August 29, 2008

Word of Wizards (WoW) - 29/8/2008

It looks like there's some heavy updates coming from WoTC at the end of the month. So first things first,

1.Excerpts from the Adventurer's Vault

Battle Standards

I dig the idea of battle standards, they are kind of something like Warlords on a Stick which you can plant them around but I'm not so sure about the Resistance 50 that it grants (EDIT: It has been pointed out that the banner HAS Resistance 50 and does not grant it). This will fit nicely in the Scales of War adventure path.

Reagents are pretty interesting but looks pretty absusive as well because they seem pretty cheap. Low-level Swordmages will have no problem buying Creeping Gatevine at 200gp which will give them an extra mile with their Aegis of Assault.

Don't miss out on the other tidbits of wondrous items and rings in those excerpts as well.

2.Excerpts from the Forgotten Realms Player's Guide

The Great Dale

Nothing new or has changed for the Swordmage from what we've seen earlier in the RPGA preview material. This excerpt shows us 2 new higher leveled powers (Level 27 Encounter & Level 29 Daily).

By comparing the player's guide and campaign guide excerpts of both the Great Dale and Elfharrow, I think that some information should have crossover between the books.

There are also geographical entries for the locations in the player's guide excerpt which expands more or less what's written in the campaign guide. So DMs would also need to check it for any extra information on the region.

3.Digital Insider #4: Death of a Dragonborn

Randy Buehler's rambling about his dragonborn character and it's subsequent demise. However, I wouldn't have posted this up if there weren't something interesting in his ramblings.
The good news is that I’ve gotten my hands onto a playtest copy of Player’s Handbook II, so I’ll probably be using one of the new classes from there. The bad news is that none of that content has been coded into the Character Builder yet and building characters is so much easier using our D&DI tool.

After that he went down to business and commented about the recent restructure at Wizards.
We are actively recruiting for a number of open positions, and the total number of positions eliminated was actually smaller than the number of open positions we are looking to fill during the rest of this year.

And a little bit on their Tiny Adventures
Since Thursday, we have switched hosting facilities completely and then been subjected to a freakish hardware failure at our new digs which cost us Sunday connectivity plus two days of data. We’re still working out some of the kinks, and we’re not willing to distract the D&DI team in order to help, so we appreciate your patience.

I've been playing this slavishly and am a victim of the data loss he was talking about. Give me back my 5th level Fighter!

4.Dragon: Characters of War

Last month, we were told that Dragon will be providing supplementary articles on the Scales of War adventure path. Well, it's finally here at the end of this month's Dragon.

It provides numerous character backgrounds that also give crunchy benefits as well. Most of them, except for a few, are pretty minor which adds a skill or two into the character's class skill list and gives small modifiers to those skills.

There are 3 backgrounds for each race and each class. It doesn't say how many a character can pick but I'm guessig that they can only take 2; one for class and one for race.

Overall, it's a useful little supplement. Not exactly the campaign background that some people (myself included) were hoping for, but still pretty handy to have. I'm probably going to make all my players choose them for their characters during chargen before we start the adventure path (someday).

5.A Letter to Mr. Goldfarb

Ok, this has been going on for a while in the online community. While this blog would like to refrain from politics (especially American, considering the situation now as it is in my own country), but Senior Vice President of Hasbro, Wayne Charness, has written a letter to Mr. Goldfarb to voice their displeasure about his recent statement.

Who's Mr. Goldfarb?

Well, he is part of the staff in John McCain's campaign for the US presidency and was the brilliant mastermind who wrote this,
It may be typical of the pro-Obama Dungeons & Dragons crowd to disparage a fellow countryman's memory of war from the comfort of mom's basement, but most Americans have the humility and gratitude to respect and learn from the memories of men who suffered on behalf of others. John McCain has often said he witnessed a thousand acts of bravery while he was imprisoned, and though not every one has been submitted into the public record, they are remembered by the men who were there (one such only recently reported by Karl Rove though it escaped mention in any of Senator McCain's books). But as Swindle said, this is a "desperate group of people trying to make something out of nothing." (emphasis mine)

This is what Wizards had to say,
Recently a soldier who saw your comments online said, “Wizards of the Coast (the makers of D&D) has sent care packages to the troops on many occasions, providing free gaming supplies in support of our men and women serving the country overseas to help them decompress after hours. McCain's people should really check their facts before they spout off. Does John McCain have no idea how many GIs play D&D?” (emphasis mine)

God bless America.

6.Design & Development: Forgotten Realms

I cannot agree with everything they have said and done to the setting but after reading this, it does make it easier to swallow the changes that has been made.

Not as easy and refreshingly quenching as water down the throat. More like the bitter traditional medicine, that my mother used to make, but at least she tells me that it is good for me.

Even so, it's still too much to swallow and leaves a bad aftertaste.


Gregor LeBlaque said...

I think I should point out that the battle standards don't grant resistance 50:
"While deployed, a battle standard has resist 50 to all damage." (emphasis mine)

Which just means the first fireball to go off around the party hopefully won't take it out.

Questing GM said...

Thanks for pointing it out, gregor leblaque! Welcome to the blog!

I thought it was strange for a moment there.

Ishmayl said...

So far, I'm mostly okay with the changes made to Forgotten Realms, but I agree, that Design and Development article sheds some light on some parts I wasn't too happy with, and now I'm okay with those too. I still wish they would make a better map.

Donny_the_Dm said...

Excellent roundup sir!

Appreciate your tireless dedication to filtering out the good stuff at wizards. Even better since my work computer won't let me go there!

Questing GM said...

Right on, ishmayl!

The article was long overdue and it should have been out before the release of the FRCG, at least it would have informed my decision to buy it or not much earlier rather than keeping us guessing.

I'm still hearing rather mixed reviews about the FRCG and I think it has to do with what people agree or disagree with what the desingers had to say.

Glad that you have found something that pleases you in the new Realms. It might take a little bit more convincing when I read the book before I can say that I am too.

Thanks, donny_the_dm!

I hope all goes well with the new blog carnival and I'm thinking of giving it a shot for once.

It's great to know that my Word of Wizards feature is being read and appreciated before I started thinking that it was a waste of time for doing it.

Have no worries, this feature would continue thanks to your outspoken support!