pen & PAPER
May 16, 2016 8:23 PM   Subscribe

Recommend me a board/tabletop game involving paper to give to my spouse for our first wedding anniversary.

Gamers of mefi! I would like your advice. I wish to purchase for my spouse some type of game for an anniversary present. Because the "traditional" first anniversary gift is paper, I would like it to be paper related. I would also accept suggestions involving clocks

- I'm thinking more single-shot game than a traditional tabletop RPG that requires ongoing commitments from multiple people, a DM, etc.
- Ideally, has more of a link to paper than "is a card game (which is made of paper)"
- Not a word game
- Is something I can buy. I am located in a major US city with well-stocked game stores, and am amenable to shopping online, but don't really want to hunt down an out of print game
- Something that involves constructing parts of the game (like, papercraft) would be AWESOME
posted by anonymous to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (17 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

It is both printed on paper and uses index cards extensively. Also, you will create worlds together :)
posted by Grimp0teuthis at 8:38 PM on May 16, 2016 [5 favorites]

My initial thought was love letter, because it's on topic (you can also get Batman love letter pretty easily, which is both fun to play and hilarious because Batman is taking the place of the princess in usual love letter).

How do you feel about print and play? It sort of involves creation?

I asked about print and play board games for my wedding last year, and Discount Salmon ended up being a clear winner, along with Unexploded Cow.

Also, there are Parsely games, that kind of acts like a one shot, but one of you is a computer and the other one of you is playing an old school text RPG. It's definitely two player.
posted by dinty_moore at 8:39 PM on May 16, 2016

Love Letter is a card (paper-ish) game thematically about delivering a love letter (paper) to a princess.

For small-scale, one-shot RPGs, I've heard good things about Monsterhearts and Fiasco, but haven't played either. Monsterhearts is about sexy monsters in high school. Fiasco is about crimes gone awry. You can of course customize the experience based on the characters you create but YMMV depending on how much you dig the themes and mechanics.

Fiasco in particular is meant to be played with no preparation and requires no gamemaster.

I suspect you'll have an easier time finding Fiasco in a game store than Monsterhearts, but books for both are available online through the websites (and probably Amazon). Both are also available in PDF, so you can go to a copy shop for fancy paper and binding if you like.
posted by Boxenmacher at 8:50 PM on May 16, 2016

My kids and I really enjoyed Cloud Dungeon, which is a papercraft RPG. Playthrough took us a couple of hours, between 2 and 3 maybe. It could have been split into 2 sessions but we were into it so we did it in one evening. It requires no prep, though you will have to cut things out of paper. Your paper-based character will be irrevocably modified in the course of the game. I think it would be more fun with more than two people, and we enjoyed our mix of ages (from 8 to 50). But I thought I'd throw it in the pot for your consideration.
posted by not that girl at 9:10 PM on May 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

This game is really funny and it involves writing your answers on paper
posted by photoexplorer at 9:17 PM on May 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

bring your own book
posted by dpx.mfx at 10:09 PM on May 16, 2016

Seconding Sherlock Holmes, it's entirely paper and is arguably the best boardgame for couples.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:11 AM on May 17, 2016

I feel with roleplaying games a good mantra is something which creates stories you would want to watch/read anyway.

What kind of stories/fiction/theme does your spouse enjoy? That might produce better recommendations.

Microscope, Fiasco and Monsterhearts are all great though.
posted by Erberus at 2:13 AM on May 17, 2016

I know you said "No Word Games", but I'm going to suggest Paperback anyway.
posted by jozxyqk at 2:24 AM on May 17, 2016

posted by Crystalinne at 2:39 AM on May 17, 2016

A Munchkin game. Not deluxe base game (board and counters included) and not a bump pack (not enough for a full game). The kids and I have been enjoying Pirate version lately.
posted by tilde at 3:37 AM on May 17, 2016

Paper football with some really pretty origami paper. Lots of tutorials for origami goal posts too.
posted by chasles at 4:16 AM on May 17, 2016

I came in to third Sherlock Holmes.
posted by katrielalex at 6:18 AM on May 17, 2016

1000 Blank White Cards and some Piperoids [specialty stationary stores carry them, they're also at Amazon]

Relationships are a kind of nomic anyway and a marriage starts with a set of rules coded as vows. I've heard of spouses of non-neurotypical using "rules" to let their spouses know when communication is breaking down. Any couple could try this.

Have to keep it light, fun & romantic, though. Maybe start with things like those "this ticket good for 1 kiss/backrub" romantic gift cards, then add some weird ones like "assemble two piperoids, then demonstrate a sexual position you'd like to try." Calvinball is another nomic and good for inspiration: "when the holder of this card holds piperoid A and sings the 'kiss me anywhere' song", spouse must kiss, wherever the couple is located.
posted by morganw at 8:34 AM on May 17, 2016

Just a warning with Sherlock Holmes, it's a beautifully set-up and designed game, but I found some of the cases so difficult they were nearly impossible, and one solution is outright wrong (we read after the fact that the game was recently re-released and the designers decided to change the solution to that case, but did not update all the clues to support the change!). It has SUCH potential, but I've also never been so frustrated by a game.
posted by sarahsynonymous at 12:52 PM on May 17, 2016

A Fake Artist Goes To New York is Pictionary meets Spyfall: it's both a drawing game and a deduction game, it comes in a tiny, elegant box (it's Japanese) that opens to reveal a pad of paper, ten erasable mini-slates, eleven pens in different colours, and crucially rules in English. It's clever and funny and surprisingly deep and very hard not to like. You should be able to find copies on Amazon.
posted by Hogshead at 2:09 PM on May 17, 2016 [2 favorites]

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