Author Archives: troknyat

Honey Heist

Honey Heist is a fun, one-page, one-shot RPG with a great story and a fun atmosphere. The group I played with was willing to step out of their comfort zones and become bears conducting a heist. It’s a great game to embrace the absurdity of its premise with, and to allow cartoon humor to run wild. The hardest part of the game is probably taking yourself seriously and immersing yourself in the absurdity of the role-play scenario, especially if you aren’t a bear, which I assume most players are not.

I think this is a great game for literally everyone. Everyone should play this game, even if they aren’t big on RPGs, it’s a great introduction to the roleplaying element of the game and it does a great job of being an entertaining concept to mess around with. It is probably not a great game for you if you’re a bear, because bears can’t necessarily talk.

This game is great for leadership, afterall, every heist team has different skills that need to be applied in the proper plan. This game allows for the players to work together to find the best plan that will definitely never go wrong, ever…ever. This game is great for teamwork, for improvisation and for a creative outlet.

Ladies and Gentlemen

Ladies and Gentlemen was an interesting take on representing identity in games, it allowed the players to step into the role of Victorian caricatures and through two different, but related gameplay loops attempt to outperform the other teams to be the richest guy and the prettiest girl at the ball. Overall, the loop of the ladies side of the game, the side that I was able to play, was fun and if not taken seriously this game has a lighthearted tone with very strong parody elements to its aesthetic and how it treats itself.

The hardest part of the game is trying to not only strategize with your partner,but also to take yourself seriously with such a silly premise and tone. With the limited communication between teammates until the purchasing stage of the game, the “lady” must not only think about what will score the most points but also what is affordable, while the “gentleman” needs to get as much “money” as possible to take advantage of the “lady’s” choices for the sake of scoring more points.

I think this game can work for any group of people that are comfortable with each other, I think part of the fun is playing into the silliness and that definitely works best when people are comfortable with one another. This game ties into leadership because of how it addresses and circumvents the idea of identity by making a mockery of the Victorian stereotypes it uses as its aesthetic.

Dungeons and Dragons

In class, we played Dungeons and Dragons Fifth Edition for three weeks, it was an interesting experiment in roleplaying and an interesting way to demonstrate leadership. Having played Dungeons and Dragons before, both Fifth Edition as well as spending about 5 or so years toiling away with the Revised Third Edition, I would consider myself fairly experienced with D&D, I always think the hardest part about D&D is the role-playing, especially when the game is played over the internet, whether it be a voice call or a text chat. It is difficult for many players to step back from themselves and into the role of a character that has (likely) never existed before. The mechanics of the game can be taught and learned by anyone, roleplaying on the other hand is more difficult and depends on the person, it will come more naturally to some than it will to others, but it can be learned with practice and time. All of that said, D&D is a fun game, I enjoyed the three short sessions I played in class.

I think D&D is a game for everyone, every player will get something different out of the experience, and with 5th Edition especially, it is a nice introduction to Tabletop RPGs. I think the main drawback to attempting to play D&D in a classroom setting is that the sessions felt a bit rushed, each time a question arose of what to do and where to take the party of characters next, there was a solid minute of staggering silence. While this would not normally be an issue in D&D, the shortened time frame to accomplish the goals of the session made the lack of decisive action a bit frustrating. I had resigned myself to a background role, as I wanted to make sure that other players had a chance to take the spotlight more often, given that I consider myself experienced and I would hope that everyone who was playing for the first time would have a good first experience.

On the other hand, I understand that roleplaying with a group of people you don’t really know can be intimidating and that there is a bit of shyness to the first couple of sessions. I had never attempted the “Lost Mine of Phandelver” module, so I was going in blind, but the game was run well enough by our guest DM and I had fun with my Blue Dragonborn Tempest Cleric, and I figure that’s all that really matters.

Lasers and Feelings

This week, for the first free play session in class, I grouped up with classmates to play a game I’d never heard of, a one-page, one-shot RPG called Lasers and Feelings. The game’s mechanics relied primarily on the role of a die to determine the success or failure of actions related to either sci-fi action (lasers) or to the more social side of storytelling (feelings). The hardest part of the game, as with many RPGs is the difficulty with coming up with the story as the story is being told, my improv skills were definitely put to the test with just how open this game was.

Overall, it was a fun little game made better by my classmates’ abilities to improvise the story and the world as the game went along. The world of the game, and the story we told allowed me to step out of my own skin for a little while and tell a silly story about a goofy, former “Space-FBI” agent with a flair for the theatrics of 70’s crime dramas.

I think this game is good for any group of people that wants to put their teamwork, and improv skills to the test. I think creative-types would be able to make full use of the open-nature of the game, but most importantly I think this would be a fun game to play with a group of friends that are willing to make the story fun.

Incan Gold & Can’t Stop

In the fifth week of class, we played a pair of risk taking games, Can’t Stop and Incan Gold. Both games allowed for an interesting risk-reward system. From a mechanical stand-point, I would say both games incentivized risk taking much more than playing it safe, and while both approaches were certainly valid, there seemed to be a significant advantage to making riskier choices in gameplay.
The most difficult part of playing either game was knowing when to bail out and avoid further risk. In Can’t Stop, the instant gratification of traversing the game board is very tempting and the way the game was designed has made the feeling of defeat crushing regardless of how far in the game you are. With regards to Incan Gold, the power of the risk was even stronger, with the sort of “double elimination” or “two strikes” mechanic the game ran on. The desire to continue to compile points made the decision to go back just as much of a risk as moving forward, and I found that interesting.
In the game, and in my leadership, I find myself more likely to take risks. The importance of taking risks in my leadership style is exclusively for the sake of making the right choice as opposed to the easy choice. Overall, these are games I would actively recommend to any groups of people with contrasting personal philosophies or personalities.


In the second and third week of games, we played Fiasco. I thoroughly enjoyed the idea of the game, some of the most fun stories that are told are those of criminals and how their plans go awry, so I was excited to try and have a similar experience. I think one of Fiasco’s strengths is also one of the parts of the game that is hardest to master, that being the improvisational nature of the storytelling, with each scene and the direction of the story being entirely up to the players, with no facilitation from a designated game master. It was difficult to get into the flow of the game, but by the time my group hit the tilt, we seemed to have a pretty good grasp of how it worked.
For Fiasco, the ties to leadership are most prevalent in establishing the scenes in which the game is played. The player needs to take a lot of initiative in crafting their own game world and in establishing the story, there are no real rules for what you can and can’t do within a scene. It’s a very amorphous and free-flowing game, where the players’ choices will control not only the narrative but also the rules to some extent.
For the first week of Fiasco, the important task was to understand how one’s values would come into play over the course of the game. Over the course of the first session, I found more and more that I was allowing myself to play the character and set my own personal values aside. Personally, I am not someone that would engage in sports gambling or other types of acts, and yet I was perfectly fine to play the character of a bookie. I think the important thing to remember in the case of role playing games, like Fiasco, is to allow yourself to separate what you do from yourself because you are playing a character.
During the second week of Fiasco, the “tilt” took place. During the tilt, my character was taken hostage by organized crime. And while the game did not end well for my character from a consequences perspective, the flow of the game was greatly improved and expedited. Overall, my experience was incredibly positive. This is a game that I would recommend for team bonding exercises.