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Product Review: Monopoly Gamer Puts Nintendo Twist on Classic Game

When I first heard about Monopoly Gamer, I rolled my eyes. “Yet another cheap shot at gamers to buy Monopoly for the 50th time with a dumb gimmick,” I thought to myself. It’s not the first time a company slapped “Gamer” onto a product in a cheap attempt to sell a few more products. (Full disclosure: I did end up buying one some time later, with some personal disgust in my heart, but I couldn’t pass up the color scheme.)

At first glance, it’s just Monopoly with plastic Mario figures instead of generic metal ones, and coins instead of money. Plus, they’re adding IRL downloadable content by means of extra figures you can buy. Commence even deeper eye roll. However, as ashamed as I am of myself, that was enough for me to buy it. Continue reading Product Review: Monopoly Gamer Puts Nintendo Twist on Classic Game

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Origins 2017 – game convention from a new perspective

Attending a game convention is not new territory for me. Fresh off of Origins 2017 in Columbus, Ohio, the gaming juice runs at an all-time high and I’m pumped to plow forward with gusto on as a fan of tabletop roleplaying games as well as a savvy up-and-coming Nerdarchy aide-de-camp.

My first game convention was, coincidentally, Origins Game Fair back in the early 90s when civilization was at its peak. I’ll never forget inadvertently joining a world championship tournament of Diplomacy, having never played the game. For about an hour I had my opponents thinking I was some kind of savant, making bewildering moves they’d never seen. Then they realized my cluelessness and my stint as a global leader quickly ended. Continue reading Origins 2017 – game convention from a new perspective

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Using Tabletop RPGs for Social Empathy

I’m not really going to go about proving that science fiction sometimes gets used as a tool to pursue social issues. It’s well documented, and I don’t feel like I need to prove it. Star Trek is practically built on it. Fantasy novels aren’t immune from it, either. Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series bleeds social issues, perhaps even to its own detriment.

social tabletop RPGsTabletop RPGs aren’t exclusively fantasy and science fiction, but it’s hard to avoid their significant presence in the hobby. After all, we already live in a world of Houses & Humans.

Why would we want to spend four hours a week (way more than that for GMs) steeped in daily chores and making sure you include the TPS report cover sheet? It’s far more fun to enjoy something far outside of ourselves, usually with at least some fantasy elements, be it a western, superhero, or a horror game.

There’s actually another reason for that. As children, steeping ourselves in extraordinary worlds helps us learn about the real world around us. We’re able to experiment in a safe environment. As adults, that still holds true. In fact, I would argue that it’s more important for adults. Continue reading Using Tabletop RPGs for Social Empathy

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Barnes and Noble bookstores to offer gaming nights

lex store
This Barnes and Noble bookstore in Lexington, KY, will be one of 57 to host gaming nights this month.

Each Thursday this month 57 Barnes and Noble bookstores throughout the U.S. will be hosting game nights from 7 p.m. until the individual store’s closing hours, according to Publisher Services Inc., a distributor of toys, games, collectibles and other items.

A different game will be played each of the five Thursdays. In order of play schedule, the games are King of Tokyo, Sheriff of Nottingham, Splendor, Codenames, and Lanterns: the Harvest Festival. Players who attend will also receive a variety of free items, from cards to tiles, a play mat, perhaps more.

So, this isn’t an open gaming night in which you can just show up with your regular D&D crowd and start rolling dice, or with your Magic the Gathering buds. Still, if these game nights prove popular, perhaps in the future Barnes and Noble will allow for other types of gaming. In fact, Barnes and Noble already is looking to expand its game nights beyond just the 57 stores, perhaps to all its bookstores. Continue reading Barnes and Noble bookstores to offer gaming nights

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2015 gamer gift suggestions for the holidays

By the time you read this, Hanukkah will have passed, but Christmas and Kwanzaa and other holidays are still more than a week away, which means there is still time to purchase presents for your favorite tabletop role players and other gamers. But what to get your friends? Rulebooks and dice are the easy answer, but likely your pals will already have those. If you want to get them a different type of present, check out some possibilities below.

dice candies

Something chocolate this way rolls

Continue reading 2015 gamer gift suggestions for the holidays

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Even Old School Gamers have Anxiety Behind the Screen

Everyone has some level of anxiety behind the screen of the Dungeon Master. From the newest of newbies to the 30 year veteran, we all have some feeling of anxiety leading up to a game.

After that first day in the captain’s chair many of us expected it to go away but as the Nerdarchy crew discusses in the following video, it stays around for a bit longer than previously imagined

hello-my-name-is-anxiety-Even Old School Gamers have Anxiety Behind the ScreenEven Old School Gamers have Anxiety Behind the Screen

But old school gamers have been playing for so long. How can they still be anxious when they DM?

Well. We still worry about how the session will go.

We still have the same group of questions that those new Dungeon Masters ask themselves before each session.

Will I keep the players entertained?

Am I going to completely crash and burn this session?

Do they even want to continue playing?

These are some of the questions that go buzzing past my thoughts while I am preparing to run a game.

But, by the beginning of the role playing or by the first round of a combat those questions and the anxiety that was present before has dwindled.

For me this was not always the case. For the first few sessions of my DMing career I would have a bit of the shakes throughout the game,but I also have a level of social anxiety a bit above the normal range.

What I found help the most was gaining confidence in my abilities.

I didn’t have to be awesome.

I just had to be confident enough in my ability to no longer want to start screaming while running off into the woods .

self-confidence Even Old School Gamers have Anxiety Behind the Screen

As I felt that urge less and less I started to believe that the very act of me sitting in the DMing chair was not going to cause a gaming session to resemble a train wreck instead of a story.

If you are feeling anxiety before you game, remember that it is a normal thing.

Ever DM that I have spoken with has said the same.

Turn that excited energy towards playing the characters and monsters that make the world more real for the players.

And remember… leave feeling anxious to the players when they first hear the rumbling voice of a dragon in the cavern ahead.

here there be dragons Even Old School Gamers have Anxiety Behind the Screen
Here There Be Dragons

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Top 10 Anime Series When Designing Artifacts and Magic Items | Game Master Tips part 1

Whether you are a game master or a player, the unique weapons and special powers found in anime series can liven up a gaming experience.

Personally, I really enjoy watching anime. so doing game master “homework” is easy

While there are many places to draw inspiration from the following are my top 10 anime series when designing artifacts and magic items.

They are not listed in any particular order. As I have explained in previous lists for my top 10 anime series, I am not looking to go over all of the merits and weigh one series against the value of another.

There are plenty of other articles for that type of list.

Instead I am looking to give you a bank of anime series that you can check out when you are looking for inspiration when designing artifacts and magic items.

Top 10 Anime Series When Designing Artifacts and Magic Items | Game Master Tips part 1

For some of these series it has been several years since I have seen them, some of these have just finished, and a few are ongoing. All of the shows are readily available on Amazon and other stores where you can find anime series.

You shouldn’t have much difficulty acquiring them (except LofLH). For your convenience I have linked the names to places you can find them.

Top 10 Anime Series When Designing Artifacts and Magic Items | Game Master Tips part 1 the_Legend_of_the_Legendary_Heroes2. Legend of the Legendary Heroes: This anime series takes place in a made up world with swords and sorcery. Every kingdom has it’s own spells and that comes into play when identifying army groups.

Several characters go around and deal with people who have powerful items that shape the outcome of battles and the fates of the characters.

4. D. Gray man: A great series that follows the major character, Allen Walker, through a alternate magical turn of the 19th century. There are akuma (demons) who attempt to kill as many people as they can while exorcists, with special items and equipment, attempt to destroy them.

6.Fate stay night, unlimited blade works: For those familiar with the original anime adaptation, this version trumps the original in animation quality and storyline. There is a war going on between mages and all of them have servants with amazing weapons and powers.

Top 10 Anime Series When Designing Artifacts and Magic Items | Game Master Tips part 18.akame ga kill: A group of rebels fight against a oppressive government. Their weapons of choice, strange and wondrous artifacts from another era

10.Hunter X Hunter– there are a lot of peoples special powers and items that could easily be explained as being powers from items or strange and unique artifacts. They talk a lot about the power of the individual but it is an easy design alteration to make the powers into thematic magic items.

Top 10 Anime Series When Designing Artifacts and Magic Items | Game Master Tips part 1

As far as the game master tips go for using anime series for inspiration I like to keep an idea of where I am going with a particular campaign while watching.

Otherwise I can too easily latch on to a concept and go far from where I want to be headed with my campaign and sessions.

In short, use my top 10 anime series when designing artifacts and magic items to further the magical might in your story but don’t loose that part that makes it uniquely yours. Make sure you keep an element that separates the story you want to tell from the stories told by the other artists and writers.

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Top 10 Anime Series to Checkout When Writing Fiction | Game Master Tips -part 2

This is part 2 of my Top 10 Anime Series to Checkout When Writing Fiction | Game Master Tips –click here for part 1. This list is not in any particular rating order.

I didn’t want to do a countdown list for my Game Master Tips.

cowboy bebop Top 10 Anime Series to Checkout When Writing Fiction | Game Master TipsWhy not? Well. Is Fullmetal Alchemist better than Cowboy Bebop?


Is it the scope of this article to reveal the #10 through #2 spots and why each one is worthy of the number I have chosen for them? Next, I slowly build up to the #1 greatest anime of all time for inspiration when writing fiction?

No, there are about 3 dozen or so top 10 anime series lists out there.

At least 3 dozen.

My purpose in writing this is not to add another top 10 anime series list to the stack.

Instead I am here to share my experience with you on these anime. As well as my game master tips  and how to use this list of top 10 anime series as your inspiration when writing fiction for your game.

Top 10 Anime Series to Checkout When Writing Fiction | Game Master Tips

2.Cowboy Bebop: Follows a crew of people just trying to stay afloat as bounty hunters in the future. They are experts in their own way in a variety of skills. The setting is a great example of how technology could be used in the future when it comes to market places, advertisements, interplanetary  commerce, and living in and out of societal norms.

Space cowboys, bandits, and mercenaries are some of the antagonists and protagonists in a game based off of this show.

4. Blue Gender: A good example of future apocalypse where alien-like beings attack and eat humans on the humans’ home planet while survivors live on elsewhere. If you are considering futurist military campaigns or adventuring party vs. a dangerous, monstrous world then you should check this series out.

irregular at magic high school Top 10 Anime Series to Checkout When Writing Fiction | Game Master Tips6. The Irregular at Magic High School:This is magic student meets techno magic. Wait, how is it technology and magic?

Well. They literally use a CAD system (casting assistant device) that has programs similar in scope to apps but for magical effects.

They work by using the magic energy of the practitioner as the energy input and the output is the magical effect.  There are a lot of interesting concepts within the series dealing with the CAD system.

It is a good example on how to fit magic into modern society. And how modern society would augment how magic is practiced.

8. Tower of Druaga– Put in at least three episodes of this one to get a good idea of the series. It is dungeons and dragons- tower style. A fantasy setting where adventures go to climb a mythic tower full of monsters, traps, and obstacles in the hopes of defeating the evil within.

Different levels are themed in a various styles, with many of them incongruous from one level to the next. Great inspiration for traps, monster/environment combinations, and entire dungeon levels

fullmetal alchemist Top 10 Anime Series to Checkout When Writing Fiction | Game Master Tips10. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood: Long show but it has a fantastic quantity of ideas to mine. There is the political military struggle. There is the adventuring party turning the terrible wrongs of the world around. There is the limitless potential and dark temptations of power. Both the series and setting have it all.

From the perspective of a gamer I think this series would run best as a mutants and masterminds game since the scope and variety of powers is huge. But I would not exclude running it as a level one D&D game. Where the heroes ascend through the military ranks in the hopes of enacting powerful changes in the world.

knights of sidonia Top 10 Anime Series to Checkout When Writing Fiction | Game Master TipsHonorable Mention: Knights of Sidonia: An interesting societal setup. The future where humans are fleeing from menacing creatures.

It has some genderless humans and genetic alterations for photosynthesis. Overall an interesting story and campaign setting but not enough story wise to make it to my top 10 anime series when writing fiction.

At the same time it does still have a good background story and basis for a campaign as well as an interesting alternate human culture.

Subtract out the mechanized units and insert some space orcs and I am ready to play!

Top 10 Anime Series to Checkout When Writing Fiction | Game Master Tips

There are many more anime series that are beneficial to checkout when writing fiction for your games. Obviously I am just going through my top ten for right now.

If you have some suggestions for your own top 10 anime series for inspiration be sure to let me knw what are your top 10 in the comments below.

Remember to share this with like minded individuals and until next time

Stay Nerdy!

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Top 10 Anime Series When Writing Fiction for a Game | Game Master Tips -part 1

There comes a time in every anime watching, RPG playing, nerd’s life when they are inspired by their top 10 anime series.

Below are my top 10 anime series for source material and some Game Master tips when writing fiction for your worlds.

Some of the worlds lend themselves to certain styles of play and certain types of players. Keep this in mind when you are writing fiction for your world.

This list is in no particular order, just my top 10 anime series for campaign inspiration. When writing fiction I like to stay within the theme of the game that I decide to run so when I list the anime I will start off with the flavor of fantasy that fits it the best. Then go into some non-spoiler descriptions of elements within that world. Continue reading Top 10 Anime Series When Writing Fiction for a Game | Game Master Tips -part 1

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How to Speeks Goblin| Failed Con Save

Philly Games Con

Philly Games Con

As some of you may or may not know Nerdarchy recently participated in a local convention known as Philly Games Con. We had a blast. It was the first year for Philly Games Con and the first time anyone in Nerdarchy ran a convention game. We came in hard and fast for our convention debut with 5 games of D&D 5E and 3 games of FATE Accelerated.

Nerdarchy isn’t the only ones recovering from Philly Games Con. It would appear one of our little green goblin friends has also been doing a little conventioneering. Poor little goblin probably spent all weekend rolling D20’s and drinking Grugnak.

Hope you enjoyed this week’s web-comic and our little goblin friend in the aftermath of his gaming con experience. Feel free to drop comments below about our Failed Con Save web-comic.

Quick thank you to Philly Games Con for a weekend of fun.

Hope they do it again next year.

Until Next Time “Stay Nerdy”



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How to Speeks Goblin| Tabletop Terrors in Honor of International TableTop Day

International TableTop Day

International TableTop Day

Time to check in on Gil Beatin & Killicia Slay just in time for International Tabletop Terrors Day. Oh my is that Durgen from A Fistful of Dice and The Provokers on the table? I don’t know if I want to see what happens to this poor dwarf at these goblin hands. I’m sure they are going to take their time with this grisly game especially with it being International Tabletop Terrors Day. Continue reading How to Speeks Goblin| Tabletop Terrors in Honor of International TableTop Day

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Board Games in Review – Resistor – Kickstarter


ResistorNerdarchist Ted here and our friends over at Cardboard Fortress are getting their first card game on Kickstarter and it is a great one. You can check them out here.

RESISTOR_ is a fast, fun, and intense two-player competitive card game in which you play as one of two supercomputers in charge of your country’s global thermonuclear warheads. Through the manipulation of double-sided cards on the table and in your hand, you create a line that is either red (for DEEP RED) or blue (for BLU9000) that goes across the board into your enemy’s base. Each player gets three actions and must take all three before the turn is over. Toss in some Resistor cards, either strategically or to introduce some chaos. The first person to get their enemy up to DEFCON 5 wins! Continue reading Board Games in Review – Resistor – Kickstarter

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Role-Playing Games -Rune Stones and Rune Port Transportation

Rune stones
Rune stone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hello Nerdarchy fans, Nercharchist Ted here.  Today I want to talk about a potential house rule that you can add to your tabletop role-playing game. Rune port transportation.

Now many of you will have played video games that used way points or some form of magic portal allowing easy travel and access to other areas of your realm.

Essentially that is what this is.  For those of you unfamiliar with the concept this would be a sigil or glyph created on the ground imbued with magic allowing one to magically travel to another such location.




There are many pros and cons to using this idea in a game.  So I will give you the basic idea and allow you as a Dungeon Master to make the call as to whether you feel it is worth it to add it to your game. Continue reading Role-Playing Games -Rune Stones and Rune Port Transportation