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Tales of the Arabian Nights» Forums » General

Subject: So is this a board game or an RPG? rss

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Henry Akeley
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Tales seems to have a lot more in common with an RPG than a board game. You could pretty much remove the board and 80% able to play the game. There's really no end to the game until you decide the story has been fulfilled. Indeed, even RPGs seem to have tighter mechanics than Tales. Not that I'm bashing it but Tales seems to be ok with you attacking or punishing a beggar or doing a completely irrational action. It all adds up for some good laughs but if there were a GM there listening to your action he/she would stop and say "wtf?" I digress.
 
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BT Carpenter
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What is life?

Is it a series of decisions over which you have little to no control?

Is it the illusion of progress, tempered by the will of the Fates?

Is it a well laid plan, or an incomprehensible set of cirucmstances that together weave a path, your path, through the past?

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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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Grant Green - Am I Blue? // Tina Brooks - True Blue // Buddy Guy - Damn Right, I've Got The Blues // Harold Land - West Coast Blues! // Sam McClain - Blues for the Soul // Oliver Nelson - Screamin' the Blues
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It's a board game.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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Epidemius wrote:
Tales seems to have a lot more in common with an RPG than a board game. You could pretty much remove the board and 80% able to play the game.

You couldn't play without the board.

Epidemius wrote:
There's really no end to the game until you decide the story has been fulfilled. Indeed, even RPGs seem to have tighter mechanics than Tales.

Simply not true. You choose a combination of Story and Destiny points at the outset, the sum of which equals 20. The first player to collect those 20 points in the proper proportions and return to Baghdad wins.

Epidemius wrote:
Not that I'm bashing it but Tales seems to be ok with you attacking or punishing a beggar or doing a completely irrational action. It all adds up for some good laughs but if there were a GM there listening to your action he/she would stop and say "wtf?" I digress.

You talk about "if there were a GM", which obviously there isn't, so you know the answer to your title question before asking it. And games don't prevent players from making irrational actions; even a game as serious as chess has the possibility of a Fool's Mate. In other words yes, I do think you're bashing it as I can see no other logical explanation for your post.
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Phil McDonald
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Neither IMHO. It's an experience that plays YOU.
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Rus
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It depends on what you mean by "game" and "RPG".

In a strict game-theoretical sense, there is no doubt that it is a game. A game-theoretical definition (which I think is what BGG uses -- see BGG FAQ for more details) is something like this:

1. A set of well-defined, countable game states.
2. Strict rules governing transitions between those states by players.
3. Well-defined win/loss condition.

An RPG is not a game because it fundamentally cannot have well-defined game states (the game state is essentially an open-ended qualitative narrative setting, not pieces on the board in specific well-defined locations), nor well-defined rules (RPG players often do things not strictly covered by the rules and GMs always make rulings on the spot), and often it does not have explicit win/loss conditions. You can certainly add an RPG/thematic layer to TotAN, and no doubt this layer will enhance the experience, but at the same time an RPG layer is not strictly necessary to play the game.

One might argue that TotAN does not satisfy 1 and 2 because the rulebook is poorly written, but that is the fault of the rulebook, not the game.
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Sebastian Zarzycki
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It's a board game in which you have a relative freedom in playing a role for your character and learn about the outcome. Pretty much as in a plain old RPG (which is a Game, too, remember?). So, yeah :) There's that.
 
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Sphere wrote:
You choose a combination of Story and Destiny points at the outset, the sum of which equals 20. The first player to collect those 20 points in the proper proportions and return to Baghdad wins.


Do people actually follow that rule? We played it like that the first time and it just took too long. You have absolutely no control over getting either story or destination points. So we tried with just needing 10 of each. Which isn't great either since you can have a lot of 1 and almost nothing of the other. Now when we play we just play till someone has storypoint + destinypoints = 20 and it works great like that. This game doesn't need a winner, it just needs a time to say 'The End'.

This is one of the few games that I'm not actively trying to win, I just make up a character and see where he ends up. Sometimes he becomes a rich prince, sometimes he dies in the first turn after attacking a beggar that turned out to be a wizard in disguise, put a spell on him that turned him into a pomegranate and exploded him, turned himself into a chicken and ate the fruit. True story.
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Jim Patching
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Definitely not an RPG. It's a board game, although to be honest it's closer to a multi-player choose your own adventure book minus the coherent story.
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Magic Pink
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Neither. It's a very poor choose-your-own-adventure book. And it sucks.
 
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Don Clarke
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It's a board game and an 'experience' game with role-playing aspects. It's more fun if you ham up the roleplaying. It's wonderful, if you like that sort of thing
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Michael Off The Shelf Board Game Reviews
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Sphere nailed it. I would take it one step further and describe it as a choose your own adventure book where instead of being directed to a page, you get directed to a page, in another book, that is part of another series, written by a different author.
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Dudley Albrecht
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Sacramento
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False Dicthomy. A game can be both a board game and an RPG.
 
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