Last year at Fanexpo I talked to many creators about the video games that they love to play. This year however (after being inspired by conversations that I had with creators), I wanted to bring things back to basics and talk about tabletop games. Tabletop games hold a special place in many creators’ hearts because of the social story-telling that happens while playing. I sat down with four different creators to discuss their favourite tabletop games.
Phil McClorey is the editor-in-chief and one of the writers of the terrifying book Horror in the West set to be released in October. One of his favourite games is the classic tabletop game Dungeons and Dragons (specifically 3rd edition or 3.5). He says, “3.5 is really smooth in terms of game-play and it’s pretty easy to figure out how to play. It’s a great way to socialize and work on your creative skills, and I think that the Forgotten Realms campaign setting specifically is extremely rich. It provides an avenue to produce some really quality adventures and settings in which to immerse the characters.” After reading Horror in the West myself I think we can safely say that the book can provide interesting settings for a role-playing campaign itself. We will have to make this happen.
Yeah. We used this photo before. Wanna fight about it?
Next to McClorey sat Brian Evinou, an animator, artist, and contributor to Horror in the West. He explained to me that 2005’s dungeon-crawling epic table top game Descent is his classic gaming choice. Evinou explains (in his voice like rich chocolate), “Descent is a really great turn-based dungeon-crawler strategy hack-and-slash game. It’s a lot of fun and it comes with all these awesome little monster figures that you get to murder with your awesome heroes who also have awesome little models. Growing up, I was really into the Warhammer aesthetic but I could never afford to play the games because it was so expensive. Descent though is a one price thing and you get all those cool figures, it’s a bit more realistic financially I think. There’s also all these great additions that create a really big quest that can go on for like a hundred missions and you can continue to level up your character for a while.” It’s clear to see where Horror in the West got it’s amazing story concepts, from incredibly creative people honing their craft with dungeon crawling rpg’s.
Over on the other side of Artist Alley I spoke with Adam Gorham (illustrator) and Fred Kennedy (writer) from Teuton. Kennedy -without hesitation- explained to me the interesting world of the early 90’s board game HeroQuest. “My favourite board game,” he says, “and I begged and pleaded with my parents to get it for me was: HeroQuest. It was this massive board game that you could set up to look like different dungeons, and it came with little Orcs and little knights. There were four different playable characters: the Barbarian, the Elf, the Dwarf, and the Wizard. The Chaos Gargoyle was the main big bad guy in the game – it was awesome. The game came with dice with skulls and swords and shields on them rather than numbers; and if you got, say, three shields, that was a good block. It was really simple but you could do all kinds of different things with the game. Also each character had their own expansion pack as well, and there were other expansion packs for specialized villains and monsters – it was the best. The absolute best!”
Does this sword make my barbarian look too big?
Stumped for a board game that he grew up with, Gorham instead went the coy route saying “Board games? I don’t know, I’m sure there was a board game at some point in my life; but I was already instantly too cool for it. Like, it was probably Christmas and I opened up my gift and was like ‘Oh a board game’, and my innate manliness just crushed it… sooo sorry kids.” You know what? That could actually be a good game to play: people stand around a board game (for example, Monopoly) and just destroy it with shear machismo. Of course, Adam Gorham would win all the rounds if he was playing.