Daily Punch Inspiring Voice feat for DnD 5e

Rogues will get two feats, but let’s not forget our friend the bard!  Here is a feat to dabble in his music.

 

Inspiring Voice

You know how to motivate and get the best out of your friends.  Gain the following:

  • Increase your Charisma or intelligence by 1, to a maximum of 20.
  • Choose one skill a bard gains at 1st level.  You are now proficient in that skill.
  • Gain the bard’s Bardic Inspiration class feature as a bard of your level.

Thoughts?

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Ring Side Report-Board Game Review of Ashes: Rise of the phoenixborn

Product-Ashes: Rise of the phoenixborn

Producer-Plaid Hat Games

Price– $50 here http://www.amazon.com/Ashes-Rise-Phoenix-Born-Board/dp/B00Y4TYRGQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1453779380&sr=8-1&keywords=phoenixborn

Set-up/Play/Clean-up– 20-30 minutes (2 players)

Type-American

Depth-Medium

TL; DR-Amazing game, but needs more story. 94%pic2479679.jpg

 

Basics-There can only be one!  In Ashes, players each play a different phoenixborn-humans born with extraordinary powers that they used to defeat the darkness.  However, with the darkness defeated, the phoenix power wants to be in only one person, and the characters must battle for supremacy.  To do this, each player starts with a deck of 30 cards.  These decks can either be premade, drafted, constructed, or using the starting suggested decks.  Players also choose a phoenixborn to play.  This character has a power, life total, and how many spell and creature cards they can have on the field at one time.  Here is where this game departs from most dueling card games.  When building decks, player also select dice of various types.  These dice provide different kinds of magic power symbols to power your spells (think mana from Magic: The Gathering).  All dice have two generic symbols, four medium power die/magic specific symbols, and two very powerful die/magic specific symbols.  Players start by rolling their dice, and the player with the most generic symbols is the first player.  Players also choose their first five cards instead of randomly drawing them, setting up combos before the game even starts.

Turns are surprisingly simple.  Each turn is two steps in any order: main action or side action.  Main actions are attacking, playing or using a card that have a main action icon as part of their play cost, and pass.  Side actions are using a die’s power, meditating, and playing side action costs on cards or to play cards.  Of the above options, meditating and die powers are the newest additions to this part of card duel games.  Meditating is how the game minimizes the randomness of the dice.  As a side action, you can discard as many cards from your hand and field as you want and change the face of the same number of dice to whatever side you want.    Each type of die also has a card showing its faces.  These cards give you an ability where you can spend a die of the most power face to activate an ability like direct damage or adding to an attack.  Players take turns doing main and side actions until both players pass, thus one roll of the dice may be five or more turns.

Attacking is also an interesting change.  While the goal of the game is to eliminate the other player’s phoenixborn, who you attack is up to you.  If a player declares an attack on another character unit, then only units that have a special ability can block or the phoenixborn can block him or herself.  Also, being attack doesn’t automatically mean you can attack back.  A unit must declare it is attacking back, and that unit gains an exhausted token if it survives the attack.

A final change of note for this game is conjurations.  While a player has a small deck of cards, the player also has a stack of conjuration cards.  Some spells that player casts are set on the field, and a player can only have so many of these spell activated at a time.  These spell cards can be triggered again as long as they do not have an exhausted token on them.  Some spells produce conjuration-units not drawn from the base card deck, but from the player’s deck of conjurations.  These units work like usual units, but you can use your spell to conjure as many as you can field based on your phoenixborn.

After both players have passed as a main action, then players discard as many dice as they want, reroll all used and discarded dice, remove one exhausted token from each card in play, and change the first player.  Players draw up to five cards, losing one hit point for every card they can not draw, and the first player starts the next series of turns.  Last one standing wins!

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Mechanics– I’ve never been a serious duel card game player, but this one makes me want to play again.  Everything here feels right.  The dice give just enough randomness, but keep the problem of slow starting turns at bay.  I jump right into the fun with five cards I can use in hand, and a stack of dice to keep me going for fuel.  The spells and conjurations are interesting twists.  I love the use of a second deck of cards adds a new dimension to what’s here.  This is all the best parts of Magic with all of the annoying parts trimmed away.  The best analogy I have for this game is if Fantasy Flight and Wizkids remade Magic. 5/5

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Theme–  The comparison to Magic I made discussing mechanics continues into the theme.  This game has theme, but not enough background to really tell me what the heck is going one.  Are we on Earth?  What happened before? Why does it look like some people are from different times?  The basics of the story is something evil showed up and the phoenixborn kicked it to the curb.  Now the phoenixborn are driven to kill one another to drive the phenyx power to one person like the Highlander.  That’s not bad, but I’d like to know a bit more about any of the phoenixborn.  The phoenixborn themselves feel like planeswalkers from Magic, but I know about those people.  I don’t have much beyond three sentences to know these characters.  That hurts the game’s theme and story for me.  However, the cards do have theme and feel like they belong to one another.  Each character mechanics all feel different providing you different experiences with each deck of cards.  If this game gave me some more meat for the story, I’d be that much more into it. 4/5IMG_20151225_234622882.jpg

Instructions– The instructions are all well done, and they teach you the game quickly.  What’s more the book give you a QR code to watch a teaching video to help you learn as well.  However, there are some minor details that I feel the game buries like turns are not just one main action and one side actions, but instead are back and forth until someone passes.  It won’t keep you from playing, but it will keep you from enjoying your first game as you will quickly realise these small rules.  4.75/5

Execution– I love what’s in this box.  The cards are great quality cardstock.  The art is well done, and the game comes with enough components to make all the intro decks.  And again, the Fantasy Flight and Wizkids analogy holds true as the dice are top notch and have their own well done shapes, and there is no shortage of tokens for a card game.Plus, BAGS!  This game comes with enough bags to contain all the cards.  That right there warms my heart!    Want to see all the cards in the box?  Check out our unboxing video here: https://youtu.be/VncDEkhdvW0 5/5

Summary– This game is solid mechanics and execution with only slightly problematic theme and instructions.  I want to play this more, and the only problem I have is I want more words from this game.  If you put web fiction out there, I’d be completely on your side.  I want to know who the good guys are and maybe get a chance to play the bad.  While the story is a bit lacking, the game isn’t.  If you want to play a great card game, but don’t feel like having to put your house up for mortgage to finance a semi-decent Magic: The Gathering card deck, Ashes is the game you’re looking for.  It’s an amazing game that more people need to play. 94%

Daily Punch 1-18-16 Rogue Precision feat for DnD5e

And now it’s time for the rogue.  This one gets two feats.  Here is the first-

 

Rogue Precision

You have trained with the best, and it shows.  Gain the following:

  • Increase your Dexterity or intelligence by 1, to a maximum of 20.
  • Choose one skill a rogue gains at 1st level.  You are now proficient in that skill.
  • Choose two skills you are proficient in.  You  gain the rogues Expertise ability with these two skills.

 

Thoughts?

 

Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Monsternomicon: Kyuss and His Faithful

 

ProductMonsternomicon: Kyuss and His Faithful

System– DnD 5e

Producer– Wizards of the Coast

Price– Pay what you want at http://www.dmsguild.com/product/170843/Monsternomicon-Kyuss-and-His-Faithful?term=Patric&filters=45469_0_0_0_0_0

TL; DR-What we should see from the DM Guild. 99%

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Basics-The Worm that Walks is back!  This book is a fan submission to DMguild.com detailing Kyuss, his priests, and his monsters.  This short volume introduces the god, his mechanics and history, as well as some new monsters, spells, and a whole new cleric domain.

Mechanics or Crunch-Fan content can go either way-either amazingly good or horribly bad.  This book is amazingly good.  In a book about a god, I wasn’t expecting much, but honestly what’s here is phenomenal.  You get crunch on him, how he works, and how his priests work.  The rot grub is back, and that makes me very happy.  They are as DEADLY as ever, and they should be.  The fact this thing has domains, monsters, and spells is icing on a great cake.  Kyuss himself is a ~bit~ overpowered, but that doesn’t take away from the whole book. 4.9/5

 

Theme or Fluff-I didn’t know much about Kyuss when I starting reading, but I think now I could run a whole campaign on the god.  It’s enough to get you running and has threats that a DM could use to put the fear of this dark god in their players.  It reads quick, and it’s well done. 5/5

Execution-This is my first DM Guild product, and as fan content, I was apprehensive.  But, this book is NOT just slapped together.  There are pictures to break up text, the format isn’t a distraction, and it’s not too long to wear out its welcome.  This is the kind of content I want to see on the DM Guild going forward. 5/5

Summary-This is a fun book about a dark god.  I enjoyed what I read here, and honestly at the price of pay what you want, you should go get this for free to check it out.  If you like it, throw a buck to the creator for his good work after you’ve read it.  It’s got spells, a domain, monsters, and a campaign ending threat that could destroy the universe.  All that is an amazing combination in a small product that still has time to give some great story on the Worm that Walks.  GO NOW!  Read this thing at least for free to see how to produce good content for the DM Guild. 99%

Daily Punch 1-15-16 Wild Training feat for DnD 5e

Now time for the Ranger

 

Wild Training

You’ve spent time out the wild and have learned how to survive and thrive in the wilderness.  Gain the following:

  • Increase your Strength or Dexterity by 1, to a maximum of 20.
  • Choose one skill a ranger gains at 1st level.  You are now proficient in that skill.
  • You gain the Natural Explorer ability of the ranger, but you only gain one favored terrain from this feat.

 

Thoughts?

Daily Punch 1-14-16 Righteous Training feat for DnD 5e

Let’s now do a feat for the Paladin

 

Righteous Training

You have spent time in an abbey of war.  You are now a strong defender of the faith.  Gain the following:

  • Increase your Strength or Constitution by 1, to a maximum of 20.
  • Choose one skill a paladin gains at 1st level.  You are now proficient in that skill.
  • You gain the Lay On Hands ability of a paladin.  Your total level counts for your levels of paladin for the Lay On Hands ability.
  • Choose a god.  You must uphold the god’s values or you lose the abilities granted by this feat.

Thoughts?

Ring Side Report-Board Game Review of Pixel Tactics Deluxe

Product-Pixel Tactics Deluxe

Producer-Level 99 Games

Price– Can’t buy just yet!

Set-up/Play/Clean-up– 20-30 minutes (2 players)

Type-American

Depth-Medium

TL; DR-A NES, an anime collection, and Final Fantasy Tactics in a card-shaped blender. 91%

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Basics-Are you ready to old-school Anime rumble!? In Pixel Tactics Deluxe, the big box expansion to Pixel Tactics, players take the roles of rival armies attempting to kill the leader of the opposing unit.  Let’s start by describing the cards, and then the rest will fall into place.  Each card’s face has a leader half and a unit half.  The leader is the main character that the enemy will try to defeat. Each leader has an attack value, hit points, as well as providing either a special action or a special ability for your team.  If you rotate the card, you see the generic unit half.  This side has fewer hit points, an attack, and four different colored rectangles.  These rectangles are the main thrust of the game; each unit has a red, green, and blue rectangle as well as either a tan or purple rectangle.  The red, green, and blue rectangles are what this unit can do or powers it, or your army, gains depending on where it is in your army.  Units in the vanguard (red areas), get some powers, while units to your leaders sides (green or flank), or behind the leader (blue or rear) had different abilities.  The purple boxes are one time game effects (orders), and tan boxes are trap cards that you can place on the board to activate on an opponent’s turn when some action occurs.

With that, we can get into the meat of the game. Each player starts by drawing five cards from a deck of Pixel Tactics cards.  From these first five, each person will select a leader and place that character in the center of their board.  After selecting who gets to go first, players take turns taking two actions for section or wave of their unit (vanguard, then flank, and finally rear).  The actions a player can take is recruit (place a character in that section), attack (range or melee), spell (the rectangle says spell:some ability), issuing orders, laying traps, clearing corpses (removing fallen characters), or moving characters to different locations.  After both players have taken two actions for a wave of a unit , then play moves to the next wave.  Once all three waves have taken actions, the play moves back to the vanguard and the next player takes over as first player.  

I’d like to expand on attacks quickly.  Each unit has an attack value.  When a unit attacks, it does that attack value in damage to another enemy.  Unless a unit has a ranged attack, that unit cannot attack a unit behind another unit or if one of your units is in front of it.  Therefore, position is important.  Corpses do not block combat, but corpses do block placing new units, so unless you removed them with an action, your army will quickly be unable to place new fighters!  If a unit has damage equal to its health at the end of a wave’s actions, that unit is defeated and flipped over and is now a corpse.  Combat is just that simple. The game continues with each player taking turns until one player has defeated the other player’s leader and reigns supreme!

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Mechanics-I like the quick nature of this game.  Thinking of similar card games like Magic, each card is a spell (order) or a unit, and that opens up a range of tactical options.  It’s fast, fun, and not a rules slog as different orders can’t do infinite combos or other such craziness that can build up in other games.  It’s just a quick game of fun tactics that you learn in under 10 minutes and feel smart when you discover combos in the cards.  It is a bit limited as this box only has two 30 card decks, and both decks are exactly the same.  It’s fun, but you can see why there are five other Pixel Tactics expansions besides this one.  However, to open new fun, this box also comes with drafting and league rules.  If you and your friends want to open up a tournament, this box and the other expansions give you the experience you’re wanting.  Well done! 5/5

Theme-This is a hard one.  There is NO real story in this game box, but it also drips theme in a strange, Frankenstein combination of genres.  I don’t have a clue what the heck any of the factions are or why they are fighting.  However, there is a ton of theme here.  Each leader has a full name and title.  These titles get all kinds of fun and the powers reflect it.  The generic unit side also provides you with some fun flare as the various cards have powers that all reflect exactly what you would think a card of that type should do.  Honestly this game feels like a smoothie made by blending the NES game catalog, Final Fantasy Tactics, and an anime collection.  What comes out is tasty and flavorful, but might not always make much sense, like green tea-flavored kit-kat bars.  4.25/5

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Instructions-The rules to this game are thick, but if you just want to play a two player game of it, you will use about ⅕ of it.  The rest of the rules are for alternative game modes and how to use league rules and expansions.  That said, the thing reads well.  It’s a bit wordy because the rules need to explain how you kill your friend and your friend has to see how that is fair in detail, but overall it reads quickly.  It could use a few more pictures, but it’s not bad by any means.  4.75/5

Execution-This box serves two masters reasonably well.  On one side you have players like me-I’ve never played before and this is an excellent jumping on point.  Here is a full box with dividers for your growing collection and two starting decks so you can play in five minutes.  On the other side you have full avid collectors.  Here is a box where you get new cards, new common cards for drafting games, and dividers to make you colection fit in one well-constructed box.  I only have two minor problems with this game: the leader cards in the deluxe box and card icons.  Leader cards are chibi art cards of the leaders without having the basic unit side.  You get several beautiful cards, BUT you don’t get cards for all the units you get in this box.  Why?  That makes me mad–I have toys I can’t use!  The card icons help you quickly figure out how a card works.  And that’s great, but they can be a bit busy.  The overload of icons isn’t on all the cards, but maybe a few less would help improve readability.  These are only slight  annoyances and not nearly enough to completely detract from the beauty of this game.  Want to see all the cards in the box?  Check out our unboxing video here: https://youtu.be/uHSQNmhsFVo 4.5/5

Summary-I’ve never been much of a card gamer, but this one does win me over.  I can’t stand the pay-to-win mechanics of Magic, but this game gives me enough strategy and evolving gameplay that I can have a blast for a one-time cost and in a way where I don’t have to spend days learning the complex rules of the game.  I’d like a bit more theme as I don’t know why I’m killing the other player, but It also doesn’t really matter-The cards feel like they should.  The rules are streamlined, if a bit wordy, and the execution of the deluxe box is amazing.  My biggest problem with this box is I want more, which is always a great problem to have.  If you are looking for some classic NES nostalgia, your anime fix, and a fun 20-30 minute strategy game, then this is the game you’re looking for! 91%