Tuesday, January 19th
A few giveaways today!
For fans of our novel lines, author and editor Erin Evans posted her "Outlining for Non-Outliners" essay over on BCSreview. Our first giveaway—to see some of Erin's writing in action (and don’t want to wait for The God Catcher), we're showing off her short story, "The Resurrection Agent"—included in the Realms of the Dead horror anthology.
For our next offering, we direct you to the handy Rules Updates page. Updates for January have now been posted live, coming to us courtesy of Greg Bilsland.
Here's our third giveaway. We've been experimenting with creating downloadable ringtones, based on our cartoons and podcasts. The first one is available right below. Thoughts or suggestions? Please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And finally, how about a piece of art from the forthcoming The Plane Above (because I love bone devils). Enjoy!
You Chose the Build
Monday, January 18th
And it's the Skirmishing Warlord, earning 65.2% of your vote! Look for a preview coming your way on January 29th (when we'll be in Fort Wayne, Indiana at D&D Experience… and probably also at JK O'Donnell's down the street!).
As a bit of nostalgia, our friendly writer, Ethan Gilsdorf has a short article up at Tor.com (a fantastic site by the way, that moves beyond speculative fiction and fantasy books… though it covers those as well, and wonderfully)—entitled: "Geek" Is No Longer a Four-Letter Word. Man, there's just something about dungeons drawn on graph paper.
And for some truly old-school D&D in action, Steve Winter posted images and insight into the TSR offices of Lake Geneva. Somehow not the glorious Chocolate Factory I've imagined, but still darn interesting nonetheless.
On a final note regarding contests and nostalgia—you can find both right now at Robertson Games' Design a Dungeon Room contest. And, as far as our own contests go, the deadline has come and gone to design a 4th Edition Blackrazor—we're overwhelmed by the responses and appreciate the effort everyone put into their designs! The winners (there will be 2) are to be decided on January 29th, and announced shortly thereafter.
You Choose the Build
Friday, January 15th
Martial Power 2 releases next month, featuring new options for the fighters, rangers, rogues, and warlords in your lives. For this poll, we're asking which of the new warlord builds would you like to see previewed—including a sampling of their respective powers.
The Player’s Handbook presents the inspiring warlord and the tactical warlord. Martial Power offers the bravura warlord and the resourceful warlord. Chapter 4 of Martial Power 2 adds the insightful warlord and the skirmishing warlord. Many of the new powers introduced in this book are intended for one of these new warlord builds:
You lead through careful observation and a knack for predicting your enemies’ actions. In combat, you keep your eyes open and quickly adapt your plan to changing circumstances. You show your allies how to identify enemy weaknesses and exploit those flaws. You are skilled at demoralizing foes and are an expert at interrupting their actions by issuing quick commands.
You scoff at the notion that war takes place on the front lines. Your talents are akin to the skills of archers, sneaks, and scouts. You recognize that their contributions are as vital as the efforts of melee combatants. You help allies by sharpening their timing, directing their maneuvers, and pointing out targets with your own ranged attacks.
Reminder—we're looking to record our next D&D podcast mailbag episode. If you have questions on the game's design, development, rules interpretations, or anything in general, send them to us at email@example.com. Just please put "mailbag" somewhere in the subject line.
Monday, January 11th
Contests and Podcasts
We didn't want to miss out in mentioning author Ethan Gilsdorf's free book giveaway before the deadline passed. Ethan (who you may recall we interviewed for the D&D Podcast), Globe Pequot Press, and Froobi.com have teamed up for a special opportunity to win one of 10 free autographed copies of his critically-acclaimed books: "Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks: An Epic Quest for Reality Among Role Players, Online Gamers, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary Realms." To enter to win your free copy, sign up right here (now through 1/13/10).
Speaking of contests, a reminder that our D&D Alumni contest (to design 4th Edition Blackrazor) ends this Friday. So get your last minute submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And speaking of podcasts—Seattle Geekly posted their "Year in Geek 2009" episode, including some breaking news: 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons is still fun!
You Call the Path: Revealed
The votes are in, folks—and here's what we have:
Harrowing Swarm Archer: 26.3%
Lone Wolf: 14.2%
Snow Tiger: 13.5%
Reaving Axe Savant: 8.8%
Shinaelestran Guardian: 8.4%
Bloodfury Hunter: 6.8%
Look forward to a preview of the archer, coming your way Friday, January 22nd!
Friday, January 8th
You Call the Path
Since we're overdue for a poll….
Normally when we preview a forthcoming book, our greedy little selves simply choose whatever we want to show off! But this time we wanted to ask you, the players, what you'd like to see revealed.
Martial Power 2 releases next month, featuring new options for the fighters, rangers, rogues, and warlords in your lives. For this poll, we're interested in the rangers. To quote: "Few common folk know the dangers that lurk beyond their fields. Hungry beasts, savage marauders, and mischievous fey prowl the forests and mountains. Yet it is here where the ranger is at home."
Martial Power 2 is bringing 8 new paragon paths for rangers. Following are their names and start of their descriptions. Our question to you is which of these paragon paths would you like to see previewed in its entirety?
"Angry? I’ll show you angry!"
Every ranger needs to tap into the beast inside; this task is especially simple for a shifter like you. You have honed your senses. You can smell blood in the air and hear the sound of your foe’s racing heartbeat; at times, you can even taste the fear you inspire. By embracing the animal inside you, you become a true hunter.
"Long, lightless miles lie before us. Follow me, and you might live to see the sun again."
Beneath the world of daylight lies a vast realm of eternal night—the caverns, tunnels, and vaults of the Underdark. This wilderness of stone is home to dangerous monsters and rapacious civilizations that plague the world, and it’s here you’re at home. You have explored the lightless passages and wandered the uncounted miles of labyrinthine caves. The bizarre ecology of this subterranean world is as familiar to you as the flora and fauna of a surface forest; you know how to survive where other heroes would find a cruel, swift death.
Harrowing Swarm Archer
"My sight is supreme, and my attacks are relentless. You can’t escape from a swarm."
Inspired by the way a wasp swarm engulfs an enemy, you overwhelm opponents with a mass of arrows or bolts. You are a master of the Harrowing Swarm style. You make relentless attacks that panic your foes and deliver seemingly endless waves of pain.
"Look—blood on the leaves. We wounded the wyvern. It’s gone to ground somewhere close by; now we finish it."
You are a renowned beast-slayer, honored for your skill at tracking down and killing ferocious monsters. No one is a better tracker than you are, and your finely honed senses make it difficult for your enemies to surprise you.
"One by one they fall, until nothing is left standing."
Through subtle manipulation and quick feints, you excel at isolating an opponent from a group. You use tactics like those of a wolf, focusing on your foe and drawing it away from any assistance. For you, combat is an art form. You choose your target with the same care that a sculptor chooses a block of marble.
Reaving Axe Savant
"The only answer is to fight fire with fire."
You have grown up on the edge of society, living a life that forced you to perform deeds you want to forget. Combat was not a choice but a means of survival. You might have once been a pirate or a highway brigand. Now, you turn your talents against any that remind you of the monster you used to be. You bring the fight to your foe and don’t discriminate against opponents. An enemy is an enemy, from a simple cutthroat to the vilest warlord.
"No evil shall pass my domain unscathed."
In the depths of the Howling Forest lies a realm of wonder and magic—the eladrin city of Shinaelestra, the legendary City of Rangers. Each night Shinaelestra shifts silently across the veil separating the Feywild from the mortal world. It appears in the forest depths for a few hours before fading back to the Feywild at sunrise. The feral monsters and savage humanoids haunting the Howling Forest have learned to give the eladrin city a wide berth, for each night the guardians of Shinaelestra range far over the twisted paths and shadowed dells in search of evil’s servants.
"Death comes for you with two steel fangs. The Snow Tigers are upon you!"
You have studied the ways of the Snow Tiger barbarians of the cold forests. You might count Snow Tigers among your relatives, having won their respect during your travels in their lands or as a youth fostered by the tribe. Or perhaps you befriended a Snow Tiger wanderer who taught you the woodcraft skills and fighting style of these fierce folk. You might be an enemy of the barbarians who has learned to mimic the wild fighting style of the Snow Tigers. Regardless of how you came to learn the way of the Snow Tigers, your knowledge makes you a warrior of unusual ferocity.
Thursday, January 7th
Happy, Delicious New Year!
Wil Wheaton's blog tipped us off first (further referenced on boingboing, the escapsist, and now virtually everywhere else): the 100 Games Cupcake Game—that is, 100 cupcakes decorated as 100 games. See if you can guess the first one!
Fans of the D&D podcasts may have heard our most recent episode, wherein Confessions of a Full-Time Wizard columnist Shelly Mazzanoble mentions going home for the holidays—to Binghamton, NY. Well, the BingPop blog tracked her down for an interview, asking the age-old question: What does Binghamton, my mom, and D&D all have in common?
Speaking of podcasts—we're looking to record our next mailbag episode. If you have questions on the game's design, development, rules interpretations, or anything in general, send them to us at email@example.com. Just please put "mailbag" somewhere in the subject line.
Wednesday, January 6th
We've just woken up from our long winter's nap… and by that we mean our holiday ham and sugar cookie-induced coma. So what's been going on while we were under?
With the end of the holidays, the D&D Community also ended its holiday encounter challenge. As Trevor boldly claimed, "Battling gishes, gricks, drunken knights, misers, demons, undead, gingerbread men, horrible fey, and all the other evils made our holiday that much brighter." But who won? Take a look at the top 3 picks.
Over at Penny Arcade, the 4-part "How the Illithid Stole Lolthmas" wrapped up in true festive fashion. Soon after, Gabe posted his latest D&D Sandbox with a new system for wilderness travel and management.
At the start of the new year we've already started showing off material from Martial Power 2 and the PH3 in the latest In the Works. Phil Athans dropped a spoiler about forthcoming novels on his community blog. Oh, and Bill Slavicsek had a little something to say about the Demon Prince of the Undead…coming soon to a table near you!
Have anything you'd like to mention or include in these news and reviews? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or yell things at us directly.