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Subject: Good role playing board games that don't need a GM and where players win or lose rss

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Moshe Callen
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I like to have a well-rounded collection, admittedly with more of my favorites, but generally with something of everything. One type of game I do not have is the role playing/board game fusion, most commonly found as dungeon crawlers. The reason I have avoiding getting any of these so far is that I do not like the classic RPG style game because one neither wins nor loses; one just continues. I dislike many video games for the same reason.

What are the classic games (dungeon crawler or otherwise) that fuse elements of a role playing game and a board game, are good games, preferably classics of the genre BUT also let players win or lose. I also would rather not have a GameMaster who doesn't get to play.
 
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Marc Frank
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Talisman (Revised 4th Edition).

DungeonQuest (desperately needs to be brought back into print).

Tales of the Arabian Nights. This one is more storytelling than fighting; a friend calls it "Dungeons & Dragons without all the crap."

Cutthroat Caverns. This one's a card game and not by any means considered a classic of the genre, but it's good vicious fun and may scratch the itch.

The Dungeoneer series (such as Dungeoneer: Tomb of the Lich Lord) might also be what you're after.
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Martin Gallo
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You might want to try Dark City Games, Inc..

In Descent: Journeys in the Dark the GM is one of the players, although he still plays against the others. Up until you get one of the campaign expansions each game is a single dungeon crawl.
 
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Chris Buhl
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Descent: The Road to Legend is, I believe, the first expansion of this game that offers role playing. The GM does play in the game, as "the dungeon." I played this once, and enjoyed it very much. You do either win or lose (rather, the players and/or the GM either win or lose).
 
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Kevin Li
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mfrank wrote:

DungeonQuest (desperately needs to be brought back into print).

3rd edition is a go!! Dungeonquest to be re-released by FFG!

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Descent is the best. Plenty of expansions. Can be just one crawl or a whole campaign. Lots of your typical fantasy tropes. Excellent miniatures.
 
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Mark Ramsey
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You should really give Arkham Horror a try. It is very thematic and allows for role-play if one wishes (and it can be so much fun when players get into their characters). It is a cooperative game, so the group either collectively wins or loses. No GM, lots of scary monsters, evil priests, cultists, treasure, combat involving magic items, swords, tommyguns, flamethrowers, etc. dimensional travel, sealing dimensional gates, the list goes on. Give it a try, I think it meets most of your criteria.

Mark
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Jerry Martin
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Arkham is the best! Have someone teach though much better than learning yourself if you can!
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Moshe Callen
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My wife and I just aren't into the whole horror thing. Theme is not usually a big deal in games to me unless it turns me off, and horror games probably would. I for one just find the whole thing of horror movies etc. generally pretty silly. (No offense to those who disagree just not my thing.)
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Brian M
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Quote:
Descent: The Road to Legend is, I believe, the first expansion of this game that offers role playing.

RtL offers a continuing campaign. This has nothing to do with role playing
 
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whac3 wrote:
My wife and I just aren't into the whole horror thing. Theme is not usually a big deal in games to me unless it turns me off, and horror games probably would. I for one just find the whole thing of horror movies etc. generally pretty silly. (No offense to those who disagree just not my thing.)


Well I'd take the Horror aspect of Arkham Horror pretty lightly, it would probably be more apt to describe the game as "Arkham Fantasy Adventure" it's in no way about blood and guts and brain-eating zombies. zombie It's more about a group of regular people who team up to prevent the rising of an ancient god who will destroy the world as we know it. Along the way you fight monsters and explore other worlds / dimensions. It's kind of like a classic dungeon crawl set in 1920s New England.

Anyways, that's my two cents.
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Josh P.
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Another to consider: if you want a dungeon crawl experience WITHOUT any fantasy or RPG elements, consider Space Hulk.
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Gene Ksenzakovic
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whac3 wrote:
My wife and I just aren't into the whole horror thing. Theme is not usually a big deal in games to me unless it turns me off, and horror games probably would. I for one just find the whole thing of horror movies etc. generally pretty silly. (No offense to those who disagree just not my thing.)


Says the man who wants to traipse through dungeons with elves.(Teasing) I love a good dungeon crawl, Descent is a good thought, though I think it misses some of what you are looking for (the winner aspect). Return of the Heroes is fun and easy enough to pick up. Talisman is fun but very simple. When you say roleplaying do you mean building of characters?
You should give Arkham a look, you can get the rules online. Lovecraft's horror is not mindless slaughter stuff, modern horror to compare it to would be The Mist, if you have seen or read that.
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Chris Buhl
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StormKnight wrote:
Quote:
Descent: The Road to Legend is, I believe, the first expansion of this game that offers role playing.

RtL offers a continuing campaign. This has nothing to do with role playing


I didn't see it that way. You have a character you control, his abilities increase over time, you decide how to best use your character's skills to help the party. That felt like role playing to me.
 
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Magic Realm is without any doubt the best, deepest adventure boardgame that doesn't need GM. It's OOP but you can print your own copy from Karim's redesign, which looks really nice. It's complex but it creates a dynamic world with its own internal logic which you can explore as you wish. It also has flexible winning conditions, and allows for both competitive or cooperative playing (or both in the same game) as players want.

Besides that, I'd also recommend Arkham Horror and Return of the Heroes.
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Mike Bourgeois
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Warhammer Quest

This is very lite on the RPG end of the game. It's pretty much strictly a dungeon crawler. When you're in between dungeons you can travel overland and run into encounters that will seriously mess your party up but it's not really a D&D style game.

You can play this solo or with multiples... it works well either way. (if you solo though... take two characters... the game is lethal if you're the slightest bit unlucky)

The game is not rare but it is expensive... it's been OOP for a good while but copeis alway pop up on ebay and if you're really filthy rich there are two offerings on the geek.

I just found my copy and I'm painting minis right now... you don't have to... but it's very soothing and adds a bit of enjoyment to the game end as well... painted minis add life to the battle.
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Mark McEvoy
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Betrayal at House on the Hill has some strong role playing ties (character 'sheets' with attributes representing various facets of a character, that can fluctuate up or down with equipment, events, or damage), and has a strong storytelling element (in the 'haunt' that triggers partway through the game, when the game jumps from a plotless mansion exploration into an immediate one-versus-many scenario from a book of 50 scenarios).

The traitor often becomes a 'GM' of sorts (sometimes he knows things the other players do not - though the reverse sometimes is true - and he controls the NPC monsters in scenarios that have NPC monsters). But he is still very much 'playing' - he is trying to achieve his goal and prevent the non-traitor heroes from achieving their goal, and the game rules enforce how that plays out. Nobody ever has to become 'separate' from the game (or be excluded from a winning/losing interest in how the game plays out) to make the scenario resolve.
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Moshe Callen
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XIII wrote:
When you say role-playing do you mean building of characters?

Yes, I think so. My experience with RPGs is limited. I played one for several weeks once a week and decided I was glad to have done it but it wasn't really for me. I liked building characters but since as i stated one did not win or lose it seemed to me little different than playing pretend when I was a boy.
 
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maka wrote:
Magic Realm is without any doubt the best, deepest adventure boardgame that doesn't need GM. It's OOP but you can print your own copy from Karim's redesign, which looks really nice. It's complex but it creates a dynamic world with its own internal logic which you can explore as you wish. It also has flexible winning conditions, and allows for both competitive or cooperative playing (or both in the same game) as players want.

Besides that, I'd also recommend Arkham Horror and Return of the Heroes.

I don't see any files by that user on the game page.
 
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Tuuli Mustasydän
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whac3 wrote:
maka wrote:
Magic Realm is without any doubt the best, deepest adventure boardgame that doesn't need GM. It's OOP but you can print your own copy from Karim's redesign, which looks really nice. It's complex but it creates a dynamic world with its own internal logic which you can explore as you wish. It also has flexible winning conditions, and allows for both competitive or cooperative playing (or both in the same game) as players want.

Besides that, I'd also recommend Arkham Horror and Return of the Heroes.

I don't see any files by that user on the game page.

It's an off-site link; you're looking for this thread.
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Runebound (Second Edition) is also in the same vein as Return of the Heroes, Prophecy and Talisman.

Some "dungeon crawlers" if you're thinking outside-the-box: Middle-earth, Source of the Nile, or Sucking Vacuum.
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fastspinecho wrote:
Runebound (Second Edition) is also in the same vein as Return of the Heroes, Prophecy and Talisman.

Some "dungeon crawlers" if you're thinking outside-the-box: Middle-earth, Source of the Nile, or Sucking Vacuum.


Do you really mean Sucking Vacuum when you were referring to Dungeon Crawls? Even outside the box that's a far crawl for me.

I was thinking you meant Last Frontier: The Vesuvius Incident instead... it's more of a crawl... although it's definitely in the Space Hulk or Aliens venue if you like those. (which I do)
 
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In the OP, I did say a role playing / board game fusion most commonly found in dungeon crawls. So I'm not just looking for dungeon crawls.
 
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Brian M
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Quote:
You have a character you control, his abilities increase over time, you decide how to best use your character's skills to help the party. That felt like role playing to me.

Role playing is about portraying someone else. Pretending to be someone you're not. Thinking "what would I do if..." You don't need increasing stats, or even stats at all, for roleplaying.

Usually, when people say they want a "roleplaying board game", they don't actually mean they want roleplaying, and I think it can be helpful to figure out what they do want.

If someone wants "a game that produces a very story-like experience and offers a chance to get into character a little bit", I might recommend Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game, but if what they want (which I think is more what the OP wants) is character building, where you improve a character and gain new abilities over the course of a game play, I'd probably suggest Arkham Horror, if you aren't adverse to adding some houserules to actually include that in the game. Sadly, there's nothing great available that fills the niche.

Even basic Descent would have this, if Skills and Power Dice weren't so badly priced that they are terrible choice!

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