The Party RPG - The Rise of Burden Bluggerbuckle Review. That title is a mouthful isn’t it? I wasn't sure what to expect with this one as I had read that it is just a text-based role-playing game, requires a lot of imagination and ad-libbing. I was going to play with the family and, especially with the younger ones was unsure, how they would take it. Well, I hadn't needed to worry. This little book was not only full of surprises but turned even my younger two boys into budding, text-based, RPG enthusiasts. I did have to change a couple of naughty words for them and change small story sections but it was worth the extra effort.
Tools of the trade
All you need to get started is a few character sheets, a few writing implements, and three D6’s. You then create your funny characters, assign some skill points, visit the game's first shop to stock up, and your off. Your Games Master will read each location and the players must decide what to do, perform skill checks using dice and sometimes slice their way through a bunch of goblins.
The writing in The Party RPG - The Rise of Burden Bluggerbuckle is often hilarious. It really made my kids laugh, with drunken teammates and farting aplenty, every page had some sort of giggling inducing scenario. Who doesn’t love a funnily placed trump? This tied in with the hilarious real-world party games made this funny little book a joy to play. We laughed we shouted and we all really got into doing something new and different, for my family gaming group anyway.
The Games Master can make or break the experience
As I mentioned earlier, this is the first game of this type I have played with the family and I think picking the right person to be the GM is paramount. They have to read aloud a lot, manage skill-checks, and guide the party through the adventure. It also helps a lot if everyone playing gets into it and uses their imagination.
Quite often the rules are very relaxed and it is up to the team to use their items and environment is weird ways to succeed. How the Games Master interprets this and how the team gel together could make or break the experience. With me playing with my kids a lot, I was very informal with the rules and was very kind with awarding experience points and health. I think it made the experience smoother and more enjoyable, especially for the younger ones and the fact it was their first foray into text-based RPGs.
There is not a lot to talk about component-wise. You get a book and that is it. The book is very good quality, it is very well written and does guide you through everything required. This was good for us as we had never done anything like this before. It can be quite daunting for first-timers. An imagination-driven, adaptable RPG is a strange beast but the way this book guides you through it made it quite simple.
The character sheets are downloadable online, just in case you do not want to write on or cut up your book and you can always photocopy other bits and bobs to make the game smoother. Otherwise, you will be flipping backwards and forwards through the book constantly. Even though there are very few components, what you get is good quality and well designed.
Even though we had never done anything like this before, everyone loved this quirky, unique experience. We laughed, we danced and we all acted like lunatics. If you are put off by these types of experiences, the book does help guide you through. This was my first time doing this sort of thing and I felt the book did a great job of holding my hand.
If you have a group that loves to play party games, can act like idiots, and love to get stuck into characters, give this a go. It's a jolly good time. The only thing I would say is that get a Games Master who is willing to do quite a bit of heavy lifting and can guide the group through the adventure. Otherwise, I feel the experience may break down. It may also help to have a little read of the book beforehand. Right, I’m off to prepare for tonight’s session. Who farted?