Dungeons & Distractions

by E. Joyce profile

Episode 2 of Social Lycanthropy
Fantasy, Humor

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Number of Reviews: 5
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A fun DM sim, March 18, 2024

This game is a great implementation of Pinkunz’s “AD&D” seed, with a supernatural twist that adds another layer of charm to the “friends playing D&D” setup. I love this kind of game (social resource management? social roguelikes?), and I imagine that it’s tricky to make, so kudos to E. Joyce for continually pulling it off!

The setup is compelling; the PC is a newbie DM with anxiety who’s running her first game for a group of people she mostly doesn’t know very well (all of whom, including her, are neurodivergent). This requires a balancing act between accommodating your own needs and those of the players, figuring out their personalities as you go along and guessing at how best to engage them or help them feel comfortable. Your girlfriend is also a player, and you need to navigate your interactions with her as well—do you tell her when her backseat-DMing bugs you, or just grin and bear it?

I always found there to be a good variety of choices, without an obvious “best” one, and after failing to successfully finish the session on my first playthough, I enjoyed replaying to try for the best outcome. After achieving it I still replayed a few more times to hunt down the other “failure” endings. Often in this type of game I find collecting all the endings as fun as winning!

I do have two bits of critique, one being that the contrast between the text and the background isn’t great on light mode (dark mode is much better, except for the links). The other is regarding the way you can check in to see how engaged or disengaged the players are; “Look around the table to see how everyone is doing” is something you can do any time, but I didn’t clock the purpose of it right away, and sometimes its description of what someone was doing contradicted what the passage text had just said.

Despite those quibbles, this game is a treat that I certainly recommend!

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