This week The Modern Gamer reviews a GenCon smash from IELLO, Bunny Kingdom! There's a lot to like about this game -- the art is outstanding, the thematic element is funny and creative, and the overall gameplay skillfully walks the line between casual and competitive in a way that many games attempt, but few succeed. What's more, the game plays to completion in sub 1 hour, making it perfect for a quick play on a weeknight game session.
The Modern Gamer
Titan Bear Gaming is a big supporter of women's rights. That belief extends into how society views women and, most importantly, how women view themselves in society. This month, International Day of the Girl Child took place and folks everywhere showed their support for women in all segments of society. I particularly appreciated the #GirlsBelongHere hashtag and followed as people around the world expressed support for the places and positions in their own lives where they want to see more women exist and thrive.
Possibly coincidentally, (who knows how the forces of this world operate?!) this month also saw two all-girl RPG gamer groups leap to the spotlight on the internet RPG stream stage! Girls Guts Glory joined the Wizards of the Coast official Twitch channel on October 1, and Maze Arcana premiered the first episode of Sirens of the Realms on October 17. All-girl gamer groups bring a distinctive flair to the RPG scene -- one that I think should be cultivated and encouraged. Thus it is with great pleasure that I feature these two groups in this month's Community Spotlight!
Eleminis is a light-hearted, quick, fast playing card game by Smiley Pop that is a perfect coffee table game. The game plays in about 10 minutes and has rules that are simultaneously simple to learn and engaging to play. I think it's a clear go-to when you've got friends over and have a few minutes to kill, or are heading out to your favorite pub and want something to occupy yourself without having to think too hard.
Today is an amazing time for RPGs - there are so many avenues available for enjoying the hobby. Roll20 and other internet applications allow players from different parts of the world to play together using a common, specially crafted interface designed for online RPG play. Think of it as Skype for roleplaying games. YouTube makes it easy to record video and share play sessions, so viewers can keep current on other people's games even after the fact. I particularly recommend catching Convention-only shows this way.
In my opinion, the current king of RPG spectatorship is through streaming live-play games using sources like Twitch or YouTube live. These mediums allow viewers to watch the game as it unfolds, giving a 'live TV' feel and really letting the viewers feel like they're a part of the action. These systems also feature chat services that let the viewers interact with the players or DM directly, bringing an extra interactive element to the game.
There are many live-stream games currently being run all over the world, so I highly recommend poking about the internet to find what's local to you. For the US audience, here's a starter guide for the best weekly live-stream games in existence today!
Unearth, by Brotherwise Games, is a new game of set collection that blends a multitude of tried-and-true board game mechanics into a final product that is both easy to understand and easy to play. In the story, players take on the role of Delver tribes hoping to unearth treasured ruins of a lost civilization. The game combines funny shaped dice, activatable card powers, and tile arrangement to give players multiple avenues for achieving victory. I really enjoyed playing the game, and felt like it does a great job utilizing each of these game mechanics. The artwork is beautifully done by artist Jesse Riggle. Gameplay flows easily. Most importantly, it was a whole mess of fun. I personally recommend adding it to your gaming table.
As a new tradition for this blog, the last post of every month will be dedicated to spotlighting someone in the gaming community. Starting us off right is the Dungeons & Dragons YouTube group, Nerdarchy!
Generally known as 'the 5th edition homebrew guys', Ted, Dave, Nate and Ryan have been producing video content and articles about the hobby of Dungeons and Dragons (and other RPG systems) for years...
In a prior blog, I wrote about starting up a new table of brand new players -- folks that had never seen a 20-sided die before. I gave them premade characters for that game, and used simplified character sheets. Now, I am about to lead the very same players through the majesty of creating characters of their very own for our continued play.
But instead of throwing the Player Handbook at them, I have made some character creation aids in the form of Race, Class, and Background flashcards! Wizards of the Coast's new online tool, D&D Beyond, has some excellent sections of the website that already have info-cards for each of the character creation options -- so I simply took those as-is, and reformatted a little to fit them on 4x6 index cards! My players have not seen these yet, so I'm showing them here as a sneak peak!
This week's topic is conventions, and it's something of a two-parter: the majesty that is GenCon50 (a.k.a. why you should be going to conventions), and a brief listing of next year's relevant conventions (especially relevant if you're a California local like us!).
I cannot believe that I hadn't been to a convention before this year. After we founded the business, I knew GenCon was going to be a big deal (even in our first year), so I registered us for badges the first day of registration...
This past week saw an event that is rare in the life of The Modern Gamer. This week saw the first session of a brand new Dungeons and Dragons table, here at my house in Los Angeles, California. What's more, most of the players had never before played a roleplaying game, so the entire experience was brand new to them. I think folks who already have a background in gaming take to it very readily -- especially those with an appreciation for the dramatic. But not everyone has a background in gaming (true for most of my players), and the experience can be a little overwhelming. How, then, do you introduce new players to RPGs with any hope that they'll pick up the activity once you're done?
Welcome to The Modern Gamer Blog!
My name is Alex -- I am one of the founders of Titan Bear Gaming. In this recurring segment I'll hit the usual goodness you've come to expect and love -- product unboxing, upcoming release hype, and I'll most certainly be writing some game reviews. After all, what is a blog on gaming if it doesn't cover the games themselves? But after the words are typed and edited, and the blog is formatted and posted, at the end of the day I intend to capture something else; something more. I think you might know what I mean, too...