Category Archives: D&D4e

RPG a Day 2015 Challenge – Day 17

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Let’s start another week with the #RPGaDay2015 Challenge! I assure you Michael is still around, I just tied him up and put him in the basement while I take over for a month with this project. I hope you are all having as much fun with it as I am. On to the week of favorite, and we begin with…

Day 17 – Favorite fantasy RPG

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I’ve said it before, despite playing in different genres and systems, and over the last 10 years about half of that time has been spent playing either sci-fi or supers games, my poison of choice has always been fantasy. It was a passion of mine before discovering RPGs, from literature, to movies and comics I devoured everything I could. Before RPGs I had read Tolkien and some Robert E. Howard. I had watched the Lord of the Rings animated film when I was 5 years old, Conan the Barbarian in theaters in 1982 (despite the R rating) and the comics based on the characters were among the first comics in English I read. Excalibur was among my favorite films (another R rated movie, and I am so grateful I was allowed to watch them) and to this day I can quote parts of the dialogue. Wizards I watched on TV along with the Hobbit animated movie (The Return of the King animated version I discovered in VHS).

Clash of the Titans began my love affair with Greek mythology and was the reason I read children’s versions of the Iliad and the Odyssey. I was a huge fan of the Simbad movies. I played with the World’s Greatest Super Knights toys as a kid and had AD&D action figures before I knew what D&D was!

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Perhaps the fantasy movie I watched the most as a teenager was Fire and Ice, and mind you, this was during the days of the Video Club, you really didn’t buy movies and back then, and I didn’t have two VHS recorders to copy the film… I rented it countless times! Fire and Ice along with the Elfquest collections were formative in my concepts of fantasy.

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This trip down  memory lane is simply meant to show you that I was destined to fall in love with Fantasy RPGs, especially with the very first game I played, Dungeons & Dragons. To this day, D&D in all it’s iterations, from Basic, to AD&D, AD&D 2nd edition, D&D 3rd edition, 3.5, Pathfinder and assorted retroclones, Dungeons and Dragons has always been the game I return to. The right way to look at it is, I play D&D, when I take a break, I play other games!

The astute reader might notice that there is one edtion missing from the previous list, D&D 4th edition. I didn’t hate it, it was just not for me, and I’ve talked about this at length, so it’s not worth repeating. However D&D 5th edition has me interested in the brand once more. Now I can play, Pathfinder, or D&D 5e, or Microlite20, or my favorite retorclone Basic Fantasy RPG. No matter what happens, I think I’ll be playing D&D for a long time…

So, what’s your favorite fantasy RPG? Let us know in the comments.

See you all tomorrow for the next favorite RPG, sci-fi. Care to take a guess? Come back to find out…

RPG a Day 2015 Challenge – Day 14

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A little later than usual today, that’s work for you… Thanks Cthulhu it’s Friday! On to today’s topic on the #RPGaDay2015 challenge.

Day 14 – Favorite RPG accessory

This one was tough, because every “accessory” I think of is actually a tool I use for running my games, from productivity software, social media tools, image searching and storage, they are the fiddly bits I use to create my games, but strictly speaking, they are NOT a roleplaying game accessory.

The dictionary defines accessory as: “a thing that can be added to something else in order to make it more useful, versatile, or attractive.” So they couldn’t be corebooks, but they could be splatbooks or other supplements, not dice (for most games at least) because you need those for the typical RPG. Miniatures could be accessories for many games… What to pick?

10391865_354210220270_4916431_nIf I try to choose the ultimate FAVORITE, yes all caps, accessory, it’s even more complicated, because it changes along the way. But I’ll say  my favorite accessory for RPGs are miniatures!

That may be controversial for some people, for a long time I would argue that minis would take away from immersion in the game, switching from a narrative into a board game as soon as combat began, but my mind changed some 14 years ago, about the time D&D 3rd edition came out. I grudgingly began using miniatures in my games and discovered all they can add to a game. Even when we don’t use them all the time, selecting a miniature, painting it (for those with the talent) can help a player connect with a character in a concrete way, it becomes a trinket, a connection, to what happens in combat during a game.

Are they for every game? No, I rarely used them for our Mutants & Masterminds campaign, and for the current Savage Worlds campaign I only use them for certain key encounters.However, for D&D and Pathfinder I use them all the time, and will use them for D&D 5th edition once we begin playing it. Using minis has resulted in using erasable mats, Flip-Mats, Map Packs and other commercial map products. I love me some minis, and will probably continue using them in my games.

What is your favorite accessory? Let us know in the comments.

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PS – Those last two pictures are of Khanjira the World Breaker by Reaper Miniatures painted by my good friend and really talented artist Jaime Valle who happens to run his own Prop Shop in Puerto Rico, he’s on Facebook, check him out!

Day 10 – Favorite RPG publisher

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Is it Monday already? And we are ten days into the  #RPGaDay2015 Challenge! Time flies..

We are hitting the really difficult questions, the ones where we have to choose favorites and it involves people you know directly or indirectly. So let’s put on the big boy pants and go for it.

Day 10 – Favorite RPG publisher

When I was younger this would have been easy to answer, for two reasons, I was a D&D fan and TSR had my undivided attention. Of course I brought other games, my shelves are a testament to that, but I always returned to D&D and ultimately TSR.

Another big change has been social media. In the long long ago before the Internet, getting to talk to a game creator only happened through correspondence or convention attendance. There days, through social media and posting in this blog, has allowed me to interact with writers and artists I admire in ways my teenage self would never think possible, so picking a favorite is a little like asking a father to pick his favorite son!

There are lots of candidates… Paizo because I loved that they gave me an option when D&D 4th edition didn’t work for me and how they kept a rule system I enjoyed going, and improved on it. Green Ronin, because they make games I love and they have some genuinely talented and friendly creators on their staff. The list goes on and on… But when I started looking at all the pieces, quality, enjoyability, how their products fire up my imagination, and the quality of people working there, the answer was not difficult. Of all the wonderful and great companies out there, I have to say Kobold Press is my favorite RPG publisher.

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Their books are always top notch, from the  writing, to the art, to the mechanics. Even when I don’t run their campaigns the books always have a treasure trove of ideas and mechanics I can use. If you look at the reviews I’ve done here in the blog, you can see how many I did for their products, and that’s not a coincidence, I am a HUGE fan!

So that’s my favorite, but all the other I mentioned and a few I did not, are all great companies, this is truly a great hobby, full of wonderful people.

That’s all for Day 10. What is your favorite RPG publisher? Let me know in the comments…

PS – Oh, and one last thing before I forget! After I wrote my Day 9 entry, favorite media you wish was an RPG, I read Gareth Skarka’s entry for Day 9, I just wished I would have thought about this! His pick was the old Epic Comics Alien Legion. What a series, and he’s right. Go read his post to get the details why. Thanks Gareth for reminding me of that property.