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
As 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
I 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
So, 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
In 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.”
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.
I 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
There are a lot of spiral staircases in this map. It’s a great “switchhouse” for the PCs to get to different levels of the dungeon. But what will you do with those three rooms? Will manipulating something in one change the destination of the staircases? Or is there something more mundane, but no less curious, in them?
Of course, this past week had GM’s day. In case you didn’t know, the date is marked by the passing of Gary Gygax. The Charlie Tonic Hour had a remembrance of him this week.
Geek Smash talked about how to start your first RPG group.
Alphastream is converting the Saltmarsh modules to D&D Next. (Saltmarsh being a location in the Greyhawk setting.) Keep an eye on his WotC blog for a Living Dark Sun retrospective as well!
Fantastic Maps had a 4 step tutorial on designing a town or city.
If you’re looking for a chuckle, Monkey In The Cage lamented the lameness that is Half Elves this week.
For a less humorous rant, check out Critical Ankle Bites, who discusses what healing is and isn’t in D&D (sparked by the WotC discussion of Warlord healing in D&D Next).
On the board game front this week, we saw two articles extolling the virtues of playing board games with your kids. Yourneighborhoodtoystore.org talks about it here, and Growing Up Gamers discusses it here. As if you needed an excuse to play games with your kids! There was also 10 reasons to support the upcoming Tabletop Day (March 30) at Geek Native.
Finally, if you’ve been thinking about making a new RPG system, at Stuffer Shack this week Brian Liberge encourages you to stop doubting yourself and do it!
I am pleased to announce the winner in the Gamma World Deck of Many Things contest! The winner is John Quirk, with his entry “Tangling With The Garden Gang.”
In this delve, the PCs are sent to a labyrinthine garden to recover an artifact stolen from the nearby settlement of Galt. Something about a deck of cards or something. Continue reading