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Subject: Teen girl friendly board game with Dungeons and Dragons/RPG flavour? rss

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Kevin Goodman
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My daughters were asking the other day about Dungeons and Dragons and I would love to introduce them (fingers crossed). I think they would enjoy the character growth and story elements of D&D but they are also drawn to nice visuals.

Any recommendations?

UPDATE: After reading a bunch of the great replies, I revised a bit what I was looking for...

Quote:
I could see the darkness of tone and gruesomeness of the figures in the D&D board games being a turn off for the girls actually.

Legends of Andor looks like it has won game of the year, which might be an extra incentive for the kids. Also, aesthetically, it looks to be somewhat light in style.

Mice and Mystics sounds like it might have the good mix of cuteness and D&D to appeal to my girls, though darker in tone than Andor.

I did look at the Pathfinder beginner box link but got stuck at the part where it said 64 pages of heroes instructions and 96 pages of game master guide ...

BUT I have to admit that the more I think about it, the more I like the idea of a "game master" type situation where the 3 girls work together but are also interacting a lot with me as the game master. Seems like an ideal family thing to do.

So maybe I need to look into Heroquest?

One thing that just occurred to me is that my girls do a lot of reading and have enjoyed teen fiction such as The Twilight series (vampires and werewolves), City of Bones, Divergent, etc., etc. (Kids these days are soo lucky!) ... so are there any RPG-ish games these days whose themes might be similar? That kind of tie-in would probably provide the motivation they would need to go the extra mile to learn a more significant ruleset.
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Rob Robinson
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Re: Board game closest to real Dungeons and Dragons?
Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition)
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Re: Board game closest to real Dungeons and Dragons?
What about the D&D games?

Dungeons & Dragons: Castle Ravenloft Board Game
Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of Ashardalon Board Game
Dungeons & Dragons: The Legend of Drizzt Board Game
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Re: Board game closest to real Dungeons and Dragons?
ibkevg wrote:
My daughters were asking the other day about Dungeons and Dragons and I would love to introduce them (fingers crossed). I think they would enjoy the character growth and story elements of D&D but they are also drawn to nice visuals.

Any recommendations?


If they are interested in D&D, why not play an actual RPG with them? There are pretty pictures in lots of RPG books which you can show as needed.
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Brian M
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Re: Board game closest to real Dungeons and Dragons?
Mice and Mystics seems like a potential choice. It seemed to be the same as playing a D&D board game like Ravenloft, but with a more child/girl-friendly theme.

Others should have a better feel if that is right because none of these games are my forte.
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William Roop
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Re: Board game closest to real Dungeons and Dragons?
zombiegod wrote:
My daughters were asking the other day about Dungeons and Dragons and I would love to introduce them (fingers crossed). I think they would enjoy the character growth and story elements of D&D but they are also drawn to nice visuals.

Any recommendations?


RiderPestilence wrote:


While I would normally agree with Rider, in this case the D&D games do NOT show much character growth or story elements.... They are strictly dungeon crawls once the mission statement is read...

Descent shows good character growth, but again the story is lacking unless the overlord supplies it.

Legends of Andor (FF games) has storyline as the central mechanic, but character development is just above the D&D games, the characters can develop, but their advances are BOUGHT not EARNED. (Gold buys strength pts etc)

World of Warcraft: the Board Game (out of print) is the BEST character advancement around, mimicking a MMO or roleplaying game VERY well. Storyline is included and does well, but the game is LONG... 3-4 hours, although you COULD play in hour increments if you have a place to set up.

There are more, but time and brainpower keeps me from reviewing them.
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Re: Board game closest to real Dungeons and Dragons?
RiderPestilence wrote:


When my daughter expressed interest in D and D, these are the games I used. It worked very well. Gave a basic feel for D and D, has great visuals and can be quickly set up and played (unlike a well run RPG). At that age she also supplied a huge amount of roleplaying for such a basic boardgame (oh to have the enthusiasm and imagination of a young teenager again). We later moved to the Pathfinder RPG.
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Josh Lloyd
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Re: Board game closest to real Dungeons and Dragons?
I do strongly recommend Mice and Mystics. When I couldn't get my girlfriend to play Ravenloft I bought a copy of MM. With the backstory, which you can have professionally read like a book as you play the game, and the cute little mice she really enjoyed it. As well, it gives some cool character development and still provides the feel of a dungeon crawl like Ravenloft/Descent. From there maybe you could transition into Descent (either 1st or 2nd edition) and add a little more to the stories as the Overlord.
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Matt Brown
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Re: Board game closest to real Dungeons and Dragons?
ibkevg wrote:
My daughters were asking the other day about Dungeons and Dragons and I would love to introduce them (fingers crossed). I think they would enjoy the character growth and story elements of D&D but they are also drawn to nice visuals.

Any recommendations?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Beginner Box

Nice intro system and it offers a map and a nice assortment of cardboard stand up figures. To me it is the best way to get into a D&D type system. There is a card game version coming out soon as well, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Base Set.
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Re: Board game closest to real Dungeons and Dragons?
I honestly don't think a board game can give you the RPG effect... or at least not the best parts of an RPG.

+1 Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Beginner Box There is one wee scenario in the book that doesn't require a DM then perhaps you could come up with a scenario. I would try to make this as lite rule wise an experience as possible. Ultimately, kids just love rolling dice and making stuff up - if you're the DM and have a plot to walk them through chances are you never really need to look at the rules or more complicated elements.
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Willow Pearson
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Re: Board game closest to real Dungeons and Dragons?
+1 for the D&D boardgames, but in the end what separates a boardgame from D&D is the role of a DM, more importantly for narrative than refereeing. I'd recommend giving it the real college try to embellish something like Ravenloft or Drizzt to make it feel like D&D, that way the transition is smoother.

I've been a DM since AD&D, so I have a (bad?) habit of spinning narrative and goals for just about any fantasy game, it comes naturally enough after a while, and most of the group think it adds a little something.

But yeah, definitely treat any gateway game as an opportunity to DM; it's a better litmus test than just a generic fantasy game.
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Re: Board game closest to real Dungeons and Dragons?
If they're interested in the D&D setting, the various D&D adventure board games are probably a reasonable choice. As others have already said, however, D&D (particularly from 3E onward) is practically a board game itself.
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Jay Freiday
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Re: Board game closest to real Dungeons and Dragons?
+1 Mice and Mystics
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Re: Board game closest to real Dungeons and Dragons?
I was a hardcore D&D fanatic for years, and I still haven't found a substitute in a boardgame. I don't know if it's really possible. Most boardgame dungeon crawls are like D&D without the roleplaying, but at that point why even try? Some games with lots of flavor text might feel "RPG-ey" (Mice and Mystics is probably a great suggestion for your daughter), but nothing beats the real thing.
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Jay Freiday
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Re: Board game closest to real Dungeons and Dragons?
Another game that wont feel like D&D but will be fun and a kind of entry point into the universe would be Munchkin. It will introduce them to D&D elements while being light, and fun.
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Jin Juku
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Re: Board game closest to real Dungeons and Dragons?
Do an actual RPG, and I'd suggest Fate Accelerated Edition (http://www.evilhat.com/home/fae/). Easy to create a character, you can do any setting or genre, and very narrative to encourage story-telling and creative thinking.
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Re: Board game closest to real Dungeons and Dragons?
HeroQuest does a great job, although it requires the game master to use some creative flair.
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Re: Board game closest to real Dungeons and Dragons?
Quest: A Time of Heroes is pretty good as a real basic, intro RPG. You can get it dead cheap too.
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Re: Board game closest to real Dungeons and Dragons?
as much as i hate D&D 4E it does sound pretty much like the thing you should be going for. when they get the hang of that move on to something like pathfinder.

if you want a board game feel then get creative, make a board yourself etc.

recommendation for board ideas:
get a long reel of 1" light gray velcro and cut it into 1" squares. stick these in a grid (fuzzy side) on a large sheet of black board (the super thick card stuff) the gray should be light enough and far enough apart that the black grid is obvious.

then print some little model houses, wall sections, doors etc (a load of them) that fit on the grid nicely; you want a little fold and glue jobby that you can make. you probably want wall sections of different lengths and some odd lengths for diagonals. stick little bits of velcro on the bottom of them (you only need a tiny bit).

then when you make your board up for an adventure you can make it 3D. if you make the board modular then you can move sections off and slide the board along as you go. for this i recommend keeping the board edges mostly straight except for right at the ends where you put a tiny jigsaw link to hold them together.

you can make the other side of the board a different colour (green velcro) for just about every other landscape, but gray works great for towns and dungeons/caves etc.

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Jan
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Re: Board game closest to real Dungeons and Dragons?
Well most have been already said.

Mice and Mystics and the D&D boardgames can give you some feel but they don't beat an actual rpg. I would suggest you take a look at the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Beginner Box. If you need more information or advice on the rpg's, just come visit us at the dark side of the site: rpg geek!
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Re: Board game closest to real Dungeons and Dragons?
1st edition descent with road to legend was a lot of fun, had a (fairly light) story you could enjoy and some character progression. If the 2nd edition has preserved this, I'd go for that.

Especially fun for kids, I think, would be the way there is an overarching plot (The overlord wants to black out the sun, or burn all the cities down, etc..) but there is also a 'mini-plot' for each dungeon, and rumours to follow, overland encounters - it sustains interest and gives a decent feel of exploring the world.

Also, if they aren't doing so well, you can make bad choices for overlord upgrades to even things out.
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Re: Board game closest to real Dungeons and Dragons?
LarryKruger wrote:
HeroQuest does a great job, although it requires the game master to use some creative flair.

This is the game you're looking for, especially considering their age. This game supplies it all: story, exploration, character growth, dungeon-delving awesomeness. You just can't go wrong with Heroquest as your gateway dungeon crawler.
-ryanjamal
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Kevin Goodman
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Re: Board game closest to real Dungeons and Dragons?
Lots of cool ideas here - thanks!

I could see the darkness of tone and gruesomeness of the figures in the D&D board games being a turn off for the girls actually.

Legends of Andor looks like it has won game of the year, which might be an extra incentive for the kids. Also, aesthetically, it looks to be somewhat light in style.

Mice and Mystics sounds like it might have the right mix of cuteness and D&D to appeal to my girls, though darker in tone than Andor.

I did look at the Pathfinder beginner box link but got stuck at the part where it said 64 pages of heroes instructions and 96 pages of game master guide ... BUT I have to admit that the more I think about it the more I like the idea of a "game master" type situation with the kids and I. The 3 girls work together but are also interacting a lot with me as the game master. Seems like an ideal family thing to do. So maybe I need to look into Heroquest.

One thing that just occurred to me is that my girls do a lot of reading and have enjoyed teen fiction such as The Twilight series (vampires and werewolves), City of Bones, Divergent, etc., etc. (Kids these days are soo lucky!) ... so are there any RPG-ish games these days whose themes might be similar? That kind of tie-in would probably provide the motivation they would need to go the extra mile to learn a more significant ruleset.
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I'd just go for D&D if I were you. I started playing when I was 7 and had years of great campaigns. Playing with my brothers is one of my fondest memories of my childhood.

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Todd
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You should strongly consider Legends of Andor. You play the first legend (it is a tutorial) yourself and then teach them the game starting with Legend 2.

All of the characters have a male and female option. This is important for my daughters, they don't want to play boys...they want to play
kick-a$# women. Just a thought.
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