Beginning with D&D Encounters season 17 Wizards of the Coast is taking the program digital. The adventure Scourge of the Sword Coast will only be available from dndclassics.com as a digital download. No word yet on how much it will cost.
It also sounds like this adventure will only support D&D Next rules. As of yesterday (December 15) the D&D Next rules are no longer available as a free download from Wizards of the Coast. But don’t worry; they will be available at dndclassics.com for digital download as well! And no word on how much they will cost either.
So beginning in February DMs will have to shell out for the adventure (in digital format) and for the rules (also in digital format). If DMs want hard copies it will be up to them to print off of the materials at their own expense.
When it comes to fantasy role-playing there are a lot of things you have to just accept in order for the game to function. Magic exists. Dragons exist. Elves exist. I have no problems with any of these things. They may be fantastic but they’re familiar and acceptable. But when it comes to the amount of gear a typical adventurer can carry in his backpack many players believe that anything goes. This is not a fantasy that I’m willing to accept. There needs to be some common sense applied some of the time to D&D and for me the buck stops with your backpack.
The way I see it there are two real issues when it comes to the reality of your backpack: 1) How much can it hold, and 2) How easily you can grab something out of that backpack in the heat of combat. I have had way too many players push the boundaries of what is actually possible in both cases that I’ve had to introduce a house rule when it comes to equipment the first thing that goes into any character’s backpack is a healthy does of reality.
This month Game Knight Reviews wants to know “What’s in *your* backpack?” as part of the August RPG Blog Carnival. I expect we’ll see a lot of posts where people list off their favourite must-have items. Here at Dungeon’s Master we’ve decided to approach the discussion from a slightly different angle.
During the last session the PCs battled the Bear Tribe warriors at the Evermelt oasis atop a glacier, but they didn’t find the captives they’d come to rescue. When we began this week’s session they interrogated the prisoners who told them to jump in the pool. The Assassin took the advice literally, dove into the hot spring head first, and disappeared!
At Harry T North in Toronto our numbers are holding steady around 20 players. We had three new players this week, but had a few regulars out with illness and work commitments. The other DMs ran D&D Next tables with four, five and eight players. At my 4e table we ran with four again as we seem to keep rotating who’s in and who’s out.
Present this week was the Revenant (Eladrin) Assassin, Gnoll Barbarian, Tiefling Paladin, and Dragonborn Cavalier. The Halfling Rogue stayed with the Elk Tribe warriors and guarded the captive Bear Tribe warriors. Fortunately Hengar joined the PCs just in case they needed additional help.
On Friday we comb through our extensive archives to find an older article that we feel deserves another look. From November 2, 2012, Dungeon’s Master once again presents: 7 Great Post-Apocalypse Books.
What does a nuclear war, a plague, zombies, and robots all have in common? They could all lead to the apocalypse and bring about the end of the world. In fact some of the best works of fiction are part of the sub-genre the deals with the aftermath of a disaster that nearly wipes out the human population. In each of these tales the apocalypse serves as the back-drop for a survival story. The best stories don’t spend too much time focusing on the cause of the disaster and instead explain who survived and how they survived. In each story unlikely heroes emerge and try to put back the pieces of the shattered world that they once knew. I always find it fascinating to discover that it’s usually a combination of luck and preparation that keep people alive when the world comes to an end.
With the recent success of NBC’s new show Revolution (Wikipedia | NBC.com), the post-apocalyptic survival genre is reaching a wider and more main stream audience. So for everyone who enjoy Revolution and is looking for more of the same we’ve got plenty of good recommendations for you. At first glance it may not seem like these books could all possibly share anything in common, but in each case the world ends and a select few are left to pick up the pieces.
Post-apocalyptic survival stories are defiantly one of my favourite genres. Any time I hear about a new story in this vein I immediately check it out. More and more of these stories are becoming movies, but in some cases the transition is an apocalypse in and of itself (The Postman, we’re looking at you!). So do yourself a favour and pick up some (or all) of these books before they’re stripped down and streamlined for the big screen.
These are definitely (in my opinion) the best examples of the post-apocalyptic survival genre. This is certainly not an exhaustive list but these are the ones that are most likely to get new readers hooked on the genre. If you’ve got any recommendations of your own please leave them in the comments below.
After spending two days in Bryn Shander during the last session, the PCs decided it was time to leave the largest of the Ten Towns. They’d saved the Barbarian Hengar Aesnvaard from a painful death by exposure to the elements and saw that he was set free. Hengar requested the PCs accompany him back to where the Tribe of the Elk was camped and help his people face the great evil that has best upon them. They agreed.
The party and Hengar left Bryn Shander with Hilda Silverstream, the Dwarven merchant bound for the Dwarven Valley. The PCs agreed to act as guards for Hilda’s caravan and accompany her home before continuing northward with Hengar. Surely nothing bad would happen along the way.
We continue to have enough people to run four tables at Harry T North in Toronto. Unfortunately we were down a DM this week due to illness. However, we did manage to notify her players so they didn’t show up for nothing this week. The two other DMs running the level 1 D&D Next tables were present; one ran a table of six and the other a table of five. At my table I continue running 4e D&D with a level 3 party.
The party consisted of a Revenant (Eladrin) Assassin, Tiefling Paladin, Dragonborn Cavalier, and Halfling Rogue. The party’s Gnoll Barbarian was absent as the ill DM was his ride. One of the players from the table that wasn’t running decided to join our group for the night and even had a level-appropriate PC. So for one week only a Githzerai Swordmage/Artificer accompanied the PCs across the Icewind Dale.
On Friday we comb through our extensive archives to find an older article that we feel deserves another look. From January 18, 2011, Dungeon’s Master once again presents: Adventure Hooks – Campaigns in the Cold.
This summer we ran a series of adventure hooks that featured numerous bizarre and strange happenings that occurred in the Sun & Moon Tavern (part 1| part 2). These articles have been incredibly popular and continue to be among our most widely read pages from the past six months. It seems pretty clear to us that our readers want more short, quick adventure hooks.
One of the reasons the Adventure Hooks from the Sun & Moon Tavern were so popular was that they all centered around one common location. It made coming up with the adventure hooks easier for me as the DM, but I think it also made them more appealing for readers.
Before I sat down to brainstorm more adventure hooks I wanted to come up with a theme to tie them all together. The answer was as simple as looking out my front door. I decided to put together adventure hooks that all took place in a snowy environment.
This was the official start to D&D Encounters season 16. Last week we played the launch weekend adventure which set the stage for this season, but this week we got into the guts of it. We picked things up seconds after the battle at the gates of Bryn Shander ended. The PCs patched their wounds and took in their surroundings, surveying the damage and trying to get a sense of what would happen next.
This week at Harry T North in Toronto we had another big turnout. We’re running four tables this season and I think that may not be enough. Three tables are running D&D Next, while I’m running a 4e table. A handful of our regular players were absent due to illness, but we filled their seats with two brand new players. The D&D Next groups had six, six, and five players while at my 4e table we ran with four.
My party consisted of the following level 3 PCs: Revenant (Eladrin) Assassin, Dragonborn Cavalier, Tiefling Paladin, and Gnoll Barbarian. Our Halfling Rogue was ill.
It’s fair to say the Dungeon’s Master is one of the most vocal supporters of the D&D Encounters public play program. We’ve shared our weekly gaming experiences every week since the program began and we have an abundance of resources available to support your gaming experience.
A few seasons back we began doing a weekly podcast called Recounting Encounters in which three DMs talked about their personal experiences at the gaming table that week. One thing we often talk about during our show is what we’d do differently if we had a chance to run it again. We realized that this feedback would be a lot more helpful to DMs if they heard it BEFORE they played the session. So we’ve decided to make Recounting Encounters available one day earlier.
On Friday we comb through our extensive archives to find an older article that we feel deserves another look. From December 7, 2011, Dungeon’s Master once again presents: No New Magic Items.
What if it was no longer possible to make new magical items? We don’t often focus on the magic item creation side of the game; we just assume that somewhere in the background new items are being created. When your PC needs new magical items he can usually got to “Ye Olde Magic Shoppe” and purchase what he needs. But if the supply of new items stopped how would the economy of D&D change and what would that mean for your campaign?
How things play out really depends on whether or not you’re introducing this idea to an existing campaign world where magic used to be plentiful and is about to dry up, or if you’re establishing this as the norm for a brand new setting. If the PCs and other inhabitants of the world don’t know any differently then this is just going to mean a shift in the way your players think about acquiring items. If items have always been rare then the world’s mentality should reflect this. The idea of a party walking around and each PC having 10 or more magic items would be absurd. But if this is a sudden change then the only way to acquire new magical items is to find them in a treasure horde or take them from someone else. Both situations present interesting challenges and both could make for a very interesting long-term campaign.
This week we began D&D Encounters season 16. The Legacy of the Crystal Shard is the second of five adventures that ties in to The Sundering, an ongoing tale that will reshape the Forgotten Realms and whose conclusion will coincide with the official launch of D&D Next (or whatever Wizards will be calling it by this time next year).
Much like Murder in Baldur’s Gate, this season’s adventure began with a launch weekend adventure. And much like last season’s introduction the launch weekend was really just an expanded and more detailed version of the events printed in the actual adventure. Knowing this, we decided not to run launch weekend on the weekend, but instead used it as our opening night adventure during week 0.
It seems a bit silly to me that Wizards scheduled the launch weekend adventure to run before the character creation session for the second season in a row. Fortunately we finished season 15 a week early and held a character creations session last week.