With the long weekend disrupting the RPG campaign, we defaulted to board/card-games. Amazing syncronicity, since it would have taken about two weeks for those of us still interested in doing Kingmaker's "Kingdom Turns" to run through about 14 months of turns, as the little Barony develops into a small Duchy. As far as Domain level games go, Kingmaker's is sparse and abstract, even with the addition of the 3rd Party "Book of the River Nations" to flesh things out.
The first game was Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Duel at Mount Skullzfyre. With art somewhat like EC Comics Vault of Horror on acid, the game is very over-the top. But relevant to the blog, each player crafts "pseudo-Vancian" spells.
"Midnight Merlin's Devilicious Death Wish" or "Scorchia's Disco-Mirrored Brain Suck" -- both possible results -- almost demand being statted up in some RPG system. I'll put it on the back burner. As the spell titles may suggest, the game is light-hearted, chaotic, destructive fun.
I don't know if it's a reliable source for spell-names, rather I find it interesting that spell-names have been turned into a game.
The second game was Lords of Waterdeep. Most WoTC board-games tend to imitate dungeoneering (Castle Ravenloft), or are wargames (Conquest of Nerath). This worker-placement game, set in the greatest city in the Forgotten Realms, doesn't try to imitate the mechanisms of D&D, rather it uses the setting to support it's goal-completion based play.
Unlike Epic Spell Wars, Lords of Waterdeep offers a lot of world-flavour to a GM, and many of the Quest cards are useful adventure seeds. The game doesn't cover the same detail as the old Waterdeep boxed set, but it is useful for more than just it's very enjoyable play. WoTC should make more games like this, compared to their "dungeoneering board game" they label D&D Adventure System Co-operative Play.