What Games Are Widespread in Forgotten Realms?

I know that Three-Dragon Ante is one of the widely popular table games across Faerûn, and here’s a nice answer with some info about the Talis deck. But I am having trouble finding what other ‘table’ games are widespread throughout Forgotten Realms. Are dice games generally plentiful, and what are they usually like? Is there perhaps a common fondness for pieces-on-a-board games like baduk or checkers? Sowing games like mancala? Maybe something with a blurrier line between luck and positioning, such as nard or diced chess?

Ideally, I’d be interested in being pointed to some sort of list/compilation with descriptions and other information of the various games (comparable to, e.g., the list of semi-magical substances on the same wiki). But failing that, a direct answer is also welcome.

While I’m particularly interested in games that are widespread throughout all layers of society and common in the northern parts of Faerûn, other games are of interest too.

Spoilt for choice: helping traditional-system players adapt to narrative-control games

My group teethed on D&D 3.5 and loved 4e, but now we’re eager to take advantage of FATE’s more narrative- and character-driven philosophies. However, on our first (DFRPG) game last night, my players frequently seemed spoilt for choice: faced with “what do you want to do?” instead of “which of these options (like 4e’s power cards) would you like to use?”, we sometimes froze like deer in the headlights.

For a player trained in 4e that their choices are largely limited to a set of specific mechanical actions (eg power cards), narrative-based options seem vast and vague. The golden rule of FATE is to first decide what you want to do narratively and then figure out how to model it mechanically, and this is alien to my players’ experience. We like it conceptually, but can’t get a handle on it yet.

I know this is just new-system pains, but what can I do to make the transition easier?

Are there any PbtA games for Contemporary Fantasy and Magic?

I’m being (late) introduced to PbtA games and I’m looking for a Contemporary Fantasy and Magic option, something like Ars Magica, Mage The Ascension, Dresden Files?

Let me narrow down the question a bit…

I know we have Monsterhearts, but it is about relationships and lack Skins for magic users. What I am looking is something with more freedom (make your own spells) and combat/explosions or at least rituals.

I’m a huge fan of games likes Mage and Dresden Files, but I like how PbtA plays with conflicts and tests and I can imagine a 6- resulting in a chaotic backslash when failing to cast a spell.

Any PbtA game I can use for that?

My gaming group can’t agree on play-by-post or scheduled games

I’m currently helping out as one of the DMs of a larger gaming group that will periodically see two or three players plus a DM go on a mission, usually handled in play-by-post format.

Right now, I have a group of three that’s been having pacing problems from the start despite multiple strategies to address them:

  • When we first started, all three players had differing activity levels, and the most active player was complaining about not being able to play because they were spending all their time waiting.
  • I adopted a faster activity level myself in response, and the least active player started complaining about not being able to play because everything was happening while they were busy with real life.
  • We called a post-mortem to discuss how to handle the pacing issues. One of the players suggested moving from play-by-post to a more traditional scheduled meeting, and another player actually shot this down complaining about not being able to play because making it an obligation took too much of the fun out of it.

Unless there’s an organizational strategy I’ve missed besides play-by-post or scheduled meeting, I don’t think I’m going to be able to run a game for these players, and while I expect the answer is going to be "find better player(s)", that’s a last resort.

How do I run for this group?

Festival Mini Games

My D&D party will be going to a town with a festival in it. Generally during festivals there may be some games that are going on, kind of like small carnival type games or “mini games”, ones that also may be of chance or just showing off some skill.

I’d like to come up with some skill challenges for the group based off a variety of these types of games. Something simple that lets the group use skills outside of a dangerous situation and in a more fun environment.

Is there a list or already created encounters for such types of games in a book or pregenerated session? I don’t want them to be anything super complicated, something just easy to do for the party to have fun with for a short bit.

While I’m looking for some that specifically use the D&D 4E skills for my situation I can also easily adapt them from another system so answers do not need to have 4E specifically in mind.

Role of games within games

Sometimes my players want to engage in gambling or other games of chance within the role-playing game itself (I know, vaguely meta). The question is two-fold:

  1. How can I approach this without squashing their aspirations to be the next Poker King, indulge them, and not have it become an obsession or throw off game balance due to poverty and/or extreme wealth given their current place in the world?

  2. Does anybody have any good, easy/quick games that could be played in a casino/gambling-hall type locale? I’m thinking something similar to Dragon Dice, an older, briefly manufactured dice game. It should have a fantastical element but be simple enough to learn within 15-30 minutes. I’m not looking to play craps at the gaming table, but having a few alternatives should wet the party’s thirst for casino-style action.

Importantly, I want to avoid a Chocobo-racing scenario (I’m referring to Final Fantasy 7 wherein players would become immersed in breeding and racing wingless birds, rather than actually spending time winning the game).

What are the gambling games in the “Black Box” edition of Basic D&D?

I have a vague memory of my father teaching me about dice probabilities from a “mini-game” within the Black box set, at the beginning of being in jail in the salt mines. The other prisoners, is willing to gamble with me, but we use different combinations of dice to see who will roll the higher number. From what I can remember it was from the Escape from Zanzer Tem’s dungeon adventure.

I’m looking to find what exactly those combinations of dice were, and what the rules of the gambling game were.

Where can I find experiential-based resources for West Marches/Open Table games?

I’m currently getting ready to run an Open Party/West Marches style game with a pool of about 16 players. We’ll be using 5e, but my question is system-agnostic.

I of course started with Ben Robbins’ "Grand Experiments: West Marches" blog posts (here: http://arsludi.lamemage.com/index.php/78/grand-experiments-west-marches/ ), but after reading those and Justin Alexander’s "Open Table Manifesto" https://thealexandrian.net/wordpress/38643/roleplaying-games/open-table-manifesto I’m having a tough time finding anything else experiential. Pretty much every other resource I find references one of those two to define the playstyle, says they think it’s a neat idea they’d like to try, and stops there.

I can’t say I’m shocked; building a sandbox like this is a lot of work and I don’t know that I’d want to go to the trouble of annotating it for strangers on the internet. It’s almost shocking that it’s happened twice.

That being said, I’m specifically looking for things similar to Ben’s West Marches: Running Your Own http://arsludi.lamemage.com/index.php/94/west-marches-running-your-own/ where a GM who has actually run an Open Party/West March style game for some time gives experience-based advice.

Of highest import is anything that gives insight on managing in-game vs. real-world time with multiple parties.

Is there a name for simple, self-contained, shorter games?

In terms of systems, I’m thinking of something that can get everyone into the game without a ton of setup or consultations of a player’s handbook, but still enough going on (e.g. a few stats and some dice-rolling) that it’s not purely an open-ended storytelling game. On the environment side, I’m thinking of enough of an environment/goal to provide some framework and direction, but not a totally on-the-rails win-or-lose story.

I know I’ve seen "onepage" RPGs, but I’m not really trying to be that restrictive. Is there a common name for this rough category of RPG, or one or more similar categories?

(Yes, I’m asking because I’m looking for games, but I’m definitely not looking for recommendations here, just some help with vocabulary so I can go look for myself.)