Review: Miskatonic School for Girls

A few weeks ago, during the Avacyn Restored Prerelease, I picked up some deck-building games I’ve been looking at for a while: Quarriors (technically a dice-bag-building game), Tanto Cuore, and Miskatonic School for Girls. I intend to review all of them in the coming weeks, but Luke Peterschmidt’s Miskatonic is the one I’ve had the opportunity to play the most.

NOTE: While the game is for 2–4 players, I’ve only managed to rope one other person into playing each time I’ve had a chance. I intend to revisit this review when I’ve had a chance to play multiplayer. The rules are only slightly different, in that two Faculty Members are removed from the deck in a 2-player game.

The Premise

The Miskatonic School for Girls is home to some of the brightest young minds! Unfortunately the staff members are all foul servants of the Great Old Ones! It is your job to help your House combat these terrible beings, while maintaining a grasp on your fleeting sanity. The last one to be left sane wins!

One of the most intriguing aspects of Miskatonic is the ability to build your opponents’ decks. Not only do you buy students to bolster your own House’s abilities, but you constantly throw Faculty Members at your opponents in order to deplete their sanity.

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D&D Next: First Impressions

I like it.

Those aren’t easy words to write. I’ve had a few issues with the way Wizards of the Coast has handled the roll-out of the latest edition. The Legends & Lore articles have been lackluster at best, frustrating at their worst.

Sometimes a thing can be greater than the sum of its parts. Now that the playtest document is (metaphorically) in my hands, the nature of the thing is present. I have played every edition of Dungeons & Dragons since 2nd, and leapt without hesitation to each new iteration of the rules. They haven’t been perfect, and I found myself burned out over time. The energy of a new edition, it seems, inspires me once again.

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Ryuutama – Minstrel

Ryuutama is a Japanese role-playing game that focuses on a group of companions travelling through various landscapes, encountering strange and fantastic places, and forging connections with others. There is combat, but it is not the main point of the game, nor is the traditional dungeon-delve of many adventuring RPGs.

As it happens, I know some Japanese, and I am working on a translation of the freely-available Player Summary. It is not a complete rules set, unfortunately, but it offers some insight into Ryuutama‘s systems and goals. Below, I’ve included a (rough) translation of the Minstrel, one of the seven classes in the game. The other classes include the Merchant, Healer, Hunter, Craftsperson, Farmer, and Noble.

I hope you enjoy! The details are after the cut!

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Patience with Polyhedrals

Recently, Liz over at Character Generation posted about her struggles with “geek cred.” This is, sadly, still a very real issue women face in gaming.

I have been fortunate enough to game with a diverse cast of individuals over the years. Yet I can understand the trepidation that comes when you have to admit you might not know the details of a particular rule. You see, I have my own biases, and Liz’s post made me think about them.

I taught myself how to play Dungeons & Dragons when I was nine years old. Just a year later, I had several Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition books (as it turned out that was the edition on sale in stores) and was teaching my small circle of friends how to roleplay.

That’s good, right? Well, I’ve learned that I become frustrated with players whom I feel don’t grasp the rules. After all, they’re right there in the damn book, and if you’d just sit down and read it like the rest of us—

I’m sure you see where that is going.

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