Use This Book Tonight

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You've just come home with a brand-new D&D book, and you can't wait to spring a surprise on your players. Trouble is, your game's in an hour, and you don't have time to read through the whole book looking for good stuff before the players show up. That's where this column comes in, and we'd love you to share your experiences with it! Did you use it? Did it work for you? What happened? Did you embellish? How? Let us know!

This thread is designed to accompany the new ongoing series "Use this Book Tonight" by Andy Collins. See his first article in the series here:
http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ub/20041216a
Though I don't own the Races of destiny, I liked the idea of "use this book tonight" I too am hoping for previous books to be covered by this article.
Bleh, website needs more crunch. I hate how they're doing away with it litte by little (only good thing left is Far Corners).

Once that goes, I'm done looking at the website anymore. Enjoy the fluff you fluff-insane whackos
Bleh, website needs more crunch. I hate how they're doing away with it litte by little (only good thing left is Far Corners).

Once that goes, I'm done looking at the website anymore. Enjoy the fluff you fluff-insane whackos

Funny... i feel near the opposite way. I will agree that far corners is neat, but i mourn the loss of such articles as Fey Feature and Perilous Gateways(FR content, that was though). On the crunchy side, i always liked Monster Mayhem.

So far i;ve looked at the "Use this book tonight!" Articles... Don't own either of thoes books, but the format for the article is good and interesting.

"Enjoy your screams, Sarpadia - they will soon be muffled beneath snow and ice."

 

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THE COALITION WAR GAME -Phyrexian Chief Praetor
Round 1: (4-1-2, 1 kill)
Round 2: (16-8-2, 4 kills)
Round 3: (18-9-2, 1 kill)
Round 4: (22-10-0, 2 kills)
Round 5: (56-16-3, 9 kills)
Round 6: (8-7-1)

Last Edited by Ralph on blank, 1920

I had a great time with this encounter; running it in Nairb while they were on another adventure. Since my PC's were 3rd level a had her HP reduced to 40. After managing to kill her they uncovered her diary on her body. It told them how she had been betrayed by the HSL. (My evil organization) That led them into the next encounter with HSL goons who were searching for her. Thanks for such a great encounter leading into a plot hook.
I like these articles. They're creative mini-adventures, and even if you don't own the book they're easily adapable.

I would like some more crunch on the website, though. How about something like the old Mind's Eye that supports the new classes the Complete books introduced. More spells for your Hexblade and Wu Jen, perhaps.

Okay, I'll come out and say it. I want more Warlock material! More invocations, Warlock specific PrCs... I'll take anything here. Come on, Warlocks and Artificers are easily the most interesting non-core classes you guys have come up with, but only the Artificer is getting any real support. Please? :D
It never fails, any time I start something, there is a plot hook that probably would have been infinitely better appearing on the WotC site. This would have been a good setup (Luckstealer/gambling) for my group as they were in town for the annual gambling night (where all the towns/cities across the land "legalize" gambling for one night and the town cuts into the profits as much as they can). I haven't had the time to peruse my copy of Races of the Wild yet, although I might've latched on the luckstealer and the gambling and put 2 and 2 together.

Oh, well, there is always next year!

Trothgard the Mad
These articles are alright. I agree with some of the previous posts though. The web site realy needs more crunch and some support for the warlock class.
These articles are alright. I agree with some of the previous posts though. The web site realy needs more crunch and some support for the hexblade class.

Quote has been sufficiently altered.
why not just flip to the monster section of the book a plop one in instead of the bbeg?

now in some books you cant do this but most have a monster section...

also you could just switch out a magical trap or something (with a new spell)

basically id just try to do 1-3 small/quick things instead of a remake.

although i could see changing the feats of a bbeg as a possable solution as well, maybe add a poison to his weapon from the new book (or better yet from a creature from the book)

yeah i could see flavoring an adventure like that.
More of these would be nice. Highlighting other things. I could see articles where a theme is introduced(ie, a ring of ice warriors/mages) and you use different books(Frostburn) or spells or new things to make it better. Like "pimp my ride" but "pimp my encounter"
Love the article on Heroes of Battle. Going to use it tonight.

However, I wonder to myself. The Bloodthirsty Commander aura in the book gives +1 dmg to those under it's effects, but in the article it says +1d6. Which is right? Which should I use tonight?

I think I will use the +1d6, if only to make it seem more deadly to my 12th level PCs who are probly going to hand this guy his hind quarters. But I do wonder which one was intended.
EDIT: I was curious if we are going to get any of old books' "Use This Book Tonight!"ed versions.

I second the motion.
Thanks for the gift. I will have to come back to this site more often.
I have played Dungeons and Dragons pretty much since 2nd edition revised. And honestly, I am actually rather new to the website. However, I think my players would enjoy this encounter for a change of pace.

What I would really like to see though, is some more ideas to really play with the players heads. I like putting in boatloads of plot twists and little puzzles that the players have to solve, both short term and long term.

Right now I'm actually got my players set up in a d20 Modern adventure, and they are really enjoying the change of pace there, so I will probobly stay with it for a while. I find that the players like it best when I mix different campaign material together, i.e, adding in some crazy magic items from Eberron or using a monster or two from Draconomicon. Maybe some ideas for how to keep game balance together while adding stuff from other books would be really cool.

See you all later!

samusaran03
"Use this Book Tonight" is brilliant, and needed!

Today's DM's are time-challenged and time-starved, and anything that clearly enables transitioning D&D material directly into a session is an excellent tool to have. "Read This" & "Say This" sections within "Use this Book Tonight" are excellent too, for the same reasons -- efficient, to the point, highly visable and useful.

The other great benefit is that a series of UtBT series articles helps us time-challenged DM's actually USE MORE OF OUR BOOKS. It's hard to use all the books many play groups buy, but there is so much great, great material. Again, anything that eases the implementation of D&D material into the game is a very smart, very helpful time-saver that promotes better & more focused D&D sessions.

"Play More?" right? Then please keep those better tools for actually getting the session moving and running more efficiently coming! And yes, I own a DMG II -- it's excellent, just like this article for saving some time and analyzing what makes characters and a session both crisp and fun.

Going forward, the format of "Use this Book Tonight" sets a great standard for DM's to use the same format on a favorite book or topic from a book in their collection as well.

For example, I can go back to a favorite section of Unapproachable East and apply the "Use this Book Tonight" "template" for when the PC party finds themselves going to the Unapproachable East on an adventure for the first time. Or a favorite section from Manual of the Planes, or The Complete Arcane, Libras Mortis: The Book of Undead, Frostburn, etc. Yes I own those -- like I'm sure a lot of playgroups do, it's just about finding the time to use all that great material, so anything that helps implement that material in a session is a huge help.

Again, I love the language and style of these "Use this Book Tonight" series articles for today's DM -- PLEASE KEEP IT UP! Thank you!
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I like these articles. They're creative mini-adventures, and even if you don't own the book they're easily adapable.

I would like some more crunch on the website, though. How about something like the old Mind's Eye that supports the new classes the Complete books introduced. More spells for your Hexblade and Wu Jen, perhaps.

Okay, I'll come out and say it. I want more Warlock material! More invocations, Warlock specific PrCs... I'll take anything here. Come on, Warlocks and Artificers are easily the most interesting non-core classes you guys have come up with, but only the Artificer is getting any real support. Please? :D

I drink to that.
I drink to that.

*clinks glass* I pay for your drink.
*clinks glass* I pay for your drink.

*Clinks glass* and I drink to you too, King gone Warlock :D!
Drow, grrrr....... My name is Astron Lolthbane, FEAR ME! :P
As for crunch, how about telling us how any and all of these supplements interact with UA rules? Like what defense bonus progression does a warmage have? And how many craft points does the artificer have? What about weapon group proficiencies for new classes?
Hey, these articles are great! Makes me think of new ways to use the books on my shelf... I just worked the Complete Adventurer article into my campaign ;) .
I hope you post more articles... the last one came over half a year ago!

Thanks,
-z
I recently bought the "Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk" and I must admit it was worth every penny (especially since I bought it at a discount). :D

In all seriousness, if you are a fan of the ORIGINAL campaign world of Greyhawk, you will love this book. Though the city map is just so-so, the book answers quite a lot of questions that fans have had over the years particularly about Robilar.

The storyline is sound enough and the adventure seems to be very comprehensive to allow for hours and hours of game play.

What I enjoyed the most however was the development of Castle Greyhawk itself. I have the original module and never really thought much of it since it lacked a lot of development as far as I was concerned. The original just seemed to through in a bunch of encounters just for filler in a typical dungeon crawl. This Expedition verision, however, elaborates more on the actual storyline with a plot and goal for the PCs to achieve.

the numerous side quests remind me a lot of come of the classic RPG video games where your character can affect the outcome by completely certain alternate subplots but whose completion is not necessarily vital to complete the adventure.

I give the book 4 out of 5 stars.
This thread is ancient! I never expeted it to come alive again!

Oh! And I like the book too!:D