Today is the last day of our D&D 4th Edition playtest campaign. After adventuring across two Alternative Material Planes and Sigil, City of Doors, we've decided to leave the game with a bang. We've advanced our heroes from 2nd to 9th level to try out some higher level play as they liberate the ancient ziggurat of Tal-Zek from the undead menace that's occupied it.
The end of the campaign also means the end of our experiment with 4th Edition as the group voted not to convert our regular campaign to 4E. There were many reasons for the collective no vote, but in the biggest one was simply that the group felt that the changes in 4E Edition are just far too sweeping to be compatible with the spirit and style of our long-running World of Greyhawk campaign.
Shortly after graduating from college, I tried starting a gaming club in the Lehigh Valley, Pa. I was fresh off having helped create the Role-Playing Underground when I was a student at Lock Haven University, and I was desperate to get a new campaign up and running.
It failed. We had a few meetings, and I was able to find enough people to get my own campaign off the ground, but in the end I didn't understand the fundamental difference between a college game club, and a real-world one. In college, the club was about recruiting people for your game. In the real-world, it was about playing games
Quick note: for those who might have been drawn to this post by the casino going up Bethlehem, Pa., I'm talking about role-playing, card, board and war games, not gambling.
Ultimately, I was able to patch together enough players from the club and some local cons. Once I had a group of my own, the need for the club faded. So did the club.
- Star Wars: Threats of the Galaxy
- Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
- ISBN-13: 978-0786947812
- MSRP: $34.95
- Buy it from Amazon.com
Now that it looks like my gaming group's long-proposed Knights of the Old Republic campaign may actually be coming to fruition, I've been stocking up on source books.
It’s appropriate that the Pathfinder RPG Beta would be released while my gaming group’s taking a two-week break from our D&D 4th Edition playtest. During the hiatus we’re tying up some loose ends in our D&D 3.5 Dark City campaign, which is a role-playing intensive, urban campaign set in the World of Greyhawk.
High-level play within D&D 3rd Edition is hard. Whether you’re playing 3.0 or 3.5, the end result is the same: thousands of feats, hundreds of prestige classes and gods-only-know how many spells give rise to complicated game mechanics that slow play to a crawl. Iterative attacks, in which high-level martial classes like the fighter or ranger get four or five attacks every round add to the complexity as people calculate to hits and damage … and then have to do it all over again when they remember to factor in some party-buffing spell the cleric cast last round.
But is it unplayable? Or has everyone simply assumed it is?
This week's game sees us returning to our Dungeons and Dragons 3rd Edition roots after weeks of beating up 4th Edition in our Planetorn playtest campaign. The playtest's not over, just on hiatus because of real-world player obligations, and this pause is giving us a chance to go back and tie up some loose ends in our other campaigns.
After a brief respite in Sigil, where they were attacked by a cunning band of phase gnomes, last Friday's D&D 4E playtest campaign saw my gaming group venture back out into the wilds of the planescape. This time they traveled to the Dire Forest of Yalzerth, an alternative material plane in the midst of an ice age.
The session gave me the chance to work through a few points on the playtest "to do" list I outlined in my last Game Day column, namely rituals and newly revised skill challenges.
When Wizards of the Coast decided to kill the ill-fated (and ill-named) Gleemax project before it got out of alpha, a bunch of role-playing game bloggers stood up and said ... who needs Gleemax? You want a gamer community ... well we've got your community right here! Or words to that effect.
And yeah, Nuketown is there too.
One of the things I like best about the site is how it aggregates content -- it's pulls in stories into its home page and incorporates a rating mechanic as it does so. I haven't found a page that aggregates those ratings into a big list, but I imagine that's coming.
Signs & Portents #59 is out and ready for download. It features part 2 of "Breaking the Stones", a Gloranthan scenario for Runequest, a new scenario for the sci-fi RPG Traveller, some new playtest rules for Babylon 5: A Call to Arms and the second part of the "Book of the Elephant" scenario for the Conan RPG.