Twenty Sided Store

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Dungeon Master's Day Off

Give your Dungeon Master a break!

As Dungeon Master Appreciation Month 2017 comes to a close, we turn our attention to roleplaying games that do not require a Dungeon Master (DM) to play.

Dungeon Masters spend so much time prepping our games to spin stories and introduce us to memorable places and characters each week that we forget that they are players at the table too.

DMs love to create so much that they take on a lot of work and often forget to take a break. Every now and again, even the DM deserves the relatively carefree life of a player! Give your DM an opportunity to refresh their creative juices by returning some of those enjoyable offerings at the table.

Don't worry! I am not asking you to take on Dungeon Master responsibilities in order to give this gift to your DM. There are so many great RPGs out there that don't require a DM. Such games benefit from collaboration and improvisation from each player equally because they don't require an all knowing Dungeon Master to lead the game.

My TOP 5 List!

In reverse order, the top five DM-less RPGs recommended to give your favorite Dungeon Master a day off!

5 - Misspent Youth

Set in a dystopian future, in Misspent Youth you play as teenagers who rebel against the Authority. There are so many ways a group can go with this setup! Generate the dystopian future you would most like to play in by collaborating with your fellow players on who the Authority consists of, how they oppress society, and what their goals are. Create kick-ass heroes who struggle against the Authority and then play out scenes as the rebellious youngsters try to take down the system. A very cathartic proposition!

4 - Atomic Robo

Based on the popular, quirky, and hilarious graphic novels, Atomic Robo is all about ACTION SCIENCE! Play as an immortal robot or an action scientist from any era or dimension you can think. Engage in pulp action adventure as you battle aliens, cyborgs, intelligent noble gasses, travel through time, ride dinosaurs, and any other wild idea your group can think up. Create your heroes, decide who the antagonists are and in which era, then play out gonzo scenes of science fiction fantasy!

3 - Monsterhearts

Think Monster High. Yup, you in Monsterhearts play as a teenage monster confronted with their burgeoning sexuality, desire for their peers, and the (in)compatibilities of monstrous anatomies. Players put their characters' hearts & souls through the ringer as they explore what it truly means to be monstrous. Yes, this game would be best for more mature audiences who want to explore the whirlwind of feelings, discovery, and heartbreak that adolescents experience in high school. But with fangs.

2 - Kingdom

The Kingdom can be anywhere, any time, and made up of any society you can imagine. Want to play as a group of settlers in the mythic American West? How about astroid miners in a far off solar system? Undead creatures who've haunted a theme park? Kingdom concerns itself with the challenges a society faces as it exists, how those challenges are overcome, and what repercussions those decisions have on the kingdom itself. Players take on different abstract societal roles such as Perspective & Power that are expressed through their character's actions and reactions. A night of gaming could span centuries in a kingdom as time goes by or just one day as the kingdom falls into ruin or anarchy.

1 - Fiasco

If you haven't heard of Fiasco, think of a Cohen Brothers film: odd characters in quirky settings, farcical, mysteries and betrayals, as well as a good dose of murder and mayhem. In terms of flexibility, simplicity, and approachability you really can't find a better DM-less game out there.

Whereas the rest of the list asks players to come up with their own playgrounds, Fiasco provides Playsets in whatever genre you're interested in. Whereas the rest of the list often leaves the onus for scene resolution on the narrative timing of the players, Fiasco forces resolutions through it's rules so the players don't have to do all "narrative heavy lifting". Fiasco even has an elegant conclusion mechanic where every player rolls on a chart to figure out how the story ends for their character.

Until Next Year!

As DM Appreciation Month comes to a close, make sure to thank your DM for all they do to make your games great. They would no doubt love a bit of thoughtfulness in return. Thank you, Dungeon Masters!

Also Check out my podcast, Bored Ghost, where we play DM-less games like Fiasco!

Tune In Today | The Game's Afoot!

This Tune in Today will take you from the foggy streets of Victorian London, to the libraries of Miskatonic University, to Sunnyvale and even back to the arcade. Grab your deerstalker hats and your magnifying glasses, because this week at Twenty Sided Store, we have a ton of games to satisfy the sleuth in you.

NEW GAMES

Holmes: Sherlock and Mycroft This two-player game pits the Holmes brothers against each other as they work a case from different angles. Sherlock and Mycroft spend their turns conducting interviews and using the clues gained to gather evidence. Despite the mystery theme, this is a strategy game at heart. Make the right move and take the right cards and you’ll prove yourself the cleverest Holmes in London.

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Jack the Ripper & West End Adventures Consulting Detective: Jack the Ripper & West End Adventures, and the Sherlock Holmes frontrunner for the 2017 Longest Title award, puts 1-2+ players in London and Whitechapel to solve ten new cases. Six of these cases, the West End Adventures are stand-alone and can be played in any order. The other four form a campaign where players chase down and try to stop the Jack the Ripper murders. Complete with new maps, newspapers, and case books, Jack the Ripper & West End Adventures is a stand-alone game perfect for veteran Consulting Detective players and newcomers to the series.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a co-op game where players assume the roles of the Buffy protagonists, moving around the town of Sunnyvale and killing monsters. Each game features three Monster of the Week enemies that the players must defeat before facing off against a Big Bad (final boss). While I’m not a huge fan of the TV show, I do love me a good co-op game, and I can definitely see the influences of some great games here, namely Arkham Horror and Pandemic.

Call of Cthulhu: Keeper Cards The mysteries of the cosmos need be a mystery no longer. Chaosium has unearthed the forbidden knowledge of R’lyeh and presents it to daring Call of Cthulhu Keepers (game masters) in the form of four decks: Curious Characters (NPCs), Phobias, Unfortunate Events, and Weapons and Artifacts. Now you no longer have to know the effects of xanthophobia or how many rounds a .303 Lee Enfield rifle holds. Use these to provide important information to your players, or inspire your next game.

NecronomiCards Keeping the Cthulhu train going is NecronomiCards, a new game from Kickstarter that we just got in store. NecronomiCards is a fast-paced, set-matching game where players must play three sets of eldritch symbols to summon horrible creatures from Lovecraftian and religious lore. Each of the summoned creatures hinders your opponents in some way, making it harder for them to summon their creatures. The first player to summon seven creatures wins the game.

Small World Expansion: River World River World is an expansion for Small World that sets the game on a coastal map. Each turn, in addition to dealing with the other players, you’ll have to contend with the random events that take place in River World, such as bad weather, a harsh winter, or worse, pirates.

New York Slice This is a first for me - a game that looks good enough to eat! New York Slice, an I-Split-You-Choose game with set collection elements, chefs divide up a pie and let players chose which slices they want to take. If you have the most of one type of slice, you score its points at the end of the game. But if your slice has pepperoni on it, you can also choose to eat it now and score points immediately. Just, do yourself a favor and play it after you have dinner.

Dungeons & Dragons: Assault of the Giants Assault of the Giants is the newest D&D Board Game. It follows the story of Storm King’s Thunder. The Ordning is no more, and each of the giant races of the world seek to find themselves atop the giants’ hierarchy. The players take the role of the giant races of Faerun and march across the land, gathering resources, attacking villages (and each other), and pursuing their unique story events to earn Orning Points and win the game. And if you’ve played or read Storm King’s Thunder, you’ll get a kick out of how well the game incorporates the events of the story into play.

Above and Below Above and Below is a game about settlement-building both above and below ground. Above ground, you spend gold to improve your village and attract new villagers. Below ground, you send villagers to explore the caverns and deal with random encounters in a choose-your-adventure book. Whoever manages their village (and the risk) the best wins.

Talisman Expansion: Harbinger In The Harbinger Expansion for Talisman (4th Edition), players have to contend with the coming Apocalypse. “Harbinger” adds four Omen decks into play, as well as the prophetical Harbinger. As the game progresses, encountering the Harbinger may yield good results for the player, or force the player to draw Omen cards, hastening the end of the world (and the game).

The D-Holder There’s no roleplaying game that isn’t improved by a Beholder, and I’m including games like Ryuutama in that. So, Bronx artist and Dungeons & Dragons fan Daniel Burgos created the D-Holder, an homage to everyone’s favorite tyrannical aberration. Each D-Holder is sculpted and cast by hand, and comes unpainted for your own artistic expression.

8-Bit Dice: Space Invaders Give your d6s some added geek cred by replacing the pips with Space Invaders. Oh, the memories….

Back in Stock

Pit Deluxe Pit Deluxe, the classic game of commodities trading is back in stock. Turn your home into the floor of the NYSE as you shout your trades and try to corner the market on your commodities and ring the bell. Added bonus: losing this game won’t tank your 401k.

February is Dungeon Master Appreciation Month

To honor and highlight that very important player at the table, who week after week organizes your games and leads you on epic adventures, February has been pronounced Dungeon Master Appreciation Month by Wizards of the Coast since 2009, 8 years now!

Shelly Mazzanoble first celebrated the yearly appreciation of Dungeon Masters in an article published in Wired Magazine.

Since the mid-nineteen nineties, I have enjoyed being a Dungeon Master (DM). Running games like Dungeons & Dragons has become a big part of my life.

My first DM-ing experience was a far cry from the best - I didn't know all the rules, I had problem players - but I didn't give up! After many years playing, I picked up tips and gained experience until DM-ing became the highlight of my day.

If you're looking to appreciate your DM this month, check out these five mystical items that helped me along the way... and let's celebrate all those new DMs out there!

1. Published Adventures

I wrote my first adventure, and while I'm glad I was creative, a published adventure module written by an experienced world builder would have really been more helpful. Dungeons & Dragons, Star Wars RPG, and 13th Age have published adventures by some amazing writers.

2. Dungeon Master's Screen

Keep it secret, Keep it safe! A Dungeon Master's screen can hide a DMs tricks and surprises, as well as keep information, reminders, and rules handy. Almost every game system has a published DM screen, or you can customize your own with the World's Greatest DM Screen.

3. Dice Rollers

Being able to roll one's dice in a leather cup with a secure top and then dump them out on the table has a fun feel to it. Bounce the dice off the wall of a tray, or drop down a dice tower - combining dice rollers with the fate of the player's character makes using dice that much more enjoyable.

4. Battlemat & Minis

Being able to draw abstract maps or build a landscape with Dwarven Forge dungeon tiles adds so much dimension to the gaming table. Adding minis to represent the Player's Characters and the Monsters helps to gain perspective in a situation that might have a lot of obstacles. I definitely wish I started my Dungeon Master career with at least a battlemat and set of pens.

5. Food & Snacks

Bringing your Dungeon Master their favorite snacks will keep them happy and energized throughout your game. Food could be the difference between succeeding in that negotiation with the Goblin King or a TPK (Total Party Kill). Your DM probably spent all day prepping for your game and forgot to eat - Help them out!

Happy Dungeon Master Appreciation Month!

Tune In Today : Great Games for Kids!

Twenty Sided Store has a massive stock of games to keep your family busy! All of our latest spotlights are kid-friendly and have a wide variety of difficulty levels and learning curves to keep the whole family entertained.

Adventure Time Card Wars

Adventure Time Adventure Time makes its way to competitive card games with Adventure Time Card Wars. Inspired by an episode where Jake convinces Finn to play his favorite card game, the game utilizes two competitive decks where 2 players cast spells and summon creatures to reduce the opponent's hit points to 0. Adventure Time Card Wars is a great gift for any fan of the show, and is rated ages 10+.

NADA!

Nada! Nada! is a simple, fast-paced dice grabbing game. A group of people rolls at least 12 6-sided dice, and quickly searches for matching faces and colors. Nada! is rated ages 7+, but is a unique, exciting game for anyone that can handle the rivalries that are sure to form.

Sushi Draft

Sushi Draft Sushi Draft is a vibrant card drafting game. The goal is to collect as many matching sushi cards as you can, with bonus points for adding variety to your plate! The colorful cards, simple gameplay, and emphasis on numbers and math make this a great fit for young minds.

Brave Rats

Brave Rats Brave Rats is a quick, easy to learn card war game where two factions of rat clans face off. Higher number cards win over lower numbers, but every card has an ability that can quickly change the tide of the game. Brave Rats is very much a game of luck, making it an exciting, quick game for any age.

Ring It!

Ring It! Ring It! is a fast paced card matching game that can host as many as 9 players. Everyone is dealt an upside-down hand, and reveals cards one at a time until a match is made. The first person to notice the matching set must quickly clap and ring the bell to claim their points. Ring It! is rated ages 5+, and the high player count and convenient travel-ready case make it a great fit for the whole family.

Attila

Attila Attila is a new board domination game where two players take the role of Attila the Hun or Roman soldiers. Each player takes turns moving their pieces around a modular, customizable map. After each turn, the player picks a space of earth to scorch so that no piece can land there. Whoever can no longer move any of their pieces loses. This exciting strategy game is rated 7+, but is sure to be fun for all ages.

D&D Rock Paper Wizard

Dungeons & Dragons: Rock, Paper, Wizard Dungeons & Dragons: Rock, Paper, Wizard is essentially Rock, Paper, Scissors, but with fantasy twist that can only come from Dungeons & Dragons. Players take the role of wizards who are facing off in order to claim the most of a dragon's hoard of gold. Several cards with various spells depicting hand gestures are rotated in and out, and players must strategically mimic them in order to set their opponents back and further away from the gold. Rock, Paper, Wizards has somewhat of a learning curve, and is a great fit for anyone who's into serious RPG and fantasy games and is looking for a whimsical twist.

Fluxx

Fluxx Fluxx is a game that's always changing. Each turn, up to 6 players draw a card and then play one from their hand. These games change the very rules of the game, and what might look like a new victory can quickly turn upside-down. A player wins when they have met the requirements of a current "Goal" card. Fluxx is a great party game for all ages, and with a variety of franchise expansions like Regular Show and Monty Python, everyone is sure to find something they love. ((What expansions do we have available? Only the base set?))

Kaboom

Kaboom! Kaboom is a crazy, hectic, build-and-destroy game that has players attempting to construct towers amidst their friends trying to tear them down. Each turn, the "Master Architect" attempts to build as many structures as they can, limited only by time and the matching color and shaped blocks that are required. This is another game that's great for kids (6+), but is sure to be a riot with any crowd.

MTG Launch | Aether Revolt

Join us this weekend for the LAUNCH of the latest Magic : The Gathering Set, AETHER REVOLT!

ON SALE Friday 1/20 @ Noon
Aether Revolt Singles

Place your order now, pick up as early as Friday at noon.
Check out the Spoilers.

Aether Revolt Booster Boxes $104.99

Purchase a box and get a Scrap Trawler Promo Card*
(*while supplies last, one per customer)

Aether Revolt Bundle $39.99

Comes with 10 Booster Packs, 80ct. Basic Land Brick, Spindown Die, and a sweet full art storage box.

Events

MTG Launch | Aether Revolt Sealed

Open 6 Booster Packs and build a 40-card limited deck. Pairings will be swiss, 3 rounds.
All participants will get Quicksmith Promo Card.
SIGN UP NOW!

MTG Launch | Aether Revolt All Day DRAFT

$12 Door Registration Only Pods fire every 8 players starting at 1pm
Single Elimination
Prize Packs can be used to pay for additional drafts*
(*same day only) More Details on our Event Calendar.