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Archive for the ‘Gaming Culture’ Category

Ok, so the word should be out by now. WotC revealed they are hard at work designing the next edition of Dungeons and Dragons. If you missed this announcement you can check it out here. When I first read the news, I was curious and intrigued. I had been following the Legends & Lore columns of both Mike Mearls and newly re-hired Monte Cook for the last few months. I very much enjoyed their ruminations on past editions of the game, what we learned from them, and how they might impact modern design goals. The comments frequently devolved into a hot mess of hate-on-hate action but were frequently peppered with thought provoking responses. It was a heady time and a fun place to be as we all collectively speculated if these seemingly innocuous conversations had some higher purpose. It turns out they did. Hit the jump to find out how. (more…)

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This summer I decided I would try to go back and read some of those novels that looked so interesting when I was younger, but that I never had the opportunity to buy or read. These are novels that are either direct tie-ins to the D&D world, or are heavily influenced by it.  I remember seeing them on bookstore shelves, often positioned next to D&D source books and wondering if they were as good as the game I was playing. However, with limited funds at the time (most of my early D&D books were purchased with paper route money), I had to choose between game books, Dragon Magazine and D&D novels. Generally, it was the novels that got passed by. Now that I’m older and have a bit more disposable income, I’ve decided to make a concerted effort to go back and find those books that called to me but that went unanswered.  The first book in this little summer series was The Verdant Passage by Troy Denning. (more…)

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Sometimes…..it actually makes your game better.

Two weeks ago, I probably wouldn’t have taken that statement seriously. Two weeks ago I would have told you that dice bags are all about function, bringing your “tools” to the table so to speak.  Don’t get me wrong, much like many table top RPGers, I have a bit of a dice bag fetish.  They can bring luck, or they can be “cool”. I’ve seen all sorts of make shift bags, boxes, sleeves and containers used to house the tools of our trade. I’ve used most of them through the years, from the ubiquitous clear plastic tubes that new dice are sold in, to the almost “official” feeling Crown Royal bag seen at game tables across the country. In every case, dice bags were utilitarian at the least and mildly interesting at best.  That is, until I received my first hand-crafted dice bag from Dragon Chow Dice Bags. I had heard the name dropped a couple of times on some of my favorite podcasts. The bags seemed to be held in high esteem by gamers I both admired and respected.  I thought, “Hmmm, this may be worth a look”. (more…)

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This is a simple one. D&D 4E didn’t introduce roles to D&D but it certainly did a lot to hardcode them into the design. For better or for worse, the game has evolved because of it. Some love it, some don’t.  Whether you’re a fan or not, you probably have a preference when it comes time to decide.  When you think of your ideal character in combat, are you dealing out the damage to the enemies, supporting your compatriots with healing spells, unleashing spells to harry and dissuade your foes, or drawing enemy fire to take the heat off your party?  Maybe you prefer some mix of these?  Feel free to comment, both on WotCs decision to place greater emphasis on the mechanical role of each class as well as why you like or do not like certain roles in gameplay.

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This spring I’ve been doing a lot of reading.  Normally, I read novels. I like Fantasy novels for obvious reasons but Science Fiction, Historical Fiction and Thrillers are also high on my list. Lately though, those simply haven’t been scratching the itch. This has gotten me to experiment. I’ve been readying adventure modules. No, not to prep for my campaign. Not even to get ideas, although I often do. In most cases, I have no way to use the materials. Maybe they are too high in level, or too low. Maybe they are set in a different world, time, or circumstance.  Nonetheless, I’ve been enjoying them immensely. I have a rather significant back catalog of adventure modules spanning all the editions.  Reading them has been enjoyable and inspiring. (more…)

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