Unbreakable Review/Interview

Posted in D&D 5e, D&D Fifth Edition, D&D Next, Dungeons and Dragons with tags , , , , , on April 24, 2020 by boccobsblog

Unbreakable 5e

How did this book come to pass?

Unbreakable initially was inspired at an Uncaged dinner group in GenCon 2019. I was seated with Jazz and a few other Uncaged alumni (some who would be involved in the project), and we talked about different things we would like to work on in the future. At one point in the conversation, I brought up the notion of doing an Asian inspired adventure series. Jazz was extremely enthusiastic about it, within a month later, Jazz helped organize it, and we began recruiting for contributors for the project. Along the recruitment process, our group of contributors wanted to turn Unbreakable into an OwnVoices project to fully express the cultures represented within the adventures and the artwork.

What is the significance of the title?

When we (Jazz and I) initially thought about the theme of the adventure anthology, we had this visual inspiration for a bamboo forest and what sort of encounters one might in there. This idea evolved further to become the present-day incarnation, we still wanted the anthology’s name to pay homage to those early thoughts, and we came up with Unbreakable. I was inspired by a quote from Morihei Ueshiba, “Study the teachings of the pine tree, the bamboo, and the plum blossom. The pine is evergreen, firmly rooted, and venerable. The bamboo is strong, resilient, unbreakable. The plum blossom is hardy, fragrant, and elegant.”  and another quote by Ping Fu, ” Bamboo is flexible, bending with the wind but never breaking, capable of adapting to any circumstance.” These quotes had me think about my struggles as an Asian American and the things that myself and my family have gone through to achieve our present lifestyle. It had me recall the efforts of the many people before and how many have adapted to their new lives to achieve their dreams. In that spirit, we were unbreakable in our resolve and determination, and from it, we will continue to be into the future.

I love the cover, who is the artist?

We all love our precious salamander that greets readers into Unbreakable. The cover was done by Joshua Mendenhall, co-director and lead designer for The Islands of Sina Una, a setting built on pre-colonial Philippines and its mythology

It seems like an impossible task to direct the work of so many people, how did you manage this project?

It certainly felt like an insurmountable task, but Jazz and I had great examples from Ashley Warren’s leadership for the Uncaged Anthology. You learn from example, right? We were very fortunate to learn from a great example. We later had Caroline join as our Graphics Designer and Art Lead. The duo became a trio, and from there, we were able to individually coordinate and tackle the three main pillars of its production: the writing, the art, and the editing. An essential part of managing a project is having open lines of communication with our contributors while providing spaces for them to brainstorm their ideas. But I am humbled and honored to have worked alongside Jazz and Caroline on this project, and we supported each other during its development. So I guess the best way to answer this question was teamwork, having flexible deadlines, and working through any obstacles together.

What formats is Unbreakable available in, and where can it be purchased?

Unbreakable Volume 1 is available in digital PDF and hardcover print on DriveThruRPG.

Unbreakable-Vol1-Books-Preview

Unbreakable Details:

  • 253 pages
  • 10 D&D5e adventures for tier 1-4
  • Original Asian-inspired monsters, NPCs, magic items, and characters from folklore, myths, and legends.
  • $19.95 PDF, $39.95 Hardcover, $49.95 PDF + Hardcover

My Thoughts:

  • Beautiful layout – colorful and easy to read
  • Each 5th Edition adventure bears a content warning to avoid possible triggers
  • Information on adjusting each adventure’s difficulty
  • Several new monsters and accompanying lore
  • Advice on how to roleplay complex NPCs

This book is massive. It has ten highly-detailed adventures that were clearly written by knowledgeable authors. As you read this supplement you can tell a lot of love went into its construction. I cannot recommend this project highly enough. Check it out on Drive. Let’s hope vol. 1 is the first of many!

 

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The Guild Plays D&D Tonight

Posted in Dungeons and Dragons with tags , , , on April 16, 2020 by boccobsblog

TheGuild

This is such an amazing event as it combines two of my favorite nerdy loves D&D and Felicia Day. She and the gang from the Guild are getting together to play Dungeons and Dragons for charity. According to her Facebook post:

Next THURSDAY 7-10pm PST, April 16th, The Guild is getting back together to play some D&D! Amy Vorphal will be DMing for us, as we play our characters in D&D! Should be fun, we’re raising money for No Kid Hungry, a great charity that is feeding kids who have no other way to eat during this very trying time. Come watch and support! And Share if you like this idea!

No Kid Hungry

So if you’re looking for something to do tonight, check out this live-play D&D game!

Guild Swag!
The Guild Megaset
You’re Never Weird on the Internet
Embrace Your Weird

Sorry for the ads, but I have to keep Taco Bell in business:

Origins 2020 Postponed Until Oct 7th

Posted in Conventions with tags , , on April 9, 2020 by boccobsblog

Origins 2020 Postponed

According to Originsgamefair.com:

The Game Manufacturers Association (GAMA), the non-profit organization serving the hobby games industry, today announced that it will postpone the 46th Annual Origins Game Fair, originally scheduled for June 17-21, 2020 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, to October 7-11, 2020.  The tabletop convention attracts more than 20,000 attendees from around the world to central Ohio to play thousands of board games, collectible card games, miniatures and role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons, Magic: The Gathering, Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Catan, and hundreds of other titles.

The decision to postpone the convention follows extensive discussions with its membership, the city of Columbus, the Greater Columbus Convention Center, hotel partners, and exhibitors. “The decision to postpone the convention was not one we made lightly,” said GAMA Executive Director, John Stacy. “The safety and well-being of the Origins community is our number one priority. Given the current health situation, we believe that it is best to move the convention to October.”

With the postponement, GAMA also announced that they would be hosting an online gaming convention during the original show weekend, June 19-21, 2020. Origins Online 2020 will be a fully virtual convention for tabletop gaming fans to enjoy from their devices and will feature an Exhibit Hall where attendees can demo and buy games and merchandise. In addition, the virtual convention will offer streaming workshops and educational seminars with guest authors, artists and game designers, plus hundreds of games online that attendees can sign up to participate in.

“We are all in this together. The postponement of the in-person event and introduction of Origins Online is an opportunity for the hobby games industry and broader gaming community to get excited together and come back stronger on the other side of this pandemic,” Stacy continued.

Details regarding the postponement of Origins Game Fair and Origins Online will be shared soon on the event’s website: www.OriginsGameFair.com.

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…

Interview with a Professional DM

Posted in D&D 5e, D&D Fifth Edition, D&D Next, Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder with tags , , , , on April 1, 2020 by boccobsblog

We sat down with GM Jeremy, a professional game master.

What differentiates a casual DM from a professional DM?
I would say the expectations from the players. Anytime a customer is purchasing a professional service there is the expectation of excellent customer service, a high quality product, within an inclusive and respectful environment.

What services do you offer?
I provide game mastering services for a variety of table top role-playing games including D&D 5e, AD&D, Call of Cthulhu, Star Wars, Star Trek, Aliens, Fate, and Apocalypse World.

Due to the massive popularity of D&D 5e I also offer workshops on learning how to play D&D online using tools like Roll20.

Professional dungeon mastering is a controversial topic in our community, why do you think that is?
I really don’t think it is very controversial. I think Social Media provides a small percentage of people to have a really loud voice. The reality is that people will complain about anything and everything. At the end of the day, this is a service that is provided for others. It’s no different than paying someone to change your oil, mow your lawn, or do your taxes. Can you do all those things yourself? Yes you can. So, does that mean these services shouldn’t exist? Absolutely not. There are a million reasons why some people choose to pay someone else for those services. Just because I personally wouldn’t pay my friend to give me a ride to the store, doesn’t mean that Uber shouldn’t exist as a paid service.

Could you beat Matt Mercer at Boggle? 
This may not be a popular thing to say… I am familiar with Critical Role.. but I have never watched an episode. I tried to watch one episode. But it was 15 minutes of ads and just them talking about the companies that support them and so I turned it off. I know these guys are voice actors(I guess… on video games or cartoons). I don’t know. I know people like the show but I guess I’m just not interested enough to make it past the first 15 minutes of ads.

So would I win? I think I would get bored halfway through the game and then I would say, “so tell me about yourself, I literally know nothing about you”… and then we would go watch a movie or something.

What does your yearly convention schedule look like?
I own a game store that sells toys, comics, and games. So I go to comic book and game conventions. I love going to Gamestorm in Portland. I have been attending that convention since 2002. I also do Emerald City Comic Con, Rose City Comic Con, Wizard World, Dallas Fan Expo, Comicpalooza, and several smaller events in the Pacific Northwest.

How does your pro game prep differ from your home game prep?
Are my players reading this? LOL just kidding.
I would say for my professional games I do a lot of reading of new material. And I do a lot of note taking in the Roll20 games to make the campaigns fit my style better. The professional games are 90% official D&D 5e Adventures like “Ghosts of Saltmarsh” or “Tyranny of the Dragons”. So I have less map-building to do and more note taking so that I can tweak the adventure to fit that particular gaming group.

In my home game? Wow, I’ve been gaming with these guys for 20 and 30 years, so I do a lot more “off the cuff” role playing. Home games are a mix of 50/50 home-brew with official stuff. But for my guys I incorporate more old school adventures from the OSR community and original AD&D modules. Because of that I do a lot more map-building in Roll20 for my home game.

What challenges do professional dungeon mastering present?
I would say, getting the word out. It took me about a year before my website showed up on the first page of Google when searching for “dm for hire”.

What US President (living or dead) would have made the best DM?
Teddy Roosevelt. That guy really liked adventures!

With tabletop gaming at an all time high, do you foresee an increase in gaming as a mainstream paid form of entertainment?
I do. It really started with video gaming and e-sports. Now the generation of kids that started the whole e-gaming phenomena are adults with jobs.

Tell us about your D&D class.
Yes its a class that teaches people how to get started playing D&D online. So the course covers the basics of how to play D&D, how to use Roll20, how to use Discord, and then we practice what we have learned by going through a short dungeon crawl.
Most of the interest has been coming from homeschool children ages 12+.

Where can people learn more about professional DMing?
Why my website of course! www.gmjeremynow.com as well as Facebook and Instagram @gmjeremynow .

Thank you so much for your time and your questions.

Thinking of becoming a professional Dungeon Master?
Pick up a few supplies:

Bear Mace
Bitchin’ Dice
Breath Mints

***

Sorry for the ads, but tacos aint free:

Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount

Posted in D&D 5e, D&D Fifth Edition, D&D Next, Dungeons and Dragons with tags , , , , on March 23, 2020 by boccobsblog

Explorer's Guide to Wildemount

According to Wizards.com

Create your own Critical Role campaigns with this sourcebook for the world’s greatest roleplaying game!

Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount provides everything you need to play Dungeons & Dragons on the continent of Wildemount (set within the world of Exandria)—a land of war, betrayal, and swashbuckling adventure.

Comprised of four regions, Wildemount provides endless potential for adventure in a land of brewing conflict and incredible magic. Rising tensions boil over into all-out war between the politically dubious Dwendalian Empire and the light-worshiping wastefolk of Xhorhas, supplying a vibrant backdrop for any D&D campaign to explore.

  • Uncover a trove of new options usable in any D&D game, featuring subclasses, spells, magic items, monsters, and more, rooted in the adventures of Critical Role—such as Vestiges of Divergence and the possibility manipulating magic of dunamancy.
  • Start a campaign in any of Wildemount’s regions using a variety of introductory adventures, dozens of regional plot seeds, and the heroic chronicle system—a way to create character backstories rooted in Wildemount.
  • Explore every corner of Wildemount and discover mysteries revealed for the first time by Critical Role Dungeon Master, Matthew Mercer.

Item details

Price: $49.95
Release Date: 17 March, 2020

This book’s contents include the following:

  • An expansive Wildemount gazetteer.
  • Descriptions of the major factions of Wildemount.
  • Player options that include new subclasses, new spells, and a tool to help players deeply integrate their characters into the setting.
  • New magic items, including weapons that become more powerful to match their wielders.
  • New creatures native to Wildemount.
  • Four introductory adventures—one for each unique region of Wildemount.

Largely written and helmed by Matthew Mercer, the Dungeon Master of Critical Role and creator of the world of Exandria, this 304-page book features work by talented designers, writers, and artists from the D&D and Critical Role communities.

Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount is an expansive, vivid campaign setting anyone can enjoy regardless of their familiarity with Critical Role, and an open invitation to make the mysteries and dangers of Wildemount your own.

Looking for some great dice games? Try:
When Zombie’s Attack!
Roach Party!
Dungeon Attack!

The Long Soak – A Free D&D5e Adventure

Posted in Cheatin' Fair Games, D&D 5e, D&D Fifth Edition, Dungeons and Dragons with tags , , , on January 22, 2020 by boccobsblog

 

I’ve written a short closed-door mystery for D&D5e. You can download it at DrivethruRPG. If you like it let me know in the comments. I plan to release one of these one-page adventures every month or two.

-Andrew

Monsters of the City

Posted in Crowdfunding, D&D 5e, D&D Fifth Edition, D&D Next, Dungeons and Dragons, Kickstarter with tags , on January 14, 2020 by boccobsblog

Today we sit down with Andrew Cawood of Cawood Publishing to discuss their latest project.

As I understand it, you have a new Kickstarter launching on Tues, Jan 14. What can you tell us about Monsters of the City?
Really it’s a campaign book with 100 new monsters. Around 130 pages, full-color with illustrations for each monster. Divided into seven city districts with a legendary monster for a sin and virtue in each section. Some of the other monsters in each district will be connected to the sin or virtue as well. Adventure hooks, Encounter tables, Events and Locations tables, and each district will have a resource page for specific resources to run that part of the city. Devils, demons, celestials, fey, undead, three new humanoid races and more.

How does MotC differ from your earlier monster books?
Unique monsters you won’t find anywhere else. Strong narrative theme built-in and resources to run a campaign included. All the art is connected to the theme and style as it’s all by the same artist, Travis Hanson.

First we entered Feyland with an A-Z monster book that has some setting resources.
Underworld is more of a setting book with monsters. MOC will be similar but has a built-in narrative as well.

You must assemble and personally lead an adventuring party of 3 Canadian Prime Minsters (living or dead), go!
Ok Jean Chrétien as he’s seen everything, Pierre Trudeau to call in soldiers if we need them, and Stephen Harper to check for traps.

Interesting choices, explain.
Chrétien as he’s a wise old dude, but not much empathy. Trudeau called out the army when a violent separatist group was active. Harper…no comment

Which creature in Monsters of the City would you personally fear the most?
Feared monster? The sins are tough but the vampire lord is a handful too

Have you given any thought to possible stretch goals?
A hardcover version, Extra art like full-page illustrations of the sins and virtues, PC subclasses, Maps, Endsheets, Custom d20s from Q-Workshop

How long does the Kickstarter run?
Jan 14th to Feb 12th.

Where can we find this awesome book?
The Monsters of the City Kickstarter can be found here.

Ruins of the Lorn Keep

Posted in board game, Cheatin' Fair Games, Crowdfunding, Kickstarter with tags , , on January 7, 2020 by boccobsblog

card back left right(1)

Ruins of the Lorn Keep

Ruins of the Lorn Keep is the first project from Cheatin’ Fair Games. CFG is the brainchild Andrew Hand, co-founder of Limitless Adventures. Ruins of the Lorn Keep, Andrew’s first non-roleplaying game, is one-part memory game, one-part dungeon delve. Players choose from three character classes: the thief, the warrior, or the wizard. Each class excels at one of the three types of challenges: strength, skill, and magic. Players continue to explore the dungeon battling monsters, disarming traps, and collecting treasures until one player earn victory points.

Ruins of the Lorn Keep is currently on Kickstarter until January 24th and has already reached its funding goal. Shipping is available worldwide, and manufacturing will be handled by The Game Crafter.  This affordable, portable, and easy-to-learn game will appeal to fans of Dungeons and Dragons, Hero Quest, and Descent.

Details:

Designer: Andrew Hand
Artist: Rizky Nugraha
Time Required: 30 minutes
Players: 2-3
Age: 10+
Contents: 1 hook box w/ rules, 18 cards
Price: $10

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Form-Fillable PDF D&D Character Sheet

Posted in D&D 5e, D&D Fifth Edition, D&D Next, Dungeons and Dragons with tags , on September 8, 2019 by boccobsblog

I’ve added a fillable PDF character sheet to the 5e Resource page. Download it for free.

Fillable