Archive for the Dungeons and Dragons Category

D&D: Arena of War

Posted in Dungeons and Dragons, Video Games with tags , , on June 7, 2013 by boccobsblog

arenaofwar_illo

According to Wizards.com:

You may have just heard about this announcement: DeNA is currently working on a D&D mobile game. Arena of War is a party-based battle game set within the Forgotten Realms—and it has a heavy emphasis on boss battles! Worldwide release is currently scheduled for late July.

Look for further news and information about this title on their site.

The game will be free and supported on both Apple products (Iphone and Ipad) and Android devices.

Should be cool.

 

 

Wizards to Reprint 1974 D&D “White Box”

Posted in Dungeons and Dragons, Product Review with tags , , on February 21, 2013 by boccobsblog

Image

Holding true to their new motto, “Every Edition Available Again!”, Wizards of the Coast is reprinting the original D&D boxset. From Wizards.com:

 

A premium, deluxe edition of the Original D&D “White Box”!

The original Dungeons & Dragons boxed set was published by TSR, Inc. in 1974 and was the very first roleplaying game, introducing concepts that have persisted throughout later editions. It included three small rules booklets in a white box.

This deluxe, premium reprint of the original “White Box” features new packaging and includes the following seven booklets (plus, reference sheets):

  • Volume 1: Men & Magic
  • Volume 2: Monsters & Treasure
  • Volume 3: Underworld & Wilderness Adventures
  • Supplement I: Greyhawk
  • Supplement II: Blackmoor
  • Supplement III: Eldritch Wizardry
  • Supplement IV: Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes

Each booklet features new cover art but is otherwise a faithful reproduction of the original, including original interior art.

Item Details
Item Code: 45390000
Release Date: November 19, 2013
Format: D&D Boxed Game
Price: $149.99; C$172.00
ISBN: 978-0-7869-6465-9
 

 I think it would be fun to own an run a campaign with, but a hundred and fifty dollars is expensive…

Adventure a Week Interview with Jonathan Nelson and Todd Gamble

Posted in D&D 3.5e DM Content, Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder with tags , , , , , on August 15, 2012 by boccobsblog

If you haven’t visited Adventureaweek.com it is a site where new D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder quests are published. As the name implies each week subscribers will get access to original material for their game. Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing the site’s creators, Jonathan Nelson and Todd Gamble.

What is Adventure a Week?

Adventureaweek.com provides a new 3.5 and Pathfinder compatible adventure every single week!

All adventures fully support both systems, so die-hard 3.5 and Pathfinder fanatics alike can sit back and relax!  If a GM is looking to try out our stuff before they commit to a subscription, they can buy our adventures on Paizo.com, RPGnow.com, DriveThruRPG.com, and in our own Adventureaweek online store.

Subscribers get access to a TON of great creative content including high-resolution maps by three-time ENnie Award winning Cartographer Todd Gamble.  Our adventures are available in both PDF format and our famous patented web format, which makes running games so easy all you need is a tablet and some dice!


So far you’ve released series A, B, and C, is there a unifying theme to each series?

A-Series” = Adventureaweek Campaign Setting adventures
We have set it up so you can opt in or out of the setting with a single click.

B-Series” = By Guest Authors
Guest authors include finalists from the Paizo RPG Superstar competition, Michael McCarthy (Dreamscarred Press), Mark Edwards (numerous publishers), Jonathan McAnulty (Kobold Quarterly, Rite Publishing), JP Quinn (partner with Dave Arneson on Blackmoor campaign setting and adventures), the list goes on and on and grows with each passing week!

C-Series” = Classic style adventures
These adventures are created in the vein of AD&D 1st edition Gary Gygax adventures, but with rules and statistics compatible with 3.5 and Pathfinder RPGs.

In regards to the letters matching up with the series: we didn’t really mean for it to happen that way, but hey… it works!


Are the stat blocks in your adventures 3.5 or Pathfinder format?

We actually have taken on the massive challenge of supplying statistics for both game systems within every adventure module.  Yes, it’s a huge undertaking but everything gets easier in time.  We are getting things down to a science and are proud to offer our adventures to both audiences in the same adventure module.


Are your adventures available in print format or solely as PDFs?

Our adventures are available in two formats, but two different from those you mention.  First off we have our patented “web format” which contains “click to open/close” JavaScript boxes containing statistical information so it doesn’t clutter up space as a GM runs through the adventure.  Don’t need an encounter?  Simply continue on your way through the adventure.  Need stats for PF but not 3.5?  Well, don’t open the 3.5 combat boxes!  Just click the Pathfinder boxes.  It’s all very user-friendly and actually designed that way over time through a large play test and from a lot of intensive use in my own game sessions.  It works flawlessly on a tablet and thus decreases the amount of supplies you need to bring to a game.  Really, all you need is a tablet and dice.  Or use your own dice app and all you need is a tablet or laptop.

You can also buy the PDFs individually, or as a subscriber you may download them free of charge.  Granted, monthly subscribers only get 2 downloads per month whereas annual subscribers get unlimited downloads.  This is to prevent misuse and piracy on the site, which is the main problem that other subscription sites experienced.  I actually am a STRONG advocate of sharing stuff that you love with friends, but purchasing that same product if you find that you use it often.  For example, I received a free copy of Wolfgang’s Kobold Guide to Game Design.  Read it, LOVED IT, and purchased all three in print version even though a newer compiled version was coming out.  AaW paid for three ads in Kobold Quarterly and were offered a free print and PDF version; too late, already bought both of them separately with one being purchased from my local game store.  Seriously guys: Support what you love or watch it go the way of the buffalo.


What subscriptions plans do you offer?

If you would like weekly adventures and a campaign setting you can slap down $10 and go for the monthly subscription.  Heck, if you don’t like the site you can always cancel after a month.  At least you had the chance to see what killer stuff we have hidden behind our impenetrable gates!

If you would like access to a lot more (and we mean a LOT MORE), you can save money and get a ton of good stuff by paying $99 a year to become an Annual Subscriber.  As an Annual Subscriber to Adventureaweek.com you obtain access to the following: Every adventure on the site, Free PDF download option for all adventures, Adventurer’s Journal (side quests & maps), Treasure Trove (new magical items), Audio Soundboard (sound effects for your game), Printables (high resolution images for download/printing), Dungeon Tiles (professional dungeon tiles for combat), Monsters (new and original monsters complete with full color illustrations), AaW Campaign Setting – Maps, History, Culture, Races, Classes, Domains, Sorcerer Bloodlines, Spells, Archetypes, Prestige Classes, Locations, NPCs, Magical Items, All AaW content available for HERO LAB.

What is your favorite adventure available on the site and why?

That is a hard question to answer because I honestly have quite a few which vie for the top position.  How about I name off my top three and then give you some info on one that is special to me?

I would say the three contenders for MY favorite adventure are A4: Forest for the Trees (nature vs. civilization), A5: Winterflower (festival with a dance), and A9: Rogue Wizard (inspired by an episode of STAR TREK: The Next Generation).

My most personal adventure is A5: Winterflower, which features Gwendolyn, the most beautiful maiden in the village.  Most of the young men in the village of Rybalka wish to take Gwendolyn to the Winterflower Festival dance.  Some of the men in the village wish to hire the PCs to retrieve rare treasures to win her hand.  There is a lot more to this adventure (which received 5 stars by ENDZEITGEIST), but the reason it’s special to me is that my daughter’s name is Gwendolyn and the adventure was written before she was born.  She is 9 months old now and makes me smile no matter how bad of a day I’m having!


The artwork and cartography look amazing, who is responsible?

Tim Tyler is a phenomenal character artist and has provided the unique and original artwork for most of the characters and monsters appearing in our adventures and campaign setting.  He has been working in the comic book industry for much of his life, but this is his first time doing RPGs.  This transition came easy to him though as he played AD&D 1st edition in his younger days and has always been a fan of the art that used to appear in those old school TSR modules.  Those were the good old days right?  I still love that art too, and Tim’s been bringing back some of that old style with a fresh perspective that only someone in the field of comics and graphic novels would have.  We are stoked to have Tim as an integral part of Adventureaweek!

Todd Gamble is the genius behind the incredible cartography and a TON of the artwork, especially the locations.  Todd has this knack for really immersing you in an environment.  I think it comes from his life experiences visiting different locations and exploring strange places.  He’s told me before that he used to wander around in old abandoned mines just to get the feel for them and map them out.  That’s SO dangerous!  There are hidden sinkholes that go down hundreds of feet.  You see this puddle of water, step in it and *WHOOOSH* you’re deep in some mineshaft underwater!  Crazy!  Todd is a three-time ENnie Award winner, has won numerous ORIGINS awards, and has worked at Wizards of the Coast, Green Ronin, and a dozen other great RPG companies.  He is heralded as one of the world’s best cartographers and designers of model scenery used in gaming and model railroading.  He’s also a damn good friend!


Your site says you accept adventure submissions; do you have any tips for writing hoping to submit their work?

I’ve actually been asked this question more times than I can count.  We get a lot of submissions, some of them great and some not so great.  Many times the “not so great” submissions just need a little work.  In this case, we ask the author to send their creative work to a few friends for feedback and perform a thorough spelling and grammar check.  Sometimes we accept their proposal after they perform a few revisions based on feedback provided by both their friends and us.  There are other times that the adventures proposed just don’t work for our site or are not up to the standards required by a discerning Game Master.  We only want to publish the absolute best adventures, and while “best” is definitely relative, we do have certain standards in regards to quality of story, formatting, and delivery.

For anyone looking to submit material I would recommend reading the following prior to submitting a proposal:

Visit the forum on Adventureaweek.com and introduce themselves as well as read the various posts by other authors.

Download the ACT (Adventure Composition Tutorial) would also get them ahead of the game.

Finally, prospective adventure authors may read more on our guidelines and incentives, as well as submit their adventure proposal here.

Will the AaW team be at Gen Con this year? (If so, booth number?) 

Yes, Todd and Jonathan will be at GEN CON but will not be at a booth. Instead we will be random encounters throughout the convention.  Depending on the date and time there is a 5% cumulative chance of encountering us at GEN CON.  We will be disguised as NERD TREK journalists (my other company) and handing out loads of freebies and coupon codes for Adventureaweek.com.  Some of this stuff is part of a ONE-TIME PRINT and autographed as well, so if you see us make sure and ask us for some of the goods!

WE HOPE TO SEE YOU ALL AT GEN CON 2012!  LONG LIVE GARY GYGAX!

Happy Gaming!

-Jonathan and Todd

Adventureaweek.com

Well, I would like to give a big thank you to the gents at Adventure a Week. They have an amazing site and a quality product so be sure to check it out.

-Andy

Dragonscale Dice Bags

Posted in Dungeons and Dragons, Product Review with tags , , , on August 6, 2012 by boccobsblog

Image from Awesomedice.com

Gamers love dice, and we own far more than we need. If you’re in need a cool place to store your beloved dice, head over to Awesomedice.com. They have the coolest dice bags I have ever seen (and that is saying something, as I’ve been a die hound for over 20 years now). Modeled to look like chromatic dragon scales, they come in Black, Red, and Green.

Here is the description from their website:

Without question this large green dragonscale dice bag is one of the coolest dice bags in the world. This dice bag is hand knitted with green thread and special green anodized aluminum scales are knitted into the bag, giving the appearance of dragon scales. The scales are only on the outside (and not on the bottom) and the soft interior ensures that your dice won’t get scratched or marred. A plastic disc sits on the bottom interior of the dice bag to hold its shape (removable if you choose) and a leather drawstring completes this ridiculously awesome dice bag.

This is a large dice bag capable of holding up to 100 standard 16mm dice. This thing is so ridiculously cool that it is very likely to make you pee your pants. It is also a very expensive dice bag, and is available in a smaller, less costly size.

* No dragons were harmed in the creation of this dice bag. Real dragonscales are much larger than these.

If you need a die bag or more dice, I highly recommend checking out their website; it is impressive.

WoTC to Reprint 3.5e Books

Posted in D&D 3.5, Dungeons and Dragons on August 4, 2012 by boccobsblog

Wizards of the coast is going to reprint the core rule books from 3.5 this Sept.

From Wizards.com:

Earlier this year, we announced the release of the 1st Edition core rulebook premium reprints. And now, we’re further pleased to offer 3.5 Edition Core Rulebook premium reprints releasing this September!

On sale September 18, these 3.5 Edition premium reprints feature new covers and the latest errata — so, be sure to pick yours up at your friendly local book or gaming store!

    • The Player’s Handbook has all the rules players need to create characters, select equipment, and engage in combat with a variety of supernatural and mythical foes.
    • The Dungeon Master’s Guide provides the DM with advice, guidelines, and everything he or she needs to create challenges, adventures, and full-fledged D&D campaigns, including sections on prestige classes, magic items, and character rewards.
  • The Monster Manual contains material that players and DMs alike will find useful. With hundreds of monsters to populate all levels of dungeons, this tome also includes monster creation rules, information on playing monsters as characters, details on monster tactics, and powered-up versions of standard creatures.

Together, these three volumes comprise the core rules for the 3.5 Edition of the Dungeons & Dragons game!

The article also contains a link to vote for other 3.5 books you’d like to see reprinted.

If they were just reprints I wouldn’t be excited, but if they contain new information and updated errata they will be worth it. I remain doubtful of the amount of new material as each book comes in at the exact page count as the previous iteration (320).

They will retail for 50 bucks each (boo!).

Will they be available early at Gen Con? That would be nice.

Article link

Simple Human NPC’s for D&D 3.5e or Pathfinder

Posted in D&D 3.5, D&D 3.5e DM Content, Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder, Uncategorized with tags , on July 12, 2012 by boccobsblog

Lately I have been making more “cheat sheets” for my 3.5 games. I hate being unprepared, but always seem to fail to plan for something. This double-sided handout contains the stats for several human npc’s. Need a quick town guard or a thug? I took these from WotC’s Races of Destiny and tweaked/shortened them slightly.

NPC1

Currently I am working on the DM’s,  “Oh Sh!t Sheet”. I should be finished tonight or tomorrow.

Paizo Announces Virtual Gametable

Posted in Dungeons and Dragons, Gaming News, Pathfinder, Video Games with tags on July 11, 2012 by boccobsblog

From the Paizo blog:

Sat, Jul 7, 2012 at 10:18 PM Pacific

Paizo reinvents the virtual tabletop to be played directly on Paizo.com!

Uses Paizo’s high, max resolution maps, handouts and everything you need to run our APs. Makes everything easy to connect with people and get playing. As long as you can get to Paizo.com you can play!

Edit: We’ve posted details on the announcement, some screenshots (including features that weren’t shown at the banquet), and more info about free play and paying for stuff.

Sara Marie
Customer Carebear

It will be interesting to see how this turns out, as WotC has failed several times to achieve what one would think a simple task in the age of the video game.

D&D Next Playtest

Posted in Dungeons and Dragons, Gaming News with tags , on May 27, 2012 by boccobsblog

I am still unable to download the playtest from Wizard’s site, but thankfully a friend e-mailed me a copy. Shitty distribution aside, D&D Next is looking pretty cool.

It is almost like dnd basic sans the races acting like classes. Skills are gone, as are feats (well, still here, but in a vastly different form). Each class gets something each  (though the play test does not cover character creation). Most everything is an ability check. It seems rp based rather than a miniature game (which should appeal to 1e and 2e players). Things are back to being in feet rather than squares similar to 2e.It is clear that the designers want you to be able to player in the “Mind’s Eye Theater” of former editions, but tokens and minis can still be used.

Tracking a ton of pluses is gone instead you have advantage or disadvantage where you roll an extra die twenty and take the better or the worse.

Gone are the thirty “does it stack” bonuses of my beloved third. Ac is very simple, armor + dex for light, armor + half dex for med, etc. Shields add a bonus. I will be curious to see how they do rings of protection and items of that type. I remember the nightmare armor classes of 2ed when everything stacked.

Saves are just ability checks. Break the chains, str check, avoid charm, chr check etc.

Daily, encounter powers are gone. Though casters can use cantrips at will and some spells have been made cantrips, magic missile for example is a cantrip and be therefore used at will.

Monsters have xp values again. Not sure how you decide what is a good challenge for your party, but it is still very early.

Classes can be customised with the addition of backgrounds and themes similar to 4e’s darksun.

The game is simplified all around without feeling simple. Small thing like two-handed weapons just do more dmg rather than dmg and a half.

After reading it, it makes 3.5/4th seem over-complicated. Almost all hints of 4e are gone with the exception of short rests which are similar to healing surges. You can rest, bind wounds etc and get hps back between fights until you hit die pool is gone. For example a lvl 3 wizard would have 3d4 of healing to use the whole day. He could use a die at a time or one bigger heal.

There seems a return to flavor text which decreased in 3.0, 3.5, and 4th. Each monster has a great deal of flavor that draws the reader in and give quest ideas.

Looks pretty cool. I’m encouraged. I am signed up for the official play test at Gen Con, and will have more to write after that.

Dungeon Map Contest!

Posted in Dungeons and Dragons on March 26, 2012 by boccobsblog

In the recent article, “Waxing Gygaxian“, Chris Perkins proposed a dungeon map designing contest. The winner will appear on the Wizards’ website in an upcoming Perkins’ article. Sounds cool. Dust off your best dungeon and submit. Good luck!

Here are the official details from the contest site:

In the interest of giving us all more dungeons to choose from, Chris Perkins has proposed the following contest:

Design an original dungeon map along with a short paragraph describing who built it and why. (We’re referring not to you, but to the dungeon’s in-game architect and purpose.) It can be anything, from a Gygaxian sprawl to something more “contained.” Then send your map to submissions@wizards.com by 9 AM PST on April 5, 2012, with the following subject line: BEST DUNGEON! At the end of your paragraph, type your name and whereabouts (for example, “Anne Smith, Monkey’s Eyebrow AZ”). Yep, that’s a real place.

Please submit your own original work only, and feel free to submit multiple entries. Chris Perkins will include the best dungeon maps in an upcoming DM Experience column and explain why he thinks they’re awesome, and other DMs will be free to plunder them for their home campaigns. How cool is that?

How to Enter: Create your own D&D dungeon map and submit it as a JPG or PDF to submissions@wizards.com, along with a short paragraph describing who in the D&D world built the dungeon and why.

Eligibility: This contest is open to legal residents of the United States and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are at least 18 years old at the time of entry. The contest begins at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time (“PT”) on March 22, 2012 and ends at Midnight (PT) on April 5, 2012.

D&D Experience Jan 26th – 29th

Posted in Conventions, Dungeons and Dragons with tags on January 26, 2012 by boccobsblog

D&D Experience: January 26th-29th, 2012

D&D Experience, the premier convention for fans of Dungeons & Dragons, is nearly upon us. D&D Experience offers players the opportunity to playtest unreleased game material, participate in the Living Forgotten Realms and Ashes of Athas organized play programs, and attend seminars hosted by R&D staff members from Wizards of the Coast.

The convention runs from January 26th to 29th. Like last year, D&D Experience is taking place in Fort Wayne, Indiana at the Grand Wayne Convention Center. Organizers at Baldman Games have arranged a special booking deal at the Courtyard Mariott. Visit Baldman Games for more details about ticketing and booking.

What really makes D&D Experience stand out among other conventions is access to the people who work on Dungeons & Dragons. Wizards of the Coast will be sending a delegation of staff members from R&D, Brand, and Organized Play to take part in the show. Staff members participate in seminars, run games (such as this year’s D&D Secret Special), sit down as players, and are available to answer some questions. You’ll never have a better opportunity to chat with the people who work on the game you love.

Events

D&D Secret Special: Caves of Chaos Playtest

Join the first public playtest of the next iteration of the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game. The playtest offers players the chance to run pre-generated 1st-level characters through the Caves of Chaos, a four-hour D&D adventure. Wizards of the Coast staff will be running several tables each day. As part of the playtest, participants must sign a special non-dislcosure agreement for playtesters.

Adventure Description: For years, Castellan Keep has stood on civilization’s frontier, commanding a grand view of that dismal realm known as the Borderlands. A forlorn place, rife with monsters and terrors beyond imagining, adventurers have used this fort to seek glory and plunder in this dangerous realm, to unearth fabulous treasures and destroy foul monsters. Of all the haunts found here, none equal the Caves of Chaos in both danger and the promise of reward. Rumors abound of the wicked humanoids, the sinister monsters, and the dark priests that run amok in this dungeon. Only the most cunning and bold adventurers dare to face the dreaded caverns. Do you have what it takes to survive the Caves of Chaos?

Living Forgotten Realms: D&D Experience features the LFR Special (SPEC4-1 Cerulean Dreams) and the third 4th Edition running of the Battle Interactive (ADCP3-1 Swarm of Chaos).

The Battle Interactive is a unique event where multiple tables work together to overcome major objectives. The success or failure (and choices made by the tables) of all the tables are tallied together and affect the outcome of these events as they progress. Available only at conventions—and always premiering at D&D Experience.

Ashes of Athas: For players who prefer the merciless world of Athas, D&DXP 2012 will feature the premier of the fourth chapter of the Ashes of Athas campaign. A list of adventures that have come to pass before can be found on the Ashes of Athas website. This campaign uses 4th Edition D&D rules.

Living Divine: For players who want to explore this original campaign setting (and have a chance to be a god among men), there is an introductory adventure as well as a new Two-Slot Special (INTRO 1-10S As He Lay Dying). This program uses 4th Edition D&D rules.

Seminars

Charting the Course: An Edition for all Editions (Thursday)

Join Mike Mearls, Monte Cook, and Jeremy Crawford as they discuss the origin for the idea to create an edition of Dungeons & Dragons that encompasses all previous editions. The designers discuss the challenges in creating compatibility and balance, as well as the exciting possibilities such a system creates. Seminar to be followed by a Q&A session.

Class Design: From Assassins to Wizards (Friday)

Designers Monte Cook, Bruce Cordell, and Robert Schwalb discuss their approach to class design, including the difficulties in creating iconic versions of the classes that speak to players of all editions. Should the cleric be more martial or more healer? Does the default ranger have an animal companion? What level of complexity should the fighter have? Seminar to be followed by a Q&A session.

Future Products and Q&A (Saturday)

Mike Mearls presents upcoming D&D products for 2012, as well as a vision for the future of Dungeons & Dragons. Seminar is followed by a Q&A session. Other members of R&D on hand to answer questions as well.

Reimagining Skills and Ability Scores (Sunday)

The role of skills has fluctuated throughout the life of Dungeons & Dragons, and ability scores have been of varying importance in each edition. Find out what the design team has done to reimagine these aspects of the game, and how they arrived at a system to marry the two concepts more closely together. Seminar includes Monte Cook, Bruce Cordell, and Robert Schwalb, and will be followed by a Q&A session.

Special Guests

Mike Mearls: Mike is the senior manager for Dungeons & Dragons R&D. He has also worked as a designer and columnist for the weekly Legends and Lore column. His recent D&D credits include Player’s Handbook 3, Hammerfast, Monster Manual 3, and the Castle Ravenloft board game.

Monte Cook: Monte has worked as a professional writer and game designer since 1988. Monte was one of the three principal designers of 3rd Edition Dungeons & Dragons and the d20 system. He has worked on numerous RPG products, and has published two novels, numerous short stories, countless articles, and a comic book series for Marvel.

via Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game Official Home Page – Home (D&D Experience).

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 88 other followers