GM (me): "What do you do if you have an encounter with a creature down in the dungeon?"
R: "With what?"
GM: "You know, with a monster of some kind."
R: "I don't know ... you normally try to talk to it, run away, or fight."
GM: "And if you try to talk to it, what are your choices?"
R: "You um trick, or like act like you are better than them, or you try to bargain with them or something."
L: "You can either negotiate, trick, or intimidate it."
R: "I didn't know all the words for it but that's what I meant."
GM: "What are some basic tricks you can try to pull?"
|No bluffing here|
R: "If you are in the right situation you can pretend you are one of them, or you can pretend that there is something big and bad and scary that they are afraid of right behind them or something."
I thought that was a pretty decent way to sum up the basics of how to handle most types of encounters!
This left me reflecting a bit: in both my in-school Adventure Games class and my weekly after-school club, skilled and confident GMs are the most scarce resource. For this reason, I'm always on the lookout for board games that can either help develop GMs or simulate the presence of a skilled GM at the table.
Most dungeon exploration board games seem to focus on movement and combat, but leave out the entire communication aspect of gaming (whether that be bluffing, intimidation, bribery, trading, or offering an alliance).
Does anybody know of a board game that simulates that aspect of adventuring along with tactical maneuvering and combat?