The Wil Wheaton Influence ..

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Love him or hate him (or just kind of… ignore him), Wil Wheaton has been a massive influence in the increased popularity of tabletop games. Stacy Conradt on Mental Floss explores the effect this hirsute individual has had on sales throughout the USA.

 

He told Fortune:

“We started getting emails and phone calls from game shop owners and publishers because they were not prepared for the explosion of sales that they had. They wanted to know if we could let them know a little bit in advance when an episode was going to air, so that they could stock up. . . . We have looked at sales figures from the big game distributors, and it’s pretty cool. People see our show and then you just watch the spike in the sales. And for a lot of games the only reason that spike trails off is because the game sells out and they have to take time to make another printing.”

 

Interesting reading at mentalfloss.com .

How to be a better Dungeon Master

Since a few months (year?) we have now Roleplay Sessions going on within our boardgaming group. They organize themselves and live their lives aside of our regular boardgaming sessions …

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From time to time, I have a new member (recently joined our Meetup Group) who is asking if he/she can host a RPG campaign. I’m always open for this type of initiatives, which keeps our group alive, but admittedly, often it “can go South” without a good preparation. While there Internet is overflowing with advice on how to be a good DM, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. But it never hurts to learn more, so if you’re after some great places to start, here are some of Tim Colwill (one of the co-founders of Ten Copper – a website about roleplaying games, boardgames, tabletop etc.) favourites readings:

  • Roleplaying Tips: This is a weekly newsletter, partially crowdsourced and partially curated, where DMs ask each other questions and exchange tips. There’s loads of randomly generated tables being thrown about, new and wacky ideas for handling basic mechanics, and advice on world building, table setups, and more. You can look at it here and browse the back issues here.
  • The Dungeon Bastard: Bill “The Dungeon Bastard” Cavalier is a great read if you’re into the “I attack the darkness” school of DMing, with a real focus on old-school flavour, monsters that spray gold out of them when they die, and, of course, dungeon crawling.
  • Gnome Stew: This blog is written by a team of Game Masters and it’s all about Game Mastering (unsurprisingly). Look through this blog for really solid advice on a range of topics — not all of which may be relevant to you, but it’s a great resource nevertheless.
  • D&D With Porn Stars: This is exactly what it says on the tin, so don’t browse it at work. Run by Zak S (a porn star), he shares his anecdotes and DMing advice about games that he plays with his group (who are, you guessed it, porn stars). It’s not actually about porn (in any way), but what it is about is great advice for dungeon masters who enjoy randomly-generated tables, completely insane storylines and who don’t care about the rules at all. I find Zak and the team a very refreshing read after watching people arguing about rule interpretations on Reddit for 600 pages.
  • Play Dirty: This book, written by John Wick, is one of my favourite resources on DMing. I wouldn’t recommend that first-time Dungeon Masters jump into this book and apply all the advice straight away, but once you’ve found your feet, this book will show you how to kick your players’ out from under them. It’s a brutal read.

 

Source: Full article available here.

GenCon 2016 News

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I’ve been reading and listening to various updates in the last couple of days about GenCon 2016. Reports, reviews and latest news (sometimes exclusive!) has been shared now around the web from which I’ve picked up a few interesting points. Hereby a summary:

Games such as Cry Havoc (big release for Portal Games), Beyond Backers Street, Oceanos, Junk Art, Lotus, SeaFall, London Dread and Covert are “hot” or sold-out during the show. Others that were not new releases, such as Scythe had also huge lines of players trying to get their hands on gameboxes.

Thunderstone 3.0 is announced by AEG. Special format: Kickstarter campaign planned for October 2016 (same time as Spiel 2016 ??). They will have a “kick it here” type of program for retailers; so the idea is to run via brick & mortar stores (copies to be picked up at the store + stores participating gets a special event kit while players can follow-up the usual KS page). You will be able also to pledge on this project like a regular Kickstarter.

SeaFall was available with a limited number of boxes. Rob Daviau was on the BGG booth to explain briefly how the game works. He told us that in about 6 weeks the game will hit the stores (in the USA). We should be able to get some boxes for Spiel 2016 or you go on the Plaid Hat Games pre-order webpage.

Munchkin Oz and Munchkin Legend is out … yeah oki it is limited editions via Target and Amazon,  but the secret big news is that a Munchkin CCG is in the works designed by Erik Lang and Kevin Wilson ! There is no plans to print them again once the print-run is sold-out. A new edition of Car Wars is coming out in 2017, more will be announced at BGG.CON 2016.

London Dread is a real-time 12 min games with an app that has a cool clock design in a murder-mystery setting.

Although I was really expecting a lot of news and hype around Bloodborne: The Card Game, the overview done by CMON at the BGG booth was not really convincing to present this new 3-5 players card game from Eric Lang. Let’s keep an eye out for upcoming reviews though.

Let’s close on the cardhalla tradition (learn more) with a picture of the 2016 version:

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