Time Marches On: A Timeline in Richardsport

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I’m going to have a slight change of pace.  This one has been floating in the aether for a while now, if only because of a bunch of scattered memories tied to facebook posts from ages back.  Well, digging a mix of scattered campaign notes, FB posts and then some.  So, let’s dive into the past and observe the passage of time within what started as a small city and expanded into its own thing.

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(April Fools!) The Next Plotline for D&D 5th Edition!

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I know what day it is and it’s not the right day to be gullible.  Also, I know this blog is about homebrew and the occasional related topic.  That said, since this blog was started, I have made posts about how I fanboy at the idea of Science-Fantasy D&D!  Seriously, do a search, more than half of the posts on this blog are science-fantasy related!  Hell, I made my own adventure that I’ve also been recording for the D&D podcast I’m on (called FlumphCast, look us up!  We play D&D very drunkily!)  But, I digress.  Wizards of the Coast has earned my love back.  How, you may ask?  Through their next plot based adventure, of course!  So, breaking tradition a little, I wanna ramble about Wizards of the Coast’s next big announcement for the Fall 2017 super adventure!

For some context, I’ve grown to dislike the formula they’ve done since 5E’s launch and often felt alienated by it.  Organized Play bores me, the modules feel long winded and just don’t engage me, the organization in the adventures alone just boggles my mind at times.  Their use of the Forgotten Realms setting felt quite uninspired and bland to me, akin to how Greyhawk was handled during 3rd edition’s organized play.  But, enough ranting about the past, let’s focus on the future!  (Yes, that’s a pun.)

And by future, I mean indeed a Science Fantasy adventure!  And not just any is a source of inspiration, one of the greatest classics is!  I’m talking about Expedition to Barrier Peaks!  I mean, come on, they teased a chunk of it in Volo’s Guide to Monsters!  Many saw it coming!  It was likely cut from Tales of the Yawning Portal due to space, but it’s being fleshed out!  The hints here and there likely imply an alien invasion stemming from a crashed ship in what I can only guess will be either Icewind Dale or the Bloodstone regions.  On top of that, many tiers of play will involve the Xeno Threat as it brings chaos to parts of the Realms.  What’s this, Doc?  You’re ranting about Realms-Shattering Events and misuse of lore?  And here you are celebrating a literal alien invasion of the setting?  HAVE YOU GONE MAD?  Well, kinda.  I dunno, I just love this idea in any capacity and D&D doesn’t do it often enough… especially in recent years.  So, this is one instance that I’m willing to let this sort of things slide.  Plus, just look at the name of the event, “The Assault of Radiant Steel!”  It sounds more like a prog-rock song than a D&D adventure, but I don’t care!  That makes me love it even more!

Read onward for more information, including launch info!  WOOOOOO!

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Taking Inspiration from the Marvel Cinematic Universe for Dungeons & Dragons

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Admittedly, I’ve been away from the boundless realms of graphic novel and comic books.  Whether it’s because I’m hesitant to try new series or because money is always tight, I haven’t really gone too deep into comic books, especially nowadays.  Now, I’ve caught up on a few series and read many of them after the fact, but I’ve never really gotten active within any fandoms… unless a handful of defunct and finished web-comics count for anything, that is.  That said, I’ve been slowly been brought back into the fold thanks to Disney and Marvel teaming up for the relatively recent series of films that have been mostly pretty damn good.  Save for a few sub-par installations, the films that have been released (sometimes more than) once a year have been fantastic.  At the best, an excellent journey of action and heroism… and at worst?  A good way to spend an evening, none the less.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has allowed theater goers to observe all parts of the expansive realms of Marvel; past, present and future.  We’ve had stories jam packed with all sorts of adventure… and all sorts of adventure inspiration.  These are mostly big stories full of drama and conflict, the righteous and the malicious, worlds thrown out of balance due to someone’s corrupt plans; worlds in need of great heroes, where said heroes rise up to the occasion.  On top of that, they have a variety of moods and styles to them.  The stories can range from world threatening menaces to stories about a struggling family to a conspiracy that seeks to intertwine itself with the very companies and governments we associate with.  All around, there’s more than enough to work with.  With that, let’s take a brief look at taking from MCU to enhance and inspire your games.

Editorial Note: Wait, what is this?  Well, I wanted to shake things up a little.  Considering it’s game related, I posted it here rather than on the original review blog.  But, don’t be alarmed, I’m still going to produce as much gaming content as I can.  But, I’m hoping this article will still be useful for you, at least to spark some ideas.

I was originally planning another theme, but Doctor Strange (and the rumors regarding Wizards of the Coast’s next release) revitalized my planar/multiverse theme!  So, a bit off the cuff, but whatever!  In fact, this article is very off the cuff and not really planned at all.  Also, Marvel did not pay me to write this.  I wanted to write this.  I might just like the Marvel movies… a lot.  Also, the following focuses more on the recent movies, for the most part.  None the less, enjoy.

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The Planes, The Planes! – Doc’s look at the Planescape Setting

Lady of Pain - Planescapes Character by Pseudooctopus

Please don’t anger the Lady of Pain!

So, the theme for this blog for the past couple of months has been planar creatures and dimensional weirdness.  Nothing embodies both better in my opinion within the realms of D&D than the Planescape Campaign Setting.  While I’ve enjoyed other AD&D settings like Greyhawk, the Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance; Planescape has remained special to me.  It’s a strange and cosmic fantasy where imagination is truly the limit!  You want to fight insane mechanical cubes with ray guns?  You can!  You wanna gamble with a Devil with an Angel by your side?  It’s possible!  You wanna get flayed by a giant lady for treating her like a God?  PLEASE DON’T DO THAT!  But I digress, Planescape is a high concept setting with endless amounts of play and content to explore.  For the reasons above and the many reasons below, I hope the full flavor of Planescape returns to D&D 5th Edition.  So far, it’s my favorite incarnation of the rule set (and I loooove AD&D 2e, albeit mostly for the vast library of settings.)  While they more or less have the Great Wheel, it feels much of the shadow of its former self like in the 3rd Edition of the game.  I want the vibrancy, the absurdity and the wonder of those wonderful weird planes.  Digressing from that, I’m here to address another question… How does one do a Planar game in this setting?  Why, I’m glad you asked!  Here’s a few humble suggestions from yours truly!

Now, I know what you’re thinking…  “Doc!  Didn’t you write about the planes on your other blog?”  Yes, I did.  However, I think now is a good time to revisit that post, especially now that I’ve been creating content revolving around planar travel and alternate dimensions.  Plus, cosmological models and jumping between worlds has been one of my favorite aspects of D&D as a whole!  With that, let’s chat about campaigns within the planes.

For starters, you might also ask me something; “Hey Doc!  Aren’t there more cosmological models than The Great Wheel a la AD&D?”  And you would be right!  Especially since 3rd edition, new models have popped up.  The Portals and Planes D20 Book (a rare title, if I may add) had heavily versatile options for truly forging your own planar realms.  Pathfinder modifies the Great Wheel and adds to it in simply awesome ways (with help of Todd Stewart himself!)  Eberron has an orrery based system where some planes overlap at the material plane at points in time.  The World Axis is a duality between the Gods above and the Primordials below.  That said, the Great Wheel remains my personal favorite of mine.  To be fair, it’s where I had the most adventures within the planes themselves.

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