Category Archives: Legacy D&D

Dungeons & Dragons Online goes free to play

Ok, in my first post I told everyone that this blog is about pen & paper RPGs and not MMORPGs or even LARP. But sometime you just have to break your own rules to get the message out!

DDO screenshot

Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach will be updated later this year into D&D Online:Unlimited that features a raised level cap (to 20), new races and classes and an item/cash shop. In addition to that the business model is changed from subscription-based to free-to-play with VIP accounts. That means you’ll probably have to pay a monthly fee to get all features of the game but you’ll also be able to play most parts of the game for free.

I have played DDO a couple of times in the past and although I enjoyed it very much, I returned to WoW after a couple of weeks/months. But when it becomes free-to-play I will definitely give it another look.

The updated game will soon reach closed beta where selected players will have a sneak peek at the updated game. If you want to sign up for the beta, or check out a couple of gorgeous screenshots, visit the official DDO site.

Update for Europe: Codemasters, which runs DDO in Europe has posted the following announcement:

DUNGEONS & DRAGONS ONLINE(r): EBERRON UNLIMITED(tm)

Today Turbine announced the start of its Beta program for a new digital upgrade for DDO called Dungeons and Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited, (DDO Unlimited).

As in the past, Turbine will be running this Beta program on its servers in North America to get the game ready for launch. This is a very exciting time for DDO and in the coming months, Turbine will unveil their plans to roll out DDO Unlimited to players around the world.

To clarify, for the time being, DDO Europe will not be assuming this new business model and the European DDO game service will remain a monthly subscription-based game with all new content created available to all subscribers, as has been the model up until now. As the Beta progresses we will release more information regarding the future plans for EU players.

As soon as we have more news from Turbine on what happens next we will share it.

Source: http://community.codemasters.com/forum/showthread.php?t=359318

CSI: Sharn

SharnOn the German RPG blog “Limited Edition – Gedanken zum Rollenspiel” I discovered a very intersting post called “CSI: Sharn“.

Sharn is one of the most iconic cities in Eberron and a great place for urban adventures. In his last Eberron campaign fellow blogger and roleplayer callme_ishmael had created a necromancer NPC that worked as coroner for the Sharn city guard. She used her spells to question dead crime victims in order to help the city guard with their investigation. And this NPC lead callme_ishmael to the idea of an urban campaign modelled after the popular TV series CSI.

The basic premise of a CSI: Sharn campaign would be that the players are members of a special group sponsored by the King of Breland himself to help the city guard solve crimes. Although some meta plot could be easily introduced into such a campaign, most adventures should be closed episodes which usually start with a dead body where the circumstances of death are unclear or even outright mysterious. Callme_ishmael even provided us with a few story hooks:

  • A man has been found dead, obviously he died by falling from a great height. The problem is that shouldn’t be possible because of the feather fall enchantments that are in effect.
  • A serial killer is stalking the warforged of Sharn, causing them to stop working in the local foundries, which will lead to an economical crisis in the near future.
  • A countess has been killed by an unknown aberration that obviously used the plumbings to escape.
  • In a gang fight several gang members from both sides are killed. When the guard rounds up the surviving combatants they deny being responsible for the deaths of their fellow gang members.

Since the members of the CSI team are working for the king the player characters get a steady income and their equipment is provided when needed. Ideally the group should be assembled from a lot of different races living in Sharn, perhaps even goblins and orcs. Sharn is a cosmopolitan city after all.

This is a really interesting idea on how you could do an urban campaign in Eberron. The next time I run an Eberron campaign I will surely give it a try.

Two Worlds RPG for free

Two Worlds RPGTwo Worlds is an action RPG for PC and Xbox 360. In 2007 RPGObjects created a pen&paper roleplaying game based on that game that was included in the Collector’s Edition of the game. They are now releasing this game for free at their site. You have to register an account there to download your copy of the 74-page PDF.

The PDF itself is looking pretty nice and obviously uses artwork from the game but the layout is really not my cup of tea: a one-column layout and a font size that even my grandma could read with her glasses off. And the font used (reminds me of the font used in Blizzard’s Diablo) probably causes eye cancer. Aside from that, the Two Worlds RPG could be an interesting entry into the pen & paper roleplaying hobby for fans of the video game.

The game uses Fantasy20, a variant of the d20 System which was probably the most logical choice for such a project.

Please note: There is also a version of that book optimized for print but I couldn’t download it. It is possible that this version uses a more readable font and better layout (but I doubt it). If you have more luck downloading the print version, please let me know.