Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Anti-D&D (Dungeons and Dragons) Spoof

There have always been critics of Dungeons & Dragons and they have made some serious warning videos. Here is a spoof of those warning videos that is funny.

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Did he say "drownding"? And what does the banana have to do with anything? See the larger version of this video on Google Video.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Fire Genasi

I once played in an extended Planescape campaign (2nd Edition) where I chose a slightly different character race, a half-elemental half-human type creature known as a Fire Genasi. They are a descendant of Efreeti or Fire Spirits who had paired with a human. My character's nickname was Koal, though he had a longer name that the other players never learned to pronounce, and which I can't recall now. Though the four elemental types of genasi always bear some part of their features that undoubtedly marked them as something other than human, the exact feature differed quite a bit. Fire Genasi usually had red or black skin with red hair or sometimes ashen gray. I chose that Koal's skin would be deep black like pitch and his hair would be very light gray. His eyes were dark with red tints and reflected (or shined) red in low light. Personality-wise, like most Fire Genasi, Koal was an arrogant jerk and made several attempts to strike out on his own.

Tonight I was discussing with Nate on the phone the possibility of playing a Fire Genasi in a new online campaign. I was intrigued by this and so was Nate, but I feel it would be important to find a 3rd edition version of the Fire Genasi to balance correctly. So naturally, my first logical step is to turn to Google.

I wasn't entirely exhaustive in my search, but from what I have found there doesn't appear to be an officially sanctioned version from Wizards of the Coast. There are a few that were posted here and there, but a lot of the sites were down or there seemed to be little interest in the races of Planescape.

First listing I found useful was on Portalkeep.net [site down]. The Google Cache was helpful for what I needed.

Fire Genasi Racial Traits

  • +2 Intelligence, -2 Charisma. Fire Genasi have bright minds but are easily angered and poor in dealing with others.
  • Medium size humanoid.
  • Fire Genasi base speed is 30 feet.
  • Control Flame (Sp): Fire Genasi can cause a nonmagical Fire within 10 feet of them to diminish to the level of coals or flare to the brightness of daylight and double the radius of its illumination. This ability does not change the heat output or fuel consumption of the Fire source, lasts 5 minutes, and may be done once per day. they use this ability as a 5th level sorcerer.
  • +1 racial bonus on saving throws against all Fire spells and effects. This bonus increases by +1 for every five class levels the Genasi attains.
  • Darkvision up to 60 feet.
  • Automatic Languages: Common, home region. Bonus Languages: Any (except secret languages, such as Druidic).
  • Favoured Class: Fighter.

The one question this result did not answer was whether Fire Genasi have any Level Adjustment for their heritage. The lack of a listing seems to indicate that they do not have one, which seems unusual for this kind of race based on my presumptions.

Here are some other results that I found helpful from a Google Search for "Fire Genasi".

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Facing a Character Sheet

Skip Williams; formerly the "Sage" of Dragon Magazine for many years, the co-designer of D&D 3rd Edition and the chief architect of the Monster Manual; has written an article on Wizards.com regarding character classes and filling out a character sheet. This is a great article for beginners and gamers first becoming acclimated to 3rd edition. It's also a good review and reference for more experienced players.

When you're new to the D&D game, the sheer variety of character sheets available, both in print and online, can bring on a headache. Even after you've chosen a character sheet, you face the task of filling it out. The task isn't terribly difficult, but it's hardly intuitive. That's because character sheets are laid out so you can find what you need quickly during play, not so you can create your character quickly. After all, you'll spend far more time playing your character than you'll spend creating it. This article takes the character sheet provided here on this site and attempts to unravel its mysteries by creating and recording an example character.

In addition to checking out this article, be sure to check all three in the full series.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Elven Warrior

Elven Warrior

Dutleer Windreaver never imagined his life would lead him to war. All elves weaned from their mother's side can swing a blade when necessary. However, he never lusted for blood or thievery as much as his brothers had. Dutleer's passions had centered on trade and profit and vanity.

But that time was gone. Something in him changed the day the Gith raiders killed his sister. "Payment due for payment owed," and that time was now.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Ideas for Zethul - Druids

I was letting my mind wander last night and brainstorming ideas for Zethul, my homebrew campaign, and I thought about an interesting idea involving the priest spellcasting classes. In most campaigns I've played in, the Cleric and Druid classes are either allies in the same cause or neutral -or indifferent- to each other. What would happen if they were outright hostile?

As I've mentioned here before, Zethul is a kingdom where the churches are by decree outside the city proper, with their offices and places of worship situated along an avenue of sorts outside the main wall, but within an outer wall. These two concentric circles are the first and foremost defense to outsiders.

As in some modern cases, I picture that these more organized religions might wrongly disdain and dislike 'paganistic' deities and nature spirits, thinking them crude or evil. For this reason, Druids and their followers practice their beliefs in secret and seclusion to avoid outright persecution.

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