Episode 27: Glory to Rome Black Box Edition, Story Games and Building Better NPCs In episode 27, the founders give you an overview and review of the recently Kickstarted version of Glory to Rome!  Tony cuts through the nonsense and gives you the coolest sounding news from the gaming world and the gang gives their thoughts. Chris' favorite kinds of board games are story games and we discuss what makes them fun.  Lastly, the founders have a round table discussion of building better NPCs to help make your roleplaying games more exciting.

Episode Timeline

  • Glory to Rome Walkthrough: 00:16
  • Glory to Rome Review: 00:26
  • Gaming News with Tony Topper: 00:48
  • Story Games: 01:06
  • Crafting Memorable NPC's: 01:32 

Opening Banter Topics:

  • Jamie updates us on his Glory to Rome Black Box Edition saga.
  • Chris shares his Aquisition Disorder purchase of Lords of Waterdeep, which leads into Jamie sharing his experiences playing 2 player.
  • Chris and Jamie played the Stronghold Games release, Crazy Creatures of Doctor Gloom. Jamie does an impromptu commercial for it.
  • Chris, Tony, and Brian send out their thanks and appreciation for Diz Hooper and the other awesome folks who donated geek gold so they could get avatars on the BGG forums.
  • The founders talk about Tony T's popularity skyrocketing.
  • Tony shares that his investment into Return to Ravnica is up to $125 per box! He got in when they were under $100.
  • Tony shares his hobby of using acetone to take ink off to make good quality proxy cards for Magic the Gathering.

Glory to Rome Walkthrough And Review

In 64 A.D., a great fire originating from the slums of Rome quickly spreads to destroy much of the city, including the imperial palace. Upon hearing news of the fire, Emperor Nero Caesar races back to Rome from his private estate in Antium and sets up shelters for the displaced population. Reporting directly to Nero, you are responsible for rebuilding the structures lost in the fire and restoring Glory to Rome.

Gaming News with Tony Topper

  • Slate did an article on Warhammer 40k players and have estimated that 20-25% of Games Workshop customers are active members of the military.
  • White Dwarf reborn, the magazine produced by Games Workshop which covers Warhammer Fantasy, 40k, and Lord of the Rings.
  • Now on Vimeo, Your Turn: A Documentary About Playing Board Games.

Crowd-Funded Features

Viticulture, is now up on Kickstarter. Not much time left to get in on this one. It's currently sitting at $47,495 with almost double the funding it needed. It's a strategic board game that challenges players to create, cultivate, and expand a vineyard in rustic Tuscany.

Product Announcements / Releases
Zombicide is out now! They're running a Map Editor contest, check it out on GuillotineGames.com
Mage Knight expansion announced, The Lost Legion!
Horus Heresy release! Check out the models and the Forgeworld book.
The Lord of the Rings Dice Building Game is coming! It's built on the Quarriors engine and will be available in January of 2013.
Galaxy Trucker 5th Anniversary Edition with the expansions and special items! Available at Essen in October.
Star Wars: Edge of the Empire Beginner Game, the Fantasy Flight RPG, will be priced at $29.95.
Talisman Prologue is coming to PC, Smart Phones, and Tablets. A roll and move with no strategy. For some reason Chris likes it.
Duel of the Planeswalkers Expansion will include 5 new decks!

Story Games

Chris starts us off, sharing what story games are and the common traits story games have. In particular, the mechanics take a back seat and can often times be poorly done so as not to infringe upon the storytelling. The founders debate over what games they would classify as story games, each sharing their subjective view on the subject. Then we talk about how story games require players interested in a narravite, and give examples where the game went sour because several folks weren't into the game. Then Chris talks about games that are supposed to be story games but the mechanics don't promote that idea. Brian shares why and how his opinion on story games changed. We wrap up by discussing what story games we're looking forward to.

Crafting Memorable NPC's

The founders start off by discussing their most memorable NPC's in various games we've played, then they turn to analyze exactly what made those characters memorable. Brian shares what he's learned about creating NPC's in more than 20 years of running games including knowing your players, providing only enough detail to allow the players to fill in the rest, being able to ascertain player connections to NPC's and playing that up, and doing accents if you can do them well but don't worry if you can't. Chris adds that game plot can change to take advantage of the attachment or hatred for NPC's. From there, the group focuses on where they draw inspiration for NPC's. The conversation shifts into how to use NPC's as tools to evoke emotional responses from players. Chris shares his story of Crazy Mag, an NPC that repeatedly turned up in all of his games in some way, shape, or form as an Easter Egg.

Support The Show!

If you're thinking of purchasing any of the games that we talked about today and you don't have a local game store with these products available, we encourage you to purchase the games via the links in our show notes. This is an easy way for you to contribute to our show and get some fantastic games for your collection!

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