Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Rules, Rulings and Making S#!t Up

One the few truly awesome Basic kits
Whenever family has come together for the holidays, I've taken that opportunity to teach my four nephews D&D over the last several years. I purchased used copies of the D&D Basic Game box from 2006, bought a couple of them the Pathfinder Beginner Box as prior Christmas or Birthday gifts and this year printed out the 5th Edition D&D Basic PDF on LuLu to give to each of them.

When we are able to get together, the all enjoy playing with Uncle Owlbear as DM, but of the 4, one nephew in particular has embraced role-playing and gotten his friends involved.

What they play, however, is not D&D.  I mean, it technically is D&D as they are playing the new Basic Rules with the 6 attributes and all... and they occasionally mix in some Pathfinder-isms because they are not always clear one where the line is between the two rule sets, but it's essentially a D&D-based d20 game.

Except that it isn't.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Right IP for a D&D Movie

Zak S over and Playing D&D with Pornstars posits that WotC needs to add some new IP to its D&D stable to leverage movies. He is utterly wrong.

The Dragonlance Companions
1) It's not WotC's business role to develop IP for movies, so regardless of our desires, what he proposes is fairly unlikely to happen. It's a nice idea, but I think it's unrealistic. Hasbro probably has a corporate media office for this kind of thing.

Also Zak has defied all business logic by stating that Wizards can "afford to not make money" on D&D. Because in his fantasy world businesses don't need to make money.

2) WotC/Hasbro already has an IP it can leverage for the purpose of a movie (and it doesn't even require the D&D lawsuit to be settled, technically). 

Before you roll your eyes, I'm going to put it out there because I think it merits thoughtful discussion (No, it's not Drizzt).


No, seriously. Dragonlance has some really compelling reasons it could be shaped into an awesome movie IP. Forget the crap-tastic animated version you may already know and walk with me down this path.

Friday, December 19, 2014

D&D 5e Monster Conversion: Barghest

Noting that the Barghest was missing from the Monster Manual, I decided to try my hand at converting the d20 version.

I'm not certain about the challenge ratings. I'm going to do some more comparisons to the Monster Manual to determine. It's hard to tell how much tougher the damage resistance makes these creatures.

I tried to make the spell selection as close to the d20 version, but I think I need to add in a "Rage" equivalent because that would appear to be an important component of the tactics of the 3.x version. If you have any suggestions for the spell abilities, let me know in the comments.

Note: This version of the Barghest comes from the d20 System Reference Document with the stat block converted by the D&D 1E/3E to 5E Monster Converter by +Brent Newhall. It is presented under the terms of the OPEN GAME LICENSE Version 1.0a.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

D&D 5e: Monster Manual Quick Critiques

Let me start this article like I've started all my Quick Critiques...

I love 5th Edition. Everything about it so far has been a breath of fresh air. For me, it really has combined all of the best parts from AD&D, 3.x and 4e. It's not perfect, but in my opinion, its the best version of D&D in its 40 year lifespan.

That said, now I'm going to nit-pick the s#!t out of the Monster Manual (Buy it now!Have it in time for Christmas!) over stupid little stuff that likely doesn't matter to most people... It's just what I do, but at least I name it for what it is up front.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

D&D: Parting Shots in the Edition Wars

A couple years ago, Wizards of the Coast set out to glue back together the Humpty Dumpty that D&D had become due to "edition warring". In an effort to unite old school philosophy with modern game design, "D&D Next" was placed out into the public eye so the fans could lobby for the parts of the system they felt were important, while WotC showed what parts of the system it was lyposuctioning away in order to make a more lean, mean D&D.

There were many, many doubters who said it would never work... And many more, like myself, who thought it might work to some extent, but not so much that it would "reunite the family", so to speak. Interestingly enough, it appears Wizards of the Coast was pretty successful executing their goals.

Old schoolers are coming back. Pathfinders are coming back. Even 4e proponents have found things to like in this new edition. While we don't have sales numbers to go by, the buzz on social media has been that D&D is back, bigger and better than ever and firing on all cylinders. [As you might have noticed, I like my metaphors all mixed up into one giant gumbo.]

But that's not really what this post is about.

This post is about D&D 4th Edition.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Scott Haring Discusses Car Wars 6th Edition

In this video from Steve Jackson games, they do a 7-hour live chat about almost all of their product line, but the good stuff comes in at 6 hours and 2 minutes. Scott Haring sits down for his discussion on the Car Wars Classic reprints as well as shows off the prototypes for Car Wars Sixth Edition. He also talks about the play test and demos at Board Game Geek Con.

His discussions on the prototype and play test give a lot of insight on the direction they are going for the game design. The direction they've gone is pretty cool, and definitely takes some lessons from the design simplicity from the X-Wing game.

Watch below (skip to 6:02:00) or jump over to YouTube to link directly to the minute.  Embed video after the break.

Other Owlbear musings