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"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition

Harrowing Halls: Taking Dungeon Tiles to the 3rd Dimension

by Ken Newquist / August 31, 2010

 Harrowing HallsHarrowing Halls is a Dungeon Tiles set for Dungeons & Dragons that takes the long-running line to new heights. That's because they're not just dungeon tiles ... they're three dimensional dungeon tiles that can be used to build a staircase, raised platforms, tables, and pedastals, all of which player characters can jump on, leap off of and generally use to their advantage.

It makes a big difference on many fronts, starting with prep time. I got a review copy of Harrowing Halls a few months ago, but since I run a weekly Star Wars game I haven't had much call for a rustic hall/dungeon. That changed when I decided to run an epic showdown with a Jedi master in a temple on a stormwracked backwater world.

Looking for Dark Sun web sites

by Ken Newquist / April 29, 2010

Dark Sun, the grim, post-apocalyptic fantasy setting for Dungeons & Dragons is re-launching this summer for D&D 4E. In honor of that, I'm writing my next "Summon WebScryer" column for Knights of the Dinner Table about Dark Sun ... but I need your help.

I need web sites dedicated to the setting. I've found a bunch, but I'd like more, particularly ones dealing with the intersections of D&D 4E, psionics and Dark Sun. Old school D&D sites are also welcome of course, but obviously 4E ones are a bit more timely.

RPG Review Roundup: Asus Tablet PC, Astral Sea, Kingmaker, Droid Scavenging

by Ken Newquist / April 22, 2010

The first iPad showed up at my gaming table two weeks ago, and I have to say -- it was pretty damn cool. It's got a bright, clean screen, and while my friend didn't have a native PDF viewer on the device, I can definitely see the potential there. Comic books looked beautiful, and surfing with it was a breeze. That said, not everyone's sold on the iPad, and I haven't seen any reviews of it up on RPG blogs -- if you've done one, please let me now in the comments.

That said, there are other tablet computers out there, and Chaos Crenade looks at one with A Tabletop Gamer Look: ASUS T91 Tablet PC. It's a netbook-style computer running Windows XP, and the reviewer takes a look at how well common RPG tooks like the D&D Character Builder and Hero Lab work on the device.

Wizards of the Coast has been busy with D&D 4E since the last time I did a reviews round up. The first of the big 2010 releases is Player's Handbook 3, which includes the bedrock psionics character classes needed to power the Dark Sun Campaign Setting being released in August. Critical Hits reviewed the book and liked what they saw. This lengthy review offers an overview (and thoughts on) all of the new races, classes and skill powers.

Explore Your Draconic Side with PHB Races: Dragonborn

by hardcorhobbs / April 5, 2010

 The DragonbornFor decades Dungeons & Dragons players have wanted the ability to play as a dragon. Any DM worth his screen knew that it was a bad idea to give a player that kind of power. Dragons were monsters after all. So other alternatives were created. The half-dragon, the dragon blooded, even the sorcerer class was set up so you could tie yourself to a draconic ancestor. So when 4th edition rolled around the developers decided to make a draconic race. What they came up with was the Dragonborn.

Embrace Nature with D&D 4E's Primal Power

by Jonkga / January 26, 2010

WotC’s supplement,Primal Power: Options for Barbarians, Druids, Shamans, and Wardens  presents expanded choices for each of the classes that draw power from the Primal Power Source.

It offers new possibilities for these classes in the same way that the books Divine Power, Arcane Power, andMartial Powerdid for their respective classes.

Elemental Chaos awaits in D&D 4E's The Plane Below

by Ken Newquist / January 25, 2010

When I ran my 4E D&D playtest campaign, I decided to make it larger than life. That meant going planer. The churning unpredictability of the planes, the potential for exotic locations, the alienness of its inhabitants calls to my imagination. The Plane Below: Secrets of the Elemental Chaos, which details 4E's churning elemental wastes, is just my cup of tea. Or it would be if it had retained more of the 3E cosmology. As is it's more like a cup of chia; worth a sip, but not as satisfying as I'd hoped.

Arthur Dent beverage metaphors aside, The Plane Below is a 159-page source book that builds on the foundation laid down by last year's The Manual of the Planes. The Elemental Chaos is 4th Edition's catch-all planar setting for D&D's traditional elemental planes, as well as the Nine Hells, the Abyss, and the rest of the rest of the D&D cosmology that isn't the Astral Plane or Ravenloft.

Return to print with the Dragon Magazine Annual

by Ken Newquist / January 12, 2010

I’m one of those who loves the printed word. PDFs are handy, but when it comes right down serious reading, I want my books and magaines culled from dead trees.  As such, I was happy to see a review copy of Dragon Magazine Annual.

Although my D&D 4E playtest campaign has long since given way to an ongoing Star Wars game, I like to dabble in 4E. Not enough, however, to warrant getting a regular D&D Insider subscription, although I’ll happily admit that if they were still publishing Dragon and Dungeon in print, I’d still be a subscriber.

The Annual is for gamers like me, gamers who might read the occasional free article on Insider, but have been content to live offline for the most part. It also serves as a “best of” compilation, gathering together the most memorable and useful articles from the last year’s worth of articles.

D&D 4th Edition: A Player’s Perspective

by Ken Newquist / December 28, 2009

In November I had the chance to do something I’ve never done before: play Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition. Technically that’s not true – I’ve played D&D 4E plenty of times as a Dungeon Master, including my gaming group’s playtest campaign. But I’ve never sat at the table as a D&D 4E player.

D&D 4th Edition: Quilleron, Oathsworn Avenger

by Ken Newquist / December 28, 2009

Quilleron is my second-ever character for D&D 4E (Field General Zhoran, a dwarven warlord, was my first) and the first I was able to run as a player. He was designed as a giant-killer for my gaming group's Revenge of the Giants campaign. You can read more about my thoughts on returning to D&D 4E in "D&D 4th Edition: A Player's Persepctive".

The Tome Podcast #121: Revenge of the Giants reviewed

by Ken Newquist / December 23, 2009

Cover: Against the Giants

My gaming group recently returned to D&D 4th Edition with a megashot of the Revenge of the Giants supermodule. I talk about our experiences with Wizards of the Coast's homage to the original 1st Edition Against the Giants tournament modules on Episode #121 of The Tome Podcast.

I'm joined by Quinn Murphy of the excellent At Will 4E blog and regular Tome host Jeff Greiner. Check out the podcast.