Posts tagged ‘5e’

D20s and Cards

Adventure Co.

Last night was supposed to be the initial session of Adventure Co. 2.0, but Scopique had a water heater emergency and had to cancel. Totally understandable, and I hope he gets it fixed quickly and cheaply, but I’m a homeowner myself and those two things rarely go together. Even without our Dungeon Master, the rest of us (Adventure Co veteran Tipa from West Karana and new comers GrilledCheese28, Oakstout, and Girl Grey) hung out for about half an hour and talked over what kinds of characters we were thinking of playing as well as played around with the tools in Roll20.net. My initial impulse to play another Wizard changed a bit after reading through the Player’s Handbook (PHB), and I’m now thinking of going with a Druid. I’m not totally committed to it yet but I also like the idea of playing a Forest Gnome. I expect to change my mind a few more times before next Thursday.

The 5th edition rules remind me quite a bit of 3.5 and earlier, but there’s also some Fate influence in the rules (or similar narrative driven system). There’s a chapter on personality and backgrounds which helps fill in character details beyond the normal height, weight, and alignment. You now decide on an Ideal that drives your character, a Bond that ties your character to a person or place or event, and a Flaw to make you character interesting. They’ve also added the mechanic of Inspiration, which is given out by the DM as a reward for playing into your character’s personality traits and can be used to gain advantage on rolls. It’s not quite the same but it immediately made me think of Aspects, Compels, and Fate Points.

Reading up on 5th edition and getting on Roll20 last night with the group had me excited to work towards running a Fate Core game. At least once I get my Adventure Co character figured out and we’re a few sessions in.

Lord of the Rings: The Card Game

Among the many board games in my backlog, The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, has been on there the longest. I actually bought it a few years ago before I really got back into board games because I saw it on the shelf of my Friendly Local Game Shop while browsing Warhammer 40K minis (which I like to look at but never buy) and role-playing game books and saw that it was designed for 1-2 players.

So now years later, I’ve attempted to get started with the game a few times, but the game is very difficult and I’ve found that I’m pretty awful at constructing decks. So in March I started reading through and playing decks based on Beorn’s Path. The Hall of Beorn is one of a half dozen blogs dedicated to the game and Beorn’s Path is a nice series of articles that introduces players to building decks that can be used to complete the quests in the base game as well as the first six adventure packs, The Shadows of Mirkwood Cycle. Like most things I ended up distracted and didn’t pick the series up with Part 5 until this evening when I finally managed to beat the second quest in the base game, Journey Along the Anduin, on my third try.

I’m not ready to review the game yet. I haven’t played it nearly enough and I’m still at the novice stages of being able to build decks and learning all of the available cards even out of the relatively small core set. My initial impressions though are that the game is very tough and unforgiving. Luck feels like a big factor to me, but I have the feeling from what I’ve read that feeling is more because of my beginner skill level and because of the game itself.

Back to the Virtual Table

D&D

Adventure Co. version 2 is going to start up soon™- okay I just took a quick break to find my original posts about our virtual D&D group’s adventures last year… and there aren’t any. So instead if you’re curious, Tipa at West Karana did some great writeups.

The short version is we had a small group playing D&D 4e using G+ Hangouts and Fantasy Grounds. It was a lot of fun. It did make me realize how rusty I was at doing actual role-playing. I hadn’t seriously done pen and paper gaming since high school, and the intervening decades of MMOs had really given me tunnel vision towards combat. I found myself feeling unsure anytime we were in a mostly interactive scene.

For this second round we’re going to use D&D 5e, Roll20, and we’ve got a few new people in the group. I’m pretty excited. I didn’t mind 4e at all, I’m pretty easy going about edition changes, but combats did seem to take a lot longer than I remembered. With the general talk about how streamlined 5e is, I’m hoping combats will go faster so we can get a little more done in each weekly session.

Fate

Between Adventure Co starting back up and seeing all of the role-playing going on at GenCon last week, I’m feeling motivated to start working on getting a group together online to play a game of Fate Core. Fate is very narrative and not crunchy. Characters, NPCs, and settings are all assembled from Aspects, Skills, and Stunts. There’s no gold pieces to track. Hit points are reduced to Stress and Consequences. My favorite part is that character and game creation is a group activity. It is a major shift in mindset from D&D, Pathfinder, or any of the other rulesets I’ve read, and I think it will be a lot of fun.

Day 23 of Blaugust