Tag Archives: d&d

D&D Online Now Free

While I’m doing my best to avoid even casual video games, I recently discovered that the D&D MMORPG is now free. Apparently, they make money by selling optional equipment, characters, etc.. It sounds like they’re allowing you to pay cash for game gold, which of course you also earn in game. It’s 3.5 based, so all that knowledge (assuming you haven’t forgotten it all after moving to 4.0) won’t go to waste.

The best part is that by selling directly to gamers, it should cut down on Chinese prisoner gold miners. I know Blizzard is too greedy to cut off China, home to an estimated 80% of their gold farmers, but you’d think by now they’d set up servers for US only players, verified by credit card ZIP code and IP (with no proxies allowed). I hear it’s gotten so bad you need an addon to strip out the gold adverts in the chat stream…

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Munchkin: The Card Game

I just had an awesome time playing Munchkin, a card game that humorously pokes fun at Dungeons and Dragons. There are cards for races, classes, gear, buffs, curses, and, of course, monsters. Players race to be the first to get to level 10 by defeating monsters with your cards or selling gear to buy levels. Players can gang up to fight monsters they wouldn’t normally be able to defeat, which can lead to much shrewd negotiation. The flip side is that since the first player(s) to hit 10 win – thus ending the game – there is a lot of incentive to gang up on the strongest players to keep them from winning. Alliances are made and broken from turn to turn. In this respect, I hear it’s great for those who love Survivor.

We had 5 players and the game lasted about 4 hours; this included learning the rules. It starts out deceptively slow (partly due to so many new players), but as the game progresses you get more cards in play, accelerating your leveling. As a counter balance, the playing field is leveled whenever someone gets ahead, as everyone teams up to knock him down a few pegs. I have to say this is one of the most balanced games out there. I got to level 9 twice and was knocked down each time. Another player was wiped out a few times, but at the end was one of a few players tied at 9.

I highly recommend it, even if you’re not a regular player of D&D.1 A lot of the humor is based on generic fantasy settings,2 so if you liked Lord of the Rings - or better yet, Monty Python and the Holy Grail – you’ll have fun. If you don’t like the setting at all, there are pirate, gothic horror, space opera/sci-fi, espionage/007/MI, spaghetti western, martial arts, superhero, and even Cthulu themes! The themes can be combined for you genre-benders out there. Remember those westerns where, for some ridiculous reason, a samurai shows up? You can do that!

One caveat: some of the humor is adult-oriented. It sounds perfect for spirited family competition until you need to explain the jokes about altar boys and knee pads and hey kids! let’s see what the excitement is about those German board games!

The game and expansion packs (I think we used 1-4) at Amazon:

Munchkin
Munchkin
Munchkin 2: Unnatural Axe
Munchkin 3: Clerical Errors
Munchkin 4: The Need for Steed
Munchkin 5: De-Ranged
Munchkin 6: Demented Dungeons
Munchkin 1-6 Value Pack
Munchkin 7: More Good Cards

 

 

 

 

 

  1. If you do play D&D, there is a d20 RPG setting for it, although it seems overpriced. []
  2. D&D is pretty much taken directly from Lord of the Rings. []

DM of the Rings

I’ve been really enjoying the web comic DM of the Rings by Shamus Young. It tells the tale of a dungeon master leading a group of typical players on a Dungeons & Dragons adventure based on Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Only the players have never heard of LOTR, much less MERP1.

Yes, a little far fetched considering D&D stole heavily from LOTR, and I can’t imagine a gamer who hasn’t seen the LOTR movies. But no matter, the comic is very funny, and the actions of the players are uncannily similar to every group I’ve ever gamed with.

The real ingenuity is that it’s “illustrated” using only screencaps from the films with some occasional Photoshopping. The looks on the characters’ faces is often priceless. By the time you’re halfway through the series, you’ll be convinced Viggo Mortensen went through the whole trilogy with a blank stare.

  1. I actually owned MERP some years ago, but never got around to playing it, or meeting anyone else who had. []

Penny Arcade

Masterchief recently pointed me towards Penny Arcade, a gamer-oriented online comic strip. They’ve also started the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX), an alternative to E3 for consumers (E3 are being dicks about letting in non-industry types). I was going to hit Seattle until air fares skyrocketed, which I am against. Anyway, the strip is pretty hilarious, here are some I liked:

My thoughts on pineapple pizza exactly
D&D online misadventures
She knows what you’ve been watching
I’m pretty sure Blizzard doesn’t need to do this, with their license to print crack
On the benefits of manga
Why I still feel self-righteous about quitting WOW
Fun at Fry’s?
An accurate portrayal of WOW’s patch distribution
What are friends for?

Magic Missiles Attack the Darkness

Some years ago, The Dead Alewives created a skit poking fun at those who play Dungeons and Dragons, as well as those who believe the game is dangerous. While The Dead Alewives seem to have disappeared, the skit remains the most beloved piece of D&D humor ever created (Jeremy Irons in Dungeons and Dragons not withstanding). The skit has also inspired a few videos to go along with the audio (although they only cover Part I). Highly recommended to any current or recovering players.