Getting Out, and Slipping Up

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I don’t get out much. So in an effort to be a bit more sociable I asked one of my new D&D acquaintances to please feel free inviting me to board game nights. She had invited me prior but I had always turned it down.

Yesterday I did quite well with my calories at first. When she messaged me on Facebook and said they were playing games that night and having hot dogs, I decided (after a moment of trepidation) to go. I logged in 2 hot dogs and 2 hot dog buns, and still had over 500 calories left.

Well of course there were snacks. And of course I indulged. And more so than I was able to record. I just guessed on MFP and would estimate around 800 calories over. When I got home I felt so depressed for giving in so hard that I tried to make myself throw up. Poor choice, as it didn’t work but did succeed in hurting my stomach. This morning I still feel like crap. My stomach hurts from overindulgence and my attempt to purge, I’m tired from staying up to late, and I feel depressed in equal measure for both going over my calories and doing something as stupid and self-harmful as trying to make myself throw up.  I do NOT want to develop an eating disorder, especially not one that makes your mouth smell like garbage and rots your teeth.

Regardless of the weight loss setback I suffered (which I will make up for today) I did enjoy playing board games last night.  We played Arabian Nights.

talesboard

It was an interesting game and I stayed later than I should because I really wanted to finish it (which we didn’t finish).

The game works thus: Each player picks a character to be—I picked Sinbad but there are others including Aladdin, Ali-Buba and more—and then travel the map creating a story. Everyone begins in Baghdad. First players must choose in secret how many Story Points and how many Destiny Points they want to try to achieve. The two numbers need to add up to 20, so for example I chose 14 Story points and 6 Destiny points for a total of 20. The game ends when a player has earned the points they set out to earn and returns to Baghdad to tell their story.

Everyone begins with three of the dozen or so skills available, such as Stealth & Stealing, Magic, Weapon Use, or Storytelling. Everyone also begins with a quest.  Quests can reward certain treasures, or Story Points, Destiny Points or new skills. My first quest, for example, was called “The Gourmet” and it said to have another player pick 3 city locations on the map and place my three quest tokens there, and I had to visit each of these cities to taste their local delicacies.

Everyone also begins at “poor” wealth, and certain quests, encounters, etc can result in your wealth going up. Your improved wealth can give you faster travel. So for example at Poor I believe we each had 3 land and 3 water movement. (this doesn’t add to six, but to 3. We could move all 3 water, or all 3 land, or 2 land and 1 water). That movement was a little confusing, because when you get to Fabulously wealthy you get 2 land movement and 6 water movement. I’m not sure how that would work, I don’t think you could move 2 on land then 6 on sea, or even 2 on land and then 4 on sea for a total of six, I think once you moved those 2 on land that was it, even if you were at the edge of the sea (but again, not sure on that).

Regardless, the fun part comes when you travel. The quests do offer rewards, but their real purpose is to give you destinations to go to on the map. Once you complete your movement (whether you reach a destination or not) you have an encounter, and this is where your skills come into play and the true randomness of the game begins. I shall try to explain this clearly:

You draw an encounter card. There are different types, you could encounter a person like a hermit or a beggar or a djinni, or you could draw a card that is a place like Tripoli or Mecca. Whatever you draw it has a number associated with it. Lets say the number on the card is 34. That references a list of options in the Book of Tales, options 1 through 12. You then roll a 6-sided die and add to it the number under your location on the map, and any extra you get from your current Destiny points. So lets say you rolled a 4, and your place on the map has a 2, and you have enough Destiny points to give you +2, for a total of 8.  The person with the Book of Tales would go to the table for #34, and find the 8th option on that list. That option might be something like a “Angry Beggar [H]”

The Angry Beggar is what you encounter, and the H stands for the list of possible reactions you can have. Each player has a board that lists all the possible reactions, and the list under H might allow you to pray, beg, attack, follow, aid, rob, capture or seduce the target of the encounter.  So lets say you get the Angry Beggar and choose to Aid them.

The person holding the Matrix, which is a thick card showing a lot of tables, finds the table for H, and cross references Angry with your chosen action of Aid, getting a number like 1159.

The person with the Book of Tales then flips to the page with the description of 1159 on it. Before he reads the description however, the player rolls a Fate Die. This is a white die with 2 sides that have a minus symbol, two sides with a plus symbol, and 2 blank sides.  If you roll a plus, then you would get the description for 1160 instead of 1159, and if you got the minus it would be 1158, whereas if it is blank you get the 1159.

The person with the Book of Takes then reads you the brief description. For example:

“The beggar is awed by your offer of aid and accepts graciously. He asks you to carry a letter from him to his sister….”

There are then subsequent options for further reading. There is a “No skill” option, and then there is an option that involves a skill. For example this encounter might involve the Piety skill. If you have the Piety skill then the reader will read that section, if you do not then the reader will read the No Skill section.  Often the skilled section has better potential rewards.  Whether you have skill or not you usually get something, but without skills the something you get could be bad. Such as a negative affect upon you, or losing Story or Destiny points. Though sometimes even with the No Skill option you can still get a positive reward, such as Story or Destiny points.

It is a complex game to grasp, but once a couple rounds go by it becomes fairly easy to understand, but entirely random.

It was a fantastic game, and I fear my description did it little justice. It was entertaining, and fun, and though you are working to win it is not a vicious type of game where you are out to screw the other players—though you can play that way, it is more about just experiencing the complete randomness of the encounters. There are some instances where other players could help or hinder you, such as when you get a quest that allows the other players to place your quest markers, or if you get a status effect like Insane which allows another player to chose where you go on your turn until you can manage to be cured from insanity.

It really was a fun game, I wish I could have stayed later to play it, but already I am exhausted from how late I did stay up.

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