D&D Nex5 Playtest, One-Page Dungeon Contest, Summer Breaks

02 Jun

Greetings all! This week’s post is ready to go – and is holding on for some lovely artwork to really top it off. But to wet your beak here’s a hint: Samurai and Entrail Tentacles (what?! Gross!!) I also have a boatload of news and housekeeping items. Oh boy, logistics!

The winners of the One Page Dungeon Contest for this year were announced! The winning dungeons all look great! And so do some of the not-as-winning dungeons…mine included. That’s correct, I didn’t get my Dungeon-Bowl ring this year, but as my fellow Clevelanders are so good at pointing out “there’s always next year.” But no moping! This contest is a great challenge and generated some wonderful content that I highly encourage you to investigate.

A big thanks goes out to all those who organized, judged, wrote for, and supported the contest. It was a blast to participate and to enjoy everyone’s work! Because when we all game, everyone is a winner (just kidding, there are only 3d6 winners).

Over this past week I finally had an opportunity to try out the D&D Next/5th Edition playtest materials that were recently made available to everyone (who signs up…for free. So…still everyone). Thus far I like the direction things are going in. I think a big struggle with this edition will be to determine when being vague about rules helps gamemasters to better say “Yes, you can do that” and when leaving specificity out will only cause “needle-in-a-haystack” rules searches. Its a fine line but I think thus far the design team has done a great job.

Of particular note are the “Backgrounds” a character gets to choose. These describe your character’s origins in the world and grant a kind of “plot power” that gives him or her a tangible ability to use in roleplaying and/or exploration moments.

Because of restrictions in the playtest’s legal stipulations, I’m not really at liberty to mess around with writing encounters/adventures for the fledgling edition but I’ll say this: You can really play through an old school module or random dungeon just fine with the rules as they are now. Perhaps even a One Page Dungeon Contest dungeon would be easily adapted? (they totally would)

Last bit of news is that I’m currently writing up a brief but full adventure that I intend to post here! As a summer diversion I’m attending a large get-together of old friends who had interest in rolling the dice together again, and in anticipation am writing up a fast, very railroaded first level adventure very much along the lines of Wizard’s “D&D Encounters” sessions. The trick with gaming at a big gathering like this is that you don’t want to eat up the kind of time a good game will inevitably require – because here’s so much to try and do/so many people to see and reconnect with, that keeping six people sitting in a secluded are for five hours is just too much to ask. By doing several hour to two hour sessions over the course of the few days and using a drop-and-out pre-generated character setup; I become less of a time hog and permit a lot of people to enjoy the game.

It steps outside Save VS Weekends mandate but I’ll invoke “DM Privilege” and go ahead and do it anyway. To facilitate the writing I’m taking a short one or two weekend break from writing encounters, but fear not! This adventure will feature MORE than two encounters and will be posted at the end of my weekend trip for all to enjoy (in lovely pdf format). This break will also give my wonderful contributing artist time to whip up some snazzy images for future posts.

Exciting stuff! Roll them dice. Never stop rolling them.

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Posted by on June 2, 2012 in Announcements


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