four players trying to move their tiles into beneficial spots and than having someone the next turn to move it again!

Another week down, and another edition of  ‘Kick The Box’ in the books, (or the netz pages.) This is an exciting time to be in the tabletop hobby. Game designers, first timers and veterans, have found a new way to not only get their ideas off the ground, but to also show other companies that their is an audience consuming every morsel of tabletop delicacy. It excites me to see an increasing amount of fresh new games and ideas take flight and the games I choose every week are games I find to be either different, exciting, gorgeous, or all of above. So, come back next week as I choose another group of games that I can’t wait to get my hands on. And as always . . .

Spread The Addiction!

Kick The Box Sept. 3rd 2013 Edition

Kick The Box

Sept. 3rd Edition

Hope everyone’s Labor Day Weekend was full of games, drinks, and friends, and you were able to get away, at least mentally for a few hours. I know I had a good weekend and now playing catch up, of course, for the next couple of days. But, you’re not here to listen to my excuses, so let’s get on with the show.

Update: Battle Merchants campaign has been relaunched and is already a third of the way of being funded in the first day!


Conquest of Orion

Project by: Escape Velocity Games

The constellation Orion, once a system only thought of as deep space,  is finally being explored and colonized. As the alliances start to populate the solar system, you find yourself battling for control to become the dominant alliance. The goal is to collect as many cards, as a team, as possible and then combine them at the end of  the conflicts. From the cards won, you put together as many systems as possible and then tally those system’s value.  A system consists of a planet card, an industry card, and a colony card. Each card is worth a certain amount of stars, and you add the stars up on each of the cards in a system and you get the value of the system. And of course, the alliance with the most points wins. This game looks like it would be a fun 4 player trick taking card game with two player teams and a strong sci-fi theme to boot.

Legends of the American Frontier

Project by: Game Salute

Legends of American Frontier is a card game that lets you live a life out on the plains as you stake your claim as either a Patriot, Frontiersman, Soldier, Trapper, Settler, Indian, Scout, Statesman, or Explorer. It’s a 3-5 player game which takes place in the 1780’s, shortly after the Revolutionary War, and continues into the early 1800’s. During this time period, the characters gain status, fame, wealth, and happiness tokens that are then spent on rewards that will help define the legend of their characters. The objective of the game is to score the most points through completing the adventures and purchasing said rewards.  At the end of the game each player tells his character’s life story and the points are tallied to see who is the greatest legend as you all ride off into the sunset.


Project by: Robert Westrick

Ever wondered what it would be like to be the vigilante hero in a race to rid the land of evil do-gooders before your friends do? If so, then Slaughterama is what you’ve been looking for! All the players are clerks of their very own medieval stores called bazaars, while at the same time,  you race to see who can kill all ten monsters in their decks first. With basic RPG fighting elements, lots of pop culture references, traps, portals, sniper perches, and the risk of becoming of a zombie makes this for an interesting, easy to learn, fun game. Besides, Robert uses Gwar’s song Slaughterama at the end of his video! That alone is worth two pledges per person in my opinion!

Raiders of R’lyeh

Project by: Quentin Bauer

It is 1910. You and your adventuring friends have wandered into a smoke filled tavern. The taste of nicotine drips off the walls, as you and your comrades quietly make your way to the bar. The bartender looks you over, sneers, and asks, “What do you want?”

Your friend, the archaeologist, answers, ” We are looking for a fellow.”

“A fellow that has asked us to meet him here,” you finish quickly, not wanting to irate the bald, brawly bartender anymore than he already seemed.

“Hmph. Can’t help you.” And walks away.

What will you and your friends do next? Look around the bar? Try to talk to the bartender again? Or have a drink and hope this mysterious person will find you? Or, just leave?

In Raiders of R’lyeh, a scene, just like the one described above, could be your first step into a world of many mysteries and adventures. A sandbox tabletop RPG is waiting for you and your friends to dive into a cross over world of Raiders of the Lost Ark style pulp adventure and Lovecraft mysteries and horror.  What are you waiting for?

There you have it. A day late, but hey it was worth the wait, right?! Be sure to check out each of these astounding Kickstarters and also Ben’s Extra Life Fundraising Event! Leave any comments on likes/dislikes or whatever is on your mind and until next week, Keep On Playing!

Wargaming Recon #98: Battleground Games & Hobbies


Battleground Games & Hobbies

Battleground Games & Hobbies is the successful game store in southeastern Massachusetts. It is a model for all game stores. Guests for this special episode are:

  • Derek Lloyd, owner of Battleground Games & Hobbies
  • Chase Laquidara, manager of Battleground’s Plainville store
  • Drew McCarthy, gamer and long-time Battleground customer

Battleground’s origin story is told, how the store promotes gaming in southeastern Massachusetts is shared, and listeners will easily be able to tell why Derek & Chase have a highly successful game store in Battleground.

We chat about Warhammer 40k, Apocalypse mega battles, and many other amazing things that Battleground does exceptionally well.

This is the episode that many listeners have been waiting to hear.

Some Reminders:

Continue reading “Wargaming Recon #98: Battleground Games & Hobbies”

Kick The Box July 22nd 2013 Edition

Kick The Box

July 22nd Edition

Phew, the summer keeps heating up and so does the amount of phenomenal games on Kickstarter, but before we jump into this week’s look at games, I want to update you on a couple of games I’ve mentioned in the last couple of weeks.

The two player game The Fallen has been successfully funded (by 372%) with tons of extra stretch goals unlocked that will be shipped with each game, and will be ending on Monday July 22, 12:10 am PDT. Unfortunately, I just got an email that says that Dawn:Rise of the Occulites has been canceled and plans on being relaunched on Kickstarter in about 30 days, so keep an eye out for it.  On Darkling Plain‘s Kickstarter page, there has been a video released showing some sleek augmented reality technology, but still no gameplay video. Dragon Caster barely met it’s pledge goal, but I’m glad to see it will be shipped to backers later this year, and Dark, Darker, and Darkest (by 660%), and Cthulhu Wars (by 3,509%!) all hit their pledges and will be shipped in the coming months. On that note, let’s dive into this week’s picks.

Clashing Blades

Project by: Lester Smith

Take the survey. Give us your opinion.

Even though Clashing Blades can be played with a regular poker deck and was originally designed to do so by Lester Smith, it would be foolish to miss the opportunity of obtaining a ‘dual use’ poker deck with the amazing artwork of Ray Corwell II. This kickstarter has already been successfully funded, but could use more funds to see some of the stretch goals fulfilled. The more stretch goals that are fulfilled, the more original artwork will be added to the cards. I would love to see each suit get it’s own character illustration, with spades and hearts receiving a unique male illustration, and the clubs and diamonds receive unique female illustrations. Also, farther down the stretch goals, you would see Jokers, Kings, Queens, and Jacks all receive their own unique male/female  illustrations.

King’s Armory

Project by: John Wrot

Another co-op tabletop game, with a couple of handy Game Night additions. The most tremendous addition is the ability to add or remove players in the middle of the game. There is only a handful of tabletop games that can do this without any detrimental repercussions to the gameplay. I know most games can’t accommodate this because of the style, but since King’s Armory has a wave based enemy mechanism, like the popular tower defense mobile games, it makes it easy to implement the ‘add/drop’ feature of players.

King’s Armory is a 1-7 player event with a great variety of replay value by changing heroes, map arrangements, monsters, hired help, equipment, reinforcements, boss, and armory weapons. They have a good jump on the $72,000 they need to hit their pledge level. The one thing this Kickstarter could benefit most from is the addition of a gameplay video to see all of these game mechanics in action.

Nanobot Battle Arena

Project by: Derpy Games

While most game designers are looking  towards vast galactic otherworlds, whole planets, and fantasy worlds to theme their game, the creators of Nanobot Battle Arena decided to do the opposite with their game theme and take it to a petri dish. You control a faction of nanobots with the goal is to make the longest chain before anyone runs out of them. The basic pledge will net you fifteen nanobots for four players. The more you pledge, the more nanobots you receive. So, if you’re looking for a quick, entertaining, strategic gameplay, the base set would be perfect, but if you’re looking for some epic length gameplay, you can get additional boxes and rule changes for up to sixty nanobots per person.

Red Aegis

Project by: Vorpal Games

Tired of playing the same character time and time again over a long drawn out campaign? Want to be able to play a new character in each game sitting and still have a powerful character?

If you said ‘yes’ to either one of these questions, then you’re going to want to leap into the world of Red Aegis. It incorporates conventional Dungeons & Dragon’s rules with some new mechanics that not only shapes one’s hero, but also the hero’s entire bloodline. Red Aegis campaign lasts over ten gaming sessions, and at the end of each gaming session, your hero dies, either from battle, or old age. In each new gaming session, you play a unique character that is a descendant of your original hero with his/hers inherited traits, skills, and powers. These new mechanics will not only give you the ability to tell the exciting story of one hero, but weave a magnificent tale of the chosen one’s lineage into a generation filling legacy.

Whether you’re looking for a new RPG world to dive into, or some cooperative or competitive tabletop gameplay, or just a quick card game, Kickstarter has it all and these are the gems for this week. Feel free to leave comments and reshare to help spread the addiction.

The Player’s Perspective: Proactive v Reactive Players


Hello there folks, I am back with another viewpoint from the player’s perspective. Today I want to talk about a topic that made me decide to start writing these articles in the first place. When it comes time to sit at the table and play are you proactive or reactive?

Let’s start at the beginning, all players fall into one of these two categories. The proactive player takes charge of the situation and takes action. In doing so, they move the plot forward and keep things rolling. The action taken does not need to be relevant to the current plot hooks. Simply by taking action they are causing an event to unfold that will move story along. Examples of this can be as simple as a warrior inquiring about available mercenary work in a local tavern. The point is, rather than waiting for the GM to sink the plot hook in and pull them along, they go and look for the hook. On the other hand, the reactive player often waits for the GM to prompt them into action. This player is still making things happen; however, they are not the catalyst of change.

The players are the protagonists of the story, which implies a certain level of necessary action. If the hero of the story just sits on their hands then nothing happens and that is not much of a story. I cannot count the number of times I have heard a player complain of being bored or feeling left out; meanwhile, during the game they took no effort to integrate themselves into the action. The PC’s in any game are always amongst the most significant people in the world, which is why we are telling a story about them in the first place. Long story short, you are the hero SO DO SOMETHING!

As a player I cannot help but be proactive, it is simply in my nature. At times this can create issues at the table. Taking the proactive urge too far can come across as selfish and start to deprive others at the table of a good time as one player dominates the spotlight. If you have this issue at the table it is most likely the result of one of two things. First, you have a GM that is either playing favorites or needs to work on pulling everyone into the spotlight. This is most common amongst inexperienced GM’s. Let’s be honest, running a game is a juggling act and takes a certain amount of finesse to pull off well. The best way to fix this is to talk with the GM, if they address the issue and attempt to fix it then you are in a good game, if not just find a game more in line with your needs. Second, and probably most common, you have a one proactive player with slot of reactive players. This combination can give the appearance of one player stealing the spotlight.

For example, I was playing a Pathfinder game being run by my brother. The campaign had been running for roughly 9 months before I joined the game. At my first session I quickly found myself embroiled in plots that had nothing to do with me and quickly felt out of place. Naturally the other PC had a lot history and back-story driving things that I had no part of because it happened before I joined. Instead of being a spectator I started making a place for myself in the framework I was given. I took actions that made sense for my character and found ways to integrate myself into the story. Instead of waiting for the GM to write me into the story I wrote myself into the story. Eventually I started becoming a center point of the story because I was doing things to progress the story, I was taking action. This resulted in the others players at the table complaining about what they called “the Jason Show”. The thing was that the GM was not writing this plot for me specifically, I was only at the center because I was taking action and interacting with the world the GM created. There was nothing special about what I was doing; I simply took action instead of waiting for the GM to tell me where to go next.

Quite simply, I guarantee, that if you are proactive as opposed to reactive both you and your GM will have more fun. By taking a proactive stance you are providing everyone else more to work with and it can turn into a domino effect. A group of proactive players is crucial to well executed collaborative storytelling. Even if the players don’t always agree on what to do, the conflict between them can make for great stories, provided it remains in character. Even if you pay no heed to anything else that I write just remember, be the hero and DO SOMETHING.

The Player’s Perspective: Negating the Premise


Some years back I was helping some friends of mine run a LARP. It was actually a reasonably large operation; we had around 20 to 30 players if memory serves. When discussing my LARP activities with non-gamers, I found myself describing it as an improvisational acting group. At the time it seemed to make sense and was a lot easier than telling folks that every other weekend I pretended to be a vampire. While I was using this as a ruse to hide my geek activities from those in my life that wouldn’t understand, it was, on some level, true. When you really break it down, role-playing games are projects in improvisational acting.

The degree to which this idea relates to your gaming table is subject to your group’s play style, but on some level, it still rings true. Everyone at the table is playing the role of one or more characters, there are no scripts (although extensive notes may or may not be used), and the outcome is uncertain.

So why am I talking about improv, and how will it help you as a player? Well in improv there is a very important rule: do not negate the premise. The idea being, when you are working with someone and they throw an idea out there, do not shut it down and try to make things what you want them to be. Instead, work with what they gave you and build on it. When employed correctly at the gaming table, this can be the difference between a great session and a night of disappointment and resentment.

Let’s face it, everyone at the table wants their time to shine. So when the quiet guy in the corner finally speaks up and does something, only to have it shot down by others at the table because they think it is dumb or want to do something else, how is the fun of the group being served? By no means do I mean this as a pardon for the completely ridiculous, but on anything short of the absolutely absurd what is the harm of going with the flow? I am willing to bet that you will tell more interesting stories that way and everyone at the table will have more fun.

At times this will require players to compromise current desires for the sake of the greater story. In turn, this means that everyone has to trust each other to work towards the goal of telling a great story together and having fun.

I am sure most of you out there have been playing a game where there is that one person at the table that just does not want to do what the rest of the party is doing. Now when I am a GM, I absolutely love this, because it gives me a lot of ways to pull the party into the story. But even as a player, I can use this to my advantage.

For starters, it is always possible that this character has an idea for the current scenario that is better than my own. Sometimes even if I do not see the merit of the character’s actions, it can be the catalyst that brings me to the solution that was eluding me. Finally, there is always the option to use the character’s acting out as a distraction.

In one of my former gaming groups, one guy insisted on charging into battle every time, no matter the circumstances. At first this would drive me crazy because I normally play the strategist/scheming kind of character, and this would invariably throw a wrench into my finely-crafted plans. Eventually, I realized that nothing was going to stop this guy from his mad charge into battle, and getting angry over it was pointless. So I started planning for this guy to charge blindly in and often times used him as a distraction to make sure the enemies never knew where I was coming from.

At the end of the day, if all you want is to be the hero of the story and get exactly what you want, then it is far easier to play a video game or write a story. When you sit down at the gaming table, you are doing so to have some fun and tell a story with friends. Everyone involved has a vision of what that story should entail. The surest way to make sure that the vision comes to fruition is to make sure that you do not negate the premise.

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