Tag Archives: Sarah Darkmagic

Weekly Roundup: Out of Town Encounters Edition

This past Wednesday, I was out of town on business. Not wanting to sit around in my hotel room, I decided to find a local D&D Encounters group to play with. Where I ended up was Showcase Comics and Games at the Granite Run Mall in Media, PA. I wanted to give a big shout out to that group because they couldn’t have been more welcoming to a “new” player. Thanks! I had a blast, and if I ever find myself in Philadelphia on a Wednesday night again, I’ll be sure to crash their party. As an aside, that’s one of the cool things about Encounters; I was able to jump right into the story with my character, even though I had never played with the group.

This week Sarah Darkmagic wrote an article on how skills have historically been presented in D&D, and what she hopes to see for them in D&D Next. (As an aside, I really hope WotC comes up with a name for the next edition soon)

Speaking of D&D Next (PLEASE announce a new name…) Obsidian Portal was at DDXP this year, and was allowed to post videos from a few of the seminars. You can find the Class Design seminar and the Future D&D Products seminar on their Vimeo site. You can also get some seminar transcripts at the ENWorld site.

Blood, Sweat, and Dice had a great article about 3D terrain. Be sure to check out the pictures of the cliff that helped him win the PAX East 2011 DM Challenge!

A Walk In The Dark went into more depth this week on the subject of attack math in 4e. This was a followup to the article we linked to in last week’s roundup by The Howling Tower. Check that one out first, if you didn’t last week.

Have you ever called the DM Hotline? Did you know that sometimes Chris Perkins answers questions? Check out this video of a couple of kids who called, and asked him some rules questions.

Stuffer Shack posted an article on where to find advice when you’re stuck. You know, besides Stuffer Shack.

Need to add some paranoia and conspiracy to your game? Look no further than Geek’s Dream Girl who delved into the topic this week. After all, not EVERYthing should be just as it seems…

Finally, there was a cool article on Fast Company this week about how Hasbro and other game companies are offering more and more of their games in digital form, as well as in a box.

Blast From The Past (Weekly Roundup: Halfhearted Edition)

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.

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 – Dungeon Geomorph Dice Edition

This week, we found the Dungeon Geomorph Dice project on Kickstarter.  We were so excited, we threw $40 in the pot for two sets of dice (and crossed our fingers for the second “caverns” set).  Here’s why you should, too: we will be developing some free supplements to these dice for you to use.  Just to be clear, we’re not affiliated with this project in any way; we just think they’re really cool, and wanted to try and make them as useful as possible.  We won’t start working on this project until we have the dice in hand and see what kind of supplements have been shipped with them.  The stuff we develop will be completely 4e compatible.  Spread the word by using the Facebook, Twitter, and other icons at the end of this post!

On to the articles…

The Labyrinth had an interesting discussion on generating ability scores based upon percentiles instead of 4d6.  The most intriguing part of his system was the racial adjustments of probabilites for each stat.

Then there was Dread Gazebo (with his fancy new blog layout!) who encouraged DMs to abandon the XP budget.  This, of course, sparked some debate, and Sarah Darkmagic weighed in with a counterpoint.

Did we mention there’s a contest to win Heroes of Shadow over at A Walk in the Dark? Yup.  Go check it out if you want to win it.

On the podcast side of things, we urge you to check out the Going Last podcast.  There’s lots of miniatures talk, and non-D&D “general gaming” talk as well, so if you’re into that sort of thing, give it a listen.

Finally, The Rhetorical Gamer talked about what 4e got wrong, in his opinion.  And, to be fair, last week he also wrote about what it got right.  Check it out, and see if you agree.

Who are we missing?  Anyone?  Anyone?

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 – Imaginative Tactics Edition

So, we were running a game for our group this week.  The party was outside some city walls, and bugbears were pelting them from above with crossbows.  A few party members were able to scale the walls, one of whom announces that he wants to “jump on” one of the bugbears behind the wall.  What to do?  Shooting from the hip, we decided that the PC would get +1 to hit (a la charging), and if he hit, he would do extra damage equal to the damage he took from falling.  If he missed, Opportunity Attacks all around for the Bugbears.  Lo and behold, he hit, and clove the bugbear in two with all that extra damage.  It was quite a spectacle.  We’re curious, how would you have ruled the situation?  And now, on to the articles…

The Dump Stat had some good thoughts about how to bring professions back into your D&D 4e game.  We like the idea of having non-“crunchy”, flavor only skills, and would have liked to see a bit more meat to this idea.

The Weem discussed alternate goals in combat.  You know, besides “kill all the monsters until they’re dead.”  Because killing everything all the time can get boring (contrary to popular belief).  Besides, it’s good to switch it up on your PCs from time to time.

Sarah Darkmagic gave us a glimpse of the Gamma World adventure she’s designing for DDXP.  Why yes, we WOULD like to ride that giant chicken over there!  Then, perhaps we will feast on giant chicken wings.  Mmmm….chicken wings….

Over at Points of Light we were reminded of the “morale” check from 2e during the discussion of when a monster might surrender.  This certainly goes hand in hand with “alternate goals in combat” as you think about different ways a fight could end.  Besides, you know, another pile of dead monsters.

Finally: apparently, there was another debate about the “5 minute workday” this week.  You can read about it here, here, here, and here.  Oh, and here. (Blogs not cited for serial topic-ness)

Did we miss your D&D blogging this week? Well, heck, let us know in the comments!

Weekly Roundup – Daylight Savings Time Edition

Well, this week was a whole hour longer thanks to Daylight Savings Time, so you know what that means – it means we had a whole extra hour to scour the net and find blog articles that would interest you, our faithful readers. Actually, now that we think about it, we mostly spent that extra hour sleeping. So maybe you shouldn’t expect anything spectacular or out of the ordinary. Let’s get to it.

Geek’s Dream Girl started the discussion of paper vs. computerized character sheets at the table.  Our take?  Don’t bring your computer to the game, or you may find your character has a target on his back that’s very attractive to ALL the monsters.  Just sayin’

Yax did a guest post over at Critical Hits about body language at the gaming table.  Not only did we find this article entertaining (check out the illustrations) and informative, it was on a subject that isn’t usually addressed in gaming blogs.  We give it two thumbs up; a must read for all.

Sarah Darkmagic got us thinking about other dice systems in her blog about the Dragon Age RPG.  This subject really sparked our interest; we’re pretty sure it was addressed a while ago on some other blogs, but we have what is hopefully a new take that we’ll be writing about soon.

We also saw an article over at Evil Machinations that’s the start of a series on turning adventure seeds (i.e., other people’s ideas) into adventures.  This is one we’ll be keeping an eye on, and suggest you do the same.

Finally, RPG Circus had a short article that we really enjoyed about using mind mapping to put campaign ideas on paper.  It’s a great technique for getting all the ideas and connections in your campaign (or just in an encounter) out of your brain and onto paper.  You should try it sometime!

That’s all we had time for this week, extra hour notwithstanding.  See you next week, when we’ll have more article goodness from the D&D blogosphere!!

Did we miss the killer article you posted this week? Post shameless plugs for your blog in the comments!

Weekly Roundup – First Edition

We’re still finding our way around all the 4e blogs out there, so if yours didn’t make the cut, we apologize.  We hope to find you eventually…

Over at DungeonMaster.com, we found an article about the magic item changes coming to LFR.  This was of great interest to us, as we play LFR almost exclusively right now.

Sarah Darkmagic had these thoughts, as well as these followup thoughts about ritual use.  We certainly don’t see enough ritual use around our tables for various reasons, and would like to see more. 

Ben, over at Ben’s RPG Pile showed us how to make a deck of cards for our character powers instead of using a character sheet.  Oh, how we love arts and crafts!!

Speaking of arts and crafts, Mike over at Sly Flourish had some nifty cards to make for those of us who play on the other side of the screen.

Finally, Chris over at Critical Hits wrote a fantastic article about the philosophy of loot.  Or, in his words, “booty.”  Booty.  Hee hee.

Didn’t make the cut?  Please insert shameless plugs pointing at your 4e blog in the comments section below!