An Inconvenient (Though Overblown) Truth @ITCrowdSupport #DnD #RPG #ITCrowd

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Going forward, Sundays are lazy days for me. I either post something silly or other people’s work. Usually both. Today, I deal with an inconvenient truth via a show that had some great moments.

May be a meme of 2 people and text that says 'Dungeons and Dragons? Is that some sort of sex thing? PULLAKU Far fromit, Jen'

Don’t shoot the messenger. Everyone’s doing it.

Of course, this is bullshit, as my experience has been that marriage is as common among nerds as it is among the general population.

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Dungeons & Dragons is a trademark of Wizards of the Coast, LLC, who neither contributed to nor endorsed the contents of this post. (Okay, jackasses?)

My Favorite D&D Classes @Erik_Nowak @WinterFantasy #DnD #RPG

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A few days ago, someone on social media asked for everyone’s favorite Dungeons & Dragons class (I know; not an original thought). I’m sure many would agree with me that the answer depends on the edition. I have firsthand knowledge that some would say it’s a stupid question. This post isn’t for you.

A&D

I loved the monk. I don’t remember AD&D very well, but I played it a few years back on the van ride home from GenCon (which has since morphed into an annual van trip to Winter Fantasy known as Winter Vantasy, the best 14 hours in gaming). In that game, the monk seemed as effective a class as any other. This is despite things I’ve heard about how weak the class was. We weren’t 1st level, but even if the monk is weak at first level, it’s no weaker than a wizard, and the wizard has a huge payoff at later levels. As long as the monk was useful, it was fun.

2nd Edition

I started playing AD&D in 1977, but due to the Satanic Panic, I was prohibited from playing it after 1981. Ergo, I never played 2nd edition until — I’m going to guess — 7 or 8 years ago. My friend, Erik, ran a game over the course of two weekends, and I chose a bard based on my love of the bard class in 4e (the then-current edition). I enjoyed it. I played one other 2nd edition class in a 2-hour game a couple years later, and I don’t remember what that class was. So, saying the bard is my favorite 2nd-edition class wouldn’t be much of a statement, would it?

3.5 Edition

Easy choice: the Warmage. I returned to D&D in 2005, having missed 2e and 3e, and my first character was Frylock, the half-elf warmage (with two levels of rogue). He was fantastic, and no other 3rd-edition class compared. I don’t overpower my characters, so having a character that was inherently good in combat without much work on my part kept the table from being frustrated with my underpowered characters. The fact that my dice were weighted towards rolling 1s was another matter. I also liked the versatility spellcasters got, but sometimes I get overwhelmed and forget everything I can do. The warmage was much better focused, so I was less prone to forget things. Sorry, but I just don’t like playing games to be work. Maybe the 3.5e bard would have been fund, but I never thought to play one.

4th Edition

I loved playing “leaders” in 4e, and the flavor of the bard was (and remains) my favorite for role-playing purposes. My famously low d20 rolls were offset by my ability to help the other characters with healing and bonuses, so playing leaders was a win-win for the table. Me being able to roleplay an entertainer was always fun. As I mentioned a couple of days ago, I enjoyed the swarm druid quite a bit, but it was no bard.

5th Edition

The bard wins again, just barely beating out the warlock. The flavor remains the same, so I imagine I’d prefer playing a bard in any edition. It’s a bit too complicated, leading me to forget, for example, to hand out bardic inspiration, but because everyone insists I cast Eldritch Blast on every turn, my warlock often gets spoiled for me.

Verdict

Clearly, the bard is my favorite in general. I never considered playing one until 4th Edition, when leaders became my thing. The AD&D bard has such huge barriers to entry that I can’t imagine many people played characters starting from 1st level that worked their way to it. Sure, it happened, but it was probably rare. The second edition bard was fun, and I never played the 3.5 edition one. Although I’m not a fan of 3.5e, maybe I’ll play again just to play the 3.5e bard.

By the way, the inspiration for this post was an article that google put in my feed: “D&D: How to Build the Perfect Bard.” If you’re interested in boosting your bardic power, maybe that article will help.

What are your favorite classes?

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Dungeons & Dragons is a trademark of Wizards of the Coast, LLC, who neither contributed to nor endorsed the contents of this post. (Okay, jackasses?)

#DruidWorldProblems @jwrp666 #DnD #RPG

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I must admit I never thought of this.

This meme reminded me of one of my favorite characters, who was the only druid I’d ever played up to that point. Named after Jeff Goodblum’s character in the Fly, Brundle was a thri-kreen swarm druid that could turn into small primates. In other words, he was a bug that turned into a swarm of little humanoids.

I played him in a Dark Sun campaign in which all but the human cleric were thri-kreen from the same hive. I was the middle child of the bunch (no acting necessary) and of low intelligence (no acting necessary), so everyone picked on me (no acting necessary). To make things easier on the DM, I wrote up the post-session journals but did so from the point of view of Brundle. The facts were largely accurate but overstated his importance and criticized the others as useless. Brundle was always the hero and leader of the group … in the journal.

4e swarm druids were the coolest druids.

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A Wizard’s Near Death Experience #DnD #RPG

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Going forward, Sundays are lazy days for me. I either post something silly or other people’s work. Usually both. Today, I provide one wizard’s near death experience.

May be a Twitter screenshot of text that says 'Roleplaying And Rollplaying @RRollplaying Wizard, waking up: What happened? Cleric: We revivified you. What's it like over there? Wizard: There's ..this table with people sıttıno around it...with dice...and I was a sheet of paper with numbers on it... Cleric, laughing: That's the dumbest shit I've ever heard! Posted in r/dndmemes by u/Goblynne24 reddit'

Never believe the nerdy bookworm.

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Dungeons & Dragons is a trademark of Wizards of the Coast, LLC, who neither contributed to nor endorsed the contents of this post. (Okay, jackasses?)

Follow Up and Post Mortem for @WinterFantasy 2021 @Erik_Nowak @DelveRPG @planejammer @SicedOne @slyflourish @rosamoonshadow @wavester71 @bethdamis @two2jimbo @ginnyloveday #WinterFantasy #DnD #RPG

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This post will make very little sense without the context of the last post. Here are just a few more notes on how this week went.

  • Dave really knows how to run these conventions. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, but you just can’t say it enough.
  • I had yet another game with Mike and Michelle, and again purely by coincidence. We didn’t plan it.
  • I played a couple of other games that, again, I doubted I’d enjoy, but I did.
  • It’s now official according to Facebook. Beth is my sister from another mister, and she knows something about me that I’ve shared with only on other person (though I think Stephen was listening in, dammit). Nobody better talk!
  • I don’t want to even look at scotch again. I had way too much.
  • I went on the carnivore diet for this week, and I again had great success with it. It’s incredible that I can eat ~1,100 and ~1,350 calories extra in the first two days and drop four pounds. I’m sticking with this until Tuesday and am still losing weight. It’s a remarkable diet, but I’m not willing to risk long-term health effects of diets that eliminate entire food groups. Maybe I’ll do it again in a year if necessary.

I may have been talked into attending GaryCon this year. We’ll see.

Thank you to everyone that was part of my convention time.

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. . . and so many more.

@WinterFantasy 2021, Online Gaming, and Online Drinking @Erik_Nowak @SRMacFarland @DelveRPG @planejammer @SicedOne @slyflourish @rosamoonshadow #WinterFantasy #DnD #RPG

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This week should have been my annual trip to Ft. Wayne, IN for Winter Fantasy. We climb into a van in Sterling, Virginia, and drive to the Arctic Circle, gaming along the way. We call it Winter Vantasy: The Best 8 Hours in Gaming. It’s essentially the only time I game all year, and virtually the only time I drink. On any given night, I have as many drinks as I drink the rest of the year. The drinking is why I go. I get to see all my friends and hang out with them at O’Reilly’s. So, my primary concern was that I could put together some Zoom rooms and hang out with friends.

This year is obviously different. Like every other industry, Winter Fantasy has shifted to online only due to the pandemic. Unfortunately, I’ve never liked online gaming, even before I stopped playing altogether, so I had little faith that aspect of the con it would work out for me.

Gaming

Surprisingly, the gaming has been better than I expected, so I’ve enjoyed it. At the last minute, I joined a table with Erik, who I always want to play with at least once. For my second game, my friends Mike (@slyflourish) and Michelle (@rosamoonshadow) coincidentally were on the same table with me. I was in Mike’s home game for years, so it was good to play with those two again. I had no games on Friday, but I’m optimistic that my two Saturday games will go well, and my Sunday game, the Eberron epic, will almost certainly be fun. The epics are always great, though I’m uncertain how much of the feel of an epic will be lost because it’s online.

Drinking

Of course, none of that matters. If all the games suck, I won’t care if I get to see my friends and down some Glenfiddich. And I’ve done that. Each night we’ve had a great time handing out. I’m fortunate to be an actual friend of high-profile people in the industry and community at large, and we’ve had a blast, but that exposes a weakness of the online experience.

The flip side to having this opportunity is that these rooms have limits. Zoom allows up to 100 attendees, but that’s impractical for anything other than a lecture. There are tons of people that I want to see, and they basically don’t fit. Moreover, because some of the attendees are high-profile, everyone wants to jump into our room. (If only they knew how heavy the conversations can get.) I keep inviting more people, but there’s no attrition. Everyone’s having such a good time that they keep coming back every damn night. Worst. First World. Problems. Ever.

There are going to be a lot of disappointed people this week, but there’s a flip side to this flip side. This doesn’t have to end this week. Many of us are trapped at home anyway. So if you’re interested in a Zoom meeting in the future, hit me up. We’ll schedule something. I’ll even drink. I bought a 1.75 liter bottle of scotch, and there’s no way I’m going to finish that this week. In fact, I want a commitment to meet up via Zoom at least once a month. That’s not hard, is it? If we meet every week, that’s fine, but I’m not asking for that as a commitment. I want us to commit to once a month. Easy peasy.

Admit it. You’ve got nothing better to do.

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Bruno’s Earth: I Just Had to Do It @Wizards #copyright #DnD #RPG

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I bought something that arrived on Thursday. It’s stupid, and it appears to be the most brazen example of copyright infringement since Napster (though with far fewer consequences). For that reason, I didn’t want to support it. But I had to. It cost less than $15 with shipping.

I discovered via Facebook a game system known as Bruno’s Earth. I’m not going to post photos because of the nature of the infringement. Instead, I point you to the Amazon listings.

Bruno’s Earth Game Book
Bruno’s Earth Creature Manual

This book shamelessly copies the artwork from the AD&D Players’ Handbook and Monster Manual (and perhaps others), including the covers of the books. There’s no way you know about these books and not know that it’s infringement, yet Wizards of the Coast, who enforces and threatens a hell of a lot more than they have any right to, has apparently taken no action. It’s bizarre. I’d be surprised to hear that Wizards licensed it, but it’s certainly possible. Until I hear otherwise, I’m assuming that. Besides, as Kermit the frog might say, “But that’s none of my business.”

Oh, by the way, I haven’t had much of a chance to review the material beyond the artwork, but I can tell you that it’s riddled with language errors/typos. I’ve been told the game system itself rather sucks. I’ll let you know what I think of that when I’ve had the chance to really look it over.

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Dungeons & Dragons is a trademark of Wizards of the Coast, LLC, who neither contributed to nor endorsed the contents of this post. (Okay, jackasses?)

4th Edition D&D Has Poisoned Star Trek #DnD #RPG #StarTrek

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Way back when, 4th edition Dungeons & Dragons created a meaningless dust up. It presented female dragonborn (anthropomorphic reptiles) with mammary glands. That is, they had boobs. This makes no sense, and now, after all these years, this thinking has infested Star Trek.

The Andorion gets my vote.

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Merry Nerdy #Christmas #DnD #nerd

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This is a nerdy blog, so even Christmas must be nerdy here. I’m stealing this from a Facebook friend, SMK. In Christmas of 1977, when I was 9, I received this as a gift:

As with most gifts I received, it was really a gift for my brother, but I managed to have a lot of fun with it until he felt it was too nerdy for him. At that point, I was ridiculed for playing it until the Satanic Panic kicked in. Then I was forbidden from playing it, and it was destroyed. No worries, though. I have a close, personal relationship with my lord and savior, eBay.

I played from 1977 to 1981. Other than my sporadic flirtation with the FASA Star Trek RPG in the mid to late 80s (I had no way to connect with gamers back then), there was no RPG gaming until 2005, which is when I started playing Living Greyhawk with the D&D 3.5 crowd. That’s how I met almost all of you, and for better or worse, that’s how most of you got (had?) to meet me. I recently stopped playing, but you represent an extension of the Christmas gift that kept on giving, even if it took a long hiatis.

And I leave you with this nerdy gem….

Merry Christmas and happy holidays.

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Dungeons & Dragons is a trademark of Wizards of the Coast, LLC, who neither contributed to nor endorsed the contents of this post. (Okay, jackasses?)

Bonus Post! Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman Withdraw Their Lawsuit Against Wizards of the Coast @WeisMargaret @trhickman @Wizards #WotC #DnD #RPG #Dragonlance

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A while back, I threw out some wild speculation about the lawsuit filed by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman against Wizards of the Coast. Yesterday, I learned that they withdrew their suit. This could mean two things (generally): 1) Weis & Hickman never had a legitimate shot at winning in the first place; or 2) Weis & Hickman won behind the scenes. My suspicion, based in no small part on the arrogance of WotC’s legal department, has always been that the suit was likely solid, so I would assume the latter is much more likely. Adding to the strength of my assumption is the following tweet by Margaret:

Assumptions are always reckless when dealing with lawsuits, so we’ll just have to see how this plays. I hope that happens sooner rather than later.

For reasons I explained in that last post, I really wish WotC would just give back Dragonlance to Weis and Hickman. A man can dream.

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Dungeons & Dragons is a trademark of Wizards of the Coast, LLC, who neither contributed to nor endorsed the contents of this post. (Okay, jackasses?)