Monday, January 27, 2014

Happy 40th Dungeons & Dragons

How can I talk about tabletop gaming and not include one of the most notable and expansive tabletop games spanning four decades? Dungeons and Dragons has been the quintessential pencil and paper roleplaying game for many of us growing up.

For those of you that don't know, or have only heard it's name whispered in hush tones of dark alleyways, Dungeons and Dragons is a complex role-playing game originally develop in 1973, released in 1974 that has undergone great changes with the times.

You start off, often, as a simple farmhand wielding a sword and shield, or perhaps the novice magician with mysterious powers, or the elusive ruffian with a penchant for danger. Through trials and dungeons, hardships and challenges you might emerge as a valiant knight, or a powerful arch-mage, or the king of thieves. How you get there is a story to be woven between the players and the dungeon master (or DM for short) who controls all the villains in the story.

There have been thousands of articles written about Dungeons and Dragons over the years, and there are still articles like this one being written, and there are thousands more to come, for this game has stood the test of time for many reasons. No story is ever the same. Different players add different sparks to the story, a twist in the plot from the DM can change the entire view of the heroes, there's no limit to what can be laid out before you, and that's the beauty of the game. It's limitless.

Don't like how the wizard can't use a great sword too? Change it, make it happen. So long as the players and the DM are in agreement for the story, there's nothing you can't do. Now many people will disagree, because there are rules and you have to be of a certain level to cast certain spells, or perform certain heroic feats, but as long as your group is having fun, that is the only rule that matters.

But I'd love to hear your thoughts! I've been playing Dungeons and Dragons in so form or another for 20 years, and I've done the silly game where everyone can just do as they please, to the tightly reigned in campaign that follows the rules to the letter, and some where the DM has made up new rules to allow very unique combinations of play.

Do you like playing by the rules? Or a more fast and loose system so long as everyone is having fun? Are the rules there to guide you, but not be rails?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Settlers of Catan, for kids and adults!

Settlers of Catan - a wonderful, highly acclaimed board game best suited for 3-4 players, with an average game time of just over an hour (listed as 45 minutes - 90 minutes). You play as a settler on a newly discovered island, but you're not alone, others have arrive to spoil this land. You must develop your colony fastest in a race for control.

There are several expansions and additional rules that can be added to this wonderfully simple game, but for everything you can add, the basic game is still amazing and well worth picking up for game night. Since you can set up the board with a near infinite number of variations, you can play it over and over again, and once you've worn through enough of the basics, you can add the 5-6 player expansion, Seafarers of Catan, Cities and Knights for even more complexity.

Settlers of Catan is probably one of my very favorite board games, and a great addition to every home. It teaches kids about resource management and strategy, and makes for a subtle teaching method. Intended for children ages 10 and up due to small parts.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

What is this place?

Welcome to Adeptus Draconis, a new blog dedicated to all forms of tabletop gaming, from board games to war-games. I'll be posting about up and coming expansions to great existing games, and doing my best to get information on the newest games hitting the market.

My goal is make this place a resource for gamers new and old to find out about the wonders of tabletop gaming. I've been addicted to computer games, and I've lost touch with the people around me before, but thankfully, I've always had that one friend to put his hand on my shoulder and pull me back. Away from the keyboard, to the table, to the other people at the table, to the dice, the cardboard game board, the plastic tokens and pewter figurines. I'm still playing a game, but now my party in the dungeon are the people at the table.

Let's bring gaming back to it's pen and paper origins. Let's dust off those dice, tear out those tokens, fix up those figurines, and get some old school gaming going on!