Tag Archives: Critical Hits

Weekly Roundup: (Mostly) Post Gencon Wrapup Edition

We’re back from Gencon! Check out tomorrow’s podcast for Benoit’s thoughts and experiences (among other things).  Until then, here’s some Gencon goodness in the Weekly Roundup (plus some other stuff).

First, we’ll do a quick roundup of bloggers that blogged about their experiences at Gencon this week:

Also, we would be remiss if we did not provide a link to the Ennie winners (click through to the pdf).  Congratulations to everyone who won!

Finally, Critical Hits did a great summary of the Wizards of the Coast New Products seminar.  If you want to know what’s in the pipeline over at WotC, check it out. Also, Alphastream included a few links on his blog to followup information on the new products, as well as his thoughts.

And then some non-Gencon articles we noticed:

Every DM knows that inspiration for their campaign is all around us.  From paintings, to literature, to actual history.  If you’re looking for historical inspiration, check out Illuminerdy‘s primer on the ancient Mexican city of Chichen Itza, complete with campaign and plot hook ideas.

Heroes of Shadow posted a brief overview and review of the Neverwinter Fortune cards.  We’ll be discussing them in tomorrow’s podcast as well, so tune in for that.

At-Will wrote about why it’s hard to make hard encounters.

Finally, where current events and gaming meet, we find this story about some London looters and a Games Workshop store. (Edit: We’re not sure if this story is for real)

Whose Gencon wrapup did we miss?  Link it in the comments!

Weekly Roundup: 2011 GenCon Schedule Edition

In case you wanted to stop by at GenCon and say hi, below is Benoit’s schedule.  He will be judging events all weekend, so if you want to buy him a beer, he probably won’t say no.

  • Thursday:
    • 1-6  LFR Calimshan 3-2 (part 2 of the series)
    • 7-Midnight  LFR Calimshan 3-2 (part 2 of the series)
  • Friday:
    • 8-1  LFR Calimshan 3-3 (part 3 of the series)
    • 1-6 Fourthcore Deathmatch (Stop by to see the models!)
    • 7-Midnight  LFR Calimshan 3-2 (part 2 of the series)
  • Saturday:
    • 8-1  LFR Calimshan 3-2 (part 2 of the series)
    • 1-6  LFR Calimshan 3-3 (part 3 of the series)
    • 7-Midnight  LFR Calimshan 3-2 (part 2 of the series)
  • Sunday:
    • 8-1  LFR Calimshan 3-3 (part 3 of the series)

He’ll also have some stuff to give away to anyone stopping by, which will be highlighted in next week’s roundup.

In case you missed it, we did a guest post for Ben’s RPG Pile this week.  He’s doing an A to Z series of dungeon accessories, minis, and play aids.  We took the letter F for… well, you’ll just have to head over there to find out.

At-Will posted a cool article by Jeff Greiner (of The Tome Show) explaining how he dealt with a series of magical explosions in his game.  Some great ideas there for making an effect more interesting to players.

Speaking of Gencon, Sea of Stars posted some advice for Gencon that’s worth a read, especially if this is your first con.

This is My Game posted a list of apps that you might want for your iPhone/iPad to help you at the table (or lighten your bag).  We will also add iPlay4e to the list.

Dice Monkey started a new series hacking Gamma World into traditional D&D. Also note the link in the article to Chaos Grenade, who is doing something similar.

Finally, over at Critical Hits, Dixon Trimline wrote about players’ fear of dying in 4e (or lack thereof), and why he’s not worried about characters that don’t.

So what cool articles did you find this week?

Weekly Roundup: Beyond the Stat Block Edition

This week, we received an email from Corey, letting us know about his web project – Beyond the Stat Block.  We could describe it for you, but instead we’ll use his words:

A new project launched a couple of weeks ago, with the goal of providing flavor text for every creature power across the D&D 4e universe. It’s all starting with MM1. You can sign up for an account and start writing, and you level up (and gain editorial powers) as you write flavor text and gain XP. It’s a big, ambitious project that really needs help from the community.

That’s right.  The community is being called upon to provide flavor text for monster powers.  Get those creative juices flowing, go forth, and write!  But first, read some articles!

 NewbieDM had a guest article on making flying stands for minis.  We’ve been thinking about doing this very thing for a while now (even have the extendable “antennas” sitting around here somewhere), so it was nice to see a tutorial to save on trial and error.  These look really good!

Critical Hits reviewed Conquest of Nerath, WotC’s new D&D based boardgame.  There’s been a lot of talk about this one because it does not follow the same template as earlier D&D boardgames, and is instead more like “Risk.”

The Labyrinth wondered if GenCon is turning into a board game convention. The numbers are impressive, but we think it’s also important to note that RPGs have been steadily increasing every year as well.

In recognition of Origins this weekend, we thought we’d point you to Eclipse Phase‘s Jack Graham. In his blog this week, he discusses why the Origins Game Awards still matter.

Intwischa talked about the importance of maps in your campaign.  This was one of the stark differences I noticed when comparing the re-made Gamma World adventures to their originals.  The originals had detailed maps of locations.

Finally, in light of that, we thought we’d point you to Dave’s Mapper.  It’s not a blog post, it’s an instant dungeon (cavern, city) generator that we just discovered this week.  It’s fun to play around with, just don’t lose track of time… The best part about this dungeon generator?  It uses actual art by other bloggers.  Check it out!

Hope everyone at Origins has fun.  If you see Hamblin, be sure to say hi!

Weekly Roundup: Etsy Edition

A couple of weeks ago, I put something together with some leftover Hirst Arts blocks I had lying around.  If you want to see it, you can check it out on Etsy.  Also, don’t forget to head over to your local game store for free RPG day today!! Aaaaaaand on to the articles.

Some Space to Think discussed why the Underpants Gnome school of thought is a good way to plot out your campaigns.  Also, don’t miss the follow up article with specific ideas.

The Weem started a series this week that we think has a lot of potential.  Since most adventures start in a tavern, he thought he would break with tradition, and come up with other ways to get the party together.  Check out the first installment.

Shawn Merwin answered his own question over at Critical Hits this week – he is in the process of pondering whether 4e can be “old school,” and his initial impressions lean towards the positive.

A Walk in the Dark had a great article on how to create a non-lethal solo.  Especially at heroic tier, this can be difficult.

In case you hadn’t heard, there’s a Gamma World videogame coming out.  We’ve seen it announced and discussed in a few different places, but The Savage Afterworld posted this article discussing it more fully, complete with pics.

Finally, Fred Hicks at Deadly Fredly (owner of Evil Hat Productions) gives some good advice to the aspiring game designer, and whether it’s a feasible career choice.  We especially like his comments on “luck,” as it reminds us of other non-RPG bloggers we read.

Origins is coming up!! Who’s going?? (Besides Hamblin)

Weekly Roundup: Finished Mini Edition

This week, I finished painting the mini for the winner of our “name the podcast mascot” contest.  Here is the finished product.  The mini is Reaper’s “Gilam, Dwarf Rune Spelunker.”

Click for full size

In case you’re wondering, yes, I did use what I’ve been learning from Gregwa’s “How to Photograph Miniatures” series when I took the pictures of the mini.  Check it out if you want to learn more.

And now, some articles:

Unless you were living under a rock this week, you already know that Paizo has announced a prepainted plastic minis line.  If this is news to you, get more info at Troll in the Corner where they make the announcement.

Also out this week was the new D&D 4e video game “Daggerdale.”  Now, we’re not ones to buy video games because of the cool cover; we usually check out the reviews first.  Lucky for us, Critical Hits did just that.  Find out what they thought of the game before you decide to buy.  Or you could click here for other reviews.

Rob at Some Space to Think proposed a “unified GM rating system” and solicited ideas from the RPG community for categories that should go into the system.  Check it out to see what goes into the “Donoghue Score.”

Age of Ravens had a thought-provoking article on when a player should reveal their character’s back story, and more importantly, secrets.

Finally, TheSheDM (via NewbieDM) wrote about bribing her players to participate in worldbuilding and campaign maintenance this week.  While “bribing” players for all sorts of reasons is nothing new, her method is unique.  Check it out.

If you’re an RPG Blogger, don’t forget to check out our new Game Night blog carnival, kicking off this Tuesday!!

Weekly Roundup – D&D Perfume Edition

So, here’s something interesting we stumbled across this week: you can make your own D&D perfume at Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab’s website simply by choosing a race, class, and alignment combo.  Interesting, at the very least, and the prices don’t seem too out of line with how much fragrances cost elsewhere.  We wonder what a chaotic neutral halfling rogue smells like…. and now, while you ponder that, read some of this week’s articles!

At-Will had a discussion of what sorts of challenges you should throw at your epic tier players.  No, not what sorts of monsters.  What sorts of challenges.  Check it out if you’re struggling with your epic tier storyline.

Speaking of campaign hooks The Undungeon was the topic of a massive post over at Greywulf’s Lair this week.  If you’re looking to start a new campaign soon, this article could be a great resource for you, and is chock full of ideas to steal.

Just yesterday, Dave the Game posted a discussion of the economics of pricing plastic miniatures over at Critical Hits.  If you’re interested in why WotC discontinued their minis line, this article pulls back the curtain a bit.

Over at the Wizards of the Coast community blogs, we noticed a new article by The Jester who had a great discussion of balance in games.  Is it good?  Can it be ignored?  Read and decide.

Blog of Holding had a discussion of why he thinks that 4e does not, in fact, discourage roleplaying.  An old discussion, I know, but worth checking out, as he makes some points that you may not have heard before.

In case you missed it,  Newbie DM made a call to all you DMs out there for pictures of your DM’s binder.  We use a clipboard, but if you use a binder, feel free to submit it to the gallery.

Finally, as you may or may not know, Star Wars day was this past week – May the fourth.  As in, “May the fourth be with you.”  In celebration of this “holiday,” we point you to Death Star PR‘s 10 Easy Ways to Celebrate Star Wars Day.  Yes, we know it’s not D&D related, but considering our audience, we thought it was relevant.  Plus, we chuckled.

How did you celebrate Star Wars day?

Weekly Roundup – Changes to the Podcast Edition

Now, don’t let the title worry you.  The podcast isn’t going anywhere.  We have too much fun to cancel it.  We have been discussing an “every other week, unless we feel like more” schedule, so don’t be surprised if that happens.  There will definitely be a new episode tomorrow; if you need your fix, keep an eye out for that.  Also, read some of these D&D articles:

We don’t usually link to the WoTC articles, but every once in a while one tickles our fancy enough to include it.  Check out Chris Perkins’ latest article on making your villans truly villanous.  Best advice out there: actions speak louder than words.  Learn it, do it.

This is a little outside our 1 week time frame, but over at Standard Action, we found some cool arts and crafts.  Our favorite part of this article was the super easy “crystal formation” made out of sculpey and plastic “crystals,” with an optional light for extra effect.  Kudos! We now have a trip to the craft store planned this weekend!

Neuroglyph Games had a thought-provoking article on character optimization.  Agree or disagree?  Leave them a comment!  (We do see his point, though we wish he would have also addressed living campaigns)

Of course, Critical Hits always has fun articles to talk about, but we especially enjoyed Shawn Merwin’s contribution this week on whether 4e can be Old School D&D.  Would you want it to be? Can it be? Is old school D&D really what you remember it to be, or did you have your gamer goggles on?  Ok, so maybe he doesn’t answer all these questions, but they’re worth thinking about, no?

Finally, Glimm’s Workshop had another insallment of the Cinematic Objectives series.  If you missed the rest of the series, check that out too…

Well, that’s all we had time for this week, though it doesn’t mean that we caught all the good content out there, not by a long stretch.  Leave the articles we missed in the comments!  (Seriously.  C’mon.  Someone, just once…)

Weekly Roundup – Still No Legion of Gold Edition

 It seems as though pre-ordering something from Amazon, say for example, Legion of Gold, does not guarantee you receipt of said item on or near the relase date.  We are quite disappointed.  Looks like we will have to turn to the blogosphere to sate our desire for “new content”…

While he doesn’t post often, when The Angry DM posts, it’s generally quite prolific.  He sparked a Twitterstorm this week by “Tearing 4e a New One.” Of course the nerd rage was so fierce, he ended up posting an addendum.  Also, be sure to check the pings and trackbacks at the end of the comments for other blogs that followed up with a response! (Like this one, for example…)

Some Space to Think had two good articles this week, one on why you should be unfair to your players (sometimes), and a second clarifying what the author meant by “unfair.”  Thought provoking, and worthy of a read.

Matt Savage over at Rule Zero Blog made a call out to all fans of 4e who are concerned about the direction the game is taking.  Instead of leaving, he argues to make your voice heard in the proper channels, and here’s why. (Spoiler: It has to do with why MTV doesn’t play music anymore.)

We’ve talked before about The Architect DM’s series over at Critical Hits, but we thought we’d bring it up again to make sure you haven’t forgotten about it – this installment is about using negative space in dungeons.  Be sure to check out the old-school dungeons on graph paper he links to over at Boing Boing as well!

Robert J. Schwalb, noted designer for Wizards of the Coast, broke down 10 ways 4e is different than 3.5, and went on to give us his thoughts on them.  If nothing else, it’s an interesting look back at the ways the game has changed.

Which cool articles did we miss this week?  Leave them in the comments!

Weekly Roundup – Who Wins the Free Book Edition

On Thursday we reviewed the new Gamma World novel “Sooner Dead” by Mel Odom.  We also had a contest to give away a copy of the book, and the winners are…..  Sandy Walsh and Craig Majors! “Wait a minute” you say, “you were only giving away ONE book.”  Well, as it turns out, I was able to get a hold of the author, and he was willing to add a copy to the contest.  It was a little unclear, but I think he will also be signing that copy.  So, congratulations!  We’ll be contacting you shortly.  And now, on with the Weekly Roundup:

We haven’t heard from Sarah Darkmagic in a while, and were beginning to wonder where she went.  She posted some good thoughts this week on player resource management, and why you might want to get your players to think outside the box.

Shawn Merwin reflected on his time at DDXP over at Critical Hits.  This article was a lot of fun to read, and many of the thoughts apply to conventions in general.  You need to read this, if for no other reason than this quote: “Where there is gaming there must be nerd-rage, just as where there is a NY Jets game, there must be asshattery.”

Do you like Gamma World?  Do you like Rifts? Smoosh them together!  That’s what Menage a Monster did.  We like the results.

The Hopeless Gamer had an amazing guest post detailing how to make a ravine for your miniature game terrain.  Say it with me: Arts…..And…..Crafts!!!

Finally, we would be remiss if we did not mention the release of the first Living Forgotten Realms epic module: The Glorious Hunt.  Huzzah!

Didn’t win the book?  Consolation prize: plug your blog in the comments.

Weekly Roundup – Halfhearted Edition

Well, I’ve been dealing with the seasonal sicknesses and the annual busy season at work, so I apologize if I’ve fallen back on the usual suspects for this roundup.  That is all I have to say. 

The Dungeon’s Master had a great article about a new LFR adventure. The author writes about his interview with the author, and how maybe, just maybe, his negative attitude towards the living campaigns is shifting.

Over at RPG Musings, Alio the Fool clarified some thoughts he had in a Twitter discussion about DM tactics and strategy.

Critical Hit‘s Logan Bonner took on the differences between magic items in 3e and 4e, and discussed whether he thought the changes were good, bad, or indifferent.  Considering the fact that he’s a designer over at WotC, and worked on the Adventuer’s Vault, this is a must read.

Troll in the Corner had some uplifting words about comparing your favorite RPG to someone else’s.  In a positive way.  Really.

That, by the way, was a follow up article to this one over at Greywulf’s Lair, which was a discussion of whether Pathfinder is better than 4e.  Just saying.

Finally, for a little non-D&D reading, head over to Robert J. Schwalb‘s blog. He’s a writer for Wizards of the Coast, but he had some fun thoughts about re-working the Rolemaster role playing game that he’s been kicking around in his head for a while now.

What did you write about this week? We want to hear about it in the comments!