Thursday, September 27, 2012

Comic - Overly Familiar

Familiars are fun. But sometimes I worry they're a little too disposable for something that's meant to be part of the caster's soul. In legend they're a symbol of a witch's bond with Satan, which is something you totally don't use as a disposable creature just because the rogue is too busy to be bothered searching for traps. It's not like they're a wolf animal companion or something.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Comic - Wartlock

The warlock was added to the playtest for D&D Next / 5e about a month back. We only got a single warlock pact – the fey pact – and even then, the pact was tied to a single entity: Verenestra. The hook with this archfey is that she trades beauty for power. Earn a level and gain a wart, get a new Encounter power and grow a blemish.
That there is comedy gold.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Comic - Surprise!


A classic “gotcha!” monster for you today; those are beasties that jump out at the unwary as an unexpected menace, a surprising foe a quick encounter.Personally, I like “gotcha!” monsters. They’re a nice break from the routine, a nasty little surprise: not every monster should charge at you howling a battle cry. They can slow down the game as players check chests, poke floor and walls, prod the ceiling, and unleashed ranged weaponry on every bunny resting on a tree stump. Which is a sure-fire way of guaranteeing a DM will not use a “gotcha!” monster as they’re only really fun when they’re unexpected and then never appear again.  I also enjoy the understated narrative of such creatures, how this perfect dungeon-based adventurer-hunter might have evolved or been created. It says something about the world.
The only real problem with “gotcha!” monsters is that everyone knows about them. They’re not a surprise as every player who has been playing for longer than a year has likely heard of the mimic or the lurker below or any of the others. This might encourage DMs to get a little… creative.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Comic - Support

***D&D has a long history of pretty darn silly monsters. Some of them, like the rust monster and the owlbear, exist solely because Gary Gygax has a weird plastic toy that was about the right scale for the miniatures. Others evolved from literature, like the Illithid's origins as medium-sized Cthulu monsters. Some came from the tropes of the game, such as the mimic being a trapped chest plus or the gelatinous cube being an invisible menace in the halls of a dungeon that the unwary might walk into. Really, none of them are any less silly than a lion with the wings of an eagle and face of a human. Or a lion with a serpent for tail and second goat head. Or a winged lion with scorpion tail. (Geez, what is with lions anyway?) But Mythological creatures have slipped into the cultural zeitgeist, so their inherent laughability goes more-or-less unnoticed, in much the same way a group of seasoned D&D players will panic at the sight of a floating beach ball covered in eyestalks whose name is a cheeky reference to the adage "beauty is in the eye of the beholder", despite the fact they're fighting an improbably floating ball covered in eye-tenna.It's interesting to look at some of the more recent D&D Monster Manuals, specifically the Monster Vault, that really seems to focus on monsters that are the Intellectual Property of WotC; those are the Name monsters for experienced players, but they are also the monsters that will be the most silly for inexperienced and uninitiated players. I remember back in jr. high when I first started playing AD&D, it was the Greek and Egyptian monsters that really begged to be used, while I ignored the tanar'ri and baatezu with a "wha...", chuckled at the tarrasque, and dismissed the Mind Flayer as "some dude with an octopus for a head." 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Comic - On A Stick

***I love the rust monster. They get a bad rep but not every monster is supposed to be fair. Some fights are meant to be mean or require special tactics.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Comic - Slapstick

***WotC is selling 5e/ D&D Next under the hook that it will have any number of optional rules aka "modules", which can be used to play D&D the way you want to play D&D. While my first concern is over the name (in D&D parlance "module" refers to a published adventure) I wonder how far they could take these rules modules. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Comic - Weaponry

Wizards can break all the rules of physics and transport themselves across continents and planes with a few funny gestures and unnatural words. What's a little time travel then? 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Comic - A Real Collectible

Yes, I am a disturbed individual.But think of how unique it would be!