-Here's a question for you, DMs...Monster stats in RPG products: Ok, you'll want special attacks, defenses and anything unique about a beast to be well-defined, but how much do you really need a product to give you the rest of the stats for new monsters? If it's new, then what's the disadvantage to just telling the DM what the thing is supposed to be about, and DMs can define AC, HP, and damage in whatever way fits his/her campaign?
I mean, if it's just some mook it might be nice to have all that already written out for you, but if a product is providing you with what's supposed to be a cool new monster then wouldn't you, as a DM, want to "custom-fit" it to your world?
Ok, maybe in an adventure module it's different, since the HD etc. tell you where in the adventure's toughness-hierarchy the monster's supposed to fit, but in (say) a sourcebook-type thing? Does me telling you the Orgulus Oozes of Vornheim have 2+2 HD mean anything or help, really?
Give me your pros and cons here.
-Finished almost all the pictures and maps for the city kit, just gotta do the big city map that we're planning to print on the inside of the dustcover. We're (hopefully) doing all kinds of cute format things with this book to maximize the bang for your buck.
-Here's the latest 'Axe' episode, with Bobbi Starr and company getting hurt by gnolls.
The Escapist took out some of the more explicit details of Bobbi and Kimberly's dungeon adventure, to see the uncensored version click that link. The censored version's here, because I can embed it...
-If you live in NYC, Tavis of The Mule Abides is hosting a...thingy (symposium maybe?) on D&D and its relation to contemporary art tonight featuring some excellent and funny and smart contemporary artists that I have personally played D&D with many times and also featuring a video letter from me since I couldn't be there.
-What with all this business I haven't had a proper game in weeks. I played a bunch of German board games brought over by Axe cameraman Darren to pass the time waiting for Mandy to get better: Small World, Samurai, Thunderstone, and Whatever-it-is of Catan.
Catan bored me almost to death. I almost died. Trading sheep? Really? Why people keep making and playing games involving farms I'll never know--so far as this rootless metropolitan Jew is concerned, the point of civilization is to get as far away from animal shit as possible. I'm with Luke Skywalker.
Also it kinda drove me nuts how the little wood pieces didn't really slot into the board, they just sorta sat on top like dry pasta on a cutting board, waiting to get knocked off every time Connie rolled her dice all over them. Which sucks because where the pieces are is really important.
Anyway what I actually want to talk about is how one of the games was really good and has some D&Dable elements.
Hold on, I have to go eat some cheese...
Ok (thank you all dairy farmers) now anyway...
Samurai is a simple sort of cross between Go and Risk where basically you play on a map and there are cities and you build up four types of influence--political, military, religious, and agricultural (yeah, yeah, I know). You have a limited amount of each (represented by cards) and the trick is distributing them around the board, turn-by-turn, in such a way that, when it ends, you've got the right stuff in the right place.
It's not like you have to rule the whole world, you just have to get more total influence than the enemy, so each game results in a distinctive patchwork of overlapping influences over various forces.
It strikes me that, with a little tweaking, this could make an excellent addendum to the D&D endgame or a plot generator for a campaign. Work it like this:
-Play a session of D&D.
-Get out Samurai. Rename the cities (alternately, you could decide the board represents a city rather than a continent, and the PCs are vying for control of neighborhoods). Each player represents a faction, a ruler, or a god (someone or thing that is roughly aligned with the PCs interests).
-Add or subtract cards from the players' hand(s) based on what happened in the D&D game (i.e. if they found the Ice Chalice of Eleth Sussar then they get an extra 2 religious influence or whatever).
-Alter the D&D campaign to reflect the results of this contest of gods/kings/local mafiosos, etc.
-Say "6 months later..." then start playing D&D.