D&D Next – Pure praise!

I am only one of many but that concerns me not. I received my invite to participate in the next iteration of my lifelong passion’s playtest today and so far I am beside myself in joy. If the new Dungeons & Dragons stays ANYTHING like what I had the joy of reading today, all my prayers have been answered. Gone is the stuff I had to stomach in 3.x and Pathfinder and 4e. Back are the simply joyous days of old yet with the refinement of the newer rulesets. Because of the NDA I can’t give details but I am allowed to talk about it so here I go:

Combat. Everything I always wanted and reminds me of 2e AD&D but without the Thac0 which many complained about (not me. I passed fourth grade math). Now if only they bring back weapon speeds (I can dream)

Healing: The section titled Healing. This simple paragraph settled it for me. I am hooked and will support them going forward.

Damage & Dying. All I can say is “Precisely!”

Resting: Not the way I would have done it but I like it, but more importantly it answers many of my players complaints since, well…. forever ago. Yet isn’t that 4E version atrocity. Yay!

Conditions: Simple and playable. I am torn on this subject. I hated complicated conditions. I have always preferred DM handwaving of them or direct/circumstantial handling given the situation. This mimics this without having to buy a deck of cards to support gameplay (sorry Paizo) ALTHOUGH… I like my deck of Conditions. I will miss it a little. But only a little given the new ones 🙂

Weapons and their Attacks. A houserule I have been using since the early 90s made real. I cannot contain my joy if they keep it this way.

and finally Magic:

I am not sure yet. I will have to see it in play.

Synopsis: If what I opened as a pdf today were a hardbound book sitting on a shelf, they would have secured my purchase. I cannot wait to see what they do for character creation rules, how monsters will evolve from what they drafted. The funniest part to me overall is it matches what I have already done as a customized ruleset for my own game at about a 40% rate. This just saves me a few thousands words of typing as I will test what is written and report back when they ask.

I can now truly dust off all (and I mean ALL) my pre 3.x Forgotten Realms books and not have to rewrite everything with rules to make it work with the system.



Dawnpoint Complete!

Finally, this is about as complete as I am going to make it at this time. I present the (probably) final Dawnpoint map. I stripped away the building numbers so it wasn’t as cluttered. Enjoy.


Dawnpoint Map Update

As the ideas floating around in my whirlwind of a brain become more concrete, aspects of my source material are becoming finalized. Here is where I stand with my Dawnpoint redo. I was up very late yet again last night working on this map and I have hours to go. The roads/path areas still need work, and I really haven’t gotten to the foliage yet as I am still trying to master Jonathan Roberts’ tricks and tips. His blog is http://fantasticmaps.wordpress.com/ and the name says it all. He is one of the Cartographers I idolize and I have spent insanely frustrating hours trying to emulate him.

I really need to learn PhotoShop. Everything on this blog relating to maps is done with Paint.net or Dundjinni.

Irregardless (just for you Morga)… I present Dawnpoint.. sans foliage and with the town council still in hot debate over the color of their cobblestones and paths.



Play resumes Monday for our new BB customized campaign. It was relayed to me they are “having fun” with everything I had done so far encounter and story-wise, but they also expressed a disinterest in dungeons. This saddens me as I am a dungeon DM by choice. My next three sessions were a dungeon crawl below a ruined old watch tower in a swamp. Now I have just a few days to come up with an alternative.

Alas. We’ll see what I come up with.


Interrupted! The festival to officially consecrate and dedicate the new Dawnpoint Cathedral was interrupted by a large scale, coordinated attack by Goblins!

As citizens ran seeking safety, a few courageous members of the watch, the town sheriff , and an intrepid band of adventurers; who just happened to be in Dawnpoint awaiting departure for the final leg of their trek to escort none other than Aldern Foxclove to his stately manor far to the northeast, helped to save the town from serious destruction. Sadly four citizens did die as a result of the attack, but the body count of Goblins was over 120, including Chief VileTusk and his Whip wielding mate. In addition there were a number of horses killed and two stables and four homes in town are a complete loss. Tagris Vharti, one of the stables owners is quoted as saying “By the gods my next stable will be stone and steel!”

The visiting heroes have been identified as the mighty Volgen Warrioress Morga, a half-elf who gave his name only as “Thor to you“, and the beautiful follower of Erastil and purported gifted of Selune; Ehla.

Dawnpoint citizens owe much to these champions and news of a feast in their honor has begun to spread. Zhaleen L’Kos, owner of the popular Ash & Oak Inn will surely be involved as she has taken a liking to the newest adventurers to grace her inn.

Alders Machen – The Dawnpoint Pilot

Campaign resumes

Our new campaign resumes this weekend after a brief hiatus due to real life. This prompted me to come up with ideas for posts on my game and general thoughts on gaming. I can’t leak too much of what is coming as some of my players read this too.


What I can talk about is the customization of our home base. Originally it started as Sandpoint, but it was lacking for my needs. Nothing against the work of Paizo at all. It prompted a flood of ideas. I just needed to change up some things to better fit the flow of what I hope to be a wonderful story for my players.

Here is the start of those changes. I never cared for the shape of the cathedral, and I wanted more of a protected harbor, so I expanded the dock area, created a peninsula with a navy citadel on top to help enhance the story, grew the town south of the river, added dockworks, and I rotated and moved Chopper’s isle Northwest from its published position. I am completely replacing the buildings in town but I am not done so I just edited out my draftwork for this demo. The color scheme will change as well.

I have to give credit to Cinchbug of Ross Lucci Studios for the template image I used to start this process. He posted it on the Cartographers Guild website (of which I am an addict). When complete it will look nothing like his. I will be applying textures and shading filters to the buildings, the roofs and foliage.

Dawnpoint is presented in a visual demo below but first a little backstory. I will keep it brief.

Dawnpoint sits on the northern coast of the Lake of Dragons. The coastline and area is utilizing the map of Cormyr as a base, and Dawnpoint is located where Dawngleam is noted on Forgotten Realms maps. Dawnpoint has had trouble recently and has come under the watchful eye of the Cormyrian crown. While not officially annexed yet, Cormyr has adopted the small port as an eastern Naval hub of sorts. They expanded the docks, build a drydock and naval fortifications and appear to be here to stay. This has begun to benefit Dawnpoint with a surge in the economy and increased trade.

That’s all for now. Have a great weekend.