Planning your #renfestathome and want a few tabletop games to play? This post is an introduction to a few of our favorite games that have a Medieval or Renaissance theme. One or two of these will be on the schedule for our own Renaissance Festival at Home. Please comment below with any of your game suggestions!
There is definitely no shortage of games that would be great for a Renaissance Festival at Home. We’re hoping this post provides some good ideas, but it is by no means an exhaustive list! We suggest checking out Board Game Geek for a thorough repository of all tabletop games.
For a genuine Renaissance Festival at Home experience, check out the Toys, Games, and Puzzles artisans. You can find some truly authentic games and support the community.
This is a game that I grew up with. You can play it as a single player, so I didn’t even need to find someone else to play with me! But now I have an updated version and no longer have to play alone.
You start by choosing which class you would like to play as (fighter, cleric, rogue, or wizard), and the goal is to return to the Main Hall of the board with an amount of gold. The exact amount of gold needed is determined by the class; a more powerful class, such as a wizard, needs to bring back more gold.
The gameplay is simple. There are rooms within the dungeon divided by level (1 through 6). Within each room, there is an enemy to battle (determined by the draw of a card), who will provide treasure if defeated. If the hero does not defeat the enemy—and depending on a dice roll—there is the potential for another hero to steal some treasure.
This game is appropriate for ages 8 and above, but the gameplay is so straightforward that younger kids may also be able to play (take caution, though, as there are some scary enemies like owlbears and green slime). A maximum of 8 players can join in on the fun.
There’s a good chance you’ve heard of this game before. The original game, best with 4 or 5 players, has a great mix of gameplay, humor, and a feel for dungeon adventure. It’s very popular, and there are a bunch of themed versions, hybrids, and other incarnations such as Munchkin Cthulu, Munchkin Quest, and Star Munchkin.
You pick a race (human, dwarf, elf, etc.) and you’re off! It’s played with cards in your hand, and you battle some very humorous monsters, win some loot, and deck out your character. It’s not very strategy heavy, but strategy does come up for certain battles.
I find this an excellent game if you want something light-hearted, silly, but thoroughly enjoyable. Like, you know, when you’re having a Renaissance Festival at Home!
Our Other Favorite (Medieval) Tabletop Games to Play
Sadly, this game is now out of print. You can get it used – but it’s not cheap! We had a copy from a while back, and have since played countless times.
There are a set of square cards with various people and equipment that can be played as well as castle ramparts to set up. The goal of the game is to play all the cards in your personal deck and thereby control the political intrigues within the castle. Cards can be played in the courtyard, on the ramparts, in the towers, and outside the castle walls.
It sounds simple, but there is a bit of strategy involved. With each card played, the player places a token on the card. Additional cards may require the card to go back into the player’s hand or switch or remove the tokens. It is a lot of fun to plan a series a plays with the cards in your hand to ultimately increase the number of cards in the other players’ hands.
The reviews on Board Game Geek are not stellar, and it’s no longer being produced, but this is one of our favorite games to play together and will be a part of our Renaissance Festival at Home!
This one’s all about gems – diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires, and onyx. Oh, and a few nobles. But ooh, the gems! Splendor is a good game to introduce yourself to the resource management style of games.
The rules are pretty straight forward, the games are reasonably short – maybe 10 or 15 minutes – it’s easy to play a couple games in a row. Earn some gems, then earn some better gems for points, and eventually impress nobles with all your gems for more points!
We’ve only played this with two people, but I imagine with three or four people you need to step up your focus on what other people are earning.
Dragonwood is a fun game that employs a nice mix of cards and dice. This game has an age range of 8+ so it’d be a really good #renfestathome game for those with kids or teens. That doesn’t mean it’s a kids game though – it’s definitely enjoyable all around.
There’s always 5 cards on the table, mostly creatures to fight. Use the cards in your hands to make runs or sets, and then roll the dice to attack! Because the number of cards you play increases the number of dice you can roll, you’ll regularly find yourself thinking, “One more card! No, attack now! No, one more card!”
The goal of the game is to have the most points from defeating creatures by the time the second dragon is defeated. It’s a quick and easy game, and would be perfect to fit into a family day of fun for a Renaissance Festival at Home.
We’re always on the lookout for new games to try, so please comment with your suggestions below! We heard from the Lord and Lady Jester that they love Dominion, so that is on our list to try. Please let us know your favorite Medieval- or Renaissance-themed board or card games, so we can spread the word to the #renfestathome community!
Although it’s harder to try out new games at a local store or board game cafe, we’ve found YouTube reviews helpful, and there are several great apps that are the fraction of a cost of the full tabletop game. Board Game Geek is also a great resource for reviews, discussion, and even a forum for trading games with others. Don’t forget to check out the Toys, Games, and Puzzles artisans to find authentic games. We hope that you will be able to fit one of these great family tabletop games into your Renaissance Festival at Home!