Ring Side Report-Board Game Review of Sheriff of Nottingham

Product-Sheriff of Nottingham

Producer-Arcane Wonders

Price– $30 here

Set-up/Play/Clean-up– 20 minutes (3-5 players)

Type-American

Depth-Light

TL; DR-A Good game of who is the best liar. 91%

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Basics-Who’s the best liar in Nottingham?  In Sheriff of Nottingham, players take the roles of different merchants trying to smuggle goods into the Nottingham market.  Each turn starts with players discarding and drawing cards.  These cards can come from a facedown pile or from one of two face up piles where the order is publicly known.  Players set asides some cards, draw up to six, and then discard the set aside cards to either pile.  After drawing, then each player except that Sheriff for that round, chooses up to five cards, and places them in a bag with a snap.  The cards come in two general types: basic and contraband.  Basic goods are chicken, bread, cheese, and apples.  Contraband are better types of basic goods, weapons, pepper, or other random items.  After a player chooses what to put in the bag, that player must then announce to the Sheriff the number of cards in the bag as well as say one type of good (obviously you should not say contraband!).  The Sheriff has to decide if you are lying, to trust you, or to try to take a bribe.  Brides could be future favors, money, or even bribes from other players to look in the bag!  If the Sheriff let’s the player pass, then the player places goods around their play mat for the different basic goods or places contraband facedown in front of their player board.  However, if the Sheriff opens your bag, then things get interesting.  If you were completely truthful and had played no contraband, then the Sheriff pays you the penalty value of all the goods in your bag.  If you had some other basic goods, then you have to pay the Sheriff the penalty value for each good you didn’t declare before, but you still get to keep the goods as before.  And lastly, if you had contraband, you pay the Sheriff for the contraband, pay for undeclared cards as before, and then the contraband is placed in one of the discard piles.  After each player except the Sheriff player has had a chance to be inspected, then the next player becomes the Sheriff, and the game continues as above until each player is the Sheriff twice.  At the end of the game, the players with the most and second most of each basic good score extra points, and then the gold value for each item you have, basic and contraband, are added together along with any remaining currency you still have.  The player with the highest score is the winner and best merchant/smuggler in Nottingham!

IMG_20151126_175932021Mechanics-This game is as simple as they come, and that’s not a bad thing.  Sheriff of Nottingham is completely social.  You do get some cards, and to make some choices, but overall, the game’s main focus is social deduction, risk-management, and a good poker face.  It’s quick, fun, and something you don’t have to have a strong game background to play.  But, you do need a poker face and a group of people who do like these kind of games.  There is no self correction for the leader.  If you don’t work together against the leader, you will lose.  4.5/5

Theme-There is a theme here, but honestly, it’s not very strong.  You have art driving home Robin Hood, but the gameplay itself isn’t  tied to that world.  You’re just sneaking a thing into a place.  The bags are awesome, and they do drive home the theme of anxiously trying to avoid customs.  That’s fun.  Nothing beats the feel and sound of the snap on the bag to let you know the game is up.  But, don’t expect to fly deep into the game work like with Mage Wars.3.75/5

Instructions-The rulebook is well laid out, and the rules are not complicated.  As you saw above, it’s pretty simple.  You don’t need to reinvent the wheel to have fun and the rule book knows that as well.  5/5

IMG_20151126_175939405Execution– SNAP!  The game is amazing.  You get great bags, cards, art, and cardboard coins all look great.  however, the star is the snap on the bag.  It brings awesome theme and tension to the game.  I absolutely love that.  What’s more the game itself has a divider in the box that holds all the piece and comes out of the box to assist in gameplay. I’d like the dividers a bit higher to better contain the coins, overall, The signs of a great game.  To see all the parts, here is a video of me unboxing the game: https://youtu.be/NB6syVc3imE  5/5

Summary-This is another great game that a solid chunk of you won’t play.  This is a pure social game.  If you can’t read people, then you will not enjoy it. There are no Euro-elements to grab on here. However, if you’re trained to spot a liar, then you will enjoy this game as you get to flex those muscles.  The only real challenge ihen is the randomness.  You have to adjust your strategy on the fly for this one.  This is a American Style game through and through that is a great, quick social game. 91%

Daily Punch 12-1-15 Sonic Shove cantrip for DnD 5e

I’ve been designing spells for something secret and reading the Sword Coast Adventurers Guide.  Let’s combine those two.

 

Sonic Shove

Evocation cantrip

Casting Time: 1 action

Range: 5 feet

Components: V, M (a weapon)

Duration: Instantaneous

As part of this action used to cast this spell, you must make a melee attack with a weapon against one creature within the spell’s range, otherwise the spell fails.  On a hit the target suffers the attack’s normal effects, and a sonic boom infuses the area.  That creature must make both a Strength and Constitution saving throw.  If it fails the Strength saving throw, the creature is moved 5 feet away, knocked prone, and you are no longer considered engaged if the creature does not have reach to attack you with one of its melee weapons.  If it fails the Constitution saving throw, the creature is dealt an extra 1d4 thunder damage.

This spell’s damage and thrown distance increases when you reach higher levels.  At 5th level, the spell’s thunder damage increases to 2d4 and the thrown distances increases to 10 feet.  The distance increases to 15 feet and 3d4 thunder at 11th level, and to 20 feet and 4d4 thunder at 17th level.

 

Thoughts?

Daily Punch 11-30-15 Song Maestro feat for DnD 5e

Bladesingers seem cool (Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide p 141), but we can make it better…

 

Song Maestro

You are a master of music, and that song pours into your soul, sword, and your enemies.  Gain the following benefits:

  • You may spend two uses of your Bladesong at once.  If you do, increase your bonus to AC to double your Intelligence modifier and double your Song of Victory class feature bonus to damage.
  • Instead of using your Constitution modifier to determine extra hit points per level, recalculate your hit points using your Intelligence modifier instead.
  • Increase the bonus damage reduced by your Song of Defense class feature to six times the spell slot spent instead of five.
  • Gain one extra use of your Bladesong ability per rest.

 

Thoughts?

Daily Punch 11-27-15 Trained by Another feat for DnD 5e

Some of the most interesting things from the Sword Coast Adventurers guide were the number of new class archetypes that were only for one particular race.  Let’s change that.

Trained by Another

You’re one in a million.  Among all the races of the realms, you found a way to train with another group.  Most there don’t like you and maybe a few there tolerate you, but at least one sees something special in you.  This one has trained you in the secret traditions of there race.  Gain the following benefits:

  • Choose a class path that you normally could not take due to race restrictions.  You can now take that class’s path, and count as a member of that race for other feats and abilities.  This feat does not give you any race specific abilities.
  • Gain 1 in one of the stats a member of that race would increase at character generation to a maximum of 20.  This bonus may be either in the primary stat gained by all members of that race, or in the bonus gained by a subgroup of that race.

Thoughts?

 

Daily Punch 11-26-15 Battlerager Prowess feat for DnD 5e

Reading through the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide, and I’m kind of surprised there are no feats in the book.  Let’s begin to fix that!

 

Battlerager Prowess

You are the bulwark of your people.  You take a punch, keep going, and then give better then you got.  Gain the following benefits:

  • The damage you inflict with your spiked armor for Battlerager Armor and Spiked Retribution class feature change from 1d4 and 3 piercing, respectively, to a monks unarmed attack die of a monk of equal level.
  • When you use your Reckless Abandon class feature, you gain temporary hit points equal to double your Constitution modifier.
  • Increase your Strength or Constitution score by 1 to a maximum of 20.

Thoughts?