Friday, December 30, 2011

Saturday Chain-mail

I think it is the distraction factor that adds to the AC
As promised here is the weekend Chain-mail. 

I love this first one.Not only is it delicious eye candy but there is a lot going on in the picture as well. She has a lovely choker which does an excellent job drawing attention to her um... Breastplate. She has a reach weapon which is a good idea if you want to keep the enemy at bay. My favorite though is the chain helmet. Most fantasy chain-mail forgets to protect the head. 

I will take all of your booty now. 
Yet another excellent picture. I think my favorite part of this picture is that you aren't quite sure what the assassin is looking for. Is she going to kill the woman or does she want to seduce her? Perhaps she is just trying to rob her at sword-point. I think she might be a vampire and is out for some blood, but maybe that is just me. 

Now if you think I am only posting for the male gamer here is my final picture which I will let speak for itself. Until next time remember, don’t let the DM tell you no, its always “Yes, and?....”

Role vs. Role vs. Roll

We're all mad here

I was looking for some great articles on Roles in 4th edition D & D. I'm sure they are there because I've read them before however I can’t find them now so if anyone knows of any feel free to post links to them in the comments.
I’m sure many of you are familiar with the role system in D and D 4e or, if not, at least with a similar idea in World of Warcraft. If you aren’t then sit down professor James the Mad is about to school you.
What is a role and why do you care?
Mark? Defender Aura? What's that? I just want to hit things!
Roles in D and D serve a dual purpose. The first is to give players an idea of what things their character can and should do. Maybe you just want to play a fighter because you remember that fighters hit things. Well if all you want is to play a fighter that hits things you may be sadly disappointed in the 4e fighter. You will have a mark to keep track of, and exploits, which are a lot like spells. You may get frustrated because all you want to do is hit things. Why, oh why, can’t you just hit things? The reason is that all classes in D and D 4e have a role or a mechanical definition of their job or purpose. Fighters are now Defenders which, in addition to hitting things, they now have ways to make the monsters focus on trying to hit them. If you are just picking up the game for the first time, picking a role before you pick a class can be a good idea. The roles give you a good idea of what your character can do, and can give you a bit of a guide on how to have them act, or role play them in combat situations. The second purpose is to provide links between class design and how a class needs to perform in a group. In essence, role is a label that identifies what your character should be good at and how to have them perform in the party
I will rule you all with my iron fist. You! Obey the Fist!
There are four roles in D and D. The roles are similar to World of Warcraft Roles but withsome subtle differences. The first role is Controller. Controller is the hardest role to define and suffered a bit from identity crisis early in the edition. Controller doesn’t have a perfect analogue in the World of Warcraft role system, but is an AoE caster and debuffer. The second role is the Defender. Defenders are the World of Warcraft Tanks, as mentioned they stand at the front and keep the back lines safe. Leaders are the third role. Leaders are like a World of Warcraft healer plus. Of course they heal, but they also provide bonuses to their friends and can even debuff though not usually as well as a Controller. The final role is the Striker. In World of Warcraft the Striker is known as the damage dealer. Each of the roles has special tools, usually in the form of class features, to help them perform their role, or job.
No Gandalf I said it first.
As   I wrote this I realized that I have a long way to go before I am done. I would like to spend some time talking about how I feel about the role system, and I would also like to share some thoughts on each role and how they work together. For now I hope you have a better understanding of roles in D&D 4e, and why they are important. Until next time remember, don’t let the DM tell you no, its always “Yes, and?....”

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Year of Suck

All work and no play make James something something.

Hello to my loyal readers (all two of you). I’m back! And like Jack Nicholson in the Shining I appear a bit worse for the wear. Someone close to me recently referred to 2011 as “The Year of Suck” and who am I to argue. I do have to say it hasn’t been all bad there have been some bright shining moments of awesome.

Here are the highlights from my year:
 I finished my degree and got a job teaching middle school. Then I got fired. I must say it is a mixed blessing. I wasn’t really happy teaching middle school, but I don’t really want to be fired.

I have become a Virtual Table convert. If you read my last post, I was very upset at the new online only character builder. I was also very upset when they did the same thing to the Monster builder. In fact, I may have to check out the online Monster builder and see if they have fixed it yet. But, I have to say I am impressed with how far the character builder has come. In addition, I am very pleased with the Virtual Table. Now, to be fair, I had not played a lot of online D and D before this and I have heard there are some other very good systems out there. However, in the last 6 months, I have played games with people in New York, England, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Spain and Estonia. I am actually now pretty good friends with people I would never have met otherwise. At some point I will probably do a detailed review of the table but for now just know I have enjoyed more games and met more people than would otherwise have been possible, for which I am thankful.

I have a couple of ideas for the blog as well. Right now, I am working on a review of the Berserker, which is one of my favorite new classes. Before I get to that I may do a piece on Roles, but if I find a really good one (there are a lot out there) I’ll probably just pass out a link. I am also working on a banking clan of dragons and some tales from games I have known. I am also looking forward to my first weekend chainmail post so keep your eyes open for that.

It’s good to be back and remember, don’t let the DM tell you no, its always “Yes, and?....”