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Adventure Games for Dummies

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There Will Be Games

fantasy chick

Ok, I know there’s already been all kinds of arguments and crap about Runebound in Trashdome so I don’t want to open up old arguments.  But with the latest Trashdome comparing Sci-Fi to Fantasy, I figured I’d take a crack at talking about fantasy adventure games.

First of all, I’m not a big fan of adventure games.  Ok, I played D&D in 7th and 8th grade and twice in high school but after I discovered girls and beer my interest in fantasy stuff went south.  I liked the Lord in Rings series and King Arthur but beyond that I’d much rather read Military History or Science Fiction rather than read any fantasy crap.

I’m warning you I’m not an expert of adventure games. This is more of Adventure gaming for dummies.  I think there might be a few guys out there like me who are not thrilled by adventure games.  Perhaps they’ve bought or tried an adventure game and didn’t have a great time.   Well let me tell first that’s it’s ok if adventure games aren’t your thing.  You don’t have to give up your F:AT badge.  KingPut is here to give you some advice for choosing the best adventure game for you and hopefully make it a fun experience for you

So why should I play adventure games?   A couple of times a year a adventure game can be pretty fun especially if you’re playing with people who are really into adventure games.   My sister, my daughter and a couple of other people I know like adventure games and I’ve had a great time playing adventure games with them.

I’m going to focus on adventure game like Talisman, Prophecy, Runebound and World of Warcraft.  These are games where each player plays against each other and travels through a magical land and kill shit.  So I’m not talking about Descent, D&D, Cutthroat Cavern, Conan or Caylus.

The first thing that’ll blow an adventure gaming experience for somebody who’s not really into it is game length.  I’ve heard people who complain that they played there first game of Runebound with 4 players and it took them 5 hours.  That would kill any chance for me to try out an adventure game for awhile.  For people wanting a fun short adventure game they should try Dungeonquest.  If you can’t find a copy of Dungeonquest here’s my break down the four adventure games:

Game Length (Longest to Shortest): Runebound > Prophecy, Talisman > World of Warcraft.  Warcraft is the winner here.  For people wanting an adventure game that can be played in less than 2 hours WoW is your game.

Recommended Number of Players:  Runebound: 1 or 2, Prophecy and WoW 2-3, Talisman 3-4

Time for each players turn (Longest to Shortest):   Runebound > Prophecy and WoW > Talisman.  If you are a person who hates waiting during somebody else’s turn don’t play Runebound, play Talisman.

Recommended number of beers to drink during the average game: Talisman = 6 pack, WoW = 3 beers, Prophesy = 2 beers, Runebound = 2 cups of coffee (don’t drink beer you might screw up the movement dice).

Complexity and decision making for movement (simple to complex): Talisman: Roll dice move right or left, WoW: Roll dice move right or left but you don’t have to use the whole dice distance, Runebound: Uses special movement dice, Prophecy: Do you walk, pay for horse, boat or magic movement.

Complexity of battles (simple to complex): Talisman and Prophesy: 1 dice roll from attacker and defender to see if you defeat the creature.   WoW: Similar to Talisman but you can play magic cards from you hand to increase your chances in battle.  Runebound:  Most complex system.  You battle using missiles, magic and melee.  Creatures take multiple hits to kills.  This my favorite part of Runebound but it also increases the game length and time between turns.  This is also why Runebound is the best solo adventure game.

Starting Characters: Talisman has the most generic D&D / Tolkein type characters followed by Prophecy.   Talisman has the standard dwarf, elf, wizard, thief characters.  Runebound has unique characters so rather than just being a fighter or thief you might be Red Scorpion, One-Fist or Bogran the Shadow.   World of Warcraft: The Adventure game uses the character classes from WoW online game.

Character Development: I think Prophecy shines the best in terms of character development.  Characters may start out a druid but then they can obtain skills in other classes so they can end up more of a thief.  The character development in Talisman is sort of random based on what equipment and allies you land pick up along the way.  Runebound you get to shop for your equipment and allies.  Players level up quickly in World of Warcraft and it’s based on your characters class.

Interaction: Talisman is best game for interaction.  The interaction happens mostly through casting spells at each other but there are characters that can steal items or followers from other players.  The other games have much less interaction.

End game: I think Talisman has the best end game.  One player will get to the Crown of Command and they’ll start casting a spells at the other players that will weaken them.  The other players will have to race to fight the first player at the Crown of Command.   2nd best end game is Prophecy which also ends in big final battle with who ever has an artifact.  The end game Runebound is is ok for the base game.  I haven’t played the expansions to see different end games.   The end game in WoW is probably the weakest it is based on victory points or fame points or something very Euro like but it helps to keep the game length to 90 – 120 minutes so that seems like a reasonable way to go.

Expansions (Most to least): Runebound (has about 50) > Talisman > WoW > Prophecy

Hope this helps somebody.

There Will Be Games
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