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Showing posts from March, 2011

Seeing what sticks

Okay, so over the past month I've both three D&D Essentials books: the core rulebook and the two "player's handbooks" or whatever they are being called.  I picked them up more out of curiosity as someone who's been playing 4E for the past few years to see what's changed, and because the Borders in my town is closing and everything had been significantly discounted.
I would just like to express my outrage at the fact that the original three hardbound 4E books have been replaced with three softbound books and two box sets, all of which you need for certain parts of the game, but a lot of stuff that you don't.  I'm talking in particular about the box sets, which contain both the treasure tables in one and the monsters in the other.  But I have to get a ton of dungeon tiles and ridiculous cardboard tokens I neither need nor want, making me think I'll just stick with the 4E treasure from the DMG and the MM1-3 I already own.
I understand the math wo…

A little retitling of an earlier post

I said in the last post "how I'd structure my D&D Campaign (if I was still running one)."  Perhaps I should have said, "How I would structure my FRPG" campaign, because there's nothing to say that I'd use D&D if I was to shackle myself to the task of running a megadungeon.  There are some other options, with a lot to offer.
First, there are all the OSR (Old School Renaissance) clones out there, e.g. Basic Fantasy, Swords and Wizardry, or Labyrinth Lord.  OSR clones of early editions of D&D feature spartan stat lines for monsters, encourage exploration over "room cleaning", etc.  The downside is that you might not want to get too attached to your character, since in all likelihood he's going to die from a goblin's arrow to the throat.
Second, there's Earthdawn, the second edition of which is for sale over at Half Price Books right now.  I honestly think Earthdawn got people believing they could do something different tha…

How I'd Structure my D&D campaign (if I was still running one)

Naturally, having yielded my responsibilities as DM, I now miss it.  One of things I wish I had done was construct the campaign around a mega-dungeon, rather than use episodic pre-generated adventures.  Part of my decision to use pre-writ adventures was because I was frankly unsure whether a group could develop out of this.  So I didn't want to commit a ton of time to a campaign only to see it fizzle, and I instead focused on painting miniatures that will never see a tabletop.  Sometimes my internal "logic" amazes me.
Megadungeons have several appealing qualities.  First, they are extremely easy to organize and facilitate.  As many have pointed out, dungeons (mega or otherwise) are essentially narrative flow charts, with the decisions made in its exploration determining the course of the adventure.  Unless they are deliberately designed as such, they are nearly impossible to "railroad," although most of WotC's free Game Day adventures with their point-to-po…