I recently ordered the new Starter Set for D&D 5th Edition. In part to get a cheap look at what the new version was like. In part to check it out before I tried buying one for my niece. It’s a pretty big box, and looks like it’s filled to the brim:
After a cursory glance at the stuff on top, I dug out everything to see what all they included. And I ran into this:
It appears that the majority of the box is really just that filler box. The actual contents are just two booklets (the basic rules and an adventure, which has some GMing tips), a set of polyhedral dice (though only one d10, even though it notes you’ll need to do percentile rolls in the book) and a few pre-gen characters.
Somehow I thought they’d include something like a grid mat, maybe some cheap cardboard miniatures, something. Nope. This box is mostly filler.
I’ll probably still buy it for my niece. It looks like it’s an approachable intro. I’m just underwhelmed by the presentation.
Over Easter weekend the SeaTac Doubletree enjoyed the presence of the 35th annual Norwescon, the largest science fiction and fantasy convention in the area. Due to a number of factors, I was only able to attend one day. Due to continued recovery from my ACUS con crud, I almost didn’t brave the drive down south and the need to be social for several hours. But I made the trek anyway and was glad that I had. I got to see some friends I don’t often see, plus sit in on some excellent panels. So here are some highlights.
Been a while since I did a state of the gaming or anything, so I thought I’d do a quick update with a few gamer related comments. I have other stuff I want to write about here, but just haven’t had time in light of my aggressive fiction writing schedule. But here’s a few random thoughts on gaming. First, a rant about White Wolf. Then a general update about the state of my gaming.
I recently read the first collection of Conan shorts by Robert E. Howard. It had been a noted gap in my reading. While I’m a fan of old pulp novels, especially stuff by Edgar Rice Burroughs, I’d never read any Howard. Even the better authors of that period can be a little hit or miss for me, and so I’m always a little iffy about delving into an author I’ve never read.
A few things I’ve had on my notes to write about, figured I’d jot down some thoughts.
I often have random ideas come to me while I’m in that hazy realm between wakefulness and sleep. What happens less often is the recovery of ideas I had entirely forgotten about. I have a few game setting ideas that I’ve tentatively re-tasked to be a setting for a novel in the future, but I have one that I had entirely forgotten about.
I got to play a session of Star Wars recently. Some friends in Portland have a pick up game that they play periodically, so I got to be involved in a session of it while I was down there. I had a ridiculous amount of fun. I might want more depth of play in an ongoing campaign, but for a one-shot it was absurdly fun.
I was making a joke on my Facebook status about how I had a strong urge to play D&D 4e and watch Veronica Mars, but I didn’t think the two were related. As I considered a response from someone, the question occured to me: What if they were?
I don’t know that I’ll ever run this, but as a quick note: Adventuring academy. Dungeon delves and other adventures are a growth industry. As much as I’ve made pithy comments about a character’s backgound versus their character class, what if there was a school for people to learn how to be a Fighter or Rogue or Warlock or Barbarian or whatever.
Not sure what system I would use for it. I could justify everything from D&D4e to Savage Worlds to Best Friends to Primetime Adventures. And, heck, I don’t know when I’d ever actually have time to run it. (Maybe a one-shot at a con?) But I’ll put it on the back burner for now.
A couple days ago I picked up Running Wild, the critter sourcebook for Shadowrun 4e. It’s a pretty cool looking book with some fun concepts. Overall, though, I’m left with the feeling that this would have been even cooler to have this book come out four or five years ago when the game was still relatively new and I was still playing it.
This is becoming a recurring pet peeve for me. I had a similar, and perhaps stronger, frustration when the Runners Companion and Unwired came out. They both represented core books that really would have been nice to have when they released all the other core books.
I’ve been mulling around ideas for a D&D or D&D-like campaign. I haven’t decided what system I’m going to use, or when I’ll have time to run it, but it’s something I’ve been mulling around for a while.
Part of it comes from some ideas I noodled around back when I ran a cop game in D&D. Mainly it was a thumbing of my nose at the traditional adventurer model, where the law enforcement PCs looked down on so-called “adventurers” as mere tomb raiders and troublemakers. But that was more of a background setting piece than a cornerstone of the setting.
This idea got a bit of a surge from a quote from, if I’m recollecting properly, John Wick. I think it was from his Houses posts on Livejournal, prior to him locking his posts to private. I thought it might be in Houses of the Blooded, but I can’t find it in the PDF I have of it. But the gist of it was this: Bands of armed thugs wandering the countryside are not adventurers. They are criminals.
I attribute it to Mr. Wick because I believe it came out as he was trying to distinguish the ven of his anti-D&D game from the ageless sociopaths of D&D. But I like the idea as a setup for a D&D campaign, especially since I love the thought of using a concept from Houses to do a non-standard D&D game. It’s like… thumbing my nose at so many people at the same time.