Today, is World Wide Dungeons and Dragons Game Day.

Yesterday, D&D's Fourth Edition was released, and I'm off to pick up the books that I pre-ordered from my friends at The Gamers Gambit where I will be joining in the festivities.  Gamers around the world are encouraged to make an extra effort today to gather, and play D&D.  Many local gaming stores will be hosting events.  Today is a day to wield your imagination and your dice with good friends, food and drink.   It's a day to be in community, and know that around the world, millions of others are also participating.  Go forth, and vanquish!

 
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Today, is World Wide Dungeons and Dragons Game Day.

Yesterday, D&D's Fourth Edition was released, and I'm off to pick up the books that I pre-ordered from my friends at The Gamers Gambit where I will be joining in the festivities.  Gamers around the world are encouraged to make an extra effort today to gather, and play D&D.  Many local gaming stores will be hosting events.  Today is a day to wield your imagination and your dice with good friends, food and drink.   It's a day to be in community, and know that around the world, millions of others are also participating.  Go forth, and vanquish!

 
Tags:
 I just got back from playing D&D Fourth Edition.

Yes, you read that correct  4th Edition!  No I didn't invent time travel.  My friends at the local gaming store (The Gamer's Gambit) scored the demo version of 4th edition to run at their store for their players.   It was fun.  A lot of fun.  In about four hours, we got through four encounters.  (Well sort of five, but one of them was a bit fudged.)   Not shabby.  Now, this wasn't the full experience.  We didn't have the books, just our character sheets, and a cheat sheet summary of enough rules to play the characters on hand.   The DM had the adventure, and enough rules to run the adventure.  That's about it.  So there's heaps, and heaps left about the system to learn.  But it was fun.  It was different.  No question, this is not old school D&D by a long shot.  On the otherhand, if you are willing to let go your preconceptions on what a wizard is, a warrior, a ranger, etc, you can have a lot of fun with this. 

Now, let me say, while the game was fun, and we did get through a lot of encounters, realize these were first level characters.  And even in 3.5 I can get through a lot more encounters at low level as a DM than I could once the PCs got to a substantial level.  The proof, of course, will be in the long play.   I suspect that the momentum will be maintained because of the easy of bookkeeping---the bane of the gamer experience.   I played the tiefling wizard, and wizards are notorious for being the worst for the whole book keeping shebang.  Not this edition.  I had virtually no difficultly tracking what my options were.  And I never ran out of spells, because I had spells I could cast at will.  Which meant that I always had the ability to be effective.  The dice on the other hand had other ideas, and I spent the majority of the session hanging out at the high end or low end of the die.   When I rolled well (a crit) it was awesome to do some serious damage as a first level wizard.  On the other hand, I wiffed way more than I would have liked, and in the end, I was the only PC to push up the daisies permanently.   (The final climactic battle came down to literally a one on one, with our dwarven fighter the only remaining PC standing, and the opposing wizard running for the hills Bloodied, and none too happy.)

I think the system is going to be too difficult for converting easily existing campaigns.  Perhaps not impossible for the dedicated and determined world builders out there.  For the average joe, it might be easier to hit the campaign reset button.   That's what I would do if I were still running my campaign.  I don't imagine I'll get to play in a real 4th Edition campaign for some time.  Too much else going on, and I don't expect my current DM to be converting anytime before next year.  On the other hand, maybe he'll turn out to like this edition far better than I anticipate.

My overall opinion is: a good teaser to satisfy the curiosity, but am still reserving final assessment after I've got the whole package to peruse.
Tags:
 I just got back from playing D&D Fourth Edition.

Yes, you read that correct  4th Edition!  No I didn't invent time travel.  My friends at the local gaming store (The Gamer's Gambit) scored the demo version of 4th edition to run at their store for their players.   It was fun.  A lot of fun.  In about four hours, we got through four encounters.  (Well sort of five, but one of them was a bit fudged.)   Not shabby.  Now, this wasn't the full experience.  We didn't have the books, just our character sheets, and a cheat sheet summary of enough rules to play the characters on hand.   The DM had the adventure, and enough rules to run the adventure.  That's about it.  So there's heaps, and heaps left about the system to learn.  But it was fun.  It was different.  No question, this is not old school D&D by a long shot.  On the otherhand, if you are willing to let go your preconceptions on what a wizard is, a warrior, a ranger, etc, you can have a lot of fun with this. 

Now, let me say, while the game was fun, and we did get through a lot of encounters, realize these were first level characters.  And even in 3.5 I can get through a lot more encounters at low level as a DM than I could once the PCs got to a substantial level.  The proof, of course, will be in the long play.   I suspect that the momentum will be maintained because of the easy of bookkeeping---the bane of the gamer experience.   I played the tiefling wizard, and wizards are notorious for being the worst for the whole book keeping shebang.  Not this edition.  I had virtually no difficultly tracking what my options were.  And I never ran out of spells, because I had spells I could cast at will.  Which meant that I always had the ability to be effective.  The dice on the other hand had other ideas, and I spent the majority of the session hanging out at the high end or low end of the die.   When I rolled well (a crit) it was awesome to do some serious damage as a first level wizard.  On the other hand, I wiffed way more than I would have liked, and in the end, I was the only PC to push up the daisies permanently.   (The final climactic battle came down to literally a one on one, with our dwarven fighter the only remaining PC standing, and the opposing wizard running for the hills Bloodied, and none too happy.)

I think the system is going to be too difficult for converting easily existing campaigns.  Perhaps not impossible for the dedicated and determined world builders out there.  For the average joe, it might be easier to hit the campaign reset button.   That's what I would do if I were still running my campaign.  I don't imagine I'll get to play in a real 4th Edition campaign for some time.  Too much else going on, and I don't expect my current DM to be converting anytime before next year.  On the other hand, maybe he'll turn out to like this edition far better than I anticipate.

My overall opinion is: a good teaser to satisfy the curiosity, but am still reserving final assessment after I've got the whole package to peruse.
Tags:
I'm pretty sure everyone on my flist who has ever had anything to do with role-playing has heard by now of the passing of one of the creators of the modern role-playing game.  I am quite and truly saddened to hear it.  Thank you Mr. Gygax for putting out a game that has entertained me, frustrated me, fascinated me, devoured enormous amounts of my time, and brought me together regularly with kindred spirits who seek with me still to this day to fight evil with the might of pen, paper, a few dice, and overactive imaginations.

I can still remember my first few D&D sessions.  My very first encounter was in the sixth grade lunch room.  I was sitting with two kids from my class, Kieth and Matt, and they were teaching me how to play the game.  One of them said, write these down in a column on the left hand side of the page.   STR, INT, WIS, DEX, CON, CHA.   Now, right down next to each one of those the number 18.  (This was both my first encounter with RPGs, and with power gaming.  Who says I didn't learn correct right from the start.)   The game we played at lunch didn't really pan out, because we didn't have any dice, and they couldn't really figure out how to play at the lunch table.   However, the seed had been planted, and I was hooked.

I got that year for christmas the Beginners box set, and the AD&D Player's Handbook.  (My parents had no idea that they weren't exactly meant to go together, heck at that point neither did I.)  I passed up an opportunity at the time to own both the White edition, and the actual Chainmail rules.  The hobby shop down the corner from me actually had some in stock.  Unfortunately for me, that hobby shop would close down about a year or so later, so I never picked those up.

I can still remember some of my earliest sessions of D&D.  I got sidetracked by all the creation of adventures, that I didn't fully read and understand the rules before I tried to run my older brother Steve through a dungeon.   The first room he entered, he encountered a black dragon.  We rolled initiative, and he won.  My brother, the quick wit that he was, decided that going in close to a dragon was a bad idea.  So he used his bow, and took careful aim, and shot at its underbelly.  This, I knew.  So I had him roll the large round die, and up came a 20.  When I looked it up on my chart...lo and behold a 20 was a hit against the creature's armor class.   Now, those of you familiar with the game might now expect my brother to be rolling damage.   Unfortunately at ten, I hadn't quite absorbed the concept of Hit Dice and Hit Points for the monsters.  So I declared the monster dead, and proceeded to give out the treasure and experience.   Let's just say, my brother cleaned up on that first adventure rather handily.   Thankfully we learned better soon enough.

It's not quite three decades later, and I'm still playing D&D.  Two of my oldest, and dearest friends are still there playing along with me, in our monthly sessions.  My mother was always convinced that I'd hit a certain age, and would be too old to play D&D.  In fact, I think she's still waiting for me to "grow up, and stop playing those kids games."  Sorry mom, but I don't see that happening any time soon.   My former roomie bought my son a D&D book for Christmas this year.  I don't think he'll get the chance to use that particular book, after all, it's 3.5R, and by this summer 4e will be out.  By the time he gets old enough to even consider introducing him to the game, they'll be on like 5e or 6something.  I look forward to the day when we can smite some evil together. 

Thank you Gary, for years of entertainment.
Tags:
I'm pretty sure everyone on my flist who has ever had anything to do with role-playing has heard by now of the passing of one of the creators of the modern role-playing game.  I am quite and truly saddened to hear it.  Thank you Mr. Gygax for putting out a game that has entertained me, frustrated me, fascinated me, devoured enormous amounts of my time, and brought me together regularly with kindred spirits who seek with me still to this day to fight evil with the might of pen, paper, a few dice, and overactive imaginations.

I can still remember my first few D&D sessions.  My very first encounter was in the sixth grade lunch room.  I was sitting with two kids from my class, Kieth and Matt, and they were teaching me how to play the game.  One of them said, write these down in a column on the left hand side of the page.   STR, INT, WIS, DEX, CON, CHA.   Now, right down next to each one of those the number 18.  (This was both my first encounter with RPGs, and with power gaming.  Who says I didn't learn correct right from the start.)   The game we played at lunch didn't really pan out, because we didn't have any dice, and they couldn't really figure out how to play at the lunch table.   However, the seed had been planted, and I was hooked.

I got that year for christmas the Beginners box set, and the AD&D Player's Handbook.  (My parents had no idea that they weren't exactly meant to go together, heck at that point neither did I.)  I passed up an opportunity at the time to own both the White edition, and the actual Chainmail rules.  The hobby shop down the corner from me actually had some in stock.  Unfortunately for me, that hobby shop would close down about a year or so later, so I never picked those up.

I can still remember some of my earliest sessions of D&D.  I got sidetracked by all the creation of adventures, that I didn't fully read and understand the rules before I tried to run my older brother Steve through a dungeon.   The first room he entered, he encountered a black dragon.  We rolled initiative, and he won.  My brother, the quick wit that he was, decided that going in close to a dragon was a bad idea.  So he used his bow, and took careful aim, and shot at its underbelly.  This, I knew.  So I had him roll the large round die, and up came a 20.  When I looked it up on my chart...lo and behold a 20 was a hit against the creature's armor class.   Now, those of you familiar with the game might now expect my brother to be rolling damage.   Unfortunately at ten, I hadn't quite absorbed the concept of Hit Dice and Hit Points for the monsters.  So I declared the monster dead, and proceeded to give out the treasure and experience.   Let's just say, my brother cleaned up on that first adventure rather handily.   Thankfully we learned better soon enough.

It's not quite three decades later, and I'm still playing D&D.  Two of my oldest, and dearest friends are still there playing along with me, in our monthly sessions.  My mother was always convinced that I'd hit a certain age, and would be too old to play D&D.  In fact, I think she's still waiting for me to "grow up, and stop playing those kids games."  Sorry mom, but I don't see that happening any time soon.   My former roomie bought my son a D&D book for Christmas this year.  I don't think he'll get the chance to use that particular book, after all, it's 3.5R, and by this summer 4e will be out.  By the time he gets old enough to even consider introducing him to the game, they'll be on like 5e or 6something.  I look forward to the day when we can smite some evil together. 

Thank you Gary, for years of entertainment.
Tags:

One of my hobbies obsessions is cartography.   Especially, imaginary cartography.  It might have started with the map included with The Hobbit  that I read first in third grade.   But I sort of doubt it.  I've always been fascinated with maps.  I'm also a rather good geography buff, spending hours with many a globe or atlas.   

I'm certain that fantasy literature's tendency to include maps within books only added fuel to that fire many years ago.

All of that was a very long-winded introduction to a map I created, and just wanted to show off.  This thumbnail should enable you to get to the larger version.   If you want to get to the much larger version, I think you double click on that version again.   But be warned the much larger version is about 1.7 MB.   And is set for screen size off most monitor sized scales.   That's to allow me to see the finer details.





















*The map above was created with both CC3, and the Annual, an add on to enable a user to have even more style sets with which to make their map.  This style set is based upon the historical style of maps by Mercator and his contemporaries during that early part of the "Age of Exploration."

One of my hobbies obsessions is cartography.   Especially, imaginary cartography.  It might have started with the map included with The Hobbit  that I read first in third grade.   But I sort of doubt it.  I've always been fascinated with maps.  I'm also a rather good geography buff, spending hours with many a globe or atlas.   

I'm certain that fantasy literature's tendency to include maps within books only added fuel to that fire many years ago.

All of that was a very long-winded introduction to a map I created, and just wanted to show off.  This thumbnail should enable you to get to the larger version.   If you want to get to the much larger version, I think you double click on that version again.   But be warned the much larger version is about 1.7 MB.   And is set for screen size off most monitor sized scales.   That's to allow me to see the finer details.





















*The map above was created with both CC3, and the Annual, an add on to enable a user to have even more style sets with which to make their map.  This style set is based upon the historical style of maps by Mercator and his contemporaries during that early part of the "Age of Exploration."

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