After a couple weeks of review articles, we are back to some more resources for all you DMs and GMs out there. Today’s resources though are for role-playing practice and fun, though, and are useful for the player’s as much, if not more so, than you DMs. A while back I shared some card games and board games that are great for role-players. Today I have a couple more, and I wanted to stick to the theme of games that put you into a role. The first two are deception games that, I think, are great tools for developing your role-playing skills. The last game is more co-operation based and, as I argued before, those are some of the best games to play with your group.
Resistance (Indie Boards And Cards)
I really love playing this game. I warn you though, develop your poker face and your non-verbal communication skills! Of course, you can use the game to do this, and that is why I have included it. But if you play this a few time and don’t develop these skills, well, it’s probably a good idea to keep those persuasion and deception skills high at the table. So, Resistance. This is a deception based card game with two teams. The only problem is that only one team knows who is on which team. Each game, one to three players(depending on number of people playing) are secretly assigned as moles within the resistance, trying to break it down. There is a moment when everyone closes their eyes, these folks open theirs (finding out who are government operatives), and then we begin playing. Now the group must undergo missions to bring down the government. People take turns deciding who goes on this mission, with everyone convincing them why they should go and when chosen the group votes.
Once a group is decided upon, each player on the mission secretly votes success or failure. Only the moles can vote failure (so they have to end up on missions) and it takes just one failure to lose the mission. Should too many missions fail, the resistance fails and the secret operatives win. If you haven’t gathered why you should play this yet, it is all about talking to each other. You may be lying, you may not be. How do you convince someone your not a traitor? How do you make sure you end up on missions if you are, or if your aren’t? The greatest strength is the non-verbal communication when you’re on the secret operative team. This is very helpful when arguing with NPCs and either lying to them or telling a story without all the parts, among other things. It also has the skill of saying something and meaning something else too. Basically, you need to play this game for both the great fun of it and to help you develop skills you may not realize you needed at the table.
One Night Ultimate Werewolf (Bezier Games, Inc.)
This is another card game where there is a secret team seeking to subvert the rest of the game. In this case you are a werewolf trying not to get burned at the stake for your transgressions. If you play this, grab the app that goes with it. The narration of who opens their eyes when is super helpful, as there are multiple groups who do this, and doing each part in turn is important. This game is incredibly quick, especially with the app. Basically there are many roles, and each one can manipulate the role cards of the villagers and the players in different way. You can only ever see your own role when you first get it, but that role may change. You have to make your decision on what should go where based on what you know early on, which isn’t a lot. Once all of this has happened you have a short period to discuss with one-another who the werewolf must be (where the werewolf card is located). This may or may not be a player, but can you trust everyone? So you must assume you still are what you are, but maybe the drunk switched two. And maybe that doesn’t matter, but maybe now no one can be sure because you lied to try and reveal the werewolf. Maybe YOU are the werewolf! It is a game not just of deception, but accidental deception and misdirection. This game will help you learn how not deceive someone, because doing so can just make you confuse a situation or lead yourself to some form of blame.
Pandemic (ZMan Games)
I have mentioned this game, a few times now. And I have neglected to play the Legacy Edition for months now. Nevertheless, I suggest you play this as a game group. For some more information on the game itself check this out. The game is cooperative and, as I have said, these are great for the group. It is especially great that the game has roles with special abilities, like other games I have mentioned. This puts you in a position of thinking tactically and strategically as you try to work out how best to compliment each other and plan multiple moves ahead. While also being ready for things to go horribly wrong. Pandemic teaches you these skills, and also teaches you how to deal with ever-more-difficult situations. In D&D, and like games, some situations just descend into near-TPK disasters. Pandemic can help you deal with that, though I have to say it doesn’t teach you how to run away (that’s not an option in Pandemic), which is a viable strategy in D&D. All in all, this game is a challenging game you can play together to increase you group planning and cooperativeness.