Armor is a staple of most tabletop roleplaying games with some kind of combat system. The point of Armor is that you can purchase an item that will passively improve your defense. In D&D Armor improves your Armor Class which makes it harder for enemies to hit you at all in its binary “roll high” resolution system. In Dark Heresy the Imperial Guardsman of the group will be wearing armor that gives around 4 damage reduction – though many weapons in Dark Heresy outright ignore points of armor through their Penetration value, so this more complicated than it sounds. In Exalted, Armor directly reduces points of lethal or bashing damage inflicted on the character, or both at once. There’s many more examples of course. Lately though, I’ve felt kind of down on Armor, and have been looking for ways to remove its presence from my own designs.
Posts Tagged With: D&D Next
I normally only cover one product on my Kickstarter posts, and always one that I can write a little bit about or touches me personally in a way that gets me going. There are a lot of kickstarters than interest me and might have gone under people’s radars but that for one reason or another I’m not able to write full posts on each of them, usually because the products are very simple and speak for themselves. So I thought I’d round them all up in one post and write a little bit about them. It’s not that I don’t like them, after all – but I don’t think I could write 500 words on each of them alone! You deserve to know about them nonetheless.
Tavern Cards: Tavern Cards it a product of Chaotic Shiny‘s Hannah Lipsky, long-time maker of Random Generators for RPGs. This time you can help her kickstart a random generator for taverns in the form of a deck of custom playing cards, fully playable in your favorite standard card games like poker, while also containing colorful artwork. By drawing random cards from the deck you can generate a random tavern as explained in the description. $13 gets you a Tavern Deck, $45 gets you a deck and a signed print of one of the cards of your choice by the artist, and for $120 you can be a character on a card! Tavern cards has 14 days to go and is 3/5ths funded, and it’s a simple and interesting idea that I think is quite worth a look.
Thematic Fate Dice: This Kickstarter is essentially for a batch of Fate/Fudge dice that have symbols on the faces instead of just pluses and minuses. I normally use pretty stock dice, but I’ve seen people with all kinds of crazy dice on them that look great. $14 gets you one set of 4 dice, $21 gets you 8 dice, and so on. Most of the pledge levels are different amounts of dice and covering shipping costs. So if you’d like some new dice with colorful faces, you might give this a shot. They’re about halfway funded.
Gnomish Adventurers: I’m not really a Gnome superfan (there is a lot of evidence on twitter of me suggesting gnomes just be thrown out of fantasy games) but even I took notice of these cool-looking Gnome miniatures. The miniatures are already funded, so look to the stretch goals instead: $30 will get you a full set of gnomes, and then some special dice, character sheets and an additional figurine or sprue set. Higher rewards include more sets. Check the page for all the deets.
That’s it for the first batch, if you have any Kickstarters you’d like me to look at, feel free to email me about them. However, I will say that I’ve been getting a lot of requests, and sometimes they really don’t catch my eye. I can’t promise I’ll post about every one, even in these little collections, because sometimes either I’m not interested enough in it, I’d be uncomfortable talking about the project because of my own personal ethics and morals, or I flat out don’t really like it. I try to respond to every email as best as I can, but please take this into consideration before contacting me!
Every so often I do reviews of products for Critical-Hits, but there’s a lot of products I get for review that really aren’t worth a whole article. DriveThruRPG is just chock full of little $1 products – maps, stock art, tokens, and, oddly enough, lists of 100 things. I’ve always been interested in 100 Thing Lists, but often the content just wasn’t very imaginative nor really entertaining. When I buy a list of 100 things I do it to get some ideas I wouldn’t just come up with myself by staring at the monitor a few seconds.
There’s very few of these that I’d actually use for anything, and for the longest time I just ignored the “lists of things products.” Lately though, I’ve been finding some gems, and all of them come from a single publisher, Lee’s Lists. Lee’s Lists is a recent appearance in DriveThruRPG, but its List products are for the most part the best I’ve seen around lately, and it’s always a joy to get a notification on my inbox that something new has dropped (and they drop every day).
Full disclosure, I’ve written stuff for these guys, so if you want to check it out:
But there’s an overwhelming majority of stuff I haven’t written but that I’ve acquired and reviewed on DriveThruRPG and would definitely use in my games, because it’s completely awesome.
Lee’s Lists has some incredible people behind some of this stuff, it’s pretty amazing. They fulfill my personal requirements for list products: funny, imaginative and full of content, where the items aren’t always cliche stuff I would get from cultural osmosis in fantasy games. You’ve got gonzo old school stuff like 100 Polearms. You have 1000 Norse Weapons which was my first exposure to Lee’s Lists, and then 100 Adventuring Motivations which is inspiring and hilarious. You have things like 100 Fantasy Plants and Fungi, which are legitimately useful and interesting around a table. A lot of it is witty, funny, charming, but ultimately also functional if you’re in a bind, or if you’re playing a sandbox game and don’t want to plan anything.
Check out their catalog, everything is either a dollar or fifty cents. You really can’t go wrong with dropping some change on this. You could buy a newspaper or you could buy 100 Strange Old Proverbs. Choice is clear, for me. I encourage you to check it out and keep checking them out in the future, if you’ve got a need to roll a d100 for things.
Most RPGs don’t require explicit challenge in order to be fun, and what exactly constitutes a challenge will vary by the individual. Challenge can be pretty abstract. Some won’t feel challenged until they’re at their wits end, pulling their hair out trying to figure out a solution. Some think that challenge is purely something the rules create while others think the very nature of conflict and resolution will always provide a challenge. I like challenge – but I’ve been thinking about what that entails for me.
Combat is the easiest place most of the time to quantify “challenge.” There’s usually numbers there that are going up and down and make it easy to spot where difficulty is being had. When things start to grind, you notice it. However, in “story scenes,” challenge can be harder to gauge. Yesterday I thought out loud about some of this stuff to a friend, today I’m posting my thoughts. I will definitely have missed something here, so you can add your own thoughts in the comments section.
(I don’t mean to imply combat is inherently devoid of story or that story is always the province of a different kind of scene, but I need a way to quickly differentiate scenes where you interact with the world and NPCs from scenes where you want to hurt them – because a lot of times these two have different game design priorities in RPGs.)
It’s that time again! The folks at Wizard’s of the Coast have created a brand new playtest packet for our enjoyment. Downloading this one is actually not a hopelessly painful ordeal, so you can get it here. You don’t have to fear, as it won’t consume all your bandwidth and unleash the fury of your ISP’s data monitoring services to attempt it.
You need to make a new account, by the way – don’t use your DDI or Wizbook account as it won’t work for this purpose. This playtest is rather ambitious as it includes character creation elements and reworked creatures. You have rules for the “four big decisions” D&D Next wants to condense character creation into: Race, Class, Theme, Specialty. Each of these has a separate PDF. Equipment has its own PDF, as well as a reworked Beastiary, How To Play, GM Packet, and so on.
I think all those could’ve been combined into one, with bookmarks, but who am I to question the distribution method.
Some big changes in this one! Combat maneuvers fueled by Fighter Expertise! Everyone has really low HP! (Wizards with 6 HP are back, baby!) Damage is slightly reduced! All kinds of new themes and specialties, including the Healer, which allows you to spend money to make healing kits and anti-toxin! It’s all kinds of exciting stuff for people to playtest.
Is the world’s first and greatest roleplaying game back and better than ever?
As I have done in the past, I’ll give my detailed, initial thoughts on the new packet, with all the gravity, intellect and seriousness that I am known for in engaging discussion about this critical juncture in D&D’s life.
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