The Schemes of the Archfey

In my last three articles on the fey, I presented a collection of fourteen Archfey. Today I’m going to talk a bit about how to make their schemes against one another, and against the other powers of the world, intersect with the PCs. This will be a combination of story hooks, metaplot ideas, and things I did in my own campaign.

In Defense of Wands

We are approaching the eve of another expansion for a popular fantasy video game. This time around, classes get an artifact weapon to level up and empower in different ways. Each specialization gets a different weapon to call their own. One thing about this made me incredibly sad: there are no more wands. Staves, daggers, scepters, and even swords (Thanks, Obama Gandalf), but no wands. Most people seemed to be fine with this, many even expressing joy they no longer had to use wands, using a variety of expected insults about the preferences and personality of people who like wands. I digress.

Extra Life & First Two Storm King’s Thunder Previews

Wizards of the Coast has announced that it will be running its fourth Extra Life event with a goal of making $50,000 or more to add to the already $200,000 they have raised in support for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals over the past 3 Extra Life events. The 24-hour marathon starts at 8am PST on Friday, September 16th, and will feature 6 in-house teams throughout the weekend. Depending on how much is raised, we’ll be seeing a number of previews from Storm King’s Thunder, including the first 2 previews which are now unlocked… d100 table for Items in a Giant’s Bag and Appendix A: Linked Adventures. 

Make it Personal – Magic Items & Your Campaign

Let’s look at how to make those magic items we give out to players a little more personal. We’re 6 levels and 16 session into my 5th edition campaign set in the Nentir Vale. Along the way I provided my players with some magic items I personalized for them. This week on the Campaign Trail, I’ll provide strategies for giving out magic items, example magic items I created (from scratch or by simply tweaking an existing magic item) and the bit of history I write for each to bring them to life.

Neverwinter: Storm King’s Thunder

Neverwinter’s next module is out. In the new Storm King’s Thunder, heroes are called out to Icewind Dale to solve a mystery and recover an ancient artifact of immense power.

The famed ring of winter has been seized by the fierce frost giant Jarl Storvald, who is attempting to control its powers and use it to freeze the oceans, blanketing the world with snow and ice. Orcs, goblins, barbarians, trolls, and other monsters are gathering in the north, ready to pledge fealty to Jarl Storvald should he succeed. This of course is causing havoc in the northern settlements of Ten-Towns.

What’s New?

  • three new wilderness zones, Bryn Shander, Lonelywood and Cold Run
  • Fangbreaker Island dungeon
  • Class Reviews for the Hunter Ranger, Scourge Warlock, and Guardian Fighter

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Domain Rulership, Part Nine

You know, there have been a lot more domain-management systems published for D&D, D&D derivatives, and D&D clones than I would have guessed. Today I’m tackling the Adventurer Conqueror King System (hereafter ACKS), which will take up enough column-inches to stand alone. I’ve been reading about ACKS for years now without actually reading it, though I came very close to buying a copy a few years ago at the Escapist Expo in Durham a few years back. My deep gratitude goes to the generous reader who gave me a copy of the PDF as a gift, just so I could write this article.

The Personality of Ron Weasley (and Backgrounds)

With the advent of new Harry Potter material, what’s old is new again, and I can talk about the Wizard World without feeling old or silly. Let’s ignore the fact I don’t want to discuss the play⸺I’m a big believer in the idea a play should be experienced and not analyzed from the script or note. Instead, I want to talk about Ronald Weasley and the background system of Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. Specifically, I want to discuss the idea that Ron Weasley is the most all-in of any character at the Hogwarts gaming table.

Gen Con 2016 – Syrinscape with Ben Loomes

I was fortunate enough to get a one-on-one demonstration from Ben Loomes with Syrinscape at Gen Con. The sounds were incredible, and there are so many new sound sets that are now available. It was a lot of fun meeting Ben, and I look forward to many more sound sets that are being developed. I highly recommend Syrinscape for use during your games. And by games that can be a role playing game, or the expanding list of board game sound sets that are becoming available for Syrinscape.

I have used music and sounds before, but having a control board that is themed for a game, allows me easily set a mood, and then to quickly choose an appropriate sound during the game. Also, a themed background enhances the game beyond anything I have done before. All of the sounds are high quality, fully customized timing, and I couldn’t find anything to complain about. Everything is Top Notch! You can give it a try for free by just downloading the software and getting the 2 included free soundsets; Witchwood and Bugbear Battle.

Gen Con 2016 – Ice Cool Board Game by Brain Games

One of the “cool” games that had a US release at Gen Con this year was Ice Cool by Brain Games designed by Brian Gomez. I was able to get a thorough demonstration, and have been playing it ever since I left Gen Con last week. Lots of flicking and strategy, and the game gets tougher and faster as players get better at moving their pieces around the board.

It has won several awards already, there are lots of reviews from other countries that you can read and play-throughs to watch. And in my opinion even though it is labeled as a children’s game, I found it very entertaining playing it with any age group. The Box in Box setup is ingenious, and the game easily stores away after playing.

I highly recommend getting this game! Especially if you have kids. It should be available in the US soon.