A Week of Woe Leads to a Wrestling Pro
Recently Confetti went on a work trip and I got left all by lonesome for a week. Just little ol’ me (and our one year-old and the dogs and the house ghost and the cat and the rest of my life that isn’t specifically Confetti). Yep. Just little ol, poor ol’ me. Woe, woe, woe.
As I surveyed our board game collection, nothing seemed set to hit my gaming itch just right. Many games needed another player, but even my solo games didn’t call to me as they normally would.
After much pondering, I decided to turn toward the internet for assistance. Before long I came across the Automated Wrestling Company (AWC) on Board Game Geek. This is King Nate’s Book It! The Pro Wrestling Promoter Card Game solo variant campaign. King Nate took a game whose solo mode is mostly “see how many points you can get” and built rules and stories to create a more engaging experience.
I got my butt whooped. Maybe the game could use some balancing, maybe I’m not as good as I think I am, maybe lady luck wanted to take me in a grudge match, but I couldn’t beat the automated promotion. With each attempt I got better, but I never got to crown myself a wrestling promoter champion.
The games were tough and a bit raw, trouncing any hope I had of victory, but more importantly, I had a lot of fun.
It’s always amazing to see someone take a board game you already love and then build on it. It’s awesome when official content gets released like a Gloomhaven’s community campaigns, The Crew: Flight to the ISS promo scenarios, or new unique characters for King of Tokyo, but it is also really inspiring to see what fans end up tinkering away with once they are given the tools and spark of imagination to run with.
I think back to my childhood, where I created my own made up Pokemon and Magic: The Gathering cards to use with friends. Some of what I’ve come across in board games communities can be just as silly, unbalanced, or targeted towards a specific audience, but still more shows off the creativity that surrounds and pervades the hobby.
If you’ve been following our blog for a bit, it’s no secret that I love playing Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game and I love building scenarios based on storylines and MCU movies. My ability to do that is thanks to the great work that Upper Deck already put into that game, but I also really like seeing what fans have done in terms of scheme and character creation. On Board Game Geek, Jacob Stick’s weekly challenges were what really opened my eyes to being able to create my own scenarios and challenges.
Honestly, Marvel games tend to lend themselves well to fan created content, whether that’s filling in character gaps for Marvel: United or creating epic campaigns around what is already there such as Dominique Ferland’s crossover campaign map or Bryceandcallie’s Breakout Campaign. Of course, Marvel Champions also has a ton of custom characters and scenarios. There are simply a lot of characters and history to draw from in those franchises.
I mentioned Gloomhaven earlier, but I would be foolish not to mention how cool Crimson Scales looks. We still kick ourselves in this household for finding out about it so late and missing the chance to order it. It’s pretty neat looking over the internet and seeing the many characters and scenarios players have created using the base ideas that Isaac and his team started. Beyond creating completely new content from scratch, Cephalofair also helps fans by continuing to give players plenty of tile boards and overlay tiles to use to make their own scenarios.
If you love a campaign game, there is a good chance that there are plenty of fan-crafted scenarios to sate your hunger for new material. Some of our favorites include fan-content for Time Stories and Robinson Cruosoe. We’ve also heard about cool offerings such as Spirit Island campaigns, Pokemon-themed Wingspan, and custom haunts for Betrayal at House on the HIll. There is too much to try it all, and maybe some of it isn’t worth touching, but if you want more of a favorite game, it’s worth checking out what’s out there.
For anyone who might scoff at the idea of fan-made content, it is important to note that some creators ended up landing jobs because their privately made materials ended up catching the eyes of official publishers. Heck, sometimes home-made content ends up becoming official: Time Stories: Project Hadal, My Little Scythe, certain cases from Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective and Codenames Duet to name a few.
I wish I could say I contributed more to the realm of fan supplied materials, but hopefully we can raise some awareness about what’s out there because we are so glad plenty of others put in insane amounts of work towards the games they enjoy. Here’s to all the creators, official and unofficial, who provide us with so much gaming goodness! You keep creating and we’ll keep playing.