Category Archives: RPG

Gamer parents – check it!


Adventure Maximus is one of those games which belongs – dare I say it? On every gamer’s shelf. Most certainly if you are raising kids and want to introduce them to role playing games.

In a nutshell Adventure Maximus takes a lot of the back-end story creation away from the game master and uses a very simple card based mechanic to lay out the adventure and player creation. Each game session (Adventure Maximus does not really have a ‘campaign’ option) involves player creation, adventure layout and the actual role playing.

We’ve never had a full game last more than 90 minutes – and that is with multiple encounters.

Monsters, settings and rewards (TREASURE!) are all randomized using the cards, so the GM can concentrate on having fun – making some stuff up (“fluff”) and enjoying the experience. There is almost no preparation necessary – one can open the box and be rolling dice in 15 minutes.


For my kids, it was a natural fit – the cards dictate the situation, while the rules define the foundation. For the adults I’ve watched play, it was a nice light-weight game session without any min/max nonsense or challenging of rules.

Got kids? Have fond recollection of RPGs? Do yourself a favor and check this game out.




One shot RPGs – This Saturday!


  • In the mood for a ‘quick’ role-playing game?
  • Do you have a hankering for something different?
  • Want to see what modern role-playing games are all about?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the questions above – or feel like you want to observe (and maybe kibitz a bit) a bunch of gamers getting their nerd-groove on, come on down to Fair Game on Saturday February 23. Starting at 3pm, the Naperville Freaks, Geeks and Weirdos meetup group will be hosting a One-Shot RPG gathering right in our store. I think they even asked first!

“One Shot,” in this sense just means a single play session, rather than an episodic campaign – that way players can get a complete game done in one sitting. The NFGW Group has found a willing band of game masters to run players though a single play session of a variety of role-playing games. From science fiction, to espionage and – of course – fantasy, there is a setting and system for many interests.

If you just want to see what all the fuss is about, stop on by Fair Game after 3pm and just observe. All of our players are required to be friendly and respectful to all questions – lest they be sacrificed to the Elder Gods.

If you think you might want to play, I encourage you to register immediately as spots are filling fast. Below I will link to individual registration pages for the variety of games that will be run. Even if a system is full, feel free to get on the waiting list – you never know, someone might not show up.

Below are a list of the games currently scheduled to run on Saturday, February 25 at Fair Game starting at 3pm.



A one-shot adventure for the PARANOIA XP roleplaying game

PARANOIA is fun. Other rpgs are not fun. Play PARANOIA.

Need more? PARANOIA is an award-winning science fiction rpg originally released in 1984 but updated in 2004. A satire of politics, governments, economic systems, roleplaying games, and more big terms that you can shake a stick at, PARANOIA is unique among rpgs because you are NOT expected to cooperate with other players. Instead, you are expected to lie, backstab, trick, cajole, irritate, and bullshit other players all the damn time. (Except if cooperation would benefit you, of course.)  As such, players should be mature enough to face Catch-22s and betrayal without pouting or getting upset. Register here.


FATEFantastic Adventures in Tabletop Entertainment, is a generic role-playing game system based on the FUDGE gaming system. It has no fixed setting, traits, or genre and is almost entirely customizable. It is designed to offer the least possible obstruction to role-playing by assuming that players do not want to make large amounts of dice rolls.

Keep. It. Simple. Stupid. This adventure, based off the original S1-Tomb of Horrors AD&D adventure module and featuring characters from the popular 1980s Dungeons & Dragons animated series, is designed to be a quick and easy to learn introduction to the rules of the new FATE Core playtest. Register here.


Thirteenthage13th Age: Blood and Lightning

13th Age is a new fantasy roleplaying game, designed by Jonathan Tweet – lead designer of Dungeons & Dragons® third edition – and Rob Heinsoo, the lead designer of the fourth edition of D&D®.  13th Age honors old school fantasy role-playing values as it dives deep into rich story telling adventures.  The game features a familiar d20-style system, but it lighter on the rules compared to D&D which results in smoother, free-flowing combat.  An Escalation Die rule that keeps battles fast and exciting by giving characters an escalating combat bonus the longer they fight. Register here.


ep_cover_2Eclipse Phase: Ego Hunter

Eclipse Phase is a game of Trans-human Conspiracy and Horror. Designed by those fine gentleman and ladies at Posthuman Studios, the game is set in the far future where space is colonized and earth has been abandoned. Humanity has achieved functional immortality through the process of uploading their conscious (called an Ego) into a digitized state and then downloading them back into fresh bodies, called a Morph.

In this particular story and one shot, you will undertake the role of individuals set on Mars…. and… that is all you need to know for now. :) Register here.



World of Darkness is a modern horror game from White Wolf Game Studios.  This is the new iteration of their World of Darkness series, featuring the new version of their Storyteller system.   The mood of the game is a darker reflection of our world…crime is a little worse, corruption more rampant, hope a bit more distant.  The game system is designed with enough generality to potentially showcase any sort of horror story. Register here.


Wanted: Explorers willing to risk life and limb to seek out strange new worlds, survive fantastic adventures, and uncover lost and mysterious truths!

The Savage Worlds Game System is an open-ended role-playing game system created by Pinnacle Entertainment Group. Its slogan is Fast! Furious! Fun!, which is exactly what it is designed to provide. It’s a simple, easy-to-learn, easy-to-use system that lets you get right into the thick of the action. Register here.


Recycling bytes


At the risk of appearing lazy, I would like to recycle an old post I did last year regarding the fantastic role-playing game Fiasco.

Why recycle? Two reasons actually – first, the wonderfully produced and insightful video show TableTop recently ran a two part episode on the game. The host Wil Wheaton and his guests Alison HaislipBonnie Burton, and John Rogers go through a play session of Fiasco with hilarious and amazingly PG rated results (and yes, I snarfed Wil’s image for this post. I thought it captured an interesting form which subtly hints at the warped image the game often portrays. I hope you don’t mind Wil.)

My second reason for rehashing my love of this game is due to the rapidly approaching event known as Gen Con. 2012 is poised to be the best Gen Con yet, both in terms of the event itself and my personal enjoyment. We have a huge group of customers, friends and customers-turned-friends attending this year which means even more gaming mayhem with the people I adore.

And I promise you, Fiasco will definitely be hitting the table at the convention – at least once.

Do yourself a favor – watch the episodes, recycle my post, and play this game. You won’t regret it!


Gen Con Highlights: Periscope depth

WARNING: This post is rated PG-13. I have accepted the editorial responsibility to bring this entry to you uncensored and raw. Be warned, expletives and bad grammar ahead!

My name is Martin Schwartz. Herein you will find my account of the events which transpired on the USN Submarine SS-495, “Saddleback” on or around June 2nd, 1941. I write this of my own volition and free will. To the best of my knowledge, everything contained within this description is accurate and true.

The Navy recruiter promised me an easy tour – one in the South Pacific, well out of the way of the Krauts and their damned ships and Stukas. The extra pay for working on a sub was an added bonus; a guy can always use more cash ya know? So I signed the dotted line and sealed my fate.

Somehow my asshole brother ended up on my boat. Stephen loved to rub his education in my face at any opportunity – and I don’t think it coincidental that his “experiment” on a tropical island required an escort involving my boat. In any event, 5 days ago we moored off the shore of an uncharted island, while Captain sent a rowboat to the beach and picked up a bunch of civvies – including my damned brother. All of them a bunch of doughy schoolboy types except for one; Lars. And ya know what? Lars turns out to be our Executive Officer’s son and some Navy bigwig! Again – coincidence? No way.

So the next thing I know we’ve overloaded our boat with my brother, 4 scientists and the XO’s kid – all for reasons no one could talk about due to “national security”.
Eh – makes no difference to me. I keep the engine running, and the craps game flowing. I’m sure Cap’n is following orders like the rest of us. Even with an extra six bodies on board, things weren’t too bad as we were able to steam on the surface – heading east all ahead full for destination unknown.

It was 12hrs later that the shit hit the screws.
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Has D&D finally come of age?

I’ve been a Dungeons and Dragons player for a long time. Like any other passion, the game has come in and out of my focus over the last 25+ years; sometimes just to check out how it has changed, and sometimes to dive in and roll some dice.

Obviously, I’m not unique in this. Many of us have “outgrown” things in our past – pushing them aside to make room for spouses, kids, jobs, and other interests. I don’t build model cars any longer – nor rockets. I am still a “Lego fanatic” yet haven’t built with them for years. I haven’t recently ‘played’ with many of those toys that I coveted SO much in my youth.

Yet D&D still calls to me.

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Family Fun: Dungeon Crawling 101

What an interesting Sunday.

I had the occasion – nay, honor,  of introducing 4 people to dungeon crawling last week. The best part was that two of the people were kids under the age of eight, and one was a mom (dad was along too – but he doesn’t count as he has experience!)

Decidedly NOT your typical D&D crowd.

Granted, the dad/husband was the impetus for this adventure – as he had D&D experience from a long time ago and liked the idea of introducing his kids and wife to the concept. Which, of course, I support wholeheartedly. I’m a strong believer that kids should be exposed to role-playing type games as early as possible to develop and foster imagination and the free-flowing part of their minds. Many games don’t necessarily do that – as they emphasize strategy and deep thinking. RPGs (role playing games) do that as well (albeit to a lesser extent), but really can expand creative thinking by allowing the players a degree of intellectual freedom not necessarily constrained by rigid rules.

In other words – if you want to try feigning death in front of that dragon instead on confronting it head-on, go right ahead!

After some discussion, we settled on the game Castle Ravenloft – which is a cooperative “dungeon crawl” board game based on the Dungeons and Dragons rule set (4th edition). It is a boxed game with really nice components including a plethora of plastic miniatures, dungeon tiles and a host of cards. Kind of a board-game/RPG combination.

Castle Ravenloft

This seemed a great fit for this family as it has the RPG basis, it is cooperative (meaning you are working as a team to beat the game) and the components of the game are fun – especially the monster miniatures.

The five of us played the first group scenario – and we managed to get through 90% of it before it was decided to call it a day due to some attention span issues (I’m looking at you there Mom!).

We played for 90+ minutes.

Two kids – ages 7 and 5. Brother and Sister. Their Mom and Dad, and me. Ninety minutes, focused on ranged attacks, disarming traps, felling giant spiders, and looting treasure. Fantastic!

I challenge you to find another cerebral activity that can maintain that duration of interest with such a diverse crowd.

It’s a what? A who?

I know, I know – I’m starting the chronicles of our adventures with episode 2. Hey, if Lucas can start mid-series, why not me?

I kind of introduced our gamma world sessions a few entries ago here. In that session we created our characters and had a quick encounter. I promise to detail it soon.

For this session, we were short a few players due to real-life getting in the way (Eric was off hosting a gaming night at the Lemon Tree Grocer down the street, and Pete was a bit under the weather). Pete’s character (an Empathic Felinoid named Gypsy – think cat woman) was being played by Marty (with Pete’s blessing) and Eric’s character basically rooted himself on the spot and sat out (his character is a Plant Doppelgänger named Hip, so it was a natural way of having him sit out).

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