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Archive for June, 2011

Ok, this is kind of a loaded question.  In my time on the net reading sites and forums about RPGs in general and D&D in particular, you often hear the comment that Opportunity Attacks (OAs) are tedious or that they slow combat and kill the fun. My question is this: Do they have to?

Over on Dungeon’s Master, Ameron poses an interesting question: “Are you willing to provoke an OA?” He goes into great detail discussing what exactly the motivation is, both for monsters and players, for provoking or not provoking. However, he mostly focuses on the tactical advantages and disadvantages of doing so. He rightly points out that there are circumstances that will indicate whether or not it’s the smart thing to do. He further discusses teamwork, role, and why OAs can hinder both, as well as how to remedy this. One thing he does NOT do is discuss in detail how OAs impact the fun of the game, or how recognizing this impact can mitigate the complaints I mention in the first paragraph. (more…)

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As I’ve mentioned before, I recently finished running my D&D group through the published adventure; Cairn of the Winter King. This is the adventure that comes included in the Monster Vault boxed set. It’s the typical 32 page glossy we’ve gotten to know from WotC. It’s the same format as the two-part story entitled Reavers of Harkenwold that is included in the DM’s Kit. Overall, I thought Cairn of the Winter King was a pretty good module (Reavers is Excellent BTW). The Monster Vault was an amazing product and getting a fun adventure included was a great bonus. However, in running it, I was reminded of lessens I learned long ago.  Player choice can and should make a difference, but it shouldn’t ruin the experience. (more…)

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My face to face game group had a session this weekend and it was good.  We had a really fun time as we wrapped up the Cairn of the Winter King storyline.  They’ve just returned to Fallcrest and the sandbox I’ve created there is in full effect. As we discussed the choices moving forward and started putting things away, one of my players asked me what I thought of Pathfinder.  She’s a new player, both to D&D and to 4E. I gave her the backstory on 3.0 to 3.5 to Pathfinder and how it related to D&D and 4E. She then went on to explain that she has a friend she recently found out plays Pathfinder and that she sat in on the group during one of their sessions. (more…)

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This is an interesting question. I don’t mean the players at your table. I mean their characters.  Do they have family? I know it’s common in RPGs to have a mostly deceased family. Afterall, we need someone to avenge, or someone to redeem, etc. Backstories are great and using them to create campaigns is what great D&D is made of. But what of friends? What about that annoying cousin who always needs to borrow money? Do your players have these……..in game? (more…)

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In setting up some encounters for my weekly campaign I was digging through the Monster Manuals to find the perfect beasties to throw at the party.  I started thinking about how they like to play and what strategies they use. I wanted to challenge their character builds and strategic thinking.  I started to break down my party by class, role, and power source. I once again noticed that the party has very little power source variety.  Of the five players, four are Martial and one is Psionic. It makes for a very fluid story driven group. The way they work together makes sense and allows the narrative to flow more effortlessly. But it got me to thinking, why so many Martial characters?  So that leads me to this weeks poll. (Note: the order of the powers listed has been randomized)

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