Arthur, Arthur!

Recently the folks over at Green Ronin Publishing published Hobby Games: The 100 Best, a book of essays about 100 top hobby games — be they RPGs, board games, card games, or wargames.

I was very pleased to have the editor, James Lowder, ask me to participate. I mean, any day when you get to write an essay for a book introduced by Reiner Knizia is a pretty good one. We talked a bit about what I’d write an essay on and we agreed upon King Arthur Pendragon, an Arthurian roleplaying game that’s one of my favorites because of the veracity with which it represents the Malorian legends.

I highly encourage you all to check out the book via the link above. In the meantime, in honor of its publication, I’ve decided to dedicate this column to its publication by looking at the board game side of what I covered there: the Matter of Britain.

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A Roleplaying Interlude

AD&D Dungeon Masters GuideAs I’ve written before in this column, my first love was always roleplaying games. Though I’m sure I played games like Stratego and Twixt before I ever touched an RPG, it’s the roleplaying games that I really remember playing throughout my youth.

Dungeons & Dragons was the first, but there are many games beyond that, and even before I moved to Berkeley for college I played a decent share of them including the science-fiction game TravellerStormbringerand Hawkmoon, both based on the works of Michael Moorcock; and RuneQuest, a fantasy game that I found odd at the time, and that I’ve grown much more enamored of since.

In the last couple of years I’ve grown closer to roleplaying games again. My best friend and long-time gamemaster left the country, and so I stepped up to run a regular game, something I hadn’t done in several years, and that rekindled an interest in me. Board and card games are still my largest recreation today, but RPGs are there every week, and they get an increasing amount of my enthusiasm.

So, with all those things said, I’m going to take a bit of time today and talk about RPGs — from the perspective of board gaming.

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Wiz-War Expansion Cards

This week I’m going to do something I haven’t done before. I’m publishing an expansion for an existing game, Tom Jolly’s Wiz-War.

As I’ve written elsewhere Wiz-War was a much beloved game of my ‘tweens. I suspect it was the most played board game for my group throughout the later ’90s. As we played it more and more we also developed a rule: we added one new card every time we played a game. This was made possible thanks to Chessex putting out blank card packs.

So I offer you up all the bonus cards from my set, with no (or rather, few) comments on whether they’re good or bad. I’ll also offer the caveat that if you’re going to add cards, you should put in more numbers too, to keep things balanced. Just follow the normal distribution from the base game. We also put in duplicates of some of the more common spells (which I hopefully didn’t copy any of below). Continue reading