Monday, May 26, 2014

50 Days and Counting

I pre-ordered on Amazon. They have that lowest price guarantee going on. Last week the price was $12 and some change. So, I decided to wait for the weekend, after payday, cause, you know, I'm not made of money. Well, Saturday it was back at $17+. I passed on that, not knowing for sure what the price would do. I felt pretty safe in the idea it would come back down, but didn't know it for a fact. And since a hold will be put on my account, I wanted to hit that price at a low point. Cause, you know, I'm not made of money.

Happily, the price today was $12.65 (or so), and I was a go. Green light. Execute. Now the waiting begins.

There is something I want to mention, 'ere I go. I've seen a lot of hubbub about there being no character generation rules in this set. It comes with 5 pregens, with canned progressions thru level 5. I'm mostly ambivalent about it. I'm getting this for two reasons:

  • I want to get a real sense of what the new edition should be. Art, layout, etc.
  • I'm a fanboy. Even though 4E turned out not to be my cup o' tea, I always wished I would have entered it with it's red basic box.

As far as what I can and can't do with it in the interim until the "big books" come out, that seems like much ado about nothing. There will be a 48-page pdf (free) containing the meat of character generation from the PHB. If that isn't enough, I have the final playtest pack printed and spiraled (booklet sized, no less). So, I think most of us should have enough of our bases covered to survive until the DMG finally hits in November.

By the way, this will be the last post carrying the "Next" label. From here on, posts relating to the new edition will have the "5E" label.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Manic Fervor

So, in case anyone missed it, I am officially JAZZED about the D&D release. One of the reasons I actually set aside my hesitations about this iteration is Bounded Accuracy. I mentioned it as part of another post, but here is a link to a WotC article talking about in-depth. It is a very cool concept, and this is worth looking at.

Bounded Accuracy

A Follow-up to the "Whore" Post

Ok, I've looked at some higher-res images of the covers at EN World I like the style of it. Not quite as "sharp". They have a little bit of fuzziness to them, which, to me, seems more artistic. One thing I love about them, though: NO Tieflings anywhere to be seen! Hell yeah! If I never see another one of those guys it'll be too soon.

Monday, May 19, 2014

I'm a Whore . . . What of It?

I'm not fooling anyone. I have every edition of D&D made, at least as far as core rules go. I've acquiesced back and forth on Next for a long time. I've printed at least two of the playtest packs. Now, late as usual, I find out that the Starter Set is due in less than 2 months. Here is an ad from WotC's website, D&D Starter Set.

I will be getting this. Period. C'mon, 64-page DM book, 32-page Player book, PC levels 1-5. What's not to love?

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Delving Deeper v3 Random Wilderness

Well, thanks to the tireless efforts of the esteemable Mr. Simon Bull, I now have all three volumes of v3 of the Delving Deeper Reference Rules. I'll talk more at length about the new version in another post (maybe). For now, I wanted to talk about a very specific portion of the rules and share a little something.

On pages 20 and 21 of Volume II: Delving and Exploration, there are two tables for randomly determining a wilderness environment. I am always intrigued by such things. I am very enamored of the idea of randomly generating certain "facts" and imagining the ties that bind them together. So, I generated a small region, and without further ado . . .

I like it. In case you're interested, here's how I did it:

I started with a blank hex map and randomly generated the far-left column. From there I just went column by column, top to bottom. If a roll made zero sense, I ignored it, but otherwise I followed the table pretty close. Of course, most hexes were adjacent to more than one other hex, so I used that to inform my decision if I chose to ignore the roll.

Once I had all the terrain generated I then went hex by hex rolling on the terrain features table. For rivers and trails, i marked each hex as they occurred and "stitched" them together whenever it was all done. This did involve connecting rivers and trails through hexes in which they were not indicated, but that's how shit gets done.

Once I had everything generated, I drew the map in GIMP. There is a script and brush set called hexGIMP that is available for free download. It includes more terrain than just that generated by the tables, so I used a little DM license in those cases.

I plan to further flesh this out using the D30 Sandbox Companion, but I've made such plans before that have come to naught. So, we shall see.

Edit: The red skull/crossbones I used when the table indicated "lair", however, when fleshing out, I intend to view these more as "something interesting".

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Spell Lists

This is something of an open question and solicitation of opinions.

A very common thing in older editions of D&D is specific spell lists for certain classes. Rangers and Paladins are prime examples. One thing I never really put too much thought into is the limitations of such a list. Does it mean that a spell casting class can only ever use spells on its class list? Maybe the spells on the list are the only ones that can be selected from freely, like when a level is gained. If that is the case, what about researching new spells? Could these be any spell the player wants?

I kind of think they should be limited to only what's on their lists, since a limited list seems to be a balance thing. But, it doesn't make much sense, really, from the character's perspective. If there was some sort of college of magic situation, then it makes more sense. Or maybe a source-of-power sort of thing.

This is pertinent because I am working on a spell using class for Delving Deeper. I want a limited spell list to be one of the balancing factors. So, from a DM perspective I wouldn't want a player of the class to go trying to research Fireball, which isn't on the list for the class. On the other hand, I can understand a player finding a scroll with Fireball on it and saying "I want to copy it into my spellbook", and being pissed if I said no, with no game-world reason for it.

I know this is post is a bit more disjointed than usual. I hope I made enough sense to get my question across so I can get some advice.