Monthly Archives: September 2015

The dragon sleeps tonight

Today’s project was making a cake for PezWitch’s birthday.

As usual, I think it looks awkward, but all things considered, I suppose its the thought that counts.

Old people doing silly things

Every town I am sure has a FaceBook “You know your from __________, when..” page and my home town of Billings Montana is no different. I am of course a member of this group, but I rarely go there, because as PezWitch says, its pretty pedestrian, or as I put it, Billings is really boring and that is pretty much why I left. Most of the posts go something like this.

Does anyone remember what was on the corner of 27th street and 6th avenue in 1978?
There was a Safeway there
Correct
Yeah, my grandmother use to work there

Uhg, such shit, who cares. I will probably get hate mail telling me there was not a Safeway at 27th and 6th, what was actually there and in very boring detail tell me why it was important. And I still won’t care.

Anyway, apparently last week the FaceBook group decided to have a “Burn the Point” night. For those of you who are not from Billings, burning the point is what bored teenagers do in Billings Montana on Friday night. They drive around a 4 or 5 block area over and over. The kids without cars stand on the street corners. So on FaceBook all these old people decide it would be really cool to “Burn the Point” for old times sake. The image in my head of all these old people in their Honda Civics circling the block, playing music (but not too loud) while the air reeks of …… prune juice and bengay? Of course the street was clear by 8 PM, because you know, don’t want to miss the breakfast special at Denny’s in the morning. When we were discussing this last night, PezWitch mentioned there was a high probability of frisky old people having sex that night. That kind of killed the conversation.

D&D 5E, a year in

Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition has been out over a year now. The reception of the new edition has been for the most part positive, most gamers approve of the return to more 2nd edition feel with some 3rd edition game mechanics and the recognition that 4th edition was probably a step in the wrong direction. However, there does seem to be some consternation over the slow release cycle and the lack of a licences that will allow 3rd parties to publish content.

I will be the first to criticize a game company for a lack of follow up product. While it is true, The One Ring did not die and eventually Cubical 7 did release some followup material, by the time they did, most of their potential players had already moved on and they lost significant momentum. I do think Wizards of the Coast did not fall into this trap with D&D 5E. WotC released all of the core books at a relatively even pace across 4 months and during that time they also released the first half of a large epic scale campaign and then followed up in short order with the second half and the DM Screen. During the next 6 months we got Princes of the Apocalypse and Out of the Abyss. So in the first year we got 8 products, 9 if you count the boxed starter set and 12 if you count all the free basic rules and PotA player guide. This is really not that slow for year 1. Although to be fair, most of this was released in the first 4 months, while we had to wait months for Princes of the Apocalypse and Out of the Abyss.

Even if in the coming year we only see two or three more products, as long as the trickle is steady, this will not be much of a problem. In fact, it is really easy on my pocket book, I can afford two $50 adventures a year (well more like $30 from Amazon), so by the the time I actually run the game, I will have decades campaign material. This is much different from how previous editions worked, especially from 2E on. It was basically impossible to own everything unless you had more money than brain. It was probably impossible to even get everything in a limited scope of say “All Forgotten Realms” stuff. The idea is sell a few high priced adventures with a large profit margin, rather than a large number of cheap products with a low profit margin. This of course is not a new way of marketing, it is only new to WotC.

While it is true that WotC has not released an OGL or GSL license, this has not stopped a number of third party vendors from creating small inexpensive products for 5E. These companies are exploiting the similarities between 5E and 3E to create these modules, I have perhaps a dozen of them, all cost less than $5 and many, less than $2. DriveThruRPG has an extensive catalog of 5E material available. So for those who are constipated over WotC apparent lack dedication to D&D, lay back, relax, enjoy what we have and spend some of that money on your significant other.