Wednesday, February 25, 2015

D&D 5e: Exorcism Domain

Let me start by freely acknowledging that the Cleric class is better-supplied with subclass options than any other class but Wizards. I expect that for a lot of people, adding an Exorcism domain is painfully extraneous. On the other hand, in my homebrewed D&D setting, I specifically need characters specialized in exorcism, and I want to go a step beyond the fact that every cleric gets the requisite spells to be a passable exorcist. Also, I've never seen The Exorcist, so as much as it pains me, this article won't be a constant stream of paraphrased quotes and ridiculous puns. God, what have I become, if I'm going punless in public?

Friday, February 20, 2015

D&D 5e: Training as Treasure

There are two little paragraphs in the 5e Dungeon Master's Guide, plus three bullet points, that offer a wonderful amount of room for expansion: Training, p. 231. In the 4th edition Dungeon Master's Guide II, there are a few pages on Alternative Rewards, and the group I played 4e with thought this was just about the best thing in the world - thus giving me incentive to explore training as treasure in 5e.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

D&D 5e: At-Will Attack Options

This post is about one item on the short list of problems I have with 5th edition D&D. On the whole I think the new edition is brilliant, and if there's a list of problems... well, they are fewer in number and less egregious than any edition prior. Specifically, I think that the game would benefit from giving weapon users a second at-will attack option that doesn't involve changing weapons, preferably divorced from class. To my mind, a fighter with a rapier and a rogue with a rapier have enough distinction from class already.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Monsters from Myth II: Soulblighter for D&D

Okay, I don't know how many of you played Bungie's excellent Myth series of turn-based tactical games, with releases in 1997, 1998, and 2001. Judging by the fact that the series hasn't seen a release since 2001, I'm going with "not enough of you." I don't pretend that I was skilled or tenacious enough to finish a campaign playthrough, but I adored the low-fantasy setting (with clear landmarks of a high-fantasy past); the frequent light-touch Irishness of the setting didn't hurt. In short, the Myth series is the best ripoff of the Black Company books I've ever seen. With that in mind, I want to develop my familiarity with monster-building in D&D 5e by adapting some of Myth's horrifying monsters, undead and otherwise.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Review: Paper Sorcerer

Paper Sorcerer, developed by Jesse Gallagher, displays just how far a game can go on a unique visual aesthetic and a classic format and feel. It offers some additions to traditional dungeon crawl that other games could stand to lift, and it deserves considerable praise for that. It is, on the other hand, not a perfect offering, and I want to talk a bit about the minor points where it falls short. I have not finished the game, so some elements of the story are still a bit unclear to me.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Review: Broken Age, Act One

Okay, let’s start this thing off right. If you’ve heard anything at all about Broken Age by Double Fine Productions, it’s a safe bet that you’ve heard it’s the Second Coming of classic adventure games. There are some gaps in my knowledge of adventure games: from the end of King’s Quest, I went on hiatus until The Longest Journey (which didn’t really speak to me), and off again. So Broken Age is kind of the Third Coming of the genre for me.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Postmortem: Three D&D Sessions

Over the past three weeks, I've run three sessions of D&D 5th edition. Across all of these sessions, there have been eighteen different players (Kainenchen played in all three, though very little in the last case; our son was uncooperative). Ranging from people who have played 5e since the earliest public playtests, as I have, to people who had never remotely considered picking up a twenty-sided die with intent before the day of the session, it's about as great a range of players and session types as I've ever run.