This week we had the opportunity to pick which game we wanted to play for the duration of the class period and I picked Lasers and Feelings along with some of my classmates. Lasers and Feelings is a super quick role-playing game, the back story is that we are a part of a crew in outer space exploring and consorting with friendly and deadly aliens. Our captain of the spaceship is unconscious because he has fallen ill due to some unknown cause so we are left to fend for ourselves. I had a lot of fun designing my character, I chose to be an android doctor called Metallica who is better with feelings (such as intuition, seduction, diplomacy, etc.) and has the primary goal of continuing to be awesome.
In our gaming session, the crew and I were able to explore an old ship that has been sending out distress signals for years. Upon arrival, we found the entire crew slaughtered and only one android present claiming to be the captain but really was a spy sent to destroy the earth realm. Despite my best efforts to avoid violence, several crew members used their laser guns and laser lightsabers to kill the android, safely return to our ship, and blow up the other bloody ship.
I would recommend this role-playing game to everyone because it is super fun, low maintenance, and easy to learn/follow. Anyone can play it and it can be adapted to match the age and maturity of the players. Another thing I like is that it is quick and you don’t have to worry about remembering what happened in the last session. My favorite part of the game was witnessing Ian being hilarious and a great roleplayer, he really gets into character and that’s when you have the best experience.
Last week, we didn’t have class so we wrapped up the final week of D&D. We didn’t get to finish the quest but my team and I killed a lot of goblins and wolves so I would say it was a pretty successful journey. There were lots of laughs and even a couple of plot twists like me killing a goblin who was just a father trying to provide for his family. I enjoyed role-playing and interacting with my fellow classmates, we already agreed that going through modules together maybe something we do this summer.
After class, we had a really good discussion on if leadership is a person, a process, a position, or a combination of all three and if it ever ends. JS brought up a very good point that there is no definitive definition of what leadership is and it will look different to different people but none of us are wrong. In my opinion, I believe that leadership is a combination of all of the above but mostly the person. Someone could be a leader to others even if they don’t have the “leadership position” or “title”. I also think that leadership is very subjective because it will look different depending on the situation, I could be a leader of two different groups and be authoritarian in one but democratic in the other. Furthermore, I believe that leadership never fully ends. You may have leaders that step-down or pass the position on to someone else but people will never stop looking up to that person or using them as guidance. One could even be a leader after death through their legacy.
Overall, I would still recommend this game to everyone I know because it never gets old since the players are in control of the plot and there are different stories to choose from. This game is one of my favorite role-playing games and is up there with Fiasco. I look forward to seeing what we play in class next week for Free play!
This week we played the popular roleplaying game Dungeons & Dragons. The setup consisted of five players using the free software Roll player and a standard 7 dice set. Js was our dungeon master who is leading us through the quest while also playing the adorable goblin named Magglub. My character is a high elf sorcerer who joined the quest because she was bored and wanted to prove to herself and her noble family that she can be independent. In my opinion, the hardest part of the game is the roleplaying aspect. I am completely new to D&D but learning how to use the dice set and roll is pretty easy to catch on to. I had trouble being vocal at my party and just being vulnerable and willing to have fun. I think part of that issue stems from being shy and it’s harder to engage in conversation through zoom than in person. I’m playing with friends in class so I think next week I’ll try harder to bounce off of their dialogue and make the game even more interesting.
I recommended the game to my brother because I feel like if anyone I know would be interested in D&D it’s him. My family is religious and aren’t comfortable with the whole magic aspect and are also put off by the stereotypes that surround roleplaying games. When I asked my brother if he wanted to play with me sometime he said “isn’t that like a nerdy game”. I replied that it didn’t have to be and that D&D isn’t what he thinks it is like the nerdy group of friends in Stranger Things playing in their basement. He’s open to the idea so we will see what happens.
I think some leadership aspects of the game include when certain characters sort of taking charge of the party and help guide the narrative or where the quest takes them next. I think it also has to do with the way you present your character and their behavior. In the game, I was much more aggressive and violent than I am in person, I took control of my alternate personality. I look forward to seeing more ways leadership has an influence on gaming in the upcoming weeks of D&D.
This week we played a game in TableTop simulator called “Ladies and Gentleman”, it is a cross between a card and role-playing game. If playing in TableTop simulator the game is already mostly set up, with everything the ladies need on one side of the table and the men on the other side. I played the role of the lady so I can only explain the game from that perspective. On the lady’s side, we run a series of boutique shops and cleverly try to sell and buy nice items so that they can be the best dressed at the ball. After several rounds of visiting different boutique shops and selecting various articles of clothing, jewelry or purses the lady will present her findings to her husband. The husband then decides whether he can afford to pay it or not and tries to make the choice that will benefit the couple the most.
I think the hardest part of the game was strategizing because all the ladies are trying to buy the best things with the end goal of being the best dressed. I had to decide things like do I put the best purse up in my boutique window and hope it distracts the ladies while I go visit another shop or do I put the worst thing in the boutique window so no one comes and I get a discount on my purchases. Sadly, we didn’t get very far into the game before we had to end but from what I witnessed I enjoyed the game very much and would recommend it to my family. It has the potential to be interesting and have funny role-playing once everyone knows how to play and is comfortable in their character.
I think the biggest leadership ties this game has is that it requires strategy, for reasons I mentioned above and because it requires teamwork. Winning the game will be difficult if players cannot communicate effectively and discretely with their partner on the other side of the table. A gentleman signaling to his wife to slow down on the purchases because they are low on funds or to let loose and buy whatever she wants without alerting the other players is key.
To build an RPG character sheet that described my real-life leadership attributes I used the Dungeon and Dragons template. This was probably one of the more harder assignments for me because I lack experience creating these sheets and didn’t really understand the point system at all. However, I was able to receive and help and advice from two other classmates so hopefully, I’ve done it correctly!
My favorite part of the assignment was the amount of creativity and free reign I had designing my sheet. I enjoyed that I got to rank things like my strengths and personality traits but the thing I most enjoyed was probably the fact that this was an opportunity to brag about all my leadership traits and experiences. Designing your own Character Build is kind of like designing your resume because it’s how you will present yourself in the world! Overall, I think my character sheet is an accurate representation of who I am as both a person and leader.
For the BuzzFeed assignment, I created a personality quiz that would determine the leadership style that best fits the participant and tells them the corresponding Meeple color. For example, if someone has a democratic leadership style then their results would be the blue meeple. I think all gamers should take a leadership quiz similar to this one because being aware of one’s leadership style can improve everyone’s gaming experience.
I think the hardest part of the assignment was figuring out how to use the quiz software/template and coming up with variable answers so that those who took the quiz didn’t get all the same results. My favorite part of the assignment was definitely receiving everyone’s results and their opinions on what they got. In general, everyone agreed with their colored meeple so my quiz was fairly accurate overall. Something that could be improved upon is increasing the number of questions so that the results are clearer.
I designed a Fiasco playset (with the help of my father) that was based on the popular Netflix series, the Peaky Blinders. I think the hardest part of the assignment was both the duration of how long it would take to complete and coming up with things like relationships and locations that weren’t too specific or too vague. Creating different six groups of six is harder than you would think. It was very tedious to make sure that none of the relationships or other categories were repetitive and made sense in the overall them of the game.
When creating my own playset I used both the playsets already programmed into TableTopia and other fan-created fiasco sets to give me a sense of the different directions I could guide my game to go. I submitted my assignment in the form of a google doc template but I’m looking forward to finding a way that my family can actually play it. My favorite part was designing something I knew my family would enjoy and could potentially get them hooked on Fiasco. There’s a possibility I may create more playsets in the future because Fiasco is the best game we have played so far in class
This week in class we played two relatively quick games, Incan Gold and Can’t Stop. Incan Gold is a multiplayer card game that is perfect for those that love to take risks and push their luck. To play you shuffle the deck and someone deals by flipping over a card revealing either a trap or treasure. Each player then splits the treasure they gain and then on the count of three everyone decides whether or not they want to push their luck and continue deeper into the temple for more treasure and artifacts or bail out with whatever they had. Can’t Stop is a mixture between a dice and a board game because you roll the dice to move your pawns on the board and the goal is to take over three columns. However, it is also a kind of risky game because if you don’t roll the numbers you need you cannot complete your turn and it is a race between other players.
The hardest part of Incan Gold was trying to maintain a realistic and logical mindset because similar to poker the game becomes addictive really fast and you begin not to carefully weigh out the risk to benefit ratio when playing. One of the players in my group constantly played it safe while the rest of us kept risking our loot in the hopes of gaining more, because of this the safe player ended up winning both of the rounds we played. So I definitely need to work on my strategy for that game! The hardest part of Can’t Stop was trying to be present while playing because I did not like this game at all. It’s basically just a math and chance game with no story or plotline and because it was boring I didn’t care whether I won or lost which is not something you want when playing. I would recommend Incan Gold to everyone and Can’t Stop to maybe my grandparents if I had to.
I think the two biggest leadership aspects in this week’s games would be decisiveness and integrity. For example, In Incan Gold, all the players need to decide at the same time if they are bailing or continuing deeper into the temple. If you cannot demonstrate the ability to make decisions under extreme pressure you cannot be a great leader and you are also not helping maintain the easy playing flow of the game. A clear example of integrity can be found once again in Incan Gold, everyone wants to win and I witnessed players make their decisions based upon what they thought another player was going to do. One player in my group made the decision to bail out because he knew the player who always played it safe was going to do that as well and in doing this he would ensure that no one got the treasures. Some would argue that it was simply strategy but I would argue that it calls your character into question when you would knowingly choose to lose just to stop someone from winning or gaining more from an opportunity than you.
This week we finished up our game of Fiasco and completed what the game calls the “aftermath”. In order to determine what path your character ends on, each player must add up the number of dice they have. Then depending on their sum and whether it was mostly white die “good” or red die “bad” they can red the aftermath cards and determine how good or painful of an ending their character gets. My character had a higher sum of the red die so my ending wasn’t as happy as I thought it was going to be because I got “rough”. Basically, I needed to come up with something bad that happens to my character so that they remember it as a lasting lesson. To do that I played off of what my “lover” in the game did and since we were cuddled up in the middle of the desert I had a rattlesnake bite me and had to have my foot amputated. All of which sucked but compared to the other players wasn’t that bad and I still ended up with my lover.
After we finished the game we wrapped up the class talking about some leadership skills such as beliefs, values, morals, and ethics. I thought it was interesting how we discussed where we learn which leadership skills apply to us while growing up. In my opinion, I think our leadership skills are highly influenced by our family/friends, school, and religion if we have one. The perspective that having integrity is not always a good thing came as a surprise to me. When I think of having integrity it seems like an inherently good thing, like we are honest and steadfast to our beliefs. However, if those beliefs and ideals that we hold could be evil ones thus making one’s integrity a bad thing.
The class discussion then prompted me to think about how my own beliefs, values, morals, and ethics were reflected in my gameplay. I think in the beginning I definitely tried to keep my character as similar to myself as possible but quickly learned that in Fiasco that is impossible and also makes for a boring plot. I then noticed how a switch occurred midway through the game when I started to make my character do and say things that I would not do in real life. It’s kinda scary how when presented with an opportunity with no real-life consequences we can choose to live vicariously through an imaginative character and be either the best or worse versions of ourselves. So what does it say about my integrity that I enjoyed playing a manipulative and deceitful wild west gangster?
This week we continued to play the role-playing game of Fiasco again and this time my team got through the tilt and next week we will be wrapping up with the aftermath. We were kind of thrown off track but the loss of one player who was absent this week and the inclusion of a new player. However, it was kind of a blessing in disguise because the new player transitioned into the group without a problem and really developed the character assigned to them. The tilt is the part in the game halfway through where the players with the most dice so far in the game get to add another category and make the game even crazier.
We decided to add two new tilt categories just because and they included role reversal and someone panics. I’d say that once again the hardest part of the game is being creative and coming up with an exciting plotline on the fly. There were moments where I felt inadequate because I thought the other players had much more fun things to say than I did. But we did hit our stride as a team and concluded the tilt with a dramatic flair.
I’d say empathy and the ability to inspire and convince others were the biggest leadership ties this week. Empathy played a key role in this week’s game because the reason we had a new player was that they did not feel welcome in their last group based upon the different identities they hold. So we as a group listened to this person, affirmed them, and then adjusted our RPG consent form so that everyone was felt safe and comfortable. The ability to inspire and convince others was the other leadership skill because those players that had that ability were able to take over the story so that it kept developing and moving forward, we were all able to inspire each other’s scenes, and that lead to quite a Fiasco. I can’t way to see how it all gets resolved and ends in the Aftermath next week!