Getting It Together to Play the Game

I have a real problem getting it together to play the game. So many supplements beckon to me. So many tables tempt me to get lost just rolling to see what comes up. I spend more time reading to putting together the vast number of possible games than I actually do playing them. Sure, I do agree that prep, rolling, and brainstorming can be considered playing too. As a matter of fact, sometimes I think that I may actually like collecting materials and planning games more than I like actually playing them. Perhaps it’s a sort of stage fright, even though I’m playing on my own most of the time. Even so, I have found a lot of fun in different ways to pull components of my game together.

Playing to Get Ready to Play

My extensive searching has led me to some real gems when it comes to games that are essentially solo experiences to prepare a (broad use term) character for my games. The game Lichdom lets you journal your way to foul immortality. Your character desperately seeks to become a lich. Perhaps they succeed, perhaps they don’t, but either way there’s some world building that occurs along the way. Using a couple of d6’s and a deck of cards, you follow the path of your would-be villain in their quest for immortality. I love it. Whether you’re playing on your own or running a group, you now have an intimate knowledge of your lich, what they did to get where they are, and what drives them.

On the scifi side of the realm, I recently played the board game Nemesis. I think it’s a fantastic game with great minis and tons of theme. It’s a bit pricey. However, my surviving character can now be ported over into a scifi game giving him a great backstory and plenty of paranoia. A similar experience can be had for far less money using Xeno Dead Zone from Runehammer games. Basically a print and play board game, XDZ also includes rules that are compatible with Index Card RPG and carries the Alien theme well.

Magic items in fantasy games color your world with interesting shades if done right. But a simple +1 nameless magic mace might as well come from fantasy Walmart. I prefer to get my magic items using the Weird Shit Generator. Yes, it’s weird and at times nonsensical. However, when you want a loop thrown, this one does it extra. Gems that rose out of this tome include a battleax that can raise the dead but stains everything that it touches and a sentient bone pot that enhances any magic cast into it.

However, when it comes to playing to prepare items for your game, Artefact brings the most flavor. You will play as a magic item used and lost by multiple characters across the ages. The long history of an important relic unfolds in around an hour through contemplation and prompts. I find it particularly engaging for making sentient items.

Back to scifi, Bucket of Bolts brings the same origin storytelling to your star ship. Sure, you could buy a ship brand new from the showroom dock. But who has the credits for that? My new space rats are on a budget. For the credits they have, you get something with some stories in it, and the accompanying quirks.

I only scratched the surface of games that get you ready to play. Next time I will cover some other odd bits that I have found and games that help create your setting. I’ll also start discussing some of the ways I like to set the stage.

Thanks for reading and if you would like to suggest some games for me to look into, please check us out on Facebook!

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