Friday, May 30, 2014

How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Owlbear

When I first started playing AD&D, I hated most of the iconic monsters, especially the Owlbear... and I largely blame David Sutherland.

A face only a mother Owlbear could love
Some of you may know that David "DCS" Sutherland (along with David Trampier) had his hands deep in the AD&D artwork within the Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide and especially the Monster Manual.

It's not the Sutherland was a bad artist -- he had some awesome work on those books. But, there were also illustrations that were decidedly... not awesome.  Next to the Beholder*, the artwork for the Owlbear was one of the worst.

* The Beholder illustration was actually not a "DCS" piece... but it was still awful.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Basic D&D is a game changer.

Wow... so Wizards dropped a bomb on the interwebs this morning and it should really change the conversation of the D&D haters (or perhaps not... Haters gonna hate.) D&D will be free (as in beer).

D&D Basic is a game changer. Both metaphorically and literally.

Friday, May 23, 2014

D&D Starter Set Fiasco

EDIT 05/27: This post was originally posted prior to the D&D Basic announcement. Some of the commentary loses strength based on this new revelation. However, some of my critique becomes even stronger in the face of this new knowledge (such as the lack of map and tokens). Let me know what you think in the comments.

I was having some Google+ conversations about the D&D Starter Set and thought I'd expand my thoughts here. I have concerns that Wizards of the Coast has not put enough content into their starter box to create even a reasonably good product. "Fiasco" may be a strong description, but it probably caught your eye.

On Starter Sets

What are the goals of a Starter Set?

Looking at the business goals, one would want to provide a low barrier-to-entry way for new players to get hooked on your product. This in turn grows the player base and creates new revenue from the sales of players "upgrading" to the larger product line.

In order to do this though, I also believe that there are game related goals (non-revenue related) a Starter Set has to attain in order to do the best job possible at achieving the business goals.

What I consider required for a starter set:

Thursday, May 22, 2014

D&D 5e: Hopes and Aspirations

Despite my earlier misgivings about D&D's new artwork, I'm actually quite excited about the new rule system. My hope is that the "5th edition" will bring back speedy character creation, quick and easy prep time for the GM and fast combat. Honestly, I would sacrifice prep time and character creation time for fast combat.

Based on my experience with the play test, here are some items that I hope make the cut in the core books:

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

New D&D Cover Artwork

So the interwebs are abuzz today.

The publish dates for the new D&D books were released this week. Today, higher resolution versions of the cover art for the core books are making their rounds.

First impressions... Mixed at best.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Welcome to Raging Owlbear

Welcome to Raging Owlbear, my new blog about D&D and other general RPG topics. Hoping to find time to start publishing on a regular basis soon...

...which won't be easy because I have two newborn twins and a 3 year old toddler. Wish me luck!

Bath time in the Walser household

Other Owlbear musings