• D&D: The Board Game?

    From Ubiquitous@21:1/5 to All on Sat Aug 4 05:19:46 2018
    XPost: alt.games.adnd, rec.games.frp.dnd

    Dungeons & Dragons' classification has sometimes befuddled stores in
    how to place it on shelves. Is it a book? A game? A toy? Some settled
    on treating it as a board game. That's a classification increasingly
    obfuscated by the fact that D&D actually spawned several board games.

    Technically, a Tabletop Game

    Board games share something in common with the original D&D: they both
    took place on a tabletop. These days, emphasis on "theater of the mind"
    styles of play don't require a tabletop at all, but early D&D -- itself
    a direct descendant of Chainmail -- assumed graph paper and miniatures.
    Both implied that they were centered on a table in front of the
    players, and co-creator Gary Gygax's games reflected just that, with up
    to 20 players at his sand table.

    Why a sand table? Gygax was a wargamer before he helped invent D&D, and
    sand tables were a malleable form of gaming terrain commonly used for
    both military strategists and wargamers to easily create maps to scale. Wargaming and its connection to military planning goes as far back as Kriegsspiel, specifically "Free" Kriegsspiel which included a
    "confidant" analogous to modern game masters. Edward Burnett Tylor made
    the connection between board games and Kriegsspielin the June, 1879
    edition of Popular Mechanics:

    The other hint is that board-games, from the rudest up to
    chess, are so generally of the nature of Kriegspiel, or war-
    game, the men marching on the field to unite their forces
    or capture their enemies, that this notion of mimic war may
    have been the very key to their invention.

    The idea that dungeon crawling is in itself like a board game was not
    lost on Gygax's peers, who created a board game to mimic dungeon

    The Original D&D Board Game

    The first proper D&D-style board game wasn't created from D&D but
    developed in parallel. Dave Wesely inspired both Dave Arneson and Dave
    Megarry with his freewheeling Braunstein campaign, which transformed a
    standard wargame into one with player agency.

    Wesley's Braunstein inspired Arneson's Blackmoor, which in turn
    inspired Megarry to create the DUNGEON! board game It was originally
    based off of The Dungeons of Pasha Kada. Jon Peterson explains in
    Playing at the World:

    This fragmentation of the Blackmoor campaign even resulted
    in the invention of an entirely separate and novel game: the
    underworld component alone inspired “The Dungeons of Pasha
    Cada” by David R. Megarry ( who played the King of Prussia
    in the Strategic Campaign), a boardgame which isolates the
    dungeon exploration mode of Blackmoor.

    DUNGEON! turned dungeon exploration into a competitive board game:

    DUNGEON! combined the dungeon exploration mechanic with the
    familiarity of a parlor board game and the simplicity of an
    eight-page rulebook. No longer does a referee carefully guard
    the secret plans to the dungeon— the dungeon is clearly printed
    on the board for everyone to see, and no referee governs play.
    Two ordinary six-sided dice resolve all combat. It is
    furthermore a competitive game, with concrete victory
    conditions. Players take turns moving their pieces (Elves,
    Heroes, Super-heroes or Wizards) through the dungeon attempting
    to accumulate treasure. The first to acquire a set total of
    gold pieces wins, but this total varies with the power of the
    piece, so Elves and Heroes require less than Super-heroes to
    win, and Wizards need the most of all. As players explore the
    dungeon and enter rooms, they encounter random monsters who
    guard random prizes, both drawn like the Community Chest in
    Monopoly from card decks. The dungeon has six levels, and
    the farther one descends, the greater the dangers and rewards:
    the “monster” and “prize” cards are coded by level.

    DUNGEON! may have been the first of the D&D-style games, but it
    certainly wasn't the last.

    Modern D&D Board Games

    The 4th Edition of D&D has been criticized for its elements that
    emphasize grid-based combat over role-playing, so it's perhaps no
    surprise just how much the D&D Adventure Board Games have in common
    with 4E. Adventure board games, a term Wesley preferred over "role-
    playing game," were part of the growth of Wizards of the Coast under
    parent company Hasbro, itself a major producer of popular board games.
    The WOTC-produced board games, including Castle Ravenloft, Wrath of
    Ashardalon, and The Legend of Drizzt, each feature common 4th Edition
    rules such at-will vs daily powers, healing surges, and save-ends

    Is D&D a board game? To the extent that it can require a table and
    miniatures, it could be. But D&D has moved so far beyond its original
    roots that a board game is no longer sufficient to encapsulate the D&D experience. Instead, board games have adopted D&D's traits, with their
    own hit points, level systems, die rolls, and treasure quests. Even
    though they focus on only one aspect of D&D, adventure board games and
    their ilk bolster brand awareness for the role-playing game, and that's
    a good thing.

    Dems & the media want Trump to be more like Obama, but then he'd
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