In my world, TTRPG sessions are some of the best time spent but it isn’t always feasible to gather a group and focus on the role play. Board games can really help scratch that itch! More so, some board games can even be used to help teach some TTRPG mechanics. Today I am going to share with you some of my favorite board games to play with new TTRPG players. I hope you are able to have as much fun with them as I do!
5 Minute Dungeon
5 Minute Dungeon by Spin Master is a quick paced game that teaches players how to use their abilities cooperatively. There are 5 different bosses to hunt down, ranging from Baby Barbarian to The Dungeon Master, and they each have their own minions you must face.
Players will combine Scroll, Jump, Sword Shield and Arrow cards to attack. This is an excellent game to teach teamwork skills in the dungeon and how to combine powers to win. The fast pace is also good training for how combat can feel in a TTRPG.
Betrayal at House on the Hill
Betrayal at House on the Hill by Avalon Hill Games is possibly the most played game in my house. I was originally introduced to this by Variant Liz and fell in love with the way you build the game board together. Players take turns exploring an old haunted house room by room. The player’s rolls will eventually trigger a Haunt, in which their real purpose in the house will be revealed. The base game has fifty separate haunts that can play out, which all are affected by the placement of the room tiles. The randomness of what quest you will follow and cooperative building is reminiscent of a DM/GM setting a play and having the players go hog wild with it!
One major component of Dungeons and Dragons is learning how combat works. This is also one of the hardest components to teach, given its very specific rule set. I have found Castle Panic from Fireside Games to be an excellent tool to show how turn taking and different types of damage affect your adversaries. Players work together to defend their castle from goblins, orcs, trolls and boss monsters with the help of Archers, Knights and Swordsmen. Turns play out in rounds, giving this a very TTRPG feel. Additional expansions can also add an extra challenge to your experience.
Clue- Dungeons and Dragons Edition
Political intrigue and solving crime is an integral part of many TTRPG quests. Clue- Dungeons and Dragons edition by Hasbro, takes all the elements of classic Clue and puts them in a Dungeons and Dragons setting. This is a fun way to show potential new party members the classic setting of Baldur’s Gate.
Dungeon by Wizards of the Coast was my first board game with a Dungeons and Dragons focus. In Dungeon players explore as a Cleric, Fighter, Rogue or Wizard, as they battle creatures and collect loot. One of my favorite aspects is that you can choose to play cooperatively or competitively. This brings extra replay value to the game.
Dungeon Drop by Gamewright is a tabletop game without a board. Players drop many cubes onto a surface making a “dungeon.” Each player gets two cards that describe their abilities for the game and a third card that outlines player goals. Players collect loot and fight monsters and the player with the highest level of treasure wins! What is excellent about Dungeon Drop is that the players are all using the same random dungeon to accomplish different goals. This has the feel of an actual adventuring party, who might all be out there for their own reasons. Upcoming expansions will add even more fun to this game!
I hope that you are able to use some of these suggested games to bring more people into the TTRPG hobby. If after trying your friends still aren’t interested, you all will still have some excellent gaming memories to share and new board games with added replay value!
What kinds of games do you like to play when your TTRPG party can’t assemble? Tell us in the comments!
*Photo Credit: Variant Berry
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