Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Review: The Book of Vile Darkness

NOTE: This review is the beginning of a new direction my reviews will be taking. I will spend more time discussing the production quality of the product and the value for money. I will provide a four star rating based on the only thing that matters, "Is this product worth a place on my bookshelf?".

The Book of Vile Darkness is a role playing supplement for the Fourth edition of Dungeons and Dragons. It contains a 96 page Dungeon Master's Book, a 32 page Player's Book and a double-sided battle map featuring 3 encounter areas all contained in a thick paper sleeve.

Before I begin, over the course of my role-playing life I have not been keen on the inclusion of evil characters to a party in my campaigns. In the rare occasions where I have allowed them, I required a pretty detailed list of reasons as to why a player should be permitted to play an evil character. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Ecology of The Cheating Player

One of the most difficult things a DM will have to deal with over the course of his gaming lifetime is the cheating player. One cheating player can cause your game to become unbalanced very quickly, spoiling the fun for everyone! How is a DM, especially a beginning DM, supposed to deal with this destroyer of game worlds. In my years of playing this, and quite frankly dozens of Role-Playing Games, I have had more than a few players cheat. This article will provide new DMs with a few tried and true techniques to minimize the effects cheating will have on your game.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Review: Trade Routes: Expanded Caravan Rules Sourcebook

Last week in my inbox was an email from Louis Porter Jr. Designs previewing their newly updated supplement, Trade Routes: Expanded Caravan Rules Sourcebook. I am considering running the Pathfinder Adventure Path, Jade Regent so I thought it would be worth checking out. My review is based on the November 21st, 2011 version of the supplement which include and expand on the rules presented in the Jade Regent Player's Guide.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

First Impressions - DnD Encounters: Beyond The Crystal Cave

The weekly Dungeons and Dragons Encounters sessions have been part of my life for the past year. I spent my first couple of weeks playing before I began my stint as a DM. I have enjoyed introducing the game to people of all ages, but in particular to the younger players. In fact, I have used Encounters to introduce the game to my 16 year old daughter and my 12 year old son. For the most part, the adventures have provided an excellent introduction for new players. The fact that the encounter seasons have been designed to coincide with the current product releases is good for the more experienced players as well, giving them an excellent opportunity to experiment with new settings or character options before they spend their hard earned money.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Review: Madness At Gardmore Abbey

When I first heard about Gardmore Abbey in the Dungeon Master's guide, my imagination was peaked. Later, when I picked up my copy of the Dungeon Master's Kit, and the story of Gardmore Abbey was developed a bit more, I knew I wanted to make it part of my campaign. It wasn't long after I finished reading the rest of the Dungeon Master's Kit that I discovered Wizards was planning on releasing Gardmore Abbey as a "Super Adventure". I was excited. I circled the date on my calendar and patiently camped out at my local game store.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Why The Greatest Game In The World Needs To Change

NOTE: This was a very difficult article to write. Please pass the link for this article to as many people as you can. I would love to hear your comments, especially on what you thinks needs to happen to save our game. The article is the long so be warned.

Dungeons and Dragons has been a constant in my life since 1979. I have played every edition since the Red Basic Box and am currently playing 4th edition. Over the years I have played many different role-playing systems, from superhero (DC Heroes, Villains and Vigilantes, Champions and Marvel Super Heroes), science fiction (Traveller, Star Frontiers, Time Master and Star Trek), horror (Chill and Call of Cthulhu), games based on the end on the end of the world (Gamma World and Paranoia) and even RPGs based on cartoons (Teenage Mutant Turtles and Robotech). I have only ever played one fantasy RPG, Dungeons and Dragons. I have never felt the need to stray from my first love, that is until now. This is where my dilemma begins...

Monday, November 7, 2011

Pathfinder Beginner Box...The Box That Keeps On Giving!

Earlier in the week I managed to snag a copy of the Pathfinder Beginner Box. From the moment I held it in my hands I knew I was going to be quite happy with the treasures to be found inside. To be fair, I was hard pressed to find a negative review of this product, the single biggest complaint was Paizo shouldn't have included this as part of Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscription. I think this product has wide appeal but not universal appeal and as such, shouldn't have been forced on Paizo's subscribers.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Review: Quartermaster for IOS

As many people know, I have slowly been switching much of my computer life from the PC to the Mac. One of the first things I looked for was an application to create army lists. Unfortunately, my search turned up nothing. The big army list software company has been slow to finish its Mac version. This forced me to search elsewhere.

My search lead me to the App Store on my iPad, where I discovered a little App called Quartermaster. The price was only $4.99 so I figured it was worth the gamble. The version I originally purchased was version 2.0. Version 2.1 was released a few days after my purchase which fixed a couple of errors but unfortunately, it was pulled from the App Store while Sean Rogers, the programmer, could make the app compliant with Games Workshop's rules. I should mention that this app also works on an iPhone or an iPod Touch as well.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Review: Incredible Insects Volume 1

In my life as a DM I like to have as many options as possible, especially when my gaming group has more knowledge than is good for them. While browsing DriveThruRpg one day, I came across Incredible Insects: Volume 1. The price was less than a dollar so I pulled the trigger and made the purchase. This supplement was published by Escape Velocity Gaming.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Review: Scarrport: City of Secrets

Cities have always held a special part in my campaigns. It started off innocently enough when one of the players in my first campaign wanted to spend some of the gold they had liberated from an evil wizard. This was over 30 years ago but I still remember it.

At this time city settings were few and me being 12 years old I didn't have the money to buy one. I had to ad-lib. As time went on, and I had managed to save a few bucks, I started to purchase a few supplements. From Waterdeep to Sanctuary I enjoyed running adventures in these exotic locations.

Review : H1-Keep on the Shadowfell

I recently purchased this adventure and although it is 2 years old I thought I would give you a mini review.I have had a love hate relationship with off the shelf adventures and have rarely included them in my campaigns. I have used them for those nights where I manage to get a group other than my regular group together. I have a large collection of them because I have been known to borrow things from then, especially new creatures, traps and cool NPCs.

World Wide Dungeons and Dragons Game Day

This Saturday marks the World Wide Dungeons and Dragons Game Day. This years adventure is "Gates of Neverdeath". The adventure consists of two encounters, both of which feature combat and a skill challenge. These encounters are geared towards new players but an experienced player will still find some "meat" to sink their teeth into. This adventure also leads nicely into Wednesday's new Encounters season "Lost Crown of Neverwinter".The best part of the day in my opinion, is the players will spend the first 30 minutes creating new characters using the brand new Themes introduced in the soon to be released "Neverwinter Campaign Setting" (review coming soon). These characters will be used in this adventure and can be used in the upcoming Encounters season.Overall, this is a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon and an excellent opportunity to introduce your curious friends and family to the game! As for me, I will be DMing the session Saturday starting at noon at Phoenix Games on Queen Street in Kitchener, if you are in the area, stop by and say hello!

Review: Storm of Magic

I am a fairly new Warhammer player but here are my thoughts after reading the book for a few days.1) As a Skaven player, I have always had problems With both the armies of Chaos. With Storm of Magic, I can use some of the Daemon troops that cause me grief. You can also use units from Vampire Counts and Tomb Kings! There are of course rules to follow but the unit choice is pretty good.2) The magic is epic and many of the spells allow you to target a single unit, and in some cases obliterate it.

My First Blog Post

Everyone always has a silly first post about how this is the first post of their new blog. I have a few articles planned and expect to publish an article a week. I started gaming in 1979 when I got my hands on the venerable Red Box Basic Dungeons and Dragons set. Currently, I am playing 4th edition, and for record, enjoying it. I am also playing Warhammer and 40K. I am currently reading through the 3rd edition of Mutants and Masterminds.I hope you will enjoy reading my blog and find the information useful.