Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2012

Only 4 hours left on the Reaper Kickstarter!

It's over $3,000,000.00 now, wow! What the hell am I going to do with all these minis? I don't know, but it will be glorious. Hurry up and get in on the greatest gaming deal of the century!

Basic D&D's B2 vs. D&D Next's B2

One of the heartening and surprising things to me about D&D Next is how very close the playtest version of its Caves of Chaos holds to the original in The Keep on the Borderlands. I've been doing some detailed comparisons between the two and they are almost identical.  Treasure is lower across the board, which is a good thing in my opinion, but the monsters and their numbers are virtually the same.  Take a look for yourself at one of the areas:


B. Orc Lair

Basic - 1 orc
D&D 5e - 1 orc

Basic - 4 orcs, 16gp
D&D 5e - 4 orcs, 8gp

Basic - 4 orcs, 16gp
D&D 5e - 4 orcs, 8gp


Basic - 30 orcs, 14gp
D&D 5e - 30 orcs, 9gp


Basic - orc leader and 2 orcs, 994 gp, +1 shield, potion of healing, fireball scroll
D&D 5e - orc leader and 2 orcs, 140 gp, +1 shield, healing potion

Total Treasure-
Basic - 1040 gp, +1 shield, potion of healing, fireball scroll
D&D 5e - 165 gp, +1 shield, potion of healing

Overall, I really like …

Group Stat Rolling

I ran the numbers on a lot of different stat rolling methods a few months ago but since then I've thought of a new way that should be very balanced and involve the whole group.  Everyone roll up 6 stats (using your preferred method) and combine all the rolls in one list.   Example-

player 1 rolls- 12 15 16 14 13 11
player 2 rolls- 17 14 14 9 14 15
player 3 rolls- 12 14 9 13 18 14
player 4 rolls- 15 8 8 11 6 11

12 15 16 14 13 11 17 14 14 9 14 15 12 14 9 13 18 14 15 8 8 11 6 11

Now players take turns selecting the stats for their pc from the list.  Who goes first?  Roll init for it or go with whoever had the highest stat roll.  In this case, player 3 goes first because he rolled an 18.  Now the trick to this is that the stats picked have to be in order and the same exact 6 numbers can't be picked twice.  So considering everyone wants that juicy 18, they might pick stats like this-

player 1 picks- 18 14 15 8 8 11 fighter
player 2 picks- 13 18 14 15 8 8 rogue
player 3 picks-…

System neutral D&D products I'd like to see

In the run up to D&D 5th edition (or whatever they decide to call it), WotC will undoubtedly publish some system neutral products that they can try to make money with as 4e winds down. They've already announced a book of Ed Greenwood's original campaign notes for the Forgotten Realms which should be systemless. Here's some other similar products I'd like to see them come out with.

The Grand History of Greyhawk - just like the book they did for FR.  It would be a detailed timeline of Greyhawk's past together with designer notes and art from past products. The Greyhawk Atlas - again copying from a FR product.  A detailed atlas of the lands of Greyhawk with high quality, very detailed maps.Hey, why they're at it, just republish the FR history and atlas books too. Dungeon Mastering Wisdom - a collection of the very best articles on dungeon mastering from the entire run of Dragon magazine. If it's too much for one book, break it into several - Handling Play…

Answering the GM Questionnaire

Here's my answers to Zak's GM Questionnaire.

1. If you had to pick a single invention in a game you were most proud of what would it be?

It would have to my WFRP combat system hack. It worked wonderfully in play.

2. When was the last time you GMed?

ummm... almost a year now. And that's been about the only time I've run a game in the past couple of years. I guess that explains my lack of posting lately. I've been spoiled by being in a group with multiple gm's and have wasted a lot of time waffling between different systems. Sigh...

3. When was the last time you played?

A couple of weeks ago I played in a PathFinder Basic game. My group usually plays weekly.

4. Give us a one-sentence pitch for an adventure you haven't run but would like to.

Space Hulk the rpg.

5. What do you do while you wait for players to do things?

I usually go over my notes or reread what's coming next.

6. What, if anything, do you eat while you play?

We play in a game store that ha…

The model for D&D 5e?

Is 2nd edition AD&D the model for the upcoming 5th edition? Over the past year, Monte Cook and Mike Mearls have both voiced a strong desire to make D&D into a modular design that individual DM's could use to better create the game that they want to run. The previous edition that comes closest to this ideal is 2nd and probably not coincidentally, Monte Cook and Bruce Cordell were both developers at TSR during the days of 2nd.

Why is 2nd edition the most modular of the editions? Just look at the core rules. They are loaded with side bars with optional rules for damn near everything. Every class outside the main four are optional. There are six different ways to roll stats. Three different ways to do initiative. Two different ways to do critical hits (and those are optional as well). Options were everywhere and allowed dm's to run fairly different games of D&D right from the beginning.

Now look at the slew of optional rule books that came out for 2nd. Yeah, …