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Monday, January 9, 2012

What's up 2012?

Hey reader(s)! Happy belated New Year to the D&D community!

Now, I apologize for the lack of posts, but I've been busy. Way busy. I had surgery, the holidays, all that fun stuff.

Here is a preview of what's coming up:

  • The promised (railroad-tastic) adventures I made for my Newb-Gamers group
  • The promised reviews for various gaming books and future ones
  • More and more talk about Legend4ry D&D

Speaking of Legend4ry, I've been working a lot (read: ALOT) with this hardcore 4e campaign variant. I've made a lot of use of some Fourthcore ideology but also have compared it with readings of older school D&D systems. It's been a blast, come check it out over here. (I just had a doozy of a post about character creation, leveling up, and character death!

I also recntly had a game day with a local RPG group that sets these up in the area for the community. It was a blast. I branched out and gave Swords & Wizardry a shot, never having had any experience with any D&D editions prior to 3.X and had a blast. I'm an OD&D-clone convert. That was easily one of the most fun gaming experiences I've had, easily top ten, and it was just a (potentially on-going at the game days) demo game. I played a confused Half-Elf who was a Fighter/MU/Thief. The DM provided us with pregens and said, "We could play for ten years and you'd maybe be level 4." Awesome. That said, I loved my character and discovered that the best first level Magic-User spell is Sleep. I wrecked some combat (and almost died in the process, those characters were fragile!) The game itself was mainly a dungeon delve, but who doesn't like cracking skulls in some nameless dungeon in the mountains?

Also coming up this week is my second to last session with my every-other-Wednesday gaming group. I'll be leaving the area for about six months, so I've got to get as much gaming in this January as humanly possible as my gaming opportunities are slim-to-none where I'm going. (Though I may have to give meetup a looksie...) I'm really excited every other week to play in this campaign, a fantastically created 4th edition D&D low-magic (or no-magic, really) world with a fantastic premise. The DM is a great adjudicator of the rules, makes great/fair rulings, and is an open DM as far as rolls and other things go. In other-words, he's great. One of the real selling points in this game is character/player buy-in, which I am all about as it helps with a more total immersion. Each one of the players (5 of us at the time) had the option to create a ruin/dungeon to be explored. I chose a corrupted forest ruin, as my character is from the forest tribe in the area. Others created a water-temple (that we've yet to explore) and a giant sink-hole in the mountain. The campaign itself has great roleplaying opportunities in-game and out-of-game on our Facebook group by way of character monologues about previous sessions which is delicately mixed with some hack-n-slash and exploration of story and the setting itself. 

Recently I finished my heavily altered version of Keep on the Shadowfell for my gaming-newbs and they had a blast. Their characters have quickly come into their own and developed awesome personalities. My original plan was to run them through an altered H-P-E line, but sadly there will be a 6-month hiatus before we can jump into the second of the Heroic Tier adventures. We've been supplementing actual campaign play with some one-shots and giving one of the newbs a chance in the hot-seat to DM. He's got a lot to learn but he's doing a great job. Hell, I've been DMing for years and I still have a lot to learn, but then again, don't we all? It's definitely an art! The main point of this is that I'm patting myself on the back: I introduced some doubtful newbs with minimal gaming experience outside of computer/video games and they have loved it and even one has branched out into DMing on his own. It's awesome to see the fervor in which they embrace the game itself! Now, I'm not going to sit here and say that my DMing is what did it, the game (4e) does it all on it's own! I did find that starting with limiting them to Essentials classes was helpful, and after the conclusions of KotSF, I have them the option both mechanically in-game (queue training montage) to "upgrade" to non-Essentials classes and 2 of 3 decided to do it. One went from Warpriest to full Cleric, the other from Cavalier to Paladin and the last stuck with his Hexblade, but who can blame him as HBs rock! They got a chance to play their new (leveled-up) versions in a one-shot about a month ago and loved their changes and came to appreciate some of the Essentials design features at the same time. (Choices are not always a good thing, especially when there are borderline too many.)

Alrighty, I've rambled enough, but it's been an exciting month to hopefully an exciting upcoming year!

Until next time,


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