Portable Perks: Conclave
First of all, no, it’s not a game about cardinals voting for the next Pope... although if someone could make a game out of that, I think I would play it. Conclave “is an online RPG that captures the spirit of a tabletop game”, according to the site, and the geek in me just wanted to get into the game as soon as I read that sentence...
First of all, it’s free to play! You can opt in to pay and you’ll receive additional character slots and additional quests, but the free option is by no means crippling to the experience as there are a lot of quests to go through and you are given 2 character slots to use. Since the game was made purely on HTML 5, that means you can simply play it on your browser, regardless of the operating system. It is also very well translated on the browser of your mobile device. It’s not hard to find willing party members to join in this free, online and browser-based game, since it’s cross-platform, super accessible and did I mention free? If you understand D&D or any form of RPG, Conclave is very easy to pick up and play. But don’t fret. Every move, spell, and attack has a proper write-up, so to those who aren't wearing a Wizard’s cap that’s +10 to wisdom (some RPG humor there!), the game’s got you covered. (Wizards rely on INT, not WIS - D&D nerd ed)
And speaking of Wizards, the game has a good number of classes and races to choose from. They have their own names, but it’s just another name for a Rogue, Ranger, Paladin, et cetera. By reading their descriptions, you can easily know what they’re supposed to be and you can go through the abilities per class as well. The races are also quite unique and varied and all of them have their own racial bonuses and abilities. This gives way to a lot of replayability since you can easily mix and match different combinations of class and race.
I love how Conclave is super accessible to any Internet-enabled device so you can technically play anywhere and anytime, with Internet access of course. And since it’s a turn-based game, each party member can prime their moves whenever they want to. My current party (Jed, Exodus and Jayvee), have been playing a few days now and been casually doing our moves at least once or twice a day. The pace is super chill and the combat is tense, but satisfying so far. It really does feel that we’re all playing a board game together, but instead, we’re playing online and in different locations (the power of the Internet!!1). The combat and movement feels very tactical, since the game is set on a grid-based board. Positioning and knowing which actions to take is very critical to the game. I’ve been in numerous situations where I had to decide whether I should move in and go for the attack, or hang-back and buff my team mates first. Should I gamble on attacking and hope that rat dies before it can attack and poison me again? It gets pretty tense at times and it’s very very satisfying if you get to clean out a dungeon with your friends.
The only downside to this is that the pace of the game is dictated with your party-mates. You’re at their mercy if one of them does their move really late or early in the day, but again, in my opinion, this game really doesn’t need to be rushed and could be enjoyed at a very leisurely pace. If one of your party-mates mysteriously disappears, by default the game will do the moves on behalf of the missing player if he or she hasn’t done anything in the span of 24 hours. So all is not lost and you can technically have a continuous game running. You can easily also disable this feature if you opt to.
So if you ever had that inkling to play a tabletop RPG game, but couldn't find the time to get together with your friends in the meatspace, you might as well bring it online and play there. Conclave free to play and there’s no need to download any additional software or plugins. Simply sign up and you’ll be swinging that sword or casting that spell right away.
If you want to form up a party and go adventuring with us, we will happily oblige! Just look for us in Steam or comment on this post!