Tuesday, September 18, 2012

An Update

I'd like to apologize for getting behind, last week we discovered our store had an internal problem we are in the process of solving and I'm prepping to set up at the Cincinnati Comics Expo this weekend and then I'll move into the Return to Ravnica Magic Prerelease and Launch the following 2 weeks.

Hopefully, I'll still manage to get some updates soon.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Genre Favorites Blogfest




My Favorite Genre of Film: Action Movies



My Favorite Genre of Music: Rock






My Favorite Genre of Book: Horror


My Guilty Pleasure Genre of Book: Superheroes



Thursday, September 13, 2012

13th Age Escalation Edition V4 is Now Available!

Fire Opal Media and Pelgrane Press have made the 4th Escalation Edition available and even included the 1st Chapter fully laid out.  As much I've been enjoying this game since July, it just keeps getting better and better.

Preorder it today!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

14 by Peter Clines

I'm not a voracious reader these days, but around halloween I also tend to pick up book at least bordering on horror.  I scanned some stuff on Amazon and ended up reading a sample of 14 and Return of the Sorcerer by Clark Ashton Smith.  While I intend to pick up Return of the Sorcerer (I'm a huge Cthulhu Mythos fan, my favorite author tends to be Brian Lumley), 14 really grabbed me.

I'd say it's more High Weirdness with some overlapping into the Mythos.

I really am enjoying the book, but it's interesting because while the mystery is unraveling, not much has happened.  However, Mr. Clines is a good enough author to keep me moving through the story, however it turns out.

Apparently Peter has also written two novels set in a super hero universe taken over by zombies, so I'll give Ex-Heroes, the first in the series a try when I'm done here.

By the way, I don't really see the "in the style of LOST" bit.  I like Lost and I like 14, but don't really get that vibe.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Masters of the Universe Monday: Clawful




Clawful's real name is pronounced through a series of claw clicks. He is a member of the Karikoni, an Eternian race of crustacean warriors, “Clawful” as he was known outside of Orkas Island, became a core member of Skeletor’s Evil Warriors after he saved Beast Man’s life from a Seclapoid attack. Clawful’s hard shell protects him from both extreme heat and cold. Under a spell cast by Evil Lyn, Clawful’s dull wits were enhanced, turning him into a keen warrior and strategist. He fought alongside Skeletor, leading a battalion of Skeleton Warriors during the Second Ultimate Battle Ground. Clawful uses his dreadful claw to work his evil will!

Clawful
Medium Humanoid (Karikoni) 
Armor Class 16
Hit Points 38 (5d8+10)
Speed 40 ft.

Str
 17 (+3)       Int 15 (+2)
Dex 11 (+0)     Wis 13 (+1)     
Con 15 (+2)     Cha 10 (+0)

Alignment
 Chaotic Evil
Languages Common, Karikon

TRAITS 
Resistance to Fire and Cold.
Waterbreathing.

ACTIONS 
Melee Attack—Claw: +3 to hit (reach 5 ft.; one creature)
Hit: 1d12+3 piercing damage.

Multiattack: Clawful makes two attacks.

ENCOUNTER BUILDING 
Level 3 elite                        XP 500


Whats Your Chocolate Blogfest?

My chocolate is Dark Chocolate Opera Creams.

Since I was 13 or so, my parents would by me some at Christmas as a present.  As much as I love eating them, I will make them last for days and days, eating them almost on a secret schedule in my own skull.  I even hid them, like a treasure trove.

I was probably 27 before I realized I could buy them year round, but I still try to only to eat them during the holidays.  I just doesn't feel right, otherwise.

Even now, after I'm married and out of the house, my parents still buy them for me.  My wonderful wife even told her parents to join in.

I think their association with family and Christmas are nearly as strong as the delicious delights I get from feasting on them.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

13 True Ways Kickstarter for 13th Age.

I know I've been focused on the current playtest of DnD Next, but I'm still very enamored with 13th Age.  Fire Opal has a Kickstarter for their first sourcebook, 13 True Ways.  It will include the Monk, Druid and Chaos Shaman and if they hit their 1st stretch goal of $37,500 they'll include the Necromancer.

Let's help them over the hump!

You won't regret it.

Friday, September 7, 2012

D&D Next: Brother of Bone


Brother of Bones
Medium Humanoid
Armor Class 15 (Bone Scale)
Hit Points 10 (1d8+2)
Speed 40 ft.

Str
 16 (+3)       
Int 10 (+0)
Dex 11 (+0)     Wis 9 (-1)     
Con 14 (+2)     Cha 11 (+0)

Alignment
 chaotic evil
Languages Common, Abyssal

TRAITS 
Improved Critical 1: A Brother of Bone scores a critical hit with a natural melee attack roll of 19 or 20.

ACTIONS 
Melee Attack—Greatclub: +3 to hit (reach 5ft; one creature)
Hit: 1d8+3 bashing damage.

ENCOUNTER BUILDING 
Level 1                         XP 120

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Man-E-Faces for Labyrinth Lord



Man-E-Faces

No. Enco.: 1
Movement: 60''  

Armor Class: 7 (13)

Hit Dice: 3

Attacks: Blaster or Claws

Damage: 1d4+2 or 1d6+2

Special:  As Monster gains Claws.  As Robot gains +2 to all Saves.

Save: F3

Morale: 100

Alignment: L

X.P. Value: 300

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Ironcloaks: Rumors of Jarlsburg [UPDATED]


Inspired by Jeff's Gameblog, below are rumors circulating around the city of Jarlsburg, the setting for my upcoming open table DnD Next Demo game, Ironcloaks.  Fair warning: Some of these may be true.

Roll a d20 or pick one:

1) Stanis Krauss has eliminated three different opponents who've run against him for mayor.

2) The Wight of Elder haunts the burough of the same name.  Those living in Elder, nail giant slugs  to their doors during the last night of the full moon to ward off the evil spirit.  

3) A witch woman in Coppertown steals young girls from their families.

4) The Black Dogg was shut down because the owner, Wil Veris, his family, staff and 11 patrons were all murdered by something in the sewers.

5) There are exactly 13 Silvercloaks patrolling the city.  No more, no less.

6) Deep below the Plaza of Remembrance lies a shameful secret that drove the dwarves to hand the city over to Council of Oleander.

7) A shop on Tanner Street pays 2 silver a pound for human skin.

8) There have been numerous reports of stillbirths amongst the citizens and animals within the city.  Many fear the Antiquarian has finally returned.

9) A gateway to hell lies under the Bridge of Night in Jubilee Park.

10) The pigeons of the city are spies for Lady Jesska Apple, Minister of the South.

11) Prime Minister Beladonna Malifaux uses the ghost of her grandmother, Antiope, to blackmail her enemies.

12) Lady Brianna Galley, Minister of the West, disposes of her enemies by using them as ingredients in dishes served at her son's restaurant, the Gilded Lily.  Don't eat the special.  Ever.

13) Old Minister Callahan's Statue in Crumb, weeps blood on the third Wednesday of the month.

14) The Witengamot has begun sewing dissent within the city.

15) The Council of Oleander has a sixth and secret Ministry of the Underworld.

16) A white dragon on High Street weaves the namesakes for the city's Silvercloaks and Ironcloaks.

17) Lord Karol Sonar, Minister of the East, was turned into a raven after losing a bet to Boccob.

18) Lord Donal Steuben, Minister of the North, has been urging the other Ministers to declare war on the Rurik Empire.

19) Students at Essex College are performing the King in Yellow for Mirren, the longest day of the year.

20) Someone tried to murder Adder Vitriol at Shemmy's Social Club.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

D&D Next: Pactbound Eladrin Invoker Part 3




Pactbound Eladrin Invoker  
Medium Humanoid (Eladrin) 
Armor Class 12
Hit Points 15 (2d8+1)
Speed 40 ft.
Senses Darkvision 60 ft.

Str
 9 (-1)       Int 16 (+3)
Dex 14 (+2)     Wis 13 (+1)     
Con 13 (+1)     Cha 9 (-1)

Alignment
 chaotic evil
Languages Any

TRAITS 
Immunity: Electricity damage and petrification.
Resistance: Cold and fire damage.

ACTIONS 
Magical Attack—Eldritch Blast: +2 to hit (range 50 ft.; one creature)
Hit: 3d6 force damage.

Warlock Invocations
Baleful Utterance:  Each creature in a 15-foot cone originating from the invoker must make a Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, a creature takes 2d6 thunder damage and is deafened until the end of your next turn. On a successful save, a creature takes half as much damage and is not deafened. Unattended objects in the cone take maximum damage. This invocation creates a thunderous boom that is audible to all creatures within 100 feet of the invoker, regardless of any intervening material, terrain, or other objects.

Etheral Stride: The invoker becomes ethereal until the end of their next turn.

Visage of  the Demon Mother:   Each non-eladrin creature within 20 feet of the invoker must make a

Wisdom saving throw. If a creature fails, it is frightened of the invoker for 1 minute or until the invoker or any of it's companions harms it.  A creature that succeeds on its save cannot be affected again by this invocation for 24 hours. 


ENCOUNTER BUILDING 
Level 2                      XP 210

Monday, September 3, 2012

Masters of the Universe Monday: Man-E-Faces



Perhaps the greatest actor on Eternia, Perkaedo, the Master of Disguise, performed before King Randor and Queen Marlena at Prince Adam’s 18th birthday celebration. It was here that he drank a magic potion created by Skeletor, that transformed him into a terrible monster with great strength loyal only to evil. With the help of He-Man and the Sorceress, Perkaedo was cured from this transformation, but the process left him forever split between not just two but three personalities. He now uses his powers to protect justice in his greatest role; as Man-E-Faces, the man who is three warriors in one - fighting as a human, robot or monster!
Man-E-Faces
Medium Humanoid (Human) 
Armor Class 14
Hit Points 40 (5d8)
Speed 40 ft.

Str
 12 (+1)       Int 14 (+2)
Dex 14 (+3)     Wis 15 (+2)     
Con 11 (+0)     Cha 116 (+3)

Alignment
 Lawful Good as Human, Neutral Good as Robot, Chaotic Good as Monster
Languages Common

TRAITS 
Monster: As a standared action, Man-E-Faces can switch to his Monster face and gains +1 to all attacks and +2 to damage.

Robot:  As a standared action, Man-E-Faces can switch to his Robot face and gains advantage on all saving throws, Intelligence, and Wisdom checks.

ACTIONS 
Melee Attack—Claws (Monster Only): +2 to hit (reach 5 ft.; one creature)
Hit: 1d8+3 piercing damage.

Ranged Attack—Blaster (Human or Robot only): +3 to hit (range 100/400; one creature)
Hit: 1d10+3 radiant damage.

Multiattack: Man-E-Faces makes two attacks.

ENCOUNTER BUILDING 
Level 3 elite                        XP 500

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Pax Prime Future of D&D Rundown


From the Future of D&D seminar at Pax Prime:

Next playtest packet will be released in October.  It will go to Level 10 & have Magic Items and more Monsters.

4 Core classes will be heavily customizable and other classes will be more "story-based" and emphasize the organization they belong to.

There will be an Arcane bloodline Sorcerer, to give the option of a spell point Wizard.

There are looking at specialist Wizards, instead of barring schools, being able to retain or regains spell slots that used their specialty school.

Epic play will be treated less as an extension of Level 1-10 and more of transformation of the game.  They do mention founding kingdoms as a possibility.

Only the 4 basic races and classes are assumed to be in all DnD Settings.  Everything else is optional for the DM.

The intention is to support a number of different settings in the core books.  An example given was a sidebar in the Minotaur monster entry, explaining that they are playable race in the Dragonlance setting and stats for using them as PC's.  Obviously, then the DM could decide to use them in their setting too.

Mutliclassing will be similar to 3E, but there will be special multi-class versions of each class.  That way you'll "ramp up" to the full version of a class.  In fact, a special multi-class table will be available for each class that shows what you get at each level.  Unfortunately, we won't see any multi-class rules for several playtest packets.

Some prestige classes will have multiclass versions.

City of Heroes is no more...

City of Heroes was my introduction to MMORPGs.  I allowed it to eat my life for about 2 years.  The first 2 years of my youngest daughter's life, in fact.

I took time off, briefly, for the launch of WoW.  But all of my friends were still playing CoH, so of course, I went back.

I bought a new PC to run it, after one of it's "updates" and a memory leak issue they couldn't seem to fix.

I waited for City of Villains with baited breath.  I even managed to ignore the "more of the same" for a few weeks.

Our gaming sessions, inevitably, had lots of CoH talk.  I even tried playing my "main", Dr. Halflight in our Champions game.  In fact, I got us access to the CoH Playtest from Eden.

I let it eat my life.

And then I realized that, unlike most of my friends who were playing, I had a family and I simply could not  devote the time they did.  And more importantly, I realized it wasn't fun and hadn't been fun in months.  It was a job, and a bad job, at that.

It was a grind.  And it had always been a grind.

I walked away.

I went back a few times, but it never seemed to innovate any further.  And I never stayed.

And now its heading into the sunset.

Unfortunately, I can't say that I'll miss it.  Aside from my poor decisions, the Cryptic Development Team never let the game live up to it's potential.   Even if WoW hadn't launched 8 or 9 months into CoH's life, I don't think it's fate would have been different.

I think it's a real commentary on City of Heroes problems, that their website still calls it the "World's Most Popular Superpowered MMO".  Even with it's looming sunset.  Even with its severs getting ready to shutdown.


Goodbye City of Heroes, I won't miss you.  Your a sad example of the potential of your industry and how mismanagement can squander every single drop of that potential.

D&D: November's Unearthed Arcana

This month's Unearthed Arcana for DnD 5E just went live. It features 4 Elven sub-races which includes Grugach from Greyhawk and Shad...