The gods don't play dice with the universe... unless it's game night.
A twelve-thousand-year quest is about to be completed, prophecies will be fulfilled, ancient riddles answered, legendary evils bested, and the nature of the universe revealed. All that's needed is a band of mighty heroes to do the completing.
Unfortunately for the locals, some of the gods have taken a personal interest in the chronicle of these heroes' adventures. Now they are each guiding one of the characters towards the conclusion of their epic journey. That is, when they're not squabbling, backstabbing each other, blowing things up by accident, refusing to play by the rules, and turning the AllFather's creation into a mess of petty arguments, fantasy clich, gratuitous combat and unnecessary dice rolls.
If you thought your games group couldn't be any worse, Game Night shows just how bad things can get when a bunch of unruly deities decide they want to play. And may the heavens help us all.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.4" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.4" Weight: 0.55 lbs.
Release Date Dec 1, 2007
Publisher Magnum Opus Press
ISBN 1906402019 ISBN13 9781906402013
Reviews - What do customers think about Game Night?
Very Fun Aug 15, 2008
Anyone who has gamed for more than 30 seconds will recognize the gamer archetypes displayed in "Game Night" (And if you don't, you're either extremely lucky or in denial). Nexus has turned these archetypes into TRUE archetypes - as in gods - as you watch them blunder and argue through a gaming session.
What made this a fun read was not just the appropriate humor, but also the story that the (Very frustrated) game master is creating, which, while cliche', actually contains some intriguing concepts.
It's not high art, but it was a relatable and a spunky book that I read through much faster than most books I read.
Con: The book has an inexcusable amount of grammar errors, even for a small press.
Hits close to home Jul 29, 2008
I really enjoyed reading Game Night, but there were several moments during the course of the book that made me cringe. That's because the gamer stereotypes that Nexus presents so often reminded me of those moments in my own gaming history when I ran into various roleplayers' stupidity, arrogance, inattentiveness, and just plain horrible luck.
The end of the book leaves something to be desired. The PCs are finally approaching the climax of the adventure that the GM has forced them through. The GM realizes that the PCs, via their own stupidity and bad luck, have gotten in way over their heads. He waffles (as his stereotype is wont to) over whether to err on the side of strict by-the-dice or fudging in order to save the PCs from a TPK. He eventually decides to go by the book, and offs all the PCs in the epitome of anti-climax. He then stands up from the table and leaves, headed off to a gaming convention, leaving the players to variously wander off or ponder about starting their own game.
While the ending leaves something to be desired as the ending of a book, it is very true to the way in which most campaigns finally end. That is, unsuccessfully. In a way, the anticlimax of the ending is the final poke at the gaming climate which prides itself on tale-telling, but in truth makes for horribly constructed stories. However, this final joke comes off very dry, and can easily fall flat.
I think this book would've gotten 5 stars from me if it had gone through another draft, but even left the way it is, it's a lot of fun. For any RPGer that isn't afraid to laugh at themselves a little, this a must buy, especially at the easily affordable price of $9.99 USD.
Like Pratchett? Play RPGs? You'll love this. Jul 15, 2008
The name Jonny Nexus should need little introduction to fans of RPG-related humour. His website, Critical Miss, the Magazine for Dysfunctional Roleplayers ( http://www.criticalmiss.com/ ) is well known, and well regarded.
Dysfunctional Roleplayers? I have roleplayed with some of the finest minds on the planet, including several famous professional game designers. I used to believe that there were really high-end gaming groups out there, where gaming had been elevated to an art-form, and no-one laughed at fart jokes or killed kobolds for fun. I know now that though that may be true, such groups are so rare as to be almost non-existent. The truth is, we're almost all dysfunctional. Even those guys who you would expect to only ever play games written by Forge fans, and only ever play fully rounded characters in a Method Acting style, probably also sometimes roll up a fighter and kick some arse in a bad fantasy setting ripped off from Conan and Lord of the Rings. So this novel -- the story of the Gods themselves, and their dysfunctional roleplaying game group -- should appeal to almost all gamers.
Game Night is Mr Nexus's first full-length novel. From a "Style" perspective, that does show -- there are occasional typos, spelling and grammar errors, and stylistic oddities, which have brough the Style score down a little. That said, I am a picky, picky bastard when it comes to this kind of thing, and the errors in this book didn't irritate me THAT much more than the errors in most mainstream published novels, or seem that much more prevalent, either. Style is raised by the understated but excellent cover art by Jon Hodgson.
The content is generally very good. I'm not going to go into detail about the story, partly to avoid spoilers, partly because you can read more, including downloading the whole of the book's first chapter, at Mr Nexus's website:
The premise, though, is that the Gods of a typically mish-mashed and half-arsed fantasy game setting are meeting in the Heavens to play an RPG run by the Allfather. They each generate characters within the game; said characters are physically embodied, in the form of mortals within the fantasy setting the Gods rule over. This allows for some excellent viewpoint switches between the players and their characters, without making either viewpoint appear to be unreal, as it might if the book were about a real-world gaming group and their characters -- a neat touch.
As a general rule, I don't find fantasy humour especially amusing. I will enjoy around 1 in 3 or 1 in 4 Terry Pratchett books, say, and find the rest to be humdrum at best. I recognise this may make me unusual in gamer circles.
Game Night is different, because almost all the jokes stem from dysfunctional gaming, which to me makes them funnier. Much as with Pratchett, there is a decent story going on just below the surface of the gags, too. You won't necessarily identify with the characters, but you have almost certainly gamed with some of the archetypes in this book.
You probably won't enjoy this if you're not a gamer (although you probably wouldn't be reading rpg.net if you weren't). You don't have to be a hardcore gamer to find it funny, though; I persuaded my wife to read it (she is one of the "I will play RPGs because my family & friends enjoy them; they are OK as long as I don't have to read any rulebooks" brigade, but she's also much more of a Pratchett fan than I am). She enjoyed it a lot, but found the middle section a little hard-going.
I think that is my estimation, too. I actually read it quite rapidly, and found it very enjoyable, but the jokes started to wear a little thin around the middle. That said, this is a book that's worth finishing, because the final few punchlines are unexpected and hilarious, nailing a few of the running gags and throwing several brand new ones at you.
In summary, if you find the first chapter funny, and you liked Critical Miss, buy Game Night. You will almost certainly laugh out loud, many times, and there are a few thought-provoking points made by Nexus too. Perhaps my favourite one, which combines a continually thought-provoking quality with some of the best humour in the book, is the ongoing despair of the GM (in this case, the Allfather) at the players' callousness, stupidity, distractedness, and general playerishness. He gets particularly wound up when (as occurs several times, with especial hilarity) they convince him that something shouldn't have happened the way he said it did, and he has to roll back time and have it happen differently.
Not that funny. Apr 28, 2008
Bad sterotypes (of RPG players and RPG characters) aren't funny in and of themselves, despite what the author may think. Boring. I realise that the author was trying to parody a bad RPG plot, but it wasn't humourous. There were a couple of funny scenes, but most of it was lame.
Light read with some quite fun bits Feb 18, 2008
I thought that this was a good book; not too complex, but with an interesting plot and some very funny comic sequences. I was disappointed in the ending (which I won't spoil here), but throughout I could see the Terry Pratchett influence, which was, I think, completely missed in the ending. (Pratchett has the amazing talent of wrapping up neatly and beautifully all the loose ends of the plot, but Nexus just dropped them. I think he was trying for a deeper point, but unfortunatly I didn't get it, or find it worth getting.) Overall, however, I was glad to have read it for the fun bits throughout.