t's January—the start of a new year, and for many of us a time to look at the past and set goals for the future. I asked people on Twitter to talk about what gamer resolutions they'd made. Most fit into the following categories: find a group, play more, introduce new people, improve their game, attend a convention, write more, and live healthier. Each of these could be a post (and hopefully will be in the future).
For now, here are a few quick links to help meet some of these goals.
Finding a Group
Many local D&D groups have a meetup.com account. An index of groups can be found here. I've also heard of groups forming as a result of D&D Encounters play, so if you are new to an area, going to an Encounters session or season is a good start. In addition, many gaming stores have a board for announcements, including people looking for players or DMs.
Playing more often is a frequently cited goal by D&D players. Maybe they have a group, but it only meets once a month. Or, for some, a once a week game just doesn't fill their need for more gaming. Play online. Play-by-Post and Play-by-Email are both longtime staples, but, as Stargazer's World writes, the Hangouts feature of Google+ also can help.
Introduce New People to D&D
If I could say only one thing about role-playing game fans, it's that they are passionate, not only about the game but about their love of sharing the game with others. Fear the Boot has an episode on "not overwhelming a new gamer."
Attend a Convention
Attending a gaming convention, whether a local or focused one, such as DDXP, or a big one like Gen Con, can be incredibly rewarding fun. In addition to lots and lots of gaming, they provide an easy way to trade ideas, learn something new, network with people, and more.
This is high on my list and I know it's on the minds of many of my fellow gamers. One great site is plus5cha.com, a forum for D&D community members looking for tips and support.
For those who haven't heard (which we're imagining isn't many), Wizards of the Coast announced some big news recently: a new iteration of D&D. Here are some links to more information:
- A number of recent posts concentrated on crafting and running villains, a timely topic given the release of the 4E Book of Vile Darkness. On Dungeon Mastering, Keith Baker, the force behind Eberron, discusses recurring villains. At Roleplaying Tips, Malcolm E. Hays gives his framework for creating evil organizations in Hierarchy of Evil.
- Speaking of organizations, Glimm the Gnome updated the Affiliation rules from the D&D 3.5 Player's Handbook II for 4th Edition. Big Ball of No Fun suggests using affiliations to give PCs (and their players) something to aspire to.
- Looking to give your players a challenge and not just their characters? Mark from Dice Monkey gave his players a letter to translate.
- A number of blog posts have discussed the DungeonMorph products. The company produces dice to help DMs randomly roll up dungeons. Tower of the Archmage has pictures of his, and Game Knight Reviews explains what is included and how to use them.
- Many tables have to deal with changes in membership: someone moves away, job or family responsibilities change, etc. On The Action Point, Jason talks about how he deals with the soldiers coming and going from his table in Afghanistan.
- In Critical Hits Podcast #33, Erik Scott De Bie, author and freelancer, and Mike Shea, the force behind SlyFlourish.com, discuss sandbox gaming.
- A few days after Christmas, Secret Santicore 2011 released. It's 104 pages of content created by and for the community.
- In his article, "Have a free Points of Light campaign setting map," Robin Stacey discusses how maps don't need to be fully fleshed out, and, in fact, might hinder a DM from creating a story with the players. Michael Burnside continues the theme with "Allow your Players to be Awesome3," by discussing how to make even failure exciting. WolfSamurai takes it even further by dealing with what many consider to be the ultimate defeat—character death—in "Death is Only the Beginning."
- It seems that most monsters, NPCs, and often PCs like to fight to the death. Dungeon's Master explains why that isn't always a good thing and gives some alternatives in "Don't Fight to the Death."
Online Dungeon Master posted about his Madness at Gardmore Abbey sessions.
- Many of the monsters in D&D have a long history in myths and legends. USA Today had an article on a "Mythological Wildlife" exhibit featuring oddities such as a skull of a griffin and the skeleton of a centaur (via Inkwell Ideas).
Interested about organized play and specifically Ashes of Athas? Teos Abadia and Chad Brown discuss these and more in an interview at JP on Gaming.
Greyhawkery reports about maps in the Greyhawk community in "Maps, Maps and More Maps."
Blog of Holding has a great series of articles on "gaming with one of the original D&D players," Mike Mornard. Parts 1, 2, and 3.
- And finally, according to GeekWire, Steven VanRoekel—who works as the U.S. chief information office (CIO)—is a big fan of D&D.