Monday, January 30, 2012

Tactics 101: Aquatic Combat

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.

The following post will cover the basics of an aquatic setting and give some tactics to use against some of these monsters.  Aquatic combat has so much untapped potential in the game; there is so little written about it.

Sure, adventurers can teleport to strange exotic places in a heartbeat, travel to different planes and even travel into the cosmos, without anything hampering their way.  Put them in a little bit of H20 and all hell breaks loose.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Everyone Else is Doing It?!

Taking the advice of Ameron from Dungeon's Master and indulging in the frivolity of these questions, here are my answers to the questions from Zak S's website "Playing D&D With Porn Stars".

1.  If you had to pick a single invention in a game you were most proud of, what would it be?

The Gem Sorter.  An old character of mine, Onomat Opoeia, was trying to get out of hot water after being caught in the King's treasury.  He convincingly told the King that he was testing his new invention the Gem Sorter (really just filling a sling of gems and trying to release them in their various colours in seperate piles).  My DM thought it was inventive and gave me a chance to totally pull it off, but roled a 1.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

WHAT THE...???

As a Dungeon Master, I sometimes find myself dragging my feet, the adventure seems to come to a sudden grind and cannot bear to trudge through another encounter in the module that everyone wanted me to play.  So everyone got their bonus demon part attached to them in the previous room.  The assassins missed their marks and rolled incredibly badly and then got pummeled before escaping into the dungeon.  SIGH!

Playing like the can often become tedious and boring.  Why not spice up your adventures or any module up with surprises and secrets?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Review: Sword of the Gods, A Forgotten Realms Novel

Demons, thieves, mad wizards, and a man with amnesia.  Sword of the Gods, A Forgotten Realms Novel, by Bruce Cordell is a novel that captures the imagination of the reader, springing us into the world of a man named Demascus.  Waking up naked on an altar in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by corpses dressed in red clothing, Demascus is confused.  He has no idea who, or where he is.  He defends himself from a demon, finds a map and some clothing and hits the trail.

Events lead to the city of Airspur where he meets haphazardly meets Chant Morvan, a pawn broker who just happens to be holding a scarf for Demascus.  No sooner than he gets his hands on this scarf that it is stolen by a thief.

Demascus knows if he has any chance whatsoever to regain his memories, he knows he must find his scarf.  He and Chant track the thief through the city, meeting interesting characters along the way.

Friday, January 20, 2012

SOTY: Site of the Year Award

The time has come again for the SOTY to be handed out to another deserving website.  The crew at Stuffer Shack have a yearly contest to determine the RPG Site of the Year and the time has come again for you all to vote for who you think should be nominated for this prestigious award.  Last year Critical Hits won the award and received a plethora of great prizes for their great dedication to the gaming in general.

This year, the award will be once again presented to the site most deserving of this acclamation.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The DM Cannot Do Everything For You

4th Edition D&D, especially Essentials, has made gaming more accessible to the general population.  No longer is it a game for the hardcore nerds and geeks. WotC has opened the possibility to everyone that just want to come in, take a seat, and just play. However, those that choose to just come in and play still must understand the basic rules of character creation and the general combat rules when playing their characters.

I am frustrated with the lack of initiative new gamers bring to the table.  I can understand if you are a brand new player, who is just trying the game for the first time and want to see what it is like.  I can understand that some people are exceptional learners and have trouble absorbing information from written works.  I can also understand that buying all the books is costly and can really put a dent in your budget, especially if you are a student at the elementary, secondary and post-secondary level.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Review: The Shard Axe, an Eberron Novel

The Shard Axe is a novel written by Marsheila Rockwell and set in the  Eberron world of Dungeons & Dragons.  The novel  is also based on the popular game of D&D online: Eberron Unlimited, a free MMO, popular with the masses.

The novel introduces a down and out on her luck protagonist named Sentinel Marshal Sabira d'Deneith.   Having defeated the assassin Nightshard and ending his reign of terror in the Holds, Sabira has tried to stay away from her  memories of this mission.  Feeling guilty for the death of her partner during this time, and harbouring her anger towards Aggar Tordannon, the dwarf they had sworn to protect, she drinks and gamble to numb the pain.

Little does she know that she would be tricked into returning to the city she never wanted to see again, to defend the dwarf Aggar Tordannon for similar crimes like the ones Nightshard  committed all these years ago.  Even with the Sentinel Marshal by his side, Aggar is going to need all the help he can get.  When Sabira returns, she realizes that something is not right about these murders and must uncover the secrets of these murders to find the true killer.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Gaming in a Small Town

I don't know about any of you, but 6 years ago I moved to Elliot Lake, Ontario, and I now feel like it is time to get out.

I moved to the "city" with my wife to be able to afford to go back to school and eventually become a school teacher.  The cost of living here is amazing and cheap. We have everything we can possibly want; a house, a car, money to travel.  The only thing we do not have up here is a social life.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

D&D New 5th Edition Announced for 2014

It`s official; Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition is on its way - or whatever they will call it.  After only 4 years, the staff at WotC are now starting to put together rules for the new edition of D&D.  What kind of changes are coming to the game?  I don't think anyone knows.  In the new Legends &Lore article entitled: Charting the Course for D&D, Mike Mearls announces the brainstorming steps of the new edition to come.

I a m not surprised by this announcement (the interest seems to have waned over the years), yet surprised at the up frontedness of the announcement.  I guess it is better to hear this from the horse's mouth than to circulate unfounded rumours.  Mike gives a link to a review by the New York Times.

Many people; friends, family, and some of the top blog writers were invited to attend a session in Seattle for some early playtesting of some of the new ideas for the new edition.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

NPC's: Monster Creations - Simple and Memorable

I am trying to remember something of the past, a creature, person, or anything else that I have ever encountered in my whole career as a RPGer.  Any memorable occasion where someone or something helped, interacted with us, anything!!!

Surprisingly enough, I can hardly even remember a handful.  Maybe that is why gaming sometimes can be such a drag to me.  The NPC's I meet tend to be lackluster, impersonal, unenthusiastic and unimaginative.

As a gamer, Most NPC's get the job done and bring you to the next battle. Unfortunately, in order to get the full "nine yards' of the gaming experience, you need a combination of three things.

Review: Sooner Dead - A Gamma World Novel

Happy New Year to all!  I have been having a blast here in New York and have just had enough time to write up a little something to begin the new year with. Having read this novel many moons ago, I decided to reread the novel and I realized how good it really was.  I am now going to share my opinion with you.

As I review this book, I will attempt to keep it spoiler-free so you can pickup your own copy and read it yourself.

Gamma World is new to me in the 4th Edition setting.  I have neither heard nor played it in the past.  When the Gamma World game came out I decided I wanted to buy it.  I am glad I did.  It was so much fun, which leads me to the first Gamma World novel I have read.