Daily Punch 1-23-14 Brutal Weapons in DnD Next

How about some love for DnD Next?


Brutal Weapon

You’ve trained so much the the weapon always finds in its mark.

  • Increase your dexterity or strength by one to a maximum of 20
  • When you roll weapon damage rolls, if you roll a natural 1 on any damage die reroll that die.

My Love/Hate Relationship with the Battle Interactive

It’s almost Winter Fantasy, one of my favorite cons out there.  This is the first place I ever played in a battle interactive.  So for this week’s column, I’ve decided to talk about my love/hate relationship with the battle interactive.

A battle interactive is a multi table game of any RPG.  Each table acts simultaneously in the event and can even lend help to other tables.  Some battle interactive have multiple, different events occurring simultaneous while some have every table doing the same event at the same time.  Let’s give this a rundown of the good and bad at them so you know what to expect.


            Team Work-You and your friends are part of something much larger.  You get a feeling being part of the larger group while getting to see the rest of the group.  You and your closest over hundred friends are all gaming together at the same time.

Influence-I have a character who sacrificed himself to seal away an elemental.  His name is forever part of the Living Arcanis world.  Throat Punch, my gaming guild, is known for trying to prevent the capture of Myth Drannor from secret demons.  I have personally affected games that many people play.  I take pride in that.

Prestige-Battle Interactives are few and far between.  If you’re part of one, other players will want to learn about what happened at it.  You’re famous!

Reward-Battle Interactives are rare experiences.  When you do them, you travel far and wide to get there.  You play for long hours.  And, the organizers reward you for it.  Battle interactives have some of the best loot/boons that any event in a living game can offer.



            Time- Battle interactive are about EIGHT hours.  Now eight hours of DnD is fun, but even I need a break after eight hours.  Once you’re in, you’re in, so keep that in mind when you go in to the event.

            Bad days are REALLY bad-When you have a bad day of DnD, it’s about four hours.  Maybe the dice are cold for you or maybe you’re not in a social mood today.  In either case, DnD just isn’t where you want to be today.  Battle interactive tickets are some of the first tickets to sell out so you buy those months in advance.  You don’t know what kind of DnD day you’re going into.  Now, when you play, it’s eight hours of bad DnD Day.  It still beats work, but maybe not by much.

Challenge mode!-A battle interactive isn’t your standard Living Game experience.  You don’t role-play much.  You don’t go shopping before in the town.  You don’t take things slow.  In a battle interactive it’s GO GO GO!  You will be hit with the highest challenge your party should be able to handle.  You will take your turn in under 30 seconds.  You MUST know your rules for your character.  YOU MUST BE READY!  A battle interactive is a stressful experience.  You get thrown into the hardest, most brutal fights with a timer.  You have to complete objectives that are nearly impossible, and you have to move fast enough to get them all done NOW!  If you fail you let the room and your organization down!



            Your GM- I’ve been in awesome battle interactive, but I’ve also been in not so fun ones.  Even people who play the same game don’t have to see eye to eye on how the rules work.  If you and your GM are likeminded, then it’s eight hours of fun.  If you and your GM don’t like each other, then you’re going to have a bad time!

Friends/Enemies- If you go to a battle interactive and you bring a full table with your local gaming group, get their early!  You might get a choice table with your full party and life will be great.  If you are going alone then go early and find some new friends.  Hopefully, you and they will love one another and you will make friends with some people you’ve never met before.  And it will be a glorious eight hours of gaming.  On the other hand, if you don’t know these people and you get stuck with five alpha males or power gamers or some other group you hate, then it will suck.


That said, I still love Battle Interactives.  It’s a great day of DnD.  Even a bad day is awesome.  I hope I see you at Winter Fantasy!


How about a few tips:

-Bring some drinks/food in a small cooler

-When you get a break, go to the bathroom/smoke.  Get the biology stuff done when you can!

-Veggies and fruits are your friend.  Don’t just pack chips and cookies!

-If your character is complicated, bring books and have them marked with your powers/spells.

-Be nice to your GM.  He’s here to have a good time too!

-Be nice to your fellow players.  They are your life line!

-Be able to take your turn in under a minute.  Five players plus one GM with two monster groups means 14 minute rounds if every player takes a two minute turn.  You might only get 30 minutes in a particular scene.

-GET TO THE PLACE EARLY!  For life to go smoothly, you should get their 20-15 minutes in advance.  It makes making groups easier.  It makes getting GMs easier.  It makes every facet of life easier.  DON’T BE LATE!   Same goes for breaks!

-Have fun!

Daily Punch 1-22-14 Two quick feats for Pathfinder

I’ve been going through a few of the Pathfinder Player Companions and thought of a few feats I’d like to add-


Finger Trick

You’ve done this so many times before your fingers know how to do their work on their own

Benefit: If you have a weapon that you can modify to a different fighting form, you may do one step quicker.  An example is adding a bayonet to a firearm is usually a move action, but now is a swift action.


Fast Healing

In the midst of combat, the healing prayers are right on your lips.

Prerequisites: Divine spell casting

Benefit: A number to times per day equal to your spell casting statistic’s bonus, you can cast a spell with the healing descriptor as a swift action.  This spell may not be cast from a magical device.

Book Bout-Book Review of The Sundering Book III: The Adversary

Book– The Sundering Book III: The Adversary

Author – Erin M. Evans

Price- $8

TL;DR– Another good addition to the Sundering lineup 80%


Basics–  Time to return to the Realms.  Erin M. Evans returns to the Forgotten Realms continuing the story of Farideh and Havilar.  Farideh makes a deal with a devil and ends up being teleported through time.  Now Ferideh is caught up in a plot involving Asmodeus’ continuing godhood, devils vying for power, Netheril, and trying to do the right thing.  Havilar has to face the realities of what seven years can do to a relationship with a crown prince in Cormyr.


Setting– This book feels like it’s in the realms.  Everything feels right.  Lots of realm lore comes into play and those of us who are read lots of Forgotten Realms books will feel right at home and get a knowing wink from the author.  New readers will get a good background to at least part of the world. 4/5


Characters– This is truly an ensemble book.  Heck, the author doesn’t just have a main character; she’s got twin sisters running around stirring up trouble.  Every character gets a bit of time to shine, and when I was finished, I didn’t have a standout character who was my favorite.  I rooted for everybody all the way through.  However with the number of character running around, I did get a little confused from time to time on who someone was. 4/5


Story– I’ve talked before about the Sundering, and this book follows the same formula.  It takes a good story, introduces major players and what they’ve done since the last realms books came out, and sets up the characters for another book trilogy.  I like the story that this book has while it does set up major events in the realms, and I most likely will pick up the following trilogy.  The story itself is a bit long for my taste, and I did take a few breaks while getting through it.  I might not been the greatest page turner, but I am glad I read it.  4/5


Summary– I liked this story, maybe not as much as other Sundering books, but I did like this.  I know more about the realms now than I did before and want to see where it goes from here.  I like the characters I read about, and am honestly interested in what happens to them.  I can easily recommend this book. 80 %

Silver Screen Smackdown- Movie Review The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Movie– The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Run Time – ~2h 40min


TL;DR– A not faithful, but good movie 85%


Basics–  It’s the sequel to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.  This movie picks up where the other left off.  The heroes move through Mirkwood, are captured by elves, escape, journey through Laketown, and then encounter Smaug with a cliffhanger ending.  The move has some significant departure from the source material and adds quite a bit of connections to the Lord of the Rings.


Cinematography– This movie looks amazing.  I loved the look of almost everything.  Peter Jackson knows how to make a movie look amazing.  Smaug is beautiful and terrifying.  However, some of the special effects do look strange.  I don’t know what the heck happened to Legolas, but he looks like he fell down the uncanny valley a bit.  4.5/5


Acting– This is another top notch performance by the Hobbit crew.  What’s great is how every cast member gets some spotlight time.  Sure Gandalf gets more than the others, but in this version he is more about his behind the scenes work and connections to the Lord of the Rings stuff.  However, every character gets a chance to shine.  Heck even Bombur gets a chance to show how amazing he is when the group escapes Mirkwood along the river. 5/5


Story– The story here is a good one.  Peter Jackson and Tolkien tell an amazing, family friendly tale. 5/5


Tolkien Faithfulness– Here is where things fall apart.  The Hobbit by itself will not take you 9 hours to read.  Jackson has to pad lots of stuff into those 9 hours, and he also started to whole sale change things.  Lots of time is given to Gandalf so a stronger connection to the Lord of the Rings can be made.  However, the Hobbit never had that connection.  Laketown is a brimming riot with 99% undertones.  Beorn is crazy and doesn’t get his moment of deception.  Now there are new elves and orcs.  Lots are added, and while it feels Tolkien in tone, it’s not Tolkien at the same time.  This really upset my wife.  I enjoyed it, but know that this was not the story that Tolkien wrote.  The story is there, but if you are a purest then this is not the movie you wanted. 2.5/5


Summary-It’s not a bad movie.  I liked what I saw.  I loved the first one, but only liked this one.  I’m glad I saw it, but didn’t have the desire to see this again right away like I did the last one. 85%

Daily Punch 1-20-14 Ranger Beast Companion Fighting Style for DnD Next

How about a little love for DnD Next?  I think Rangers should be able to get a faithful friend, lets see what we can do


Fighting Style Ranger Second Level

Beast Companion

You choose a natural beast monster (pending DM approval and environmental considerations) of your level or lower.  This is now your faithful companion.  It moves as part of your move, but you must use your action to cause the beast to attack.  Using your reaction, any creature that attacks another target while engaged with your beast companion gains disadvantage for that attack.