Tag Archives: Dungeons & Dragons

First Impression, Roll20.net

David and I play D&D with a group of 6 people including the DM. One of the people does not live in the same state as us so we have been trying various ways to make sure that they can still play. For a long while we were using Google Hangouts with some decent success and having multiple computers set up to show various angles. One for the camera to the whole group and to show us the distant player and then others for the DM and to show the board for battles. This was often complicated and we were having to move the board camera around so that the person at a distance to see where their character was in relation to everyone else. This worked, but was not a great system.

Recently, the DM discovered a service called Roll20 that allowed you to have a map where players could actually move their pieces and the DM could move the enemies all online. This at first just seemed like a great way to be able to do the combat or additional map features, but as we looked more into it the service is much, much more. Roll 20 allows for a completely online gaming session including video chat, group and private text chat, shared map, extra DM features, saved handouts, saved character sheets, and more. Now the base offerings are free and there are some added features if you want to go with a paid subscription. The base offerings are great for a single campaign, but some of the paid features might be worth it for someone investing in multiple gaming platforms. The greatest thing is that Roll 20 is for any d20 based gaming system and not just D&D specific. Continue reading

Catching Up on our Big List of Things

After we ended the A to Z Challenge in early May I did a post about how we had so many things to talk about, so many games to play, so many movies to see and shows to watch.

Now we’re in summer, and while the blockbusters have hit (especially a lot of the LitFlix), the shows have ended (even Game of Thrones!), and we have time to breathe. We also have some of the time-sinks in our personal lives past us. So where are we at? What are we up to? 

I thought I would highlight some of our thoughts on topics moving forward, and some of the things we’ve crossed off that ambitious list of topics. Onward!

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Specialization in Role Playing Games

This is a post idea I’ve had for a long time. My initial thought is this: lately I feel like there has been an increasing move towards specialization in characters in role playing games (RPGs). Meaning that before you often had characters who needed to be able to handle a multitude of situations, need to be able to heal and do damage and take a hit – all in one character, or all in each character.

However, that has been decreasing of late. Instead, we see the rise of roles like Tanking, Healer, and DPS. You see it in party-based online situations especially, and with the rise of MMORPGs, there’s a lot of this going on online and in big-name games people are putting a lot of time into. However, a further place you see this happening was in Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition, which was built to in many ways play like an MMO.

So I will look a bit at both of those – MMOs and D&D 4th Edition – but what really has me thinking about this is that I now have an even better case study. the Final Fantasy games. In Final Fantasy XIII, they hit the most specialized that they ever have; however, in breaking away from that in Lightning Returns, they are moving back to a place where you have far more control over customizing your character. So have we hit the far extent of the trend? Are we moving back away from specialization? That’s the question I will close with!

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The Nine Alignments of Batman

So for today’s post, I put my work into something other than writing. In the early character studies, I was enjoying the thoughts of figuring out characters and what their Dungeons and Dragons alignment would be. I came up with an alignment grid in this post. I think it was pretty good, and a lot of fun both for the thought that goes into it, and the creation of the final product.

I also created an alignment grid centered around the character of Wolverine here. And when you look online at full alignment grids, you see three main types, I feel like. One is the overall grid, where you try to present the best characters you can think of for each alignment. Another is the grid based on one complicated character, like The Doctor or Batman. However, I’m going for the third kind today: Nine Alignments from one fictional world.

So I give you the nine alignments, from the world of Batman. There don’t actually seem to be a lot of these, at least not ones outside of the Christopher Nolan movies. And while I am nowhere near a Batman expert, and though I thought of so many other characters, there’s still a lot of content to consider and I tried to show a bit from multiple sources. So follow on to check out the results!

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10 Best Spells

Magic is a great part of fantasy. As much as I am a Science Fiction guy, and the definition I work off of does not allow for magic (check out the definition here), the escapism of Fantasy (check out the definition here) can be a lot of fun. Fantasy and that level of escapism better lend themselves to gaming, because in gaming you can work outside of the bounds of reality, outside of our normal physics.

A fun sort of thought experiment, here I have a list of the ten best spells – with the thought being that you’re coming up with a spellbook and using them all together. Many spells or spell effects are duplicated, in various ways and various manners, in all sorts of books, video games, and tabletop games. So many of these have a variety of analogs, and are a good bet in most of these circumstances.

There are some spells, of course, that are a bit much. Are almost too powerful for regular sorts of use. The king of these spells is the Wish spell, from D&D – basically, it does what all these spells do, and just about anything else. It’s a plot-changer, game-breaker, and is a bit too much. So maybe it’s better to say, these are the tops of spell types, the best for use, for your gaming wizard or fictional mage of choice! Continue reading