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Showing posts with the label Mazes

Whose Labyrinthine Maze is This, Anyway: Dungeon Design and Cultural History

Dungeon . The word with significant historical connotations and some modern ones we won’t get into here, but to enthusiasts of tabletop roleplaying, it means something very specific: it’s ⅓ of the name of the most successful and influential RPG of all time, after all. (We’ll discuss the significance of the “&” another time. (and maybe the other D too - A) ) Early D&D materials refer to “the underworld mazes” (note the preposition, dungeons are considered a default part of the setting), and offer some advice on making them (somewhat) plausible, but never directly consider the societies that built them. While many pre-published adventures do include some information describing long-gone inhabitants, incorporating this kind of detail into original worlds can help create a detailed, rich setting. This week, we thought we’d talk about how to make dungeons and other ruins feel like places that lost peoples made and lived in, and how to share these details in your play sessions. - B  

Gnomes at Night

Gnomes at Night is a cooperative maze game from the developer Peaceable Kingdom. A detailed description is at the bottom. It is billed as a “quick-thinking communication game,” and I certainly agree. The suggested age range is 6 and up, but one could push it lower by simplifying the game and not using the timer. My 8-year-old received this game as a gift for his birthday, and we play it on a semi-regular basis. Setup and play is fairly simple. A vertical board is held up between two plastic grips that clip to the side of the box. One gnome goes on each side of the board, and connect through it by magnets in their bases. Players flip over treasure cards that they collect while navigating the maze. This is where that “communication” and “cooperation” come in. When one gnome's path is blocked by a wall, the other can take over on its own side and free it by moving within its area. The “quick” comes from the game’s sand timer - you have two and a half minutes to complete your tas