Tabletop Games

Root: A Game of Woodland Might and Right is on Kickstarter for one more day and it is neat.

A couple weeks back we got to play an early production version of the runaway Kickstarter success Root: A Game of Woodland Might and Right at the spectacular Wednesday Games at the Brass Cat.

What is Root? We’re glad you asked! It’s an asymmetrical strategy boardgame. Unlike every other asymmetrical strategy boardgame we’ve ever played, the theme isn’t “you dropped your history textbook” but is instead “you dropped your most beautiful children’s book”. It is the fastest and most intuitive example of the genre we have ever played.

We played as the Eyrie, a bunch of birds working to retake the forest. It was fun as heck!

Here is the explanation of the Eyrie on their Kickstarter page:

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The Eyrie muster their hawks to take back the woods. They must build roosts and capture as much territory as possible before they collapse back into squabbling and turmoil, choosing a new commander to guide them.

The Eyrie have to try to get as much as possible on the board, while managing their extremely rigid social structure. Every turn you need to build up more and more orders in a queue that you NEED to complete, or else society will collapse and there will be a time of crisis while a new leader is chosen. It’s a great way of making you feel ever more powerful and less steady as play proceeds.

Other players were the Marquis de Cat, whose goal is to use her position as the current ruler of all the forest to build up her domain into an industrial juggernaut, the Woodland Alliance who want to try to boot out both the Eyrie and the Cats using their Conspiracies because they’re tired of being stamped on by monarchs, and the Vagabond who is interested in getting as much as possible from everyone by whatever means necessary whether that’s killing, stealing, or giving gifts.

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But what’s an asymmetrical strategy boardgame? Basically think Risk only every player has a completely different set of rules and paths to victory. The differences can be anything really, it’s just important that while some players might share some aspects of their strategies, it’s not “four people try to all control the largest area of the map”.

In the case of Root, everyone wants to get to 40 points, but for instance the Eyrie get points by controlling the map while the Vagabond can get points by giving cards to other players and the Marquis can get some by building a sawmill.

These games tend to be intriguing but complicated. The fact that they have to balance disparate player goals means they can be a real bear to actually play. You need to focus on your own goals, recall what other people need to do to win, track their progress against your progress against the possible result of this turn if you do A, or B, or C, and if they do X, or Y, or Z on their turn… they’re often very much Boardgames for People Who Love Boardgames.

Our favorite example of this complexity is from the excellent game that we like “Liberty or Death” from GMT Games, which is about the American Revolutionary War. This is what the French player does in that game:

As the French, you have the ability to be the thorn in the side of the British in North America. With the Hortalez Rodrigue et Cie Company, formed to feed the Patriots resources, you can fund the Insurrection. Your agents can rally assistance in and around Quebec and you can facilitate privateers to steal resources from the British. When you sign the Treaty of Alliance with the Patriots, you can bring French Regulars to America to March and Battle. You can also increase French Naval Intervention, Blockade Cities, move Regulars by sea and Skirmish with the British.

That’s a short summary of the set of actions available to a single player and it starts with teaching you that the Hortalez Rodrigue et Cie Company exists. We don’t even remember how the French win the game. It is exactly as intuitive to play Liberty or Death game as you imagine it would be, and it takes exactly as long to play as you wish it wouldn’t.

Root took about two hours, using almost exclusively the player-boards to figure out what to do. Well, and some explanation from the local editor extraordinaire Joshua Yearsley, who is in the process of working on making the game more intuitive for new players! We were playing a super pre-production in-development version of the game and we’re pretty sure we’ll see some of our suggestions for more intuitive symbols implemented because we’re geniuses and they were lucky to have us.

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Often the very first game of an Asymmetrical Strategy Boardgame is going to be mostly about learning because it’s hard for anyone to keep track of everyone else’s special rules. Root simplifies that as far as it can by having everyone share a victory track and by having everyone move pieces according to the same rules, but it’s still going to be something where the first try at each faction is a time for learning the game. But it’s fun learning, and it doesn’t seem like it would take more than a couple of games to get a solid handle on every faction thanks to the carefully shared rules.

We played the most unintuitive, least inviting possible version of this game with as little rule-book reading prep as possible for our first time and it was a riot and we’ve been eager to play again since. That bodes well for the final version!

If all this sounds great then should take this moment to back it on Kickstarter while you can and then look forward to it next August! Thanks to hitting all of the Stretch Goals there are now a bunch of extra unique Vagabonds, two totally new factions, and a special Winter board with rules for randomized placement of starting positions to make for even more varied replaying!

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Speaking With Editor Josh Yearsley

Josh is a professional editor living in Northampton who works on games and science literature. He’s edited over two million words, which is pretty cool. Some of those words have reached top journals such as Nature, and you’ll find plenty among shelves of your local game or hobby store—he’s checked, he’s that vain. You can find him at www.joshuayearsley.com!

James Olchowski: Hello!

Josh Yearsley: Hello also!

JO: What made you decide to move to the Happy Valley?

JY: Well, I was moving away from another Happy Valley—State College, Pennsylvania—and I basically just wanted to move without feeling like I was actually moving, so this fit the bill. But really, a good friend of mine moved out here to work at UMass and told me how great the area was. I was not disappointed. There’s a true community here with a real, bustling, varied downtown and lots of interesting people. People are invested in where they live. Not everywhere’s like that.

JO: Is there anything about the area that you think is uniquely conducive to your work?

JY: This area has an astounding number of people interested in and actively developing tabletop games, so that’s amazing to be around. Make Talk Play is just one example of how many accessible game-makers there are out here. Mass also has tons of universities, so there are plenty of opportunities to partner with university presses. Given, I could do that from anywhere, but being close by is a plus.

JO: Currently, you work primarily as a professional copy-editor. What drew you to the profession? Have you always been… a stickler?

I’ve always been intensely interested in how systems of various sorts work, and that includes language. I like craft, and I like supporting others in refining their craft. Editing is the perfect mix of all those interests. Also, in grad school everyone thought I was weird for enjoying the thesis writing and revising process, so that was a hint.

I remember my mom telling me as a kid to never start a sentence with “me and,” and I stuck to that advice like gum to a sidewalk, so I was certainly a candidate for becoming a stickler. But when I became a professional editor, I changed my views. There’s a pretty pervasive idea that editors are sticklers, but I’m anything but. There is incredible variety in the way that people write and speak, and most of the time it serves English-users poorly to be a stickler.

More important than following the “rules” of English is context and readership: Is this a government report that will be read by people who might not speak English as a first language? Best to hold very tightly to conventions. Is it a work of fiction, and I’m looking at the dialogue? The conventions of written English barely apply there. The best definition of a “great editor” I’ve ever heard comes from the blog The American Editor: “A great editor is someone who ensures that a reader understands the editor’s author.” My allegiance is to the reader, not the pitchfork-waving rules stickler.

JO: Is there a particular reason you chose to leave academics behind?

JY: Fear is the mind-killer, and boy did academia make me feel fearful. Multi-year projects that might not even give useful results? Check. Little to no chance of a tenured position once I graduated? Check. The American professorship is dying, and I didn’t want to be a casualty. I love furthering humanity’s knowledge, but I also need a reliable career. [It’s never too late, grad students – Ed.]

JO: What sorts of work do you edit?

JY: The vast majority of my work is in games and the sciences. In most of the science work I do, the authors don’t speak English as a native language, so editing their work is mentally exhausting, so I try to change up what I work on from day to day. I could be working on a 300-page book or a five-page paper. I could be working on a game about cats saving their owners’ lives with magic or a paper about constructing sensors from DNA. The variety keeps me fresh.

JO: What’s your process when it comes to working on an editing project? Do you set up shop in a coffee shop with a typewriter?

JY: Takka-takka-takka! Wow that would frustrate people in a hurry. Almost all the editing I do is on the computer, usually just a Word document, then maybe looking through a paper copy at the end. So yes, quite often you’ll find me in Sip Cafe in Northampton. I like getting out and being surrounded by people. I’m also part of Owl and Raven, a Noho co-working space, to vary things up. I need to change where I work throughout the day to keep my mind focused.

JO: So you’ve done a lot of science editing. What do you find are the most common problems you encounter in science writing?

JY: Science writing tries its best to be objective-sounding, but most of the time it backfires horribly. Authors try to pull themselves out of the work, writing things like “It is believed that…” when what they mean to say is “We believe that…” Generally they avoid the active voice like the plague, often leaving the verb way at the end of a long, convoluted sentence. Hedge words are also super common— stuff like “perhaps,” “possibly,” and “somewhat,” which are perfectly appropriate but often piled atop each other in ways that obscure the core message of the writing.

JO: Why is it important to have independent editing of a scientific work? Why not just rely on peer reviewers and an ever-present cloud of fear and shame?

JY: Editors and peer reviewers serve different purposes. Peer reviewers ensure that the science is sound; editors ensure you can read the science without wanting to stab your eyes out. If the peer reviewer has a hard time understanding the science, they’ll ask the author to get an editor. Given that, though, as an editor I often find errors in the science because I’m editing papers in fields of my academic background. So when I find those mistakes, I point them out, but it’s not my main job.

As I mentioned before, most of the science work I edit is written by non-native English users—mostly Chinese, Japanese, and Indian authors—and English is the de facto international scientific language, so ensuring that researchers can actually read and understand the science published is, to understate it, important.

JO: You also edit a lot of tabletop games and rulebooks, are there challenges that come with editing game content?

JY: Absolutely. Rules can be some of the hardest text to edit correctly because the language has to be close to perfectly specific. There’s a particular breed of game-player known as the “rules lawyer,” who try their hardest to find and exploit loopholes in the rules, and there are pages upon pages of people on the Internet arguing over the meaning of particular rules. I’ve seen well-respected publishers put out errata (corrections) for games that are a dozen or more pages long because rules are so easy to write unclearly.

Rules are technical documents, so in them you create this new, technical language. You start compacting complicated concepts into single words or phrases—for example, “exhaust a card” (meaning “flip it sideways, and you can’t un-flip it until this time”) or “spend a token” (meaning “you remove the token from your play area, but it is not removed from the game”)—and you have to be extremely vigilant to use that new language clearly and consistently.

JO: How much input do you have in terms of actual game content? Do you ever clarify a rule out of existence, or point out an issue in the text that changes the way the game is designed?

JY: That depends on what I’ve been hired for. If I’m working as an editor, then ideally no: the game design should be done when it gets to me. That said, as an editor I have found plenty of rules or clarifications that are superfluous or repetitive, so they get cut or folded into other parts of the text. Sometimes, though, I work as a rules consultant, where my job is to assess whether the rules are designed well and support the game’s goals.

The consultant role usually comes in if I’m working with a larger company with lots of resources. For example, I’m the head editor of Evil Hat Productions Fate Worlds & Adventures line; each World gets a rules consultant, but sometimes issues slip through their capable hands, so at that point I take off my editor hat and put on my consultant hat, fixing those problems to keep the train rolling.

JO: You play an enormous amount of tabletop games. Do you have a favorite?

JY: My favorite, at least recent, game is Space Cadets: Dice Duel. You play as crewmembers of a spacecraft that is trying to blow the other spacecraft up—that’s the premise. To do this, you’re all rolling these sets of dice in front of you to try to get certain patterns: the helmsperson is rolling directions to move in, the shields officer is shifting the shields around, and so on. And the twist is that everything is some in real time: you’re all rolling and placing these dice at once! So it’s madness, and you’re all trying to control that madness. The ships are jetting around and people are yelling and screaming “We need to turn around now!” and “Load torpedoes into the rear bay!”

JO: If the friendly, variegated readers of the Nerd Watch could play only a single tabletop game for the rest of their long and happy lives, which would you have them play?

JY: What a tough question! Publishers, I’ll be accepting bribes. Anyone?

But seriously: Eclipse. It’s an incredibly deep, compelling, dramatic game about building space empires. There’s diplomacy, backstabbing, grand plans, wild turnarounds, amazing strategy. It’s got it all. Given, it’s a long game—a few hours, at least—but if you have the time, check it out.

JO: What was your introduction to tabletop gaming? Do you still love that game?

JY: Hmm, I probably had two introductions. Back in middle school and early high school I played a lot of Magic: the Gathering, that giant of a card game, and Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition. But my first true “modern” tabletop game was Carcassonne, a tile-laying game about the French countryside. I honestly haven’t played Carcassonne in a long time because I played it so much back then, but if someone asked to play, I wouldn’t hesitate to say yes!

JO: Are there any errors in my preceding questions, and can you fix them before this goes to print?

JY: Errors, errors everywhere. So many errors. That’ll be three thousand dollars.

[Dangit, James! This is the costliest interview yet. We told you to stop making deals! – Ed.]

September 7th – September 13th

XMen270CoverThe Valley Nerd Watch!


TopatoCon! We know we’ve been talking about this for a while but for real everyone, it’ll be fun. We’ll be there, you’ll be there, a bunch of artists and writers and comedians and developers and cool folks of all stripes and occupations will be there. You’ll have the option to give them money in exchange for services they render! You’ll get to chat with them, and confirm that you’re a cool person that cool people like to speak with!

Also, there’s a really neat activity going on at TopatoCon arranged by our very own Pioneer Valley Game Devs! The TopatoJAM! A free experimental game jam held alongside the con. What that means is that attending TopatoCon is encouraged, but not required to participate. But you MUST register!

topatojamSo what is it? Well. It’s a thing where you try to make a game wicked fast. It’s open to developers of any skill level, but you know be sure you’ve got a clear idea of what it is you can do. Cost is free, but they suggest you donate. Kick $5 their way. Come on, just… they’re neat right? You like this sort of thing. Support it at least as much as you support a sandwich.

Teams can be formed before the game jam or after you arrive. The game jam theme will be announced at the event start! There aren’t any overnight facilities for the jam, so check for accommodation on your own!

The TopatoJAM will run from Saturday at 10:00am to Sunday at 6:00pm. Bring your own laptop/whatever, and money for food if you don’t like the free pizza/snacks/coffee/water.

As always, be sure to check out the Weekly Events page! There are a lot of fun things happening this and every week! And don’t forget to check out the updated Book Clubs List!

THIS WEEK


Art:

Friday, September 11th
Smith College Museum of Art [20 Elm St., Northampton, MA 01063] at All Afternoon
Free Second Friday
Come to the stunningly nice museum that we have just right down here in Northampton, but for free and also there are family fun activities and hey why not still donate, come on, you like the art! Seriously, what a nice museum!
Saturday, September 12th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Artists’ Reception for Landscape and Waterscape by Joan Anderson, Carmine Angeloni and Jane Morrison
*LONGEST TITLE AWARD* Hey, take a look at a lot of nice pictures, why not? It’s a chance to see a lot of artwork that is beautiful. The artists seem really nice, too. They’ve all done interesting things while also learning to make pictures that look awesome. More information at the gallery website!

Board Games:

Friday, September 11th
Burger King Community Room [344 King St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00pm
Tabletop Game Night
Bring a game you’d like to share with the Pioneer Valley Geeks & Gamers! Beginners are welcome. They mostly play Euro strategy games, but we recommend you bring them something huge and ridiculous and American with 500 little meticulously detailed plastic figures. Take that, Europe!

Books:

Thursday, September 10th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 10:00am – 12:00pm
What’s Your Story? Memoir Writing Workshop
Mary Clare Powell will lead a memoir-writing workshop at the Greenfield Public Library beginning September 10th! The 8-week class will be held Thursday Morning. We recommend you use this course as an opportunity to steal the more interesting experiences of your peers in order to weave them into one epic ur-memoir.
Saturday, September 12th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 10:00am – 12:00pm
Meet the Editor: George Forcier
Meet the Editor of the Recorder, George Forcier! Refreshments will be provided. Otherwise, this event is a mystery! We’d like to imagine that this will give you the opportunity you need to become fast friends with this kindly-seeming local newspaperman! Over refreshments.
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 10:00am – 1:30pm
Fall Book Sale
Between attempts to charm George Forcier, why not browse some books at the book sale? It will be held in the stacks in the library basement. Hardcovers are $2 a piece, paperbacks just a $1. Pay whatever you’d like though! It all goes to support the library. Also if you bring a cloth bag you can FILL it for $1! WOW! Do not bring an enormous car-sized cloth bag and steal all the books.

Comics:

Sunday, September 13th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Comic Creator’s Jam
Have you any interest in making a comic book, traveler? Jam-packed with japes and images to fascinate the minds of children and adults alike? Enter, then, and visit with some real nice folks who make comics and live in a town near you! Talk about comic stuff! Writers, artists, inkers, letterers, all are welcome!

Computers:

Friday, September 11th – Sunday, September 13th
UMass Hotel and Conference Center [1 Campus Center Way, Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:00am
NERDSummit 2015
The big one! The best one! The pinnacle of summits! Learn with the local tech community at a three-day conference of talks, workshops, coding challenges, food, and fun! It’s really a great time as far as we can tell, wish we could make it. Go take a look if you’re interested in computers, why don’t you?
Saturday, September 12th
UMass Hotel and Conference Center [1 Campus Center Way, Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:00am
Project Management Meetup
We guess this happens at the same time as the NERDSummit? Anyway! Do you manage projects? Well, talk to other people who manage projects and learn how to manage projects better, so you have an easier time of it.

Entertainment:

Wednesday, September 9th
MassMutual Center [1277 Main St., Springfield, MA 01103] at 6:30
Sonia Sotomayor
Holy moly everyone! We kind of forgot that the Law-Knowers could descend from the Law Temple and speak to us, mere Law-Mortals! Seriously though, wow! A chance to meet one of the glittering immortals we’ve chosen to interpret the constitutionality of our fumbling attempts at legislation. And it’s one of the cooler glittering immortals, too. RBG is obviously the coolest. Submit questions to info@springfieldpublicforum.com, there is general admission first-come, first-serve seating!
Friday, September 11th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] 6:00pm – 9:00pm
13th Anniversary Party
Join the fine people at Modern Myths Northampton for their 13th Anniversary Party! Good word! Thirteen dang years, and still going strong. Not just strong, strong enough to give you a party with door prizes, pizza, soft drinks and CUPCAKES from Cafe Evolution in Florence!
Saturday, September 12th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 10:00am – 10:45am
Forbes Library Tour
Forbes Library is amazing! Lots of cool services and collections all in a giant old building that is pretty. But, it’s also so huge and intimidating that it’s tough to navigate for the novice. Join a group for a guided tour! Preregristration is appreciated, but not required. But, you know. It’s appreciated. Preregister with btabor@forbeslibrary.org. Meet in the front lobby!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 10:00am – 10:45am
Forbes Library Tour
Forbes Library is amazing! Lots of cool services and collections all in a giant old building that is pretty. But, it’s also so huge and intimidating that it’s tough to navigate for the novice. Join a group for a guided tour! Preregristration is appreciated, but not required. But, you know. It’s appreciated. Preregister with btabor@forbeslibrary.org. Meet in the front lobby!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Forbes Doctor Who Club
Would you like to spend some time traveling through space on Doctor William H. Who’s whimsical flying phone-booth? Why not hang out with other people who share you appreciation for the show that taught us all how shiny it was to boldly go where no man has gone before. May the force be with you, by Grabthar’s hammer!
Sunday, September 13th
Wistiriahurst Museum [238 Cabot St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 2:00 – 3:30pm
Seasonal Teas: Mad Hatter’s Tea Party in the Rose Garden
Celebrate the 150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland! Don your most eminently mad cap, or create one when you arrive! The rose gardens are open, and there’s a lovely tea party with croquet, crafts, and special guests. Tea, lemonade, and treats included! There’s $15 general admission, $12 for members, $10 for children 10 and under.

RPGs:

Saturday, September 12th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Public RPG: Pathfinder Pirates
Pathfinder pirates! What pirate should you pretend to pathfind as? The best pirate, obviously. But which pirate is the best pirate? We searched ‘the best pirate’ online and it came up with Black Bart! Welsh, suave, ruthless. Role-playing a Welsh person is kind of like role-playing an English person only you’re the butt of more jokes.
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 5:00pm – 8:00pm
Public RPG: Dungeons & Dragons
A special one-session D&D module hand-crafted by the staff at Comics N’ More! We’d like to take a moment to recommend that if you are playing D&D, you avoid standard combat at all costs. Frustrate the GM by using all the weird fantasy items at your disposal rather than just a sword-bash! Pre-made characters are provided, hosted by Lex Mandrake!

Science:

Wednesday, September 9th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 5:00pm – 6:30pm
What Kids Want to Know about Sex and Growing Up
Join Brooke Norton for a free public screening of this movie! Brooke Norton is a Certified Sex Educator, and she’s studying to be a Sex Therapist at UMass Boston’s Family Therapy program. This is an opportunity for kids and adults to learn more about science stuff that everyone kind of feels uncomfortable talking about, but that we should probably still talk about! There’s also free pizza.
Saturday, September 12th – Sunday, November 22nd
Historic Deerfield [84B Old Main St., Deerfield, MA 01342] at 12:00pm – 4:30pm
Archaeology Lab
Archaeology is a science for action scientists! Adventurers! Well, adventurers whose adventure is mostly in the travel planning, and who then spend a truly distressing number of hours gently brushing at things. Mostly those things turn out to be rocks. But sometimes not! Take your kids to learn about the science of archaeology and get their hands dirty with some neat artifact activities!

Video Games:

Friday, September 11th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:30pm – 4:30pm
Minecraft Club
Man who would have guess the Minecraft would become the single toy that every child plays with perpetually? It’s so great but also odd. Kids are electrical-engineering calculators inside of a computer game for fun and that is awesome. Please bring your own log-in, and sign up at the children’s circulation desk! For more info: click here.

April 13th – 19th

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The Valley Nerd Watch!


Tabletop Day was a blast! We had a ton of fun teaching and playing with some extremely nice people. And in lovely news, the Deuce is going to be hosting a bi-monthly Play Anything: Board Games & Beer at The Deuce. Start getting excited for the next/inaugural one in June!

You can look forward to a really interesting SciTech Cafe later this month. It’s about Diamonds and photons and how awesome Diamonds are.

Oh! And although it’s technically next month, get ready for Free Comic Book Day May 2nd! We grew up collecting comic books, and we can highly recommend amassing an enormous collection of comic books, because they are beautiful. FCBD is a chance to get a bunch of previews and fun free books from the local comic shops, and it’s also a chance for those local shops to subtly shame you into then purchasing something you ingrate.

You can also look forward to Oh My Word! This month. The current subject, Stories About Songs That Define Moments, doesn’t slot precisely into the standard Nerd Pantheon. But we’re pretty sure that we don’t care because it sounds fun!

As always, be sure to check out the Weekly Events page! There are a lot of fun things happening this and every week!

THIS WEEK


Board Games:

Saturday, April 18th
Off the Wall Games [41 Russel Street, Hadley, MA 01035] at 11:00am – 7:00pm
Warhammer Fantasy Tournament
Warhammer! That game that you either play obsessively or not at all. Are you looking for some people to smash with your immaculately-painted army? Then try this friendly tournament! There’s a $15 registration fee, and armies must be 2500 points. Registration begins at 10:30am, and the tournament starts at 11:00am. You can check out The 131 Forums for signup and details before the event!

Card Games:

Saturday, April 18th
Greenfield Games [228 Main St Greenfield, MA 01301] at 1:00pm – 6:00pm
Dragons of Tarkir Game Day #1
Magic the Gathering players can come to Greenfield Games for a FREE event, with multiple Swiss rounds which we assume are a form of delicious cheese and then elimination rounds. There will be prizes, including Scaleguard Sentinels for the first 30 attendees, Thunderbreak Regent for the top eight, and a Champion Playmat for the grand prize!
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Dragons of Tarkir Game Day
Magic the Gathering: basically the only game that exists? It’s possible! Come to Modern Myths to play your Standard deck against a bunch of other people who also play MtG! There will be prizes!
Sunday, April 19th
Greenfield Games [228 Main St Greenfield, MA 01301] at 1:00pm – 6:00pm
Dragons of Tarkir Game Day #2
The exact same thing as Day #1! Attend both, WIN both, and be remembered as “that one horrible person who took all the prizes for that whole weekend jeez”.

Comics:

Thursday, April 16th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Queers in Comics & Games
Come to Modern Myths to talk about comics, games, and how they represent queer people. We missed this discussion group last time it came around, so we’re going to prioritize it this week! It sounds like a good opportunity both to speak and to listen to the experiences of other people. You’ll need to get a standard $5 day pass for this event, given back immediately as store credit.

Computers:

Thursday, April 16th
Last Call Media [136 West St., Suite 01, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00pm
Western MA Drupal Meetup
You can see the official signup and agenda at https://groups.drupal.org/western-massachusetts, and there’s usually drinks to follow at a place TBD at the meetup. This is a great chance to dive into Drupal with some supportive members of the local community!
Friday, April 17th
Packard’s Bar – Library Room [14 Masonic St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 8:00pm
Northampton Webdive After Dark
A regular meetup of web designers, coders, and generally anyone who thinks the word “webdive” applies to their interests!

RPGs:

Saturday, April 18th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton, MA 01027] at 1:00pm
Pathfinder Pirates
Come play the classic Pathfinder system only instead of playing as stock fantasy adventurers, play as pirates! If you can imagine having a little parrot sidekick that gives you +1 Initiative you’re already getting why this is a great time. You can join at any session, there are pre-made characters and dice provided! Jump in this week!
Sunday, April 19th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Pathfinder Society Organized Play
In Pathfinder Society you play appropriately enough a member of the Pathfinder Society. Basically, you hunt treasure with your party while you are all also working for secret factions that have their own agenda. The scenarios are short 4-hour adventures, and each season has 28 of them! They’re in the middle of a season right now, but they’ll be happy to work you into the game! You’ll need a standard $5 Day Pass to play, but as always it’s immediately converted to a store voucher.

A Brief Guide to Tabletop Day

Tabletop Day Guide!

TabletopDay

Saturday, April 11th (Today!)

Tomorrow is International Tabletop Day! Essentially an excuse to hold tabletop events, it’s a great time to get out there and play great games with interesting people!

Because our lucky readers live in a very nice place filled with very neat people, there are a ton of options for having a good Tabletop Day tomorrow!

This post is a brief rundown of what you can expect from each location tomorrow! I’ll answer all the basic questions you might have about each event space and some questions you might not even have known you had!

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