I may not be a gamer but I’m one hell of a party planner, and planning a meal to go with a game is all about theme! I kill at themes. So, each week (if all goes well) I’ll have Todd pull out a game from his vast collection that I’ll read up on. Then I’ll share my thoughts on the game set-up and what sorts of things to feed your group.
Case Study: Victory Games World of James Bond 007
- Genre: Action?
- Races: Human
- Main Setting: the somewhat amplified Real World of James Bond, based in London but the adventures can take place anywhere in the world
- Setup: You are in the employ of MI6 (as either a Rookie, Agent or “00”) being sent on missions against various adversaries. There is a fully equiped Q Branch to outfit you as needed and pretty much anything else you can think of in the books and movies.
And that’s the small problem I have with this game–why would I want to basically role play through a movie? Because that’s what the majority of the adventures are–James Bond movies, practically scene for scene. There are, at least, a few additional adventures and, of course, you could create your own, but otherwise I cannot see any real fun to be had in playing in such a confined space as a movie script.
I did find some things interesting, namely the idea of rolls counting not only towards Success Chance (or failure) but the use of a chart to determine the quality of success. Maybe this is seen elsewhere, but it struck me as rather novel and a little confusing at first; especially that the lower your roll (the farther away from the Success Chance) the better you performed the task at hand. But I think I actually understand it, now.
Since these adventures take place in the real world (if a little amplified), serving suggestions are at once incredibly simple as well as a touch difficult–I mean, how do you make something themed out of the everyday?
One way is to look further into the source material. While I consider myself a fan of James Bond movies, Todd is a Fan. I was slowly building my movie collection–he has them all plus the books and, obviously, the games. Dude. But this helps me because he knew of two passages that would help me out, tonight:
Breakfast was Bond’s favourite meal of the day. When he was stationed in London it was always the same. It consisted of very strong coffee, from De Bry in New Oxford Street, brewed in an American Chemex, of which he drank two large cups, black and without sugar. The single egg, in the dark blue egg cup with a gold ring round the top, was boiled for three and a third minutes.
It was a very fresh, speckled brown egg from French Marans hens owned by some friend of May in the country. (Bond disliked white eggs and, faddish as he was in many small things, it amused him to maintain that there was such a thing as the perfect boiled egg.) Then there were two thick slices of wholewheat toast, a large pat of deep yellow Jersey butter and three squat glass jars containing Triptee ‘Little Scarlett’ strawberry jam; Cooper’s Vintage Oxford marmalade and Norwegian Heather Honey from Fortnum’s.
So, there we have a fairly good idea of what a nice Bond-like breakfast would be. I think it would be fabulous to serve 3 minute 20 second eggs in lovely egg cups of any sort (don’t forget the demitasse or egg spoons to make it easier to remove the eggs in dainty bites). Your fellow players may not feel the same way, so we go to Moonraker, instead, for this option:
‘Any of that Beluga caviar left, Porterfield?’
‘Yes, sir. There was a new delivery last week.’
‘Well,’ said M. ‘Caviar for me. Devilled kidney and a slice of your excellent bacon. Peas and new potatoes. Strawberries in kirsch. What about you, James?’
‘I’ve got a mania for really good smoked salmon,’ said Bond. Then he pointed down the menu, ‘Lamb cutlets. The same vegetables as you, as it’s May. Asparagus with Hollandaise sauce sounds wonderful. And perhaps a slice of pineapple.’ He sat back and pushed the menu away.
There’s also talk of marrow bones, so there’s another option, then the talk goes to spirits with the introduction of the wine steward.
‘Ah, Grimley, some vodka please.’ He turned to Bond. ‘Not the stuff you had in your cocktail. This is real pre-war Wolfschmidt from Riga. Like some with your smoked salmon?’
‘Very much,’ said Bond.
‘Then what?’ asked M. ‘Champagne? Personally I’m going to have a half-bottle of claret. The Mouton Rothschild ’34, please, Grimley….
So, of course there’s Vodka–and a Vodka martini, after all: Bond started the craze for Vodka martinis over the traditional gin–along with Champagne and Claret Wine.
Along with the caviar (because if there’s ever an excuse to have caviar take it!) serve blini (little buckwheat pancakes) or toast points and sour cream or creme fraiche. Preserved quail eggs are also a nice touch.
Of course, you can also go “easy” on yourself and do a nice Yorkshire Pudding for your guests. I’d be tempted to cook the roast in a slow-cooker and then make individual popover-style puddings just before serving because it’s been my experience that the pudding part doesn’t hold as well, over time. You can always make sandwhiches with the leftover meat later for those all-niter games.