With Trapdoor Tech and Lone Wolf cautiously circling each other with their Codename: Morningstar and Herolab/Realmworks applications respectively, another player has been quietly prepping something in the background. The City of Brass, billing itself as "the next generation of gaming apps" is working on "a fully-featured app specifically designed to manage the mechanics of pen-and-paper games while allowing you to focus on what matters".
This article over at Zimbio lists 11 things The Hobbit which makes it just like a D&D game. From Bard's critical hit to Bilbo's clear leveling up, the article takes a tongue-in-cheek look at the movie. "Like some massive battle mapped out on graph paper and playmats, The Battle of the Five Armies feels like the cinematic interpretation of a really great Dungeons & Dragons campaign." Spoilers follow.
Being a detailed timeline from 1974-2014 showing TSR, WotC, Paizo, and the RPG industry side-by-size in a comparative timeline. You can see at a glance when things happened, and what else was happening at the same time, giving a broader context to most events.
WotC has just (re)released 1983's World of Greyhawk Fantasy Game Setting for AD&D 1st Edition in PDF format at dndclassics.com. "More than a collection of maps and names, it is an active world filled with decaying empires and dark forests. Game elements include the gods of Greyhawk, the clash of political factions, and encounters in this wild land." Written by Gary Gygax, this setting describes the world of Oerth, in which classic locations like Castle Greyhawk were set.
From Ultimate Campaign, the background generator is intended to remove the creative pressure that can sometimes frustrate players as they try to flesh out the murky details of their characters' backgrounds. This generator provides these details with simple rolls of the die. Think of each element on the background generator's tables as a piece of story material that you can link together with other random pieces to create a story you otherwise might now have imagined.
Tis the Season for Giving: Twelve Free PDFs for Your Home Games! Christmas is fast approaching and that means that gifts are being bought for every child and semi-distant relative. The malls are packed with hordes of disgruntled parents pressing their way through the crowds, just hoping to find that perfect gift for each of their 2.5 children, while pickpockets’ sticky fingers cling to wallets not their own. It’s a mess that will leave many of us grouchy and resentful just in time to see the people who get under our skins the most for the holidays. This season of giving tends to put so many of us in a foul mood because of the pressure associated with finding that perfect gift. So for a few minutes let me take some of that tension away by presenting you with Ten FREE and Pay What You Want PDFs for your role-playing games! Happy Holidays!
With 2 weeks to go, and only 13% of the $425,000 raised, and those two weeks being Christmas, the odds are that Codename: Morningstar won't fund. There might be a last-minute turnaround, of course, but the prognosis right now does not look hopeful. Trapdoor Technologies leader Chris Matney addressed the possibility, saying that "not pledging is telling the industry that you are happy with the status quo."
With the second big announcement in as many days, Codename: Morningstar creators Trapdoor Tech has announced a local gaming store program which makes it worthwhile for stores to adopt the electronic platform for in-store game play. It's phrased as an invitation for store owners to reach out. The program gives your local game store a percentage of your purchases from the Morningstar online marketplace, allows stores to offer use of Morningstar free within the store, plus some gift cards.
Last week, we took a good look at the plastic figures included in Privateer Press' Iron Kingdoms Unleashed Adventure Kit box. Now they’ve got to have somewhere to explore and fight! That’s where the map tiles and tokens come in. The Adventure Kit comes with nine double-sided map tiles and 28 double-sided map tokens to allow for a host of different possible scenarios. Here’s an example of one of the encounter setups.
Trapdoor Tech, the makers of the Codename: Morningstar electronic tools suite, has announced a new collaborative project - a "moddable battle map system" - with 5E Dungeon Master's Guide artist and cartographer Mike Schley. Part of Codename: Morningstar, it will be "a simple map building module - tile-based - with overlays that allow even the most artistically-challenged GM to create a great looking, printable map quickly."
Green Ronin's classic setting of Freeport is back, and this time for the Pathfinder RPG. "Clocking in at a massive 544 pages, Freeport: The City of Adventure lovingly details a metropolis that mixes fantasy tropes, piracy, and Lovecraftian horror into an action packed setting for your RPG campaign. The city is now more detailed than ever, with added locations, characters, hooks, and a brand new, full-length adventure."
I missed this, and it has only 3 days left to go, but Pioneer Dungeons & Games has a Kickstarter for a Critical Hit Dungeon Wheel. When you score a critical hit, you spin the wheel to find out what happens. It's an interesting alternative to simply doubling damage dice or using a card deck to spice up those crits. The campaign is struggling - it's about $120 short of its $800 goal.
WotC has created this little video -- "Happy holidays from all of us at Dungeons & Dragons! It’s a new take on an old carol…" You're likely familiar with the original carol, first published in England back in 1780. Plus, this is where I learn for the first time that Americans say "Satyr" differently! Enjoy!
Lone Wolf Development, the makers of the popular Hero Lab character generation software which already covers a wide range of games, has just announced that it is already preparing its software for D&D 5th Edition. While no license exists, their statement (below) indicates that they are fully expecting one and that they are confident enough that they have already started work.
Fee Fi Fo Fum! I smell the blood of an Englishman! Be he live, or be he dead, I'll grind his bones to make my bread. The latest official Pathfinder companion, Giant Hunter's Handbook, is here. And, of course, the Giantslayer adventure path is launching early next year.
The One Ring fans will be delighted to hear that Rivendell will be appearing on US store shelves in the next week or two. "The much-anticipated Rivendell supplement not only opens up a whole new area of Middle-earth for heroes to explore – Eastern Eriador – along with providing two new cultures, the iconic Rangers of the North and the High Elves of Rivendell. The supplement also provides a treasure trove of new rules for use by the Loremaster, including rules for Magical Treasure, Powerful Adversaries and the Eye of Mordor."
The end of the year approaches! Looking back on 2014 our hobby had a really good year. We found ourselves repeatedly as the focus of news cycles and rarely did we come away in a poor light. We saw Kickstarters raise tremendous amounts of money, new games and old favorites brought back to the fore, and the impact of social media on our hobby has never been more obvious. But what stories were the dominant ones of the year? Which ones will be shaping the conversation for next year and the years after? These are the top ten news stories of 2014.
It's time for another pile of fan-created D&D 5E resources where I scour the web so you don't have to! This time we have a pile of random generators, 9 new 5E character sheets, a series of articles on Monster Building, a suite of online DM tools, and 1,000 1st level characters. The fan community has not slowed down - that's a lot of stuff!
The 5th Edition Dungeon Master's Guide is still pulling in rave reviews, and is trending at 93.5%. io9 says its "like a Hacker's Manual for D&D", and Geekdad reports that "this 5e ruleset has completely won me back!" There are dissenters, of course - 5 Minute Workday feels its "a whole lot of appetizers but no real main course" - but these are outweighed by reviews from the likes of boingboing who called it "gorgeous, evocative, hefty, organized, and readable".
COMING SOON: 5 Plug-In Settlements for your 5E Game