Rather than just complain about how difficult high level combat is in D&D 3.5, my gaming group's decided to do something about it. We've created a playtest group who's willing to put in the extra effort it takes to play a high level game ... and to figure out what, if anything, we can do to make the process work better.
- Freedom City Atlas: Pyramid Plaza
- Green Ronin
- 10 pages
- $4.95 (PDF)
- Buy it at RPGNow.com
Superheroes need tall buildings to leap in a single bound ... not to mention needing them to serve as backdrops for battles, penthouse homes for their mild-mannered millionaire personas, and possibly even secret lairs.
Freedom City's Pyramid Plaza offers almost all this, and its entry in the Freedom City Atlas provides everything GMs need to incorporate it into their Mutants & Masterminds games.
We ran our last D&D 4E session on Friday, concluding the playtest campaign that ran all summer. Since this was our last hurrah (at least for a while) we decided to level our characters up from 2nd to 9th level to see how they played.
Here are a few random observations that popped up during the game.
The RPG Bloggers Network has been a tremendous success, sparking plenty of cross-blog traffic and comments. I’ve read lots of great articles and discovered a bunch of new sites, but I think there’s one area where the community can improve: game reviews.
Simply put, there aren’t enough of them. There’s plenty of speculation, analysis and debate but there aren’t nearly enough reviews (or, if they are there, they are quickly lost among the flurry of other posts). The RPG Bloggers guys are working on improvements to bring order to the chaos by adding new categories, but even then I think there will be a need for bloggers to knuckle down and review games.
I have as much work to do as anyone else. It shocked me earlier this week when I looked at my own RPG reviews category and discovered that five months had passed between my Battlestar Galactica RPG review and my new one for Star Wars: Threats of the Galaxy. Now granted, my sense of what I’ve written is distorted by all the writing I do for SCIFI, and I’ve certainly posted a bunch of quasi-reviews in the form of playtest reports, but still … there need to be more.
I was surfing for some Risus/Gamma World sites when I stumbled across RPG.net's index of every "Summon WebScryer" column I've ever written for Knights of the Dinner Table. It's broken down by game system/subject area, and appears to include pages for every article I've written since the early KODT 40s.
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?