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Topics - Thjalfi

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Wizards ran a "save my game" article recently that has been striking a chord in me for some time.

here's some excerpts:

Quote from: Middle bits
Real-life, in-person D&D isn't like that. It requires you and everyone else in your gaming group to perform the same level of assessment, prioritization, and reallocation of time/life resources and to coordinate that activity so that everyone is on the same page at the same time. Something that scrambles one or two people's schedules (a friend comes in from out of town, someone gets sick, had to work late, burned out and tired from a rough week at work, kids have a sleepover, celebrating Uncle Ted's birthday, big paper due next week, have to finish the flooring before company comes over tomorrow) can be enough to derail the game for everyone else. Then what do you do? You individually have arranged your schedule to game, but now there's no game.

The solution might be to find new friends who are more reliable. This is a point where the economic model of D&D as an activity breaks down, because D&D is not a discrete and interchangeable commodity. D&D is a social activity with friends, a context for relationship, shared experience, and group storytelling. You can't just say, "Well, Friday 7:00-11:00 is my D&D time, but since my group isn't meeting, I'll go play D&D somewhere else." You could go ahead and play with two people in a campaign designed for five (or however large your group is), but most players and DMs in my experience have a certain sense of quorum they like to meet before agreeing to game. We're all busy and have other things that need doing, and if we feel like the game will not be as fun with a skeleton crew, we'd rather bag it and come back next time with the full group (we hope).

Quote from: The Conclusion
Think about how much you want to game, how long of a break you want to take, or whether you need to find a new group that can match your schedule. Heck, this is why many gaming parents teach their kids D&D, so they can combine doing things with the kids with getting to play. But if your kids aren't interested (or if only one is and the others aren't), do you play with just the two of you? What do you do with the others in the meantime, and what do you do with them as a dedicated activity in the way that gaming with your one aspiring gamer is?

There are no easy answers and no simple methods for organizing your life. D&D makes things more complicated because it is a social, team game. What you can do and when you can do it has to match up with a bunch of other people. It's also something we love to do. That's why we're reading an advice column on a D&D website.

Don't confuse commitments with cop-outs or excuses with reasons. If you'd rather be doing something else than playing D&D, go for it. But don't pack your hobbies in the attic without taking a good hard look at what you have, what you do, and what you want.

so, what does everyone think? how do you personally go about dealing with groups that just aren't reliable for playing with?

Help Desk / Spamposts
« on: May 27, 2006, 02:17:56 AM »
Ok guys, we've been getting spammer posts coming through for a few weeks now, and I know we're all annoyed by them, so I've got a request:

when a spambot posts a thread, or posts in a thread, instead of just responding to it with our normal silly-ass shit, could you please use the report bad post function? It'll help me delete the offending posts and bam the spambots faster, and make our lives a little bit easier.

Thanks guys.

so, this is a very simple question: are you superstisious about your dice?

Poll coming in a moment...

all right, all you D&D nutters out here (and we know you're here, so don't try to deny it), we're running a kind of contest for you.

check out the details at the news thread.

The more submissions the merrier! have some fun with this, and if this one is a hit, we'll do another role-playing contest (independant of system) next month!

News and Adverts / Nutkinland: NPC contest #1
« on: April 12, 2006, 02:05:16 PM »
So, the other squirrels and I were talking, and the pooka said "Hey, lets use some of these really neet features we've got access to!" We all nodded our heads, and promptly ignored him. However, a few days later, I decided that he had a point, and so we get...


Using only OGL material from the SRD, present a fully-statted Major NPC for a fantasy d20 game. If you need a reference document, please use

Submissions should include:
  • A 500-750 word description of your NPC. Give us a little history, some background into how a DM might use this character.
  • A ready-to-use stat block in the new WotC format.
  • A stat block showing all the crunchy calculations. break down the skills, the bonuses, everything.
here's what the squirrel judges will be looking for:
  • Originality of the concept - does it possess that nearly indefinable quality that makes the difference between an ordinary stock NPC and an engaging and memorable NPC?
  • Interesting descriptions - Give us some history & background. make an NPC that we would really enjoy putting into our own campaigns.
  • Difficulty of concept - In other words, is it just a typical human fighter, or is it a wemic that uses an alternate base class, prestige class, and a template slapped onto it?
  • Accuracy & Formatting - Did you get the rules right? howbout the stat-block formatting?
Other guidelines:
  • Please use the Elite Array for ability scores.
  • Please attempt to stay close to NPC wealth guidelines from the DMG.
  • Please avoid Epic-Level challenges.
In order to submit an NPC for judging, go to the "group projects" acorn at the top. on the right hand side of that page, click on "submit an item," then "book page." in your submission, make sure the "parent field" is listed as "Nutkinland NPC Contest #1." The squirrels will take it from there.

Contest winners (1 if we get very few entries, 3 if we get a lot) will get access to a 150x150 avatar. The contest will accept new entries for three weeks - that means at 12pm Pacific time, on May 3rd, this one is over.

All submissions will be posted to a new group projects "book," so that these submissions remain a solid resource for any DMs who use our website.

Remember: this is all about having fun, so have fun!


News and Adverts / WotC announces My Little Pony RPG!
« on: April 01, 2006, 11:17:31 AM »
Check it out!

along with their stunning announcment about the forthcoming my little pony RPG, they've gone ahead and previewd the Funguy Gnomes from the upcoming war of the dragon queen D&D mini's expansion.

On a more serious note, they've also illustrated the absolutely horrendous typos that can happen in any good D&D session. oh, the horror!

oh, and be careful how you mix your potions, because the consequences would be horrible. just horrible.


News and Adverts / Ptolus Miniatures Greens at Paizo
« on: April 01, 2006, 11:08:11 AM »
Last month, Paizo Publishing announced that they would be producing a line of miniatures for Monte Cook's Ptolus: City by the Spire campaign setting.

This month, the first of the greens from the upcoming line of minis is on display. Each of the five figures from the first box set has multiple photographs, so check them all out!


News and Adverts / New at Malhavoc Press
« on: March 24, 2006, 11:53:02 AM »
Today we have several new updates at Malhavoc Press - mostly Ptolus related, but also the continuation of Monte Cook's take on the OGL.

  • The Open Gaming License as I see it: Part II

  • New Ptolus, City by the SpireComic Book update: the cover for issue #2.
  • Ptolus by the numbers. a document conatining things like word count, number of pieces of original art, and other interesting details about the big book.
  • Ptolus Character Spotlight: Zophas Adhar.
  • Ptolus Campaign Journal #18: Busting up the Shuul.

News and Adverts / New at Paizo Publishing
« on: March 24, 2006, 11:46:28 AM »
Long awaited, the online supplement for Dungeon issue 131 can be found here in both low and high resolution forms.

while you're over there, check out the gorgeous cover for Dungeon 134.


News and Adverts / Updates from WotC this week
« on: March 24, 2006, 11:40:38 AM »
We apologize for the delay in news this week. we have many updates at Wizards of the coast since monday.

Dungeons & Dragons:
D&D Minis
Star Wars:

News and Adverts / New at WotC
« on: March 21, 2006, 04:37:26 PM »
Two more items from wizards of the coast today:

Rules of the Game: All about Trip attacks Part II

Tactics & Tricks with "You craft the creature's" AMM.Check it out here.

News and Adverts / Monday at Malhavoc
« on: March 20, 2006, 09:57:33 AM »
Malhavoc put up several updates over the weekend, including some interesting thoughts from Monte about the effects of the OGL.

News and Adverts / Monday Morning Updates from WotC
« on: March 20, 2006, 09:51:39 AM »
Two more updates from Wizards this morning:

Vicious Venues: A courthouse encounter.
Eberron Sharn Inquisitive: Guildhouse Robber Standoff.

also one we missed from last week:

Save my game! Diplomacy.

check out this gorgeous cover for the reloaded deluxe edition of the dungeon of tombs at the Necromancer Games Website.

Rappan Athuk Reloaded™ contains the entirety of the original Rappan Athuk™ series, along with many new levels and a massive wilderness expansion, all updated for the revised rules. Not just a rework, this expanded version contains tons of new material, detailing 36 dungeon levels and dozens of wilderness areas.

News and Adverts / More new stuff at Wizards of the Coast
« on: March 17, 2006, 12:24:31 PM »
Today we've got three more items from Wizards of the Coast.

A new Design and Development article: The Delve.

A new D&D fight club opponent:The Voidmind Rot-Reaver

Star Wars miniatures: Jabba's Rancor, part I

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