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July 2014

The Daily D4

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Dungeon Delve

As I try to finish of my collection of 4th Edition books I’ve been picking up some of the titles that failed to draw my eye early on. Dungeon Delve was one of those books. Simply put it’s a collection of simple dungeons and single encounters assembled in a single volume. While I was reading through the book I was pleasantly surprised by what I found inside. For example in the first series of encounters, Coppernight Hold, a dwarf prospector named Kavalar Coppernight and his miners have run afoul of a white dragon and her kobold followers. The mine being of considerable value adventurers are tasked with driving out the dragon and her minions, securing the mine, and rescuing anyone who survived the siege. Now that’s a fairly simple premise and the delve is spread through three encounters, but there is a huge amount of versatility and it could easily be transformed into a longer campaign by adding additional chambers and monsters to Coppernight Hold. You could also toy with the fate of the miners. Did Kavalar Coppernight survive his encounter? Are they being held captive by the kobolds? Or were he and all of his workers killed? There are numerous delves and while they are all simply they are quite well done and I think this is a fantastic book for DMs who are new to the game, people who are looking for an adventure that can be wrapped up in a single session, or someone looking for a bit of inspiration to put to work while crafting dungeons of their own.

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Episode 22: Star Wars Saga Edition

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This week’s podcast features a review of the Star Wars Saga Edition RPG, one of my favorite RPGs of all time. If you’re interested in powering up the hyperdrive and racing space worms check it out.

http://outofcharacter.buzzsprout.com/13127/191679-episode-22-star-wars-saga-edition

The Daily D4

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Star-Lord Unique Heroclix

So I went to my friendly local gaming store earlier a few days ago to buy a couple of Guardians of the Galaxy Heroclix boosters before they ran out. I was hoping to pull a couple of the main characters, but since I could only afford five I knew my chances were limited. Amazingly enough I pulled the unique Star-Lord that is exclusive to the sets being sold at local gaming stores. There’s another exclusive figure of Drax the Destroyer that you can only get in the sets being sold at Target. Here’s what makes this figure different from the Star-Lord in the Guardians of the Galaxy Starter set, or the more common one you’ll find in boosters. The sculpt features a helmetless Star-Lord with features modeled on those of Chris Pratt. The unmasked Star-Lord is also 150 points rather than 75 and he has slightly different keywords gaining Cosmic but losing Pirate, and Ravagers. His Trait Scream Right Back in His Face deals 2 unavoidable damage to his attacker when Star-Lord is KO’d due to an opposing characters attack. He also features two targets, invulnerability on his starting click, the sharpshooter ability, a range of 7 squares, and indomitable. He also has two additional clicks beyond the more common Star-Lord and as a rule his combat abilities are usually higher. As a standalone figure in a high point game this Star-Lord can definitely take the fight to powerful pieces, and his ability to deal damage when KO’d means your opponent may be reluctant to finish him off with any of their better pieces. However the common Star-Lord is a much better support piece and I think he is a far better option for lower point games.

 

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Tavern Brawler Feat in Dungeons and Dragons Next

The new Player’s Handbook for Dungeons & Dragons Next is going to be coming out shortly and Wizards of the Coast has been releasing a steady stream of teasers for the new content. One of my favorite so far has been the Tavern Brawler feat. Aside from increasing your character’s Strength or Constitution score by 1 this feat also grants your character proficiency with improvised weapons and unarmed strikes, increases the damage you deal with unarmed attacks, and gives you the opportunity to grab a target when you hit with an unarmed strike or a improvised weapon. I can’t speak for everyone but unless I was playing a Cleric or a Wizard I would definitely take this feat. I want to be able to pick up a barstool, smack some rowdy drunk over the head with it, and then tangle them up in the debris. It’s a bit of fun but it also says something about your character.

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Batman’s 75th Anniversary

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Batman’s war on crime has been going on for 75 years, and he’s still one of the most popular comic book characters of all time. Why people like him is a topic of great debate. Is it the gadgets? Is it the fact that he seems to be able to take on just about anything that crosses his path? Is it his tragic history? Is it because he’s darker than other more upstanding heroes like Superman and Wonder Woman? Whatever the reason I think we can expect to seem him leaping over rooftops for many years to come.

As an added bonus I thought we’d host a Batman villain in an upcoming Out of Character podcast. Cast your vote for the best Batman villain and the winner will be granted a chance to spread chaos on our tabletop.

The Daily D4

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Jedi Academy Training Manual

Luke Skywalker made becoming a Jedi seem like it was pretty simple, but he was the son of the chosen one and he had two of the greatest Jedi of all time guiding him along the way. The rest of the younglings didn’t have it that easy. They relied on the lessons of the Jedi Knights and Masters who had a hand in guiding them in the mastery of the force. When Luke reestablished the Jedi Order many training centers were founded on a number of planets including the Jedi Academy on Ossus. The Jedi Academy Training Manual is written from the perspective of the students on Ossus. It’s divided into seven sections detailing different aspects of the student’s lives. Chapter one features character options such as feats, talents, and force powers. Chapter two is devoted to the philosophy of the Jedi and examines how it affects the apprentices. Chapter three features equipment and artifacts that are vital to the Jedi and the Sith, and there’s a wealth of information on the creation of lightsabers and holocrons. Chapter four features a study of other force traditions and how the differ from the Jedi. There are some great NPCs that can be incorporated into your campaign included in the Instructors & Alumni section. Jedi such as Anoon Bondara, Grand Master Luke Skywalker, Kieran Halcyon, Mara Jade Skywalker, Ooroo, and Thon all represent the best the Jedi Order has to offer. Chapter six is devoted to threats that the apprentices and Jedi will face throughout the galaxy including those who have fallen over to the dark side of the force and a variety of beasts. Chapter seven features descriptions of various planets and site that are significant to the Jedi and other force users such as the Sith. This is a fantastic book for players and GMs looking for more options to incorporate into their Jedi characters and NPCs. However if you’re planning on sticking with nobles, scouts, scoundrels, and soldiers there’s going to be a limited amount of material to interest you. The lore about the Jedi and their order held my interest and left me wanting more after I’d finished reading through it. I also found the racial stats for the Celegian species that were included in Chapter five were worth the price of the book all on their own. The Celegian are an unusual species to say the least. They look like enormous brains with numerous tentacle-like appendages trailing off of their bodies. They’re an aquatic species who must be encased in a special environment chamber to avoid suffocating. Their telepathic abilities allows them to use the telepath application of the Use the Force skill untrained and they succeed automatically when trying to communicate with willing targets.

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The Daily D4

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The Flash Heroclix

After War of Light wraps up in a few months DC has another set all lined up, and if you’re a fan of the fastest member of the Justice League you won’t be disappointed. That’s right everyone the Flash is getting his own set! So you’re probably wondering who can we expect to find in this set. Well of course there’s going to be a couple versions of the Flash including one of Jay Gay the Golden Age Flash. All of the Rogues are also going to be included so if you’ve been wanting to add Captain Cold, Captain Boomerang, Mirror Master, or Weather Wizard to your collection you’ll probably want to check this out. Some of you may remember a few months back Wizkids featured a poll to choose a character from the DC universe to be featured in a later set, and Etrigan managed to beat out the competition. A new figure of everyone’s favorite demon will be burning up the field and I have to say his sculpt looks pretty fantastic. As always there will be a couple of oddball figures thrown into the mix such as Harley Quinn, Ragdoll, and Midnighter. Sadly we’ll have to wait until October for the set to be released.

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Episode 21: The Green Path

The podcast continues, fair warning you should probably lock up your keys before listening our latest episode. This time around Jade and I discuss all things fairy as they relate to tabletop RPGs.

http://outofcharacter.buzzsprout.com/13127/189951-episode-21-the-green-path

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Out of Character is Going to Garycon

For a while now I’ve been trying to figure out some way for us to do something with the Out of Character podcast/blog at a convention. There are so many of all over the country it seems like there should be one that’d be a perfect fit for us, but up until now nothing has really fit. Ever since I read Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons & Dragons and The People Who Play It by David Ewalt I’ve been wanting to pay a visit to Lake Geneva, WI to see the place where D&D was born. Since Garycon is held there it seems like the perfect excuse to make a journey up the lake country to roll some dice, visit some historical sites, and meet a few interesting people. We’re going to start saving and making arrangements to try and attend the convention in March of 2015.

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The Daily D4

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DC Adventures

Mutants and Masterminds is probably the best superhero RPG out there if you’re looking for something that is incredibly adaptable and allows you to build a rich immersive world and fill it with complex characters. That’s probably one of the reasons that DC Comics chose to use it as the basis for the DC Adventures game which allowed players to take on the roles of characters like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and other DC characters. There were several books published for the game including The Hero’s Handbook, a detailed guide to the DC universe, and several volumes filled with the stats for DC characters. Now if you’re a big DC fan and you’re looking to battle it out with Brainiac or to try and stop the Lex Luthor from taking over the world this is a great system. The major weakness is that the books are all fairly expensive, and to my mind you need all of them as the GM if you want to be effective. When the books all fall in the forty and fifty dollar price range it may take a bit of saving to gather the funds for them. You also have the option of simply buying Mutants and Masterminds which is much less expensive and contained in a single volume which would allow you to create the characters on your own. So why get into DC Adventures? I think it is a better game to set in front of players who are completely new to RPGs as they can flip open the book, find their favorite characters and start playing without getting confused by character creation. The game works really well in that regard because if M&M has a weakness it’s that newer players can get confused by some of the rules.

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