$30.00
Paul Wake
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
Hi All,

One of my colleagues runs an undergraduate course on Fantasy literature/film and world building and she's invited me to work with her students for a day using games to explore the ways in which fictional worlds are built and explored. The students are second year undergraduates following a course in Film and Media studies.

The day I have in mind will combine a lecture (on narrative and games) followed by a workshop in which students will play games before giving presentations on topics related to the course.

It's the middle bit where I'm hoping for your input. In particular, I'm interesed to know of any games would you recommend? Ideally they'll be relatively easy to learn, play in under 3 hours, and prompt questions about fantasy worlds/narrative and storytelling. Oh, and we're using board games (not computer games) for this session.

So, for example, I'm planning to take in Gloom and Once Upon a Time to facilitate discussions on storytelling and play. I'm also interested in exploring ideas such as transmedial storytelling, immersion (in games/films/books), fantasy/horror archetypes, space/place.


Any suggestions or comments will be very welcome.

Thanks - Paul
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
DZ Woloshyn
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
Take a look at How to Host a Dungeon. I can't remember if it clocks in at under 3 hours, but perhaps you can modify it a little bit.

It is the story of the evolution of a dungeon. Why does it look that way? Who lived there? Why is all that stuff lying around?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Barton
England
Berkshire
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
How about The Quiet Year?

Easy to get the print & play ( http://buriedwithoutceremony.com/ ), only needs a deck of cards and a few other bits and bobs. Collaborative worldbuilding, with lots of questions asked and answered! Easy to learn, plays in an hour or two (probably nearer the two for the first run).

Alternatively, The Deep Forest (on the same site, in the Little Games section) is a twist on The Quiet Year.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Wake
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
Thank you both, I'll take a look at those games tonight.

The idea of cost/print and play etc is something I'd not considered. I'm happy enough to buy copies of games for the group (it's a great excuse to expand my collection) but if games are readily available for students to download etc (even just the rules) then this might open things up in really interesting ways.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Phil Hendrickson
United States
Seward
Nebraska
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
How about one of Ryan Laukat's story-based games, such as Above and Below?

Depending on what you have in mind, does Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure look like a possibility?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John James
United States
Waterbury
Connecticut
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
There are a bunch of Fantasy Flight games, Runewars, Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition), Rune Age and DungeonQuest Revised Edition, that share their world setting Terrinoth.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Sonora
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Assault on Doomrock.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tavendale
Scotland
Thurso
Caithness
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Has to be Dread
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Ferejohn
United States
Mountain View
California
flag msg tools
badge
Pitying fools as hard as I can...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
Has to be Dread


If RPGs are on the table, I'd also recommend Fiasco - I think there are at least some horror themed scenarios, if not Fantasy. It's a great example of how people's brains will strive to connect disassociated elements into a coherent narrative.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Shiffler
United States
Manchester
PA
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game has a very cool story driven narrative to it. If you are looking for an immersive horror game, I have had nothing but great game experiences with it. Some people find that the crossroads cards do not trigger enough, but we seem to hit them multiple times a game...

I hear playing it with the app is even better since you can not self-spoil the repercussions of your decisions during events.

With the possible hidden betrayer aspect keeping everyone on their toes it really adds to the immersion. I recommend it.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Martin Larouche
Canada
Longueuil
Quebec
flag msg tools
Melting souls with cuteness since 2007
badge
Lovin' N-16
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Winter Tales's an obvious choice.

Storytelling game with fairy tales characters turned into horror version of themselves...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Sonora
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
cferejohn wrote:
Quote:
Has to be Dread


If RPGs are on the table, I'd also recommend Fiasco - I think there are at least some horror themed scenarios, if not Fantasy. It's a great example of how people's brains will strive to connect disassociated elements into a coherent narrative.


If we're going to RPGs, it's got to be set in either Tekumel or Harn. This is about worldbuilding, after all.

But, the OP stipulated relatively easy to learn...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Philip Kitching
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
A simpler rule set and definitely a fantasy of sorts is Diana: Warrior Princess

the theme is players of the far future in an rpg set at the end of the second millennium (i.e. 20 years ago, plus or minus a couple of hundred)

Think "Xena warrior princess" but without the slavish attention to historical accuracy.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
TTDG
United States
Fairfax
Virginia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Lord of the Rings Tolkien spawned a whole genre, and certainly built a world. This game redoes the adventure, promotes cooperation and even self sacrifice, and has some of the 'original' art. So books -> movies & games. And that is not the only game you could pick for Tolkien, so you could potentially have multiple kinds of games going on all inspired from the same source, leading to compare/contrast.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Wake
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
This is great, thanks everyone. I can see a really enjoyable weekend spent following up these ideas - many of these games are new to me.

RPGs are probably beyond the scope of the session (though I'd be tempted to get some Call of Cthulhu in there - having them write their own adventures/scenarips could be really informative).

Tolkien-related games are a good shout - it'd allow us to do some nice work with the various implementations of the franchise (if I can call it that) and we could bring in discussions of transmedia very nicely as it'd likely that the students will know at least one version of the story (if not the books then the films).

Oh, and I really like Dead of Winter. If I can find an excuse to bring that to the table I will!

Here's another related (more specific) question. Which game would you recommend that best draws on the stock fantasy character archetypes? I'm thinking of perhaps using Talisman (which also has the quest structure embedded in its roll and move mechanics) but perhaps there are better examples?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Charles Waterman
United States
Commerce Township
Michigan
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Wish I could give you a copy of Fred Hicks "Escape or Die" but it isn't published yet and I only have a 6 year old playtesters PDF. Sigh. You might email him at Evil Hat and ask him to send you a PDF - don't know if he's ready to do that, though. It's a very fast, tense, one-sitting horror game that the players create ON THE FLY for each other. Character death is an expected part of the game - in fact it's welcomed, because you get to narrate how your character dies! *grin* It's just a question of which (if any) characters **might** escape whatever setting you've all agreed on....

For story telling in a fantasy setting, yoiu might try to get your hands on one of these games:

Hobbit Tales:From The Green Dragon Inn
https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/145475/hobbit-tales-gree...

Braggart
https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/72420/braggart



1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Charles Waterman
United States
Commerce Township
Michigan
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
You might also enjoy looking at the Character Creation first session of the Spirit of the Century game. Players build their characters cooperatively by writing two sentences of a blurb of an adventure novel they starred in, and then pass it to other palyers who add sentences describing how their characters were supporting characters or had cameos in that story. (Creates instant backstories for the characters and lots of story hooks for the GM!) The character creation process is almost a game in itself!
http://www.faterpg.com/dl/sotc-srd.html
http://macklinr.livejournal.com/482041.html

Also, take a look at the new board game Roll Player, although I don't think it's quite what you're looking for.
https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/169426/roll-player
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Wheelock
Canada
Woodstock
New Brunswick
flag msg tools
badge
David Malki drew this!
Avatar
mbmbmb
If you're not wedded to the idea of a board game, Microscope is a great history-building game. It might not work well as a lecture without some adaptations, but it's a really interesting way of world-building.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dan Likos
United States
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The whole world of H.P. Lovecraft I have learned from games like Arkham Horror, Eldritch Horror and Elder Sign

Talk about games building/reinforcing a fictional world

Edit: added a comma between arkham and eldritch
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Sonora
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
swheelock wrote:
If you're not wedded to the idea of a board game, Microscope is a great history-building game. It might not work well as a lecture without some adaptations, but it's a really interesting way of world-building.


THIS! I completely forgot about Microscope. You actually play the worldbuilding! It's fantastic.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jacob Schoberg
United States
Elkhorn
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
when i get home, i'm so tired
badge
just roll over, please. i'm so tired. just roll over, please. i'm so tired.
Avatar
mb
While it doesn't really meet your "easy to learn" or "plays in 3 hours" criteria, I think Android is an excellent example of worldbuilding. The entire Android universe was created for that game, and it has later spawned many novels, games, and even an entire lorebook about the setting. I know it is definitely not a game for everyone, but as a worldbuilding study I think it would be excellent.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Raven Snow
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
Mouse Guard was great for being a very immersive, fantasy world. I went to a demo play session of it that utilized pre-made characters that we then got to customize, so there are definitely resources out there for short campaigns. It's a system that just uses d6s, which I think lowers the barrier to entry.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe H
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Maybe Discworld: Ankh-Morpork. It has player roles that emulate traits of characters from the novels and each card in the game adds additional sense of the chaos and flavour of the world. The game, like the novel, eventually starts spawning crazy events.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.