Campaign 2010: RP notes =]

Author: Andrew /

Hey hey!

Everyone, first, I just want to say, the game has gone really well so far. I'm very much enjoying the game so far. The party has shown itself to be resilient, strong and courageous. It's been a blast for me, as I hope it's been for you.

Now, I've done some thinking in the shower (the place where most great ideas come) and I am introducing what I'm calling, from this point forward, "RP notes". I want to inject some role playing and interesting inter-party points. These will be reflected as fleeting thoughts that cross your character's mind. As in life, sometimes thoughts come unbidden to us, and these points will reflect this. These notes represent thoughts that cross your character's mind but in no way force your character to act upon them. They merely serve as something that could be played off of and give an opportunity for RP even when in the midst of a dungeon crawl. I encourage all players to RP and will [perhaps] give some exp based upon RP! =]

The notes are as follows:

Throughout the time you've spent together, you've experienced a few things. You've been brought back from a fall that almost killed you by a kindly druid. Upon your walk towards town, you came upon what turned out to be a forward party of goblins with a huge ogre in toe. In the midst of this grueling fight, you were all badly beaten, some worse than others, but you rose to the occasion all the same and emerged victorious. You followed the trail of broken foliage left in the ogre's wake, searching for the goblin den, in an effort to stop the impending attack on the town. On the way, you encountered a small goblin, cowering and begging for help, in exchange for taking your group to the den, as the path the ogre left had fallen away. The goblin was asking to be taken to town in hopes of finding some way to join the town and be like them. Upon reaching the den, Tataki killed the poor goblin outright, its cowardice abhorrent to the warrior. Houseki, the crystal monk and Tamago, Tataki's sister, quickly dispatched the weakling goblins at the entrance. Tamago kicked down the door, showing no fear whatsoever.

They marched into the den, kicking in the door to the first room of the den. Fighting bravely, tooth and nail, they brought down the hearty goblin occupants they encountered, but not without party members suffering grievous injuries, some even nearing death. After resting, they continued on, finding a slime trap, but quickly ridding themselves of the hindrance; Leota, being ever the clever ranger, utilizing the poison goo to tip some of her arrows.

Next, the encountered a goblin sorcerer and his bodyguard. The old goblin also raised up three goblin skeletons to aid them. Again, after much struggle, the group prevailed, looking forward to delving deeper into the winding, twisting tunnels housing the threat to the good people of the nearby town...


Arein: You were elected leader of this small band. Your spirit is uplifted by this but you also, being a very single-minded individual, feel challenged in the aspect of group leadership. Having multiple individuals depending on you is a relatively new situation for you. You look to your group and think about possibly looking further into their strengths.

Houseki: You were always the silent type and content to be in the background, serving your purpose and contributing as needed. In the recent altercation between you and Tataki, involving the goblin, it occurs to you that being more forward with your companions could prove beneficial. The sisters, while very much not like you, intrigue you all the same, Tamago especially, with her overt, almost reckless bravery. You've seen her brought down a few times (as you have yourself) but you both come back to serve the group. A thought of fleeting admiration for their skill flits through the back of your mind. What to think about these two?

Tataki: You've been thick as thieves with your sister for as long as you can remember. You've been her right hand and she yours since you were young. Looking on, as the recent fights have passed, however, you've seen her fall? Why is this? Is it because she is lacking in strength? Was it blind chance? Was it recklessness on her part? Do you have more to learn from each other?

Tamago: You've been at the head of any fight you've gone into. Your bravery and zeal have been unmatched. You've also taken beatings unlike anyone else in your group. You try not to show it, but being brought low by your adversaries stings, just a bit. Does this incite you to charging in all the harder? Does this perhaps spark a desire to utilize the resources that are your other party members and find what their strengths are as well as your own? After all, you know, a fighter, no matter how good, is no good when they're dead; and when it comes down to it, had it not been for them, you'd be as dead as the goblins that fell to you. How do these victories and, at the same, losses, make you feel?

Leota: Being a ranger, you're a bit unlike the others. You're quiet, reserved and deliberate. You know your job and you do it well. At the same time, you notice you're always far from your companions. You stand back as they wade into the fray. As blows are taken and dealt, you notice your companions scrambling to stay on their feet, sometimes doing better, sometimes doing worse; but, all the same, ultimately succeeding. Does this reaffirm where you stand, or perhaps, does this make you want to identify with them more? Is the distance you have purely when in conflict, or is it a reflection of something deeper inside you?


I hope you guys like those. Again, please don't take them as me pushing you in any directions; as I said, they're meant to be thoughts that occur to you but are not massive weights on your heart (unless you think they should be). They can be disregarded but they can also be used to create interesting dialog. Thanks again for playing!


Campaign Fall 2010

Author: Andrew /

Hey all!

This is the new post for the campaign that's coming up. This post is for character concepts and discussion. Allow me to put a few guidelines down:

-Characters will be level 1
-Standard point builds. If you use the character creator, it should never say "houseruled". If you're using "point buy" out of the book, the point pool is 22 with all stats at 10 except for one, which starts at 8 (this is off the top of my head, but it should be right). You may also just use a standard array for ease.
-Equipment will be very limited, run all needs and ideas past me first and we will discuss what will be done.
-Race restrictions: Drow, Warforged, as well as monster races (these can be discussed and if the point is really compelling, I may allow it; but I'm leaning towards no).
-Class restrictions: None, although proprietary classes may be denied (although I think all should be alright).
-Ideally I'd like characters to be the same gender as the player. While this is of course not a demand or restriction and gender is a relatively small thing, I have yet to see a male player really get me to buy their female character (kinda the way that when I see George Clooney playing Batman, I never once go "That's Batman", I always remember it's George Clooney). It helps me stay immersed if the players can play convincing characters and most guys know how to be guys better than girls, from what I've seen. Not looking to start a debate, just stating how I feel.

I strongly advise subscribing to D&D Insider, as their Character Creator is just awesome. It's a tool I love to use and it makes character creation extremely easy and friendly and fast. If you can't afford it, it's no problem, but it's a handy tool if you can manage it.

Also, for those of you who don't know (or do but want a handy little list in front of you) here are certain party roles that you may want filled:
-Primary Damage
-Crowd Management and Control
-Party Speaker (primary social skills like Diplomacy)
-Skill Focussed
-Off-damage / other focus

None of these are mandatory of course; you could all theoretically play Tanks if you wanted, I'm just listing these as a reference. I look forward to seeing what you've all got.

The new direction of D&D 4th Ed

Author: Andrew /

Hey all!

I know I haven't posted in a while but I wanted to throw this out there. I know in the past, we've had discussions about 4th ed; lots of them good, some of them bad (as in what's wrong with the system). There were things like the lack of important, powerful feeling feats, classes that felt too similar, languages were a bit funky, ect.

Well, I just recently picked up the new Red Box which is heralding the release of the D&D Essentials line. This is a the beginning of a new direction in 4th edition's design. Now, that's not to say that the old 4th ed books are worthless, they're not. They'll be fully compatible, and usable in any 4th ed game you play, so all that hard-earned cash you (and I) spent on building up a big fat 4th ed library was not in vain.

That being said, 4th ed is now being taken over by Mike Mearls, who is overseeing the bulk of design on D&D and I, for one, am glad he is. He holds a reverence for 1st edition D&D and what D&D actually "IS". What it "is" is a bit of an odd concept, at times, but bear with me.

To me, I think D&D is an experience that evokes a certain feeling. Sometimes when you play an MMO, your character feels like a stack of numbers meant to do a job and there's nothing organic or lifelike about it. It doesn't pull you in, it doesn't engage you and it doesn't make you sit up and pay attention, hanging on the edge of your seat. I know there's been the talk that D&D 4th ed is trying to be an MMO (on paper) and I still disagree, but I do see the things that are similar and why people gripe about it. Some of the things in there, while balanced FANTASTICALLY, do seem to play very closely to one another and you don't feel like your character is really their own person. It more tends to feel like "Uh... I'm a fighter and I do a d8 worth of damage with my sword... My buddy is a wizard and does a d8 with one of his 'spells'." It felt ridiculous in that regard.

Essentials is bring about new things and I will put links so you can all go check out the neat things involved. One example is the fighter in "Heroes of the Fallen Lands." HotFL is the first class book to be published in the Essentials line. It will cover the fighter, the cleric, the rogue, and the wizard (all the iconic classes). They offer new builds with new options.

The fighter, for example, gets stances. These can be used instead of dailies. This is a quoted part off the website explaining stances:

"Level 1: Fighter Stances

Fighters learn a number of stances, special powers that combine positioning, footwork, and combat tactics to maximum effect. A stance allows you to customize your approach for fighting different enemies. Against a massive ogre, battle wrath allows a knight to overcome that creature’s impressive hit points more quickly. Against monsters that gain advantage from flanking you, measured cut lets you stay in motion to keep them out of position."

There are more things too but that's one of them.

I, for one, am very excited and can't wait to see the rest. I have the Red Box and for $20, it's a dang good deal and the perfect thing for introducing someone new to the wonderful game we all know and love. Here are some links (Check out the one at The Escapist for sure, it's an interview with Mike Mearls and answers a lot of questions about the design choices in the past and the direction going forward).

Escapist Article

Fighter 1

Fighter 2




Hope this was interesting for you guys!