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The public executioner at Rome, who executed persons of the lowest rank; hence, an executioner or hangman.

Tag: Dungeons and Dragons

Stranger Things + Dungeons & Dragons

Posted on February 17, 2019  in Role Playing Games

I suppose it had to happen, this spring Hasbro (the parent company to Wizards of the Coast) is releasing a new version of the D&D starter set. This version will be tied into the Netflix original series Stranger Things. The new set includes revised rules for the game, although you will still need either a Players Handbook or the downloadable basic rules to play and some dice. More interestingly, the adventure included is “The Hunt for Thessalhydra”, the adventure Mike Wheeler is running at the beginning of the 2nd season and the Player Characters being used by the group in the show. Oddly, the miniatures included with the set are of neither a Thessalhydra or Demogorgon from the first season, but rather the petal faced demon. I get it, TV show tie in, blah blah, I just found it odd is all.

 

I think this is a great idea for a couple of reasons, first because it will attract new players. Hopefully some fans of the show will decide to check it out and some percentage of those fans will continue to the game long after. Secondly, this shows Hasbro is interested in building a long term strategy for D&D and bring D&D into the mainstream by occasionally printing these tie in products. I would not mind it at all if starter sets became an evergreen product as a gateway to the more complex game.

 

Who knows, I may even use this to kick off my next campaign, due to start either later this year or early next year. It really depends on the level of the module, I suspect it will be a 1st level module, but judging by the TV show, it may be a mid level adventure for 5th plus level characters, it is hard to say.

 

 

 

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Tag: Dungeons and Dragons

Some days I am embarrassed for humanity

Posted on January 26, 2019  in Role Playing Games

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Tag: Dungeons and Dragons

Things you see in museums

Posted on January 19, 2019  in Role Playing Games

I came across this on FaceBook today. If I ever play a Bard in D&D, this is totally going to be my instrument.

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Tag: Dungeons and Dragons

Character Development in D&D

Posted on January 12, 2019  in Role Playing Games

Let us bow our heads in a moment of silence for Anorak, my War Domain Cleric 1/Wizard 6. He was lost to a bad draw on a Deck of Many Things in tonights game. He drew Donjon and is now imprisoned somewhere unknown. He was kind of a dick, so he will be missed by no one.

 

I enjoyed playing Anorak, he was a proof of concept character I had been working on to resolve the “Wizard AC is supposed to suck” problem. The proof of concept worked really well and for awhile there, he had the best AC in the party. As he developed as a character, he became the party strategist who successfully turned the tide of three important battles. In spite of that I was kind of uncomfortable playing him, because he had also developed into kind of a jerk. I had not intended for him to be as such, but went in that direction anyway. Don’t get me wrong, I did not hate playing him, in fact just the opposite. Yes, he was uncomfortable to play him, but he was also a deeply interesting character to play.

 

Sometimes characters develop in ways you really never intended, sometimes this is fun , and sometimes its uncomfortable. It could easily be argued that I had total control over the character and could have made him not a jerk. I don’t agree with that entirely, a good roleplayer allows events to change the character, the character should react and respond as events unfold. Like people in real life, characters in D&D should respond to those changes. In real life, when bad things happen to us, we either rise up to the occasion or we sink into the swamp. I have had many characters rise up to the occasion, in Anorak’s case, he was sinking into the swamp, not unlike a soldier with untreated PTDS. He was doing increasingly dangerous things, and at one point he coldly unloaded a Wand of Fireballs into an enemy with one of his team members standing right next to her, with no regard for the other characters life or safety, yeah he was being a dick and this ultimately lead to his removal from the game as karma took its toll.

 

While I am sure the other players are not sad to see Anorak go, I kind of am. Not only was he an interesting experiment in game mechanics, but he was an interesting experiment in how being a professional dungeon crawler might adversely affect someones emotional well being. Not all adventurers are cut out for the work, not all characters are meant to be the hero of the story, even if at the beginning, it looks like he is.

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Tag: Dungeons and Dragons

D&D, Scopes of play

Posted on December 31, 2018  in Role Playing Games

These are the general scopes of play as I see it, pick the one you like the best and play.

 

Basic: At its most basic level, 5th edition is a fairly simple game, the only allowed rules are those presented in the free downloadable basic PDF. Only 4 classes and 4 races are allowed along with a very narrow field of additional background crunch. Characters are easy to roll up and virtually all of depth is provided by the players.

 

Intermediary: This type of game uses only the core three hardbound books. There are 9 races and 12 classes available, along with several customization options for each class. Character generation is more difficult and the different niches can be filled in interesting ways by a couple of different classes.

 

High: This game includes, in addition to the core books, the Players Companion, the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide and Volo’s Guide to Monsters. Basically everything published by Wizards of the Coast as a D&D supplement is fair game, including Unearthed Arcana articles. The options available to players and DM’s is mind boggling. The first two levels are static and never change, at this level, something new is available every couple of months. The only things not allowed are rules produced by 3rd parties.

 

Very High: This is where things go nuclear. This type of game can include virtually anything available from the DM’s Guild. All manner of classes and races are available and I doubt any group could or would even want to allow all of it, but it is in the realm of possibility. Niches are almost non existent at this level as virtually any class can fill any niche with just a little customization. DM’s have to be very careful at this level as to not allow anything unbalancing or disruptive to play. Of course at this level, it probably does not matter if something is unbalancing or disruptive, because everyone will have access to things that are unbalancing or disruptive. The problem with this level of play is, it is difficult to move characters from one campaign to another.

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Tag: Dungeons and Dragons

My next D&D Character

Posted on December 22, 2018  in Role Playing Games

My primary creative outlet is playing D&D. For the last 15 odd years I have been running D&D for a group of really good players, keeping these guys busy can sometimes be a part time job. The problem with always being the Game Master is I almost never get to play, however, this gives me years to think about character ideas and interesting builds. Recently I have joined another group as a player and I am now getting to release some of my ideas on the unsuspecting world. My current character is a 4th level Human Variant Wizard, with 1 level of War Domain Cleric (Wizard 4/Cleric 1), this allows me to do all sorts of cool things, like cast spells even if I am wearing armor and have a weapon and shield in may hands.

 

So now I am thinking about my next character. I have not begun his build yet, but I am thinking about his background. The character I am playing now is really just a proof of concept character, because low AC wizards annoy me. But this next character I want to be a story based character where his background is more important than his class and levels. The grain of my idea starts with Lancelot, a knight who has fallen into disgrace for the love of a woman. I want my character to suffer from unrequited love, but I don’t want it to be all emo and depressing, I want the story to be at least a little bit silly. So here is my preliminary background story.

 

Du Lac (Lancelot’s last name and my current working name, it may change) lives in a small forrest kingdom with a large Elven population. He himself is a knight bound to the king of the land, he served his king well and was chosen to become a Paladin.  Du Lac was sent to train among the elves for his eventual ascension to Paladin hood. While there training, he met and fell in love with an elf woman named Eruwaedhiel. She was just as in love with Du Lac as he was with her. However, she being an elf meant she would outlive him by a thousand years, it was was also true, she was already 100 years older than he was.  While the age difference did not matter to him, it did matter to her and the thought of outliving him saddened her. Their relationship was brief, but it left its mark on both of them.

 

Du Lac and Eruwaedhiel do not avoid each other, in fact they are always in each others orbit, always aware what is happening with the other. Du Lac often goes home to visit her. Their relationship has many strange quirks. Du Lac pretends he cannot pronounce Eruwaedhiel’s name and calls her Goddess, Eruwaedhiel knows damn good and well he can pronounce her name and in turn refuses to use his name, simply calling him Paladin. Du Lac endlessly flirts with Eruwaedhiel, which exasperates her, she is often heard saying to him, “I should have just slept with you and you would be over this nonsense by now!”, to which he usually replies “If you had just slept with me, we would be married and have three children by now!”. While she refuses to allow a romantic relationship, she does recognize his love for her, she knows he will love her until the day he dies, for this she allows him to carry her favor, a small medallion with her family crest hanging on a silver necklace. She tells him when he dies she will give it to another, but they both know that is not true.

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Tag: Dungeons and Dragons

I knew it, I totally called it!

Posted on May 10, 2018  in Role Playing Games

I told them to leave the eyes, it was not worth the risk, BUT NOOOOO!, they just had to climb up there and pry it out. Those fricking thieves just could not leave well enough alone.

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Tag: Dungeons and Dragons

Missing Characters from B1 – Explanation

Posted on May 7, 2018  in Role Playing Games

In the original B1 n Search of the Unknown, there was a set of per-generated characters to be used by new players or as hirelings. Bruce and I stole the names of a couple of those characters and played them for almost a year before both died horrible screaming deaths. Recently Goodman games published a Dungeons & Dragons 5E conversion of both B1 In Search of the Unknown and B2 The Keep on the Borderlands called Into the Borderlands. Goodman Games updated several of those characters to 5E, but not Brandon or Evro. I have taken it upon myself to do these conversions.

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Tag: Dungeons and Dragons

Missing Characters from B1 – Brandon

Posted on May 7, 2018  in Role Playing Games

The original Brandon from B1
Brandon (Fighter – Human)
Str 14, Int 8, Wis 11, Con 13, Dex 9, Cha 12


Brandon
Male Human Fighter 1
Medium humanoid, chaotic good


Armor Class 19
Hit Points 12 (1d10+2)
Speed 30 ft.


STR 16 (+3), DEX 11 (+0), CON 15 (+2), INT 9 (-1), WIS 13 (+1), CHA 14 (+2)


Saving Throws Str +5, Con +4
Skills Animal Handling +3, Athletics +5, Intimidation +4, Survival +3
Senses Passive Perception 11
Languages Common, Orc
Defensive Fighting Style. +1 to AC when wearing Armor


Light Crossbow. Ranged Weapon Attack: +2 to hit, range 80 ft./320 ft., one target.
Hit: 1d8 piercing damage.

Longsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target.
Hit: 1d8+3 slashing damage or 1d10+3 slashing damage if used with two hands to make a melee attack.

Unarmed Strike. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature.
Hit: 4 bludgeoning damage.

Equipment Chain mail, Light Crossbow, Longsword, Shield, Backpack, Bedroll, 57 gp

 

 

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Tag: Dungeons and Dragons

Missing Characters from B1 – Evro

Posted on May 7, 2018  in Role Playing Games

The original Evro from B1
Evro (Fighter – Elf)
Str 14, Int 13, Wis 7, Con 12, Dex 11, Cha 9


Evro
Male Wood Elf Fighter 1
Medium humanoid, chaotic good


Armor Class 18
Hit Points 11 (1d10+1)
Speed 35 ft.


STR 15 (+2), DEX 14 (+2), CON 13 (+1), INT 13 (+1), WIS 11 (+0), CHA 10 (+0)


Saving Throws Str +4, Con +3
Skills Animal Handling +2, Athletics +4, Insight +2, Perception +2, Survival +2
Senses Darkvision 60 ft., Passive Perception 12
Languages Common, Elvish, Orc
Two Weapon Fighting Style. When you engage in two-weapon fighting, you can add your ability modifier to the damage of the second attack.


Light Crossbow. Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, range 80 ft./320 ft., one target.
Hit: 1d8+2 piercing damage.

Scimitar. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target.
Hit: 1d6+2 slashing damage.

Scimitar. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target.
Hit: 1d6+2 slashing damage.

Unarmed Strike. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature.
Hit: 3 bludgeoning damage.

Equipment Chain mail, Light Crossbow, Scimitar, Scimitar, Backpack, Bedroll, 64 gp

 

 

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