Taking Inspiration from the Marvel Cinematic Universe for Dungeons & Dragons

I wanted to write a blurb on using Marvel’s cinematic universe in D&D. I’ll either come back to this topic and inject some more specific examples and references…

Daemons & Deathrays

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Admittedly, I’ve been away from the boundless realms of graphic novel and comic books.  Whether it’s because I’m hesitant to try new series or because money is always tight, I haven’t really gone too deep into comic books, especially nowadays.  Now, I’ve caught up on a few series and read many of them after the fact, but I’ve never really gotten active within any fandoms… unless a handful of defunct and finished web-comics count for anything, that is.  That said, I’ve been slowly been brought back into the fold thanks to Disney and Marvel teaming up for the relatively recent series of films that have been mostly pretty damn good.  Save for a few sub-par installations, the films that have been released (sometimes more than) once a year have been fantastic.  At the best, an excellent journey of action and heroism… and at worst?  A good way to spend an…

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In Which I Ramble About The Planes.

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While I didn’t make any formal announcement, I’ve decided that stuff pertaining to tabletop gaming will stay on my other page, Daemons and Deathrays.  That said, things not involving roleplaying games or board games will go here.  It’s not that I feel I should keep them separate, so much as my tabletop blog deserves plenty of love as well.  With that, here’s an article in which I talk about the Planescape setting and how you can use it for your D&D games and beyond!  You can find the article here.  Please, check it out and let me know what you think.

Image Credit: Sigil by Samize

Game (Mini) Review: Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide

I have no idea what’s going on, but it looks cool.

So, the new book for 5E is out as a primer to the Sword Coast region of the Forgotten Realms campaign setting.  Specifically, it gives some updates on how the setting has fared against The Sundering and how it has recovered from the Spellplague era as well.  On top of that, it gives other lore tidbits, in the shape of factions and their place within the setting.  We also have detail on the ways of magic and gods within Faerun and beyond.  Besides the typical deities of the Sword Coast, we have a handful of racial ones too.  On top of that, we get some mechanical additions from the Realms itself.  These are a handful of archetypes and racial variants to provide more flavor for your FR setting games.  All in all, a lot of hype was riding on this book.  For the past year, the support we’ve had was through playtest packets as well as the occasional full release of supplementary material.  To finally have a fully published book again is a blessing in the eyes of many.  But at the same time, fans have many expectations as well as many hopes and desires.  So, let’s find out what rolls a critical hit and what rolls a natural one.

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Reviews Revisited: Anachronistic Adventures (Revised Edition)

Yeah, it’s kinda like that.

Some ways back, I dove into Owen K.C. Stephen’s Anachronistic Adventures line for Rogue Genius Games.  All in all, a satisfying method of importing pulp-style heroes in a fantasy world.  However, the classes as written lent themselves to a “strangers in a strange land” kind of game.  If you wanted a “A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court”, the books were just for you.  While the rules basis is made for pulpy heroes, you can easily modify the rules to fit this day and age.  Back then, this line of books was teased as a pulpy supplement to make your PF games more modern.  Or at the very least, you could play as Ash Williams from Evil Dead/Army of Darkness!  However, the creator himself admitted that the game relied on core PF rules and needed more to be its own setting and world.  Thus, over the next couple years following release, mini playtests and other bits were released and the final version was originally brought to the public via a large bundle pack.  However, it wasn’t till several updates cropped up till the content was more suited for its own independent game.  A couple of weeks ago, the revised book was released in a bundle pack for the observant and lucky few to dive into.  Fortunately, the book was later released in online stores like RPGNow for all to purchase.  So, with fresh eyes and a better understanding of pathfinder, how does this updated book hold up?  Especially considering it’s made with games independent of Paizo’s fantasy setting in mind, does it hold up on its own?  Let’s roll some dice and find out!

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Ramblings/Review: Fifth Edition Character Sheet mini-review

Cover art

Reviewing apps… this is a first for me.  It’s not that I have anything against apps, it’s just not something I’ve really done before. Plus, I’m not sure there’s really enough to do a full fledged review.  That said, I’m always up for new things.  This time, I’m going to do a brief look at the Fifth Edition Character Sheet app.  This app, available on multi-platforms creates a virtual character sheet for D&D 5th Edition.  While others have been hit with a C&D for doing the same, this one is surprisingly up and running.

One of the benfits of this app is that it has quite the ease of functionality.  The sheet is separated into 5 pages dedicated to different aspects of your character; basic number crunch, skills, attacks/other bonuses, spells, assorted extras/flavor text/class & race benefits.  All you really need to do is add names of spells or maneuvers if you have a class that utilizes them.  Otherwise, the app more or less places the information in their respective areas (i.e. a Life Domain cleric will have specific abilities in class section and Bless & Cure Wounds in the spells automatically logged.)  And while not exactly aesthetically pleasing, as many apps go, it has a simple yet effective presentation.  In addition, it does a decent job of tracking, especially in terms of healing/damage/hit points in general.

Being a pretty cheap app floating around in Play-Space, there are bound to be a few hiccups.  Certain parts of sheet were immediately responsive upon touch, while others required longer pressing in order to activate or edit them.  Also, you couldn’t add in descriptions for spells or other in-depth elements of your character.  As someone who has dealt with players forgetting how their spells work (as well as doing this myself, sometimes), this is a slight problem.

Overall, pretty good and well worth the additional 3 dollar transaction.  As I’ve said, there are/were better options available in terms of quick character creation, but this one isn’t bad for what you get.  It’s quick, it’s easy, it will get you back in the game.  This app is pretty good, but there are likely ones that are a bit better around the internet or just app store in general.  Prior to being C&D’d by Wizards of the Coast, Pathguy’s Javascript generator was my personal favorite, even though you can still access the pre-EEPG version via Internet archive.  However, if you’d prefer to keep your character up to date (with updates for every release), give this app a shot.

The Doc Speaks: Hype Machine, Hate Machine

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Oh boy, MORE Drizz’t!

Hype.  There’s a word with a lot of connotations and consequences, right there.  To an extent, everything receives it.  It’s all a part of spreading ideas and communicating.  We share what we enjoy, it’s what we as people have done for ages.  To borrow from Dawkins’ theory on the ‘meme’, popular ideas spread almost like a virus and eventually evolve too.  And while it’s great to see something you’re passionate about spread all over the world, a saturation point is inevitably reached.  At a certain point, the joy and fun of whatever is popular becomes robbed for many… and this assumes they were invested in the idea to begin with!  For those who never cared, it can range from a minor groan and eye roll to agonizing frustration at almost every turn.  For this reason, we have a page on TVTropes called “Hype Backlash.”  While you could say that everything will always receive “THE HATERS”, things go a little bit deeper than that.  Let’s dive into it, shall we?

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The Doc Speaks: 5th Edition Fun!

5e Dragon

This past year has proved that I am indeed a big fan of Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition!  Quite a few of my rambling posts involve D&D as do quite a few of my reviews, to be honest.  But hey, it’s always been a favorite topic of mine since I first discovered the game as a wee lad in ’95 (’94?).  Granted, I was extremely young and didn’t understand what was going on.  The few times I played AD&D, i was hooked!  Then 3e rolled around and it was cemented as a part of my life!  But, we’re not here to talk about my history with the game.  And as much as I want to talk about Games Master Appreciation Month (which is certainly something all GMs deserve for hours of volunteer service, haha), I’m gonna talk about my experience with the current game so far, bits of news (or lack of there for), and other hubbub involving the game!  Now, this is in part because there aren’t any new movies, games, or whatever that fit the bill of this blog.  And if there are, I don’t know about them yet!  (So by all means, flood me with ideas!)  In the meantime, pull up a chair and grab some funny shaped dice, because there’s tons of geeky rambling after the jump.
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Game Review: D&D 5th Edition Dungeon Master’s Guide

DMG 5
So far, 5th edition has been doing great in my book. It’s a new edition with new possibilities and new ground to explore. What better book for the job than the Dungeon Master’s Guide!? While this edition has been hitting crits everywhere so far, will the DMG have the same luck?

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The Doc Speaks – D&D Monster Rambling 3 – The Third One!

Monster manual

I’m back once more to dive into my favorite spooky, scary monster of the Dungeons & Dragons multiverse!  I’ve already covered planar beings and the walking dead, so I’m going to change my focus a bit; the dark tricksters of D&D! I’m talking about the fair folk and shapeshifters specifically! Sure, the scare factor of other strange creatures might excel these nasty creatures, but one shouldn’t discount these beings too much! No matter, let’s turn the page and talk about some monsters!
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Game Review: D&D 5th Edition Monster Manual

Monster Manual

I bet you’re getting tired of the Monster Manual image, right? Luckily for you, this will be the last time I use it! (Well, until I do another rambling about monsters that is!) In fact, this is the last entry for my “D&D Month.” While I’ll always jabber about RPGs every now and then, this month was something special for me. I can happily say I truly got back into RPGs this month. Sure, I on/off playtested D&D Next, did a couple Savage Worlds one-shots, played some Call of Cthulhu once every couple months, and ran Encounters for D&D, but I really want to actively play again. Maybe 5e inspired that in me or something else, I don’t know.

But, enough rambling, we’re here for a Bestiary of truly scary Beasties! I’m talking about the D&D 5th Edition Monster Manual of course! This book details all sorts of monster both very familiar and somewhat obscure. You’ll see some old favorites and some oddballs that exist in scattered parts of the multiverse. But, since it’s just a book about monsters, why should the fans care so much about the Monster Manual?
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