Archives for category: D&D Next

I’m not in the office for the next two weeks so Street Fighter D&D 5E and Hyper Score Marvel are on hold while I’m out of town.

In the meanwhile I encourage you to take a look at and speculate about my next big project (this one for D&D 5E):

BoED Book of Exalted Darkness main title logo

Thanks!

The Mists of Akuma Kickstarter is on its last two weeks and over 60% funded so far!

It has been a riveting campaign and we’ve blown through backer goals!

60982c12e8bbfb6e9b7fc87a1066bfc1_originalThe project’s backers have unlocked TWELVE pre-generated PCs for use with Mists of Akuma, including cleaned off tokens for use on digital tabletops! If you’re keen to influence what content gets unlocked when we reach 200 pledges, pop over to these surveys (for races, backgrounds, and classes) and let us know what excites you most.

MORE PREVIEWS!

Each update has been bringing more short stories for the five legendary survivors of Soburin (Kanden the necroji ninja, Dai-Lan the monkey hengeyokai, Natsuko the kami priest, Karrooc the foreigner, and Tsunaro the Great Bolt), but other goodies have made the project pages as well!

 

Articles, Interviews, and Reviews, oh my!

Want to know even more about the project and see what tidbits I’ve let slip through into the aether of the media? Check these out!

 

 

 

 

I’ve started playing in a really fun VTT game of D&D Next. Our DM, Mick, lives in Britain (I think?) and aside from one of my players from the Dracoprime group, everyone else is in Europe too. It’s been enormously entertaining and all in all the group is filled with strong, veteran tabletop players; I look forward to every weekend we game.

My first character, Carlos Infierendzi, is unfortunately no longer with us. Dude was just too chaotic and too good to keep up with the..let’s say..innovative decisions of the adventuring party, and met his end a bit ingloriously (though I’m pretty happy with how it went down :D).

So I got together a half-orc monk to replace the tiefling rogue. Without further ado: the story of Krampus the Bold.

 

 

Krampus originates from the harsh island of Trectoyri, a nation ruled by the monstrous folk of Veranthea. Ostracized for his enslaved human mother (an institution forced on every other dwarf, elf and human on the upturned isle), his lot was the lowest given to freemen. Without much recourse Krampus fell back on his fists, tapping into a surprisingly deep insight when push came to shove on the rough streets of Filthville. There was where he learned the core tenet that would steer the course of his life: the strong take from the weak, and thus they survive. Theft, intimidation, and violence are all means to succeed but to do so without valor, without risk or without claiming your deeds, is a sign of weakness. Favor fortunes the bold.

After making a name for himself down on Shitstream Way (the southernmost region of Filthville before the enormous slave fields) by the means of bullying and minor racketeering, the young half-orc was brought under the wing of Zeskrag the Callous. A half-orc himself, he carefully watched the few slaves that survived in the gladiator pits of the town for years, training himself to emulate their techniques before finally buying one himself. After learning all he could, Zeskrag killed his mentor and pounded his way (literally) into the Chainz cabal.

Seeing a spark of himself in Krampus, the older half-orc took him as an apprentice and grandfathered the youth into the elaborate gang. The fledgling monk learned very quickly, himself entering several gladiator battles to great success and surpassing Zeskrag in martial prowess. After finding no greater enemies in Filthville (and having earned the ire of too many rivals), when his conscription to Goblinvania began it came as a relief.

Every monstrous citizen of Trectoyri is required to spend a period of their lives in service to the clever bureaucracy, and the service of half-breeds is considerably longer than most others. For two decades he crossed the monstrous lands, from the southeasternmost cave networks of the Mountains of Drathfire to raids against the removed free isle of the northern waters, Ominara. Krampus captured paladins and holy knights that would’ve otherwise incited rebellion, brought back in droves of escaped slaves, and felled many monstrous citizens that chose not to abide to the few laws enforced upon them. When his service came to an end the half-orc returned to Filthville to take the place of the now dead Zeskrag, but found the ugly politics not to his taste.

Taking up voluntary military service, Krampus led a strong contingent of soldiers down into the Forever Dark in search of a dangerous army of psionic aberrations from the subterranean realm. It didn’t take long for the canny half-orc to track down the enemy forces but in a surprising parley, instead of a melee ensuing they all joined together (well, all those save the few fools that resisted the alliance). Traveling far below the surface of Veranthea, the psionic citizens of the Forever Deep brought Krampus to a strange portal with the promise that beyond it he would find foes worthy of his mettle—with little reluctance he leaped within.

The half-orc’s astral journey landed him in a land truly suited to his tastes—Hyborea. Traveling the barbaric lands, Krampus sought out the strongest and toughest warriors of the realm and bested each one. After becoming the champion of the Coliseum Morepheuon, he finally heard of the great and powerful Conan—and the famous barbarian heard of the unlikely half-orc monk as well. Vercaiziz the seer-warlock had taken an interest in Krampus not long after his arrival on the plane, and in need of a warrior’s soul he subtly led both Krampus and Conan to the same battlefield.

Unfortunately his presence was given away by one of the barbarian’s companions and in the middle of their bout, the human and half-orc came to an unhappy agreement—kill the damnable spellcaster rather than both of them dying, or one of them losing their soul for eternity. In a spectacular battle the duo kill Vercaiziz and afterward, Conan and his companions parted ways as the wounded Krampus lay comatose. Awakening to find his enemy had gone, the half-orc looted the area and followed the seer-warlock’s tracks. In Vercaiziz’s lair the monk found the Manibus Morlock.

Set upon redeeming himself by besting Conan (whom he believed to be a fleeing coward), Krampus became obsessed with luring the barbarian to a battle he could not escape. Eventually deciphering the text, the half-orc captured and slaughtered an entire tribe of raiders to garner the attentions of a powerful extradimensional ally—Morlock. With the devil’s aid, Krampus found his enemy and isolated him; after a battle that lasted hours the half-orc monk believed he had succeeded, sending Conan falling to his death in a pit of lava beneath their battlefield. In truth he had been fooled by his first dealings with Morlock and now confident he had bested the strongest warrior in Hyborea, Krampus accepted a new offer to travel to Jade and act as the devil’s agent.

 

[redacted, because I don’t know how much I ought to reveal publicly about Mick’s campaign setting]

 

NOTE: Conan still lives in Hyborea and is probably uber-pissed at Krampus, keen on revenge—as he last traveled across the planes, the half-orc caught glimpses in the aether, revealing the barbarian to be the King of Aquilonia! Krampus has promised to himself that when he can, he will travel back to Hyborea to finally best his nemesis, once and for all.

 

This is a snippet of a conversation from the other night; read on!

—————-

-JS-

Unrelated – you like D&D next?

Mike

I did, actually. Wasn’t expecting to. Super fast to pick up (1-hour 10th level build, 10 minutes to convert classes)

-JS-

Sweet. I’m hoping the license doesn’t suck. I looked over some of the stuff from the play test and I think I could easily make Rhune work with it. I’m not opposed to branching out. And I don’t mind it at all.

-Mike-

I was thinking about this the other day because half of the people I’m talking to are on the fence about whether or not it’ll be OGL. At first I was convinced it would be but now I’m second guessing it.

-JS-

I hope it will be. Why?

-Mike-

[Redacted] was adamant last year at GenCon (and I quote, “be ready to write for D&D Next”), but I was thinking what I would do if I was WotC. They’re still burned from 4th ed, right? But they are producing the books and somebody is buying them—what if the playtest was a huge market teaser?

-JS-

It might be, but if they don’t deliver… well, hello Titanic.

-Mike-

If they’re pricing the books at $50, either the content on the way is going to get wayyyyy more extensive than what we saw, or it’s OGL and they want to make the cash back right off that they’re going to lose to 3PP.

-JS-

It’s something to consider. I think they realize that 3PP is a thing they HAVE to deal with.

-Mike-

ENWorld did some D&DNext contest and Reynolds jumped ship from Paizo, and those are things to take into this too. If I were WotC, I’d let Pathfinder keep dealing with the 3PP issue.

-JS-

And if they follow Paizo’s lead, they’ll develop off 3 PP. I don’t know.

-Mike-

It’s frustrating!

-JS-

Paizo has adopted a lot of 3PP stuff and made cash off it. Nah it’s business.

-Mike-

Yeah, their whole thing is integration though.

-JS-

Yes and no; they’ve adopted a lot of 3PP stuff and “redesigned it” and sold it as their own. The gunslinger for example.

-Mike-

And the samurai, and a bunch of the gladiator rules I think.

-JS-

And because not everyone buys all the 3pp stuff it looks original. WoTC might follow suit.

-Mike-

That’s not what I meant, but that’s true, and I’m positive WotC isn’t above doing that.

-JS-

Fair enough.

-Mike-

I meant that Paizo actively engages their user base more vividly than WotC does. Pathfinder Society and the APs define their ultimate product schedule for core content.

-JS-

True, but for how long.

-Mike-

I’m not familiar with D&D Encounters but I don’t think that’s what they do. Oooh, interesting point.

Doesn’t feel sustainable in the long term.

-JS-

It doesn’t need to be. An edition every 8 years. That’s the model. Paizo will do a relaunch in 2-3, that’s my speculation.

-Mike-

I meant Paizo’s model, but you’re saying D&D Encounters doesn’t have much of anything to do with their larger business model? Oh, yeah, I was wondering about the next Pathfinder too.

-JS-

I don’t know anything about D&D Encounters.

-Mike-

That sounds reasonable. After they finish with sci-fi book, it’s out into space and then edition 2.

-JS-

I’m just throwing out ideas, looking at the future of the industry. There will never be a “perfect game. And generations define it, too. WoTC tried to capture the MMO crowd with 4e and lost.

-Mike-

Horribly lost.

-JS-

In 10 years, the gamble might work. Simple and streamlined is the path forward, but without tossing out content (if that makes sense).

-Mike-

Theme. It was the lack of mechanics-tied-to-theme. Wizard and Fighter just looked too much the same, huge mistake.

-JS-

Exactly. But D&D Next sort of changes that.

-Mike-

Well D&D Next is definitely faster and easier without ruining flavor.

-JS-

Well more than sort of. It looks like it. And the IP races don’t hurt.

-Mike-

I’m a little skeptical about some of the more nebulous things going on with the rules.

-JS-

Like?

-Mike-

Cunning Action for rogues and the line about Ability checks to “do stuff otherwise not defined in the rules” or whatever it is. I’m not saying I don’t *like* that mechanic, I do. In fact, that’s in my homebrew system (as are a bunch of other things in here that I find a little disturbing) but it’s not something for the kings of the hill to do.

-JS-

I haven’t seen that. I’ve only glanced over the play test. I haven’t had time to give it my full attention.

-Mike-

They have a meaningful and important presence in game stores, and can’t abandon that. Sooo what goes off okay at the D&D Next Encounter-wtf-they-call-it at Dave’s Gamestore gets gruff at Bill’s Hobby Shop.

-JS-

I haven’t really looked at the Encounters yet.

-Mike-

It’s their weekly blah blah.

-JS-

I’m out of the 4e loop, didn’t realize.

-Mike-

I see signs but no games in Pittsburgh, though I don’t really look for 4E.

-JS-

Fair enough. But you do see Pathfinder.

-Mike-

I wanna say that was part of the initial push for their miniatures line a while ago, but can’t really recall. Oh of course you do.

-JS-

I’m guessing all over the place.

-Mike-

Not any PFS though, but module play and stuff. Hell, I run two of them. =p

-JS-

I wonder if that will change with the MMO. I need to run more. Once I’m settled I’m starting something.

-Mike-

I was looking over their MMO stuff the other day and considering tossing an application at them (which I will do eventually, when I know what’s up with the Game Designer spot). What I bet Paizo is going to do is integrate PFS with the MMO. Because seriously? PFS is pissing in a bucket that gets tossed into the ocean.

-JS-

Yup. That’s exactly what I was thinking. In fact, I talked to folks about that a year ago.

-Mike-

HOWEVER, if they build an ocean for it—voila, have an island. And by then the whole background for the world is set up.

-JS-

Yup. Perfect transition.

—————

After that our conversation quickly got off topic and while certainly interesting, has little to do with gaming. So what’s the point of today’s post?

What do you think?

Is D&D Next going to be OGL?

Are our predictions for PFS sliding into the MMO market correct?