Archive for the Wizards of the Coast Category

Free D&D Adventures!

Posted in D&D 5e, D&D Fifth Edition, D&D Next, Dungeons and Dragons, Wizards of the Coast with tags , , on April 7, 2020 by boccobsblog

free D&D quest

In order to keep gamers rolling dice during Covid-19, Wizards of the Coast is offering free D&D content each day. According to their website:

As an added resource for gamers, the D&D team is pleased to offer the following material as free adventures and resources for use in your games—whether you’re playing in a kitchen table campaign, you’re an active participant in the D&D Adventures League, or are simply interested in learning more about Dungeons & Dragons and trying it out for yourself.

With schools closed around the world, many parents and caregivers are at home with their kids, including many in the D&D community. If you are in need of fun & educational material to share and/or play with your kids, you can check back here each day for D&D stuff to help during this time. If you (or someone you know) is a younger gamer, we’re also releasing resources to make it even easier to get into D&D.

Content will be added daily, Monday-Friday. Check back each day for the latest free, downloadable content. Please note that certain adventures are being made free on the DMs Guild for a limited time, so be sure to grab them now while you can!

Be sure to check the WotC website each week for more Free D&D Adventures!

Need more D&D Adventures? Check out
Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount
Mythic Odysseys of Theros
Ghosts of Saltmarsh

Sorry for the ads, but I have $5 a day Lemonhead habit…

5e Resource Page Updated

Posted in D&D 5e, D&D Fifth Edition, D&D Next, Dungeons and Dragons, Wizards of the Coast with tags , , , , on December 28, 2018 by boccobsblog

D&D5e Resources

Last night I revised our D&D5e Resource page. I’ve updated the System Reference Document (5E SRD) document, the errata for the Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide, and the Monster Manual. Additionally, I added several missing Unearthed Arcana articles. If you see an official WotC D&D5e resource I’ve missed, comment or send me an email. Thank you!

-Andy

Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage Available Now

Posted in D&D 5e, D&D Fifth Edition, D&D Next, Dungeons and Dragons, Wizards of the Coast with tags , , on November 13, 2018 by boccobsblog

The mad mage Halaster Blackcloak is apparently at it again. Man, you think the Lords of Waterdeep would have evicted that guy by now. Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage picks up where Dragon Heist left off and takes characters from 5th to 20th level.

Hundreds of years ago, long before Waterdeep had been built, Halaster Blackcloak carved a vast dungeon beneath Mount Waterdeep and stocked it with all manner of creatures from across the planes. Over time Halaster has gone quite insane and the dungeon he carved, now dubbed Undermountain, is a labyrinthine death trap for those bold enough to venture within. Precious few have returned from Halaster’s home, and frequently they’re not who they were when they started out. One thing is certain however. Wealth unimaginable exists within the halls of Undermountain.

Dungeon of the Mad Mage is available in hardcover for $43.91

Waterdeep: Dragon Heist

Posted in D&D 5e, D&D Fifth Edition, Dungeons and Dragons, Uncategorized, Wizards of the Coast with tags , on September 18, 2018 by boccobsblog

Im a bit disappointed that we’re still in the Forgotten Realms, but I’m willing to give this adventure a try. According to WotC:

A fantastic treasure trove is yours for the taking in this adventure for the world’s greatest roleplaying game.

Famed explorer Volothamp Geddarm needs you to complete a simple quest. Thus begins a mad romp through the wards of Waterdeep as you uncover a villainous plot involving some of the city’s most influential figures.

A grand urban caper awaits you. Pit your skill and bravado against villains the likes of which you’ve never faced before, and let the dragon hunt begin!

Waterdeep: Dragon Heist is available in hardcover for $43.91.

Waterdeep: Dragon Heist Announced

Posted in D&D 5e, D&D Fifth Edition, D&D Next, Dungeons and Dragons, Limitless-Adventures.com, Wizards of the Coast with tags , , on June 2, 2018 by boccobsblog

WDH

Wizards of the Coast has announced their latest adventure path, Waterdeep: Dragon Heist. There isn’t much information yet, but according to wotc’s website:

A fantastic treasure trove is yours for the taking in this adventure for the world’s greatest roleplaying game.

Famed explorer Volothamp Geddarm needs you to complete a simple quest. Thus begins a mad romp through the wards of Waterdeep as you uncover a villainous plot involving some of the city’s most influential figures.

A grand urban caper awaits you. Pit your skill and bravado against villains the likes of which you’ve never faced before, and let the dragon hunt begin!

This hardcover book will be available on September 18th and will retail for $49.95

In the meantime, if you need D&D Quest Ideas check out our 101 adventure hooks!

Modern Magic and a New D&D Movie(s?) Announced

Posted in D&D 5e, D&D Fifth Edition, D&D Next, Wizards of the Coast with tags , , , , , , , on August 4, 2015 by boccobsblog

Two D&D 5e updates from Wizards of the Coast:

Modern Magic

Wizards released the latest Unearthed Arcana article yesterday and the topic is modern magic. The UA Modern Magic PDF (also archived in our 5e resource page) outlines content needed to adapt D&D casters to a modern or futuristic setting. The article contains a new cleric domain (city), a new warlock patron (The Ghost in the Machine), the Technomancy tradition for the wizard, hacking tools, and 14 new spells.

All in all it looks pretty cool. The info could be used to make a neat time travel quest, but if I want to play D&D set in the future, I’ll probably stick with Shadowrun.

A New D&D Movie Announced

A press release posted yesterday by Warner Brothers details a partnership between Warner Brothers Pictures, Hasbro, and Sweetpea Entertainment to create a new D&D movie (franchise?) set in the Forgotten Realms. According to the release, a script has already been written by David Leslie Johnson.

From the press release:

“We are so excited about bringing the world of Dungeons & Dragons to life on the big screen,” said Greg Silverman, President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, Warner Bros. Pictures. “This is far and away the most well-known brand in fantasy, which is the genre that drives the most passionate film followings. D&D has endless creative possibilities, giving our filmmakers immense opportunities to delight and thrill both fans and moviegoers new to the property.”

“This is such an enormous opportunity to bring the rich fantasy setting of the Forgotten Realms to life and, together with the creative powerhouse of Warner Bros., use movies to tell the stories that have enchanted passionate D&D fans for decades,” said Stephen Davis, Executive Vice President and Chief Content Officer of Hasbro, Inc. “D&D is the role-playing game that started it all and now we have the opportunity to ignite a franchise for its legions of avid fans in a way never done before.”

I remain hopefully optimistic.

Review of the 5e Player’s Handbook (Ability Scores & Races)

Posted in D&D 5e, D&D Fifth Edition, Dungeons and Dragons, Wizards of the Coast with tags , , on February 6, 2015 by boccobsblog

Here is part two of our in-depth look at the 5e PHB.

Ability Scores

One thing that bugs me about 5e is that they vastly limit the power level through ability score, but give ability bumps away like candy. For example, ability scores cannot go above 20 without the use of a powerful item (the old ability score improvement items, like Headband of Intellect only grant a score of 19, and give no benefit if you already have a 19+), but a character will receive +10 stat points from 1st to 20th. If a player rolls an 18 at creation, she will max out their prime requisite very quickly (immediately for some demihumans).

It just seems odd to cap scores at 20 and then give a ton of bonuses to them ( +2 or 2 +1’s five times before twentieth level).

Races

All the standard races are represented, and there are no big surprises here. In addition to Humans, Elves, Dwarves, Half-Elves, Halflings, Half-Orcs, and Gnomes (back from their sabbatical in the 4e MM), Dragonborn and Tieflings have carried over from 4e. In addition, the Drow were added as a playable subrace (at your DM’s discretion), with no level adjustment or penalty.

Mike Mearls stated in a D&D Podcast that R&D wanted all standard races from all editions to be present in 5e. Fans of the Eladrin should note that while not in the PHB, they are present in the DMG.

D&D 5e Eberron Conversion

Posted in D&D 5e, Dungeons and Dragons, Wizards of the Coast with tags , , , , , on February 4, 2015 by boccobsblog

I am thrilled to see that Wizards and the D&D team are posting content to the official site again. There has been a bit of an article drought while we waited for 5e. A new monthly series entitled,”Unearthed Arcana“, will, in R&D’s Mike Mearls words,”range from mechanics that we expect one day to publish in a supplement to house rules from our home campaigns that we want to share, from core system options such as mass combat to setting-specific material”.

The first installment Mearls converts some beloved Eberron material, specifically rules for adding:

  • Changeling as a playable race
  • Shifter as a playable race
  • Warforged as a playable race
  • Artificer as a wizard tradition
  • Action Points
  • Dragonmarks

While I was never a big fan of Eberron, (I met Keith Baker at Gen Con two years ago and told him that his world appeared to have been designed by drunk twelve-year-olds with its dinosaurs and magic-monorails) Unearthed Arcana is exactly the rich, free content we were seeing before Fourth edition made the baby Jesus cry and forsake mankind. I suggest you download and save these free PDF’s while you can because as we saw with 3.0, 3.5, and 4.0, Wizards is notorious for removing archived materials. That said, we will start our own archive in the Pages section of B3 to house as many of the 5e PDF’s as we can (not just links to their current spot on Wizards.com).

Review of the 5e Player’s Handbook (Classes)

Posted in D&D 5e, D&D Fifth Edition, Dungeons and Dragons, Wizards of the Coast with tags , , , on January 30, 2015 by boccobsblog

I thought I could bang out a quick review of the 5e PHB as I did with the Monster Manual, but there is just far too much ground to cover. So I’ll give you my take on the classes first. I am happy with all the base classes in fifth, they seem balanced and the archetypes give them serious re-play value. Here is a brief break down:

Barbarian

Not much different here, this class will feel very familiar. The rage mechanics are far simpler as you no longer add stat points mid combat. Instead, you take less damage and do more damage. The barbarian has two paths; one that heightens the rage ability and one that is more spiritual and offers magical abilities (though not spell slots).

Bard

The bard gets a pretty big power bump in 5e as they now have access to spells all the way to ninth. As far as archetypes, they bard has two colleges to choose from, one that focuses on being in the thick of combat and rallying forces, and one that focuses on knowledge. Bards look cool to me for the first time (sorry to the three bard fans out there).

Cleric

Largely unchanged, again this class will feel very familiar to pre-fourth players. Clerics only have one domain as do most gods in 5e (Side note, the PHB lists nearly every god in D&D history: Forgotten Realms, Dragon Lance, Greyhawk, etc., as well as many Earth pantheons, Greeks, Egyptians, etc it is an impressive list to compile your pantheon from.). There are seven domains to choose from: knowledge, life, light, nature, tempest, trickery, and war. The DMG also contains the death domain for evil characters.

Druid

No big changes for the druid. They choose from two paths one of which offers a broader range of spells dependent on the land type the druid protects, and the second offers more wild shape options. It looks like the animal companion got chopped.

Fighter

The fighter has always been my favorite class and they get a lot of attention in fifth. They have three archetypes to choose from: the Champion is an easy to play fighter that requires little thought (along the lines of the 3.5 fighter) he hits, and he hits hard. The Battle Master reminds me of the classes from the Book of Nine Swords or maybe a 4e warlord; he has numerous maneuvers and abilities that he can choose from that aid his party and make him extremely interesting to play. He is slightly more complicated than the standard fighter but a refreshing change for those of us that want a more dynamic melee character. Lastly, the fighter can choose to be Eldritch Knight, which, much like the 3.5 prestige class it’s derived from, is a fighter mage with spells up to fifth level. 5e fighters are amazing.

Monk

I’ve never been a fan of the monk class and feel that it really doesn’t fit into the western feel of a largely medieval game, but with that said, the 5e monk is pretty cool as monks go. They have three paths: one that focuses on hand-to-hand combat, one that is essentially a ninja, and one that gets spell like abilities (though no spell slots).

Paladin

The idea of a non-lawful good paladin isn’t a new idea, there have been paladin variants around for over thirty years and have always been met with mixed emotions. The 5e paladin comes in three varieties: the pain in ass lawful good chivalrous knight we all know and love, a neutral good, nature knight (an elven knight from Middle Earth), and a badass, don’t get in my way neutral or lawful neutral knight of vengeance that is on a mission to destroy evil and cares nothing for law or goodness. The DMG also has an Oathbreaker path for evil paladins that have strayed from the path of good. Not sure how I feel about the third option, but the pally has options for players that don’t want to go the boy scout path. Paladin also get their spells much earlier, and cast up to fifth-level spells.

Ranger

The ranger, like the pally, see increased spell casting, and has two options: the beast master with his animal companion, and the hunter (who should probably be called a slayer) who focuses on hunting a favored enemy.

Rogue

Like the fighter, the 5e rogue gets a lot of attention and has three paths to walk: the thief (no explanation needed), the assassin (first edition fans rejoice), and the arcane trickster who is essentially a rogue/mage.

Sorcerer

Earlier in the 5e playtest the sorcerer has a vastly different and new approach to a spellcaster (as was the warlock), but fans shouted that idea down and the final product is fairly the same as it was in 3.5 or pathfinder. The sorcerer has two possible bloodlines: draconic and the much-loved wild magic. My beloved 3.5’s attempt at the wild mage in Complete Arcane was a joke, but the 5e wild mage is more akin to its 2e roots, complete with wild surge chart.

Warlock

The warlock is once again a base class (one thing 4e did right). The warlock has invocations, as well as spell slots. The warlock derives their power from three possible sources: fiends, fey, and great old ones (yup, Cthulhu and his homeboys).

Wizard

Finally, everybody’s favorite blaster caster, the wizard. Like the cleric, the wiz doesn’t see much of a change. At creation the wizard must choose one of the eight schools to specialize in, but he isn’t barred from other schools as we was in the past, he’s just better at one school.

All in all, the 5e player’s handbook gives you 12 base classes (the most of any PHB in the game’s forty year history) that after archetypes is actually 40 (42 if you allow evil characters) classes. That is pretty cool. Sure we lost prestige classes (for now), but can play a lot of those role more quickly. I am especially impressed with the fighters, monks, paladins, and rogues.

Magic the Gathering: Deck Building Guide

Posted in Magic the Gathering, Wizards of the Coast with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 19, 2011 by boccobsblog

Updated on 4/7/2020 (Thanks Dave R.!)

Recently I have been playing a lot of Magic. While the last few sets have been pretty uninspiring, I’ve been playing with students at the college where I teach and their enthusiasm rekindled my passion for the game. Today I gave a presentation on basic deck building to the students in the game club and I thought I would post my notes for anyone interested in improving their magic game.

Choose a theme. [optional] (Examples: Merfolk, Knights, Goblins, Clerics, Fairies, etc.)

Rationale: A theme helps solidify a deck’s concept. Also, many themes share spells and artifacts that make strategy and card choice easier.

1.)   Choose a deck concept.

While this may sound like choosing a theme, it is much different. While a theme might be knights, or giants, a concept is how your deck will function mechanically. Do you want a lot of fast creatures (aggro)? Do you want to run the table and affect your enemies with powerful spells (control)? Do you want a mixture of the two (aggro-control)? Do you have a trick in mind or one you found on the net (combo)? Common deck concepts are weenie (a swarm of low casting cost creatures), burn (lots of spell damage), discard, and stomp (big creatures).

2.)   Decide on a win condition. How do you intend to win the game? Do you want to do creature damage, spell damage; do you intend to ‘deck’ your opponents by milling them?

3.)   Choose cards that support your chosen win condition. For example: If you intend to do fast creature damage, choose spells that will remove roadblocks on your path to victory. Make your creatures unblockable, give  them flying, remove blockers, etc.

4.)   Plan for everything. Ok, not possible, but did you cover the most common threats? Do you have a way to deal with: flying, enchants, artifacts, burn, creature damage? Keep your decks interactive and responsive.

5.)   Never, ever, ever, go over 60 cards ( or 40 in a tournament) in your deck.

Rationale: This one is simple statistics: each card you add to your deck over 60 makes it that much more unlikely that you’ll pull the card you need. Wouldn’t you rather have a 1 in 60 chance of pulling your needed card than a 1 in 70?

6.)   Understand the statistics in the game and make them work for you. If you need a certain card to make your combo work, place four in your deck. This takes you from a 1 in 60 chance of pulling that card to a 1 in 15. Simple enough. Put cards in your deck that will affect the chances of pulling your needed cards. Cards that allow you to search for a certain card, spells that allow you to draw more cards, cards with the cycle ability; all of these tactics will greatly improve your odds of pulling the cards you need. Don’t leave it to chance, take control.

7.)   Learn the ‘rule of nine’. You truly only need nine cards to create a magic deck.

Rationale: By only using 24 lands and nine playsets (four copies of a card) your deck will be focused and honed. By choosing only nine cards that support your win condition your deck will be a dangerous weapon whose strategy comes together quickly, rather than a random collection of 60+ cards with ‘neat effects’, or ‘cool art’. Many players find this approach too restrictive, but if you need evidence of its effectiveness, google any number of pro decks and you’ll see the RoN at work. And remember, use the RoN as a starting point, but don’t be a slave to it.

8.)   Learn the mana curve. You want the casting costs of your deck to form a bell curve. Create your deck in such a way that you are using all your mana each round and playing spells each turn. Be sure and put several (about 1/3 of your deck) 1 and 2 casting cost cards in your deck so that statistically you will be sure to draw a ‘one drop’ spell on your first turn. Sure, that 8-casting-cost creature is awesome, but while you wait 10 – 12 turns to cast him, your opponent has already wiped the floor with your corpse by dropping lower cost creatures every turn and needled you to death. examples of mana curve

9.)   Learn how much mana your deck needs. In multi-color decks, you will need to add the mana symbols up and place them in a ratio, simplify the ratio, and that will tell you how much mana you need. Until you’re comfortable doing it yourself, there are websites that can help you compute how much mana your deck needs. (note: the average 60-card deck needs about 24 mana)

Printable handout of the article: MtG_Deck_Building_Tips

Good luck!

Check out the cool MtG Life Counter