Eric Folsom
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Wilmore
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A very close friend (and one of our gaming group) committed suicide 2 months ago. Our group invited his 14 year old son (whom we have had over a few times). His uncle (our late friend's brother) is coming too.
We're expecting anywhere between 8-12 people counting myself. I have plenty of party games, but no one knows the uncle and none of us know the son super well (he likes D&D some and liked Zombies!!! When I played it with him 3 years ago. That's the last time I saw him other than funeral. Our friend was divorced).
Suggestions? I'm not sure how much gaming vs talking we'll do. Don't want a game that might bring hurt (or killing) like werewolf or cards against humanity. Say anything is more for people who know each other.
So Telestrations, Timeline, Wits & Wagers, Balderdash, maybe Resistance?
What do you guys think?
Also, ANY overall mood suggestions or things to avoid that aren't obvious would be most appretiated. I know this place is respectful. Thank you in advance!
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Alicia
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Re: Need suggestion to handle death of game friend and his family
Wow, I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of your friend. I think that having his son and brother attend game night and share in something your friend enjoyed is a great way to honor him and to help his family heal.

If he likes D&D, I think Lords of Waterdeep isn't too difficult to introduce to new players. The theme should be interesting, and as long as people don't play too aggressively with the intrigue cards until they get a feel for people's sensitivity levels when gaming, I would say it should work well. I also recently played Citadels, and find that one pretty fun and easy to teach, and I think it scales well for different player counts. EDIT TO ADD: I would only use this game if you can add the expansion roles (they come in the newer edition) and perhaps replace the role of the Assassin with one of the expansion roles.

I guess my advice would be to have a variety of games on hand--not just party games. Perhaps a mix of themes and game style, as long as all are accessible enough for new players. That way, if they are feeling a bit more reserved and don't want to play social party-style games, you have a card game or board game on hand to play together. If they feel more social and don't really want to play a more involved strategic game, you can then suggest one of the party games.

Whatever you choose, I wish you the best of luck with your game night.
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Marina SC
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I'm very sorry to hear about your friend, my sympathies to all of you.

It's kind of tough to suggest a particular game, but I think a team-based game would be good, so as to keep everyone talking, and his family (or anyone else) can take a back seat if needed.
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Sarah B
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I'm so sorry for your loss. That's tough.

Were there any games your friend particularly liked? Might be a nice way to remember him, and maybe start a conversation. 'Remember that time he won by miles/made a hilarious joke/had a ridiculous string of dice rolls?' kind of thing.
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Eric Folsom
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Yeah team games might be in order. John (our late friend) loved battle star galactica and other hidden traitor games. Legendary and ticket to ride were some others. He did like magic, but none of us got into it
 
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B C Z
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I would do whatever the Son and Uncle want to do.

Which honestly could just be sitting on the couch talking about how awesome his Dad was when he was over in the past.
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Starla Lester
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I'm very sorry that you lost your friend and gaming partner.

It's wonderful that you reached out to the family this way. I looked over your game list, and you have this covered no matter what they feel like playing. From Dixit or Sabotuer to XComm, your games list has something for almost everyone. Sound them out when they get there and see what seems to interest them the most.

As to mood, just be natural, open, and welcoming. If it comes up naturally it's ok to share happy memories or funny memories of your friend with his son, especially if he shows interest in them. Actively avoiding speaking of your friend could make things awkward and uncomfortable. Let me say, I'm not an expert with grief or psychology, but I've worked with teenagers for 27 years and I've seen far too many of them have to cope with situations like this.

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Alison Mandible
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I'm sorry about your friend.

I've found that Say Anything works okay in a group that don't know each other too. You can score well by correctly guessing who ELSE knows the judge well, even if you don't know either of them. And sometimes everybody who knows a person goes down the same wrong path with their answer, and the person who guessed something random nails it.

But Wits & Wagers is great too.
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Wolfgang Kunz
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It's great to see that gamers are looking out not only to their group but - as in your case - after the kids / relatives when one of the group has passed away.

I would suggest - if this is ok with the rest of the group - to ask both of them (uncle, son of your buddy) what they want to play. If it turns out that the son asks: "What did my Dad like to play?" - so be it (see to it that you are prepared rules-wise).

If he says. "Dunno" ask them what kind of game they would prefer: co-op, worker / meeple placement (you know what I mean).

And don't act "weird". Your buddy died (this is terrible especially because of suicide) but life goes on. My wish for you and the other people is that you are able to let son and uncle feel welcome because of THEM, not because they are related to your former game-buddy.

If you can achieve this, you give both more back than you can imagine. And you will be a help in bearing the burden.

All the best for you.
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BookieG wrote:
I'm so sorry for your loss. That's tough.

Were there any games your friend particularly liked? Might be a nice way to remember him, and maybe start a conversation. 'Remember that time he won by miles/made a hilarious joke/had a ridiculous string of dice rolls?' kind of thing.


This is a good idea. Even if it is not the game he decides to play, include a few titles that bring back positive memories for you to share with his son.

My sympathy for your loss.
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Feras H
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Simple games maybe?
Sushi Go!
Roll For It!
Bohnanza
Charades
Taboo
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Ben Goodman
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That is awful. Here are a few suggestions based on the number of players you have coming and games which in my opinion can uplift the mood of the event:
Spyfall: Really fun party game. (only up to 8 players)
Codenames: Haven't played it, but another party game which is very popular. (only up to 8 players)
One Night Ultimate Werewolf: This one does not have player elimination and only lasts 10 minutes, big improvement on the regular game (in my opinion). Every time I play this with people, there is lots of laughter. (only up to 10 players)

Perhaps if anyone has a suggestion for a game playing more than 8 people that doesn't have death as a main part of the game which brings on lots of laughter they could share. You want to make the night a distraction if possible, with lots of fun and laughter it will hopefully uplift the mood.
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Ben Goodman
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SpaceAlien wrote:
BookieG wrote:
I'm so sorry for your loss. That's tough.

Were there any games your friend particularly liked? Might be a nice way to remember him, and maybe start a conversation. 'Remember that time he won by miles/made a hilarious joke/had a ridiculous string of dice rolls?' kind of thing.


This is a good idea. Even if it is not the game he decides to play, include a few titles that bring back positive memories for you to share with his son.

My sympathy for your loss.


You may want to be careful with this one. Bringing back memories of games which remind the son of his father could bring on the opposite kind of mood you're looking for. Not sure if it's a good idea or not.
 
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may-prigent Ffran
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I am so sorry to read this. But also touched that you are having a game night. From experience of dealing with 14 year old, whose father also commited suicide, I think the best way is to be open, communicative, and not to be afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing. Too often many things that needed to be shared go unsaid, for fear of making things worse.

Be yourself, follow your intuition, safe in the knowledge that just getting everyone together is a success in itself. And there will be one other gamer joining you at the table: unseen, but now at peace.

Please keep us posted as to how you get on.
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Eric Folsom
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I will. Thank you all!
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Martin Law
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Sounds like a difficult time for everyone just now.

For what it's worth, I'd suggest keeping in mind www.samaritans.org. They offer emotional support to people who need it, often people who are thinking of ending their life and who have been bereaved by suicide. It is a UK charity, but they respond to emails from all over the world. Just email jo@samaritans.org .
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Chris Knight
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Alphawolf wrote:


And don't act "weird". Your buddy died (this is terrible especially because of suicide) but life goes on. My wish for you and the other people is that you are able to let son and uncle feel welcome because of THEM, not because they are related to your former game-buddy.

If you can achieve this, you give both more back than you can imagine. And you will be a help in bearing the burden.


I think this is super important. They are probably going to be feeling awkward and nervous at first. You cannot control this. What you can control is your own behavior. Try to set a tone that is fun and as light as the situation dictates. Have games at hand that you like and think would be fun, and that are fairly easy to teach. Your attitude (and that of your gaming group) will best set the tone for the evening.

So many good suggestions in this thread. And such a great gesture on your part. I hope the evening is a blast.
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Nick G
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If he likes Zombies, Escape: Zombie City is a lot of fun. The turns are very intense and require a LOT of quick rolling, it always helps me take my mind off of things that are bothering me because everything in the game is happening so quickly.

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Eric Folsom
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Wanted to let you guys know it went very well. the brother had never played these before and even talked about buying a few. We barely talked about our friend, but there was a bit too much hurt I think to do it more. Couldn't have gone better. Thank you all for your suggestions and words of encouragement. They both want to come again!
Games played: Zombie Dice, Red 7, No Thanks, betrayal on the house on the hill (friend brought that one, but worked fine), Flash Point Fire rescue, Spyfall, and Dixit, in that order.
Honestly I haven't had this many games to the table in a long time
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Sorry to hear about your friend... But glad to hear that the games night went well.
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Wolfgang Kunz
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themaster408 wrote:
Wanted to let you guys know it went very well... We barely talked about our friend, but there was a bit too much hurt I think to do it more.


Thanks for sharing how it went.

I think time and companionship will loose the hurt. Just be there for them and let tme - as I said before - feel welcome because of them.

Great that you take this not so easy burden upon you. This is something I hope for my son too when I'm gome (hopefully this will be far in the future).
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