Let Kalgor Bloodhammer Take You on an Endless Quest

Imagine my surprise when, upon opening this pdf for review, I was suddenly transported back in time 17 years. In the span of a moment, I was lost in a magical forest of majesty, wondering if I should choose the well-traveled path known for scary skeletons (turn to page 64) or the rocky mountain road that passes much too close to the lich’s tower (turn to page 91). That’s how the “Choose Your Own Adventure” books I devoured when I was thirteen usually read. Lucky for me, it did not take long to realize that this Party of One adventure from Open Design is an entirely different undead horde. Continue reading

Heroes of the Elemental Chaos Review

Viewed on its own merits, Heroes of the Elemental Chaos is an adequate 4E book with a lot new class options and a grab bag of other stuff, and some pretty cool fluff about a new magical power source that isn’t really a power source, or maybe it’s the only power source. In the context of what has gone before and what’s to come in 4E, it’s a strange, lost book.

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D&D Heavy Metal Shirt, Wicked Cool Leather Armor, and Funny Cartoon Gaming Advice

It’s deadline day, so instead of the voluminous review I had planned for today, here’s a grab bag of gaming odds and ends from across the internet. You’ll get your daily dose of metal and leather, plus find out how to punish gamers who don’t pay attention at the table.

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Brazer Bulletin: My Hopes for DnDNext

I’ve been following the development of DnDNext with intense curiosity. I really like where it is going. I think the designers are making quality choices and I hope the feedback that they are getting is influencing their design decisions. I would like to share my own hopes for DnDNext; things that would be helpful for the game as a whole, not just what I want at the table. Continue reading

Brazer Bulletin: Strangers in a Shadow Land

As the Book of Beasts: Monsters of the Shadow Plane is hitting store shelves, I would like to talk about what kind of adventures you can expect from the Shadowsfall setting. The bulk of the Free RPG Day adventure, Shadowsfall: Temple of Orcus, was finished over the weekend, and I’m now about to move onto the main part of Shadowsfall: Player’s Guide to the Shadow Plane and I want to talk about what I expect to put in that book. Continue reading

A Treatise on Active Defenses in RPG Combat

Sometimes you want to do more than just stand around and let your armor take the hits in combat. Can the newest edition of D&D accommodate active defenses? 4E created an elegant mechanic that allowed active defenses to be used easily, and that’s something I don’t want to see lost. Continue reading

D&D Experience Seminars Look Ahead to the Next Edition

D&D Experience, a D&D-centric game con held in Indiana, happened this past weekend. In a series of seminars, an assortment of Wizards of the Coast creative people illuminated the future of D&D for those of us who have been eagerly hanging on every word they’ve released about the secretive project. Here’s a brief analysis.

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Which is Better, Damage Resistance or “+1 or Better To Hit”?

There’s a lot of back and forth on the question of damage resistance and the role of magic weapons in D&D. Many players are opposed to the antiquated +1 or better to hit mechanic. How can the damage rules provide an underlying mechanical skeleton that describes the physics of the game world without bogging the game down with unhittable monsters or unworkable complexity? Continue reading