I’ve recently been listening to a lot of LitRPG and you’ve seen me talk about it with Sufficiently Advanced Magic, Ascend Online, and Towers of Heaven that I’m listening to currently. Those are the ones that I have enjoyed but I also read Awaken Online, […]
I think that this is a very rare thing. I don’t know that a ton of people ever really complete their D&D games. There are multiple reasons for it potentially not being completed. But, is that something that’s okay, or as the DM should you […]
Besides being a spot where a lot of new games are released, therea re also ticketed events that you can go to as well. In these, you can play board games, demo out new games, or play RPG’s. There’s never a shortage of things to do if you’re in these games or events. We decided to get into a few of these games, so here’s a quick rundown of how things went, and some thoughts on the game.
The first game that we played was a mid-Alpha version of a game called Roll Player Adventures. If you’re not as familiar what Alpha or Beta testing is, Alpha testing is when you’re testing out a concept and still fine tuning it. You’re seeing what works, what might not work, and taking notes on that, Beta testing is more focused. You have a professional or nearly professional looking copy of the game around and you can play through it, you’re just looking for those few flaws that are left, but the mechanics are generally locked in. This was the earlier stage, and there were things that were just pieces of paper, or the story book was just pages in a binder. With that said, this was one of the highlights of the con. The game play was already a ton of fun, the story in the game was good, and the table was great. Role Player Adventures is going to be a cooperative campaign game where you are winning the favor of different groups, fighting different monsters, and reading story as you go. The game it’s based off of Roll Player, is about rolling up your D&D character and manipulating the dice to get the best character possible, and this one allows you to use a character in a game for a real adventure. We had a good group, so it was a bunch of silly fun, and the story was well crafted so that it was serious, but also lighthearted at points.
The following day, we played an RPG to start our day. The game was run in the Savage Worlds system and themed around The Dresden Files. If you’ve read many posts, you know that I love The Dresden Files. It was an interesting game to play, and I definitely had a fun time playing it. However, I didn’t love the system that it was run in. Savage Worlds is meant to be that kind of setting agnostic system, where you can play a Dresden Files game in it, but you could also play a World War II game in it with no magic, or it could be a Sci-Fi game set on a far off planet. I don’t think that is a major flaw with the system, but as a person who played a magic user, I had spells that were all flavored with ice. The spell cards though, were just like “blast”, so my “ice blast” did “blast” damage, and it could have just as easily been fire damage, force damage, any sort of damage. It made the system too devoid of that flavor that would make a character seem unique. The game itself was fun, but I will knocked the GM for the game a little bit. We had the BBEG for the one-shot on the ropes in the first battle. Instead of just having this generic BBEG bite it, he had them escape after a lot of unlikely things happening. It would have been better to let us win, and then have the BBEG’s cousin show up later in the final battle to get his revenge. Overall, I had a good time, but it was lacking.
To end the day, we played Village Attacks. Village Attacks is a tower defense game. But as compared defense game where you are the heroes fending off wave after wave of bad guys. In this game, you’re the bad guys, who are fending off wave after wave of villager who is coming to your house with torches and pitchforks. We had a couple of different experiences with the game, but we both ended up liking it. I had a fun group to play with, and we bum rushed the objective of the game. The game played pretty fast, probably an hour and a half after being taught the game or a little bit less. And you feel the tension of the game as more and more bad guys are placed onto the board. The other cool thing was that we got the scenario, and the full set of scenarios that we played as well as some character sheets for moving some guys from another game into our game.The downside was that my friend got stuck in a game with a person who had slept 1 hour thus far for GenCon, didn’t pay attention to the rules, and then left for ten minutes to go get pop and didn’t actually help the team in this fully cooperative game. So that was frustrating, but my friend still liked the game a lot, and that led to the other downside, it’s hard to find the game right now. And both of us want it, because it’s a very fun game.
The Saturday started out with the North American Championships for Ice Cool. And I love the game already, I learned a little bit from watching other players who were “better” than I was, and I made it to the semi finals. I won’t go into this too much, because I’ve already written about this game. Needless to say, it’s a game that I love, and playing in the tourney was a lot of fun. I might have been able to make it to the finals, but ran into a bunch of bad luck in the first round, which was just kind of funny. There were a few people who took this silly penguin flicking game too seriously, but overall, people where there to have fun.
Our other Saturday event wasn’t actually a game. We went to Hobbit Drinking Songs with Marc Gunn. That was just a funny old time, and even though he had some issues with his amp, the room was small enough that he was able to just play without the amplification and everyone could hear it. He’s a good performer and he has a lot of fun songs to sing. Also learned about ALEP (A Long Expected Party), Hobbit/Lord of the Rings event that happens in Kentucky. Seems like a small educational event and celebration of Tolkien’s works.
Sunday we were supposed to have two games. We actually skipped the first one, the Harry Potter miniatures game because the game just costs too much, so it wasn’t really worth the demo. We should have known because it was a miniatures game. But we did play in a win a box game with the new expansion for Marvel Legendary. That was a fun time, and I really liked the expansion. The most interesting part was that we were the only two people there, so that meant that one of us was winning the expansion, and with having spent $8 total between the two tickets, my friend who has collected most of Marvel Legendary, was able to get the game at a very discounted price. The expansion itself was a lot of fun, and we flew through the game, but just ran out of time at the end before dealing the killing blow, not because we were losing, but because we got started a bit late while seeing if other people would show up.
Overall, I think we planned out basically the perfect amount of gaming and events. With the Harry Potter Miniatures Game, I think that it would have been fun, but our Sunday would have felt a bit full. When we go back in the future, I think we’ll want to keep ourselves as busy as we were this time. A good balance of having things to do, but as you’ll learn in the next article, there is a lot to see and do on the dealer floor.
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I think that this idea can be used as a campaign or as a one shot, depending on what you want to do with it. When using iconic monsters like werewolves, vampires, and other classic monsters, you can always turn it into a one off […]
The alignments are interesting because, in the middle you have this state of both being neutral on the good and evil axis and the law and chaos axis. And I don’t know that I have the greatest grasp on what this true neutral position is […]
Neutral is an interesting position to talk about when it comes to Dungeons and Dragons characters. I mainly have a harder time nailing down what I think it is and how you use it in role playing.
I think, the best way that I can describe neutral is that you’re going to do the best option in a given situation based off of the other part of your alignment. So a neutral good character is going to do what they perceive as the best option after they’ve thought about it. Neutral is going to lean away from the impulsive that you can get with both Chaotic and Lawful alignments. In the case of a neutral good character, if they are in a just land, they are going to appear fairly lawful, because the laws are just. However, they aren’t basing their decision off of the law being there, they are basing off of what they believe to be good in the given situation.
This is going to create a more introspective character, which is going to be better for a character who is less combat focused. The martial classes like fighter and barbarian aren’t going to be the best fits. And as normal, classes like rogue and warlock which can have a more chaotic bent to them, don’t fit the easiest. With that said, any class can be any alignment. I think the two classes that I would lean towards playing Neutral Good would be Druid and Monk.
For me, both the Druid and the Monk classes are those more focused on the long view of things. The druid is surrounded by nature which is going to do what is good for it, and when looking at how long a tree can live and how unchanging mountains are, a druid will take a longer view and more of a loo at what is good. And they are not just going to look at the good for the people living in the land, but also of the land itself. A monk has meditation and that calm and martial arts sort of feeling for their play style. While they can go out with a rush of action and hit you a lot, it seems more like their traditions are built around the discipline of learning those skills versus using them, so again it fits with that long view of figuring out what is good before taking any action.
Let’s look a little bit back at some of them that are less ideal? How could you make a fighter into a lawful good character? I think that it is not that difficult because you would have the jaded soldier who thought that the laws of the land were good, but then saw violence done in the name of those laws against those who were only guilty of not being from that land. While they understand that the sword can be a tool of justice, they weigh it out to determine if using the sword is going to be the just option and the good option or if there is another way. And while they might not themselves know how to do the other option or at least do it well, they can know that the sword is not the right option. The rogue is also fairly easy, because they can have a Robin Hood sort of mindset. They will only ever steal from someone that they know is evil. And they will only do so to improve the state of the common folk who are being oppressed, and not for their own riches.
Now, you still need to tie those things into why you’d go adventuring. Even the monk and druid. Generally you have to threaten something that they think is good. For a druid that might be their grove. For a fighter that might be a people that they see as innocents. If I were to play a neutral good character that would be the direction that I’d lean into it anyways. I’m sure that there are other ways to play a neutral good character that I haven’t mentioned yet.
If you have some interesting ideas for playing a neutral good character, leave them in the comments below. If you have played one, let me know how you did that, and what the story of your character was.
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Welcome to the dark side of Dungeons and Dragons. Today we’re looking at the only evil alignment, in my opinion, that would make sense to join a generally good adventuring party, and that is why they make an interesting character. I also think that Lawful […]
Wait, wait, wait, isn’t Dungeons and Dragons fantasy? Yeah, Dungeons and Dragons is epic fantasy and we’re adding aliens into the mix. And not just some weird creatures from another plane, we’re adding in spaceships and craziness like that to Dungeons and Dragons, deal with […]
I think this is the last big character creation piece that I haven’t touched on. I’ve previously done series of articles on the Classes, Backgrounds, and how to develop an interesting backstory. But I’ve only touched on the various alignments in passing. Some of that is because the alignment system can be somewhat controversial and can be used as a reason to be a jerk while playing. What I’m hoping to do with this series of articles is go through and show how you can use alignment in your game to inform your characters decisions.
So, let’s start, what is alignment?
Alignment is the moral touchstone for your character that has been laid out in Dungeons and Dragons and used some in other role playing systems to give you a better idea how to play your character. There are two axis for alignment, from good to evil and from lawful to chaotic, with neutral between both pairs, so you end up with nine different alignments.
When you create your character, you select one of these nine different alignments for your character. You can use that alignment as a filter to make the decisions for your character. And it’s possible during the game that your alignment will change, but that will be up to you and possibly your Dungeon Master if that happens. In most cases, going up from Neutral to Good or Evil to Neutral will be informed more by your Dungeon Master, but if you have a character that falls from Good to Neutral that’s something that can come from either direction.
How do you pick an alignment?
I personally think that it ties into what you want to do for your backstory a lot. The story you will create will help inform if you are a law abiding character or a character who is out to cause trouble. Your class can also determine some of that as well, though there are both Paladin and Cleric sub classes that allow you to play a fallen or evil version of both classes. However, normally both will align with Good or at least Neutral and generally both will lean more lawful while someone like a Rogue would be more chaotic.
If you don’t have an idea for a backstory, the Dungeons and Dragons backgrounds can help you pick out your alignment as some of the items that you roll, personality traits, flaws, bonds, and ideals will help inform that decision and give suggestions base off of which one you pick from the list or randomly roll.
But what does alignment really mean?
This is where alignment is controversial. Some people use it as a crutch for their character to be a jerk. Something like a Chaotic Neutral Rogue stealing from party members would be an example of this. It might annoy everyone at the table, but if they can’t roll a high enough perception to catch her as she stealth’s and steals, there’s nothing that the players can do. Or the dumb Barbarian who gets bored as a Chaotic Neutral character and randomly picks fights, and then in the presence of the king decides to pick a fight. Players at time will say something along the lines of “It’s what my character would do because I’m chaotic neutral.” But really it’s more about wanting to play that jerk character and have the spotlight. The same can be the case for the Lawful Good Paladin who won’t go into the tavern because they don’t drink, who will stab anyone if they do anything wrong, but then will also refuse to go along with any plan that might be a little bit morally grey. Or it would be the true neutral druid, so neutral on both the lawful and chaotic scale as well as the good and evil scale, who then refuses to get involved in anything and won’t latch onto they are neutral and just at peace with the world.
But that’s the extreme. When alignment works well, you use it to inform some decisions and a touchstone for your character in the long run. That means that your Chaotic Neutral rogue might not steal from the party, though borrowing something from someone they don’t like and forgetting to return it, that’s a possibility. Or a Paladin might look the other way when the rogue does steal a bunch of money, and even take a share that they then donate to the church. But those are all fairly specific examples still, I think more generally, alignment is what you use when you aren’t sure which of two options or more that your character would take. Instead of agonizing over a long time, if you can’t come to a fast decision, you look at see which options aligns most closely with your alignment. Using it that way, you can have a fully developed character, as even in real life, some people might be lawful good when it comes to one area and chaotic neutral in another area of their life. So don’t let your alignment stop you from playing like you want.
So what’s coming next in this series on alignment?
We’re going to go through the nine different spots on the alignment matrix. I’m going to do an article on each one of those so you can get a better idea of what they mean and how you can use them in your role playing.
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We are back for our regular Friday special, looking at a grim world where hell has come to earth. But it’s not all bad or is it? A portal from the abyss has opened up a few generations ago in terms of humans, and probably […]