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Showing posts from February, 2012

Into the Fire

"You know about all those dangerous mutants you here about on the news?  I'm the worst one."
 - Pyro, X-Men 2
Out of all the elements that I will write about (water, air, fire and earth), fire is by far the most common.  Why?  There are just so many spells/abilities that deal with fire, and, in my experience, people just seem more drawn to wielding fire.  It's like everybody has an inner pyro.  And so, because fire is the most commonly seen element, it becomes harder to make it interesting and finding ways to make it awesome.
Out of all the players in my group, we only have one min-maxer.  For those unfamiliar with the term, a min-maxer is a person who builds their character in a way that makes them as powerful as they can be.  Most of these players tend to focus on being the best and dealing massive amounts of damage.  Needless to say, outside of combat, they don't tend to do very well unless there's something to break/attack.
I'm not trying to give our…

A Gust of Ideas

"We are flying high, there's no way to say goodbye" - DJ Splash, Flying High
In the last post, I wrote about water and water encounters.  My good friend Rob (who plays Murph, a character you will see later in this post) made a request that I write about all four elements (earth, air, fire, water).  I thought it was a good idea, and so, I happy to be here writing my ideas about air.
The most common thing seen with air magic is wind.  You create gusts and whirlwinds, or you spin around like Link in the Legend of Zelda games.  There are plenty of spells and abilities that represent this, so being one attuned with air shouldn't be hard to play.
However, the biggest benefit of harnessing air gives is the ability to fly.  The pixie races already starts out with this ability, and other classes can pick it up depending on what they level up into.  Drow can take the levitation ability as a racial utility power, or they can gain it by taking the Bregan D'aerthe Spy theme.…

Under the Sea

"We got no troubles/life is the bubbles/under the sea" - Sebastian, The Little Mermaid
This post is dedicated to my good friend P@.  These are the kinds of adventures he lives for. -----
In every group of friends, everybody seems to always be a different element.  Somebody tends to gravitate towards earth, another water, one fire, and yet another air.  I don't really know why.  Different personalities I guess.   I'm always the earth/nature guy.  It's just what I enjoy/what I feel I identify with the most.  However, this post isn't about me.
It's about P@.  You see, my good friend P@ is extremely attuned to the water.  So much so, that every character he makes seems to have a connection, whether it be water magic/abilities, or simply having a background that encourages one to be close to the sea (like a pirate).  He has two DnD characters, both of which are tied to the water.
Nax - a water genasi swordmage.  Nax has a second elemental manifestation, but I c…

Madness at Dovesong Part I

"This is madness!" - C-3PO
Note: This was the first time my "original" group of DnD friends got back together to play.  My one buddy decided that he missed the game and wanted to give it a try (which was great by me, since I consider my DMing skills to have vastly improved from when we started two years ago).  So, we updated our characters (we were almost at level 6, so everybody got to start at 6, giving them gold and weapons based on what the Dungeon Master's Guide says about starting at a higher level). 
The adventure?  Madness at Gardmore Abbey.  I had purchased it a couple of months ago and decided that it the perfect opportunity to play it.  I had already created a fallen abbey in my home campaign, Dovesong, and so, with a little tweaking, Dovesong would finally come to life.
Here are all the characters playing:
Bastin - Male Dragonborn Paladin (Cavalier) of Bahamut.  The group knows little about him, as he just recently joined as an escort back to the v…

The Force is With...Your Minis?

"Your eyes can deceive you.  Don't trust them." - Obi-Wan Kenobi
Last summer, I came across a fantastic deal at Target: they were selling Star Wars miniatures for about 75% off.  These were the same miniatures made by Wizards of the Coast, and had the same quality and size as their Dungeons and Dragons miniatures.  Needless to say, I started off by purchasing about $20 worth (all the one Target had), and spent the next week raiding all the Targets in my area.  I ended up with a huge hoard of miniatures for quite the low price.

The biggest issue was that I play Dungeons and Dragons, not Star Wars.  Does this become an issue?
The short answer: nope.  If anything, this became a win-win situation.  I love Star Wars the point that anything cool like miniatures belong in my collection, and, if anything, these miniatures force me (pardon the pun) to use my imagination (and forces my players to use theirs).
I'd like to go into some examples of the miniatures/creatures I'…

The Evils of Fey

"They were big and little creatures. Some were hairy with long, thin tails, and some had noses long as pokers. Some had bulging eyes and some had 20 toes. In they came -- crashing through the door, sliding down the chimney, crawling through the windows. They shouted and cried. They banged pots and pans. They twirled their tails and tapped their toes upon the wooden floor. He watched as the trolls gobbled the food and threw the plates and drank everything in sight. They continued to shout and scream, to scratch the walls and pound the floors and slap their tails upon the table. The tiny trolls were the worst of all. They screamed at the top of their lungs and pulled each others' tails." - The Brothers Grimm
In the previous post, I wrote about broadening the use of monsters in my campaigns.  I mentioned my love for the fey and the Feywild, and how I was trying to step away from it.  In today's post, I want to embrace the fey, and write about all of the wild i…

Varying Your Villains

"As there is a use for poisons in medicine, so the world cannot move without rogues."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
As I've been DMing my campaign, I've realized one thing: my villains and monsters tend to be from one group: fey.
I think this is because I think the Feywild is the coolest place out of all the planes.  I enjoy the fairy tale atmosphere, and hags are some of my favorite monsters (though I am trying to throw in some dragons!).  Regardless, I think it is important for DM's to throw around other different types of villains and monsters, as it adds more diversity to the adventures that you're running, and allows new things for your group.
Let's do a quick break down of the different types your villains can belong to.
Immortal Elemental Fey Shadow Abberant
I've noticed that I there are certain types that I don't use as much, and I want to fix that.  Here are some of my ideas in my upcoming games.
Immortal - In Gardmore Abbey, the party will end …