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Amazing Spider-Man Dice Masters 

Wizkid’s Dice Masters keeps catching my eye, but I’ve yet to sit down and really devote any time to mastering the game. I’ve played it a couple of times with friends who’re deeply invested in the game, but that’s about as far as it goes. When I heard the newest set featured one of my favorite comic characters, the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man himself, I thought it might be a good opportunity to give the it another go.

As it happened they were doing an event at the local gaming store when I turned up and I saw a ton of great characters being used. Spidey’s most loyal allies, and some of his deadliest enemies were all on offer and I couldn’t wait to see which of them would be included in the starter set. I’m sad to say I was extremely disappointed with what I found once I’d opened up the box. White Tiger, Spider-Woman, Spider-Man, Silver Sable, The Kingpin, Ghost Rider, Drax, and Carnage. That’s it. Now most of the characters do have a storied history with Spider-Man, and they definitely warrant a place in a set, but to my mind a starter set should include some of the most iconic characters from Spider-Man’s adventures. I’d have expected one or two members of The Sinister Six, maybe the Human Torch, heck I’d have loved to see Rocket Racer, Kaine, Prowler, or Puma pop up, but no.

There are tons of Spider-Man villains and supporting characters in the booster packs for the sets, many of the characters I’d expected to find in the starter set. Which really, really irritates me. The starter is twenty dollars and today is one of those rare days when I wish I could return something after buying it, because I really do feel shorted.

There are some fun looking action cards included in the set, and it does include some nicely illustrated dice bags. If you’re considering buying this product, I’d definitely give it another thought. If you’re a Spider-Man fan and you’re looking to add some fun characters to your collection then stick to buying the boosters, that’s where Wizkids seems to have put all of the good characters this time around.

 

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Daily D4

While we were visiting the Apis Mead and Winery Jade and I took the time to play Loonacy for the first time, we had a blast playing it out while Jade tried a flight. In Loonacy each player starts with a hand of seven cards, you win by being the first player to get rid of all of your cards. Depending on the number of players you have one to four discard piles which you can place your cards into as long as one of the symbols on the top card matches one of the symbols on your card. One of the unique things about the game however is that you don’t take turns, everyone places their cards at the same time, so being quicker than the other players is the key to victory. If you’re looking for something perfect to play in restaurant setting then I suggest checking out Loonacy.

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Today’s Daily D4 features the Force and Destiny RPG Game Master’s Kit, a product I just picked up at Drawbridge Games as part of my preparation for running Star Wars Force and Destiny. I’ve got to say that this is a pretty great kit for anyone whose looking to run a campaign. There’s not a lot inside, so if you’re looking for miniatures, tokens, or extra dice I’m afraid you’re going to be disappointed. However you will find some impressive content that can be utilized in a campaign. The big ticket item is a GM screen that has features a beautiful illustration of some famous force users including Yoda and Darth Maul, and a group of Jedi padawans training in front of what appears to be a Jedi temple. The interior of the screen features all of the tables and charts a GM might need for quick reference during a campaign.

Now I’ve bought a few GM kits over the years, and I usually skip over them unless I really want a screen because there’s not usually much included. However there was a surprise waiting for me in this one, a brand new adventure module meant to be used in conjunction with the adventure found in the back of the Force and Destiny Core Rulebook. The adventure puts the players on the path to find crystals that can be used in the construction of their own lightsabers. Your characters will find themselves on the planet Phemis, a world that the Jedi once utilized as a source for the crystals that act as the center of each and every one of their lightsabers. The Jedi eventually began favoring Ilum as a the primary source for their crystals, and legislation protecting the crystals on Phemis resulted in the planet drifting into relative obscurity. For the purposes of the Hidden Depths adventures Phemis has been fortified by Emperor Palpatine who is prepared for any aspiring to Jedi who might come to the planet looking to collect crystals. He’s placed a Imperial garrison and probe droids on the planet, however he’s also well aware the Phemis is a relatively unknown world so the forces in place aren’t overwhelming. The book also includes complete construction rules for building lightsabers.

If you have a extensive campaign in mind for your young Jedi the book that comes in the kit includes new rules for running Knight-level play. To be honest I think this is a fantastic kit if you’re planning to run a game set during the Clone Wars and for focusing on an all Jedi party, or if you’re trying to expand your options for running a game focused on force users.

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Today’s Daily D4 is all about Free RPG Day, which was yesterday in case you missed it. I was stuck working throughout most of the day so I didn’t get a chance to play any games, but I did make it out to check out some of the things that were on offer. There were a ton of great quick-start rules, gaming accessories, and one-shot adventures being given away. Since I got there so late in the day I also got to snag more goodies that people who arrived earlier because these were the things that were left after the mob had been given their say. In fact I ended up getting so much stuff that I couldn’t even fit it all in a single installment of the Daily D4.

Now I’m not trying to give you all a proper summary of these systems because that would take far too long, I just want to praise a few and point out the highlights in my mind.

Valiant Universe RPG

As I’ve said many, many times in the past I love superhero RPGs like Mutants and Masterminds, DC Adventures, Bash, and the Marvel Heroic RPG. I’ve been reading comics since I was a kid so anything with superheroes can usually win me over pretty easily. When I saw the Valiant Universe RPG quick-start rules I thought it looked like an interesting take on the superhero genre so I decided to pick it up. Up until now I’ve never read anything that has been put out as part of the Valiant Universe so I feel like I can be really objective about what Catalyst Game Labs has put forth here.

In the quick-start rules you’ll find a simple explanation of the basic rules of the system, an brief adventure called Rumble in the Bay, and stats for four characters from the Valiant Universe as well as a few NPCs. Now I don’t want to spoil the adventure for anyone whose planning to play it at some point so I won’t be providing any details about it here. I will say that one thing about this system fascinated me right away, namely the fact that the role of Game Master is replaced with what’s called a Lead Narrator, a role which is rotated between players throughout the game. You can have a fixed Lead Narrator, but it is by no means a requirement of the system which makes it really unique. I love the idea of passing of the narration of an adventure between players, and I definitely want to give it a try.

The four characters featured in the book are Bloodshot, Livewire, Faith, and Torque. As I said before I know next to nothing about these characters or their universe but the dossiers in the book give me all the information I need to understand their powers, personalities, and ambitions.

If you’re wandering through a friendly local game store and you see this quick-start pick it up and give it a look, I would definitely recommend it as being worthy of a place in the game night line-up.

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Cosmic Patrol

Cosmic Patrol is a game the jumped off of the cover of a pulp magazine from the last previous century. That may be why I love it so much and I snagged one of the copies of the quick-start rules eagerly. In this game players take on the roles of Patrolmen, essentially mankind’s only defenders in a galaxy full of meteor showers, mysterious plagues, genocidal warlords, and monsters who find them to be delicious. The characters on offer are Captain Tim “Trigeerfinger” Flash, Darjah a warrior woman from Mars who looks like she could tear through the hull of a spacecraft with her bare hands,and Sirra a computer scientist from Venus who seems trapped in a world of adventure and heroes much to her chagrin.

I love the idea of a game that builds a narrative using cues and characters that are light-hearted and fun. Much as I love science fiction it has suffered over the years from becoming ever darker and painting an increasingly bleak vision of the future. This pokes fun at the threats plaguing the galaxy and allows you to laugh at the alien ghost simian haunting the swamp moons of Saturn.

The rules also encourage players to write down their stories and share them with others in the true pulp style.

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Atlantis: The Second Age Prelude to Adventure

The cover for Atlantis: Second Age Prelude to Adventure is a fantastic piece of artwork as you see a massive hydra staring down at a warrior armed only with a spear. From Khepera Publishing this stand alone product provides everything that players need to enjoy the game, and if you like it there is a core book with additional material that’s already available in stores. This is a sword and sorcery game where players survive by relying on their cunning, the strength of their backs, and the allies at their side. The book comes with five pre-made characters including Tyyawdi a human burglar, Donobey a human solider, Agathon a human saint in the service of Obatala the god of the sun, law, and love, Caerwyn a lemurian scholar, and Thalmia a triton sorcerer. There’s also a brief adventure that will allow you to test these characters and the system out if you’re interested.

This is a great product and I liked it so much I actually bought the core book along with it, just because I wanted to be able to give it a look. If you enjoy games that are filled with unique races, allow you to build detailed and intricate stories centered around your characters, and that are a bit grittier than some of the other sword and sorcery games out there this is definitely worth taking a look at.

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Fifth Edition Fantasy #5: Into the Dragon’s Maw

In the most recent episode of the podcast we delved into Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition by playing the first part of Hoard of the Dragon Queen. When I saw that Goodman Games was producing material using the rules for 5th edition I was pleased as I think there are a ton of really creative people out there, all of whom can come up with unique and wonderful stories that others might enjoy as well. This adventure finds your party searching for Dragon’s Maw Waterfall, and according to local legends that very waterfall served as the entrance to a cavern that was once the home of a mighty dragon. Prophecies, the potential to plunder a dragon’s unguarded hoard, and an arduous trek through a deadly jungle sound like great things to throw at a party. Now if you’re new to 5th Edition be warned, this adventure is for level twelve characters. You could build level 12 characters easily enough, or try scaling the adventure down so that a lower level party could take a run at it, but I would advise folding it into an ongoing campaign if you’re interested in giving it a try.

Without a doubt my favorite thing about the book were the magical items in the back. There’s a manticore shield in there that aside from being a nice looking shield, can fire barbs as projectiles! Tired of finding yourself without a ranged weapon or reaching for your quiver only to find you used your last arrow on that pesky goblin? Well now you can alleviate that problem by peppering your foes with spikes. I am considering using this in our Hoard of the Dragon Queen campaign because I think it sounds like a ton of fun.

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Daily D4

Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition DM Screen

As part of my prep work for running Hoard of the Dragon Queen this month I decided that it was time for me to buy a new DM screen. Much as I love my old one I thought it would be handy to have one for 5th edition so I picked one up while I was out yesterday. The 5th edition screen is quite nice, and it is more or less what I would expect from Wizards of the Coast at this point. The artwork on the exterior features an enormous scarred red dragon and some kobolds battling it out with a party of adventurers amidst a treasure hoard. The interior features charts for generating characteristics for NPCs, explanations of the effects of various conditions (blinded, charmed, deafened, frightened, grappled, incapacitated, invisible, paralyzed, petrified, and poisoned, prone, restrained, stunned, unconscious, and exhaustion), setting DCs, determining cover, figuring out which skills are associated with which abilities, and other useful additions. I also like that they threw some artwork on the interior, especially the pieces they used for the conditions, they’re the same ones that were used in the Player’s Handbook but I still think they’r great. In all I’d say this a great DM screen, and I applaud Wizards of the Coast for a job well done.

Drawbridge Games

A new games store called Drawbridge Games has just opened up in our area and I’m doing everything I can to help make sure that it is a success. I visited for the first time yesterday, in fact that’s where I got my new DM screen, and I think it is a pretty great location. If look them up online they make it clears that miniatures are their primary focus, and when I walked through the door I saw plenty of evidence to back that up. They’ve got a wide selection of miniatures including products from Games Workshop and Bones. So whether you’re looking for a new batch of space marines or the perfect figure to represent your cleric in a Dungeons and Dragons campaign this is a great place to look. If you can’t find something they’re also willing to order things in, so don’t be afraid to ask.

Although minis are their focus the store also stocks other products that are sure to interest games who are looking for something else. There’s a nice selection of RPG products including

One of my favorite things about the store is the way that it is set up. The interior isn’t huge, but everything is laid out in such a way that it doesn’t feel cramped, in fact it felt like one of the roomiest establishments I’ve ever been in. Lets face it no one likes getting elbowed in the ribs accidentally while they’re trying to pick out some new dice. There are two big tables set up on either side of the entrance, but nowhere near enough to run the risk of anyone getting smacked with a door. The tables are intended for gaming and while I was there they were set up with great pieces of terrain and people were playing out a big encounter. Honestly I’ve never learned to play any of the miniature wargames, and after working all day my anxiety bar was high enough that I wasn’t up to asking about it. It looked great though and it helped ensure me that this is a good place. There are shelves running along three-quarters of the wall space and their products are divided up among them. There’s a section for RPG books, miniatures, board games, and painting supplies. Separated from those shelves there’s a section I am dubbing Far Space, because it is currently occupied by a huge selection of Star Wars games including X-Wing, Armada, and Imperial Assault. I’ve had a started set for the Star Wars X-Wing game for a long time but I’ve never gotten the chance to use it, and if there’s a store nearby that will allow me to do that it might justify me buying additional pieces. There’s also a nice bit of counter space in the far corner, they had a documentary about the Civil War playing on a television there’s a selection of Magic cards and dice there as well.

The owner is really friendly and when I came in he took the time to come over, introduce himself, and answer all of my questions about the store. He also informed they’re going to have a membership program they’re calling the Gatecrashers which allows for a 10% discount an all purchases, and gives you the chance to reserve table space. For now they’re giving that discount to everyone until they officially open on June 13th as a way of thanking members of the local community for coming in to show their support. I know some people might balk at the idea, but I think it is a fantastic thing to try, and innovation is something I always like to see. I plan on becoming a Gatecrasher.

They’re going to open with regular hours on June 13th, but they’re open from 5:30-9:00 on Friday, and from 12:30-8 Saturday and Sunday until then.

Drawbridge Games Location: 1003 Castle Shannon Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA, 15226

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Five Favorite Things About the 5th Edition Dungeon Master’s Guide

For some reason every time I start delving into a new edition of Dungeons and Dragons I usually end up buying the Dungeon Master’s Guide last, even though I’ve run more games than I’ve ever actually played in. The only reason I’ve ever been able to come up with to explain this odd phenomenon is that I prefer figuring out how to handle things my own way with my players, rather than relying on a book. However I do enjoy using the guides as a resource that I can fall back on when there’s something I have little to no idea how to approach. In preparation for our first real sojourn into 5th Edition I picked up a copy of the Dungeon Master’s Guide today, and I have to say there’s a ton of great information presented here. I thought I’d share a few of my favorite with you all, in case anyone was curious about what they’d find inside this tome of secrets.

1) Bag of Beans

Inside the Dungeon Master’s Guide you’ll find an entire chapter devoted to the fantastic treasures that the adventurer’s in your party might encounter during a campaign. One of my favorites was without a doubt the Bag of Beans, and oddity that immediately put me in mind of Jack and the Beanstalk. As it turns out this is a far more interesting bag than whatever burlap sack Jack kept his beans in. The bag contains 3d4 dry beans and if you dump the bag’s contents out on the ground they explode blasting everything within a ten feet of them. Far more interesting than that however, is what can occur if your players choose to plant one of the beans instead. Based on a d100 roll there are quite a few possible outcomes, some of them good, some bad, and others just plain strange. The bean might sprout into anything from an enchanted statue or a geyser of liquid to an enormous beanstalk towering as high as the GM wishes. This is one of those rare items that I love because it is rooted in a story we all grew up with, and it makes for a fun introduction to Dungeons and Dragons all on its own.

Let’s say your party encounters a group of drovers arguing over the bag after trading some of their livestock to a passing traveler for it. Perhaps the others are upset and think their companion who made the deal a fool? Maybe they’re arguing about what to do with the beans. Perhaps they planted one of the beans and an oddity has already erupted from the soil by the time the adventurers arrive on the scene. However events play out it’s an interesting adventure hook and one that I think any party might enjoy before delving into anything like saving the world from Tiamat.

2) Chapter Two: Creating a Multiverse

Many players know that there’s more than one plane of existence in most Dungeons and Dragons campaign settings. However not everyone knows what all of the planes are or how they’re actually related to one another. This chapter explains not only those aspects of the various planes, but how a dungeon master can go about creating a multiverse that is entirely unique to their campaign. It explains that at minimum most D&D campaigns require the following: a plane of origin for fiends, a plane of origin for celestials, a plane of origin for elementals, a place for deities, the place where mortal spirits go after death, a way for getting from one plane to another, a way for spells and monsters that use the Astral Plane and Ethereal Plane to function. Sounds simple enough and it even states that some of those element can pull double duty. The chapter explains how all of the planes interact, how to create your own planes, and how to use them in a campaign. It’s a fantastic chapter and it has a wealth of information that’d been divided up among various source books in past editions of Dungeons and Dragons. It was nice of Wizards of the Coast to collect everything and put it in one place this time around.

3) Tracking Monster’s Hit Points

There’s a small excerpt that explains something it took me a while to figure out how to do properly in my own campaigns, I wish that I’d read this back then because it would have made things much simpler. Basically it explains some of the ways to keep track of how damaged monsters and NPCs are during encounters. One of the easiest ways is of course to use unique miniatures, or to mark identical miniatures in some way to help differentiate between them. The really interesting thing though was how to answer the player question about how injured a monster or NPC is. The manual reminds dungeon masters to never feel pressured about revealing exactly how many hit points a creature has left, but it is safe to assume that if its been reduced to less than half of its hit points it would have visible injuries.

That was one thing I struggled with when I started running campaigns. A friend let me in on the idea of saying that not every successful attack constitutes a tangible wound to the opposition. At the time I was running a Star Wars Saga Edition campaign and it made much more sense to handle things that way when dealing with blasters and lightsabers. The example my friend use was the duel between Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi that took place at the end of Revenge of the Sith. As the two of them were battling one another amid the lava flows how many successful hits would have been scored had they been players in a campaign? Enormous creatures like dragons, giants, and chimeras can certainly take a few arrows or sword wounds without much complaints, but people are far more fragile.

4) The passage on random settlements in chapter 5 is something that I believe any new dungeon master can put to excellent use. My friend Sebastian is embarking on his first foray into dming and one of the things he’s struggling with is world building, as such coming up with names and distinct features for the places in his world is proving difficult. This passage reduces the process to something as simple as rolling a couple of d20s and consulting a few tables. You can roll to determine racial relations, the ruler’s status, notable traits, what it’s known for, and a current calamity. Sounds pretty cut and dry doesn’t it? Well the result can be very compelling. For example you might end up with a settlement where the various races inhabiting it are managing to dwell in harmony, despite the fact that their ruler is on his deathbed and various individuals are competing for power. As this settlement is the center of the wool trade in the region and known for the powerful guilds that exist there this situation has resulted in an economic depression as guild leaders vie for power. That’s just one example of something that could be created using this section, and I think it is an invaluable tool for new dms.

5) Flavors of Fantasy

In the very first chapter the book details a variety of ways to approach a campaign and gives examples of each. Heroic fantasy, sword and sorcery, epic fantasy, mythic fantasy, dark fantasy, intrigue, mystery, swashbuckling, war, and wuxia are all examined. This plays into the question of what kind of campaign do you want to run? It also allows you to better build your campaign to meet with the interests of your players. I love when ideas that can be adapted to suit a wide variety of ideas are presented so well and concisely so that they’re not overwhelming for people are just getting started. Anyone regardless of age or their level of experience can find something of worth here.

Before wrapping up I’d like to add that the artwork for this book is phenomenal, and if you’re looking for something to help inspire you try flipping through it and just looking at the pictures. This is probably my favorite Dungeon Master Guide to date, and I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest.

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For anyone who has yet to watch the first few episodes Daredevil series on Netflix be warned there are some very minor spoilers in the first part of today’s Daily D4.

Daredevil

Today I spent most of my lunch and break times watching the first few episodes of the new Daredevil series on Netflix, and so far I’m very impressed with what I’ve seen. There are a lot of things that he show does extremely well from the beginning and then it builds on them in each successive episode. The telling of Daredevil’s origin story takes a couple of episodes, but it is done through intriguing flashbacks interspersed throughout story. For those who don’t know as a child Matt Murdock lost his sight after his eyes were damaged by a chemical that fell off of the back of a truck during an accident. Although the accident left him completely blind his other senses became heightened to superhuman levels. Tragedy struck for a second time when his father, a boxer named Jack Murdock, refused to throw a fight and was killed. The show opens with Matt and his partner Frederick “Foggy” Nelson, both recent graduates from law school, trying to navigate their way through the difficult task of starting their own law practice in Hell’s Kitchen. With no clients, no money, and no office furniture to their names they take the case of a woman who was found over a corpse with a bloody knife in her hands who insists on her innocence.

The cast is phenomenal and thus far we’ve been introduced to Matt Murdock, Foggy Nelson, Karen Page, Ben Urich, the Kingpin himself, Night Nurse, and a host of unsavory criminals. These characters are all full of personality and they have a life that I am thrilled to see on the screen. They even managed to make me care about the murderous brothers who run the Russian mob that controls most of Hell’s Kitchen. Not that I didn’t want to see Daredevil take them down, but clearly the writers know what they’re doing.

One of my favorite things about the show is the way that it’s shot because it really feels unique. The opening sequence for example is unlike anything else I’ve ever seen. Hell’s Kitchen, or possibly New York, is painted out of thin air by viscous dripping layer upon layer of red liquid which I think it is safe to assume is blood. It’s an extraordinarily striking visual element and a great way of getting across the uniqueness of the show from the very beginning. I also love the black costume they’ve got Daredevil using for early episodes and how it helps to build anticipation for the moment when he first puts on his iconic red costume.

The show is also a great inspiration for superhero themed RPGs campaigns grounded in a more realistic setting than some tend to be. If you’re looking to run a game centered around heroes tackling street criminals or organized crime than this series can definitely give you some great ideas. One of the reason that characters like Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Moon Knight, Spider-Man, Batman, and Green Arrow are compelling because for all of their powers and abilities they’re still just people. They’re also trying to make the world a better place, not just save it from giant insects, meteors, or alien invasions.

I’ve still got a ways to go before I get to the end of season one, but I already find myself hoping for another season.

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3D Printed Miniatures

A couple of folks discussed the fact that people are starting to use 3D printers in order to make miniatures for their Dungeons and Dragons game today, which is pretty amazing in my opinion. One talented individual even went so far as to make 3D models of some of the classic creatures from the Monster Manual available for free online. I love what we’re doing with the technology and it is amazing to think that people can pop a spool of plastic into a machine and conjure up a host of cantankerous kobolds, beholders, or anything else they can think of in a matter of minutes.

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Attack on Wolford

As promised I have spent my time since I returned from Unpub 5 in Baltimore thinking over the games I played and choosing a few of my favorites to praise. Honestly I loved pretty much everything I got to try, so this might take a while. We’re going to start off with the very first game I tried out, a cooperative game called Attack on Wolford that tries to capture the feel of an RPG session in a board game. Each of the players will take on the roles of adventurers who’ve been on a mission by the king. They’re goal is to defeat all of the deadly creatures that have overrun the down driving the good people of Wolford into full retreat.

Each of the characters plays very differently with their own unique array of abilities. The knight, priest, engineer, necroamncer, warrior, and rogue will have to work together in order to survive. Our game consisted of three players taking on the roles of the knight, priest, warrior, and thief. I got to play two character classes because it was early in the day and people were still arriving.

Each turn the players will face down a number of monsters that hare occupying one of the buildings in town.
The monsters will almost always attack first, however there is one ability in the rogue’s special powers that allows the adventurer’s to attack first, then the players will decide the initiative for their characters among themselves. All of your powers and abilities use action points, each player only has five to spend during their turn so deciding how to use them is a big part of the strategy.

As your characters move through Wolford their battles draw the attention of the monsters, with the more dangerous adventurers quickly becoming the main targets. This is achieved through a very cleverly employed threat tracker. Every ability your character has also affects their current threat level. The priest for example can smack someone with their wand to do a bit of damage. It also decreases the threat level of the priest. Now most monsters attack the character who is currently the highest on the threat track, which could be bad if it happens to be the priest who doesn’t have that many hit points to spare.

Upon defeating monsters you’ll have a chance to draw some treasure from the loot deck. Each character can only hold one item at a time so no one will have to worry about being accused of carrying more than their share of the goods. There’s some magical items, potions, and other things you’d expect to see in a pile of enchanted treasure. My favorite was the staff of storms which let me shoot a dragon in the eye with a bolt of lightning.

In the end our party failed the people of Wolford and we were all scorched to death by a dragon at the end of the game. According the designer the level of difficulty is pretty high and the success rate is something like 25%, so if you get frustrated by losing this might not be the game for you. Seriously those are Forbidden Island numbers. It’s a great game though and it really does manage to capture the feel of an RPG in an extremely different way, this is something that almost anyone can enjoy.

So when will you be able to try it out? Honestly I have no idea. The designer has been working on it for a few years and there is currently finalized art being produced for the game. I’m hoping that after Unpub he gets a Kickstarter going or manages to find a publisher so that others can give this fantastic game a try.

That’s it for today, check back tomorrow for another game brought to you by Unpub 5.

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Unpub 5

There are fantastic conventions devoted to tabletop gaming taking place all over the world each and every year. Unfortunately because of the high cost of travel, hotels, tickets, and of course the cost of the games you’re sure to buy during your visit I’ve never been able to attend any of them. However the fact that I follow so many game designers, companies, and publishers on social media paid off today because I just heard about one that is free. That’s right free. There’s no charge for players to attend and play board games until their brains explode, and considering that Richard Launius, designer of Arkkham Horror, will be in attendance this year that is a very real possibility. Spread out over three days in February the convention features not only gaming but panels, discussions, and Q&A sessions. I love this stuff.

I also love the idea of this convention more than any other one that I’ve heard of because it is a chance to play games before they’re done, and when changes can still be added. You can give feedback to designers about mechanics that you love, like, or absolutely hate. Whether or not they choose to utilize that information is entirely up to them, but your voice will be heard and that is amazing in and of itself. Apparently there are going to be 75 gaming tables and their expecting more than 1,000 people to be in attendance. I’m am psyched beyond all sanity because not only is this a chance for me to meet who knows how many fantastic people and play some great games, but I can also connect with designers and use Out of Character to help get news about their games out into the world.

Special thanks to Nevermore Games for posting information about the convention, without them I would never had known about it.

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Unless I am mistaken this is a picture from Unpub 4 which was held in a different location, this year the convention will be held at the Baltimore Convention Center as the event has grown to a greater size than ever before.

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