New D&D Class: Giantkin

Giant KinIan from the Going Last podcast, and a one-time guest on our podcast, has put together a new class for 4th Edition D&D. It functions something like Vampire – it’s a class that acts more like a “modifier” to your base race.
While I know that lots of people are super excited about D&D Next, I also know that there is still a lot to love about 4e. And that there are still people playing it. So, in case you fall into that category, here’s a new option for your table.

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Fourthcore Team Deathmatch Arena: Vault Of The Spider Queen

I’m going to preface this one by saying: I could have done better. In fact, I had much bigger plans for this piece. On the other hand, sometimes the results can be stunning when there’s  a deadline looming. For me, this was the case – not in quality, but rather I learned a lot about how to work quickly. I usually take my time – too much time – and when I made this piece I didn’t have that luxury. So I was forced to make decisions quickly, which was good for me.  In fact, I kind of live tweeted the process. You can see the board go from zero to complete through a string of tweets I did, which is kind of interesting. Here they are: Continue reading

Fourthcore Team Deathmatch Terrain: Run!

With Gencon coming up this week, it’s time to post the three Fourthcore Team Deathmatch arenas I made for the tournament of champions this year. We’re going to start with the final map because it’s kind of simple, tomorrow is the Mortal Kombat arena, and on Wednesday, you’ll get to see The Vault of the Spider Queen. Continue reading

Dungeon Command Hirst Arts Tiles: Blood of Gruumsh

featuredAs I was making this set of Dungeon Command tiles, I kept wondering: is this the last set? I don’t have any special insight or insider knowledge, but I do know that there haven’t been any new sets announced. So for right now, I guess the answer is, yeah. I guess that’s kind of sad because I do like the game. On the other hand, I have some potentially exciting news. If you’re going to Origins, Word Boardgame Con, or Gencon this year, you can see all my Dungeon Command Hirst Arts tiles in person! I’ve sent them to one of the “learn to play” guys, and he’ll be teaching the game using the tiles. If you’re going to be at one of the cons, more specific info can be found at the end of the article. But let’s dive into what you’re really here for. The pictures… (as always, click for bigger) Continue reading

Living The Dream: How To Work In The Gaming Industry

money n diceI often hear, be it online or at cons, some variation of the following:
“Man, I’d love to work in the gaming industry, but the pay sucks and/or the industry is unstable. How would I support myself? Therefore, I will be stuck doing something else for the rest of my life.” Then, everyone listening nods sagely, empathizing with the plight of having a job that is not one’s dream job because of the money.

But what if I told you that there is a way to take money out of the equation? What if I showed you a way to become so rich that you would not have to worry about “the money” when looking for a job; instead, you could simply ask, “Is this something I would enjoy doing?” and quit the very day the answer became “no.” In short, what if I could show you how to retire (very, very) early? In as little as 10 years from now? I know I sound like a huckster, but there’s nothing to buy – just keep reading. Continue reading

Is The Blog Dead?

nicubunu_Emoticons_Sad_faceSo, you may have noticed that the frequency with which I update the blog here has kind of dropped off. Am I done blogging?
Probably not. However, I will not be updating on a regular basis anymore, mostly because I realized that the blog was beginning to encroach on time I’d rather spend with my family and on other hobbies. Yes, I have other hobbies.

This is not a “sorry I haven’t been blogging guys, I’ll blog again soon” post, mostly because I really hate those kinds of blog “posts.” They’re lame, and waste my time. Instead, I’m going to let you know what I’m working on, plus a kind of big announcement for the blog. Continue reading

Hero Kids – The New RPG For Kids

Hero KidsIn recent years, we’ve seen a definite uptick in the number of RPGs aimed at kids. I think it has a lot to do with a generation of gamers who want to get their children involved in the hobby, and are looking for something that is less rules intense than D&D, GURPS, or Rolemaster. The market has responded (not a comprehensive list by any means), and as a parent myself, I couldn’t be happier. Being able to sit down with my kids and share my hobby with them is pretty fun, and if there’s a product that helps me do it, I’m all for it.

Hero Kids is one of the newer entrants in this category. It was developed by Justin Halliday, who you probably know from the adult RPG Heroes Against Darkness. The game is smooth, simple, fun, and definitely geared towards kids. But that doesn’t mean “dumbed down.” It just means “not overly complicated.”

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Mini Map Monday 10

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One of my favorite features of this “temple dungeon” is the “labyrinth room” at the bottom  right.*

I tried darkening the edges of the rooms, and I like how it turned out.

*Many labyrinths set in floors or on the ground are large enough that the path can be walked. They have been used historically both in group ritual and for private meditation.

Playing Dread In The Car

dreadrpgI recently picked up a copy of the horror RPG “Dread.” I read through the book and listened to this actual play podcast from The Walking Eye, which is a great primer on the game if you don’t feel like buying the book just yet. That being said, I have not yet played or hosted a game of Dread, so what follows should be taken accordingly.

I am fascinated by the action resolution mechanic in this game. A Jenga tower is, all at once, simple and inspired. It is a binary mechanic, meaning your character either lives or dies, without modifiers, by your own (hopefully) steady hand. It’s simply you and the tower. It’s quite clear how such a diceless system could create nervousness in a player as they approach the tower.

In the book, there are also several alternatives to the tower. The game Topple seems closest to the Jenga tower, but stacking dice is also suggested. Elsewhere, I have also seen building a house of cards as an alternative. All these things have something in common – they rely on a steady hand, yes, but they also rely on the presence of a steady surface. I want to propose a different resolution mechanic that does not require a steady surface, and yet instills that same growing sense of impending failure that the tower does. It uses a standard deck of cards. Continue reading