Posted 20 hours ago

Folklore The Affliction 2nd Edition

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On Game the Game, host Becca Scott talks about tabletop gaming news and is joined by guests to play a variety of great games. If you want to learn about what’s new, exciting, and coolin the world of modern tabletop, join her on Wednesdays starting at 4 PM PT on Twitch and Alpha. Want more board games & RPGs? Board games are the bee’s knees. Roleplaying games are the bomb-diggity. Mix these two and too often it never quite works out. What should be peanut butter and jelly ends up more like peanut butter and fish. I don’t care what weird combinations of food your kid eats, ain’t nobody eating PB & F. I do have a brief word of warning to you minis aficionados out there. The minis, while generally good, do have some pretty odd stinkers in the batch. The quality of the sculpts seems inconsistent, ranging from excellent to pretty bad. There seems to be some scale issues with some figures (especially the humanoid ones) and the Vampire mini has two right hands. Also expect to get out a bowl of hot water to fix all the bendy swords, staves, spears, and shovels you’ll come across. The majority of figures out of the box will need some work. Don’t expect CMON or FF quality, but at the same time, the minis are acceptable. This doesn’t mean that Folklore is hard. In fact, I would say that with a good party of 4 characters or more, you should be able to survive, but be warned. Less then 4 characters is pretty much a hard mode for the game. The game isn’t particularly well skewed to handle smaller parties. You can of course get around this by having players play multiple PCs, but I know there are a lot of gamers out there who despise that sort of solution. There’s also a strong nostalgia element as the game utilizes percentile D100 rolls and other small winks towards D&D creator Gary Gygax’s past. These touches are appreciated and help to convey the overall atmosphere and tone of play.

Folklore: The Affliction is an adventure board game for 1-5 players, in which your characters progress through a series of stories in their quest to rid the land of evil. Every story is broken into chapters, allowing players to control the length of each game session. Most chapters take 45-60 minutes to complete. This isn’t a huge problem as the game feels well play-tested and for the most part smooth. But there is an outside possibility you run into a random event in the early going that’s unduly harsh, such as your only weapon beingstolen. This would be devastating as you’d be completely ineffective in combat and your agency squashed. Thelikelihood of such swinginess diminishes as you grow in wealth and might fortunately. Ultimately this is just a cost of doing business in a GM-less system that wants to retain dramatic moments. Who doesn’t love a bit of old school D&D-style storytelling? Throw in a vaguely eastern European fantasy setting with gothic touches, vampires and werewolves, and I’m sold. So I really enjoy Folklore: the Affliction, an unapologetically old-fashioned gaming experience from Greenbrier Games. Some younger gamers may find the idea of scribbling information on character sheets weird and clunky in a modern boardgame, but us old timers will smile and shake their heads and say “we remember the days…”, and then nod off with a cup of hot cocoa resting on our bellies.

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The beats of game play are an interesting echo of what can be found in Green Briar Game’s earlier title Grimslingers. In both games you play out a relatively on rails mission based RPG. You are given a story based directive (typically something like “go to X location”). You journey across the game map and encounter random story events and combat along the way. You arrive at your location for a nifty series of tests and/or story events. You are then given a new story based directive, wash, rinse, repeat. I know that sounds pretty dull, but in practice it works out quite well. In my earlier review of Grimslingers, I was pretty vocal that I felt the quasi-RPG narrative found in the game was its best attribute. For those of you who played through Grimslinger’s campaign, you will find a very familiar story telling system. If you haven’t played Grimslingers, I would compare Folklore to a mash up of Eldritch Horror and Mansions of Madness 2.0. Imagine Eldritch Horror except that every once in a while you have to pause the game and play out 15 minutes of story narrative and exploration on the Mansions of Madness game boards. Again, it sounds like a mess, but in practice it is compelling and addictive. The best compliment I have for Folklore is that its a game that is hard to walk away from, and when you do, its hard to stop thinking about. Folklore is all about diving into the action. It requires no dungeon master and allows everyone in the group to adopt the role of gritty hero fighting off the tides of madness. You choose one of several archetypes and fill out a small character sheet just as if you were playing a simplified version of good ‘ol Dungeons& Dragons. Embark on a cooperative epic adventure that is Folklore the Affliction. Find and destroy the source of the evil spreading its claws into the heart of the land, decimating its people and resources. Free the denizens from the scourge of vampirism and lycanthropy and expand your power and abilities. Are you a survivor, or will you play as your ghost? Will you fall to the bloodlust or the taint of lycanthropy yourself?

One of the most inspired design decisions is to have protagonists turn into ghosts when they perish. Instead of eliminating the player from the game, you flip your board over and gain a new host of powers along with your eerie visage. The asymmetry of the role is prominent and wildly engaging. There is still danger as you can be defeated and sent to limbo, but the group has an out as they can meet with the gypsy caravan and have you resurrected. We love games here at Geek & Sundry, and love keeping you in the loop about them. If you want to keep up with the coolest games in tabletop, look no further than our tabletop game show Game the Gamehosted by Becca Scott every Wednesday at 4 pm PT on Twitchand Alpha.Dying in Folklore is not the end for your character... dead characters play on as their ghost with ethereal powers to strike down your foes from beyond the grave. You are never truly out of the action. Customizable abilities even include those that can strengthen your character in the afterlife! Create a group of up to five saved heroes in the setting then use the Next Hero Arrow or the Side Menu option. If you’re interested in the concept of this wonderful game then that cost will be negligible. Your overriding experience and memories will be centered on the developing narrative and the growth of your characters. You’ll take on hulking beasts that would make a grown warrior wet their trousers. You’ll forge out into the night and make a name for yourselves. Or perhaps you’ll turn into a ghost trying.

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