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Subject: RPG board game hybrid rss

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Brent Mair
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I'm a very reluctant and seldom Role Player, but levels and persistence of character between games does not a RPG make.

I don't have any good answer to your question. I personally enjoy the battles and leveling of characters. That's what I'm hoping for in a dungeon crawl.
 
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Chris Talbot
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The phrase "roleplaying game" has several different meanings, depending on who you talk to.

Traditional pen-and-paper roleplayers consider getting into character and the freedom of actions to be roleplaying, whereas computer roleplayers have a very distinct style of game in mind when they think of RPG. MMORPG gamers have a slightly different definition of "roleplaying game," and it ends up being a bit of a mix between P&P RPGs and CRPGs.

I'm a P&P roleplayer, so I think of RPGs as getting into character, telling a story and having that freedom of action element I mentioned. When someone says RPG to me, I don't think of leveling up (I currently don't even play games with levels, classes, etc.), nor do I necessarily think of them as persistent. I run a lot of one-shot RPGs, where the entire story is contained within a three- or four-hour session.

However, when someone talks about RPG-like board games, I generally think they are referring to your definition of RPG.

Chris
 
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Scott Woodard
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"Descent" really comes closest, imho.
 
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Trevor Murphy
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You've probably seen the discussions, but I'd say 'Battlestations' is a great fit for a game like this. I don't recally if there's levelling per se, but it seems to meet your requirements well (albeit in a sci-fi setting).
 
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Zack Boatman
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I was thinking more along the lines of Dune.
 
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Bobb Beauchamp
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From a certain perspective, almost any board game could be seen as a RPG. Even monopoly (where your "role" is a property investor).

If all you're looking for is character archtypes, skill/equipment/character improvement or development, there's plenty of games that fit that: Magic Realm, WoW:TBG, Descent, Runebound, Dungeoneer, Return of the Heroes, Talisman, etc.

So far as I know, though, there's no board game that allows you to create a character, flesh them out with a history, personality, quirks, skills and abilities, and then progress with them through a fully interactive setting, which to me are the hallmarks of a RPG.
 
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Jim Carvin
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kingbobb wrote:
So far as I know, though, there's no board game that allows you to create a character, flesh them out with a history, personality, quirks, skills and abilities, and then progress with them through a fully interactive setting, which to me are the hallmarks of a RPG.


I agree. I think of RPG's as having rules but no boundries except the limitations of the GMs imagination while boardgames with RPG elements have rules and boundries and are limited by the scenarios or objectives set by the designers.
 
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Jorge Arroyo
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There are two geeklists about RPG boardgames that are great:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/911 - Pseudo RPG's in which you control and advance a character

and

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/923 - The Definitive DungeonCrawl GeekList

Also, there are two very different types of RPG like boardgames. The ones that need a GM (Like BattleStations) and the ones that don't.

The first kind is great for RPG groups that don't want or can't invest the time to create a full RPG campaign. They give most of the stuff ready to play. In a way, they also put more boundaries to what can be done by players, making an easier job for the GM.

But some don't even want the game to have a GM either because everyone wants to play as a character, or because it is not practical (like with 2 player or solo games). This is the kind of RPG boardgame I'm looking for, and I've tried Arkham Horror, Runebound and Magic Realm. So far I think Magic Realm is the winner because it allows for the most freedom of movement and action within the game's universe. Of course that freedom comes with a price: complexity...

As Cris mentioned, I too look for the freedom of action in the game environment as a main feature. Character development and persistence is also nice, but I don't consider it necessary...

The definitive GM-less RPG board game is yet to come (hopefully!)

Edit: I've just gotten the german version of Tales of Arabian Nights. Maybe paragraph games are another option for RPG like boardgames. As soon as I get the translation files and try the game I'll see if this works for me




 
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Chris Talbot
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violentzen wrote:
I'm curious, what are some of these one-shot RPGs of which you speak?

I'm really just referring to playing an RPG session for one adventure and then calling it quits. It's the antithesis of playing a long-term, multi-year campaign.

For instance, on Sunday, I ran a one-shot Call of Cthulhu (Lovecraftian horror) adventure for my RPG group in which the players took on the roles of a parapsychologist/professor (from Miskatonic, natch!), a lawyer and a private investigator. The story revolved around the exploration and investigation of a site of possible paranormal activity (for CoC fans, I was running The Haunted House). When the session/story ended three hours later, we packed up what was left of the characters and that was it. The game was over, and we weren't going to be returning for a second adventure. It was a one-shot.

Okay, that was a rather long explanation for saying we played one adventure and stopped the game.

Chris
 
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Alfred Wallace
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You know, there's a wargame with kind of this sort of thing--Ambush!. You generate a squad at the beginning--rolling for ratings in stuff like driving skill, perception, initiative...etc. Then you buy weapons for them. Then you lead them as best you can, and if you survive the mission you can gain experience points--sorry, combat points--to improve your soldiers' characteristics.

Granted, it's solo-only...
 
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Yeh Fang
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Reminds me of the game books like Lone Wolf or Grailquest or Fighting Fantasy. Well, most of Fighting Fantasy doesn't carry on. But Lonewolf and Grailquest certainly had experience points/leveling mechanisms and you can carry equipment from one book to the next.
 
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Jorge Arroyo
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I've played the other game with Ambush's system. Battle Hymn, and it is a great system. Thing is I'm more into sci-fi and fantasy than ww2, but it does have RPG elements...

And the game is fun too with two players, each controlling a commander and half the squad. I did it once and enjoyed it.

The problem with these kind of games is that the increase detail in the stories/missions makes replaying them less fun...

-Jorge
 
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Guy Riessen
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You'll find this sort of game in table-top miniatures--Games Workshop had at least a few
Mordheim: City of the Damned
and
Necromunda
and
Inquisitor

They also had a subset rules system for the Warhammer Fantasy game, which allowed you to develop a Chaos warband, its name escapes me however, which was released over several issues of White Dwarf.

I think in Bloodbowl, you develop your team over an entire season as well? Haven' played it though so can't say for sure what kind of advancement and equipment upgrades you get.

The second edition of Rackham's Confrontation had it built into its system and came with cards to explain it with the boxed sets of squads for the armies, but it allowed you to advance your heroes through campaign missions. Hybrid had rules in one of the Cry Havok games for RPG-like character advancement.

Ambush! is a solitaire boardgame system which fits the bill in that you develop your squad over a series of missions. Gunslinger is another non-traditional-fantasy setting, character advancement game.

There are a lot of single-shot character development games, but far fewer of these multi-session, true RPG character development games.

Seems like a natural genre for boardgames to dip back into soon, but it's not a market waiting to explode by any means. Even for most mini games that include RPG elements like this, they tend to be a small off-shoot community that develops from their much more popular one-shot games.

 
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Guy Riessen
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Dracil wrote:
Reminds me of the game books like Lone Wolf or Grailquest or Fighting Fantasy.


I tried to add the Fighting Fantasy games to the database some time back, but it got rejected as not appropriate. I'm not exactly sure why since they are closer to their boardgame bretheren than their RPG game bretheren--being single shot missions that you could play solo or with one person playing the GM/monsters. Really the only difference between them and Ambush is simply that Ambush has a board. And no, games don't need a "board" to be listed here--see Ace of Aces as a perfect example of a book-based game.
 
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J. Green
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The key element in your description is preserving and increasing levels from game to game. Very few games do this that I know of, among them Warhammer Quest and Battlestations. Games that have a campaign element are your most likely suspects here.

Far more games have a feeling of adventure and lend themselves to actually playing a role (speaking in character during the game, making choices your character would make that you might not make). Some of my favorite games like this are actually gothic horror games like Fury of Dracula or Betrayal at the House on the Hill, and the paragraph-driven games like Tales of the Arabian Nights.

A key distinction in light RPG/boardgame hybrids are games in which the character's ability statistics actually increase or decrease due to in-game progress and what I call adventure games where your character stays the same, but you acquire items or allies that increase your in-game effectiveness.
 
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Jorge Arroyo
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I remember some of these books were really complex in their structure. I used to love them when I was a teen. There was one (i don't remember the title) where at one point you got a key and you were instructed to add a certain number to the paragraph to try using the key. There was no hint that the paragraph you were reading would be the one where you had to add the number, and if you didn't have the key there was no way to know about the possibility of opening the door... That blew my mind at the time
 
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tony brotherton
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There's a couple that I have played that spring readily to mind:

Dungeons & Dragons: Adventure Boardgame - 4 characters which progress through short scenarios increasing their abilities stats and skills as they go.

Runebound: An epic quest evolves as you encounter various wandering monsters, an assortment of characters who develop their skills and stats as they succeed in the encounters. The option of using skills rather than brawn to beat encounters. Characters collect gold and trade at cities for henchmen or weapons/equipment between encounters.

Neither of these have the subtlety of RPGs, but as a diversion or a filler game for an already established group they are ideal and are quick to set up and play.
 
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Phillip Heaton
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There are different levels of RPGing, if you will.

First, there is the fully immersive campaign game. Some of these things last for years, with characters growth and character ability to effect their world increasing.

Second, there is the enclosed series of adventures. The Lord of the Rings typifies that type of adventure in story form. The adventure has a beginning and an end, but will likely last for many game sessions.

Third, there is the one-off or single adventure. D&D modules typify this sort of adventure, where you have a problem to solve. The DM can string a bunch of these together, but each adventure can also be played as a one-shot stand-alone adventure. Many convention adventures are like this.

The advantage that all of the above adventures have is that there is a DM, someone who can deal with problems on the fly. This isn't the case for many other types of role-playing games.

Solitaire games can't take that into account, which is why they often seem so flat. You only have the options that the writer foresaw.

Video and Computer games have the same problem. If they didn't program it in, you can't do it.

Online games can also have this problem, but they are moderated so there can be "fixes" to problems like this.

Board games, without a DM, have the same problem. You might be able to adventure (with or without paragraphs), gain treasures and levels, and deal with more significant challenges, but without a DM, the game will be a little flat.

A boardgame could have a lot going for it, even with the problems outlined above. Using cards to identify random encounters (like Runebound) and paragraphs for major encounters (like Tales of the Arabian Nights) would go a long way to overcoming these problems. Making a flexible system, like GURPS, would allow everyone to customize their character. Gaining treasure and experience, thus improving your character, shouldn't be difficult; especially if a skill-based system, rather than a level-based system was used. Publishing "adventure packs", with new cards and a new paragraph book would expand the game as well.
 
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Alex Henderson
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Gunslinger, by Richard Hamblen (who also designed Magic Realm), is an RPG / BG hybrid. No one plays the RPG aspects, as far as I know, but that is the way it was designed. It was published in 1982 so it must be 1 of the first.
 
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Jorge Arroyo
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MrSkeletor wrote:


Pfft, as anyone who has read creatur of havok will tell you, they got WAY more complicated then that.


Hmmm.... I'm not sure I want to know...
 
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Robert Wesley
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There's always this 'one' here: Greyhawk: Wars

They even provided the 'means' to incorporate some "D&D" 'stuff' into that, for those who would like to entail themselves 'evermore' the "fantastically"!

While I can think upon yet another more "modern" setting type called as:
"the PRICE of Freedom" by 'West End Games' from 1986 and 'designed' by "Greg Costikyan"
"check it OUT 'Orc' from 'Mordor'!"
well, except for don't L@@K for 'this' here, as it isn't entered into the "database"
I 'wonder' WHY?...
googoo
 
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Yeh Fang
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Yeah, Creature of Havoc was very unique. Since you're not human, all the dialogue is encrypted because you're a monster and can't understand human speech. If you did manage to learn the human language, you were given the decryption method. Definitely creative.

Grailquest itself had a lot of puzzles and interesting meta-gaming as well. Like sometimes you'd come across some contraption and in the back of the book were instructions on how to actually make it with paper so you could use it in combat. There was also one monster encounter where you get surprised as it grabs you by the ankle. The book then asks if that scared you to death, if you did, turn to 14 (14 in every Grailquest book was the DEAD section), otherwise, fight on *combat text follows*

They even had D&D like Dungeon Maps and random encounters as well.
 
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