storytelling board/card games

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storytelling board/card games

Post by fox01313 » Sat Nov 28, 2015 9:17 pm

While I can go on & on about Arkham Horror, Eldritch Horror, Cthulhu Gloom & Elder Signs, here are a few I have (or have played enough to put them on the list) that can be a great gateway into the Cthulhu storytelling games/RPGs. Use this list as a hook as you might find the person who's interested in the extra spooky around Halloween to get them hooked into trying BRP/Gumshoe (also new to GMing but glad to online run people try out the Trail of Cthulhu introductory stuff to show that off as well as get into more GM stuff). So here's some good storytelling games with some thoughts, I'll supply the BoardGameGeek links** below which have ebay/amazon links if it sounds interesting & can also check out the video reviews to see if it's something to track down to play and/or buy. Hit me up here or on BoardGameGeek (same username) if any questions on these as happy to help the game community & MUP community.

Anyone have any contributions to the list of non-Cthulhu storytelling games?? Put it below to add it to the list for everyone.

Above & Below - a vibrant world of a game building up a village, the game is pretty standard style of European worker placement until you go exploring underground where the stories start. The stories vary as it could just affect your reputation, money or other things but you need to successfully explore the caves below to get to buy the underground outposts so it's dependent on who you send down & completely random on what will happen.

Battlestar Galatica - talked to some people unhappy with how Fantasy Flight did some games but this is a great game for many, especially fans of the show. You get started with the escaping fleet & the cylons chasing you then it's just up to what cards you have & the drama on how the story develops. The traitors could be clear on their intentions, well hidden or non-exisistant. This builds quite a ton of tension as playing it & quite a fun story for all playing or watching the game unfold.

Betrayal at House on the Hill - There's a great playthrough on the youtube videos of Tabletop on this & with there being 40+ scenarios in here, the game can go in wild horror-filled directions. One of my favorites as it's general horror at it's greatest as the rooms/dice add enough randomness to make the games quite different & highly recommended. From some people on the Secret Cabal podcast, if you get a duplicate/recently played scenario, just count the roll as a miss & keep going to a new scenario. Also there is a mobile app out there to make up for the sorry character cards on recording stats & maybe some new scenarios in the files section of BoardGameGeek.

Fury of Dracula - With one set of players as the hunters & one playing Dracula a few years after the book, this lives up to the novel as the hunters are going again after Dracula & now questions arise on who will survive as anyone could win. The hunters & Dracula set up a light story on the hunt on how the story develops, very fun from the times I've played it.

Euphoria - It's a light story with a 1960-1980's dystopia where you are building up your faction's side. This is one where the story is more filled by what the players generate but enough is there to fill it in & have fun with it.

Fortune & Glory - A favorite from Flying Frog for pulp adventure. Yes some of the cards pulled are a bit wacky (like ice caves in San Fransisco) but the story that comes out of your character's run to get the most fortune or beat up the most foes is just stellar. With the cards of the treasures & tombs being different depending on where they show up, it's quite fun & highly re-playable for pulp adventure. Fun rules for where you are playing solo, cooperatively with other players, competitively against everyone makes it quite unique.

Grave Robbers from Outer Space - An older game created by the developer Steve Tassie (now running gaming cafe Snakes & Lattes in Canada) where rival horror filmmakers are creating a movie with the same title, populating it with different characters/settings then sending the monsters to take out the characters in other player's movies. Fun for horror film fans.

Kingsport Festival - A lesser known H.P. Lovecraft board game as you play as cultists in Kingsport fighting off investigators in a European style of board game. Definitely a lighter story but worth looking into.

Once Upon A Time - Another I got hooked on from Tabletop off Youtube. Depending on the cards you get, like Gloom, it can shift the story cards you play which shifts the story. Good like Gloom & others like Snake Oil if you're better with improv storytelling skills but open-ended enough to generate a lot of social fun with the people playing as you collaboratively tell a story.

Pathfinder Card game - It's the Pathfinder system boiled down to where the encounters & players are based on the cards out there. Builds the story as you play & can be different depending on the campaign or characters selected.

TIME Stories - One heard about on Secret Cabal gaming podcast & the next one to try out for me. Warning from the podcast is that the core game is rather limited on the playthrough but from everyone I've heard from, it's an excellent game of a puzzle game mixed with the show Quantum Leap of time travel, going back to see how the world has expanded & then try to solve the puzzle. Sounds quite fun for a game but will know more when trying it.

Tales of the Arabian Nights - More of an activity than a game but with a huge book of core stories & lots of different ways the story can go. Not really a game but a huge story to just keep playing through on this one.

Touch of Evil - One of my favorites after Eldritch Horror. With Touch of Evil, the rules are like a lighter version of Arkham Horror set in a village out of the film Sleepy Hollow with a variety of monsters attacking the town. The leader of the monsters is a vampire, werewolf, headless horseman & more with all their minions. Just fighting the supernatural monsters in the game are tough but when the game cleverly adds many of the same mechanics as Fortune & Glory (as this is also made by Flying Frog), so you can be fighting against the other players to be the best hero or fighting together, it gives a lot of variety to the game. Added in the core rules are how some of the town leaders will be helpful or harmful to your cause, so when you go to finally fight the big bad, you can get help from the town leaders which might have already been turned to good or evil making things even more awesome. With many European games, there is a turn marker (counting down) so unlike some games, you can see how much time you have left & keeps the game from going on forever. If you like Arkham Horror or Eldritch Horror, give this a play to see if you like it but it's in the same kind of horror/storytelling that you'll probably like it.

Notable mentions (games with a rich story if you dive into them or make them up as you play)
Red Dragon Inn & Star Trek 5 Year Mission - Both quite fun & good with the game mechanics, mainly if you like the D&D or Star Trek franchises, these fit right in though they are games where you get the general top level stuff & have to generate the story among all the players as you play.

Links so feel free to look at the video & forum sections for reviews in the pulldown menu to see what the game is about & then track it down if it looks fun. ... -and-below ... -galactica ... house-hill ... rd-edition ... r-dystopia ... anger-game ... uter-space ... t-festival ... -card-game ... dragon-inn ... ckles-base ... ar-mission ... me-stories ... ian-nights ... tural-game

**I found a lot of these thanks to the board game podcasts of the Secret Cabal (general board/card games plus some RPG stuff) & Flip the Table (bad board games which some happen to be fun). So lots of thanks from me to them on getting me hooked on them!
"That's funny, usually the blood gets off on the second floor." -Mr. Burns in The Shinning episode (Treehouse of horror V)

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Re: storytelling board/card games

Post by trevlix » Thu Dec 10, 2015 2:20 pm

Great idea. I will throw in Gloom as well. Great storytelling card game.
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Re: storytelling board/card games

Post by creatureslagoon » Thu Jan 21, 2016 2:21 am

Ace detective is awesome! So much fun and it has a weird fiction expansion called strange tales. Great film noir story telling.

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Erich B.
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Re: storytelling board/card games

Post by Bootlegger » Thu Jan 21, 2016 7:11 am

Just played my first few games of Betrayal at House on the Hill - it's terrific!

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