A personal chronicle of dice, cardboard, and wooden bits

Dice and Cardboard

Recently, I’ve been getting back into tabletop role playing games. These are those games, like Dungeons and Dragons, that your parents warned you about because they have been linked to things like creativity and not being popular with stupid people. I’m still playing a lot of board games, but I feel like there’s been a shift somewhere in my gaming brain, and the pie chart that displays my thought allocation that was previously filled mostly with family strategy games is now filled with RPGs, and of course, pie.

I recently finished the Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set adventure. My buddy Joe was our DM and was nice enough to run it for our significant others and my son. We had a really great time, and I can’t say enough about the value of this starter set. We spent about six months going through the adventure in the starter set. Now, we didn’t play all that often, but we may have played eight or nine times over those months, and it was a lot of fun. By the way, DM stands for Dungeon Master. Also FYI, OG stands for Original Gangster. Apparently, this is a good thing. I had to ask about this last week. FYI stands for Flying Yellow Insects.

I also ran a short adventure at a local RPG convention, using the Fate Accelerated rule system. It was a spy thriller set in the 1970’s and I called it “Dr. Disco vs. the agents of F.U.N.K.” It’s always nerve wracking running adventures in those situations, but I was glad that I did. I had a great group of players and it was a total hoot. I’m already planning the sequel.

I’m getting ready to run our starter set crew through the Princes of the Apocalypse adventure. Getting started with a new campaign is always the most difficult thing for me, but once things get moving, it gets a lot easier.

On a housekeeping note, I’m experimenting with new comment protocols. I’ve disabled the normal WordPress comments, and enabled Facebook comments. I’ve also created a Twitter widget that will follow the hashtag #ggthinks. I’m interested in seeing what’s easier to use and what allows for better feedback and interaction. Try them out and see what you think.

Sunk Cost Fallacy and Boardgames

Last Friday, I listened to a short piece on NPR called “How Sunk Cost Fallacy Applies To Love.” In Economics, a sunk cost is one that has already been paid and cannot be recovered.  I think this is where we get the saying “Throwing good money after bad” or “Don’t chase your losses.” In the NPR piece, a woman stayed in a bad relationship because she had already invested a good deal of her time.

It struck me immediately that this can have a similar effect on gamers. You get excited about a new game and you pay your money, but after you play it, you don’t really like it. However, you feel obligated to keep it or play it again because you feel like you haven’t gotten your value. You may find that you prefer a new edition of a game, but you won’t purchase the new edition because you spent money on the old one.
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10×10 Challenge 2015

I’ve decided to take the 10×10 challenge on Boardgamegeek this year. The challenge is a committed effort to not just¬†play more¬†games, but to focus on playing a few games more often, ten games played at least ten times each.

As a counterpoint to the Cult of the New, this challenge encourages people to play each game several times to explore and experience them in depth. There is no rush to find the optimum strategy on your first play, or read all of the cards beforehand. Instead, each play reveals something more and something different, you get to try various strategies, and everyone’s strategies evolve with their understanding and learning of the game. If you are tired of constantly learning new rules when running after the latest hotness, never really learning various strategies to any game, and needing to relearn the rules of old games because it’s been too long since they were played, this is the challenge for you.

– Sarah Reed
Boardgamegeek 2015 Challenge: Play 10 Games 10 Times Each

For the record, I am no longer part of the Cult of the New, or even the Cult of the GNU, which is actually fairly harmless as far as cults go, unless you make a living creating proprietary software, I suppose.

There are two versions of the 10×10 challenge, the normal and the hardcore. In the normal version, you choose ten games, but you can change your mind throughout the year, as long as by the end of the year, you’ve played ten games ten times each. In the hardcore version, you have to commit to ten games and stick with them. I don’t think I’m ready for that. I think it’s going to be hard enough as it is for me to get through the normal challenge. I think the hardcore challenge also requires that you game without pants; although, I am not 100% positive of that. Read More