Episode 22: Thunderstone Advance: Towers of Ruin, Crowd Funding Board Games, and Roleplaying in RPG Combats

In episode 22, the founders return from Origins with AEG's Thunderstone Advance to bring you a walkthrough and review. Then Tony brings us the best of the past 2 weeks gaming news. After the news we have a follow up discussion on crowd funding, what it is, what our experiences are with it, where we expect it to go in the future. For our RPG discussion we address a listener's question, how to make a tabletop rpg combat feel different than a miniature wargame.

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Episode Timeline

  • Thunderstone Advance Overview: 00:35
  • Thunderstone Advance Review: 00:43
  • Gaming News with Tony Topper: 01:08
  • Crowd Funding: 01:32
  • RPG Combats: 02:07 


  • Please join us on our forums, Facebook, and commentary on the show notes!
  • Thank you very much for the iTunes reviews!

Opening Banter Topics:

  • Chris and Jamie particpate in their first remote tabletop of Mouse Guard via Skype with Rodney Smith from Watch It Played!
  • Chris bought heavily into Duel of the Planeswalkers 2013 and shares his opinion of it.
  • Chris and Jamie played an epic game of Eminent Domain.
  • Brian, Jamie, and Melanie play a game of Settlers of America and Brian cleaned up!
  • Sedition Wars finished as the highest funded board game project on Kickstarter! Jamie is very happy.
  • Bioware released Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut endings, free DLC! While it doesn't "fix" the end, it does clarify and resolve lots of plot holes. If you have ME3, definitely check it out.
  • Tony is very happy with the Civilization V: Gods and Kings expansion. He founded Topperism!
  • Wiz Kids pulled some of their entries into the Origins awards this year, resulting in some drama over the submission process. Origins will be making some changes to the process. As far as we're concerned, if this attention makes the Origins Awards relevant great!
  • The entire Game of Thrones world was created in Minecraft! Minecraft is a gaming phenomenon that we feel we're missing out on.

Thunderstone Advance: Towers of Ruin

In Thunderstone: Heart of Doom, you had a chance to face Doom's very heart, the eighth Thunderstone, and defeat the ancient evil – but winning that battle had unexpected consequences. It banished Doom, but also freed him to visit other worlds, so you advanced to the next world with him. Thunderstone Advance: Towers of Ruin, which is fully compatible with all previous Thunderstone offerings, is the next stop in your adventure. In Thunderstone Advance you build your party of heroes to defeat the dreaded Thunderstone Bearers in their dungeons or wilderness. The player who defeats the most valuable monsters will win the day, but beware – those monsters have all-new tricks up their sleeves, and victory will not come easy. Thunderstone Advance: Towers of Ruin includes new rules, all new cards in new card frames, and a new village and dungeon board.

Gaming News with Tony Topper

Press Releases
  • Merchants of Venus debacle with Fantasy Flight and Stronghold Games resolved!
  • Gen Con will be having a keynote address hosted by Wizards of the Coast.
Product Announcements / Releases
Pathfinder Rise of the Runelords Deluxe Collectors Edition Hardcover. $200 MSRP. Looks like a leather-bound wizards tome but is a case for the books and prints.
Descent: Journeys in the Dark 2nd Edition expected release this month!
Dungeon from Wizards of the Coast, re-release expected in October
Thunderstone Advance: Caverns of Bane Previews! New Thunderstone Bearers and Heroes! My wallet is crying in anticipation.
Small World: Realms is now available!
Check out this great review of Warhammer 40k 6th edition rules changes from BellofLostSouls!
Summoner Wars now available on iOS free!
Crowd Funding Projects Ending Soon (Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and Ulule.com) The Great Fire of London 1666 by Richard Denning, published by Pandasaurus Games. Currently it's sitting at $23,000 out of $30,000 with 31 days to go, ending on August 18th. Sunday September 2, 1666, Thomas Farriner, the baker to the King, forgot to put out the hearth fire in his shop. This simple act of negligence created a towering and lethal inferno which would eventually destroy 13,000 houses and leave nearly 90 percent of the cities’ population destitute and homeless… The players are men of wealth and standing who own property around London. The Lord Mayor has failed to act and it is down to these mighty men to lead trained bands of militia to fight the fire and save the city. To do so they must decide which districts to sacrifice to the fire and which to protect. Remember, these same men own much of London, thus such choices will shape their own future and greatly affect their wealth and standing.
  Bootleggers is back! A favorite of Tony's, Mayday Games is reprinting Bootleggers and giving us an expansion, new dice, minis, and modernizing the board. This project has 16 days to go and is a little short of the goal. Currently sitting at $16,600 out of $20,000 and the project will end on August 3rd. It was a smarter, simpler time. Except for the part about getting busted for having a little alcohol with your dinner. Or getting gunned down by some hard boiled character with a tommy gun. Yeah, come to think of it, it was pretty tough. So what's a mug to do? Easy, just get together some of your boys, light up a still and run some liquor down to the nearest speakeasy. Sure you'll have to grease the palm of the driver, and your boys, and the copper, but you'll still clear a few G's!
  Race to Adventure! A Spirit of the Century Board Game™ by Evil Hat Productions. Jamie is a fan of the setting which is all about pulp style heroes and villains. This project is just about over with and is just shy of their goal. Currently they're at $37,000 out of $40,000 with 7 days to go on the project yet. It ends on July 24th. Race to Adventure!™ is a fun, family-friendly board game for ages 8 and up that can be played in about half an hour. Fans of pulp will love the brightly-colored world of talking apes and flying jet-men, and busy families can have an evening of fun that doesn't take over the whole night.
  Quicksilver: The Great Airship Race. This project is another one that's not quite funded yet. It only has 5 days to go. Check out the excellent gameplay tutorial which demonstrates the depth of strategy to the game. So far this project has $22,600 out of $29,500 and ends on July 22nd so if a game about a crazy airship race in derigibles interests you there's only a few days to get in on this before the project closes! Some of the higher levels of backing includes a hand crafted wooden cigar style game box which looks amazing. This is an airship racing game set in the late Victorian Era. Players pilot their aircraft on a customized map, circling checkpoints and avoiding obstacles and their opponents as they race to be the first to cross the finish line. Players will balance risk management with card-play in order to win the game. The faster you fly, the more you throw caution to the wind. Will you choose to outrun your opponents, or slow them down with dastardly attacks? Or both? And will the Queen approve?
  Flash Point Fire Rescue bundle now available from Indie Boards and Cards! This includes up to 2 expansions, 2nd Story and Ubran Structures, as well as fire fighter minis. This particular game is a big hit in our group, and if you're a fan I'd highly recommend checking it out. They've received just under 15 times the backing they required for successful funding and are currently sitting at $44,800 out of $3,000 with plenty of time to go yet. 23 days remain to get in on the project which will end on August 9th.

Crowd Funding

The founders muse on how Kickstarter and other crowd funding sites have impacted the gaming industry and what changes we may see in the future. Then Chris, Jamie, and Tony share their experiences with the projects they have funded. Between the lot of them they've experienced both completed and failed projects. Jamie explains how easy it is to fund a project. Then the founders muse about what we're going to see in the future from Kickstarter and the waves it is and will make in the gaming industry.

How to make a Tabletop RPG Combat feel different than a Miniature Wargame

As a continuation of the combat discussion which we received some feedback on, one listener stated that he'd rather play a miniature wargame to get his tactical fix. Another asked how we make RPG combats feel different than a miniature wargame or a game of The Legend of Drizzt. We thought those were excellent points and wanted to have a discussion on the topic. We discuss a myriad of ways to make combat feel more like an RPG while maintaining a traditional D&D combat feel. We discuss differences in combat in Pathfinder and D&D to story games like Mouse Guard. Then we tackle the question of how acceptable it is for the GM to go outside of the mechanics during a combat to allow players to do innovative things. From there we finish up with encouraging players to try to think outside the mechanics of the particular game. As always, this is going to very heavily depend upon your particular gaming group and you should discuss the topic with the folks you game with to find out if everyone is getting the most out of your game sessions.

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