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THAT’S THE SPIRIT: THE OCCULT ON THE TABLETOP

Romanticised as a way of speaking with the dead or predicting the future, Ouija boards and tarot cards share many of the traits of their gaming counterparts, offering the chance to explore unknown worlds and construct a story from little more than wood and cardboard

Puberty is one hell of a drug. It makes you do the stupidest, most ill-advised things: going to nitrous oxide-fuelled parties in a cave, having your cleavage pierced, getting an ankle tattoo of your boyfriend’s face. My pubescent experimentation involved talking to ghosts. After all, being a teenager is all about being cool, and what’s cooler than a demonic tête-à-tête?

The Ouija board is a way of talking to those who cannot usually talk – ghosts who hover around the board, presumably having waited their entire afterlife for someone to bring out a very specific lettered piece of wood to give them a voice. However, the design that has become the popular image of Ouija boards was sold commercially and used as a parlour trick in America in the 1890s. It was marketed as less of a spiritual telephone and more of a game – to this day, the Ouija name is still owned by Hasbro.

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About Tabletop Gaming

Cover feature: Bears vs Babies: We chat with Elan Lee about following up Exploding Kittens with this hilarious monster mash-up set to be the summer’s biggest hit. GKR: Heavy Hitters: We take a dive into the world of Giant Killer Robots with senior concept designer Paul Tobin. Infection at Outpost 31: A beautiful adaptation of John Carpenter’s seminal horror film The Thing. Pro gaming special: How champions turned their hobby into a profession. First Martians: Designer Ignacy Trzewiczek guides us through his highly anticipated Adventures on the Red Planet. Tales from the Loop: We talk to the makers of the throwback RPG. The Ultimate Gaming Room: A look at what you should be cramming into your tabletop haven. PLUS • Cooking With Dice: Roleplaying with real-life cookery. • The Occult on the Tabletop: The influence of tarot cards and Ouija board. • Survive: Escape from Atlantis!: We look back at the beloved adventure game. • The Making of… Star Wars X-Wing • Painting Guide: Runewars • A Dungeon Master’s Guide to RPGs • Ten of the Best: 10 Budget Games for Under a Tenner • Introduction to… Pathfinder • My Favourite Game: Cry Havoc designer Grant Rodiek • First Turn: Acclaimed Citadels creator Bruno Faidut • Club Spotlight: Redditch Wargaming Society • Shop Spotlight: Southampton’s Board in the City • Played: 20 games and accessories reviewed

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