Monday, 21 December 2015

The Long Game: The Last of the Aesian Outpost

When last we left our adventurers, they were in Aes, at a lonely outpost, underground, facing off against an alien queen and her many terrifying creatures. The monsters had already killed many Aesian guards, as well as one of Kalgar's crew. The room was surrounded by dripping water, and barrels of oil and black powder. The fight had started. Now, it was time to finish this!

Saturday, 19 December 2015

The Long Game: The Queen's Lair

Under the isolated Aesian outpost, Alvyn, Tong, and Kalgar were following the carnage caused by a creature of unknown form and intent. It had killed one of their crew, many Aesian guards, and was now seemingly trapped under the outpost.

Still, nothing is ever easy in The Long Game, so let's see how our adventurers handle it.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

The Long Game: The Caves of Calamity

Our adventurers were making their way west, to track the monster that had killed one of their crew. They did not know what it was, only that it likely came from The Iron Tower and that it was dangerous. Let's see what they find...

Saturday, 28 November 2015

New players? Use premade characters.

Dominic Matte
After years of introducing people to D&D and seeing where people want to engage and struggle to do never involve creating a character.
so, I've come to the conclusion that a person's first ever RPG session should

When you want to try something new, you want to actually try it. A new player who wants to try D&D wants to start roleplaying, experience awesome action and tense encounters and root out intrigue - not spend an hour referencing rules and copying text and doing math and cross-referencing. I ran a session for a new group recently, and even 5th edition's very simple and streamlined character creation took over an hour because none of the players had ever touched a tabletop RPG and every rule and many basic concepts were new to them. In fact I've actually watched potential players get bored and leave the table during character creation who never got to actually try the game.

When a newbie tells you they want to be a dwarf wizard who used to be in the military, it's much better to hand them a sheet and get started than it is to sit down and explain how Vancian spellcasting works and ask them to choose from a vast list of spells with no frame of reference. Handle the rules as they come up - don't say "before we get started, here's a quick overview of how combat works". Do say "you are ambushed by a foul-smelling gang of orc marauders! Roll initiative! Which means..."

In fact, new players are often more creative before they know how the rules work. When you have a list of options you tend to choose from the list, even if the list items are suggestions and not your only choices. A player who has no list of combat options is more likely to say "Can I do this crazy thing?", in which case your job as DM is to reply either "Yes, and here's how that works" or "No, because of X, but you could try Y".

This is all a long way of saying that over the years I've become a big fan of pre-made character sheets. Don't fuss over choices the new player doesn't understand and filling out numbers that have no meaning yet. Hand them a complete level 1 character (or the system equivalent) with a minimum of backstory and get started.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Introducing Aseir (Al'Farok) Aerendgast

We've started a new D&D game here at D4sign! Don't worry, we'll continue playing The Long Game, but we're also playing a game run by fellow D4sign blogger, Mike! Today's post is all about my character for the game, and how he came to be!
Dallas Kasaboski

Saturday, 21 November 2015

The Long Game: Intrigue with a Side of Indigestion

Greetings, fair traveler, and welcome back to D4sign! Let's continue The Long Game! When last we left our adventurers, they had barely sailed their ship to an outpost in Aes, Kalgar's home country. There, they were recuperating, and waiting to speak with Admiral Draksha concerning Kalgar's fate...

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Making Magic Happen

I used to have a problem with magic in D&D. For years, I avoided playing a magic-user, and would go so far as to ignore magic in games. This has changed recently, and I'm about to tell you why.
Dallas Kasaboski

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Developing Starfall: a story-first approach

Dominic Matte
When I work on a D&D game, I start with a core idea for a world or story (for example, what if dragons were secretly playing a game for the fate of the world and no one knew). Then I build the world in excessive detail, including history, politics, organizations, and characters. When I write in an event (or when the players do) I want to know how it'll affect the world, and for that I need to have the world ready in working detail. Once I'm satisfied with the expansive planning, I star play, adding more to the story and world on a session-by-session basis as the players explore and learn about what's going on.

At least, that's how I usually work on a D&D game. I've been slowly kicking out ideas for a campaign that I'm tentatively calling Starfall (after three or four rejected titles over the years), and I've been taking a different approach than I normally do. I may have mentioned it here before, earlier in the process. I've been building a framework of story in distinct arcs with specific themes around the core concept, adding and subtracting and re-organizing as I make progress.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

The Medium Version of The Long Game

Hello! We here, at D4sign, have been playing many games and sometimes it is easy to lose track of things. True to its name, we have been playing The Long Game for a long time, and I thought it would be a good idea to provide a summary. If you're new to the game, this should help you catch up, and if you're very familiar with it, this should refresh your memory. I will be updating this as we play and further details can be found in earlier Long Game posts!

I also found that while this was much shorter, it was still longer than the average reader may wish to peruse. Therefore, I have written an even shorter summary here.
Dallas Kasaboski

The Short Version of The Long Game

Hello! In an effort to bring everyone, including the players, up to speed on the events of The Long Game, I strove to make a synopsis. Realizing that it was great, but maybe still a little too long, I decided to make this summary, here. Lacking most of the story and content, it may not make as much sense, but for anyone already familiar with the journals, which can be found in previous posts, this summary will help to refresh your memory of our adventures. I hope you like it and find it useful!
Dallas Kasaboski

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Magic Is Not A Tech Crutch

Dominic Matte
I've seen a few interesting thoughts on the interaction between magic and technology. A common argument is that advanced technology would not develop in a world with magic because magic works as a sort of crutch that negates any need for scientific advancement. If you can shoot fireballs and beams of force from your fingertips, why would you need a gun? If you can teleport not just between towns, but between continents or worlds or planes, why would you need cars or trains?

Personally, I'd argue the opposite: a world with magic would develop technology at a faster rate.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

The Long Game: Return to Aes!

Last time...

Our three adventurers had defeated the Iron Dragon and were fighting their way out of the tower. Making it safely aboard the Shockrosia (or Thunderhead, in the Common tongue), along with some new allies, the crew had intercepted a message from Aes. Kalgar was being called back, on charges of high treason.
Dallas Kasaboski

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

The Long Game: Escape from The Iron Tower!

Last time, in The Long Game, Alvyn, Tong, and Kalgar defeated the dragon! Through unbelievable odds, they enraged the Iron Dragon to attack them, thus breaking the rules of the game, and through sheer luck, they were now left standing over a mangled dragon corpse. Not able to rest, our adventurers heard the sound of wild beasts in the levels below, and felt the rumble of an awakening, and angry, tower beneath their feet. They knew they had to escape, but to do that, they would have to fight their way out.
Dallas Kasaboski

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

The Long Game: The Iron Tower Part 5

It seems like our adventurers have been in this Iron Tower forever. All of that is about to end, especially as the three have awoken the dragon, the mutated, angry, charging Iron Dragon.
Dallas Kasaboski

Friday, 9 January 2015

The Nightmares of a Dragon: The Iron Tower Part 4

High within the Iron Tower, Alvyn, Tong, and Kalgar, continued toward the top. So far, they had seen simple and complicated monstrosity, but what awaited them at the very top?