Blurbs from the Booth-Do I really love Dungeons and Dragons?

Well it’s Sunday, and that means option time.  And today, I’m going to write about Dungeons and Dragons.  In the comments below, you can start your own edition wars, but today I want to talk about something I’ve been thinking about for a little bit.  I’ve written a ton of RPG reviews, but what’s really strange is most of these I think I like more than DnD.  But, I play more DnD and Pathfinder than any other RPG.  So my question today is-Do I love Dungeons and Dragons?

This seems like a pretty no brainer question, right?  Ya, you play a bunch, so you do.  But at the same time, DnD has pretty much all I hate in an RPG.  It has one time failure.  Roll a dice wrong, and you don’t open the gate or you don’t know the important thing.  Also, I have to say, I hate the D20.  A single die that just has a flat distribution of numbers doesn’t really demonstrate the reality of life.  Sure, it makes for easy math, but most often your average.  Life doesn’t have these massive swings.  Most of the time you will roll a 10 driving to work.  Sure you might need a 5 to do it and have a +3 to the drive skill, but honestly does the 2 really matter?  Does rolling a 20 on the drive check before the mod really reflect you critically pulling into the drive way?  I like when there is a distribution of numbers.  I like the bell curve!  Also, I like my number mattering.  As with my above driving example you roll your d20 and drive to work.  You get a perfect 23.  Does that really matter anymore than the 5?  Heck in DnD rolling a 19 most times won’t even get you more damage.  I like when the numbers matter too.

So those are all things that prove I don’t like DnD/Pathfinder.  But the question remains-If I hate the major parts of it, why am I staying?  All of the above are major flaws in the D20 system, be it 3.P 5e, or even 4e.  How does one rectify that fact?  Well, I have a few ideas.  First, there is some legacy.  I cut my teeth on 3e.  That’s not a misprint-3e.  Sure it’s broken, and the math fails about 3/4 in to the system, but its fun with your friends.  Also, I like the worlds.  Math isn’t everything, and you can role-play with a quarter.  I like Golarion and the Forgotten Realms.  I love these places.  I’m sitting are reading tons of books both on fluff and on mechanics and I know these places.  These places have earned a place in my heart.  Also, these games are big.  McDonald’s might not be the three Michelin Star material, but it’s pretty ubiquitous.  I love getting geeks together to get some games to happen.  These platforms both have some awesome support, and I do love them for that.

What do you think?  Do you love some games despite the game?  Do you hang on to a game that irks you a bit because it gives you something else?  Leave your thoughts below.

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Daily Punch 1-22-14 Arcane Master arcane tradition for wizards for DnD 5e

I mentioned a player really loved the arcane familiar, but wants to expand the creature she can get.  Let’s make that an arcane tradition.

 

Arcane Master

You have bound creatures to your service.  They work for you and do your bidding unquestioningly.

Master Manipulator

When you select this school at second, you gain the arcane familiar as an extra known spell.  Once per day, you am perform this spell as an action with no cost instead of its normal time and cost.  You do not have to have the spell prepared to cast the spell in this way.  Your familiar can be any type as long as the creature is not humanoid and has an intelligence of less than 7.

Bonded Power

As you gain power, so does the creatures you summon.  You may choose a creature of a challenge rating up to 1/4 your level to be your familiar.

One Mind of Two Bodies

Starting at level 10, when you at damaged, you can assign the damage to your familiar.  If your familiar is damaged, you can assign that damage to yourself.

Two Minds

Beginning at 14th level, you gain an extra action that can only be used to cause your familiar to attack a target.  If your familiar hits the target, the creature takes disadvantage on any saving throw or you gain advantage on your next attack roll against the target when you cast a spell at the target this turn.

Daily Punch 1-21-15 Improved Animal Companion feat for DnD 5e

If a wizards familiar can get better, then so can a rangers!  How about this?

 

Improved Animal Companion

You can master the toughest beasts.  You beast companion can now be any size, and it’s challenge rating may be up to 1/2 your hit dice.  It may be any type, but must be alive and non-humanoid.  It may not have an intelligence above 6.  It does not gain your proficiency bonus to AC, attack, or damage rolls.  If you beast has the multiattack power.  It may only make multiple attacks when you use the Beastial Fury power.

 

Thoughts?  Is 1/2 to much?  Would 1/4 be better?

Daily Punch 1-20-15 Improved Familiar feat for DnD 5e

I have some players who really want to be a 5e DnD wizard with a much better familiar.  How about a feat for that.

 

Improved Familiar

When you summon a familiar, it is by far the most power familiar out there.  Gain the following benefits:

  • Increase your wisdom, intelligence, or charisma by 1 to a maximum of 20.
  • When you cast the find familiar spell, you may instead summon a creature who’s challenge rating of 1/4 or lower.

 

Thoughts?

Ring Side Report-Board Game Review Star Realms

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Product– Star Realms

Producer– White Wizard Games

Price– $15 here http://www.amazon.com/White-Wizard-Games-Realms-Deckbuilding/dp/B00HRGMPIU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1421897585&sr=8-1&keywords=star+realms

Set-up/Play/Clean-up– 15-20 minutes (2 players, but multiplayer options available)

TL; DR– Lack of theme hurts an excellent game.  83%

 

Basics-Ready to rule the galaxy?  In Star Realms, two players face off by trying to destroy the authority and fleet of the other player.  Each player starts with 50 authority and ten cards.   These ten cards are eight one-trade cards and two one-attack cards.  Players have a hand of five cards.  On your turn, you can play as many cards from your hand as you want to give you trade (money), attack, more authority, or other effects.  From the pool of trade and attack, you can spend trade to buy as many cards as you can from a row of five cards set between the players and attack the other player.  Cards you buy are placed in your discard area.  Each card you buy will have a trade cost and can be one of two types: bases and ships.  Ships function just like the starting cards providing trade, attack, and authority.  Bases function like ships except that they are played in front of the player and act as a shield for an amount of damage.  Both of these may also have faction abilities and scrap abilities.  Faction abilities provide additional resources, but you have to have another ship or base in play of the same faction to trigger the ability.  Scrap abilities permanently remove a card from your deck, but provide you with a onetime ability.  With your attack you can attack bases first, then the player’s authority.  At the end of your turn, you discard all cards you cannot play, and then you draw a new hand of five cards.  If you cannot, you shuffle your discard pile and draw from the new stack of cards.  Play continues like this until one player has zero authority left, and the other player wins!

 

Mechanics– This is a game like magic made by two guys who won the pro tour.  They knew what they were doing when they made this game.  It’s sleek, quick, and full of tactics.  You get all the fun of combo building for magic with a onetime price tag for a trip to McDonald’s. 5/5

 

Theme- Here is the weakest part of this game.  The rules don’t have much more than a simple paragraph on what’s going on.  The factions are never really discussed in any detail.  The cards have some great art and flavor text, but aside from that there is no theme or story here at all.  It’s just deck building.  2/5

 

Instructions– The game is easy to play, and even easier to learn.  The rules are less than a double sided sheet of paper.  Honestly, I sat down with a sealed box, and was playing in five minutes.  My wife who hates to have to learn new games on the fly absolutely whooped my butt.  That’s a testament to how good the rules are. 5/5

 

Execution– It’s a box of cards with two rules sheets.  The best part is the point cards.  Rather than have you write down your score like in magic, this game has double sided cards for your points.  It takes a bit to get used to as they are double sided 10/20 and 1/5 denominations, but it’s a nice touch.  However, the card stock is a bit low quality.  I’ve played about five times now, and some of the cards are already bending and ripping.  4.5/5

 

Summary– I feel a little bad about the score of this one.  It’s honestly an awesome game, but the severe lack of theme in this one really hurts it.  It plays quick and teaches as quick.  I think I’m going to have to buy some card sleeves because this one isn’t as well put together as some other card games.  This is a fun game, but don’t come into this one looking for any story.  83%

Daily Punch 1-19-15 Sudden Spell feat for Pathfinder

Been reading a little Pathfinder lately, I’d like to give my wizards a bit more punch.

 

Sudden Spell

You give up a litter bit later for a big hit now.

prerequisite: Wizard, sorcerer, or any other magic casting class with a level 1 magic supernatural (su) ability you gain at a set number of times per day.

Benefit: You may use two uses of the supernatural ability to cast that as a swift action on your turn.  You may only do this once per turn.  As an example, an evocation wizard can use two uses of force missile to cast it once as a swift action.

 

Thoughts?

 

Daily Punch 1-16-15 Paladin Priest feat for DnD 5e

Starting playing a paladin recently, and I want cantrips.  Let’s add that to the class with a feat.

 

Paladin Priest

You have spent as much time in church as any of the clerics.  You may not be as strong in the faith magic as the clerics, but you have learned and earned additional power from you god.

  • Gain +1 charisma to a maximum of 20.
  • Gain a number of cantrips as if you were a cleric of your paladin level.  As you gain levels in paladin, you gain additional cantrips as cleric would

Thoughts?