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.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

March of the Phantom Brigade: Session 2

This week everyone at my table was psyched to play this week.  I see the people I play with throughout the week and earlier this week I brought out all the figurines involved in all the random encounters and all week, got queries about what these were for. With the excitement brewing for the week we finally sat down at the table to play. With all six pregens present for the event, it was sure to be an exciting week.  We had two new players at the table.  With the addition of the rogue, the encounter finished rather quickly.

The Company managed to ford the river safely.  Brother Splintershield mourned the loss of the two caravaneers who perished during the attack of the stirge.  A few hours later the caravan moved on and soon stopped for a break. 

After a few words of faith, and the burial of the two deceased, the caravan moved on at a greater pace if they want to reach castle Inverness by nightfall. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Have you ever wondered? (Part 1)

Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition has changed the way we see the classes we play at our tables.  We now define the classes into specific roles: The Defender, the Striker, the Leader, and the Controller.  Have you ever wondered what roles some of our favourite movie protagonist might play?  Have you ever wondered what monster role our favourite antagonist play:  Controller, Skirmisher, Artillery, Lurker, Brute, or soldier? Over the course of the next couple of months, I will attribute class roles to our favourite heroes and monster roles to our favourite villains.

Lord of the Rings is my absolute favourite novel.  This novel is the basis for anything fantasy in this day and age (that includes all you W.O.W. players).  Its story is as legendary as its author, the great and unfortunately late J.R.R. Tolkien.  The heroes in this story are legendary and their enemies... relentless.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Controllers are the Best Role to Play!

Wouldn't you want to be able to stay back from the fight, damaging multiple enemies at a time?  Doesn't pushing enemies around the battlefield, preventing them from executing a battle plan sound good? Or how about changing into a fearsome animal, being able to stop many enemies in their tracks with your powers,imposing ridiculous penalties?  Are you smart enough to stay out of the battle and be able to help your comrades bring enemies down before their time using tactical wile?  Then controllers are the best role to play!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Beholdher Beauty: Valentine's Day Suggestions for Monster Couples

I have always looked at monsters as being obstacles to overcome during a combat encounter.  Whether you kill them or not, there is more to monsters if you think about it. I recently DMed the paragon tier adventure P1: King of the Trollhaunt Warrens and absolutely fell in love with my monsters.  The writers of the module is are geniuses and idiots.  

They created the warrens, with monster groups and lodgings. I thought this concept very interesting cause I was the one to always play in the adventure and not DM these creatures.  Imagine this; Troglodytes living in an organized society, living harmoniously in their little caverns, minding their own business, spending time with their families, until....'The Adventurers' came in and slaughtered them all.  This is why I think the writers are idiots.  I fell in love with these monsters and it does not help that my imagination created a society from this adventure. 

Friday, February 11, 2011

Strikers are the Best Role to Play!

Wouldn't you want to be able to run a round a battlefield, dishing out massive damage and running away without the monster even knowing that you were around?  Wouldn't you want to have the highest kill ratio in the party?  Do you like the idea of being able to navigate around a strange city, talking your way out of situations that no other role could?  Or how about peeping out from hiding and zapping monsters from afar?Then strikers are the best role to play!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

March of the Phantom Brigade: Session 1

This was the first week of 13 of the new season of Dungeons & Dragons Encounters: March of the Phanotm Brigade.  It was quite an exciting week; I was stoke to DM it and the players seemed to be stoked to play it.  We had a table of five this week; Jarren the Human Wizard, Belgos the Drow Ranger, Brandis the Human Paladin, Valenae the Eladrin Cleric, and Fargrim the Dwarf fighter.  The only pregenerated character we were missing from our ranks was Keira the Elven Rogue.  Even with the lack of a Striker the party handled themselves with grace...well something like that.

All of the players ranged from experienced to fairly new but all have played D&D Encounters. I don't have access to Twitter from my playing location so I had no idea of what the buff was this week.  I decided that this week was going to be a roleplay week and decided against the use of the Fortune Cards at my table.  I will introduce them for the next session.

I also told my players that information this season is given to those who are inventive and who attempt to roleplay throughout the adventure.  The prompting and prodding yielded great results in the first session.  The players handled it wonderfully, from a Lawful Good Paladin, to a teetering drunkeness of the Dwarf Fighter.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Hashing Without Hitting

“You are right; some things should be hashed out.”
This is probably one of the last sentences you want to hear at your gaming group.  This means that your group is either having some sort of trouble, stemming from issues that have been accumulating over the years; years of not having talked, bitched and complained of something or someone: years of not dealing with it.
Maybe your players have creative differences and it has eventually boiled over, people fed up with getting no satisfaction; days, months, years of putting up with one or more people in the group.
All gamers hit hurdles over the years, and at some point fail to coalesce with their group.  Below is a list of things that in my opinion tend to come up a lot during gaming sessions that should have been addressed from the start and dealt with on the spot.
“Just for the record, I have nothing personal against anyone in this group.”  This should be the first sentence coming out of your mouth when you want to start a discussion.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What Role is the best to play?

In the next little while I will be posting about the roles in the 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons.  I will be stating some of the best qualities; and defending why every role is important in the dynamics of this new gaming system.  As much as some of you readers out there do not like the system or even refuse to play it, it is a great system.  I find combat is simple (yet somewhat slow at higher levels), the roleplaying potential has improved, and the organization and support from WotC is fantastic.  I will be highlighting every role in the game and giving my reasons why every role has great potential.

Monday, February 7, 2011

D&D Encounters Season 4: March of the Phantom Brigade Sneak Preview

The Adventure Cover
I just received my Kit for the upcoming season of Dungeons & Dragons: March of the Phantom Brigade.  I would like to take some time to go over the content of the package and note things of interest.

This season, WotC decided to send us the whole adventure in one convenient booklet like they did for the first season of Encounters.  Things have changed much since the Undermountain: Halaster's Lost Apprentice came out.  Adventure design has improved greatly.  This season give the opportunity for players who are into roleplaying to actually roleplay.  This is going to be a great boon to the advanced players.  These players will provide much needed experience and entertainment for the new players coming to try D&D for the very first time.  Imagination is almost given free reign.  I am looking forward to DM this to my players.  The Encounters seem quite challenging and the flow of the adventure is quite interesting.  There are a plethora of possibilities in what can be done with this adventure.  The DMs are going to have their hands full with the amount of information with this adventure.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Hardcore.....No More!!!!

Have you ever been called a geek, nerd, Satan Worshipper?  Have you ever told a priest that you play Dungeons & Dragons and have him try to perform an exorcism on you: I have?  But all of those things do not bother me as much as some of the hardcore gamer reactions to the rest of the populace that play D&D.  It is one of my biggest pet peeves.  I have played Dungeons & Dragons for as long as most gamers out there; over 25 years.  I have gone into a gaming store, asked a question and have been rebuffed, ignored, and been brushed off.  I play the game for many reasons:  the social aspect, the fantastic aspect, the creative aspect. 

I know that this game is a refuge and a place of acceptance for a lot of people and has been for as long as I can remember, and I have no problem with that.  I am the first one to admit that I take solace in playing the game with friends and getting away from the bump and grind of my life. Unfortunately, when hardcore gamers are implicated, it can get very annoying, very quickly. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Virtually Absent

Do any of the readers out there play virtually?  What I mean is that, you are sitting at your computer, staring at the screen, waiting for the group at the other end of the line to stop talking so you can try to say something that may influence the outcome of the encounter.

I moved to my little town back in May 2006 in order to be able to afford to attend teachers college, I also moved away from my gaming group, the group I have been playing with since 2000.  This group is the most consistent group I have ever played with.  We get together religiously every Tuesday evening to play for about 5 hours.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Goldenshield and the 3 DMs

There once was a young adventurer who decided to leave his home in search of excitement.  He decided that his skills would be better used in the world than his little village.  He left his little village and travelled for a few days.  On his travels he heard of a group of Goblins who were threatening the surrounding area with their raiding.  He decides to stop them at their lair.

Walking down the trail he comes to fork that splits into three separate roads.  Goldenshield looks to the left and further down the trail, he sees 3 Owlbears and a Displacer Beast. He thinks to himself:

“This way is too hard!”

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Dungeons and Dragons Virtual Table!?

With the continuation of BETA testing of the Virtual Table, I wanted to take a few moments to go and review what we know about it so far and what this system can do for gamers like us.

----original article----

One of my good buddies posted this on our forum.  The D&D Virtual Table.  WotC_Trevor talks a little about the tool that DMs and players can use to participate virtually.  Now, the article does not go into much detail, but they do talk about the graphics, sets of tokens and dungeon tiles from the new Essentials line being included with the product. The VT BETA FAQ also mentions the product will be able to connect friends with the help of voice chat and text.