By now, you've heard a lot about Dungeons & Dragons Online, and so I won't write this as if you know nothing. For a primer, you can visit the DDO website, or check out one of the more detailed reviews popping up online. What I will do here is share my overall feelings on the game, laying out what I think are the positives and the negatives.

Has anyone ever seen a mage who didn't have combat or healing spells? I'm talking about pure mages here, not multi-classed whatevers. I know that there are the illusionists, the occasional thief-like mage, and bards. I know that the rules state that you can play different types of mages, but who does? I've only seen a couple of examples of mages who, while far from worthless, had absolutely no combat or healing magic.

Powergaming, or "munchkinism", is a common complaint among players and GM's alike. Powergaming is accused of turning the role-play into "roll-play", lowering the worth of other player characters, and overall making the game less fun. But is powergaming really as bad as it is made out to be? Is it truly even bad at all?

When designing your own campaign world, life can be made easier by incorporating elements from pre-published sources. As we get older, time to sit and plan becomes hard to come by. The plethora of products available for RPGs (d20 specifically) makes this job easier, however it can be just as time consuming trying to make it all fit the flavor of your world. How can one bring together the ideas from these various products without watering down the feel of your own world?

It seems that whenever someone plays a cleric, they end up acting as an on-site hospital, healing the other characters after every battle and never really teaching or preaching to others about their religion or following their own religion's creed. This is rampant throughout the gaming industry, both in tabletop and electronic gaming.

As many of you already know, I've been running an on-going D&D campaign for nearly seven years now. Most of the players have stuck with the same guy, or maybe they've played as many as two guys. The point is, after seven years, any given character is bound to have an excessively high Hit Point total. Eventually, one gets to the point where one must decide how to account for this. I'm in that spot.

A South Jersey man is being held without bail on charges that he stabbed three people to death. District Attorney Bruce Casto is investigating a possible connection to Dungeons & Dragons: "I mean, you have many, many stab wounds and those Dungeons and Dragons fantasy games involve swords and knives and daggers and things of that nature. There may be a connection but I can't say for sure."

Maze of the Minotaur is a GM's reference guide for the use of minotaurs as a full-blown race rather than a singular foe. In keeping with the aims of the Masters and Minions project, author Brian Stith has concocted five variants of minotaur for use in role-playing, along with notes on ecology, social structure, and character development for the monsters.

According to Ynetnews, the Israel Defense Forces believe incoming recruits and soldiers who play Dungeons and Dragons are unfit for elite units. Eighteen-year-olds who tell recruiters they play the popular fantasy game are automatically given low security clearance because "They're detached from reality and susceptible to influence."

This book is the first in the innovative Masters and Minions series from Behemoth3. The series takes a second, closer look at monsters from the early days of D&D, and provides GMs with something much, much more than just a goofy looking critter to suck hit points from the PCs before they meet the villain. A Swarm of Stirges gives the stirge some things it has always lacked: a complete life-cycle, a place in the ecosystem, a raison d'etre. Unfortunately, Stirges is a collection of many incredibly cool ideas and one monumentally bad one.

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