Thursday, May 29, 2014

D&D 5th - First Thoughts

I playtested it and like it. I have been keeping up with Legends and Lore and I like it. I am a fan of D&D Next (now just D&D) and am excited to talk about some of the new things coming down the pipe.In the next few articles, I will go over some of the changes and additions to the game. Some of the cool things coming down the pipe include a dragon featured first two-part adventure written by Kobold Press that it set in Faerun and promises to be a great deal of fun! They are releasing a Basic Set, a PHB, a MM, and DMG in that order followed by the adventures.

The MSRP is about $50.00 per book which seems a little high but you can always get the rules online as a free pdf downloadable from their site. Of course the free pdf and Basic sets are going to including only some of the rules. The real meat of the setting will be found in the treasure trove of the triumvirate or trifecta if you will or if you prefer the triforce or you might say that legendary thee book release of PHB, MM, and DMG and why should it all be in a Core book easily accessible for players? Answer. It shouldn't.

I am going to start with attacks. I have always been bugged by the huge number of attacks some characters get. One of the biggest pet peeves of mine with higher levels was the 100 attack syndrome that all characters eventually ended up with getting more than one attack after their base attack went higher than a +5. Well it looks like D&D (5th) has fixed that load of garbage. I mean it is cool to have a very good fighter but does he really need to take the next five minutes rolling all his attacks and damage?

Magic Items have changed for the better. No more using Spellcraft as in Pathfinder to automatically know the item. In 5th edition D&D many (not all) magic items need to be attuned similar to what they do in Earthdawn. Some items that do not need it are potions and scrolls while magic swords and amulets will need it. You basically put part of yourself in to the item, some essence of yourself. If you are going to use a magic item you have to attune yourself to it. Some of the items have drawbacks as well as bonuses. This cuts out the 'well that's a cursed sword' cheese that players like to pull.You do not know it is cursed unless you use Identify (and pass your check) or until you attune it. Head of Vecna anyone? This also gives magic items more purpose and cool factor imho.

I leave you with a cool image of the Monster Manual coming out this summer which I believe is aimed at a particular iconic monster and WoTC way of saying "Hey, we got this!"

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Alcatraz Foundation - Supers Game

We were going to play Mutants and Masterminds but during character creation we all got headaches and decided to do something else. I recommended we go ahead and try a few other systems but Gene in all his brilliance said "Let's use Cthulhu". There is actually a system for Chaoisum called Basic Roleplay that is the engine for Cthulhu. I said sure and made up some quick powers rules and off we went. We had a blast!

At Mel's request I played Robin Sparkles' "Let's go to the Mall" for everyone before they headed out of Alcatraz to take on the four supervillians. The cast of characters was Mel (Trixie and Vortex Kitty), Dorian (Prof Prime), Joel (Darkman), and Gene (Stefan the Punk Rock Zombie) Versus Avenged Manifold, Toxicity, Fearless Diablo, and Rodiart.

Their mission is to stop the four from getting the Weather Control device hidden underneath the mall in a decommissioned secret base. Our heroes get on scene just as the action is going down and they see Avenged Manifold who spots them exiting their supersonic hoverjet Gypsy and does a quick about face and dashes using super speed into the mall, package under hand. The Weather Machine!

I turn on Metallica.

Meanwhile, the supers deploy as Toxicity takes position behind the Capital Mall's fountain and uses his super power of toxic sludge attack to cause the water in the fountain to turn slimy and sludge over the heroes. They are covered in goo and somewhat shaken but ready for a fight.

The heroes respond when Prof Prime uses his telekenetic powers to slam the fountain into the huge man. He flies into a wall, slamming through it into the shoe store on the other side. A guy inside grumbles about someone named Peggy.

Next the Punk Rock Zombie turns into a million flies and swarms the mall looking for Manifold, his archnemesis. Trixity puts several arrows into Toxicity who stands back up and slams Prof Prime through a series of walls and knocks him with his sludge attack.

Darkman jumps shadows and appears directly behind the lumbering hulk and pounds some sense into him. "You're doing great Darkman. Now hit the big man!".

Meanwhile Fearless Diablo comes screeching into the room using a jetpack he stole from some science fiction fair (boba fetts) and slams into Trixy knocking her down. "Ouch, time to meet Vortex Kitty." She calls upon her fearless faebred feline and Vortex appears, as flying kitty with claws and a fearless attitude. Vortex begins clawing Fearless Diablo and the chase is on!

As Stefan moves into the next hall amid timid shoppers he can see none other than his nemsis with the weather control machine, but also a few halls down Rodiart is spotted with a gang of screaming women in tow. Oh no! Rodiart has attached a massive bomb to the ladies and secured it to the ceiling and floor of the mall! The timer says 24 seconds!

Now they must stop Rodiart and Manifold before they are free to go back to the Situation Room to watch the Situation.

Trixie and Darkman take on Manifold while Rodiart uses a flame thrower on the zombie! His mortal weakness! (go figure) and turns him into a human torch! Professor Prime uses his mind powers to send Diablo into another dimension in his mind. 

Two villains out. Supers banged up a bit and knocked down but still in the fight (as it should be!) During the commotion, Toxicity and Diablo both recover and rush off the scene.

A battle royal between Darkman, Trixie and Manifold as the tornado created by the machine slams into Trixie sending her flying across the mall into a game stop. Vortex Kitty is not pleased and claws the face of Manifold while Darkman lunges forward with a suprise attack. Manifold goes down for the count.

Meanwhile, Stefan has detached his hands and is working on the bomb when Prof Prime finally breaks the chains and lets the girls go free. The bomb sequence continues as parts of the code are unlocked by Stefan's hands but not enough. Only one more round left before Capital Mall turns into rubble!

Manifold recovers and beats a hasty retreat and so does Rodiart while the heroes work to solve the problem of the bomb. AH ha! Trixie grabs the weather control device, now leaking gama radiation, and tosses it to Darkman who uses the shadows to teleport to Prof Prime and Prime fumbles with the device summoning a twister to carry the bomb into the sky.

The bomb explodes harmlessly into the sky and the heroes save the day.

Epilogue: The heroes return to Alcatraz to be greeted in person by The Situation and Snookie who were both at the mall at the time.The Jersey Shore cast is escorted off Alcatraz and Stefan is left to explain his strange obsession with the show to John Battle.