On the Seacoast, there is a fantastic improv comedy event held once a month that all gamers would enjoy. This event is called Dorks in Dungeons and it is held at the Seacoast Rep in Portsmouth, NH. You watch as some of the best improvisers around play a modified roleplaying game while other great improvisers help them act out key scenes for your enjoyment. We’ll be posting more about Dorks in Dungeons soon. We would love it if you joined us and your fellow geeks at the next event on April 13th!

Part of the Dorks in Dungeons show is an hour-long social hour where audience members are able to get to know each other and experience some gaming. Kali and I have had the pleasure of hosting the Social Hour a few times and will be back to host it again soon.

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We hosted this past weekend’s Social Hour and we played a few different games:

Wayne explains Cheeky Monkey to a family during Social Hour.

Wayne explains Cheeky Monkey to a family during Social Hour.

Cheeky Monkey is a great little push-your-luck game from Reiner Knizia and it plays well with a family (or a group of childish grown-ups.) In this game there are different amounts of animals on poker chips hidden inside of a cute stuffed monkey. On your turn, you reach into the monkey and pull out a chip with an animal on it. You can then choose to stop and score that chip or take your chances and grab another. But watch out, because if you pull out a duplicate chip, you have to return all the chips that you just collected back. As with a lot of games, there are also some special rules. When you pull out a chip, if another player has that animal on top of their stack, you may steal their animal chip and add it to your score pile. If you get a cheeky monkey chip, you can trade for the top animal of anyone else’s pile. Gameplay goes until the last tile is pulled. The person who has the most of each animal gets bonus points. You also get 1 point for each chip in your pile. Cheeky Monkey is a great game and is fun for all ages.

We played this game with a family of four (Mom, Dad, and two kids) and the kids were being much more cautious with their pulls. They took fewer risks and came out on top, grabbing far more chips than Mom and Dad, who often couldn’t stop themselves from trying for more points. Overall, it was a lot of fun to play!

Wayne facilitates One Night Ultimate Werewolf with a large group while others look on!

Wayne facilitates One Night Ultimate Werewolf with a large group while others look on!

The other game that was a hit at the last Social Hour was One Night Ultimate Werewolf. This twist on the classic Werewolf/Mafia hidden role game has proven to be popular time and time again since our purchase of it a month ago at TotalCon. One Night (unlike typical renditions of Werewolf) is played with – you guessed it – one night to figure out who the werewolves are. At the start of the game, everyone gets a secret role card, looks at it, and then closes their eyes. Here is where the fanciness comes in; an iOS app is used to help facilitate the game so that everyone can play. The app walks the group through the game and reminds each role of what they are able to do when they open their eyes during the night. With all eyes closed, each special character is called to open their eyes (in order) and may perform their action. Then everyone wakes up and the discussion begins. This is where the game shines; fingers are pointed, people are accused of lying, and if you are a werewolf and have managed to keep a straight face you might just win. After a timed discussion, players all vote. If a werewolf is voted for then the villagers win.

This game was well suited for the amount of time we had in the social hour, and being able to run multiple games back-to-back allowed us to add in more players each time. It is also a fun one to watch. Once people got comfortable with each other there was a good amount of back and forth discussion. We even were able to get in a quick game during intermission because people loved it so much.

Well, that’s it for this session report! We hope to see you all at a Game Night and/or a Dorks in Dungeons show soon.

Photos provided thanks to Ben Kramer.