Blogworthy: D&D, Greyhawk, Free Maps, Pandemic, Vader vs. Kenobi

It’s Gonna Be Easier Than Ever To Play Dungeons & Dragons: IGN looks at the new Dungeons & Dragons Essentials Starter Set, which includes a 64-page rulebook for creating characters from levels 1-5 (bard, cleric fighter, rogue, wizard) and a new introductory adventure, “Dragon of Icespire Peak”. From what they describe, I think this has the potential to be a stronger introductory ruleset than the original 5e starter. The original intro adventure, “The Mines of Phandelver” was certainly a solid entry and the intro character sheets with instructions on how to level up were adequate, but old starter set included only the most basic of game rules.

Ideally, the starter set should be able to get people up and running through their first module, just like the original basic rules and Keep on the Borderlands. It should include dice, a battle map, and a dungeon master’s screen. Amazingly, the new Essentials set includes all of this. It’s available at Target now, everywhere else in September 2019. For a more in-depth review of the new starter set, check out the Raging Owlbear.

Announcing Pandemic Rapid Response: Pandemic is one of my favorite games, though it’s been far too long since I played it. Rapid Response extends the franchise by introducing a real-time, dice-driven mechanic. The setup is that players are on a plane, traveling from city to city fighting viral outbreaks. A real-world time limit introduces a neat twist to the tension usually associated with a Pandemic game. The game’s available at exclusively at Target (ok, so what is it with Target becoming a destination for board games?)

Vader vs Kenobi: Even when Star Wars was only Star Wars and not A New Hope, the lightsaber fight was underwhelming. It felt like two old men facing off with swords … and it was. The Empire Strikes Back gave us a true lightsaber battle between Vader and Luke Skywalker, and the end of Rogue One showed us what Vader looks like in all of his terrible fury. This fan film attempts to enliven the Vader/Kenobi battle, bringing it to something akin to what we saw in Episode 3.

In large part, it succeeds. It shows the skill of Kenobi from Episode 3, and the fury of Vader experienced in Rogue One. It’s akin the badassery we see Yoda execute in the prequels, and while it runs a bit long, it’s definitely worth watching.

One million square feet of original RPG battle maps free to use: Geek Native looks at Deviant Art contributor Zatnikotel’s project a massive series of maps for use in online and offline gaming. The project includes:

  • A1: River Entrance, A2: Portal, A3: Chasm, A4: Lava Caves
  • B1: Spider Lair B2: Underground Village, B3: River Crossings, B4: Natural Caves
  • C1: Swampy Roots, C2: Fungus Infestation, C3: Underground Lake, C4: Mines
  • D1: Roadway Passage, D2: Burrows, D3: Wizard’s Lair, D4: Tombs

It’s a tremendous resource for gamers, particularly those leveraging virtual desktops like Roll20.

D&D 5e: Greyhawk Campaign Buyer’s Guide: Inspired by rumors that Greyhawk may be getting a 5th Edition update, the Raging Owlbear provides an excellent summary post listing the essential sourcebooks needed to run a Greyhawk campaign.

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A screenshot of the Obi-Wan Kenobi vs. Darth Vader lightsaber fight in Star Wars 

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