Tag Archives: Neuroglyph Games

Weekly Roundup: Is D&D Next Combat Faster? Edition

I’ve more or less distanced myself from the D&D Next playtest at this point. I’ve had enough games to see where the system is going. For the most part I’m happy, and I’m sure I’ll dive into it when it rolls around. One thing I’m wondering, though, for all of you who have also participated: is the combat faster? I mean, at first, I’m sure it was. But now that we’re in the thick of playtesting, and everyone is familiar with the options and rules… is it faster? How much?

Speaking of which, this week Robert Schwalb wrote a great article about rules complexity, woven into a story about trying to run D&D for his parents.

4e isn’t dead yet! We know some people have eschewed it in favor of the largely unfinished Next system, but there’s still plenty of story to tell with 4e. Neuroglyph Games reviewed the book Alternative Objectives, which looks like a great resource.

Ethan Gilsdorf (author of the highly recommended book Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks) wrote up a great article on LARPs and other “interactive storytelling” on his blog Cognoscenti. From the article: “Gamers say: We don’t want your mass-distributed narrative machine. Just give us a table, some pencils, some dice, some graph paper, and some company. We want to make our own world.”

Random Wizard had an interview with Metamorphosis Alpha and Gamma World creator James Ward. Oh, and he also gamed with Gary Gygax. Just sayin’.

IntWisCha talked this week about what to do (with your character) when you don’t know what to do (with your character). Interesting read.

Finally, check out this video of some sick explosion terrain effects, posted this week on Twitter by @BensRPGPile. (Go follow him, he doesn’t spam your feed, and always posts cool terrain stuff…)

Weekly Roundup: Tyranny Tile Time Lapse Edition

A couple of weeks ago, I posted pictures of the Tyranny of Goblins Hirst Arts tiles I made. I decided to make a time lapse video while I was making the “Temple” tile, but hadn’t had a chance to compile it until this week. You can see me putting a tile together from start to finish (minus painting and basing) in about 5 minutes:


 

If you’d like to see more time lapse stuff from me, let me know what you’d like to see in the comments below!

Over at Chameleon this week, we have some tips on game prep. It’s always good to see different perspectives.

The Midgard campaign setting continues to make waves. i09 had a spotlight this week, and Tabletop Gamer had an interview.

If you’ve always played PCs and NPCs as good or evil, and want to add some more gray to your campaign, check out the morally ambiguous character backgrounds at Dread Gazebo this week. For D&D Next.

Temple of Demogorgon wonders if he’s disenchanted with dungeons as an adventure setting because he’s a grown up now.

At Kobold Quarterly we have a new look at what “Post Apocalypse” really means.

Dyson’s Dodecahedron is posting new maps again. Someone do something cool with this!

Finally, Neuroglyph Games gave us some ideas for level draining.

Blast From The Past (Weekly Roundup: Shameless Plea For Votes Edition)

Some Space to Think had an excellent article analyzing why you don’t see enough role playing in your game. You may be surprised at the answer.

Weekly Roundup: Decompressing From Gencon Edition

Well, another Gencon has come and gone, and scores of nerds across the world (the world!) have seen a drop in their work productivity this past week due to something known as “Gencon Hangover.” We had a great time, and hope everyone at our tables did as well. As for everything else we did there, well, what happens at Gencon stays at Gencon. Wait, is that right? Hmmm…. at any rate, we assure you it’s not as mysterious (or naughty) as it sounds.

If you’ve never been to Gencon, and want a blow by blow summary from a noob, look no further than the great summary posted by The Id DM this week. (Including the fact that there also happened to be a bike rally going on at the same time) If you want a more veteran perspective, you’ll have to check out DeadOrcs’ post on This Is My Game.

Of course, if you’re looking for more Gencon goodness, you can’t go wrong with all the WotC seminars on one page, for your viewing pleasure. If you’d rather listen to them than watch them, then it’s over to The Tome Show for you! (Or you could check out a rough summary on the Forbes blog.)

Neuroglyph Games also talked a bit about the Gencon seminars, and why they convinced him to keep playtesting.

RPG Musings is starting a new campaign, and shared some steps they go through when planning. Good thoughts, as it seems September is a common time to start new campaigns.

Merric’s Musings has been reviewing old 1e and 2e adventure modules lately. This link is to a review of The Secret of Bone Hill, but there are plenty more on the blog. (We feel this is self-evident, but also feel it’s necessary to note that there are spoilers involved.)

The Other Side asked this week if the OSR (Old School Renaissance) is dead. Later this week, a followup was posted.

Of course, the other HUGE news this week that everyone was watching was the amazingly successful Reaper Bones Kickstarter. Just this week, 1000 Foot General posted a review on this new casting material.

And if you’re interested in the new Dungeon Command game (you should be!) check out One Inch Square‘s summary of the two sets, comparing their monster statistics.

Finally, sometimes resident artist Wesley Hall has posted a few pieces of Gamma World art he did for a project that never saw the light of day (Spoiler: GW Deck of Many Things). Only posted to Twitter, you’ll have to look here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 (We felt they were awesome enough to deserve a wider audience)

Blast From The Past (Weekly Roundup:  (Mostly) Post Gencon Wrapup Edition)

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.
(8/13/2011) 

Weekly Roundup: CONCurrent Edition

Perhaps you’re not going to GenCon. Perhaps you’re upset about that, and would still like to do some gaming that weekend. Have no fear – CONCurrent is an online gaming con that runs parallel to GenCon. You can check out their offerings here. There’s already a bunch of stuff listed to play, and there’s sure to be more as the event draws near. Is it the same as GenCon? Of course not. Is it a great alternative if you can’t make it to GenCon? Absolutely. Check it out, make some new friends, and learn some new games.

We don’t usually post articles from earlier than the previous week, but we have been known to make exceptions. Last week, we somehow missed this awesome roundup of all sorts of gaming aids over at Going Last. This is one you need to bookmark as a resource.

Don’t know if you’ve heard about this or not, but there’s a new, free, D&D-ish RPG out there called Heroes Against Darkness. It’s worth a look, if only for its price tag. Check out what Neuroglyph Games thought of it too.

Daily Encounter brought a little Greyhawk flavor into the Netheril 4e setting by designing a new secret society, and related theme. It’s part of the “Classics Return” blog carnival. (They’re accepting submissions until Aug 14, so if you have an RPG blog, get on that!)

Stuffer Shack recently ran a “Best Worst Villain” contest. We tried to choose one or two for the roundup, but we couldn’t. There are TONS of great ideas for villains here, so check out the list of all their entries.

The Welsh Piper has a great random table this week for creating religious orders. Perhaps they’ll figure prominently in your campaign, or perhaps the PCs stumbled across one. Either way, the article is a great primer, and the table is a quick way to generate one.

Big Ball of No Fun gives us some good ideas for making an NPC memorable, even when the PCs aren’t interacting directly with them. Keeping key NPCs in the forefront of the players mind is a great trick.

Finally, have you been wondering about Dungeon Command? Check out the review over at Breakfast for Owlbears. It makes us want to give it a try…

Blast From The Past (Weekly Roundup: 2011 GenCon Schedule Edition)

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.

 

Weekly Roundup: DnDpr Edition

If you haven’t seen it yet, you should check out the new DnDpr Tumblr, which is a spoof on NPR. So public radio from a high fantasy point of view. It’s pretty funny, and we hope to hear a lot more from these guys in the future. On to the articles…

First up this week, we have a great feel good story that made us smile. If someone tells you gaming is a waste of time, just point them to this story from Breakfast for Owlbears.

Neuroglyph Games had a great article on how the new bounded accuracy rules will change the game. Some great thoughts, and even a little bit of D&D history.

In case you hadn’t heard, there is going to be a new D&D movie released on the SyFy channel titled “The Book of Vile Darkness.” After seeing the trailer, Randall over at This Is My Game posted his thoughts (including what they should have made).

IntWisCha wrote an article this week that responds to the contention that you’re not roleplaying if you’re using disassociated mechanics. Don’t worry if you don’t know what that is… there’s an explanation.

It’s no secret that WotC is planning on making the rules of D&D Next modular. It’s being touted as a feature. Well, this week Jester made a pretty comprehensive list of optional rules modules that he hopes to see.

Starting a new campaign sometime soon? Did your character just die, and you need to make a new one? Check out the advice Reality Refracted gave on creating character backstory.

The Douchey DM had a great idea for making a better DM screen. When you’re familiar with the rules, what do you use that real estate for? Try this, and see how your game goes.

Finally, The She DM posted a short article with her thoughts about how the loss of interrupts in the current D&D Next rules has made the game worse for her. We’d tend to agree, and (on the podcast) have often spoken about how interrupts engage players even when it’s not their turn.

Blast From The Past (Weekly Roundup: Beyond the Stat Block Edition)

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!

Weekly Roundup: First Special Ops Gameday Edition

Just yesterday, we started our new home campaign. We’re loosely using the rules from the 4e supplement Wraith Recon that drops a “special ops/splinter cell” theme into a fantasy setting. Our first play session went very well, and we hope to meet on a regular basis with rotating DMs.

If you haven’t been following the “What X Edition of D&D Got Right” over at Greywulf’s Lair you should check it out. His most recent addition was What AD&D Got Right.

With our new home campaign in mind, we really liked the Inception style skill challenge that Sly Flourish presented this week. We may have to work that in somewhere.

A Hamsterish Hoard of Dungeons and Dragons posted a random table of dragon “add ons” this week that you should check out. It doesn’t seem to be made for 4e (semi-system agnostic), but should be pretty easy to adapt. Make your dragons more unpredictable and deadly TODAY!

Neuroglyph Games posted 10 new psionic rituals for Dark Sun. I wonder if we’ll see access to any of these in an upcoming Ashes of Athas mod??

Stuffer Shack discussed the new Legends and Lore article about Epic play. He mostly disagrees with the WotC article, and has some great thoughts.

Finally, don’t miss Daily Encounter‘s second article on art for D&D Next. We especially liked the links to D&D artist’s Deviant Art galleries. Lots of good inspiration there.

 Blast From The Past (Weekly Roundup: Podcast Edition)

Tarrasqueous had some interesting homebrew Gamma World “monsters” called “Gamma Portals.”  This was especially interesting to us, as we just finished the first Gamma World novel “Sooner Dead” where “ripples,” similar to Gamma Portals, featured prominently.  Kind of neat to see some crunch put to the fluff in the novels.
(2/20/11)

Weekly Roundup: Dice Tower Winner Edition

A couple of weeks ago, we announced a contest to give away a dice tower. Aaaaaand the winner is…… Benesky! Congrats! I’ll be contacting you shortly. On to the articles!

Extended Rest recounted a Thanksgiving Gamma World adventure he put together on the fly. We love flying by the seat of our pants, we love Gamma World, we love random tables, and heck, we love Thanksgiving too. So I guess this was bound to be roundup material.

Over at Rule of the Dice, they posted a rundown of the goods and bads of playing by blog (and how it’s different from playing by fourm). If you’re looking for an online play by post game, this is worth a read to understand the ins and outs.

There was an excellent discussion at Strange Magic about how elves aren’t just people with pointy ears, and how we can possibly roleplay in ways to set them apart from humans. This reminded us of discussion at the Gencon monster design seminar where the panelists were talking about “science fiction morality” and how “orcs AREN’T people too!”

If you’re looking for reviews of Heroes of the Feywild, we’ve got you covered. You can either check out the review over at NewbieDM, or read the review posted on Enworld by Neuroglyph Games.

Campaign Mastery posted a discussion of different types of plot structuring. This is worth a read, especially if you’re in the planning stages of a campaign. Also, check out the list of past articles on the topic at the end.

Finally, in cast you missed it, The ID DM posted a frakking THESIS, complete with research, graphs, and tables on the power creep he sees in 4e. Set aside some time for this one. Very well thought out.

Blast from the past (Weekly Roundup – Thanksgiving Edition)

Jared Von Hindman over at Wizards of the Coast wrote a highly entertaining and thought-provoking article about a town’s economy and motivations when adventurers show up.  There are some great ideas there for a “looks like a regular adventure, but looks can be deceiving” type adventure.  Just read it, you’ll see what I mean.

Weekly Roundup: Trying MapTool Edition

We’ve been playing around with MapTool this past week, and we’re very impressed by it. We do have a DDi subscription, so we will also be checking out the VT Beta. However, since a lot of our gaming friends do not have a subscription, we will be using MapTool as a backup. We will say that the learning curve is a little steep, and help can sometimes be hard to find, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a very powerful and easy to use program.

Dice Monkey reminded us that there’s lots of 3d terrain accessories to be found at the dollar store. We especially like the recommendation for miniature pine trees from miniature Christmas village kits.

Neuroglyph Games lamented the loss of talent in the 4e community, as well as the difficulty of 3rd party publishing for 4th edition. This article was triggered by the farewell of the At-Will guys.

Greywulf’s Lair opined that the D&D universe should be more like Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40k universe. (Go get a snack for this one, it’s long.)

The ID DM talked D&D design, freelancing, and how to write with WotC game designer Scott Fitzgerald. Lots of good advice and insight there, especially for aspiring freelancers.

Vanir over at Critical Hits talked about the danger of railroading an inside joke into your campaign. Our favorite quote in the article: my mantra for years both as a player and DM has been “there are other people at the table.”

Geek Ken talked about how much he misses scrolls in 4e, as well as some house rules he’s been using for them.

Finally, check out the Holiday Gift Guide for gamers series over at GameHead. Whether you’re a gamer, or are looking for gifts for a gamer in your life, this series is a fun read.

Blast from the Past (Weekly Roundup:  Gamma World Edition)

The Dungeon’s Master got us thinking about whether alignment is an important part of the 4e core rules, or if it’s simply become a byword.   We think that setting hard fast rules about what alignment is and isn’t had become too restrictive, and welcome the opportunities that a more open alignment system gives.

 

Weekly Roundup: One Last Winter is Coming Link Edition

We really had fun writing for the Winter is Coming blog carnival this week.  It was nice to have a focused theme to write on.  But we feel bad that everything we wrote was for the DMs.  So, for all the players out there, here’s one last bit for the Winter is Coming blog carnival.  It’s a link for players who want to add a cold theme to your character. We like to call it “Frost Cheese” around here, because it’s just that good.  You can hear Hamblin discuss it on Episode 4 of Level Up, our player focused podcast. (Also, if you missed yesterday’s post, here is a PDF of all the Winter is Coming stat blocks we did this week)

If you’d like to read all the Winter is Coming articles over at Wombat’s Gaming Den of Iniquity, this is your starting point.

The Fearless DM had a bone to pick this week with LFR writers, and how skill challenges are written for LFR modules.  While we would have liked to see a solution to the problem, we do agree that sometimes LFR skill challenges can be needlessly complicated.

There was a lot of talk on Twitter this week about the recent Legends & Lore articles addressing skills in the D&D system(s).  Sarah Darkmagic posted several articles exploring her thoughts on the 4e skill system, starting with this one. (Of course, we recommend all three).  Daily Encounter also weighed in with their thoughts.

At Critical Hits Dixon explored his struggle to design and perfect the one page character sheet.  We too have tried the one page sheet, though ours is double sided.  Not sure if that’s cheating or not…

Stuffer Shack promised to multiply your game’s fun by ten by adding a simple house rule.

Neuroglyph Games gave us three reasons to give Fortune Cards a shot. We’ve gone back and forth a few times on whether they should be used, but we’re definitely leaning towards, “go for it, they’re lots of fun.”

Finally, we thought we’d remind you about the Dungeons A-Z series going on at Ben’s RPG Pile.

That’s it for this week! Let us know what you thought of the Winter is Coming blog carnival!

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…)