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My play group are a bunch of fucking babies. Played Gloomhaven last night and actually got through the first scenario by the skin of our teeth. People complaining that it took too long or whatever. It took so long because everyone took forever to choose their cards to play each round and then everyone kept asking questions every fucking round and then later asking the same fucking questions. There was a lot of referring back to the manual and all of that stuff.

Ultimately, I had fun. I think we all had fun, but the complaints of it taking too long are annoying. Like, everyone knew this would take awhile since we're learning and we didn't even start until 10 pm and we finished close to 2 am. Setup took as long as 45 minutes too so we probably didn't even actually play until 10:30 or after.

It's one of those things where obviously things will get faster and easier the more we play, but who knows how dedicate my group will be. They're already talking about playing Terraforming Mars next week because one of our friends bought that (presumably because I bought Gloomhaven and he also had to have something shiny and new).

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Bummer man. I had a rough game night a couple weeks ago, where I was going to DM a one shot game for my friends and their friends who hadn't played D&D before. Was the worst session I've ever run. Putting all that prep work in and then watching everyone shit on it is the wooooorst feeling.

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16 minutes ago, jaedmc said:

Bummer man. I had a rough game night a couple weeks ago, where I was going to DM a one shot game for my friends and their friends who hadn't played D&D before. Was the worst session I've ever run. Putting all that prep work in and then watching everyone shit on it is the wooooorst feeling.

Yep, although your situation sounds worse than mine. But yeah, it sucks to put in work and get nothing back in return.

My friends weren't necessarily shitting on it our experience, but come on, know how long this is going to take, be engaged, try to help, and maybe don't have us start so late and if we are starting so late, be prepared to play until way late. Also, we regularly hang out until 2 or 3 am anyway on these days. If we didn't play Gloomhaven until almost 2 am, then we would have played something else instead, finished between 12 and 1, and shot the shit or played Jackbox until 2 or 3.

Everyone liked it, but a couple complained that there was too much time where nothing happened. That was the time where I'm quickly flipping through the rules to figure out an answer to someone's question. Those two who made that complaint could have also helped and looked shit up on their phones instead of checking out and playing fucking Pokemon on their DS or whatever mobile game on their phone. That's the most annoying part. If you want an answer or have a question, fucking look it up. We all have smartphones. I don't have to be the only fucking person to always look something up.

So aggravating. I don't have much experience leading games and this is really my first other than telling everyone how to play (and lose) Pandemic.

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How long would you say a normal session of Gloomhaven take once you kinda get it down?

In my D&D game, the new players just decided to be dicks to each other and the game became less about the adventure and more about "hey can I punch that guy in the face?" At one point one of their comrades dropped to zero hit points and NO ONE went to help. They all had a potion and they were like "Oh good lets watch him die."

 

 

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3 minutes ago, jaedmc said:

How long would you say a normal session of Gloomhaven take once you kinda get it down?

In my D&D game, the new players just decided to be dicks to each other and the game became less about the adventure and more about "hey can I punch that guy in the face?" At one point one of their comrades dropped to zero hit points and NO ONE went to help. They all had a potion and they were like "Oh good lets watch him die."

 

 

That'd be why you don't bring in new guys unless they know they're gonna play serious.

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3 hours ago, jaedmc said:

How long would you say a normal session of Gloomhaven take once you kinda get it down?

In my D&D game, the new players just decided to be dicks to each other and the game became less about the adventure and more about "hey can I punch that guy in the face?" At one point one of their comrades dropped to zero hit points and NO ONE went to help. They all had a potion and they were like "Oh good lets watch him die."

 

 

Oh man, I feel for you. My friend who DMs for us lost immediate control of a game once and I felt like it my fault because my character was a loose cannon, wild card type. Just a big, dumb, bruiser who was wild and out. That promoted other players to just start acting wild as well. I basically wanted to be the Hulk of the group and I think others saw how much fun I was having and they all started doing similar shit. My friend was just like, yeah, whatever, sure, go ahead and do whatever.

For Gloomhaven, I'm confident I can get setup down from 30 to 45 minutes to about 10 to 15 minutes. And then if there's 4 of us, I'd say a scenario would take about 2 hours. That would include doing stuff in the city and getting to where the scenario is at. If it's a shorter scenario it may not even take that long. So 15 minutes to setup, 2 hours or more to play, another 15 to 30 to clean up. Also, if we'd just start at 8 then we'd be done well before midnight.

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One of the things I definitely picked up from learning from watching experienced GM's online before I actually got into roleplaying games myself is the power of a Session 0: A first session with no actual expectation of playing the game, but one where you go over what kind of setting it's going to be, what kind of game are you looking to play in terms of tone and style, any rules questions, rolling characters together. That kind of stuff. I get that to outsiders that must sound like the most boring fucking use of your time to get together to not play a game especially if you're talking an in-person group and not a game hosted online, but I think it's super-good for getting people on the same page ahead of time. 

It's such a weird time to be a person into this stuff because for really the first time in history there are tabletop RPG games being broadcast, shows that are just about tabletop RPGs and how to run/play/behave in them etc. and I think it's going to have a really good long-term effect at both bringing in new people but also giving them the resources to solve problems. Adam Koebel for example does a series that's all up on Youtube called Office Hours that is all just GMing questions, virtually all of which are more player interaction questions than mechanical stuff, and I feel like I probably skipped a good year worth of noob problems by having been exposed to it. I 100% wouldn't be into tabletop roleplaying without having come into it at the weird time I did, and I'm glad I found it even if it wasn't until my mid 30's.

Granted, all of this kind of stuff is reliant on player buy-in. If people are only into it to show up to a game night and piss around, it is what it is. I don't actually think D&D is a good game for that kind of shit at all because it's so mechanical, and you probably want to get off the grid into lesser known games that rely more heavily on fictional positioning.

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The Adventure Zone is very fun and has helped me figure out more rules and general guidelines of D&D by following their game than when I tried to go through the player's handbook page by page. I am still going to read it but the context I've gained from listening to Adventure Zone will help me sort things out immensely.

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I had played with one of the three newbs before and knew they'd be a problem player. But when I ran Dread his style worked. But for this everything just devolved. 

Session 0 would be good if I was starting a campaign or something but this was supposed to be a fun one-shot where they were investigating a vineyard. At one point the party split up(I encourage splitting the party - I won't always dick you over.) and when they reconnected, one of the players straight up tried to kill another player. 

Why, you ask? Because the player she was attacking had asked me if he could steal another player's health potion. He didn't even attempt it. Just asked if he could. And her character wasn't even there to see him do it if had. And people were explaining that her character wouldn't KNOW that. And she was like but I KNOW.  Like I said, there was a lot of drinking. That's when I was like "Fuck it let's skip all the cool stuff and end this."

Apparently at one point when I was taking a piss, she said "Hey are there cars?" And everyone was like "No. It's like medieval times." And she was like "But he didn't say there weren't cars."  

It was that kind of night. 

I learned a lot from it though. For one, I shouldn't have let my friends who'd played with me, be in charge of getting the new players up to speed before the session. I should have found time to meet with them and help them create characters. That's usually how I explain rules but also convey my style and what I expect at the table. Instead they just hit some website and did a Fast Generator and walked in with that. No sheets. No dice. No idea what their spells were. 

I would have also asked for no overdoing the booze until there was a grasp on what the hell your were doing. I watched my players kill 20 minutes explaining using a javelin for melee vs. throwing it and why you'd use different stats. It wasn't because they were explaining it poorly. It was because she killed a bottle of wine beforehand. 

Totally nice people, who I enjoyed playing other games with before. We did a game of The Thing previously that was super fun. But they didn't know D&D is kinda my big creative outlet when I'm not doing a show, so fucking up my game hurts my heart.

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Hey, for anyone who owns Gloomhaven, do you have any interest in buying my Broken Token organizer for it? It's fully assembled so there's no work to actually put in. Since it's fully assembled and barely a couple weeks old, I'd like to just sell it for around what I bought it for, which was about $100. I'm willing to come down on that price though.

I wound up buying a different organizer instead.

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9 hours ago, Craig H said:

Hey, for anyone who owns Gloomhaven, do you have any interest in buying my Broken Token organizer for it? It's fully assembled so there's no work to actually put in. Since it's fully assembled and barely a couple weeks old, I'd like to just sell it for around what I bought it for, which was about $100. I'm willing to come down on that price though.

I wound up buying a different organizer instead.

Craig, what led you to go with a different organizer than the BT, if you don’t mind me asking?

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I missed the KS for Book It! and have been waiting for it to be available for pre-order, which it now is.

https://foamhammergames.com/product/book-it-preorder/

 

Its Facebook page has a lot of information including info on playtesting it on Tabletop Simulator:

https://www.facebook.com/BookItGame/

 

just figured there might be others around here interested in it also...

 

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1 hour ago, ctapley said:

Craig, what led you to go with a different organizer than the BT, if you don’t mind me asking?

What I like a lot about the BT organizer is how good it is for organizing and storage, but for setting up a game, it's a pain in the ass. I did a couple dry runs here at home and pulling enemies out of their tuck boxes, finding the right map tiles, finding other cards, and more is clunky.

The more research I did for the Daedalus organizer the more it looks like it's way better for game setup. I also ordered an accordion file off of Amazon to store map tiles.

It's a bit of a gamble to drop another $90 on another organizer, but I'm betting on being able to sell a fully assembled Broken Token organizer for the same amount I bought it for or slightly less so it won't be that huge of a hit. I also need to call the local game store and see if they're interested in buying it or seeing if they know someone who wants it. I figure someone could use it.

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On 3/22/2019 at 5:22 PM, Death From Above said:

It's such a weird time to be a person into this stuff because for really the first time in history there are tabletop RPG games being broadcast, shows that are just about tabletop RPGs and how to run/play/behave in them etc. and I think it's going to have a really good long-term effect at both bringing in new people but also giving them the resources to solve problems. Adam Koebel for example does a series that's all up on Youtube called Office Hours that is all just GMing questions, virtually all of which are more player interaction questions than mechanical stuff, and I feel like I probably skipped a good year worth of noob problems by having been exposed to it. I 100% wouldn't be into tabletop roleplaying without having come into it at the weird time I did, and I'm glad I found it even if it wasn't until my mid 30's.

Granted, all of this kind of stuff is reliant on player buy-in. If people are only into it to show up to a game night and piss around, it is what it is. I don't actually think D&D is a good game for that kind of shit at all because it's so mechanical, and you probably want to get off the grid into lesser known games that rely more heavily on fictional positioning.

 I dig Koebel, who has a lot of good game theory content. My only issue is that I have an overwhelming aversion to the phrase "the thing is" or "that's the thing." I hate it, and he uses it ALOT.

Big fan of Matt Colville. His running the game videos are great, and I got his Strongholds and Followers book and it's equally awesome. His current stream, which is only 8 or so episodes in, is solid. I kinda like it better than Critical Role, which just recently had two great sessions. The players aren't actors, but that doesn't make their characters less cool. 

Anyone tried the VTTs like Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds?

I just got on Roll20 so I can DM for people who've moved away and I'm trying to get into a game as a player so I can learn the system.

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I'm going to hate myself for asking this, but has anyone played Descent? I know there's no good reason for me to dump even more money on another dungeon crawler board game/RPG, especially since I have Gloomhaven, but I checked out the Descent website and the game looks cool. It also looks like an insane money pit. Like, if I did get into it, I would have no idea where to start because it looks like you have to buy separate minis, but then there's also expansions, and I'm not sure which of those are needed, and I can't tell if there's anything bundled together.

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Right there with you Craig - I am currently thinking about investing to add Descent to my (admittedly insane) tabletop dungeon crawler collection.  Basically it is about the only mainstream DC I don’t yet have.  And yes it appears as though my investment would be significant to acquire many of the expansions to go with the base game.  

Haven’t played it but if I do take the plunge will let you know...

For or those who haven’t seen it, I love this thread:

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1848358/dungeon-crawler-collector-2019

 

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3 hours ago, jaedmc said:

Anyone tried the VTTs like Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds?

 

Haven’t tried FG but used to be pretty active on Roll20.  YMMV but I found it great for virtual private games with long distance friends but found that public games I joined were almost always a bust...

Hope your experience is good...

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@Craig H @ctapley

So I actually own Descent 1st Edition. It's kind of a spiritual successor to HeroQuest but with tons more fiddly bits. My edition came with a shit ton of minis and a dozen scenarios to play for the campaign. It plays like D&D in which one person is the GM and everyone else are the heroes. The rules felt cumbersome to get through, but once someone understands it, it's easy to translate it into normal people terms so everyone else gets it too. My eldest son was 7 at the time and he got it once I figured out how to explain it. 

From what I understand 2nd Edition streamlined the rules significantly and made it more fun. They even shrunk the box down, as I think the original Descent is massive. But I think that also means less minis. 

Eventually I just cannibalized the game for D&D bits. (Minis, dungeons tiles. A billion tokens.)

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Jae, did you cannibalize because it was getting no play among your group?  Or another reason?

 

i do have a 100% complete copy of Heroquest, which is cool for the collector appeal and the nostalgia but does not hold up all that well as a game... ETA actually IIRC I need to replace the gargoyle’s wings

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13 hours ago, jaedmc said:

 

Big fan of Matt Colville. His running the game videos are great, and I got his Strongholds and Followers book and it's equally awesome. 

I bought Strongholds & Followers as well. I think it's really good, clearly a labour of love. Matt has a very specific thing he wants to do and he nails it. I also don't know if I'll ever actually use it. 

To be honest, the thing I *really* want faction-wise in D&D is... the Blades in the Dark crew sheet, converted to 5e. I am just too fucking lazy to make them myself.

 

I have fooled around very little on Roll20 as far as having a real opinion about it as accessible web software is, I am just super uncomfortable about joining/starting groups with people I don't know. I'm glad it's a thing that exists though. And really, if I ever want to play Stars Without Number (realistically, probably end up GMing because "hey start a game for me also you GM it" is bullshit), it's my best shot at making that happen. It's super cool it has so many different systems most of us have never heard of character sheets baked in at this point, so that's definitely a plus.

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15 hours ago, ctapley said:

Jae, did you cannibalize because it was getting no play among your group?  Or another reason?

 

i do have a 100% complete copy of Heroquest, which is cool for the collector appeal and the nostalgia but does not hold up all that well as a game... ETA actually IIRC I need to replace the gargoyle’s wings

I bought it when I moved to Chicago many many many moons ago. We didn't know anyone when we moved up here, so my wife and I just bought games to play with each other. By the time we found people to play games with we'd moved on from Descent and found D&D.  It's got more bits and bobs to do than HeroQuest, but it's just complicated enough that at that point I'd rather just play D&D.

This isn't meant to really deter anyone from buying it. It was totally fun, but it ended up being a gateway game for me, and now I've found something I enjoy better. If you're into Dungeon Crawl's in a box, it's a definite own.

10 hours ago, Death From Above said:

I bought Strongholds & Followers as well. I think it's really good, clearly a labour of love. Matt has a very specific thing he wants to do and he nails it. I also don't know if I'll ever actually use it. 

To be honest, the thing I *really* want faction-wise in D&D is... the Blades in the Dark crew sheet, converted to 5e. I am just too fucking lazy to make them myself.

 

I have fooled around very little on Roll20 as far as having a real opinion about it as accessible web software is, I am just super uncomfortable about joining/starting groups with people I don't know. I'm glad it's a thing that exists though. And really, if I ever want to play Stars Without Number (realistically, probably end up GMing because "hey start a game for me also you GM it" is bullshit), it's my best shot at making that happen. It's super cool it has so many different systems most of us have never heard of character sheets baked in at this point, so that's definitely a plus.

The campaign I'm running the characters basically got a ruined keep, and before they left their island for a mission, they put a bunch of money down to repair it. They're almost home, so I'm excited to start testing the rules out.

I will absolutely learn Stars Without a Number and run it for you, if you want to give it a shot.. Sounds like fun.

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I already have a rough idea for a campaign, though I need to flesh out some of the details before I really pitch it to people. But the general gist of it is something akin to a Sid Meier's Pirates situation in space where you have 4 or maybe 5 factions competing over resources and territory, who will authorize people into privateering, and using that as a gateway into a game setting where the players get hold of a ship and can do whatever with it. Just an idea I keep bouncing around in my head I should put some more thought into. SWN seems to default towards Firefly and Han Solo types, and since it has both ship combat rules and faction turn rules that let you move pieces in the world that the players aren't personally touching, it seems like there should be something really cool there.

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Haven’t played the SWN system but seems interesting for sure... if any of you guys end up running it, would be curious to hear how the campaign goes...

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