Showing posts with label Traveller Envy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Traveller Envy. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

The Village Crone (2015)

 Some more witch board games today and the last one for this season.

The Village Crone (2015)

You play one of six witches (1 to 6 players) and work to take control of a village (Wickersby) without a crone. You send out your familiars (up to 5) to gather ingredients for spells. The first to 13 points wins and becomes the new Village Crone of Wickersby.

The Village Crone

The Village Crone

The Village Crone

The Village Crone - Witches

The Village Crone

The Village Crone

The Village Crone

The game is fun enough and the rules are easy enough. The replayability is high so that is good and there are enough random elements to keep it interesting enough. 

I rather like the idea from an RPG standpoint. Witches going out into the world to find a little hamlet to call their own. Certainly, something they would all like to brag about at the Tredecim. 

You can get The Villiage Crone here: https://firesidegames.com/games/village-crone/


Wednesday, October 19, 2022

AFFLICTION: Salem 1692 (2017)

A witch-themed board game that I have had forever it seems. 

AFFLICTION: Salem 1692 (2017)

This game was successfully Kickstarted back in 2016. I picked up my copy soon after. 

Affliction: Salem 1692

In the game you try to influence the powers of Salem (Judge, Magistrate, Governor, Minister) to either exonerate or damn others to set them free or arrest them.  The game features many of the famous names from the Salem Witch Trials. 

The game itself is rather gorgeous, as you can see from the pictures below.  But for us there was too much going on in the game to really enjoy it. Now I could see my family having fun with this at Gen Con with someone knowledgeable to show us all the rules. 

The game is well-reviewed and I can tell a lot of work went into the design, it just wasn't a good fit for my family mechanically speaking. The theme though was fun.

You can get a copy at the publisher's webstore.

Use in My War of the Witch Queens / Traveller Envy

Obviously I got to fuel my Traveller Envy. I wanted an experience that was a little more than what we get in the Witch Hunt RPG from 1983  (which I just now realized I have never reviewed!). Somewhere between this board game and the Witch Hunt RPG is the perfect Salem game for me.  I haven't found it yet and I might need to write it myself.

Still kudos to the designers of AFFLICTION: Salem 1692. 

AFFLICTION: Salem 1692

AFFLICTION: Salem 1692

AFFLICTION: Salem 1692

AFFLICTION: Salem 1692

AFFLICTION: Salem 1692

AFFLICTION: Salem 1692

AFFLICTION: Salem 1692

AFFLICTION: Salem 1692

AFFLICTION: Salem 1692

AFFLICTION: Salem 1692


Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Cauldron: Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Cauldron: Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Ah, now this one has a special place in my heart. I backed this on Kickstarter years ago and went in for the deluxe edition. This allowed me to add a character design to one of the cards.

I'll get to that in a bit.

Cauldron: Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Cauldron is part of the "new wave" (or at least to me) of board games that have a lot of resource management and various goals.

In this game you take the role of witches and warlocks in a potion-brewing contest. Play involves planting gardens, harvesting ingredients, and hexing your opponents.  There are points you collect and the goal is to win the potion-brewing contest and win the coveted Witches Eye.

There are game pieces that represent ingredients and all players get a little cauldron to put all their materials in. There are four Cauldrons and four player mats, so the max is four players. 

Players start the game with five resource cards. These cards tell you what you can do each turn. They all have a hex, ingredient and recipe. Each player on their turn can choose what to do with the card. They can hex an opponent which could take their ingredients or steal their victory points. They can add an ingredient to their cauldron or get a recipe. They discard and draw another. Then we move to the next player.

The strategy comes from knowing when to complete your own potions or stop another player from theirs.  Hexing another player costs victory points

Once your ingredient is in your cauldron you need to keep track of them.  You are never allowed to look into your cauldron or into other players!  There are also black "Corruption" tokens that can ruin your potions by destroying an ingredient. The player with the most corruption earns 5 points. The player with the least earns 10 points.

Once you have the ingredients in your cauldron (colored cubes) then you can make the potion listed on your card.  BUT be careful! if your ingredients are wrong your potion fails. The goal is to get the most of seven potions.

There are expansions to this as well. Like the Moon Deck which will add or subtract effects from other cards. Like removing corruption or adding extra ingredient colors.  There are other expansions like the Cove pack (which I am a fan of).

It took a bit to get into it but once we did it moved pretty quickly. Our first game took a little bit longer than an hour, and the next one was fast at just under an hour.

The biggest issue were people (who will be nameless) remembering what was in their cauldron.  This was a combination of one not paying attention and another not actually caring what they had in their cauldrons. 


Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Yes! That is Larina!Yes! That is Larina!

Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

The art for this game is amazing. I really love it.  The characters are interesting as well. 

For Use in War of the Witch Queens

Feeding deep into my Traveller envy today. My idea was that this Potion Making contest is something they have at the Tredecim. Which has grown from just a meeting of high-level witches to something akin to a carnival of seven days where the high witches hold their conferences and meetings, but all witches gather to discuss plans, trade secrets, and generally enjoy themselves. 

I still might do this, but in this round I do not have enough magic using characters to make it work.  Ah well.

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Board Game: Wizards (1982)

Wizards (1982)
I was reorganizing my shelves trying to find some room for some new books when I found this little gem hiding in my lower shelves.  I totally forgot I had this!

Wizards (1982)

Wizards is described as "Avalon Hill's game of fantasy adventure."  It is easy to see why they would want to make this game too.

1982 was some prime years for Fantasy RPGs and D&D in particular. 

There are board game elements to this as well as plenty of RPG elements.  For example you can choose what sort of wizard character (Order) you will play; Wizard, Sorcerer, or Druid. Each also has four levels (Ranks).

The first part of the game is setting up all the locations of the various islands on the hex grid sea map.

After that the various wizards race around the map to collect various gems for the High Druid. There are seven, six are needed to win.

While this is going on there are various Event and Task cards that send your wizard on quests, trap them or other hazards. These add time it takes to complete your missions but they can also raise your Wizard rank and make you more powerful. 

From the rule book. Here is what is needed to play and win.

  1. Join a Magical Order. Without that, you may not accept any Tasks or gain points of any kind.
  2. Acquire Tasks and complete them for points of Knowledge, Power and/or Perception.
  3. Fight the Evil Powers that take over the islands, making them inaccessible.
  4. Advance to Rank 4 in your Order. 
  5. When you are at Rank 4, collect all 6 Gems from the High Wizards.
  6. When you have the Gems, pass them to the High Druid Rüktal in the Center of the Sacred Circle to win the game.

The game uses two six-sided dice.  

Wizards (1982)

Hex map of the sea

Wizards 1982

Wizards 1982

Wizards 1982

Wizards 1982

Wizards 1982 Wizard Sheet

Wizards 1982 Play area

Wizards 1982

Wizards (contents)Wizards (contents)

I love the *idea* of this game, but while I enjoyed the set up I could not get anyone to play it here.  My wife does not care for board games with RPG elements and my kids would rather play D&D.

I am adopting some ideas from this game though for my own games, most notably the War of the Witch Queens, but certainly others as well.

Traveller Envy and the Avalon Isles

I have talked a bit about my Traveller Envy here in the past. To finally overcome this I am taking all the various board games I am going to cover this month and create a new area of my world; the Isles of Avalon. The origins here should be pretty obvious, I am going to base a lot of the mythology of the lands on England, Ireland, and the various islands around them. Also, I am drawing heavily from the Avalon Hill games, so much so that the currently unnamed main island has a place called Avalon Hill. It will be my world's Glastonbury Tor.  There is a volcano on one of the islands (this will be an archipelago) where a famous Warlock lives.  With a volcano I can also get representations of all the elements; Earth, Water, Air and Fire.

There will be a smaller island nearby that I am calling the Island of the Necromancers.

I will spend this month detailing this place further.

If I get nothing else out of these board games then I think I will be fine.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

100 Days of Halloween: Witch The Road to Lindisfarne

One of the things I talk about here is something I call Traveller Envy. This is the feeling I got from watching Traveller and their interconnected RPGs and Board Games.  It is something I would love to replicate for my D&D games and for my War of the Witch Queens campaign in particular. 

I can't always find board games that fit the bill for me, but I have tried.  While not a board game this GM-less "story game" does fit the bill of this notion for me.  But how is it?  Let's find out.

Witch: The Road to Lindisfarne

PDF. 32 pages. Multiple files.

So this is a story game, not something I have a ton of experience with.

It says 4 to 6 players, no dice, pencils, or extra paper needed. 

The game takes place in London in 1350 but you head to the Abbey at Lindisfarne; the same that was rather famously attacked by the Viking raids. 

Each player gets one of the characters included in this file. The special character is Elouise our central witch, or at least a confessed witch. There are two outcomes her player can choose, Elouise is Guilty or she is Innocent. Depending on which one is chosen determines the end of the game.

The purpose of the game is to take Elouise from London to Lindisfarne.  There are many stops along the way and the players describe what their characters do along the way. The other players (and characters) do not know the Truth of Elouise so they seek to discover it. It is entirely possible that Eloise is found guilty and burned at the stake or found innocent and set free independently of the truth.

If this sounds like the 2011 movie Season of the Witch, well the designers agree with you.

The game is very interesting and it does give me a lot of ideas of things to do with my own games.

The game does have re-playability, with different characters being played by the same group, but I can also see that it is a little limited in that respect.

Still, a fun game to play on a cold wet afternoon in late October.

 

The Other Side - 100 Days of Halloween


Tuesday, July 26, 2022

In Search of the Unknown / Keep on the Borderlands as the 1979 Campaign

I have been going over old notes for the past few months, re-reading some monsters I created back in the day, and wondering which ones might be good for the Basic Bestiary.  One, in particular, jumped back out at me, the Schreckengeist, which lead down a rabbit hole of notes I had collected on the adventure B1 In Search of the Unknown

The 1979 Campaign

This got me thinking about an entire campaign, or even mini-campaign, that includes B1 but also B2 Keep on the Borderlands.  These two adventures are designed to work with each other.  To do a campaign though I would need a slightly larger (but not much larger) sandbox/hex crawl.

A while back Eric Fabiaschi posted an idea on using Judges Guild 'Wilderlands of High Fantasy' & Gary Gygax's B2 'Keep on the Borderlands' As Old School Campaign.  There are links to a discussion on the Piazza and a map for "The Borderlands" for the Wilderlands of High Fantasy. Additionally, Zenopus Archives (home to all things Holmes) talked about the Warlocks & Warriors wilderness map as a hex crawl.

These have a lot of merits, to be honest, and that along with my ideas of a "1979 Campaign" have morphed into something "new" and interesting. 

Looking back over my post The Enduring Appeal of Holmes Basic & B1 I can't help but think there is something here worth exploring.  

The 1979 Campaign

The idea behind this is a campaign, likely only using Holmes Basic (so levels 1 to 3), the AD&D Monster Manual, and B1 In Search of the Unknown to create a hex crawl style adventure campaign.  At least that is the start. Over time the characters (strictly Holmes Basic ones) would move on and out to the Keep and the Caves of Chaos.

D&D 1979

The idea is to be 100% old school, though I am free to grab newer materials that expand on these areas the core will be D&D circa '79.

I suppose I could be accused of trying to chase some sort of high or feeling from my youth. And that would...not be entirely wrong. But in truth, there is no way I can recapture the feeling of 1979 any easier than I can recapture the feeling of yesterday's lunch. What I can do is try to set up something that helps me recall how it all was.

This would obviously be some sort of limited-run experiment. Holmes tops out at 3rd level.  

My current debate with myself is whether or not to include module T1 The Village of Hommlet.

There are plenty of good reasons to add it.

  1. It was released in 1979 (August 16–19, 1979 at Gen Con XII)
  2. It is a great introductory module for first-level characters.
  3. It was written by Gary so there is a certain veneer of authenticity about it.

The only reason I would not use it is because it is so deeply tied to the Temple of Elemental Evil notion. It is the starting point of the TAGDQ series for AD&D.  All the other adventures I am considering are pure Basic D&D.  While I am considering other adventures, they all tie into the B1/B2 areas of exploration.  T1 is a little different.

The Adventures

Supplemental Adventure Material

I could take all of this and put into my three-ring binder format. Hell. There is even enough room for Holmes basic in this!

If, and that is a big IF, it goes well I would even consider moving on and up. Either via Blueholme rules or take the B/X - OSE route.  In truth though I would rather keep this one light and tight as it were. Levels 1 to 3 with the goal of exploring the local wilderness (hex crawl style) and clearing out the local caves.

I also can't help but think of my Traveller Envy and the three board games I have covered here also released in 1979; Wizard's QuestMagic Realm, and Demons.  While my original goal was to mine these for ideas for my War of the Witch Queens, there is no reason why I can't also use them here.  

Wizard Quest has the players explore a wilderness area until they have collected enough treasure. In Demons the players are searching for treasure with the aid of various demons while avoiding local authorities. In Magic Realm...well I have not been able to play that one.  BUT I could incorporate the background as the past for this area. A bunch of wizards had a mighty battle here and the land is full of strange creatures and even stranger treasure.  All these wizards bringing in their bound creatures would also explain why the Caves are so full of them and so much magical treasure around. Maybe even Zelligar is the last of these great wizards.  It would also allow me to bring in weaker demons and devils from the monster manual. Though not too strong, these are only 1st to 3rd level characters.

It certainly would get me into the mood for all things 1979. Plus what is more 1979/early 80s for me than Traveller Envy? 

If I was really clever I'd collect the names of characters from people playing in 1979 and have them be some of the "named NPCs" for the background.

How about it? Were you playing in 1979? If so drop your character's name and class below!

Notes / References