Hey there everyone, my name’s Mumphry999 and I really like games. I’ve been playing video games since the Atari 2600’s first Christmas, tabletop games beginning with the old Dungeons & Dragons Basic Rules boxed set, and board games with family since I could count.
Tabletop, video and board games are all fine ways to have fun, relieve stress and make new friends; and today I’d like to focus on tabletop games and the places around here you can buy and play them. For clarity, tabletop games are played by 2 or more people using a set of rules, usually some kind of random generator (like dice or a deck of cards), and their imaginations and frequently a play surface or map where the ‘action’ is taking place. Pathfinder, Dungeons & Dragons, Traveller, and Call of Cthulhu are all examples of this. These are role playing games where the player(s) take on the roles of one or more characters and generally one person is the referee or “game master” who adjudicates the rules of play.
If you’d like to see what these games are like in order to gauge your interest, YouTube has many channels that host videos of actual play footage, game reviews, and instructional videos. The Geek and Sundry channel has an actual play show along with several review and general interest shows. As for local gaming, there may be people in your neighborhood gaming right this minute online or gathered together around a table in their house, at a college dorm or in a local game store.
This brings me to my next section — the local game shops I’ve found in my area so far.
Lost Legion Games and Comics, The Vault is located in Vienna, WV at 517 21st Street and offers a wide range of comic books, board games, and tabletop games including the hugely popular Magic the Gathering and Pokémon collectible card games. At Lost Legion you will find the books, the miniatures, and the space to play games. A Pathfinder game is hosted there at 1pm on alternating Sundays; and they host Dungeons & Dragons on Wednesday at 6pm, weekly. There is also a library of board games on hand to play and plenty of games for purchase. Magic the Gathering play is held Friday evenings at 6pm. I have been to Lost Legion several times – usually to buy role playing games or comic books – but I’ve also had a hard time resisting a new set of dice from the selection that are always sitting by the register. Good service, knowledgeable staff and plenty of area for play.
Comic Sense is located 2007 Washington Blvd. Belpre, Ohio and stocks comic books, toys, games, cards and has a play area for gaming. Comic Sense hosts Magic the Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh tournaments, and special game days which can be found on their Facebook calendar of events. Contact the store if you’d like to play in a demo or just learn a new game. I made the trip over to Comic Sense to see what’s happening there a couple days ago and the place was hopping. There was a Yu-Gi-Oh tournament in play and a half dozen people were there for that, while a few more folks were going through comic book back issues and the new releases. I headed over to look at the gaming shelves — a center tiered table with lots of board game and card games, along with a couple shelves of graphic novels. By the register there’s a display of dice for gaming; some oversized, some glow-in-the-dark; and a set of metal, heavy dice — nice! The RPG section had a table and wall shelves including Shadowrun, Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder books. The staff was very friendly, greeting me on entering the shop and directing me to where I could find the things I was interested in. While I was perusing the games, a fellow noticed I was looking through the Shadowrun 5th edition book and proceeded to tell me about his most recent character and the series of games he had been playing in. If I had been looking to join a group this was an ideal situation, and they will pop up at these places where gamers gather to play, chat and compete. Overall, a very nicely stocked and lively store! Be sure to check it out! You can find people to play with there, or leave a post on the wall looking for gamers to play with or a group that’s already formed looking for another to join them.
Books-a-Million at the Grand Central Mall in Vienna, WV has a selection of board games that span classic titles like Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit and Settlers of Catan that can take hours of playtime along with shorter, smaller games like Werewolf, Vampire (not the white wolf game) and Munchkin and its expansions. There’s a sizable section of shelving dedicated to role playing games including Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, and a few volumes of other games that seem random to me.
J & M’s Used Bookstore at 926 Division Street in Parkersburg, WV was a surprise to me. My first stop in was just a few days ago and I was impressed: Many shelves of books, of course, and a truly huge and varied selection of playable board games in the back of the room with ample space to play. There’s a “try-before-you-buy” policy on the board games in the library, and you can rent them to take home or play in the store. As for tabletop games, this was probably the widest selection of gaming materials I’d seen in the area. The collectible card games were all here, the superhero miniature games, the star wars tactical spaceship combat game…on and on. I was tickled to pick up two books that I have only ever seen on Amazon.com and feel their heft in person. Doctor Who reference manuals, Shadowrun too — games that I had never heard of and many that were old favorites shared the shelf space. Definitely worth stopping in here for paperbacks, dice, games and even audio books.
If you’d like to take a peek at gaming in more detail, for Dungeons & Dragons you can go get a free set of basic rules at the Wizards of the Coast website and that’s also the home of the Magic: The Gathering collectible card game. The Wizards site also has a search utility to help you find shops local to you that host game days, tournaments and have your games for sale. A site called upcomingcons.com has a pretty comprehensive site of the gaming conventions coming up in the near future; now these conventions are gatherings of people usually in the scores or hundreds in number that take a weekend to play games, trade or buy/sell games and generally be around others with similar interests. The larger ones like Comic Con in NY, or LA, Gen Con in Indianapolis, IN or Origins in Columbus, OH will have several thousands in attendance.