Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Board games are Card games are c-Roleplaying games?

I follow kickstarter board games quite heavily, actually, all kinds of games, if its being Kickstarted, I want to read about it, this gradually started about 2012 or so, and I was a kind of local guru on 'what makes a good kickstarter' enough to run some workshops for some people in different industries that had heard about me..

After I returned to Oz, It slowed a little, yet I kept my finger on the pulse.. just ignored that pulse a little too often and missed 2-3 great games (and likely ended up paying more than I should have to get them later on)

The most interesting thing I've noticed recently is, the blurring of the lines between the different genres of

Board game, Card games and c-Roleplay Games

Lets double check we're on the same page with these things.

Board games of 2011!
Board games, typically have a board, pieces, sometimes of board, sometimes of wood or plastic. They have rules for moving/placing/removing the pieces, which results in score or win/lose conditions.

Card games, produced by fantasy flight!

Card games, typically have cards (made of thin boards ;) ) which are played according to rules about placing, moving or removing, which results in scoring or win/lose conditions.

If you think Diablo is an RPG, stop reading and go away

c-(components of or computer variety) roleplay games, have rules, which are played according to rules, about placing, moving or removing (from your character sheet) which represents an avatar. c-Roleplaying games result in a win/lose condition (and sometimes even score)

Yes, I know.. Roleplaying games, are different, that is, REAL roleplay games, are a set of rules or guidelines in order to tell a fun, yet believable story, some of that fun is understanding the restrictions of the character you are playing, which is represented by a set of rules, but those rules are to help people to feel fairness and order, not to represent any value or score or win conditions.. which seems to be lost on anyone who grew up with the c-variety of roleplay games as staple.. but thats not the topic of this blog.. I just wanted to clarify for you, so the comments section won't have anyone ... 

well forget it.. people comment, its the internet, so I'll just leave that.. 

So, to re-clarify, Computer/Component roleplay games are about levels, bonuses, equipment and numbers, of monsters killed. be it in a computer, or a psudeo-RPG-in-a-book variety.
These are board game cards, almost as complex as D&D

Back to my point

I've recently seen some awesome looking board games, that have charactersheets.. not Dungeon crawls, I like dungeon crawls, they break down the idea of the game and simplify it to be played in 45 minutes. my first real board game, was Heroquest. ahh Heroquest.

Heroquest is the best game ever made.

No, I'm talking about these new games, where the in-game charactersheet is more complex than Dragon warriors.. the simplest roleplay game I know of. 
Maybe, just maybe I've played for DW than any other system (except my own, based on DW)

Take this concept.. Monster are attacking a castle, the players are playing heroes, who are slinging spells, making actions, to hold back these monsters. At the same time they're placing workers to shore up the battlements, set up traps or defences to push back the invaiders, or gathering resources to prepare. Sounds ok as a game, yet the 'heroes' are not just Health tokens, Magic tokens, some weapon cards and skill/spell cards, no, they have progression, they level up, they gain backstory, they gain so much more.. More than a fully realised DW character.. If I wanted a roleplay character on a board game.. why wouldn't I simply get my DM to create the plot to 'play' that game? shouldn't be THAT hard right? or is $90 worth learning a new RP system, just for the stand alone, repeatable quest?

I think it might be just me, I don't like to watch a movie twice, or a tv-series.. if I wasn't concentrating the first time, it wasn't good enough for me to watch again.. the same with roleplay.. If I've entered the dungeon, defeated the monsters and died.. well so be it.. that character is dead.. I don't want to come back with a new guy, because 'I' the player have already experienced the first 6 rooms of this dungeon...

Except of course for Legacy Games, now that's different.

So replaying a board game with a different, roleplayable, character, just seems... off..

There was that dice rolling game, where you matched, Yatzee style, a set of rules to form.... a Character. A character, as GM I would NEVER allow in any of my games.. so min-maxed, so ultimately broken. How a child would survive the rigors of medieval times with a charisma of less than 7, I'll never know...

Then there are board games, Dungeon Crawl board games, with deck building mechanics.. advance in the dungeon by fighting monster cards, or drawing equipment cards or helper cards, try not to wake the dragon, but try to grab all the lot before the other players.. Its an awesome game, it mashes all the parts together in a worthy style, and is enjoyable.. once or twice.. luckily, it has no character sheet, maybe that's why it works.

I think the broken part is, the use of RP components, rather than real RP mechanics. In the world of gamification, there were components such as points, badges and leaderboards, all extrinsic motivators. All shiny, all broken. Why? because they only bring IN the user, they don't KEEP the user. RP components, Weapons, Armour, Skills and Levels, bring in players, but they stay because they get to build stories.

Look at Minecraft, No points, No badges, no Leaderboards, just self created goals, exploration and learning. people 'advanced' by discovering upgrades, not because the game told them to, but because it just felt like the next progression.

I'm slowly building a graph of games.. Why? because last time I did, I predicted Minecraft.. 1st person games, flooded market looking for something new / different 1st person games.. crafting games, a new emergent genre of game, makes the market interested, open world games, a solid genre that people trust, and look out for.. not specifically fantasy, nor science fiction.. could be both or neither.. gap in the market.. first half decent game to hit that gap wins.. Minecraft!

So the graph of card/board games.. the rise of deck building and worker placement games two emergent genres, looking for a solid genre that people trust, Euro games? and a flooded market? Board? Card? Roleplay? that's the final unknown.. I know where I'm putting my money... 
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