I’ve been considering doing this post for a long time and finally just decided to go for it. I don’t expect my opinion matters to too many people all that much but I still thought it might be fun to throw together a list of sites that I think people should check out. When a friend of mine e-mailed me today and asked if I had any sites for him to look at so that he wouldn’t be bored at work I thought this would be a good time to do it. Most of them are at least slightly geek-related, so while this post is a bit off topic it still doesn’t feel completely out of place to me.
Archive for June, 2008
I got a call yesterday from a friend of mine I don’t see too often, about a fumble table I had used in my last D&D game. Basically I had written up a random table to roll on whenever a player fumbled because I felt the whole “lose the rest of your attacks” or “hit yourself” or whatever we had previously been using was kind of boring and uninspired. I guess this friend (he had played the flashlight wielding paladin I have mentioned a couple times) is in a new game and had mentioned my table to his new DM. I was rather flattered and told him I would seek out the table and post it on the blog.
Instead I ended up with this Super Hero Universe idea. But I’ll get to that in a moment.
Ready or not (hmm, the new design, or you the reader?) the new site design is up. I’ll take a quick spin through the changes, and also describe how you can help make it a success.
I got a chance to try out Quelf a few weeks ago but then over the weekend I got it out again and the room was filled with laughter as a full eight player game took place. I ended up sitting out to let others play but it certainly made its mark on the participants.
This week will likely be a very busy one, which means that I will probably not get to write the posts that are floating around in my head at the moment. Still, I wanted to take a couple seconds to comment on a few of the things that happened over the weekend in my Scion campaign and some Shadowmoor online.
I love the collection of monster in new 4th Edition Monster Manual and I love the array of powers that the designers have given them. I know some people are lamenting the loss of certain creatures (centaurs, rust monsters, metallic dragons, etc.) but never having had an attachment to the D&D world of old I guess I’m just as happy with these things as without them.
There are several reasons for choosing the creatures they did, not least among them that they wanted to keep a few hold-outs for the Monster Manual 2. While some people will insist that this is a greedy move by the company I guess I personally would rather see a book have some “normal” monsters and some bizarre monsters rather than have the basic Monster Manual be all the boring stuff and then have the later MMs be full of ever more crazy creatures.
One problem I have with the Monster Manual is that there are very few options for introductory adventures. At about level five onward you have the option of sending lots of lower level creatures at a party (or perhaps “pumped up” versions of lower level creatures) but of course there are no lower level creatures for a starting party. It seems your basic options are either Kobolds or Goblins. I wanted to have another option so I created Gribbs.
Just how much role playing is in the new edition of Dungeons and Dragons? Just how much role playing was in the older editions? Is D&D a roll playing game? How much does a system of rules force players to play a game a certain way? How much impact does genre have on role playing?
Since the release of 4th Edition (and actually even before its release) many people have become irate about the lack of role playing in it. Many felt that the changes were taking away options and making the game less realistic or more board-game-like. Not everyone agrees with this statement, and after reading through most of the core books I don’t agree either. In this post I would like to examine the evidence and explain why I feel there is greater potential for role playing in 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons than in 3.0 or 3.5. I will also touch upon other aspects of role playing such as genre impact and rules impact. These ideas are far more general but they are no less important to the whole.
I got a chance over the weekend (well, Saturday, as Sunday was taken up by other things) to play a few more games of Pandemic and I think I now have a pretty good idea of how the game works. So below you will find the review I promised last week when I was talking about Co-Op games in general.
Many people beat me to the punch of reviewing D&D 4.0. In truth if you were looking for reviews and opinions of the new edition you could easily have found them long before the game was officially released (you could even have found some here!). In fact you could have found the whole game before it was released since a pirated copy showed up online and Buy.com released some hundred copies a week early.
So, I really don’t feel another normal review of the game, one that goes over the changes and then either says “D&D 4.0 scores big for its simplicity and fun” or “D&D 4.0 is now a completely different game, Wizards has destroyed the game we all know and love!” is in order. Instead what I would like to do is talk about one of the things I was doing this weekend instead of writing a review, namely going to see the musical Wicked.
Yesterday I was given a copy of Z-Man Games’ Pandemic. I knew it was on the way and had originally planed to buy it myself until I was informed that someone else had ordered it for me as a gift (thank you Matt). I plan to do a full review on the game after a few more plays (got two in with two players last night but I would like to get a more even assessment before writing my review) but I thought that I could at least do a brief post about co-op games in general.
The Paranoia Mission Blender is so freaking cool that this online version of it deserves its own post!
The release of Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition is right around the corner and if you have been paying attention at all you’ll know I am pretty excited about it. When I first heard about it I shrugged it off but then curiosity got the better of me and I did some research and posted the results of that research. Since that time I have been reading the Wizards posts and poking around for opinions from people with advanced copies while I eagerly await the arrival of my copies of the books.
The opinions about the new edition seem to be fairly split, with an edge given to positive impressions. While there are many different complaints (no gnomes, no half-orcs, no sorcerers, multi-class changes, alignment changes, etc.) the most amusing complaint I have seen is “3.5 is fine, don’t let Wizards trick you into spending more money!”
I haven’t done a Games I Play post in a while and I have been meaning to. After getting a chance to play Vegas Showdown with Scott over the weekend I thought now would be a good time to do a quick write up about it. Remember, this isn’t really a full review so I will try to keep it short. There are, as always, good reviews over at the Geek including a review by Yehuda Berlinger who was kind enough to link to our blog way back when we were first getting started.
This past weekend I got to play games with Scott for the first time in… well… a while. We played History of the World, Citadels, Boom Blox (yes, it’s a Wii game but it’s awesome!), Minimum Wage, and Vegas Showdown as well as playing the one shot Paranoia game I ran. All in all it was a pretty cool weekend.
Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition – The Good and Evil of the new Good and Evil (Alignment Changes in 4th Edition)
I’ve been waiting for today’s D & D preview to come out even know I was pretty sure I already knew what it was going to say. It was about alignment. I have already spoken about how I feel about the old alignment system and anyone that read that post can be fairly certain that I was looking for a change. Well, it looks like I got what I wanted or at least got part of what I wanted.
The following is a one-shot Paranoia mission that I wrote up to run in place of my normal Scion game for the day Scott was in town. It is basically a Zap game (as opposed to Classic or Straight – Classic being what I normally run) and was truly designed to be a Code 7, which is Troubleshooter dispatcher slang for a mission which will cost the Troubleshooters more clones than they have.
It would not be too hard to change a couple of things and make it a Straight game however. It isn’t the most amazing mission ever (the last game I ran which involved the TV show Wheel of Traitors and Vanna Bots conducting Unauthorized Turning was possibly more amusing) but feel free to use all or part of it in your own games or just shoot me some feedback about it.