Game Day: Order of the Stick Game, Confeat, Gamer Law, Herald of Bob

Yesterday was too frantic to write a proper Game Day column, but The Order of the Stick Adventure Game was too much fun not to write about.

Published by APE Games, The Order of the Stick Adventure Game allows 2-6 players to take on the roles of the heroes (ok, adventurers) from The Order of the Stick web comic as they explore the Dungeon of Dorukan. Their goal is to collect as much loot as possible, slay the dungeon’s namesake lich at its lowest level, and then escape before the entire complex collapses.

The game features a build-as-you-go dungeon, a relatively simple dice mechanic for combat, and Munchkin-like monsters capable of summoning a small (or not-so-small horde) of comrades to attack adventures. It manages to capture all the humor of the comic strip, and the game itself is a lot of fun … but probably not that great for six players. We played the “quick” game with six people, which took us five hours and we still weren’t able to finish it.

I’m interested to see how it plays with 4-5 people — I expect that four is probably the sweet spot for this game. You can learn more by checking out the game’s web site, which includes the complete rules and FAQ as downloadable PDfs. There’s also a discussion forum to talk about the game.

Confeat, Gamer Law

Two notable jokes arose from last night’s session. The first is the concept of “confeat”, in which adventures confront and then defeat their opponents. Or so says Evil Genius, who must have temporarily absorbed my mutant ability to artfully mangle words.

Since last night was the first time we played The Order of the Stick Adventure Game, we simply ad hocked any rules we weren’t sure on or thought were ambiguous. Some how this spontaneously evolved into a parody of the “Man Law” beer commercials as we started declaring “Gamer Law” after a quick vote. This method would probably drive our more rules-observant friends nuts (you know who you are), but it worked well last night and bought us time to actually, umm, read the rules.

Ken, Herald of the Bob

We have a saying in our gaming group: “Bob is the real enemy”. Whenever we play board games, this statement is made because it’s true — Bob (aka Evil Genius) is the real enemy, because more often than not, he’ll win.

The process is remarkably similar with each game. I declare that Bob is the real enemy. I remind everyone why Bob is the real enemy. I pose a direct challenge to Bob, or encourage others to do that. People may gang up on Bob, in which case, everyone immediately feels sorry for him, and back off, or they’ll ignore him, and he’ll continue to accrue power. Either way, he’ll likely win.

Comparisons to Galactus are obvious, and last night — after Bob won yet again — I declared that I am, in fact, the Herald of Bob, come to tell the world of his approach, and to warn about their coming doom. I travel from game to game, telling people that Bob is the real enemy, that they must ally against him if they wish to win…

But no one ever listens to the Herald.

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