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  1. Southern Oracle

    Baker Street: Roleplaying in the World of Sherlock Holmes

    Hey everyone! This kickstarter is already funded, but they're adding some cool stretch goals. A friend of mine is the author. I can't wait for this game to come out (Sherlock is a hot commodity right now, what with Elementary and the BBC's Sherlock). Check it out...
  2. Southern Oracle

    One Scary Monster

    As the weather grows cool and the leaves start to change color, the excitement for Halloween starts to build. The holidays eat up a lot of free time, so me and my friends try to squeeze in as much gaming as we can in October to offset the dearth of gaming around Christmas and New Year’s. In...
  3. Southern Oracle

    What Time Is It? Adventure Time!

    Okay, the title may be a bit misleading, although Adventure Time is a great inspiration for D&D. What I’m alluding to is the time of year when gaming gets “kicked up a notch.” What makes it so special? There are two things – the first is Halloween, and the second is fall television show...
  4. Southern Oracle

    Which Rogue Is Which?

    A while back I showcased the rogue from the previous D&D Next playtest, discussing how the class advanced from 1st to 20th level (you can find it here). The final public playtest has now been released, and I’d like to see how the rogue has changed from one version to the next. Join me as Gerta...
  5. Southern Oracle

    Did You Get Magic in My D&D?

    Previews of the upcoming Magic the Gathering block called Theros are all over the internet, and the theme is obvious – Greek mythology. As I scanned through the cards, I realized how many of the creatures were prevalent in both Magic and D&D, and I got to thinking that now more than ever is a...
  6. Southern Oracle

    Did Planehopping Get Its Groove Back?

    It’s been a long time since my online Planescape group has been able to get together. With two continents, three time zones, five players, jobs, spouses, significant others, children, holidays, etc, it’s not been easy to keep things going for 10 years. But Sunday afternoon the stars were...
  7. Southern Oracle

    Eberron for Two, Part Two

    We join our dynamic duo as they lurk outside a ruined tower while Brelish and Cyre forces clash on the Saerun Road below the hill. Each has mission; can they work together to accomplish them? For the first part of this article, see here. My daughter and her boyfriend played their first...
  8. Southern Oracle

    Eberron for Two

    The other day I was working on one of my campaigns in the living room while daughter #3 and her boyfriend were watching an anime called Fairy Tail (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairy_Tail). They had been bugging me for a while to run a D&D campaign for them, but I had put it off for lack of...
  9. Southern Oracle

    1 Rogue, Coming Up

    A couple weeks ago I gave a comparison between a 1st-level barbarian and a 20th-level barbarian for D&D Next from the latest playtest packet. I know Wizards of the Coast announced one final playtest packet for this year at Gen Con, so the information from this packet is living on borrowed time...
  10. Southern Oracle

    Do You Have Con Fever?

    It’s that time of the year. Countdown to Gen Con, Dragoncon right around the corner, and a bunch of other conventions throughout the U.S. (and the world) to let you indulge in gaming goodness. I know what I’d love to do, and I know what I can do. What about you? This year, I only have the...
  11. Southern Oracle

    How Does Your Barbarian Grow?

    As I write this, the latest playtest packet for D&D Next has been out only a few days, so I haven’t had a lot of time to dissect it. However, I wanted to do a quick comparison, so I statted out a 1st-level human barbarian (we’ll name him Hrothgar), and then I advanced him to 20th level and...
  12. Southern Oracle

    How Do You Choose a Character?

    Within the framework of D&D 4E, “success” is achieved by having the appropriate mix of classes. Assuming the right number of players, you need at least one leader, one striker, one defender, and one controller, with additional characters expanding the striker or defender role. Leave out one of...
  13. Southern Oracle

    4 Setting Seductions

    There are four settings that have captured my imagination in recent months, only three of which are rpgs. Interestingly enough, none of them are D&D. Below I break down what appeals to me and why I’m willing to branch out after all these years. Android: Netrunner This card game from Fantasy...
  14. Southern Oracle

    8 More Planescape Factions as 4E Templates

    Here are the rest of Sigil's factions as 4E templates, equally useful for characters and NPCs. Fraternity of Order Power Source: Belief. Guvner Elite Controller Defenses: +1 Fortitude, +1 Will. Saving Throws: +2. Action Point: 1. Hit Points: +8 per level + Constitution score. Weapon...
  15. Southern Oracle

    6 Planescape Factions as 4E Templates

    If you want some Planescape flavor in your 4E D&D game, try these templates for NPCs. If you want to give player characters the same flavor, grant them some or all of the Class Features for the faction that interests them. If you're worried about power creep, swap them for existing class...
  16. Southern Oracle

    17 Applications Of Murphy's Law to 4E Skills

    Ever have one of those days? One of those weeks? Months? Has your D&D character? The past couple months have been really rough for me and my family, and while I was trying to put a positive spin on it, I thought about how lucky our D&D characters are – how they don’t often seem subject to...
  17. Southern Oracle

    3G: Gaming Goulash

    On Friday some of my gaming group got together and we tried a spaceship combat game called Starmada (http://www.mj12games.com/starmada/). In the company’s own words, “it’s simple, but not simplistic,” which got me thinking about using it in for ship battles in a campaign setting like...
  18. Southern Oracle

    3G: Some Rules Are Better Than Others

    Some games are great as-is, the rules-as-written, no changes necessary. Other games are horrible, and after one session, you never touch them again. Still other games have a nugget of something great but require tweaking in order to make them more enjoyable. We call those tweaks we make...
  19. Southern Oracle

    3G: The Language of Gaming

    I was reading Radiating Gnome’s article from Saturday (http://www.enworld.org/forum/content.php?939-Gamehackery-Valar-Morghulis-and-DMing) and it got me thinking about language in my D&D games. I started to write a comment on his article, but then thought I’d be too long-winded to make it a...
  20. Southern Oracle

    3G: More than Pen and Paper

    In its simplest form, D&D is a pen-and-paper game. The DM has notes for the adventure, the players have character sheets, and changes are recorded as play progresses. You don’t really need dice, if you trust the DM to arbitrate random outcomes. Heck, the DM doesn’t even need notes, if he or...
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