D&D Music Video Gems: Best Game Ever!

September 27th, 2015

Favicon-jpgWe’ve all had this adventure – and that player – at the table!

Mikey Mason crushes it!


Curious about the “sweet song” he mentions at the top?  Listen here: D&D Music Video Gems: Tonight by Allie Goertz.


D&D Rage of Demons: Launch Trailer

August 30th, 2015

Favicon-jpgThe top rated comment sums up my thoughts perfectly: “I’m glad to finally live in a world where DnD adventures get movie-style trailers.”


So cool seeing one of D&D’s most iconic heroes featured in the video!  As a League of Legends fan, Riot games always impressed with the ever-increasing quality of theatrical trailers as the world and story evolved. Dragon Age might be king of fantasy genre trailers and movie-style cut scenes.

Sure, D&D has done movie clips before, but this one blows away any they’ve ever released.  Great to see D&D stepping up their movie trailer quality!

Can you spot all the classic D&D heroes and monsters?


D&D Video Gems: Are Comic Book Characters Like D&D Players?

July 29th, 2015

Favicon-jpgThoughtful and entertaining take on the connections between comics and D&D – and more.

Love the embedded pop and gaming culture art, pics and video clips throughout – funny & brilliant!

I really need to finally get a Marvel Heroic Roleplay game together!


Note: Want just the comics and D&D portion of the video?  Watch only the first 8:00. 

D&D Video Gems: Red Box Ninjas

June 30th, 2015

Favicon-jpg How did we miss this Red Box gem?  Ninjas!  That’s how!

Hilarious!  Enjoy & happy summer!


Rewarding Tremendous Play: Moments of Greatness vs. Inspiration

May 31st, 2015

Favicon-jpgD&D Encounters - Starter SetRemember D&D 4e: Top 12 Ways to Stop Sounding So Damn Metagamey?  Of course you do!  Fortunately for us, D&D 5e is not gamey at all compared to its immediate predecessor.

But it’s hard to forget how gamey D&D was not too long ago – the rules were many, rigid, and often lifeless.  Quite simply, the rules use to get in the way of the story.  Adventures often felt like exercises in dice rolling and finding every  mathematical advantage around every corner.  Who among us didn’t often forget why our characters were doing what they were doing as another grueling crunch-fest-filled hour dragged by?

Thankfully that’s all changed in 5e!  Beautiful edition, recalling the wonder and balance of the classic storytelling and gaming experience that truly is the heart of D&D.  I love it!  And so does everyone who plays it, novice or veteran.  Just check ratings, reviews and sales and it’s obvious D&D 5th edition is phenomenal.

(Note: To be clear, D&D 5e’s astounding quality and “soul” means we’re mostly reduced to nitpicking a few minor rules – like in this article – rather than criticizing massive chunks of the game like in last edition.  What a relief!  So with this understanding clear, let’s get to the point of this piece.)

However, there is one awkwardly placed section in the PHB that recalled some recent gamey-ness.  The “Inspiration” rule may have been well-intended, but it doesn’t quite feel right.

Read the rest of this entry »

To the War Table!

April 30th, 2015

Favicon-jpgInquisition_war_room_conceptOne of the more innovative and engrossing additions to the RPG video game genre is the War Table in Dragon Age: Inquisition. In short, your war council of advisors helps identify, lead and complete missions using markers on a sprawling world map.

The war table adds a strategic, higher level RPG element to the classic first-person RPG missions you take on with your character and small party of adventurers.  Which member of your council leads a specific effort matters as far as results and rewards, as they have different personalities, methods and contacts.

Some efforts are brief and simple (e.g. gathering raw materials), while others are complex and lengthy, involving political alliances, underground contacts or long investigations of people or locales.  The War Table adds more stories to your story, in short, as you coordinate the efforts of others across the world.

Having just completed this tremendous game, the richness of the War Table reminds us to make sure “the world turns” while the PC party goes on its own adventures – or as they participate in or even lead their own war.  There are always more missions, more quests, and more stakes – connected to and beyond the PCs’ desires and reach.  And, through the War Table, a reminder that you have close friends and allies who will help you pursue greater, even global interests.

And having just caught up on the latest season of Vikings, here’s to your inner circles being less like those and more like Dragon Age!

Chronomancy: Time Travel Tonight!

March 31st, 2015

Favicon-jpgAh, chronomancy!  The magic of time travel.  A beloved, dare I sayContinuum romantic fantasy notion.

Some stories pull it off, like Dragon Age: Inquisition.  Others, like Continuum – a SyFy show I enjoy – can get head-explodes confusing.

So how do you smoothly time travel in your games?  That’s the key.  It’s got to be believable (or actually, plausible) while simple enough to process.

The few times I’ve included time travel in my game – and hey, who doesn’t at least once? – it’s been with mixed results.  As DM, I’ve even confused myself!

So here’s a favorite resource of mine: Dragon issue #430; in particular, I like Robert Schwalb’s article, “Unearthed Arcana: Time Travel.”  Some good time travel articles in that issue, and Schwalb’s simply rocks.

(Also check out Schwalb’s new dark fantasy RPG, Shadow of the Demon Lord.  Looks like a Sword Coast Legends D&D meets Dragon Age setting – my kind of gaming!)




Sword Coast Legends: The Next Generation

February 26th, 2015

Favicon-jpgSword Coast Legends looks like our beloved Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale CRPGs: The Next Generation!

And it gets better: the director of Dragon Age: Origins (also a beloved CRPG and instant classic) is bringing us Sword Coast Legends.

Dragon Age: Origins goodness meets D&D’s best CRPGs of all time?  And you can play old school single player with your party (love it!) or multi-player as a party – or… you can DM, too?

Am I dreaming?  This is awesome!!



D&D Video Gems: Curse of the Sad Mummy

January 28th, 2015

Favicon-jpgLeague of Legends is one of the extremely few games I’ve played off and on for years.  It still captures my imagination (it’s a MOBA with fantasy RPG themes) and fires up my competitive gaming juices every time.  And this is true even after several weeks or months away from the game.

A big draw for me is its unique characters, and just like in D&D – their stories are tremendous and their themes inspire.  I especially love how the the artists “re-imagine” these champions with new looks or skins.

The creators of League of Legends also draw upon, blend and unleash all things fantasy and art, like in this stunningly emotional music video.


P.S. Still haven’t watched it?  Tim Burton fan?  Watch it!  Also check out the full Curse of the Sad Mummy site.

D&D Video Gems: One Last Holiday Song

December 31st, 2014

Favicon-jpgIt’s been a tough holiday season for me and my family, so I went and found a belated Xmas song to cheer me up and close out one hell of a (or hellish) year.

My family usually sings the classic version of this song together on Xmas – each of us gets a verse to sing (badly… it’s hilarious).  Hopefully we get back to the song and hilarity next year!


Much better.  Bonus XP for the Day 5 gift!

Finally, thank you – here’s to you, all of my gamer friends and Leonine Roar fans and followers – and to a much, much better 2015!