Results for tag: Dark Sun
Posted by: The_Jester on Jan 25, 2012 at 07:25:17 AM
One final blog on D&D Next and then I’ll take a break for a few blogs.
One of the big questions regarding 5e is how they core books will be structured: how they’re planning on release an acceptable amount of modularity for the game without releasing massive tomes that dwarf Ptolus or make the Pathfinder core book look like a pamphlet on paper conservation.
Here’s what I’d do if I were in charge planning the books:
The Return of Basic & Advanced!
I’d start with Basic Edition. Now, hear me out, put down the pitchforks and hold back on the comments crying “we don’t need two product lines again!!” One of the problems D&D has is that it’s a giant big book that’s inaccessible to new players, or rather three giant books that are fairly...
Posted by: The_Jester on Jun 21, 2011 at 10:40:00 PM
I’ve only played a little bit of D&D Encounters. My 4e groups were on hiatus and their resumption was questionable. Nothing else was going on in my life on Wednesday nights so I tried out most of the local season of Encounters and my Only Local Gaming Store.
I wasn’t really impressed.
The turn-out was poor and inconsistent, as life pulled people in and out. The timing was unforgiving. And most of the Encounters felt, well, superfluous. The local Encounters lasted only a season: the store was the second in a small, local chain of comic ‘n’ gaming stores, and the DM at the other store received the DM reward pack for their time and energy while my DM did not. It seemed arbitrary, a purposeful slight, so he opted to withdraw his DMing leaving the suburb without future...
Posted by: The_Jester on May 12, 2011 at 04:18:05 PM
A contagion has hit the multiverse, spreading from plane to plane. This is the Abyssal Plague. It’s THE D&D event for 2011, WotC’s attempt to do something akin to the mega-events more commonly found in comics. A big, world-shaking event that bridges disparate franchises to tell the fans a larger story.
But is this a good idea? Does their execution work?
I’ll leave it to someone paid to sell the event to sell the event:
"The Abyssal Plague is an event that spans the worlds of Dungeons & Dragons. Seven novels and a five-part novella tell its story across three worlds, and its insidious reach extends into roleplaying products such as Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale and future seasons of D&D Encounters."
You can find articles related to the plague...
Posted by: The_Jester on Nov 3, 2010 at 10:41:49 PM
A long time ago I reviewed the races of the PHB3 and came down hard on the shardmind and wilden. The latter because it was unconnected to any of the myriad plant creatures of either classical myth or the history of the game itself, which made it feel needless detached from the world. The former because of how it came out of nowhere with an origin steeped in fluff that had never been mentioned before or set-up in any of the multiple earlier books dealing with the planes or cosmology. And the shardmind seems very, very tied to the cosmological backstory of a single world: the unnamed Points of Light/ Nentir Vale world, with no attempt to make them usable in the Realms or Eberron or Dark Sun.
Now, while the wilden is unforgivable, the shardmind is the lesser offender. Sometimes a great idea...
Posted by: The_Jester on Oct 27, 2010 at 05:04:14 PM
As has been joked, D&D has no rules for tummyaches. There are the loosest requirements for biological needs, there are no rules for washroom breaks or visiting the “little cleric’s room”. Although, one can easily imagine the potential Gygaxian horror of separating from the party to relieve oneself only to be attacked by some improbable monster designed specifically to attack heroes in that vulnerable state.
Even sleep is a rather vague concept. PCs rest not because they need to sleep but because they need to recharge abilities and the current edition actually goes out of its way to limit resting and encourage the forgoing of sleep. While 3e had penalties for forced marching there were no disadvantages to not sleeping. While a few races have bonuses related to staying awake...
Posted by: The_Jester on Sep 30, 2010 at 06:39:16 PM
Continuing with this semi-series, I'm drifting away from entirely separate games into a sub-game. Midnight was actually a campaign setting for 3.0 and 3.5 but one which radically altered arcane and divine spellcasting. I have most of the Midnight books published by Fantasy Flight Games but never had the chance to actually use the setting.
The world of Midnight is set on the continent of Eredane where the dark god Izrador, also known as "the Shadow" is imprisoned. An alliance of men, dwarves, and elves opposed the dark lord and his armies of orc and goblins. Sound familiar?
Posted by: The_Jester on Sep 16, 2010 at 06:57:18 PM
4e, and to some extent 3e, have done away with random encounters. This has been brought up before and I don't intent to discuss the pros or cons of random encounters, merely what has replaced it: the ambush on the road.
These were incredibly common when I was playing Living Greyhawk where the module would have some seemingly random fight between point A and B that had no bearing on the story save to round out the XP budget. I played a double round mod that was a double rounder because it had four encounters unrelated to the main plot as you travelled overland. Despite this, I still regularly have ambushes in my encounters.
A What Now?
I'm using the term "ambushes" to describe any encounter on the road that serves no plot purpose: a small side-trek without any actual story. Most of these...
Posted by: The_Jester on Aug 30, 2010 at 05:29:16 PM
I'm really excited by the release of the Dark Sun Campaign Setting. Not because of the actual book, which is disappointing short – especially compared to the other campaign's books – and commits the unforgivable campaign book sin of mixing Player and DM knowledge in a fashion I thought we put to death at the end of 2nd Edition.
No, I'm excited about themes. They're brilliant! They're something we should have seen in the Player's Handbook, and I expect to see in the PHB1 of 5e.
Themes are hyped as the "third pillar of character creation", following class and race. They're what backgrounds and bloodlines should have been: a way to add a distinct concept, profession, or archetype to your character. Themes are very reminiscent of kits from 2e but open to any class, and they also fulfil...
Posted by: The_Jester on Jul 31, 2010 at 06:18:44 PM
Earlier this week I wrote about some of the hows of limiting options for Players, which could be summarized as: be fair, let them know in advance, and try not to hamper their creativity.
Today's blog is about why you can and possibly should limit player options.
There are two ways to define something: explain what it is and explain what it is not. You classify what shape something is by where it ends, and the absence of something is an important clarifying feature. Doughnuts are defined because they have a whole in the middle. I spell it "doughnut" instead of "donut" because I'm Canadian, and our self-proclaimed defining feature is that we're not Americans.
One way to define a campaign setting is by what races are and are not present. Removing a common race from the equation...
Posted by: The_Jester on Jul 28, 2010 at 03:37:17 PM
My homegame this past weekend hit a milestone. Partially because the Big Bad of the campaign was finally revealed (Mind Flayers, but the players had guessed this ages ago so it was a bit of an anti-climax), and partially because it featured the first player character death of the campaign.
It was a cruel death, the capstone of a long, far too difficult fight (level+1 before I added the elite mind flayer that was level+4). Despite this, the players almost won, having reduced the illithid's hit points by 4/5ths before it retreated (a large part of that damage was liberal use of the new magic missile) and they would have succeeded had they been able to reliably roll above a "7" and if I hadn't rolled no less than 5 critical hits compared to their 0.
The encounter was designed to show that...