Tag Archives: WotC

Weekly Roundup: Out Of The Loop Edition

Well, we’ve been out of the D&D loop this week. We had a lot of stuff going on, and did a lot of board gaming. However, we haven’t had a chance to keep an eye on what’s going on in the D&D universe. If you’ve got kids, we will point you to the Story Realms Kickstarter (see the sidebar) which we think is pretty cool, but other than that, RPGs have been out this past week. Don’t worry, it’s because we’re working on a few really cool things. You will see…. you will see….

So first, before you read on, you need to know whether you’re enough of a geek to continue on to the articles. Check out this video by Geeky Hostess to find out.

Meta Gamemastery posted a recording from PAX this week that discusses D&D vs. Story Games. Lots of people on Twitter thought it was worth a listen, and we agree. Check it out.

We are all about “less prep” and more “flying by the seat of your pants” when it comes to running a D&D game. That’s why we love these tools for the lazy DM posted by IntWisCha this week.

We don’t usually link things from WotC in the weekly roundup, but we thought a couple of articles this week were interesting enough to do so. First, RPG design philosophy, and also adding intrigue and mystery to your campaign.

Blog of Holding wrapped up his “New schooler reads OD&D” series with a look at encumbrance. Also, definitely check out the other four parts of the series.

Finally, with Halloween less than two months away, it’s time to think about your “Halloween Adventure.” You know, the one that incorporates horror. Look no further than the picture inspirations posted by Gothridge Manor this week. Creepy stuff indeed. (Probably shouldn’t click on that one right before bed…)

Blast From The Past (Weekly Roundup: End Of Campaign Edition)

Some Space to Think mused upon the differences between 4e and 1e – from a first person perspective.

Weekly Roundup: Weekend of Cons Edition

Ok, so it’s no longer Gencon (obviously) but there are (at least) three other major cons going on this weekend: DragonCon in Atlanta, WorldCon in Chicago, and Pax Prime in Seattle. With all that gaming going on, we’re not sure there’s even anyone around to read the roundup! Well, for those of you not at a con this weekend, here are some articles to soothe the disappointment.

Speaking of Pax, if you’d like to watch this year’s D&D Celebrity game (with Chris Perkins, Wil Wheaton, and the Penny Arcade guys) you can find it here. Really good stuff, and always fun to watch them play. It will (most likely) also eventually be archived on the WotC D&D Youtube channel.

If you’d like to win a copy of the 3 D&D 1st Edition reprints, The Secret DM is running a contest until the end of the month.

Over at The Broken Binding, our Subcontracting Your Villain Work idea is being tried.

Sly Flourish had a great article on how to design your own zone wide environmental effects. There are also examples. Environmental effects can really add a special layer to an encounter to make it memorable.

Some Space To Think wrote two great posts on skills and skill systems which set a lot of people thinking. We noticed these further thoughts from 2d6 Cents, though we suspect there were probably more responses in the blogosphere.

If you wish you were still at Gencon, check out Brian Liberge’s Gencon interview with Shelly Mezzanoble about the Rise of the Underdark campaign over at Stuffer Shack.

Gaming As Women had an article this week with some questions to ask of characters to bring them closer together as a group. You know, make them less of a roving band of misfits, and more of a team.

IntWisCha tackled the subject of Social Conflict. No, not when your gamers argue about tactics. It’s about how to end conversational conflict in our games on a “high point” the same way a fight ends with the killing blow.

As a followup to last week’s talk about the very successful Reaper Bones Kickstarter, Wired had an article highlighting it. Apparently, it was the third biggest Kickstarter ever.

And finally, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point you to this week’s WotC playtester profile. They talk to friends of the show Alphastream and Going Last.

Blast From The Past (Weekly Roundup: Totally Unrelated Link Edition)

Roleplaying Tips blogged about how to get your players to hand you Checkov’s Gun.  If you don’t know what Checkov’s Gun is, you can check out TV Tropes.  Do so at your own peril (and only if you have several hours at your disposal).

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: Open Submission Window Halfway Closed Edition

Well, if you want to submit an article idea for Dungeon or Dragon magazine, the submission window for this cycle is just about halfway closed. You have until May 31, or you’ll have to wait until October. Get on it! Oh, and check out what sorts of things they’re looking for, and what they don’t really want.

PAX East made the MTV Geek News page. Check out what they thought the hottest board games were from this year’s convention.

On Dungeon Mastering this week, Keith Baker talked about how to set up a sandbox style game. The short version? Set up “scenes” instead of dungeon rooms.

And if you were lamenting the lack of WotC podcast content, lament no more. There’s a new podcast up, where they talk about Lords Of Waterdeep, among other things.

It’s kind of weird when two bloggers, independent of one another, cover the same topic in the same week. This week, The Id DM and Steve’s Gamer Blog both covered the topic of Campaign Endings. Considering the fact that most campaigns don’t end deliberately, it’s probably something we all need to work on.

Finally, on IntWisCha this week covered the topic of “How to Fail” and how failure can make for interesting story opportunities – they answer the question, “Why would someone choose to fail on a successful roll?”

Blast From The Past (Weekly Roundup: Dungeon Geomorph Dice Edition)

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.
(4/23/11)

Weekly Roundup: Errata Messed Me Up Edition

After our last podcast, I was exploring feats and options for different animal companion builds. I found a fun combo, and was in the midst of writing up an article about it. Then the WotC March errata came out. Turns out that this build must have been on their radar because some of the errata specifically changed wording in the feat and paragon path to make the combo impossible. Oh well, it was still a fun exercise. (For those of you curious, Beastmaster Ranger, Beast Protector feat, and Sharpshooter Paragon Path). On to the articles!

On Twitter this week, SlyFlourish pointed to a Story Games article that has some phenomenal tips on running a great 4e game. Even if you don’t take all the advice, there’s sure to be something that you find helpful.

Rule of the Dice wrote a short anecdote about how he tried to teach his son about D&D through the Facebook game Heroes of Neverwinter. Find out if it worked for him or not.

There were a couple of notable articles out of WotC this week. First, John Schindehette, WotC’s art director, talked about art across the editions. This is an important discussion, given recent discussions about appropriate armor and depictions of women in RPGs. Second, Chris Perkins posted a DDi only index of every Dungeon Magazine adventure published in the last 200 issues.

A few weeks ago, in the Weekly Roundup, we linked to an article that examined monster damage at first level, and extrapolated that through all 30 levels. Going Last posted an article this week that looks at the other side of the equation: character damage.

 Robert Schwalb wrote a quick article about his thoughts on a way that sneak attack/backstab might work in the next edition of D&D.

Finally, in case you hadn’t heard, you might want to check out the stories about the Norwegian Minister of International Development. Apparently, he’s into D&D, and quite vocal about it. You can start with this article at The Escapist.

 Blast from the Past (Weekly Roundup: RegulatorCon Edition)

If you’re looking to give your players a moral dilemma to wrestle with instead of a cave full of monsters to destory, check out Do the Ends Justify the Means over at RPG Musings.  A ton of good adventure seeds to steal there.
(3/26/11)

 

Weekly Roundup: Happy 2012 Edition

Well, it’s happened again. You’ve wasted another perfectly good year reading D&D blogs. As we head into 2012, and our second full year of blogging, we hope to keep bringing you great weekly roundups, lots of arts and crafts, and plot hooks and DM advice you can use. Oh, and the podcast, of course.

If you missed the Got Loot blogfest hosted by Daily Encounter you should definitely check it out. Our contribution was on Thursday, but other blogs were contributing all week, including some guest posts at the host blog.

The Escapist had a great 3 part series on the past, present, and future of D&D. There are lots of great points and thoughts in the articles, some made by staff at WotC. Also, here are some followup thoughts at ENWorld by one of the articles’ contributors.

Robert Schwalb wrote an article this week after a blogging hiatus. It involves his thoughts on skill challenges in 4e – their origins, and his thoughts on them as one of 4e’s designers.

Need something to read over the holiday? Download the 107 page 2011 compilation of Chris Perkins’ WotC colum, The Dungeon Master Experience.

Need a little Gamma World inspiration? Check out this animated short at Ain’t It Cool News. This is definitely something we’d like to see as a feature length film!

Arts and Crafts! Oh how we love them! Check out The Armchair General who is doing some pretty cool stuff with foam insulation board and textured paint. Genius!

Finally, there was the story of the Lakers coach who plays D&D with his son. You can find that article here.

Blast From The Past (Weekly Roundup: 2010 In Review Edition)

We’ll just link the entire Weekly Roundup because it’s a review of some of our favorite articles from 2010. Great list, it’s nice to browse blog archives sometimes; it’s not like the advice gets stale!

Weekly Roundup – Thanksgiving Edition

Thanksgiving weekend is one of the best times of the year for gaming.  Hopefully, you got a few tables together over the long weekend.  Go change into some sweatpants (because if you’re anything like us, you ate too much), and cozy up to this week’s best D&D articles.

Matt Sernett gave us his take on leveling up, and what happens when you adventure outside the “sweet spot.”  Good food for thought, not just for D&D, but for any game that has a leveling mechanic.

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

Campaign Mastery showed us how to come up with NPC stats on the fly, depending upon whether we want someone who is a challenge to the PCs or not.  Interesting; seems like a lot of prep work, and we’d have set up the spreadsheet to calculate the high, low, and average stats automatically.  But overall, not a bad idea.

Finally, we were excited to see Dungeon’s Master announce a new feature on their blog: “The Book Report.”  In it, they post fantasy books they’ve been reading with a rating.  If you’re looking for even more reading suggestions, you can also check out the “Fantasy Books We Like” section of our store.   Just click the “Store” tab on the menu bar up top there, and the categories will be in the left pane.  Keep an eye on that section because we’ll be constantly adding to it as we find more books we like!

Want a free plug for your own D&D blog?  Leave it in the comments!  Seriously, we want you to!