Thursday, April 26, 2012

5e - The latest info and a surprising event.

Below you will see some info taken from Monte Cook's blog and then from Mike Mearls of WotC concerning the latest news.

There appears to be a little shake-up in the development team, but no details on the root cause. Also the date for the start of open public play-testing is now known.

First, from Monte:

"Last week I decided that I would leave my contract position with Wizards of the Coast. I am no longer working on Dungeons & Dragons, although I may provide occasional consultation in the future. My decision is one based on differences of opinion with the company. However, I want to take this time to stress that my differences were not with my fellow designers, Rob Schwalb and Bruce Cordell. I enjoyed every moment of working with them over the past year. I have faith that they'll create a fun game. I'm rooting for them.
Due to my non-disclosure agreement, as well as a desire to keep things on a professional level, I have no intention of going into further detail at this time. (Mostly, I just hate drama, and would rather talk about more interesting things.)
As for what I'll be turning to next, I hope you'll stay tuned. I plan on having an interesting announcement in that regard in the near future."
- Monte Cook, April 25, 2012

And now from Wizards via Mike Mearls:

I am surprised, and frankly saddened, by Monte’s decision to leave the D&D Next design team. I’d like to thank him for his contribution, and we all wish him well. As we close the first phase of the D&D Next project, I’m excited to share with you all what phase 2 has in store.
It is my pleasure to announce that our public playtest for the D&D Next project will commence on May 24th. The playtest is the single most important part of the D&D Next process. D&D is a game that has spanned 38 years of gaming, spawned countless campaigns, and launched an entire gaming genre.
Personally, I can’t count how many friends I’ve made through D&D, or how many hours I’ve spent playing the game, building worlds, or just talking about it with friends. Yet while D&D is an intensely personal game, taken as a whole it cannot afford to become something beholden to one team’s vision. D&D is a tool for creativity. The game must embrace the entirety of its past, and the entirety of its fandom, in order to create a compelling future. No one voice can rise above the others, unless it is the voice of D&D fans as a whole.
The public playtest is your chance to shape the future of D&D, your opportunity to share with us your creative vision for the game. If there are creative differences between the designers and gamers, then surely the needs and vision of D&D gamers will win out. D&D Next is your game.
In the coming weeks, the Legends & Lore column will provide insight into the materials in the playtest and our plans to roll out content. The curtain is about to go up on our stage debut. On a personal level, and I think I speak for the entire D&D Next team – Bruce Cordell, Rob Schwalb, Jeremy Crawford, Rodney Thompson, Miranda Horner, and Tom LaPille – when I say that we are all excited to hear what you think about our progress. We had a great response at D&D Experience, the UK D&D Tweetup, and PAX East, but those were dress rehearsals. You can never be sure of where you stand until you have a full, live audience in front of you. Maybe you’ll cheer, or maybe you’ll engage in heated and passionate debate. In either case, we’re absolutely dedicated to making D&D Next a modular game, one rooted in the traditions of tabletop RPG play while poised to blaze a trail toward a vibrant, exciting future. In the end it is you, the audience, who will determine the future of D&D. The game is too big, and too important, to stand for anything less than that.
--Mike Mearls

Monday, April 23, 2012

New Monster - Parchment Guardian

Parchment Guardian

# Appearing: 2d4, never outside guarded area
Alignment: neutral
Movement: 120 (40)
HD: 2+1
AC: 8
Saves: F2
Morale: 12

Formed of loosely gathered scrolls, the spindles acting as the skeleton, they tumble off shelves and lunge unsteadily after intruders.

They attack by swinging jagged parchment claws twice a round doing 1d3 damage on hits.

Once they take damage they will attempt to throw themselves upon a target to tangle them up. The target must save vs breath weapon to avoid entanglement. Entangled characters may attack or move at half speed, but take 1d4 damage if they do so. It takes 2 rounds of doing nothing else to escape without taking further damage. The victim may escape in 1 round if aided by someone who also is doing nothing else.

Some wizards have been known to cast wards, glyphs, and other spells that trigger when the guardian is struck or when it throwns itself at a target.

Parchment Guardians are highly flammable. They will immediately attempt to throw themselves on a target if lit on fire, even if they already acted in the round. They take 1d3 extra damage from fire and the damage they take is also scored on any entangled character until the guardian is consumed by the flames or the character escapes.

If burning near other flammable objects the risk of other things catching fire is doubled.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Lost Baronies - another change of schedule.

I have a lot on my plate right now so I have decided to extend the hiatus until May 5th. That will effectively make it +- the one year anniversary of the campaign and will be lucky session 13!

And since we're mentioning the number 13, here's a website about the number, and HEY! they have rpg dice in their logo!

On the dungeon front, just what lies in room 13?
Well, if we're talking Tomb of Horrors it might be some treasure chests . . . maybe. Either way, it likely isn't good.

A New DM Awakens part 2

I won't post any spoilers here for the dungeon beyond the info previously given, but I will point you to a write-up over at the Geek Cave.

Meanwhile, of the 12th Earl, I have only this to leave for you . . .

It was a cunning plan Baldrick

Saturday, April 14, 2012


As one ages, worsening of eyesight is something one often notices. Little text or numbers become more difficult to read accurately. Variable lighting can play a role in how easy or difficult it is to see these details, as can color contrasts. It is with these things in mind (it is my excuse and I'm sticking to it), that I went on a dice buying splurge over the past three weeks. Here then are the results of my adventure. Behold my treasure!

First up is a 7 piece set of Chessex dice. CHX 26427, Black-Copper/wht. Gemini
 I've always had a fondness for the color of copper, and the black offsets it nicely. The bright white of the numbers makes them easy to see in normal lighting and helps somewhat mitigate dimmer light situations. This set is normal sized. This was bought at Alternate Worlds comic/game store in Timonium Maryland on a recent visit. I saw them and could not pass up the opportunity.

The following sets of dice and the dice bags were all ordered online through Gamestation. I highly recommend their service. I chose the cheapest shipping option each time and was very happily surprised to recieve my orders in just a few days when I thought it might be a week or more.

My only concern is a piddling one, and that is this - you have to double-click to back out of some pages of their site, and I find that annoying. Aside from that Gamestation is a winner when it comes to sales and customer service.

And speaking of their customer service - I made a mistake on my second order and as soon as I realized it, I emailed asking for assistance. I even offered them an out by saying if it was too much trouble to correct, not to worry about it. James jumped right on the matter without qualms and corrected my order. In fact when I opened the package I discovered that he already had the previous dice sealed up and cut the package open to swap out for the correct ones, then taped it shut. I got what I really wanted and great customer service as well. Thanks James!

Second is a 7 piece set of jumbo dice Green-White/gold. For size comparison I included the d20 from the Chessex set above so you can easily tell the difference in size.
Due to lighting variables the dull gold numbering might become an issue, but the size should compensate quite a bit. Not only will it make it easier to see what I roll, but it will hurt more when I bounce these off the skulls of unruly players!

Third up is something new. The D-Total die from Gamescience. While this one will not contribute in any positive manner to seeing the numbers, it is a novelty item for me. Larger than even the jumbo dice, it purports to allow multiple outcomes on a single roll. "Eighteen different dice in one" is a tagline for this big, but very light-weight object. I suspect you might be able to fool a chicken or goose into trying to hatch this gonzo die.
The D-Total comes with a full page of instructions for learning how to read the outcome. Some might consider this a drawback, but I was quite amused by this monster of random determination. In its own way the D-Total is a very Gygaxian artifact.

At some later point I may work up a post by using a single roll of this polyhedron to set up a random dungeon location, outcome, and treasure.

Fourth are the two 12 piece sets of Gamescience dice I willingly spent some heavy coin to purchase.

The lighter colored set in the photo that has a blueish tinge along with blue numbering is a Blue Opal/w blue 12 piece set. In normal lighting they are a greyish white color and depending on the angle viewed, will show the blue tinge. Against the whiteboard background it is easier to make that out. Despite the blue shading, the blue numbers still stand out and are quite readable.

The darker 12 piece set is not yet inked, but I have enlisted Bighara to do the inking of the numbers for me since my unsteady hands would simply have every face looking as if pigeons took a major dislike to the dice.

The color is a very deep red and white numbers will set off nicely from that background color. I expect this set when finished will be the easiest to read despite being normal sized.

Another fun fact about the darker set, they are made from recycled plastic that is left over from the casting process. I don't see anything wrong with the dice and it is nice to see that another company has realized it is possible to profit by cutting waste that might otherwise end up in a landfill.

I had forgotten how nice Gamescience dice were since my older sets are buried in boxes among stored stuff that I have not yet decided to look through. I suppose once I get new shelving and cabinets for my miniatures and books I will lose the excuse that they are too difficult to excavate from the ruin of storage.

Next up are two new dice bags. The larger one is tan with a black drawstring. This turned out to be even nicer than I had pictured it. The quality is apparent immediately. It now is holding a generous number of dice and is only about half filled. I look forward to cramming a few more sets plus odds and ends into it later.
The second is black with a red satin-like material lining it. Picture if you will Strahd's cape as a dice bag with drawstring. The picture is washed out and I attribute this to vampires disliking daylight. I will have to try taking another picture at night to see if comes out better.
So there you have it. My dice addiction laid bare before you.

Friday, April 13, 2012


Yep, I've been slacking again. That's ok though since I have a few different things of import to take care of before I can give more attention to the game stuff.

Regardless, I will be continuing the work on the Druid class soon and I am working on a new Prop Dusting post.

Anyone know where I might be able to get hold of an old card catalogue cheap? I'm looking for a decent enough one to use for storing my miniatures and labeling the drawers for easy location of what I need to kill characters with, er, I mean to run encounters with. Yeah, that's the ticket!

The weekly game continues to be interesting. We're close to wrapping up the game being run by the "first timer" DM, Shelly. Snakes, spiders, rats, for such easy beasties to beat, they sure are dangerous.

I also bought some new dice. Not as if I don't have plenty already, but I'm a gamer, we always like new dice. Got a couple new dice bags as well. This will all be discussed in more detail in upcoming posts.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

New Spell - Locate Spittle Bound

Locate Spittle Bound

Level: 1
Duration: 2d6 turns
Range: Self

This spell only has one practical purpose - to help track down someone that has breeched an agreement sealed by the spell Spittle Bond.

Upon determining that an agreement has been broken, the wizard or elf may cast this spell and for 2d6 turns will unerringly know the direction toward the other bound party. The caster may, if they choose, continue casting the spell when available, until they manage to find the violator of terms.

Spells designed to foil divinations may also prevent this spell from working.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

New Spell - Spittle Bond

Spittle Bond

Level: 1
Duration: Until commitment fulfilled (see below)
Range: Touch

The wizard and the person they are making an agreement with, spit into their palms and shake hands to seal the agreement for a service to be rendered as the spell is cast.

Should the agreement be broken, for example by one party not providing the service in the agreed manner or period of time, a bright blue mark appears in the palm of the violator. This not only shows they have broken a commitment but allows them to be easily tracked by the spell Locate Spittle Bound and makes other divinations about the breacher easier as well.

Attempts to place impossible conditions on another through use of the spell cause it to fail.