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  1. I was going to echo this (and offer sympathies). My Dad had Parkinson's dementia, and whilst he didn't necessarily play competitively, he did enjoy being involved. So something simple like Catan, or Carcassonne was just about manageable. "Sprawlopolis" is solo/coop and excellent - if rather harder than you might be looking for for your dad. Same makers and form factor (18 cards) as "circle the wagons", mentioned. "DDay dice" is a fun solo/coop dice roller (yahzee style). Both of these stand up to being played with a lot of thought as a solo puzzle - but more casually as something to see how badly you do, without giving it too much thought. You'll know your dad best, of course - but might be enjoy the storytelling of "Sherlock Holmes consulting detective"? You'll spend your time just discussing the case with him.
  2. Report: we played "Paper Chase" last night from the Starter Set. The scenario is intended as an introduction for both players and keeper, and is written to be played with one of each. I slightly modified the setting to allow, and justify, three players. I used the full rules to build investigators, rather than using the pregens or 'quick build', because I wanted to give the players some agency over who they created and their specialisms - plus I reasoned that I could explain a little of what the characteristics and skills meant whilst they were rolling then up. I think that worked well, and I was surprised how quickly their stats led to them choosing professions (a cook who used to be in the army, a British socialite visiting the area and an American born mechanical engineer of Chinese heritage). These free choices led to their skills options which they enjoyed distributing their specialisms in. The mechanical engineer is an amateur magician, it turns out! I explained to them that the Arnoldsburg Library hosted the monthly meetings (first Tuesday of the month) for the "Society for the Exploration of the Unexplained" and told them they had turned up to this month's meeting... But why weren't they in attendance last month? (Encouraging them to think a bit about why their character might not have been there). I'd decided that just the three of them were there, and as they'd not been there last month the weren't aware that this month's meeting was cancelled. Then I moved into the 'hook' of the scenario - Timothy entering and looking for help from the society with the mysterious robbery of some of his late uncle's books. The scenario is quite simple, and not particularly dangerous for the investigators, so I'd gambled on them surviving this one - and being able to use the same investigators for the next one. Luckily, they did survive - despite one of them blundering in somewhat recklessly during the sole dangerous vignette. I'd deliberately had them leave the 'verbose' character traits and 'connections' from the back of their investigator sheets free - and I'm hoping to revisit that before the second scenario. There was definitely a more gung-ho investigator emerging, and one much more nervous and considered. I'll let them formalise this next time to make the 'role playing' more explicitly part of them choosing their investigator's actions. I was happy to let the player (rather than the character) guide the actions for this scenario though. (As beginners to RPGs I think baby steps might be needed). We did end up using Zoom (we're already Zooming, and one of them is a bit resistant to trying too many new things at once), plus a web based dice roller for all the public D100 rolls - which I made them do often. I also was nudging then away from "can I roll?" to describe "what you want to do, and I'll decide if it's a roll". By the end, they'd got that. I'd downloaded some nice handouts (diary entries, photo of a character) that I found online as "Paper Chase" actually only had one and I thought that sending them would 1. Break up the experience for the players and 2. Give me a chance to glance at my notes. The full Investigator's Book (not in the Starter Set) that I own provided me with a list of typical names from the period. These are essential when your players want to quiz other n.p.c.s, and you're ad-libbing people that the scenario didn't cover. If I had one criticism of the Starter Set for keepers (aside if the first scenario being a little handout light) is that it doesn't really warn you that this unscripted npc stuff can be the case - and having at least a few names to hand can be the difference between a character being seamlessly integrated or bring blindingly obviously not important. ("He says his name is ... Erm... Erm... Hang on....er John" is a particularly obvious way to spot an npc as being someone insignificant). My players (as you'd hope) defied all rational logic, and took surprising decisions in where they went and what they tried - but only on a couple occasions did "Timothy" have to nudge them to try something other than creeping around his house. I don't think they felt railroaded though. The unified skills and characteristics rolls make CoC 7e a doodle for new players to get how performing a "check" works, and the "hard" and "extreme" is also very easy to implement. I really like that, and it's ever so easy to explain as you go. I was pleased my players encountered temporary madness through sanity loss, physical injury and opposed rolls which came up naturally within the scenario. Combat wasn't required (despite the gung-ho cook's efforts), so that'll come next time I think. I ended the session with them rolling to see if their skills they successfully used were improved - which is intuitive and logical in it's operation. All in all I'm very impressed with it. Looking forward to next time (hope my player are too!)
  3. It is portable... kinda. It sits in a (reproduction) 48k rubber keyed Speccy shell, but (using dip switches) can run as various models including the 128k ones and zx81 and Jupiter Ace. It also has a divMMC built in for sd card loading, and built in joystick ports. The portability comes in only if you use the optional 9" lcd screen, and open it up and put some rechargable batteries inside. (You should probably fix the audio level problem by soldering on a resistor to the motherboard while it's open). It's a really neat piece of kit, I think. (And not incredibly expensive when compared to buying a recapped/reconditioned Speccy and divMMC ).
  4. Moving this to here and resurrecting the thread ... And adding that ... the Starter Set that I ordered has just turned up. I'm hoping to have a play of that (via Zoom) with my regular (rpg-noob) friends soonish. It's ages since I've DM'd anything so not leaping straight in with "Horror On The Orient Express" is probably wise! The relatively slender 20 pages of rules (which I also have as pdf) that I can send to them should give them all the rules they'll need. (Or maybe I'll just throw them in, and explain as we go). Looking now to see if I can find a dice rolling app that supports 'rooms', for public rolling. (There are web based ones, maybe we'll use that). In answer to if anyone would be interested in a game... yes potentially I would
  5. (Also not D&D) ...but I've spent some time this week reading through the 7e Call Of Cthulhu keepers book. I really like the new streamlining they've done with them Skills and Characteristics being unified as percentiles, the pushed rolls, and the way opposed rolls work - not 100% sure the 'idea' roll isn't just a fudge to get around investigators who are 'stuck' and haven't picked up on a clue. (Which the Gumshoe system was written to 'fix, and used in Trail Of Cthulhe, the competitor in this setting). Anyway, I'm really looking forward to playing CoC 7e. Even ordered the Starter Set, so I can persuade some friends to have a read of a rulebook to play that isn't 250 pages long.
  6. The Omni HQ 128 is great (based on the Harlequin board). Also the Next is brill for other reasons, and feels completely Spectrummy, but for me the Omni is the compatible beast of choice.
  7. You so haven't thrown your money down the drain. Mage Knight is sublime. Use Ricky Royal's solo "how to play" videos on YouTube, if you don't fancy the two manuals.
  8. Codenames via Zoom (works well)
  9. Is there a centralised repository of this kind of info? I'm not a facebook user, so that route is out. Is it all sitting at https://www.specnext.com/ ? I'm too busy to plough in at the moment, but I want to get this right when I do!
  10. No, just a 'here comes the Yodelman' notification today. Didn't know what it was.
  11. Oooh! Mine has just arrived, I'm very excited. How long before open it to be confident I'm minimising my risk of coronavirus from it? (Genuine question)
  12. Good luck. The book reads really well, although I've not played/gmd it.
  13. Bellybutton is great, but bejesus Spilt Milk is a masterly album. I saw them on that tour and they were bloody fantastic. Anyone even vaguely into powerpop owes it to themselves to check them out.
  14. This might well be a fair comment. I stopped buying any new Pokemon TCG stuff *years* ago, and if it has followed the same kind of complexity and nuance creep that MTG has then I assume it is now is Phil Eklund* level of impenetrable. *I'm saying him, because one day I'll be brave enough to take on the copy of 'High Frontier (Third Edition)' I have sitting here. Yeah right. Sure I will.
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