Daily Punch 8-19-14 Circle of Spell Protection spell for DnD Next

How about a spell for DnD Next?

 

 

Circle of Spell Protection

2nd-level Adjuration

Casting time: 1 minute

Range: Circle five feat in diamiter

Components: V,S,M-chalk, dust, unholy/holy water, or blood

Duration: Concentration, up to 1 day

Until the spell ends, for any spell that enters or exit the circle, the spell caster must make a saving throw using the ability used by the spell caster to cast spells (eg. a wisdom saving throw for a cleric, intelligence for a wizard) with a DC equal to the spell casting DC + 3 for the creator of the circle.  If the caster succeeds, the spell may enter the circle.  If the caster fails, the spell is cast, but does not enter the circle, and all creatures in the circle are immune to any of the spells effects.

 

 

Thoughts?

Daily Punch 8-15-14 Controlled Chaos Feat for DnD Next

So I’ve written about the DnD 5th edition Player’s Handbook that I got at GenCon.  I watched one of my players absolutely LOVE the wild magic effects of a Sorceror.  How about a feat to help with the wildness of the class?

 

Controlled Chaos

You are a master of magic and have begun to see the rhythms that exist in the randomness of the art

You may take this feat multiple times and its effects stack.  Gain the following benefits:

  • Add one to the number needed for your wild magic effects to occur.
  • Roll an additional die when your wild magic effect occurs.  You may choose which die you want to use for your wild magic effect.

 

Thoughts?

Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Dungeons and Dragons Player’s Handbook

Product– Player’s Handbook

Producer-Wizards of the Coast

Price– $50 here

System– Dungeons and Dragons (5th Edition)

TL; DR– D&D are back!  100%

 

Basics-Its back!  The fifth edition of Dungeons and Dragons was launched at GenCon.  This book covers character generation, character backgrounds and personalities, adventuring, the basic rules of the game, and magic.  If you’ve seen one player’s handbook, you know what’s going to be in any of them.  But, not really!  This book also covers gods of the multiverse, planes of existence, and the creatures your character can often work with. You’ve seen the basics on the PDF reviewed here https://throatpunchgames.com/2014/07/05/ring-side-report-rpg-review-of-basic-rules-for-dungeons-and-dragons/  Lets look at the book.

 

Crunch or Mechanics-The basic rules are online, and I loved those.  But, this book adds TONS to the game.  This book adds dragonborn, gnomes, half-elves, half-orcs, and tieflings.  All these are great additions to the game along with the additional classes of barbarians, bards, druids, monks, paladin, rangers, sorcerers, and warlocks.  Even the classes from the basic document get amazing additions like the arcane trickster and the AWESOME eldritch knight!  I can’t wait to bring back my 4e sword mage as a fifth edition eldritch knight!  All these classes feel different, yet balanced.  I don’t feel like I have to be any one class to be a good character.  The one topic in the new book which was not presented in the basic rules is feats.  The feats are all surprisingly well balanced and useful.  There is room for expansion in everything, but the base rules give enough to make almost every character you could want.  I love what I see, and can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next. 5/5

 

Theme or Fluff– This book feels lived in.  I loved fourth edition for what it was, but the book felt sterile.  The book was well written, but its style was very much like that of an IKEA instruction manual.  Well done to get a point across, but it feels cold.  This book is very much alive.  Even the parchment-color background of every page makes this one feel like it’s alive.  Besides that, the art and the text makes the world come alive.  Every class, background, and concept gets art and story.  This book makes me feel like I’m stepping into a world that already exists, and that is amazing. 5/5

 

Execution– So the art is good, the layout is good, and the text is fun to read and invites the reader to keep reading.  You’d expect that.  But there is one thing I want to point out, and it is the honest to goodness best part of the book.  This book features the two best charts in the existence of D&D-page 12 and page 45.  My wife pointed these out to me since I am someone who is a bit jaded when it come to the tables in books, but once you see these and really look, they are amazing.  Page 12 gives a simple summary of abilities, the skills, the races and how they all work together.  It’s amazing in its execution and how much of the book it encapsulates on one chart.  Page 45 give a really quick, one sentence summary of each class, the hit dice, primary ability, its saving throws, and its weapons.  Again, this chart is an amazingly simple description of most of the book.  And that sets the bar for the whole book:  simply amazing. 5/5

 

Summary– If you want a review of the system, check out my review of the basic game here https://throatpunchgames.com/2014/07/05/ring-side-report-rpg-review-of-basic-rules-for-dungeons-and-dragons/  .  The system is good, great even, but this book is better.  This book is an amazing piece of art, math, and storytelling that sets up an infinite number of other stories.  Like every other RPG geek out there, I’ve been waiting for the new edition as I played in the play test.  I submitted my ideas and feedback.  What came out might not have been my exact perfect RPG, but what did emerge might be my favorite RPG.  Go check this one out NOW! Even at $50, this book is worth the price. 100%

Daily Punch 8-11-14 Death From Above feat for Pathfinder

How about a feat for Pathfinder? Who doesn’t love playing Mario with their enemies…

Death From Above

When you strike from above, you hit with devastating results

When you jump down on an enemy from a height of equal to or greater than twice the enemy’s height, increase your critical attack range by two. You can do this effect by jumping at the opponent instead of falling, but you must succeed on a jump check that results in you at least being twice as high as your opponent.

Thoughts?

Ring Side Report- RPG Review of The Strange

RPG-The Strange

Producer-Monte Cook Games

Price-$41 here http://www.amazon.com/The-Strange-RPG/dp/1939979161/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407796403&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Strange

System– Cypher

TL;FR-It’s the next RPG from Monte Cook Games, so It’s going to be good.  100%

 

Basics– Ready for some Strange?  The Strange is a semi-sequel RPG to the previous hit Numenera.  In this RPG, the concept of the Strange is first and foremost.  The Strange itself is a chaotic mix of ideas where different versions of reality can be generated.  In these different pocket “dimensions”, steampunk, video game, popular fiction, fantasy, literature worlds/universes can be created and existed in .  However, monsters that eat whole worlds prowl out in the chaos.  In this game, your job is to keep that from happening.

 

Mechanics or Crunch-There is a lot here, so let’s go topic by topic.

 

Mechanics Basics- Remember Numenera?  This is pretty much the same.  GM never rolls the dice.  Players say a task or activity, the GM sets a level, multiply that level by three, and player rolls a d20.  Hit the number-succeed. Don’t-fail.  Your differnt powers and skills may make the number on the d20 lower.  The system is quick, easy, and keeps the focus on the story.

 

I’m a blanking blank who blanks– Character generation is select one of  descriptor that give you a general power, a class from one of three options, and an additional power that grows as you gain “levels” or tiers.  Character generation is again quick, easy, and keeps the focus on the story instead of min/maxing.

 

Worlds of “who blanks”-In my day job (thing that keeps me in the RPG books), I am a research scientist.  That’s great in a place where “science” works, but what about a place with magic?  Well, since a major part of this game is about changing worlds, the last part of each characters blanking blank who blanks changes depending on the world!  So, when Ed the crazy paradox who researches leave Earth and moves to a world of magic, I get a chance to choose what kind of character I change into based on the new world.  Now Ed is a crazy paradox who practices soul sorcery and looks like Anubis as I enter the magic world of Ardeyn.  This is the BIGGEST change in The Strange.  Your character is a near infinite number of characters as you can go to a near infinite number of worlds.  And that is awesome!  The book comes with a bunch of different descriptors that give all kinds of different options based on the different types of worlds presented.

 

Infinite Worlds-The Strange is infinite (as far as we know…).  The base book comes with some basic worlds to play in, but the game comes with rules to make any type of world you want.  The book even gives rules for the players to create their own worlds.  You can tell the Bruce Cordell was a major writer as the Lovecraft world is presented, and that makes me happy.  Want to play some Oz?  Done.  Wonderland?  Done.  Again, awesome!

 

Translation-the newest mechanic that is presented is translation.  This is the process of moving from one world/universe/reality to another.  It’s fairly simple, but the rules give a good introduction on how to do it as well as different way to move between worlds/universes/realities (portals, cyphers etc).

 

Mechanics Summary-This game is basically a bigger version of Numenera.  Heck, since The Strange is all inclusive, Numenera CAN exist within this game!  That’s not a bad thing!  This game feels like Monte Cook Games learned from Numenera, and Numenera was an excellent system to start with!  Small new additions make this an even better systems in terms of mechanics.  This game isn’t for the min/maxers out there, as it’s set up to be a super easy to use system that focuses on the story.  The mechanics of this one really do focus on the story first, giving just enough math to make things happen, but enough options to keep anyone happy. 5/5

 

Theme or Fluff- The theme is strange (pun intended) and fun.  You play a combination of MIB/RIPD/Delta Green/Stargate/Warehouse 13 Agents.  It’s a fun theme with an infinite number of places to play.  Heck, the book introduces fiction leakage-ideas leaking from one place to another and creating worlds/universes in the Strange.  So, you if you want to start a game where every single work of fiction comes from a different place in the Strange and cultists from Lovecraft are summoning Kaiju/Transformer monsters from beyond reality and the ritual must take place in a world based on 50 Shades of Gray with the end goal of destroying Earth, the game give you the tools to make that happen.  The theme covers all the themes you could want while adding its own touch to everything.  And again, that is awesome. 5/5

 

Execution-This book has a lot of ground to cover.  From introducing the cypher system to the multiple different descriptors needed to play this game in different realities to describing the setting, this book does a good job explaining how the game works.  Things are as close to perfect as you can with this size book.  The book does have the occasional sections where things get a bit textbook dense, but the number of pictures keeps that to a minimum.  The font, layout, pictures, and breaks make this fun to read and will keep you digging deeper and reading.  And this book is over 400 pages!  That number of pages for the price when considering the quality of the RPG is insane! 5/5

 

Summary-Monte Cook Games knows how to make an RPG for their target audience.  You CAN’T min/max in this system.  If you want to power game, look elsewhere!  This game is designed to tell a story, move it along quickly, and draw you in as quickly as possible.  The mechanics are amazing.  If you like the cypher system, you will like this.  Heck, the best part of this game is EVERYTHING from Numenera has a place in The Strange.  Each power, descriptor, and idea can be SOMEWHERE in the strange.  I suspect that within a few weeks a handy list giving which types of worlds/universes the Numenera powers/descriptors would work in will be out there (or I will make one!).  The idea that you change, but don’t, as you enter different worlds is a phenomenal addition to the system and RPGs as a whole.  I love what I see, and if you get a chance, you will too.  However, here is a word to the wise.  Since your characters change settings and powers fairly quickly, the player’s handbook is a good addition as it will really help you know how your powers work in each world, and the game won’t stall as the players have to pass the book around to understand each world they enter and how their characters fit in.  Give this one a look as soon as you can! 100%

Blurbs from the Booth-The Price of Admission

I saw a thread on ENWorlds discussing how much you would pay at a hobby shop vs. how much you pay online.  I thought about that for a quite a while and I think I’d pay a lot.  Let’s give some examples and thoughts that go with that.

I don’t expect my store to just be a store.  The store is a place I hang out.  I’ve mentioned a few times that I want to make gaming happen.  Gaming is a major part of my life.  I spend lots of money buying games, lots of my time reading/learning games, and lots of my life running games at stores and cons.  My store is a part of my home.  I expect a friendly place where people know who I am, who care that I’m doing well gaming and in my life, and a place that wants me to be there running games.  I know that the store manager/owner is there because on some level he/she has to make money to eat and pay rent, but I also want him/her to be there because they love comics and gaming.  I want that person to want to make games happen too.

I need that store person to need gaming in their life too.  If you are just in the comics/gaming world to make a buck, leave.  That’s not insulting, it’s an economic reality!  There are much better ways to make a buck in this world that requires much less energy.  Franchising out McDonald’s are a much better investment.  Game stores die within the first year all the time, and you can’t just run that store 9 to 5.  I don’t know about you, but 9 to 5 is when I’m working.  So, any place that will give me time to play has to have their store open from 6 to 10.  So the shop keep is looking at a 13 hour day to deal with my crap!

I realize all of this.  I realize that these men and women are working their asses off.  Sure, running a store isn’t as physically exhausting as, say, 13 hours of manual labor like heavy construction of houses.  But it’s at least mentally draining since these people have to dance a hard dance to make all the bills happen while keeping the lights on and dealing with entitled gamers/comic fans all day.

Online shopping is great, but I have NO loyalty to anyone out there.  Sure, I’ll sign up for your discount program.  Yeah, give me your newsletter.  Fine, I’ll friend you on Facebook.  But I do not care about you.  You are a means to an end.  If my only interaction with you is to check a few boxes and have PayPal hand my money to you, then you are no better than any other http place to me.  I don’t feel you care.  You’re just a means to an end.  Amazon, you, any other of the dozens of sites I know, you’re all the same.  You may be much more, but if I’m not helping someone I know needs help in the gaming industry, it’s hard to know if you do or don’t care.

Cons are no better.  I’ll see some con vendors two times a year.  I’ll make some small talk, but I don’t owe any loyalty to you either.  You’re at this con to make some money.  Cons are high profile places where lots of geeks gather.  And you can make a ton of money fast if you know what you’re doing, and you brought the right stuff.  However, I will haggle with you.  Honestly, I will walk up to vendors with my cell phone in one hand and my debit card in the other.  If my local guy/gal can’t get an item, then any con seller is as good as Amazon.  So, if you, the con vendor, can’t meet Amazon’s price, that item can be at my house in two days (prime shipping is awesome!).  Same goes for some companies.  If you are big enough to have a giant booth at GenCon, I have no problems haggling with you.  The smaller companies get a pass, generally, but I have no problems haggling with the semi-large ones unless you’ve earned my loyalty.  If a company has proven time and time again that they are great to their customers, like Fantasy Flight with its rock solid customer support or Wizards of the Coast with its FREE open play programs, then I will not try to fight them on price.  In either case, I expect a deal at a con.  At a con you’re cutting out all the middle men.  If you want to get more money from cutting out those people, then I expect to get a break too.  If you sell for 80% at a con, your still ~40% more then you normally get.  I know this, you know this, now let’s make a deal!

But, when I find a local store that gives me its time/play space, friendship, and a passion for gaming, they get my money.  If you treat me with respect, I’ll put quite a number of hours into making your store the best store I can find.  I’ll run my games there, post about it on Facebook, tweet upon my Twitter, and overall make you a part of my life.  And, for the feelings I get from your store, I’ll pay full price.  I won’t screw around asking for discounts (but giving them to me does help keep me loyal!).  I won’t be an ass and haggle over small things.  I’ll show up every week, pay for my orders, even though I know I’m losing money vs. online shopping, and I will do that with a smile on my face.  That is the price of admission to these places and the feelings and support we gamers get there.