Twenty Sided Store

A retail store and premier event organizer in Williamsburg Brooklyn that focuses on high quality Board Games, Role Playing Games, and Magic: The Gathering.

Intro to Storytelling Games I want you to close your eyes and think about a tabletop roleplaying game. Just grab the first image that pops into your head. Got it? What did you see? A group of friends sitting around a table? A map dotted with minis, tokens, and dice? More snacks than a Super-Bowl party? All of these are true, but I want to speak to one image in particular: the large rulebook filled with tables, charts, and enough minutia to make your tax accountant giddy. This is a stigma that roleplaying games have carried since the beginning, that they’re “too complex” or “simulationist".

Well, gentle reader, roleplaying games aren’t made like they used to. The days of calculating THAC0 are a thing of the past. Now, there are plenty of great games that strip the rules down to the frame, and allow for game master and players to explore their creativity in new, exciting ways, and tell stories that otherwise couldn’t have been brought to the table. Leave your GM screen at home; you won’t need it. This week (finally), we look into some of the best storytelling RPGs out there.

FIASCO

Fiasco Whenever someone brings up “storytelling RPG”, this is the first game that usually comes to mind. Fiasco is pure storytelling and character and almost no rules or mechanics to hold the whole thing together. There is nobody running the game in a traditional sense. Everyone seated at the table is a participant in the story, and the stories that come up during Fiasco sessions can be crazier and more endearing than any dungeon crawl. It’s a crash-course in storytelling, specifically the very difficult skill of letting go of the reigns and watching your characters come alive. Nobody knows where the story is going and often, a choice made by one of the players in the heat of the moment will send the plot off in a totally unexpected direction. Since there are no “winners” and “losers” per se, the whole game is a pure creative exercise. And with so many playsets out there, Fiasco is a game that will never, ever get old.

THE SHAB-AL-HIRI ROACH

Roch This is another game from Bully Pulpit, the makers of Fiasco. The Shab-al-Hiri Roach puts players in the roles of turn-of-the-century academics jockeying for prestige and position in the university. Like in Fiasco, players set up and improvise scenes between their characters and NPCs, hoping to get what they want. The difference is that there is also a mind-controlling roach bent on world-conquest roaming around the university, and player actions might be dictated by whether or not they are under the roach's sway. The Shab-al-Hiri Roach is designed for play in a single session without a GM, and fills the niche of Adventures of Baron Munchausen and Little Shop of Horrors mash-up that you never knew you needed.

DREAD

Dread Imagine playing a game of Jenga where your life depended on it. That’s Dread in a (terrifying) nutshell.

Dread is a game of suspense, tension, and horror. As characters move through their story, situations where their outcome is in question are resolved by pulling from “The Tower of Dread.” The player pulls one block from the tower and places it on top. If the tower stays up, the action was successful. If the tower collapses, the character is removed from play, usually via violent, gruesome death.

Do you see why I love this game?

What makes Dread so much fun to play is that the tension is very real. It takes a good storyteller to make you tense, to worry about what’s around the next corner. The Tower of Dread externalizes that tension and gives the entire table a gauge on how dire their situation really is. When you have a group of adults sweating over pulling a block from a wobbly tower to decide the fate of their fictional persona in a horror story, you know you’re doing something right.

FALL OF MAGIC

Fall of Magic Like Fiasco, Fall of Magic is a game about pure improvisation and storytelling with little to no “game” going on. Players inhabit the roles of travelers with the Magus, a mystical being leading the players on a journey through a fantasy world in order to prevent the end of magic. Unlike the other games here, Fall of Magic utilizes a designated play area, a scroll with a map of your journey on it. Players place markers for themselves and the Magus, representing where they are, and move them throughout the course of the game, building their characters up as they go along. The open-ended nature of the story prompts allows for player creativity to expand beyond the typical fantasy tropes and create a story that is uniquely their own.

MISSPENT YOUTH

Misspent Youth There is a lot to be angry about these days, and there sometimes seems like there's nothing you can do about it. Misspent Youth lets you indulge your inner anarchist without ending up on any watch-lists. You are young and fighting back against "The Machine," and not only that, The Machine (or Game Master) is fighting back against you. It is one of the few games we carry that harbors an adversarial relationship between GM and players; both sides are trying to advance their agenda over the other. But it's not all angst and molotov cocktails. At the start of the game, all the players (including the GM) create the world that the game takes place in, making for a collaborative game that all players have some stake in.

To check out these games and many more, come by the shop this Saturday, June 17th, for Free RPG Day 2017! No experience is necessary, and we'll have a drop-in table for RPG fun all day long. See you then!

New Games

VivaJava: the Coffee Game | dice vs. board game

Develop the perfect blend with VivaJava: the Coffee Game. Hire interns, get grants to research the different types of beans available, and develop the flavor to create a world renown roast. Will you form alliances with other entrepreneurs or pave the path to success on your own!

The Dice Game offers a quick 30 minute game for 1 - 4 players. It incorporates dice and coasters which streamline the choices speeding up the game. It also has options for solo play.

If you like a game with more depth, that still incorporates the social play aspects, the Board Game is for you. It plays in a little over an hour and can accommodate up to 8 players.

Kobold Guide to Dungeon Mastering

Kobold Guide to Dungeon Mastering is a great tool for the novice and experienced Dungeon Master. It comes complete with over twenty essays by some of my favorite Dungeon Masters, including Brooklyn local - Stefan Pokorny. It covers everything from how to make players shine, dealing with TPKs (Total Party Kills), and even tips for long time Dungeon Masters!

Numenera Starter Set

Yes! I have been waiting to get this in! The Numenera Starter Set comes complete with a poster map and an adventure set in the Ninth World. It has 5 pre-generated characters and a set of dice. It even includes XP cards and GM intrusion cards - a Dungeon Master necessity when running the Cypher System. There is even a rules cheat sheet to get you off and running! I can’t wait to run this adventure! I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do.

The Big Book of Madness

Welcome to Wizarding School! It is your first year. Your professors gave you one warning, and of course your curiosity got the best of you. You and your friends snuck into the library searching for off limit spell books hoping to learn something more powerful than conjuring a flickering flame at the tips of your fingers. You stumbled across The Big Book of Madness and as soon as you opened it you let dozens of dreadful creatures out. You must now all work together to turn all the pages of the book and defeat the terrible monsters you just freed.
The Big Book of Madness is a wonderful cooperative game for 2-5 players and takes about an hour to play.

Back In Stock

Scythe Expansions

Scythe is the latest game from Stonemaier Games. It has been so well received that it has been hard to keep this game in stock. These expansions will go quick, so get your copy while supplies last! Invaders from Afar adds two new factions, Albion and Togawa. It also provides the ability to play with up to 6 - 7 players. These new factions come complete with player mats and minis and offer distinct styles of conquering.

The Board Extension slides next to the back side of the standard game board, creating a complete board with 70% bigger hexes (the content is the same). All units and resources in Scythe are kept on the board, so the larger hexes provide more space. The standard game board is 624x818mm, and it grows to 818x939mm with this extension.

Scythe Custom Metal Coins are designed specifically for Scythe by artist Jakub Rozalski. The 80 coins include denominations of $1, $3, $5, $10, and $20.

King of Tokyo / New York Expansions

When you get together a publisher known for easy to learn robust games, like Iello, and one of the greatest game designers of all time, Richard Garfeild, outcomes King of Tokyo and King of New York.
Power Up! Tokyo with all new Evolution cards. These cards allow your monster to evolve, like giving Gigazaur’s Tail Sweep the ability to change one die to a 1 or 2 each turn. It also includes a new monster - Pandakai, a giant panda bear!

Power Up! New York allows you to mix monsters to compete for supremacy over Tokyo. Like Tokyo, New York also introduces new Evolution cards and a new challenger joins the fray - Mega Shark!

Halloween Tokyo comes with six orange & black dice, new Evolution cards, Power cards, and all new Costume cards, plus an exclusive promo card for King of New York. Costumes can be worn by monsters to give them powerful effects, but beware, any monster can rip your costume off with a roll of three claws. If all of this wasn’t awesome enough, Halloween Tokyo also introduces 2 new monsters - Pumpkin Jack and Boogey Woogey!

Join us for this month's SPOTLIGHT Saturday May 20th at 1pm - 5pm!

Rise of the Dungeon Master

Book Signing
Written by David Kushner and illustrated by Koren Shadmi, RISE OF THE DUNGEON MASTER tells the story of Gary Gygax and the creation of Dungeons & Dragons in comic book form. Like the game itself, the narrative casts the reader into the adventure from a first person point of view, taking on the roles of the different characters in the story. Based on David Kushner’s 2008 Wired profile of Gary Gygax and exclusive interviews with both Gygax and co-creator Dave Arneson before they died, RISE OF THE DUNGEON MASTER is the remarkable story of one of the most influential games ever created.

Dungeons & Dragons

Play an original Gary Gygax D&D Adventure - Tomb of Horrors.
Twenty Sided Store Dungeon Master Chris Wood has prepared a gauntlet style adventure that is beginner friendly and novice approved!

Meet The Creators!

David Kushner is an award-winning journalist and author of many books, including three on gaming: Masters of Doom, Jonny Magic and the Card Shark Kids, and Jacked: The Outlaw Story of Grand Theft Auto. A contributing editor of Rolling Stone and the 2016 Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University, Kushner has written for GQ, the New Yorker, the New York Times, and elsewhere. Rise of the Dungeon Master is based on his 2008 Wired profile of Gary Gygax and extensive interviews with both Gygax and Dave Arneson—Dungeons & Dragons’ co-creators—before they died.

Koren Shadmi is an American Israeli cartoonist and illustrator. His graphic novels have been published internationally, and include In the Flesh, The Abaddon, Mike’s Place, and Love Addict: Confessions of a Serial Dater. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Mother Jones, Village Voice, Playboy, Washington Post, Wired, and elsewhere. Koren’s work has won several awards at the Society of Illustrators. He teaches illustration at the School of Visual Arts in New York.

Find Dave & Koren on Twitter: @davidkushner @KorenShadmi

Check out the Rolling Stone, Interview and Feature, 5/11

RSVP Now!
Book Signing, Drinks & Snacks, D&D!

This week on Tune In Today, we've got a selection of big games funded by Kickstarter, as well as the return of some old favorites. So strap in, because we're starting right away with a doozy.

NEW GAMES

In the Name of Odin

By the Hammer of Thor! In the Name of Odin, the Jarl has passed with no heir, and as an ambitious Viking, you eye the throne for yourself. In order to earn the favor of Odin and become the new Jarl, you'll need to earn fame by going on raids and recruiting Viking heroes to your side. At its heart, this set-collecting game promises to be fast, full of strategy, and have you reaching for the nearest flagon when its all over.

Vast: The Crystal Caverns

Ever since Bilbo met Smaug, fantasy has had no shortage of slumbering dragons and immense treasure hordes to steal. But in Vast: the Crystal Caverns, you don't just play as the stalwart hero looking to slay the beast; you can also play as the dragon. Or the goblin hordes that live in the cave. Or the cave itself! There are many ways to play, and in the end, there can be only one winner.

Via Nebula

Okay, so imagine you're playing a game of Catan, but the board is covered in Fog of War, and in order to win, you have to clear a path through the mists and gather the resources needed to build buildings across the map. Sounds like fun! Via Nebula is a mash-up of resource management (like Catan), kingdom building (like Lords of Waterdeep), and board strategy (like Mage Knight) that can be played in an hour and is easy to get into.

BACK IN STOCK

Captain Sonar

I saw a demo of Captain Sonar during our last Board Game Social, and I was impressed by just the board! It takes the concept of Battleship and makes it into a team game. Players take on the different roles in two submarines as they stalk each other in a game where you're never quite sure if you're the cat, or the mouse.

The Networks

Returning to the airwaves is khttp://networksgame.tv/, a game about calculated risks and rewards in the cutthroat world of television programming. Made by local designer Gil Hova, it's a game that is definitely ready for prime-time.

The Resistance Expansions

I've played a few games of The Resistance, and come to one conclusion: that I'm a terrible liar. But if you've played more games than me and are looking to add something extra to your play, The Resistance offers three different expansions: Hidden Agenda, The Plot Thickens, and Hostile Intent. Each of these expansions comes with three modules offering different ways to betray your friends. Good luck!

It seems like just yesterday and a lifetime of memories since we opened our doors. We've had celebrities, independent game designers, dedicated game masters, loyal staff, and a relentless community make Twenty Sided Store what it is today. We are proud to have successfully built a haven that feels like home to so many people and continues to bring humanity together. Thanks for the past six years! - Lauren & Luis

TUNE IN TODAY

New Games

MTG Duel Deck: Mind vs. Might

The new Magic the Gathering Duel Deck attempts to answer an age-old question: which is better? Wits and Cunning or Brute Strength? Choose your side and dominate the battlefield with barbarian hordes or clever instants and sorceries. Also, Storm is back!!!

Munchkin X-Men

Welcome to Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters! Players work their way to the top of the class by allying with famous mutants like Storm, Cyclops, and Wolverine, joining powerful X-Affiliations, and taking on foes like Sabertooth, Mystique, and Magneto. Climb from Level 1 to Level 10 (it is still Munchkin, after all) and become the next savior of mutantkind!

Smash Up: What Were We Thinking?

For the tenth expansion of Smash Up, AEG decided to get... weird. Four new factions come in the box: Teddybears, Grandmas, Rockstars, and Explorers, oh my!

D&D: Tales from the Yawning Portal

Step up to the bar and hear a story of far-away lands and deadly perils. Tales from the Yawning Portal features adaptations of seven classic D&D dungeons updated to 5th Edition. Whether your an old-school gamer looking to re-live past glory or visiting for the first time, there's always a seat for you at the Yawning Portal. (And yes, it has Tomb of Horrors, and that makes me very happy.)

Designers and Dragons: The '70s

Speaking of classic D&D, this awesome book by Shannon Appelcine chronicles the history of the game companies and designers credited with creating the role-playing game as we know it today. Learn the backstory behind TSR, Chaosium, GDW and many more, and see how the RPG grew from a wargaming off-shoot to the most prominent game genres in the industry. A must-have for any game historian or gamer interested in the old-school.

Netrunner Data Pack: Station One

The second in the Red Sand cycle continues the story of Corps vs. Runners on the red planet, Mars. With resources dwindling, both Runners and Corporations will have to do more with less, and contend with with powerful Clans, whose loyalty can be very fickle at times.

King of Tokyo/New York Monster Pack: Cthulhu

You knew this was coming, but iELLO couldn't release it until the stars were right. The first in a series of Monster Pack expansions to the King of... line brings the Old One of Note into your game, complete with evolutions (if you have the Power Up expansion), cultists, and ways to drive the other monsters insane.

Back in Stock

The Bloody Inn

Welcome back to the Bloody Inn, where times are tough and you'll get rich over your guests' dead bodies. Careful planning and ruthless ambition are what you'll need to stay wealthy and avoid prison.

Jim Henson's Labyrinth

This game has been out of print for a while, but it's finally back. I'm still really impressed by the quality of the minis and the design of the labyrinth itself. Perfect if you're a fan of the movie, or want to live out those Bowie fantasies.

Unpainted D&D Minis

With the new D&D book out, there's no better time to get some minis for the start of a new campaign! We just got a huge restock of Reaper Bones and the excellent new line of unpainted minis from WizKids. Both are pre-primed, ready for custom painting, and perfect for your next tabletop encounter.