Sunday, November 7, 2010

Invested in Essentials

The newest additions to my Essentials library.
Dammit Wizards of the Coast! You've gone and done it. Pulled me back into DnD when I swore I was out! I'm really digging this new Essentials line. I just dropped by Endgame and picked up a copy of the Monster's Vault and Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdom. While I haven't had a chance to read them in depth, I'm again impressed by their production value and content. The Monster's Vault in particular I'm very impressed with. The book format is great and the die cut tokens are fantastic. Not too sure how I feel about the adventure yet, but I'm confident I can edit it to my satisfaction. I can't wait to spring this stuff on the Dandies!
I'm four books deep into the Essentials line. That should suffice.

I'm really digging the tokens.

The adventures line up for the Dandies 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

First Session

Our first session started with the players escorting the dwarven merchant Traevus to Fallcrest. The players were unfamiliar with one another, but Gottri and Kipling had business with the dwarf. The cleric and the mage were just along for the ride. While en route they were beset upon by a pack of goblins. They managed to drive the goblinoid raiders off but not before the beasts made off with a small chest belonging to the merchant. As the goblins scurry off and disappear into the hills, the adventures catch a glimpse of a mysterious black clad rider who meets them and follows them out of site.
Desperate to get his chest back, the dwarf promises payment to whoever can bring the chest back. Gottri and Kipling decide to track the goblins, as Valora and Daevus continue with Traevus back to Fallcrest.
The halfling tracks the goblins back to their warrens and find the entrance guarded by goblins who spot the duo and attack on sight! The 2 adventurers best their attackers, but decide it best to venture into the caves with some assistance. They return to Fallcrest to recruit their 2 travelling companions. Traevus promises the adventures 30 gold for the safe return of his chest and the group agrees. They take off into the hills to investigate the goblin warrens and find the merchants missing chest.

As they travel along the road to the caves, Kipling's sharp eyes spy suspicious movement around a ruined guard tower on the road. Spotted, a pair of goblins each barely controlling a wolf hops out and attacks the group. The wolves harry the Avengers as the goblins shoot arrows from a far. Kipling manages to get the upper hand on one of the goblins and does it in. Gottri and Daeven do some major damage against the wolves, as Valora finishes the other goblin with Kipling's assistance.

With it clear that the goblins are aware of their approach, the party sets off expecting trouble.

Next Session: The Twisted Halls

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Meet the Party

We're into our 4th session so far and we are LOVIN' it! The Dandies are really enjoying their charactersm and I'm really having fun with where it's going. I just finished running the group through the "Twisted Halls" adventure in the Red Box, and while it did get hairy, there were no casualties (there were a few near death experiences though.)
One of the things we really love doing is casting our characters. It immediately gives us all an idea of where the characters are coming from, and what they're like. So without further ado, meet the Netir Vale Avengers:

Gottri- Dwarven Knight
(Brian Cox)

One of the few remaining members of an order of Dwarven Knights that was almost wiped out by an Orc invasion, Gottri seeks to return the order to it's formal glory and to one day win back the Hold that fell to the Orcs.

Valora- Elven Warpriest
(Tilda Swinton)

Hailing from the mysterious Cloak Wood Valora has ventured into human lands as part of a pilgramage for her Lord Pelor. Driven by mysterious visions of the Netir Vale in flames, Valora seeks the favor of her god to help prevent this tragic vision from coming true.

Daeven- Human Mage
(Jesse Eisenberg)

A wandering sage and powerful illusionist, much of the young mage's background and motives are shrouded in mystery. He aims good or ill are kept very close to his chest.

Kipling- Halfling Thief
(Mark Sheppard)

A member of the illustrious and industrous Weatherwill Clan (his words, not ours), Kipling seeks to extend his families already extensive network (again, his words) even further throughout the Vale. Unfortunately his mother's fallen a foul of a "corrupt" religious leader and much now be "liberated by her loving son.

Now the you've met the players, next time I'll post their misadventures.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


So they did it. The wizards at Wizards pulled us in with the Red Box. I plunked down the iconic starter box in front of the Dandies and they were all for it. Now a full on campaign has sprung from the whole affair. I don't know what it is that I like so much more about Essentials than Original 4th Edition, the simplification of classes, the straight forward layout, maybe the world without Teiflings and Dragonborn. Whatever it is we're diggin' it and planning on sticking with it for the foreseeable future.
We've finished the adventure that came with the Red Box and all of the characters are 2nd level and itching to get out into the world. I picked up the Essentials rule books and the DM's kit and I plan on running them through the adventure in that box as well. Look for the game postings soon!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Red Box

So for some reason I've been on a serious D&D kick. Not Old School DnD, or 3.5 or Pathfinder (which I was very close to running a few weeks ago). I'm talking 4th Edition here. Yes the boys at WotC managed to pull me back in. I tried the original 4th edition rules (which spawned the Dandies), but none of us really dug the feel. But this new Essentials line... something about it called to me. Kicking it all off with that iconic red box with the classic Elmore painting on the front went a long way towards that. And after checking some of the sneak peeks on the Wizards site, I finally caved in and picked it up.  I have to say, I'm liking it. There's a solo adventure/character creation in the set that really brought back some memories. I sat down and tried it (and the additional downloadable solo) out and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. They did a really good job of introducing the rules to the player and getting you into the game.
So I'm giving you another shot DnD. I'm hoping it plays as good as it all looks.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Failed rpg mash up expirement.

So I tried a little something the last time I ran. I tried an RPG Mash-up; The Pathfinder adventure Hollow's Last Hope with Warhammer 2nd edition rules. One of my players suggested I run some gritty fantasy, and the Falcon's Hollow adventure seemed like a good fit. For some reason I figured it might be really fun to run this game with Warhammer because I remember how intense it was rolling hit location and damage and praying to God the black orc didn't get a critical. Well as it turns out, I forgot how much of a whiff factor starting WH characters have. That and the fact that a Worg with a WS of 45 and 2 attacks per round is not something that a lot of beginning players can handle. Needless to say, I've decided against the pairing. It's sort of like chasing a Long Island ice tea with a Jager. You'll definitely fuck yourself up, but you won't necessarily enjoy the experience.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


So my comparision between Warhammer and Dragon Age aside, there are many things that I enjoy about the new incarnation of Warhammer. The production value being chief among them. Fantasy Flight games makes pretty toys. Lots of neat shiny bits, and cool runic dice. While researching Warhammer I came across FFG's dungeon hack board game Descent. Tempted by thoughts of the Heroquest box set back in the day I went and picked this up for my birthday a few days ago. Man is this game fun! I love everything about it from the amazing plastic figures, to the cool extra bits (wound and fatigue markers) to the puzzle piece dungeon maps! It's a great hack n' slash with no roleplay required.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Warhammer 3E vs. Dragon Age: Round 2

I had a great Holiday break. I caught up on all my rest, enjoyed the first Christmas with my daughter, and did a whole hell a lot of gaming. An old gaming buddy of mine from back in the day joined me and the Dandies for some good ole clickety clack. I ran 2 demos of Warhammer, ran one game of Dragon age and played in another. After a few more sessions, I can honestly say that I much prefer Dragon Age over Warhammer. Don't get me wrong. Warhammer is fun, and I'm starting to get into the mechanics a bit more, but Dragon Age runs like butter. It slips right into the background, and after a couple of combats, you really start to get the stunts. I really like simple elegant systems. Warhammer tends to be pretty crunchy (and I can acknowledge that much of that comes from learning the systems ins and outs). Dragon Age you can explain to a new character and just jump right into your story. There's a serious learning curve that comes with Warhammer. That said, there's also a lot of room for cool nuances in the dice mechanics.
Now these are still early impressions. I'm planning a WHRP game at the moment and I'm really curious to see how that goes. I'll post further impressions after I run a few sessions. 

(Oh btw- I planned on running a Earthdawn game from my buddy but switched at the last minute and wrote up a Dragon Age adventure on the spot. I scribbled down some notes, wrote down the adversaries stats and ran the game. I don't think I'd be able to do the same for Warhammer.)