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Other "RPG"-lite games?


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#1 Stormtower

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 04:22 AM

I bought Runebound last year, and it has done a great job in providing me and my friends with a lightweight way of playing a "roleplaying game".  (yeah, ummm ... in this case, it's closer to roll-playing).  But it's a great game to bring out with friends where there is really no expectation or desire to play a multi-session roleplaying campaign.

 

My kudos to the game designers for 2nd edition.

 

Now I'm wondering if there are other "RPG-lightweight" games out there.

 

I've already started looking at dungeon-crawls like Doom and Descent -- although it seems those have not enjoyed as much popularity as Runebound ... and haven't really gone deep in terms of expansions.

 

I've also bought a little bit of the A Game of Thrones LCG, which is a pretty nifty way of "roleplaying" entire kingdoms without turning the game into an accounting "count-the-cubes" game.

 

 

Do you guys have other recommendations?

 



#2 miles601

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 04:30 AM

I have never played Talisman, but it seems to be something similar to what you are looking for.

Descent and DungeonQuest are both other alternatives to Runebound that your gaming group can play when looking for a RPG-lite fix without the need to worry about a campaign.



#3 Stormtower

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 06:41 AM

Thanks!

 

I've heard of Talisman from my browsings on BGG.  I might explore that next.



#4 Steve-O

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 08:27 AM

Stormtower said:

 

I've already started looking at dungeon-crawls like Doom and Descent although it seems those have not enjoyed as much popularity as Runebound ... and haven't really gone deep in terms of expansions.

 

 

I'm not sure what you mean by not having "gone deep" with expansions.  Descent already has 5 expansions out (not counting the Quest Compendium) and likely more to come.  Doom admittedly got cut short in its prime, but it's still a great game.  Having collected all of Descent thus far, there is something to be said for a game that doesn't have a neverending stream of expansion material, too. =)

Other games you might enjoy, besides Talisman (which is definitely an entry to consider): Munchkin (probably the original D&D flavoured one), Betrayal at House on the Hill (very story-heavy, rules light), DungeonQuest (no better dungeon crawl IMHO)



#5 miles601

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 02:26 AM

I have to echo Steve-O. Descent is actually quite loaded with expansions already.  Although, 2 of the 5 expansions are campaigns (allowing you to keep the same characters from dungeon to dungeon that grow over time).  The "drawback" to Descent is that 1 player needs to be the Overlord (like dungeon master) compared to Runebound or DungeonQuest where everyone is playing a character.

I recently bought Arkham Horror and have played it a half-dozen times or so.  I know its not a fantasy themed game, but it might be right up your gaming group's alley.  You play investigators in the 1920s working together to combat a growing force of evil monsters.  You gather weapons and spells, kill monsters, explore other dimension.  Worth a look for you.



#6 Steve-O

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Posted 29 August 2010 - 01:21 AM

miles601 said:

I recently bought Arkham Horror and have played it a half-dozen times or so.  I know its not a fantasy themed game, but it might be right up your gaming group's alley.  You play investigators in the 1920s working together to combat a growing force of evil monsters.  You gather weapons and spells, kill monsters, explore other dimension.  Worth a look for you.

Good lord, how did I forget Arkham?  *self facepalm*

Yeah, Arkham Horror is a fantastic "RPG-lite" game with a horror setting in the Roaring 20s.



#7 GreyLord

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Posted 29 August 2010 - 09:17 PM

My top choice if you are looking at games like Runebound would be Talisman.  Descent would DEFINATELY NOT BE on it.  Arkham is okay, top notch game, but different then RB. 

Talisman would definately be my top suggestion, the next one would probably be Anima, a small card game but with great RP elements in it as well.



#8 Steve-O

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 01:32 AM

GreyLord said:

My top choice if you are looking at games like Runebound would be Talisman.  Descent would DEFINATELY NOT BE on it.  Arkham is okay, top notch game, but different then RB. 

Descent wouldn't be on top of my list, but it'd still be there (well below everything else I mentioned before.)

Descent can be played as an RPG-lite game, but it requires that the OL assume more of a traditional GM role - making house rules on the fly to "fix" illogical rules and so on.  Needless to say that will break game balance, but if the OL is willing to accept that he won't ever win, it still works.  Of course, the group as a whole also needs to be somewhat relaxed and not obsess about rules-lawyering, since you really do need to ignore and/or change a lot of the rules to maintain an RPG-esque feeling.

A lot of people over on the Descent forum (myself included!) spend a lot of time discouraging people from changing the rules since Descent is intended to be a highly tactical, no-holds-barred dungeon brawl.  If you're the type of person who feels its important to play by the rules as they are written, or that game balance should always be preserved, or that the OL should have a fair chance at winning (as he is supposed to have) then you can't really call it RPG-lite, I agree.  The number of ridiculous things you need to turn a blind eye to in order to maintain balance is disheartening if you want an RPG feel to your game.  However, if you (and your group) are more easy-going and willing to toss out game balance, then Descent CAN be made to work that way.

Myself, I'm in the middle.  I have no particular problem with letting the heroes win, but I also enjoy preserving game balance as it was intended.  This is why I fall on the "forget about RPG, just play the game as written" side in Descent debates, because maintaining the RPG side would require too much work re-writing the rules side.  Having said that, I am currently planning to run a game of D&D using all the Descent bits which I expect will be wholely RPG central (not RPG-lite though) since I'm basically going to swap out the Descent engine for the D&D one wholesale.



#9 miles601

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 09:16 AM

I gotta agree with Steve on this one, a game of bending the rules in Descent to let the players win makes being the Overlord almost too dull for words.  If you and your group decide to play Descent, know going in that the OL needs to act like a manical bastard for the game to work as intended.  Otherwise, don't expect anyone to really WANT to be the OL.  Its not a situation where the DM gets to be a storyteller and set the tone of the world and unfold an adventure.  The OL gets to control monsters and trechery and be a pain in the player's neck.  (that's not being a rules lawyer, thats playing the game as intended).  

Descent is more RPG-lite in that you are adventurers in a dungeon gaining treasure and using magic stuff,  not in the storytelling sense.  If your rpg group doesn't have the time to plan out a proper rpg adventure, but wants to hang out and role some dice, kill monsters and collect treasure Descent is your game.  If you want want a deep, storytelling experience play a different game.



#10 JCHendee

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 02:19 AM

To risk heresy and mention a non-FFG game on these forums, you might take a peek at Dungeoneer. Card based, but with some cards played to make a simplified board, I'd call it a light-light-rpg in a non-rpg format. It is esssentially a quest based game, there are possibilities for characters to "level up", no need for a GM, modules can be mixed or any of them play alone, and there are a some for middle or high difficulty level (along with increased "leveling" for characters).

Since it sits in a hinterland between card and board games, it has often left general players confused and lukewarm. I suppose they aren't sure which it is supposed to be and expect everything to fit cleanly into a category.  That's not as unusual as it sounds, for fantasy games do not survive by selling to fantasy enthusiasts alone. They must capture sales from the general public. Still, Dungeoneer has survived quite some time now.

I was introduced to it by a friend a year ago and only played two games. It wouldn't make my top five list, but it was generally enjoyable and, well, comparatively inexpensive for a blind try. It works well for smaller groups of people, as has been said for Runebound, but much lighter and quicker for execution (at times). It wasn't enough to make me run right out and buy it, though I do keep peeking at it.  Perhaps it might be something to add to your collection.



#11 ET11

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 10:43 AM

I would say Dungeneer also, great all card game. It does have an RPG feel, plus each player get's to play the hero and villan. I play it solo with 4 character's each and keep track of their progression, allow them to keep one weapon from set to set, if they survive. You get to build the dungeon the different each time and each dungeon card has alot going on. For an all card game, each card contains alot of info.

Love Runebound though, my favorite game of choice!



#12 Warbringer25

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 11:06 AM

 Here are some suggestions, both FFG and other:

 

Doctor Who: The Solitaire Game (http://boardgamegeek...aire-story-game)  This is a free to download player made game on boardgamegeek, and its simply fantastic.

 

Arkham Horror ( a fun mix of action and horror set in the 1920's).  Also check out Defenders of the Realm, a new game by the same designer and set in a traditional fantasy setting.

 

A Touch of Evil ( a fun mix of action and horror set in the victorian era)

 

Android ( A game you want to try before you buy and that requires 3 skilled players to really shine, but one that I personally really enjoy)

 

Middle-earth Quest  ( a great game if you have 2-4 players and enjoy the Middle Earth Setting).

 

Betrayal at House on the Hill: A fun game set in a haunted house, with a new reprint about to be released)

 

Space Hulk Death Angel: the Card Game: If you like 40k or the Aliens movies, this one might be for you!

 

Dungeons and Dragons: Castle Ravenloft Board Game: A very fun and quick dungeon crawl game using very simple D&D rules.

 

Additional Games you might enjoy include:

Talisman, Descent, Dungeonquest, Thunderstone, The Adventurers, Ghost Stories, and Galaxy Trucker... to name a few.  :)

 

Judd



#13 gatharion

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 05:19 AM

 To toss in a bit of a plug, I've got a little self-published boardgame (the second limited print run should be finished very soon) that is also very RPG-lite.

In fact, when I was explaining Runebound to a friend recently, I was using my game as an example.

 

It is an adventure boardgame based on Russian Folklore called "Baba Yaga". Here is our website: www.chickenhutgames.com

We're also on boardgame geek.



#14 Steve-O

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 04:41 AM

gatharion said:

It is an adventure boardgame based on Russian Folklore called "Baba Yaga". Here is our website: www.chickenhutgames.com

We're also on boardgame geek.

Nice!  Good looking board, for something self-published.  I'll have to check this game out in further detail when I have the time.



#15 gatharion

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 05:23 AM

 Thanks, we've been doing everything we can within our meager budget to produce a quality product. 



#16 JCHendee

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 09:05 AM

It lists as sold out.  Will there be a reprint any time soon?



#17 gatharion

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 09:26 AM

JCHendee said:

It lists as sold out.  Will there be a reprint any time soon?

 

Very soon!

By the end of this weekend I hope.



#18 gatharion

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 03:51 AM

 Supplies are limited, but we do, in fact, have Baba Yaga back in stock.

:)






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