Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Finally: The Hobbit Appears

I am totally stoked!!  The 1st trailer for the Hobbit made its appearance recently and I just saw it.  I don't care what any of you think, but I love Peter Jackson's work with LOTR and all his other movies.  Take a look at the trailer.

If you have trouble viewing this video, access it here.

Creature Creations: The Chaos Golem

Read the article of the fearsome creatures known as the Chaos Golems here at the great website 

This creature fits into any campaign of Epic level and can challenge even the best of players.  Intelligent and powerful, it is not a foe to be taken lightly.

Enjoy the read and any feedback from playtesting would be appreciated.



Tuesday, December 20, 2011

New Ritual: Merlin's Magic Item Enchantment

With the introduction of rituals in the 4th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons, it has (in my opinion) taken away a lot of the fun from spellcasters, especially when it come to creating, or improving magic items.  Characters are forced to take run of the mill items; where every other character has one or can acquire one at their whims.  

The players do have the options though of transferring previously acquired item properties and powers into a similar magic item of a higher level.  For example the party finds a +3 magic platemail suit of armour.  The player to get this item could, with the use of this ritual, transfer the existing properties and powers of thier current +2 suit of leather armour into the +2 suit of plate armour, provided that the armour they are transfering the properties to is not of higher level.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hopefully Back on a Regular Basis!!

I have been absent for awhile. For the last couple of months I have been under an incredible amount of stress. This is not an excuse: it is a fact. So I am back and will hopefully be posting between here and there. It has been a busy summer, travelling out of country for over a month.  Other contributing factors have influenced my absence to the wonderful world of blogging. 

I am committed to bringing and trying to give new ideas, new perspectives to gaming in particular. Little by little I will try to return to the board and commit to quality articles.

Thanks for reading and welcome back!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

TPK: Lair Assault

Last Friday, we experienced the second week of D&D Lair Assault: Forge of the Dawn Titan.  The turnout at the store has been great in the last two weeks. 

The party in question came into the Forge with a taste for revenge.  The previous week, the party was annihilated within a few rounds.  The problem with this type of game is that you have to be cooperative and work together to beat the DM.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Dark Legacy of Evard: Session 4

This week sees the party exhausted after a long battle with the monsters of the shadowfell, a couple of dusk beats and a shadow bolter.  This week we have the eladrin wizard Naivara, the dragonborn paladin Elhorn, the dwarven artificer John, the eladrin cleric Valenae.

Shortly resting, the party is preparing to return to the Old Owl Inn, when two of the town guard approach the party informing them that they are wanted at the Chapel of Peace. Brother Zelan has requested to speak with the party.

The party arrives at the chapel and the old priest introduces himself and tells the party that they came recommended by Grimbold.  Since he acknowledges the party as shadow slayers, he tells the party that he possibly has something that may aid them in the fight against these foul creatures.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dark Legacy of Evard: Session 2

All is quiet at the Old Owl Inn.  The party have successfully defended the patrons staying in the inn.  This session included, a wizard, a blackguard, a vampire, a cleric, and an artificer.

The wizard looks up and seems to feel what is happening around her. Naivara senses that the whole town has shifted into the Shadowfell and confirms it by looking outside the inn.  She states that this could be bad, because only powerful curses can allow something like this to happen and someone is pretty pissed off right now and is grudging the town.

Tilda confims that everyone present is allright, she does make note to the party that Nathaire and Remy are not anoywhere in the tavern.  The party at this point wants to go explore the town to see what is going on.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Dark Legacy of Evard: Starting Characters for all Settings this Season (Level 1, 2, and 3)

I know there has been a lot of talk about what level to start Encounters at this season.  Some gaming stores are starting at level 1 and some are starting at level 3 and some are even running some of both tables.

This post gives you the options of choosing the appropriate leveled character for your Encounters season.

For level 1 characters please visit the following:

Level 1 pre-generated characters: PDF here (3.5 MB zip)

Level 2 pre-generated characters: PDF here

Level 3 pre-generated characters: PDF here

You can also visit Dungeon's Master to download their level 1 characters from heroes of shadow here and the level 3 are here.

It has been frustrating to redo and replay characters from 1st level.  I find it would be that much more frustrating for the regular players at my table to restart at the bottom rung every few weeks.  In all my career as a player or DM, I have never started so much from first level as Encounters.  Sometimes it is not enjoyable to restart all the time.  There is nothing that give me(personally) more pride than to watch my character flourish through the levels.  I find that players get attached to their characters and begin to develop them as the time goes by and to see that crushed every few levels is disheartening for them and DMs at the same time.

So go out, have fun and play strong.  Above are all te resources you would need to enjoy your time at the table during sessions of Encounters.

Dark Legacy of Evard: Session 1

Last week began my FLGS season 5 of Encounters.  We could not participate the previous week and so did a double session: one on Tuesday and one on Wednesday.

Due to the constant grumbling of my regulars having to start at level 1 and having to play Encounters characters, we have collectively decided that any character will be acceptable to play for the season.  We are also starting the season as level three characters.  So this week, we start the new season off with a blackguard, a wizard,  a vampire, and the return of Fargrim the fighter, and Valenae the cleric.

Tired after long day of marching and cold rain, you’re warming yourselves by the earth of the old owl in the town of Duponde.  You’ve been traveling and the Kings road for a week, heading south to the city of Sarthel with correspondence from lord Markelhay, the Lord Warden of Fallcrest.

When you arrived in Duponde, you discovered that the city’s two bridges had been damaged by recent flooding in the Nentir River.  Now, you must wait a few days while the stonemasons repair the bridge.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Steal this Snake Trap

For those of you who may be interested, click the provided link to Stuffer Shack today and take a look at the 'Steal this Snake Trap' I wrote for the "Snake Week". 

This week features a multitude of traps, character options, new monsters and other things that you can see here.  It is already starting out to be a great week with the launch of the Sertpent Student.

The next few days are going to be great ones.  This type of theme has creative juices flowing abundantly and I am certain it will be a success.  Keep up the awesome work Tourq and the gang.  It is always great to read so much great stuff.

So hats off to snake week! So far so good!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Use This Setting: Sifnab

The world is a large place and home to many people and places.  One of the regions renown for its lucrative endeavours is the kingdom of Balstair.  Balstair is located at the west of the known world and includes access to ports of call as well as a its land bound capital of Lorethane.  Sifnab is a little town, a midpoint to the other parts of the kingdom.  It is a waypoint to the shoreline human town of Meat Cove, a mangy place of double dealings and double crossings.  It is also the only way to Lockport, the lucrative agricultural and trading center of Balstair. The small town of Sifnab is relatively small but can cater to any need for caravaneers to and from Lockport or Lorethane.

The kingdom of Balstair lives in relative peace with its westerly neighbours, prospering in heavy trade with neighbouring kingdoms and treatese of peace with all the races in the kingdom.  However, as with all nations, many plots and schemes threaten to destabilize this balance.

Friday, May 6, 2011

March of the Phantom Brigade: Session 13

In the final instalment of this season of D&D Encounters: March of the Phantom Brigade, the characters find themselves following the stairways down into a natural cave system.  The tunnel is cold and icy.  The characters are confronted by many signs of battle that seem fresh yet known that they are probably 60 or so years old.  Freshly slain duergar corpse lay strew about, fresh bloodstains against the walls.  It seems that these scenes replay themselves, as magic washed over the characters time and time again.  The magic in the monastery seems to be fading.

The characters approach an entranceway a little further down the corridor and they seem to walk into a suspended mini-minefield.  It seems parts of the roof were collapsing as the time trap was set off, leaving debris in the air.  The characters stare at the objects suspended in the air.  Mesmerized with the floating debris, it isn't until one of the characters notice that they are now staring at the ground, that the wave of magic overcomes their senses and the room seems to start rumbling and the ceiling starts dropping more rocks from the ceiling.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

D&D Encounters: March of the Phantom Brigade Level 3 Pregens

So comes the culmination point to the excellent season of Dungeons & Dragons Encounters Season 4: March of the Phantom Brigade.  I have taken the time to level up the characters and adding some of the magic items some of my players have acquired over the course of the twelve previous sessions.

I have allowed my players to level for the final encounter.  I find since these players tend to be my regulars, the kind of get fed up only getting to 2nd level and therefore am treating them with the 3rd level characters.

You could possibly use the third level characters for the new season of Dungeons & Dragons Encounters: Dark Legacy of Evard.  I know that some of the organizers/DMs are going to run this season as a 3rd level campaign.

Monday, May 2, 2011

D&D Encounters: Dark Legacy of Evard Sneak Peek

I just received my copy of this season of Encounters and I must say it looks pretty good.  I made a comment over at Dungeon's Master that I do not think this season is going to top last season.  I still hold true to that thought, but after reading the adventure, I think it is going to come darned close to the quality of D&D Encounters Season 4: March of the Phantom Brigade.  We will see at the end of the season.

My FLGS is always kind enough tho give me a shout when I get my items in the mail.  I received a large box and thought: "What the heck have they put in here for the season?"  Cracking the box open, I see that most of the "Bigness" is filler, and the cool stuff is at the bottom of the pack.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

March of the Phantom Brigade: Session 12

The characters have defeated the ghouls and the crawler in the sleeping quarters.  Despite being a little tired, the party continues after a short rest feeling the importance weighing in on them. Jarren realises that in order to pass from one room to the other the characters must trigger the visions in a specific order.

Jarren mentions this to the group that the other door should open fairly easily.  The party moves back into the hallway and try the other door. 

The other door opens at Fargrims touch and the characters move into the room.  Inside the room, it is dark and Jarren moves his light into the room.  In the middle of the room sits an altar dedicated to Moradin.  The southest corner of the room bears rubble on the floor, indications that Actherimos is a real threat to the mission. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Review: The Unsuspecting Mage

The Unsuspecting Mage is the first installment of seven book series entitled the Morcyth Saga. 

Actually choosing the book was the hardest part of this novel.  Going through my free Kobo ereader selections, I decided to at least download this to my cell phone.  Two books later, and bored I decided to pick it up and take a go at it.  Suprisingly, the book proved to be pleasantly distracting.  It was refreshing and not too heavy, something I would read in the car on a trip to somewhere.

The Look

I found the cover to be less than impressive.  A boy walking in the forest towards a blue thing. I know that there is a lot of fantasy art out there and maybe the intention was to be a little different than a regular fantasy book.  Unfortunately, it came nowhere near to grabbing my attention on the bookshelf.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Character's Character - Magnum Opus & Bam Bam

Magnum: I, Magnum Opus, dish out the hurt!
Bam: Um... Me crush.

DM: In the distance you spot a cave entrance. You can see a faint light flickering inside.  Bam Bam, you catch a whiff of something foul in the air.  Like a combination of rotting food and dirty socks - it's definitely goblins.
Bam: Me smell goblin. Me like crush goblin.
Magnum: I, Magnum Opus, wish to approach the cave.
Bam: Um... Ya, me like crush goblin.  Me need new socks too.
Magnum: ... (looks quizzically at Bam Bam)
DM: OK, you both start walking towards the cave.  The odor becomes stronger; Magnum you notice it now too.  Magnum, you think you see movement inside the cave!
Magnum: I stop.
Bam: I charge!
DM: Initiative, please!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

March of the Phantom Brigade: Session 11

Belgos, Keira, Jarren, Valenae, and Fargrim searched the antechamber for clues as to what lies ahead.  The characters go through the decrepit remains of the Duergar and find nothing of interest.

The characters arrived at the monestary last session based on the information provided by Faldyra.  This information talked about the Arrow of Time

Opening the doors the party pass from the antechamber into a long corridor that is dark and foreboding.  Several doorless alcoves lead to other rooms.  As the characters step into the corridor, a pulse of magic washes over the hallway.

The hallway has changed.  What was once dark and dingy, was now well maintained and well lit.  An illusory group of aventurers stumble into the corridor, among them is Salazar Vladistone. One of them, an eladrin warrior shakes his head as the party catches their breath. He says: "We should not have been surprised that the duergar brought dangerous help. Let us recover ourselves, then proceed with caution.". The vision fades and the hallway is once again dark and dreary.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Punitivations: A Cure for Very Naughty Players.

According to the Alton Vocabulary:

Punitivation(Pu-ni-ti-va-tion) is a form of player punitive measures to motivate players to perform at the game table in order to hasten or quicken their turn in the spotlight.

I think every gaming group at one time or another have problems with their players.  Sometimes I wish I could wring their necks and throw them out on the streets.  I am not that type of person.  

I have on occasion, imposed a few motivational punishments (punitivations) in order to try to speed up combat. Here are a few of them that are not too harsh on the players and will perk them up to be ready to act in the following round.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Quick Turn: The Feat Every Player Should Have

Nothing breaks up a night of gaming more than players taking forever to take a turn in combat.  You lose your groove for the evening, especially if combat is dragging on.

"Um? Let me see. Yeah I know. Just a second...(or 20)."

These are just a few of the words that I hear around the table lately and it really is starting to get on my nerves.  On Tuesday last week, we ended up being short two players and the three of us decided to play a pickup game with new level 5 characters.  We rolled them up and started playing at about 8:45pm.  Within two and a half hours, we had almost finished 2 encounters, and a giant skill challenge full of good old roleplaying.  How awesome was that?!!!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

March of the Phantom Brigade: Session 10

Since we played on Thursday due to a rescheduling, I am posting the update today on Saturday due to previous engagements that needed my immediate attention. This week only 4 players showed and had to adjust the encounter accordingly.  We had the thief Keira, the cleric Valenae, the wizard Jarren, and the ranger Belgos.

The ghosts of Hammerfast dissipate with thanks on their lips.  The heroes would love to help the other people of the city, but they know that the best offence is a good defence. 

The heroes race to the Great Library and are quickly ushered to Faldyra by the choleric Head Librarian Alzar Scrollkeeper. Without raising her head to look at the party, Faldyra says:

"It appears that our friend Salazar is a hero."

Noting the shock on their faces, she does not pause for effect and begins to relate the information she has gathered in the past few hours.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Medieval Live Action Theatre: The Apprentice

Ever wondered what people do in Dungeons & Dragons to unwind after a long weekend of dungeon crawling.  Well ask no more!  Welcome to "The Apprentice", starring Fistandantilus as the head wizard.  Come to the High Tower of Palanthas where apprentices from all over the planes would be competing for a glorious position of studying under the Master Wizard.

I was reading the recent post from Dungeon's Master about social encounters and thought a little longer about it and came up with a new idea for those nights where you are missing a player or three. Instead of cancelling your evening for lack of players, you can use this idea to design an evening of skill challenges for your characters that are present. I will describe possible ways to have fun roleplaying this idea into your campaign.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Traps, Creatures, Adventures and Other Things I Cannot Publish

I have a conundrum.  I am ready to take another step towards improving and adding to the content of this site.  Unfortunately, I have neither the tools, nor the expertise to create the tools necessary to accomplish this task.  If anything, my work would be rudamentary at best.

The tasks I am talking about is, monster creation(not that big a deal with the old adventure tools), trap creation (I have never seen a template for this aspect of the game) and an adventure builder template(I am trying to create one, but if anyone has one to share, I am sure it would look much better and be easier to use).

Thursday, April 7, 2011

March of the Phantom Brigade: Session 9

Two months have passed and the characters have spent this time licking their wounds from the defeat in Inverness. The Dwarven town of Hammerfast has taken them in and the characters are dreading the rumours circulating around town: "The Phantom Brigade is massing!!".

Salazar has been seen travelling throughout the Nentir vale, gathering ghosts to his cause.  Fortunately, the town has been able to evacuate many of their townsfolk ahead of the marching army.  You have seen fit to stay and face the challenge awaiting the necropolis.

The party has been doing many things in the last two months to help the town prepare for the onslaught: They've been helping bolster the defense, other helping Faldyra in researching the origins of Salazar Vladistone and the Phantom Brigade, others helping refugees settle inside the walls as well as relocating to other communities, and others helping the local militia try to find and learn about Salazars' next course of action.

After preparations are made, Salazar shortly thereafter appears amongst the ghosts approaching the walls just outside of Hammerfast.  The commander of the legion of ghosts takes up a position much closer to the wall than the rest of his army and speaks to the masses of the outpost:

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Surgical Instruments: How Lucky Our Adventurers Are to Not Have to Use Them During Medieval Times!

Spending the day in the hospital today for a minor medical procedure gave me time to think about odd ideas pertaining to the gaming world.  The one I would like to write about are surgical instruments and how lucky the adventurers are to not have to go under the knife in medieval times.

Imagine if Dungeons & Dragons had a critical medical table and a PC had to go under the knife.  How horrible does that sound?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Character's Character - Basics

Ever since I was a teenager I have enjoyed creating characters. Sometimes just by drawing a picture, other times only by writing them up. It has only been for the last 8 years or so that I have had a stable group of people to role with so that I have actually been able to play my characters; before that it was just for fun. Now, it's serious! I know, I know... if you get too attached to your character it can be extremely difficult to accept the "Ultimate Sacrifice" should it fall upon you, but I believe that you are more likely to act in a self-preserving, and therefore, more honest way while in character if you have this attachment.

Over the next little while, I will share with you some of my most beloved characters. I will also pepper the dialogues with my drawings; some old, some new. But first, what is it to play, rather, to be a character? What does it mean to play a role? And how does your role fit in with the Party?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

All Fools' Day: A Rogue's Revelry

April Fools' Day, otherwise known as All Fools' Day has just passed and I thought...hmmm how would a rogue take advantage of this day to pull some pranks on his buddies.

This day actually was first recorded back in 1392 in the days of Chaucer.  Readers misunderstood and incorrectly translated "Syn March bigan thritty dayes and two." thinking it was the 32nd day of March, which in essence is April 1st.  In Chaucer's tale, the vain cock Chaunteleer is tricked by the fox.  The rest is history.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

March of the Phantom Brigade: Session 8

...Salazar Vladistone and his cronies!  This week's table had five players; we were missing the dwarf fighter Bolash.  We had Jarren, Valenae, Brandis, Keira, and Belgos.  The five PC's frantically searched for Faldyra and found her in the clutches of Salazar Vladistone hovering over his wife's grave.  Faldyra looks injured.  As the party approaches the graveyard they hear Salazar say the following in his cold raspy voice: "Why won't she appear? What vile spell keeps my wife from me? Answer, wizard!".  Faldyra looks scared with the dagger against her throat.

Without reliquishing his grip, Salazar turns his head towards the party and grins maliciously obviously aware of their presence. The ghostly soldiers drift forward to protect Salazar, weapons at the ready, but do not immediately attack. 

"What chance do the living have against an army of the dead?", speaks Salazar, "Your struggles will accomplish but one thing: your deaths."

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Problem with Wizards of the Coast (Part 3)

Nothing is wrong with Wizards of the Coast!!

I have a little beef to pick with all the players out there who have nothing to do but complain and gripe about Wizards of the Coast.  This is not a hate post to all those people, but an post on how to go about venting their frustrations without sounding like babies while doing it.

I will showcase 3 parts on the following topics: 1. The bad, 2. The Good, and 3. My thoughts.

In the first installment I pointed out some of the extreme negativity towards DDI and Wizards of the Coast. The second article showcased the benefits of being a member of DDI and how there is nothing wrong with how the company is going about its business.

This last installment are my personal thoughts on WotC about the points talked about in the previous articles.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Tactics 101: Flying Creatures

I love 4th Edition for the simplicity it has to offer.  The rules are easy to follow and learn, play time is simpler (you do not have to reference all the books with the online compendium handy), and roleplaying is encouraged and necessary to differentiate yourself from other characters.

There is one thing that bothers me and continues to bother me about 4th edition.  Flying creatures!  I personally find them annoying in combat situations. There are no real tactics to deal with them.  For example, your party will normally be faced with land bound creatures such as orcs, gnolls, kobolds, and within a few rounds your party can eliminate the opposition one by one.

However, you add a flying creature into the fray and all tactics of focusing fire are gone to hell and combat continues endlessly between ranged strikers and controllers (mostly).

Thursday, March 24, 2011

March of the Phantom Brigade: Session 7

This week we had all the pregens present at the table. Everyone was excited to see what happened when the shield went down and we got to playing without too much chatter and disruption.

Session 7 begins this week shortly after the death of Brother Aldus Splintershield. The party has seen a flash in the sky and within minutes the notice an orange glow coming from the direction of Inverness. The party decides to leave Splintershield's body comfortably positioned and start making for the town fearing the worst.  Jarren decides to relieve Splintershield of his holy symbol temporarily to show Malgram once they return.

The party made haste and upon reaching the outskirts of the forest near Inverness, the party is met with a horrifying sight.  Inverness is burning!  Fire rises from several buildings and you see through various breaks in the wall, the same spectral soldiers the party fought in the woods skirmishing with the settlers of the town.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

20ft Radius has gone mobile!!

I am please to announce that 20ft Radius has gone mobile. 

We believe that our readers should be able to access us wherever they go.  Being the technological genius that I am (NOT!)  I have been slow in adding this feature to our blog. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

D&D Encounters: March of the Phantom Brigade Level 2 Pregens

March of the Phantom Brigade is proving to be the most exciting season of D&D Encounters yet.  What more could we add.  Unfortunately we were not given the level ups of the pregens so today I present the level e versions of pregens.

Here are the level 2 versions of the pre-generated characters for those who have reached this milestone in the campaign.  Even though WotC have not given us any guidelines for the levelling of the pre-generated characters, I have chosen what I thought were good powers for the characters.

The next session all my players will be level two characters and thought I would share them with the rest of the players out there. Don't forget to manually add any magic items you have received.  You can do this by downloading the CB files and modifying them with the Character Builder if you have a DDI subscription, or you can even ask a friend who has a subscription to do it for you.

Continue to read to get the files.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Defenders are the Best Role to Play!

Do you enjoy jumping into the thick of battle? Do you enjoy being a masochist? Do you love to show and tell your battle scars while sitting around the hearth drinking with the rest of your party? Do you love the praise which comes at the end of the battle from the rest of your squishy party members?  Do you like the attention the monsters give you in battle? Do you like to kill things?  Then the defender is the best role to play.

Coming down to the final installment of the description of the roles, we showcase one of the most misunderstood roles in 4th edition Dungeons & Dragons.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Radical Change

Radical change is necessary once and awhile.  Working with Google blogger does have its limitations for a guy like myself.  I am not very creative; well at least not creative enough to draw anything spectacular for a background image for my website that is original and new.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Problem with Wizards of the Coast (Part 2)

Nothing is wrong with Wizards of the Coast!!

I have a little beef to pick with all the players out there who have nothing to do but complain and gripe about Wizards of the Coast.  This is not a hate post to all those people, but an post on how to go about venting their frustrations without sounding like babies while doing it.

I will showcase 3 parts on the following topics: 1. The bad, 2. The Good, and 3. My thoughts.

In the first installment I pointed out some of the extreme negativity towards DDI and Wizards of the Coast.  This article now goes over the benefits of being a member of DDI and how there is nothing wrong with the way the company is going about their business.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

March of the Phantom Brigade: Session 6

A great time was had by all this week.  I had traveled down to Toronto for the week due to school March Break and treated myself to a night of playing with a couple of the crew from Dungeons Master down at Dueling Grounds.

Tysylio joined me in this debauchery of dice rolling.  I was a little nervous.  I cannot describe the feeling of conversing with people through a blog site versus meeting them face to face:  I did not know what to expect.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Problem with Wizards of the Coast (Part 1)

Nothing is wrong with Wizards of the Coast!!

I have a little beef to pick with all the players out there who have nothing to do but complain and gripe about Wizards of the Coast.  This is not a hate post to all those people, but an post on how to go about venting their frustrations without sounding like babies while doing it.

I will showcase 3 parts on the following topics: 1. The bad, 2. The Good, and 3. My thoughts.

Monday, March 14, 2011

DMing Styles

"I would like to introduce Tysylio, a good friend of mine who has agreed to submit some of his work over the course of time to 20ft Radius.  Read a little more about Tysylio in the About section.  I hope you enjoy his work and I look forward to working with him in the future. He is a great guy, so read well..."

The group I play in currently enjoys a Dynamic style of DM rotation. That is, we rotate the DM responsibilities every module. Whereas other groups don't do this; they have one DM, and that's it; a Static style. Another way could be a Static/Dynamic DM, where one person DM's players from 1st to 30th, and then passes the torch.
There are obviously pro's and con's to each method.  Here is a little brain storm of how I see the pro's and con's of each:

Thursday, March 10, 2011

March of the Phantom Brigade: Session 5

This week's session started with the introduction of Salazar Vladistone.  After the cleansing ritual was completed, the sense of dread around the castle has disappeared and the characters and all the settlers can rest with ease.  Brother Splintershield and Malgram once again thank the party for their efforts in protecting the alcolytes ang giving the settlers this chance to finally start the rebuilding of the town of Inverness.  Brother Splintershield promises them a new beginning and riches to come.

Suddenly a cry goes up from one of Malgram's scouts at the main gate:

"Malgram! Brother Splintershield! Come forward to the gates. Hurry! Hurry!"The two settlers and the party rush to the gate and the scout points out to the following sight:

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Rrrrolling up the Dice on Interaction Skills!

Here are two scenarios:

Scenario One

Jester: 'I am going to try to bluff the monarch that the task presented to us is much too difficult for the amount of gold he is offering us.  I want him to give us more!'

DM: 'OK, roll your bluff check.'

Jester:  I got a total of 29. THAT SHOULD GET ME SOMETHING.

DM:  (rolling insight of 30).  The monarch sees what you are doing and does not appreciate you trying to take advantage of his generosity.

Jester:  C'mon man! I rolled a 19 plus my bonus.  The DC cannot be that high.  You just want me to fail.

DM: I just told you you failed.

Jester:  That sucks!  What a waste of a good roll!

Scenario Two

Jester: 'I am going to try to bluff the monarch that the task presented to us is much too difficult for the amount of gold he is offering us.  I want him to give us more!'

DM:  Ok!  One sec..(rolls Jester's bluff check 20 vs monarch insight 21).  Unfortunately, the monarch sees what you are doing and does not appreciate you trying to take advantage of his generosity.

Jester: Shucks!  Allright, I apologize to the monarch and we will take his mission.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

March of the Phantom Brigade: Session 4

Starting this week's session, we had all six pregenerated character spots filled at the table: Fargrim, Valenae, Keira, Belgos, Jerren, and Brandis. 

Following Brother Splintershield and the caravan into the castle grounds. The settlers are a little rattled with the feeling of dread upon crossing the threashold of the castle. The party approched the cleric of Moradin and asked what the next step was going to be.   He replies that in a few moments, he and his alcolytes will begin performing the cleansing ritual that will hopefully remove the fear of dread upon entering the grounds and protect the area against incursion of the undead.  Malgram, meanwhile is nervously pacing the compound, setting his archers on the walls as guards against any kind of surprise.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

It's All About the Dice...Or is it? (Part 2)

If you have read part one of the article, you will see that I have compiled data for my four sets of dice.  The process I took was to roll every single die in my bag 100 times and compile how many numbers I get for each die.  I have listed this data on the tables in the previous article: It's All About the Dice...Or is it? (Part 1).

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

It's All About the Dice...Or is it? (Part 1)

"Alright!!! Here go my lucky dice (roll, roll, roll)! Crap! I rolled a one!"

The most important tool gamers need are dice.  How many of you have more than one set?  I have four; my previous seven sets were stolen from my vehicle last year.  Everyone has their favourite set and use them regularly during gaming sessions.  Some players even change up their dice when they are having a cold streak (that is why we have more than one set).  How many of you have more than thirty six-sided dice in their bag?  I do.  This is because of having played sorcerer's for years in the 3.5 edition. 

No matter what you have in your bag, you still have your favourite dice.  Are they really lucky? Do you just like the way they look?  Do they really roll better than your other dice? 

Monday, February 28, 2011

Etiquette at the Table: Tips to Acting Like a True Player

'Would you two just SHUT UP!!!'

In my honest opinion, there is nothing more annoying than players sitting at my table and the only thing they are not doing, is paying attention to the game.  When a player comes to the table unprepared for the game; it drives me nuts.

When you play any game, be it a board game, or an RPG, there is simple etiquette to follow.  I will list, what I think are the seven (7) most important factors to take into consideration for having a good game night with the boys.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

March of the Phantom Brigade: Session 3

This week was another good week for roleplaying.  With a table of four consisting of a slayer named Bolash, Jerren the wizard, Keira the rogue and Valenae the war priest, the adventurers continued on their way.

Faldyra accompanied the adventurers for the remainder of their trip to Castle Inverness.  She is thankful for their rescue earlier and converses with them warmly.  As the adventurers crest a hill, castle Inverness come into view in the valley below.  Faldyra looks at the party with a smile on her face and says: 'Welcome to Castle Inverness.'

Brother Splintershield calls a halt to the caravan.  The characters wonder what is going on and approach the cleric as to why the caravan does not move into the grounds of the castle.  He informs the adventurers that the ruins are rumoured to be haunted by the restless spirits that once dwelled here.  He does not want to risk the loss of the whole caravan.  He asks the adventurers if they woul mind scouting the ground of the castle to make sure there is nothing about to harm him and his ritualists.  If the party agrees to the task he will then begin his cleansing ritual to consecrate the surrounding grounds. The party agrees and march towards the ruins of the Castle.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Leaders are the Best Role to Play!

Do you love being the center of attention in the heat of battle?  Do you love being the deciding factor between life and death in the heat of the moment?  Do you like being the one to command your party, providing bonuses to the ones who litsen to you?  Do you love to sing, infusing your allies with energy?  How about being able to give players extra actions?  Do you love groupwork over individual achievement, knowing that your tactics are the reason for your victory?  Then leaders are the best role to play!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Review: Lord of the White Field

This is one of the series of playtested adventures that I will be reviewing over the course of time.  The Lord of the White Fields is an adventure geared towards character of levels 6-8.  By the end of this module, you should have to level your character if you were level 6-7 and should be really close to level 9 if your characters started at level 8.

Lord of the White Field can be accessed here.  It is only accessible if you have a D&D Insider subscription.  For those that need a pickup game for a couple of sessions, or just want an all out undead campaign, this adventure is great for any of these situations.

Warning:  Spoiler Alert!  The following pages have information that a DM should be looking at to see if this adventure is one to run for their players.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Are you Prepared to DM your Session?

Shiela: I think we're lost.
Presto: I think we're exhausted.
Eric: I think we're stupid.

Everyone remembers the television series Dungeons & Dragons.  This quote particularly grabs my attention. When players say these things, they are usually signs of frustration around the table.I have heard similar garble at my table and it is at that moment I decided to try better myself as a DMand organize myself.

4th Edition has made it so easy to run a well balanced and challenging game.  There are tools and tips galore in order to facilitae the enjoyment of the game.  Do your players have fun?  Do you enjoy running the game?  Are you prepared for any eventuality to happen?  I will list two important aspects for the preparation of a great game of Dungeons &Dragons.  Note that this article can be applied to any other game as well.