Adventure: Much Ado About Zvomarana

Every Sunday night, I run my epic level D&D 4e home campaign.  I prep my adventures in WordPress, then add to it and post it the day after we play.  The intent is an adventure you can easily steal, with commentary at the end on how you might make it better.

——-

Last week the players arrived back in the Raven Queen’s citadel after investigating the Bleak Fallows.  This week marks the return (finally) of Akmenos the bard/warlord from his summer vacation.  Now that the whole group is back together, they’re ready for their conversation with the Raven Queen.

Conversations in D&D are really hard to prep for.  Usually, I jot down key points the NPC hopes to verbalize and/or knowledge the NPC has about a given topic.  In this case, the Raven Queen needs to tell the players about the troubles befalling Zvomarana and will need to be able to respond to the players remarks about the Bleak Fallows.  The rest will have to be on the fly.

  • Zvomarana
    • The attacks began the day after the players left for the Bleak Fallows.  An elite force was able to take out two of their four catapults before the siege began, but the undead also destroyed two of the temples mortars.
    • Day two saw the retreat of many at the temple.  Vecna’s forces made a move toward the river, hoping to cut off the water.  The temple allowed them the victory and used the opportunity for a mass evacuation.
    • With the water cut-off, the undead horde used day three to dig trenches and set up for a long siege.  The temple priests are busy creating fresh water, food shouldn’t be a problem with most of the city evacuated.
    • Day four must have seen a battle in the mortal world, for a flood of spirits surged into the Shadowfell and Vecna was there waiting for the pieces to fall.  The Raven Queen was able to save most, but many were lost to Vecna’s necrotic magic.
    • The Queen has sent reinforcements, but in doing so has left herself exposed to assassination attempts.
  • The Bleak Fallows
    • It is an ancient place that predates even her arrival to this realm.  Zehir still held his throne when that place changed from a pristine lake into the frozen tundra it is now.
    • Vorkhesis would, of course, know more.

Through the conversation, the players learn of three choices for their next course of action.

  • Take the mounts to Zvomarana in all haste.  The journey would allow them to bring their mounts, protect any fleeing refugees, and see the layout of the seige with a bird’s eye view.
  • The Queen has a teleportation circle that leads directly to the temple, but it’s been acting funny lately, surging randomly with deeply necrotic energy.  Travel would be instantaneous, but who knows what waits on the other side?
  • It is rare for Vecna to surface so openly.  If Kas could be found, he would make for a powerful ally in the war to come.  Rumors say Kas has surfaced and is making his way to Zvomarana from outside Letherna, slowly raising an army of his own along the way.  However, Kas doesn’t care about the temple, he only seeks to kill Vecna.

As you can see, I’m left with a dilemma.  I don’t know what encounter 2 is going to be until the players decide where to go.  In situations like these, I often design a solid, generic team of monsters that can be easily re-skinned for the situation at hand.  Whatever that might be.

  • Encouter 2a – Scouting out the lay of the land, the players might notice refugees being attacked; better yet, the refugees are circled by the reinforcements sent by the Queen, who face-off against an impossible foe.  The goal of the encounter is to save as many reinforcements as possible, but the reinforcements rush to save the refugees.
  • Encounter 2b – The teleportation was a success, but instead of taking the heroes to the Queen’s holy temple, they were instead somehow teleported deep inside the enemy camp.  Do they attempt to escape or to cause as much havoc as possible?  Either way, the goal of the encounter is subterfuge; let none escape to speak of their arrival, but the creatures all try to run when bloodied.
  • Encounter 2c – With the mounts and the Raven Queens blessing, the players can bypass Zvomarana completely by traveling due south.  They cross high above the frosty peaks to arrive into the full weight of the shadowfell.  Outside Letherna, the Bleakness takes them (each draws two Despair cards) and the shadows close in.  Unhindered by the distant Queens presence, each monster attack deals 10 extra damage.

Creatures – 1 x Durud Healer, 3 x Durud Slayer, 3 x Battlesworn Ogre Mauler

I’ll describe these creatures however I want, depending on the situation.  I may change their traits;, encounter 2a needs some huge creatures, encounter 2c needs flying creatures.  It ain’t no thang.

—————-

After a long hiatus, the group is back together again in full glory.  They decided to go after Kas (adventure path C) who is rumored to be on a slow move toward Zvomarana.  The players are hoping to persuade Kas to hurry it up, forget about building a huge army, and strike now while the time is right.  If successful, they might just smash Vecna and his forces against the walls of the great temple, putting an end to him once and for all.

Remember, the players have a quest sitting on their back burner, to find both of Vecna’s eyes and present them to the Raven Queen.  Somehow in this plan, they’re going to have to figure out how to do that… and by them I mean me, of course.  We also can’t forget the Bleak Fallows; the players asked the Queen to get them some form of water breathing and element resistance… but with Inherent Items, she shouldn’t need to.

The players did some fun stuff for about four hours before riding out.

  • Chi-Cal went to Hamblin, the Queens raven master, to send out some speedy messages to Kas, asking him to “meet them under the floating rock”.  There, Chi Cal discovered the rare Ravenant, a raven blessed by the Queen that teleports whenever it flies and is of hightened intelligence.  He sent all four ravenant’s out to find Kas.
  • Asterion went on a nice, awkward, leisurly stroll with Chadwink.  Where no ears could hear them, Chadwink told the great minotaur of his suspicions about Delatoth.  Though Chadwink had no proof, he did mention that Delatoth personally defeated all three assassination attemts against the lady.  Chadwink also cautioned, explaining that though this is the Queen’s realm, this is Delatoth’s citadel.   Nothing goes on in this citadel that Delatoth doesn’t know about.
  • Samantha Umbra trained the guard at the Queen’s citadel on tactics used by the assassins of Zehir.  She then drilled them on the art of blind fighting while keeping the troops blinded in darkness for three hours of sparring.
  • Gashix went to the library to study up on the Shadowfell.  There he found some shadow-relevant limericks and ditties that were easy to memorize and fun to recite.  He also came across a sultry romance novel about a woman who ran away with seven shades.  An interesting passage within detailed her journey to the fabled House of Black Lanterns.
  • Akmenos also went to the library.  He was researching Vecna and came across the ancient texts written by Zehirs steward.  With some impressive history checks, Akmenos found the exact texts regarding an assault made by Vecna.  The passage detailed landmarks defiled by dark rituals that gathered the dead as they fell, denied them their rest and sent them to be enslaved by Vecna.  The larger the landmark, the larger the radius of the effect.

Next week, the search for Kas.

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“Tonight” is a Heartwarming D&D Ditty

Do you like music?  Do you like D&D?  If you answered yes to either of these questions, you’re going to love this video.  If you answered yes to both of these questions, you might just fall in love with singer/songwriter Allie Goertz as she performs “Tonight” (D&D song).

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64 Things to do With an Adventurers Kit

The Adventurer’s Kit is something we all know and love.  Every character pretty much has the same stuff, at all times; “a back pack, a bedroll, flint and steel, a belt pouch, two sunrods, ten days worth of trail rations, 50 ft of hempen rope, and a waterskin” (PHB 221).  These items are a goldmine of roleplaying opportunities, just waiting to be exploited.  Here’s a few ideas to get you started:

Back Pack:

  • Obviously you can use a back pack to store things, but beyond the mundane, consider the following uses;
    • Pet Carrier; the ranger doesn’t have to be the only one with a pet.
    • Keep your clothes dry or clean when crossing wet or disgusting terrain.
    • Keep a change of clothes handy.  You don’t want to look all Dragon Age 2 before trying to be diplomatic.
    • Store trophies from each kill.
    • Collect oddities.

Bedroll:

  • Well, besides sleeping in it, you could try some of the following uses:
    • Wrap up precious/fragile cargo.
    • Conceal a small item from inspection.
    • Pad the seat of a bumpy ride.
    • Sacrifice it to be a true gentlemen across a large puddle.
    • Craft a stretcher.
    • Hide a body.

Flint & Steel

  • I’d say it’s a standard action (DC 20) to start a fire with this stuff, a minor to draw it from your bag, then another minor to sheath your weapon, you’d need both hands.  Basically, a full round action to set a fire is pretty fun, but what else?
    • In the stone age, flint was used to make all sorts of tools and weapons with a process call “knapping.”
    • Flint exposed to extreme heat is prone to fragmentation.  This could create a diversion, or maybe even a burst attack that takes 1d4+1 rounds to take effect.

Belt Pouch:

  • Meant to hold your most readily available objects, but what else?
    • Separate “questionables.”
    • Filled with rocks or ammunition it becomes an improvised weapon.
    • Filled with glass or shrapnel, it becomes a 1 square bomb of difficult terrain.  If your DM is creative enough, you could try for “shifting causes slowed (save ends).”
    • Reduce the radius of a sunrod.
    • Filled with down, it becomes a pillow.

Sunrod:

  • I’ve covered the sunrod before, but I didn’t really delve into it’s uses… other than as an absurdly powerful light source of course.
    • In the old days we used to put a glowing coin inside a scroll case to create a flashlight; a blast instead of burst effect.
    • Try using thievery to stick the sunrod to an adjacent enemy that likes to hide a lot.
    • “Humanely torture” with sleep deprivation tactics (if you have time for that sort of thing.
    • Estimate the depth of a cavern or well by dropping the sunrod and rolling dungeoneering.

Trail Rations:

  • Ten days worth of trail rations is most likely a hearty portion of dried beef and unleavened bread, but get creative depending on your background, maybe your character travels with dates and lizard crisps.  Whatever you travel with, try…
    • Leave a trail of food to bait an enemy into a trap or ambush site.
    • Throw pieces at a street tough to start a fight.
    • Hand out treats to poor street urchins begging for a dime.
    • Hide a mound somewhere to attract vermin.
    • Insult somebody by not eating their served food, but rather, your own.

Rope:

  • What can’t you do with a rope?  This is probably the most used item in the adventurer’s kit.  It’s just so versatile.  I’d like to personally thank Dragon Magazine #135 (1988) as the idea behind this post, 20 things to do with a rope:
    • Climb
    • Rappel
    • Lasso
    • Tie-up your mount to a tree.
    • Tie up your captive to a tree.
    • Lower your sunrod to see below.
    • Lower a minion to see if anything attacks.
    • Create a trip line.
    • Lash together stretchers.
    • Create hand bridges.
    • Winch doors and boulders.
    • Winch support beams to collapse buildings.
    • Safety harness.
    • Clothesline.
    • Traps (hold up a falling rock, blade, tiger, etc.).
    • Drag things.
    • Brachiation.
    • Hanging enemies for extreme insult.
    • Subdue and tie-up enemies upside down from light posts (thanks Spidey).
    • Subtly yank a table out from under some drinking patrons, to start a fight.

Waterskin:

  • Every adventurer needs water… but water can be foraged.  What you really need to fill your waterskin with is alcohol, much more useful.  Whatever your preference, you might try:
    • Cleaning wounds.
    • Gardening, who’s to say you can’t carry around a tiny bonsai?
    • Ranged 3, one creature, Dex + 4 vs Reflex.  Hit: The target is covered in blank (alcohol could lead to burning, water might hurt fire creatures).
    • Empty = whoopee cushion.
    • Store a liquid found at a magical pool or fountain.
    • Squirt stuff on beggars hoping for a handout.
    • Squirt stuff on street toughs to start a fight.
    • Douse a fire.
    • Clean up a mess.
    • Restrain a stunned water elemental (save ends).
    • Inflate for a game of (sport).

I’m sure we could get this list up to 100.  Help me out, would ya?  I gotta go.

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Adventure: Shadowfell: The Horde of Limbs

Every Sunday night, I run my epic level D&D 4e home campaign.  I prep my adventures in WordPress, then add to it and post it the day after we play.  The intent is an adventure you can easily steal, with commentary at the end on how you might make it better.

The Journey Back

Last week the players caught a glimpse of what Zvomarana went through on day one of the siege.  It’s now day four.  Their characters however, have no idea about the troubles of the temple.  They are on their way back to the Raven Queen to report their findings in the Bleak Fallows.

Along the way, with some moderate perception checks, they may notice evidence of the river of refugees who recently fled the temple.  Scattered belongings, blood soaked soil, and feasting ghouls are all possible sights.  The trail obviously leads from Zvomarana toward the Raven Queens citadel.  A hard DC perception check may notice the caravan they had helped three days past.  All within are dead and a score of ghouls feast upon their bodies.  The Deck of Many Things may still reside within the wreckage.

  • Encounter 1 – The Ghouls Feast:  (20 x Abyssal Ghoul Myrmidon, 1 x “Pimped” Abyssal Ghoul Horde, ? x Abyssal Ghoul Hungerer)
    • The minions kind of suck, so they deal an additional 3d6 damage to an immobilized creature.  They gain resist 10 acid and their burst attack deals 10 acid and necrotic damage.
    • The “Pimped” horde I made into a solo, personally I think it’s awesome.  The body parts of all the slain minions converge together to form a horrible swarm of ghoulish limbs.

*errata: Body Absorption, replace "site" with "sight"

I didn’t add it as a power, but it can (of course) take its level in damage to drop dazed, dominate, or stun effects, even if no save is allowed.

RewardThe Deck of Many Things is based on chaos, so I can’t just give it to them.  They could just “take a 20” to search  once the ghouls are dead (yes I still allow that rule) , so they can’t just search for it.  One person makes a roll, 11 or better and the Deck is there.

  • Tip: Rolls like this really engage the group.

* Notice they don’t have to fight this encounter, they may just fly by.  That’s why I made the DC hard.  It piques their curiosity as to why it’s hard.  If they do just fly on by, offer another perception check as they leave the tower.

Ghouls eat the gypsies savagely, the wagon shakes with movement.

The minotaur decides to crash the ghouls party.

...Maybe not the best idea.

Into the Citadel

Their mounts know where to go once they get close to the temple.  Delatoth is nowhere to be seen; there are no guards to be seen at all.  Rushing to the Queen’s aid, the players will come across Delatoth,  along with four assassins and one soldier, fighting in the hall.  Five dead soldiers lie on the floor, one dead assassin.  Seeing you, Delatoth screams “Help me you fools!” then attacks an assassin.  The assassins attempt to finish off the last soldier, then try to escape from the PC’s.

At the battles end, or if the assassins escape, Delatoth rushes off toward the Queens chambers.  If they follow, they see Chadwink in the back corner of a passing room, holding a pick high, ready to defend his family behind (Ilsa and Hubert).  If they talk to him, he looks around anxiously, then says, “It isn’t safe to talk here.  Find me later.”

Reporting to the Raven Queen

The players arrive to hear the Raven Queen (Morrigan) angrily ask of Delatoth, “Did they harm me?  Did they even enter my chambers?  Then you did your job!  Find out why your men couldn’t do the same and stop concerning me with such matters.  Go!”

————-

I had a little more prepared, but we were down a player so I cut the conversation short.  All in all, it went nearly as planned.

  • The players decided to fly back to the citadel, real high above the cloud cover, to avoid being seen by anything on the ground.  I stressed that the reverse was true too, they wouldn’t be able to see anything on the ground.  They were ok with that…
    • I had them roll a hard DC perception check (same trick as in encounter 1) to get a peek through a gap in the clouds; refugees trailing like ants far below.  It worked, they went to investigate.  Proceed with adventure.
      • I ‘d usually have been fine with them skipping the first encounter for now, but I didn’t want to have a big story based conversation without the warlord/bard around to share in it.
  • The Horde of Limbs was really fun.. and mean.  It makes for a great side-treck encounter, what party of adventurers wouldn’t want to slaughter 20 minion ghouls feeding upon gypsies amidst their shiny wreckage?
    • You might remember I added acid to the monsters necrotic damage.  This saved the encounter.  At this level, everybody usually has some sort of variable resistance.  Only by making it two damage sources was I able to make it effective at all.
    • The minotaur actually dropped below zero and fought on in the negatives for a couple of rounds before running away and passing out.
      • Funny side note:  His power Diehard allows him to ignore dying, but become dazed and he still rolls death saves.  As soon as he’s stabilized, he’s no longer “dying” so he falls unconscious if he’s still in the negatives.  Mechanically it makes sense, but think about it in-game.  It’s like The Hulk calming down…
    • The warlock and assassin, the two strikers, were unable to get around the swarms 1/2 resist, even at level 22.  Might want to work on that fellas.
  • Question:  Does a dominated character get any sort of save to diverge information when questioned?
    • Chi-Kal actually killed the last standing soldier.  Like, negative bloodied killed him.  One of the perks of working for the Raven Queen I guess…
    • One assassin escaped.

Next week, the conversation with the Raven Queen.

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Adventure: The Gates of Zvomarana

Every Sunday night, I run my epic level D&D 4e home campaign.  I prep my adventures in WordPress, then add to it and post it the day after we play.  The intent is an adventure you can easily steal, with commentary at the end on how you might make it better.

Intermission

Last time we gamed, the players left The Bleak Fallows to report their horrific findings to the Raven Queen.  We’ve had a break from this campaign for two weeks now.  One of our players is on vacation, he’ll be missing tonight’s game too.  That, mixed with my curiosity of what has happened to Zvomarana over the last four in-game days, has led me to the decision to run a side quest.

Remember Zvomarana?  Samantha Umbra reported, out of breath from having ran the entire distance, that Zvomarana, the holiest of the Raven Queens temples, was about to be attacked by an undead army.  That was four days ago in the game world.  How has the temple fared?  Have they fallen yet, or do they still hold fast against the horde of undead beating at their door?  These are questions I’ll let the players decide tonight.

To skip my need to create pregen characters, I’ll let the players use their current characters, BUT… they can’t play their own.  Each player will also control five groups of twenty soldiers.  Four hundred men, four heroes, against a horde of undead.

The goal here is to determine one of three outcomes:

  • Zvomarana falls to the undead horde.
  • A few hopeless men fight on against overwhelming numbers.
  • Against all odds, Zvomarana stands firm.

Three outcomes means three encounters, 2 combat and one skill challenge.  Each failure counts against the possibility of Zvomarana standing against the attack.  The temple only has one real hope of success; they have mortars.

Encounter 1 – We Need More Time!

In this encounter, each player will be in charge of protecting a single tower against assault, while the engineers set up the mortars.  Unfortunately, the horde has catapults and undead flying abominations.  The catapults must not be allowed to attack the towers, but the engineers must be protected.  The catapults must move 20 squares before they can attack, and must have at least one Undead Militia adjacent to them for them to do anything.

  • The players must individually decide how to divide their troops.  How many of their five stay on the tower, and how many assault the catapults?
  • They must also decide whether their hero stays with the tower, or assaults the catapults.
  • Secretly roll 1d6 per tower; that number of Undead Militia (same stats as Zvomarana Militia) assault each tower, the difference remains with each catapult.  Those attacking the tower gain a fly speed of 8.

       

The heroes need something to fight.  I can’t quite wrap my head around how they would fit into a large scale battle like this, so each Undead troop will have a general.  These Generals join together to defeat the heroes.

  • Players must choose at the beginning of the encounter whether to fall in with the troops, and count as a two Militia Allies for the encounter; or they may participate in the battle against the Generals.

Generals – Raaig Soulflame, Haures, Kryizoth, Void Lich

On the sixth round of combat, the horns of Zvomarana sound retreat.

Skill Challenge: Fall Back!

The Undead army vastly outnumbers the Zvomarana troops.  Whether the sabotage against the catapults was successful or not, the horns have sounded retreat.  If only it were that easy…

The goal here is to see how many of the remaining Militia make it safely back to the temple before the gates are closed.  The players must use their social skills at least twice at a moderate difficulty to order their troops back to safety, after that any creative use of a skill is allowed.  6 successes before 3 failures.  The third and every failure after removes one Militia token.

Encounter 2 – Zvomarana’s Last Stand

They sure better hope their mortars are up and running.

Any catapults that remain attack the Mortars relentlessly.  Any remaining generals attack the heroes.  The Horde presses forward, attacking (at a -2 penalty) those atop the wall whenever possible.  Beginning the second round of combat, a loud roar is heard as a Dracolich swoops onto the battlefield.  Beginning the fourth round of combat, a battering ram gets assembled outside the gates and begins to attack.  +24 vs AC; 1d10+10 damage.  The door has AC 10, hardness 5, and 40 hit points.

The Dracolich

I wanted to use a Dracolich, but hate all its stun effects.  So for this encounter I’m going to try Sly Flourishes recent tip, Making Stun and Dominate Not Suck.  Basically, anytime the Dracolich stuns a target, they take a -4 penalty to all defenses and gain vulnerable 15 all, but can still take actions.

—————–

Adventure done and run.  I’ll say this, large scale battles are tough.

I had three main goals for tonight’s adventure.  First, I wanted the players to gain some respect for their allies.  Second, I needed to know what happened to the temple of Zvomarana.  Lastly, I wanted to experiment with large scale battles and learn what works and what doesn’t.

Well I learned something, that’s for sure.  All in all, I think the story told was a good one, but the implementation was rocky.

  • The scene opened with four generals sharing what may be their last meal together.  They talk of the impending horde attack and what steps they’ll need to take to have any hope of success.
    • I used this opportunity to explain the special rules of Militia combat and the two different focuses for their troops; the catapults and mortars.
    • The players used this opportunity to explain their characters to one another.
  • While the generals were still talking, a messenger reported the enemy generals were mockingly calling for a duel.
    • The players all decided to meet in combat deep inside the enemy ranks.  The undead army formed a tight circle around the combatants and dealt 1d6+6 damage to any pushed into them.
    • The distraction created by the generals fighting gave the perfect opportunity for the Militia to do their work.  They became a ticker within the initiative order.
      • On the Militia’s turn, the soldiers took turns attacking and defending.  The higher initiative attacked in round 1, then defended in round 2, then attacked again in round 3, and so on.
    • The undead enemies were all dead shortly into round 5.  The Militia retreated at the end of round 6.
      • 2 catapults remained, 2 mortars remained
  • The skill challenge became getting away from the frenzied undead horde after watching their undead generals slain.  They narrowly escaped being mobbed by the army and got back inside the temple in the nick of time.
  • Atop the wall, the remaining Militia members rained arrows down upon the undead horde.  They had to roll an 11 or better to hit and killed 1d10 minions with each success.  The players did well enough to have nearly ten Militia still standing.
    • The mortars had to roll a 9 or better and destroyed 3d10 minions with each success.
    • They had two rounds to attack before the catapults rolled onto the field.
      • The catapults could instantly kill militia members atop the wall with a successful attack (burst 1).
    • The Dracolich was a pushover.  He got knocked prone and immobilized within the first round.  On the ground, he couldn’t escape, some of which was due to his stuns not stunning.  The players seemed to have little problems hitting, even with a -4 penalty.
  • Though some felt the fear of death, it wasn’t what I would call a victory of “overwhelming odds.”

I’m not done with large-scale battles just yet.  Tonight was an experiment.  Like any good experiment, the point is to learn something.  Until next time, keep learning!

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DM “Rewards”

As a DM, do you think you’re entitled to rewards or compensation for your services?  I’m not talking at home around your table, though if that’s true, more power to you.  I mean D&D public play, specifically D&D Encounters.

I’ve recently opted out of running Encounters on a regular basis.  One of two DM’s, the other being the shop owner, I ran approximately 70 weeks of D&D Encounters in a row.  Most of the time I loved going, but there were other times I felt I had to.  I hate feeling that way about a hobby.

Honestly, the majority of Encounters is teaching newbs.  The first couple seasons brought in a lot of veterans, but those haven’t been around for a while.  Each new season brings in a different lot, all the same, newbs.  More and more, with each passing season, the newbs grow in number.  Encounters went from a game, to me teaching D&D to a class of 4-7.

I could handle that.  It was fun for a while, but teachers get paid.  I got a calendar.

The store gives me 20% off anything purchased in the store.  This was helpful up until they cancelled Miniatures.  I got to keep all the adventures I ran, of which all I care about is the maps.  A while back Wizards sent me a side-trek adventure for Tomb of Horrors (as if it weren’t long enough).  All these things gather dust, low on a shelf.  I want something more.

I endured for another season, maybe two… honestly I lost track.  It became a part-time job.  I got burned out and said my goodbyes.  Good terms I hope, but I can’t help feeling I let folks down.

Recently I got an email from the store.  It was a generic email, sent from an email list, stating the stores need for DM’s and their new rewards program.

  • DM’s will receive $2 in-store credit per player participating in their game.
  • Some events they will now require players to purchase something from the store.

Seems like a pretty fair gig, right?  Still not enough for me to sign on full-time.  I said I’d love to help with any Game Day’s of course, would run a month or so of Lair Assault (I want to kill me some players), could fill in on an “as needed” basis with Encounters, but I just didn’t want to sign on for another 3 month job.

The best parts about running a game are outside the game table.  D&D Encounters robs DM’s of the power to create, reducing them to an adjudicator of stat blocks and tactics.  There, I’ve said it.

Obviously Wizards marketing is working, drawing in the new players (customers) and slowly erasing the stigma of a tarnished brand.  I’m glad for them.  I love to see 4e gaining more and more popularity, and even more glad to see the next generation of gamers rolling dice for their first time.  The thing is, if Encounters keeps going strong, DM’s will get burned out.  What are they going to do about it?

I don’t think it should be the stores responsibility to keep the DM’s motivated.  Wizard’s needs to step it up.  If each season had a special-edition large miniature, that would be worth it for me.  If each season had special-edition dungeon tile, I might go for that.  I want Wizards to give me something top-shelf, something other gamers would look at and desire.  Imagine a simple rewards system that appealed to the collector in all DM’s.  A system that makes DM’s want a part-time job teaching newbs.

Do you participate in D&D public play?  Always out of the goodness of your D&D-loving heart?  How does your store handle burn-out?

 

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New Item: Alternate Daggers

Here’s something fun to try.  Do a Google image search of the word dagger, then ask yourself if they should all have the same properties within 4e.  Go on, give it a look-see…

Granted, daggers are just part of the larger category, light blades, but still… The heavy blades category has at least eight “swords” within it.  Why only the one dagger?  Where is the kris, stiletto, butterfly knife, or switchblade?  What would they look like in 4e?

               

               

For your consideration.  Thanks for reading!

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