Archive for October, 2011

Halloween Adventure – Masque of the Red Death

October 31, 2011 1 comment

This is a side-trek for 4th Edition D&D that I ran a group through a year ago. I thought I would dust it off and polish it up a bit for our Halloween post. It is based on the Edgar Allan Poe story Masque of the Red Death. One of the players brought it to my attention that Masque of the Red Death is also the title of a Ravenloft setting, but this has nothing to do with that. It is for PCs level 4-6. It references monsters in the 4e Monster Manual, Monster Manual 3, and Open Grave. If you have a DnD Insider account it is really easy to look them up in the compendium. If you don’t, and you don’t have those books, you could substitute whatever you feel appropriate.

Included is a rough map to give you an idea of the areas and how one connects to the next. The actual dimensions of the rooms and placement of creatures is up to the DM. If you plan on running this I would urge you to read the Edgar Allan Poe story, and if you have some additional time, encourage your players to read it as well. It doesn’t contain any spoilers and will really add to everyone’s enjoyment of the adventure.

This was my first stab at writing a 4e adventure. I’ve written a few more since, maybe I’ll share those at a later date. Hope you guys like this one!

Categories: 4e, DnD, RPGs, Uncategorized Tags: , , ,

Kamakura Review

October 28, 2011 Comments off

Kamakura is a card game by Dyad games based on clans of feudal Japan. It was launched as a kickstarter back in May. Dyad has a really slick tutorial video about how to play, and how to use the special powers of the different warriors you have at your disposal.

A fast action card game, based in feudal Japan

The purpose of the game is to capture the territories of rival clans while defending your own. We played with all four clans as a free-for-all. You can play one on one or with teams. The game played really quickly and there was a surprising amount of combinations of warriors and weapons that made for fast and exciting play.

Dyad had a little trouble with the initial printing. When I received my deck the cards stuck together and caused a bit of tearing on the corners. To Dyad’s credit, they immediately responded to the problem and offered to replace any defective deck. It wasn’t really a deal-breaker for me, as the cards have an antique look to them anyway.

As of this date, it looks like getting your hands on a copy could be difficult if you weren’t in on the kickstarter. Last I read, they were researching other printing companies as they were disappointed in the final quality of the decks they received from the manufacturer. The game itself is really fun, and really fast. It has a high replay value, as the combinations of warriors, weapons, and arrow barrages make no two games identical.

Playing with four players and one deck required a lot of reshuffling. In fact, once everyone has 8 cards of the initial hand, there are only 4 cards left! That being said, cards are discarded rapidly as all weapons and the losing soldier are discarded in any battle. I have had a blast with this game, and the guys I was playing with agreed, Kamakura is a winner! Keep an eye on their site and try to snag a copy!

Categories: Card, kickstarter, Reviews Tags: , ,

Epic on the Brain

October 27, 2011 1 comment

A must-have for running epic level games!

Fourth Edition D&D has been out for long enough that many players with a steady game may be hitting 21st level. In one of my gaming groups we started the Scales of War adventure path at 10th level two years ago, and are now 25th level.

Epic games and even late-Paragon games can be a challenge to both play and run. Sly Flourish’s “Running Epic Tier D&D Games” is an excellent purchase full of tips to keep Epic level play from becoming epically long gaming sessions. It is chock-full of great tips about keeping things exciting while navigating thru the myriad of options available at Epic Level. I purchased the PDF version ($3.99) which included a small format (iPhone), large format (iPad or computer) and ePub formats. It was really a classy move to include all those formats to allow for easy reading on any device.

If you are considering DMing an epic campaign I would highly recommend you purchase these tips. Weighing in at 49 pages, it isn’t epically long, but it gets you in the right mindset to take 4th edition to the ultimate level. It includes campaign ideas, encounter tips, and advice about preparing for massive encounters. From our experience with Scales of War it can be very difficult to balance encounters. This book gives the excellent advice of throwing the XP budget concept from the Dungeon Master’s Guide out the window. It just doesn’t apply once the party becomes that powerful.

Epic can be fun, but it certainly isn’t for those who are new to D&D. By the time you get to 21st level, the amount of feats and powers on the character sheet can be intimidating to even seasoned players. One important piece of advice is to try and choose options that are easy to remember. Choosing an option which only comes up once in a great while will be impossible to remember in the midst of an encounter. For my most recent character I actually took a highlighter to my character sheet and wrote in little notes about situational bonuses so I could remember at a glance what will apply. I also highlighted whether the power was an Immediate Interrupt or an Immediate Reaction so I can find those powers when appropriate.

Have fun with Epic Level play, but don’t go in unprepared! Good gaming to you!

Categories: 4e, DnD, Reviews, RPGs Tags: , , , , ,


October 27, 2011 Comments off

Welcome to Skyland Games! We are a group of guys in western North Carolina who love Board and Role-Playing Games. Stay tuned for news, reviews, and maybe a game or two of our own! Thanks for stopping by.

Categories: Uncategorized

RPG Webcomics

October 26, 2011 2 comments

This is by no means a definitive list, but I’ve followed a few RPG webcomics over the years and there are a couple of real gems. My laugh-out-loud favorite is d20monkey by Brian Patterson. He seems to hit the nail on the 4e head; Usually in a NSFW way. His comic mostly follows the gaming adventures of Sam and his gaming group. Some just deal with DnD history or hot topics in the current edition. This is one of my favorites: – updates Mon/Weds/Fri

I just came across Looking For Group recently. I’m sure some of you have been fans for years, but for those who haven’t read it, it follows the adventures of Cale’Anon, the main elven protagonist, and a group of heroes of varying motivations (and definitely alignments!) as they battle to save Kethenecia. It has amazing art and is usually really funny. Some of it is darker, and it is really maturing into a rich storyline. With over 500 pages, it provides an awesome read: – updates Mon/Thurs

One of the classics that has been around many years is Order of the Stick. This comic has been around since D&D 3.5 and has a deep cast of characters. It follows Roy Greenhilt and his party as they try and save the world! It uses a lot of D&D terms that can be confusing for people not familiar with the game. It tends to have a lot of plot per page and has covered a lot of ground over the years: – updates whenever Rich can

There are more out there, but these are some of the best. Hope you’ve discovered a new favorite, and good gaming to you!

Categories: Uncategorized