Rules & Rulings
A Top 100 Games List I Actually Like and Monster Manuals A to Z

Jonathan Bolding | 18 Nov 2015 21:30
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Rules & Rulings is a column here at The Escapist where I spend some time highlighting the best of the online culture surrounding tabletop games. The roleplaying game, card game, and board game enthusiast blogs create the majority of the most fascinating house rules, adventures, tools, riffs, twists, and commentary on their games - a richness I want to curate for you alongside some of my own commentary.

Board Games

  • The Gloryhoundd blog has a clever little list of Games My Five Year Old Dominates, which is actually just a great list of games that non-tabletop gamer friends can really quickly understand and play. Except for Exploding Kittens, because let's be honest blog author, that's just Russian roulette.
  • How often do you get to take a look at a collection of painted board game miniatures curated by celebrated game designer Bruno Faidutti? (In both French and English - scroll down for English.)
  • I skipped on medieval glassmaking magnate-simulator eurostyle game Murano when it released, but was very curious about its unique venetian boat traffic jam based action mechanic. Here's a review at The Opinionated Gamers that points it out as one of those games you keep coming back to, forgetting how much fun it is. So I guess I'll dig out that unopened copy of mine.

Yes, but...

Roleplaying Games

  • The clever little birds at Age of Ravens has compiled a fascinating top 100 games list - not RPGs they think are best, or haven't played yet, but those they most want to play. Here's a link to the top 25, which has links to the others. I like that the list doesn't waste time describing every single game, but does spend time on games the author feels need particular description and justification.
  • If you're a GURPS player, here's how to adapt Fate's easy, no map combat Zones mechanic into something your game can use. As with all things GURPS, it utilizes perhaps more math than is strictly necessary, but I don't need to tell you that. You play GURPS.
  • The Alexandrian lays down some straightforward explanations of the maxim that Game Masters should default to 'yes' when a player asks to do something. It's well-trod ground, but I find the explanation to be worth noting because it's a blog that focuses on older, more traditional roleplaying games where 'narrative flow' isn't usually mentioned. The explanation is also curious because it notably excludes the improv trope of "Yes, and..." in favor of "Yes, but..." - implying the Game Master's primary role in narrative is to introduce complication.

Dungeon Fantasy Games

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Crowdfunding Now

  • Quite fun, and well suited to tabletop gaming, video game The Banner Saga is going tabletop with This kickstarter for tabletop game The Banner Saga: Warbands.
  • Deer Lord is a weird looking party game intended to cater to those who like to confuse, deceive, or manipulate their friends. When I say weird, I mean exactly my kind of strange. I haven't backed it yet, but expect a review on that one either way.
  • Popular game Dungeon Crawl Classics is their fourth printing and adding a bunch of neat features along the way, like dictionary-style cut tabs and gold leaf page edges.
  • Hawk Wargames, creators of the increasingly popular Dropzone Commander 10mm Miniatures Wargame, are doing Dropfleet Commander, a fleet-scale space combat miniatures game in the same universe. It has a really fascinating twist, though, that makes it stand out from similar games: Much of the game involves positioning your ships to drop troops to the world below you, since the fighting takes place in low orbit. There's even a hint that the game will integrate with the existing wargame, allowing simultaneous battles that affect each other.

Et Cetera

Have an awesome blog, podcast, or other publication I should be following? Spot an amazing post I should see? A fan creation? Email us and let me know! Or contact me on Twitter.

Jon Bolding is The Escapist's Production & Tabletop Games Editor. You can follow him on Twitter. You can watch him stream video games Mondays at 3pm ET and play tabletop games at Twitch or The Escapist Plays YouTube on Wednesdays at 4pm ET.

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