Jan 262017
 

Out of the Abyssdungeons_n_dragons_logo_old_3_by_banesbox-d31uxsx

Adventure

255 pp.

Retail 49.95

Published by Wizards of the Coast

 

 

Being the fourth adventure book for Dungeons and Dragons 5th ed., it has a lot to live up to. Like Princes of Apocalypse, Out of the Abyss is also a full blown campaign for characters from levels 1 through 15. While it’s set in Forgotten Realms, it gives us a totally new look into this game world. It is the first look we get into the Underdark in 5th edition.

The first thing I noticed when reading this book was that it felt different or unique while still preserving a connection to Forgotten Realms. They did a good job of making the Underdark have a personality all its own. So many things they did make it a character that is dangerous, creepy, and weird. There are hints and reflections of psionics throughout the book, which brings a rising anticipation to the traditional Underdark motifs that we are used to, but with new interpretations and mechanics.

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Jan 132017
 

20161229_115649Ultimate Intrigue

Published by Paizo Publishing

The latest of the Ultimate series books is packed with a ton of themed information. This is a gem for any espionage player or GM. Ultimate Intrigue features the Vigilante base class, new archetypes, feats, intrigue systems, social combat, new spells, and gear.

Vigilante base class has some pretty cool perks. The first and the coolest is the ability to have dual identities – like Batman! The class has the option for each identity to have a different alignment. My GM would have a lot of fun with that concept, and as a player it would be a great challenge to role-play. Beyond that you get to pick a path of specialization as an avenger or a stalker. An avenger gains an attack bonus equal to the character level, while a stalker capitalizes on stealth to gain 1d8 precision damage on flanked, flat-footed or otherwise unaware foes. This increases 1d8 every two levels. There are also several Vigilante talents. My favorite has to be Blind Spot. It allows the character to hide from creatures with special senses like Tremor Sense. That’s something I could have used in my last adventure.

There are of course several new archetypes in Ultimate Intrigue, and while many of them are specialized most can be used without too much difficulty. My favorite is the Guild Breaker, a Ranger who specializes in taking down an enemy organization. The difference is that the bonuses they get are applied to an enemy organization instead of to a favored enemy. This archetype also gets Deep Cover, which allows bonuses to Bluff and Disguise against the enemy organization.

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Jan 022017
 

In this episode of Role-Play Ramblings Matt talks with guest Jason Bulmahn at Gen Con 2016 about how to introduce romance into your game sessions.

 

I always have a good time talking with Jason Bulmahn.  This was certainly no exception.  Being a GM for my teenage boys you can only imagine what kind of trouble I’m stirring up with potions of love.

Jan 022017
 

In this episode of Role-Play Ramblings Matt discusses spotlighting. Which is the art of allowing player characters shine at the right point in time for them to become integral to the story.

I have been GMing for about 30 years and I still find this to be one of the most difficult things to do!

Jan 022017
 

In this Role-Play Ramblings Matt talks about Story telling, He shares some of the pitfalls he has experienced as a GM and he talks about how writing fiction differs from writing an adventure.

This is probably a topic I will come back to in the future, it’s one of those rare topic where you can always learn and apply something.

Jan 022017
 

In this episode of Role-Play Ramblings Matt talks about planting seeds.  Which in this conversation is a combination of foreshadowing, note taking, listening and even closure.

 


This is something that I think newer GM’S struggle with, but once it’s learned it is very rewarding.

Jan 022017
 

To start Season two of Role-Play Ramblings Matt talks about the importance of note taking in an RPG.  He covers who should takes notes and  when some of the better times for taking them are.

 

 

I had a lot of fun filming this episode.  It took me a lot longer than I thought it would to play three people, but I had a blast.  I hope to do more like this in the future.