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Arcmagik wrote:
I am currently in the process of running Destiny of Kings (an old 1e/2e adventure). Then I am going to run second adventure in the Scales of War "Bordrin's Watch" which will come into Red Hand of Doom and all of them are modified for my homebrewed world.

'Destiny of Kings' is a great adventure. I still have my 1e 'module'. I ran a 3.5 conversion, and it was going fine but the play-by-post group fell apart. Love the story, plenty juicy rp opportunities. I'd love to hear how it goes for you.

Eric Drakensburg wrote:

I'm 36 (37 in October), and have been playing since 1982 when a friend-of-a-friend introduced me and my friend to the Red Box. I don't remember what the adventure was about, but I do distinctly remembering the DM saying we couldn't pull arrows out of the bodies of the monsters we'd just defeated nor pick-up the ones that had missed. I remember thinking 'That's stupid!' And only 20 years later 3e came up with the 50% rule for arrows.

By-the-way, I think DUNGEON magazine is absolutely wonderful. I hadn't aways kept up with DnD, but I have been an avid reader for the last two years. I wish all businesses had the customer service and love of the product that the Dungeon staff seems to have. Great job everyone at Dungeon!!!

Eric Morgan
Atlanta, GA

Wow...same experience for me. Probably true of any 12-16 year old kid in the early 80s. And I also kept in touch with D&D via Dungeon and Dragon mags. Online forums and such have made staying connected with D&D easier, especially since the magazines are *sniff* out of print.

Thank you, Mr. Gygax. D&D captured my imagination in 1983 and still inspires me today. I have introduced D&D to my daughter...she loves the dice, the miniatures, the maps, the adventures. You'd be proud that the game lives through the generations.

I'll flip through my 1st ed books and be 12 years old again.

An intelligent magic item round might be neat...

Congratulations, Christine.

This contest, the contestants, judges and message board contributors have injected the gaming community with some good gamin' juice! I've been inspired by the ideas on this board over the last several weeks.

Awesome job, Paizo.
(*leans back, basks in glow of a well-run and influential contest*)

When does the next Superstar contest begin?

My daughter is 6, and this summer she saw me at my desk with dice, minis, a map, etc. She's into fairys and such, so I drew up a quick stat sheet (AC, HP, abilities), she wanted to be an 'elf wizard with a sword'. So I let her pick a few spells from levels 1-3, explained that she could only use them 1/day, and a few nifty magic items (ring of invisibility, wand of healing). I just let her indulge, and that got her hooked. Rules were secondary.

I DMPC'd a fighter and we went out (on a battlemap from a Dungeon mag) and rescued an old woman's lost dog from an ogre in a cave. I let her do 1 thing per round, we 'knocked the ogre out' and returned the dog to the old woman. All in less than an hour.

We've played a few times since. I think I managed to plant a seed.

I like what the OP mentioned- sounds like a great way to get a kid into the game.

Jason Nelson 20 wrote:

In a lot of ways, I'm much more traditional (though years ago my 1st Ed campaign did foray into the Marvel Universe for adventure arcs including the Darkhold, the Montesi Formula, Dracula, and the Casket of Ancient Winters), though with a lot of politics and intrigue and conversation and historical exploration (divinations are popular in my games) mixed in with powergaming and hacking and slashing. Never been a big anime fan, but love old-school D&D adventures, history, fantasy novels, movies, comics... lots of bits and pieces filter into my games.

I think that's why your stuff throughout the contest appealed to me so much. Rohthang's Rest, In the Bleak Midwinter...that's 1E savory flavor with 3E sensibilitites. Core feel, but fresh. I'd pay for something with your name on it, if that's any measure of how much I liked your material.

Christine, you've managed to find that rare nexus of familiar, unique, original, and accessible.

I'm a core D&D/1st Ed feel gamer, and your stuff has found that tone but strung me along to some fresh ideas. Thanks, and congratulations, whatever the contest's outcome.

NSpicer wrote:
SargonX wrote:
Count? ;)

-down. 5hrs, 4min (EST).

My post comes about a half-hour too late, as Taliesin Holye summed up my point very well in the previous post.

This seems like it's part of a larger adventure. That's how I read the rules for this round.

As a 1-shot encounter, yes, it's very confusing. But it's not a 1-shot.

You're getting one of my votes, Jason.

How do you catch a polar bear?

1. Cut a hole in the ice;

2. Place peas around the perimeter of the hole;

3. When the polar bear bends over to take a pea, kick him in the ice-hole!


Joseph Yerger wrote:

I cast mass, Tasha's Overwhelming Joy. Will DC 22[/QUOTE

I failed my save.

I fail most of my Will saves, come to think of it...

I groaned when serious talk of 4e began. I'd just gotten back into D&D with 3.5 after being out since 1st ed. And I am just as skeptical (though not as cynical) as other "WoTC is a soul-less, capitalist machine" posters. WoTC will never escape that anyway.

Then I started to really listen to the 4e changes and the reasons for those changes.

The changes make sense. They address some clunky and flawed issues of 3.5 gameplay. While I won't enjoy laying out money for new books, I think it will be worth it.

As for the switch-over dynamics:

1. Resistance will be strong. 3rd ed grew with the Internet and online communities that connect gamers and designers. Gamers have a whole wwweb-worth of material that they themselves have contributed to the game. That's tough to say 'goodbye' to.

2. According to ENWorld, there will be WoTC material and the rest is OGL. Everyone will be able to legally use 4e mechanics. That will entice many convert, and make the transition easier (for those who are on the fence).

3. ...and this is strictly my gut reaction after exploring the 4e changes- the D&D learning curve was meant to be flattened in 4e. This will attract new gamers (kids who like the speed and immediacy of Magic or miniature games) but want more of a role-playing experience. Yet 4e is not 'D&D lite' as many might think a change like this often produces.

3.x sought to unify the game mechanics. 4e improves upon that, but with a focus on the gameplay. If it turns out the way the designers at Wizards say it will, it might not be so bad after all.

magdalena thiriet wrote:

2. Personally my style is to go for rather mundane, non-epic style, keeping it simple, so some of the more outlandish entries do alienate me. And as I don't care for epic gaming, making entry suitable for 1-14 level gaming is a huge plus.
But I still demand that "wow, this is great!" feeling so skillfully done less imaginative entry still loses to fun idea (I think this cost the ogre mage my vote). But mileages do vary, obviously.

The 'simple' is where my sensibilities are too. Your point is well stated- I debate between the 'wow' factor and the 'I'd use this tomorrow' factor.

magdalena thiriet wrote:

4. Well, this is a community. I and others have been throwing around content, house rules etc here before, and this gives quite concentrated area for such thing (maybe too concentrated, I haven't had energy to comment on several country entries etc...)

...and with this contest, ideas are bound by structure and requirements, as opposed to someone who posts in any ol' thread an idea for a country to get some feedback. It's being judged in this thread- pretty cool.

I see the 'wannabe' posts as the undercard, with the remaining contestants as the premier bouts.

I'm not a fan of reality TV shows (though I did watch a season of Last Comic Standing), this contest has me checking this board several times a day.

Questions, observations, musings…

1.Contestants now have a portfolio: Are voters looking at each round exclusive of the others, or are voters weighing the contestants’ work in former rounds? The ‘country’ and ‘villain’ rounds were comprehensive and revealing in terms of each contestant’s abilities.

2. Stylistic decisions: Are the contestants writing for the audience, or just trying to write the best piece they can for that round? Do what gets votes or go for what you do best and hope that puts you through? It seems that the core, traditional swords and sorcery ideas are losing out to more alien, far-out, let’s-stretch-the-imagination ideas. What are voters looking for- the fresh take on a traditional theme (such as Joe Outzen’s Kotalya villain entry) or the new and imaginative (like Boomer’s Cackling Whirlwind)?

3. The celebrity judges: Reading the comments of these gaming professionals is enlightening, to say the least. Each seems to view the entries from a particular standpoint: Wolfgang Baur sees them primarily through a DM’s eye, Clark Peterson as a player, and Erik Mona as a writer/editor. Not exclusively, of course, and the judges’ comments show they consider every aspect of each entry. But these ‘leanings’ are neat.

4. Cool or un-cool? Some who are eliminated have posted their entry to be judged by the message board. Is this anyone’s chance to be critiqued, or does this take away from what the remaining contestants have accomplished?

5. I could not do this: Even if I had half the talent and knowledge of the top 32, I don’t think I could produce the quality ideas the winners have produced given the time constraints )oh, gawd the time constraints), word limit and scrutiny. That's pressure, man.

By the way, congrats to the Top 32 and subsequent winners. And thanks- you’re all providing a boatload of ideas and inspiration to this audience.

I like the 'simple yet deep' approach. Sure, a class-leveled evil conqueror. But there is so much to work with here- and it's ready-made. Just add water.*

*pun intended

She's evil, she's creepy, she's a pitiful creature in a way. The name fits the character (or a DM can easily change it to reflect the campaign's flavor). A great villain for a dark story-driven game.

It doesn't ring 'D&D' to me, though. Not as a party nemesis. Having your PCs following around pregnant women all the time ain't the makings for a glorious adventuring career.

I love the idea, but his CR doesn't match up with the kind of adventures I'd have a 15th level party handling. He's pulling a lot of strings from behind the scenes, but that means a DM has to create a LOT of plot that doesn't put he and the PCs face to face very often.

I'm on the fence: do I vote for an idea I can work with, or vote on the basis of a ready-to-go villian that is the whole package- story, coolness, hooks and all.

I think I just answered my own question.

I'm of the same mind as the previous 2 posters and Grimcleaver. Here's a villian who basically works for someone (something) else. Do the PCs expose him as false, with his 'conversions' being mental dominations? Do the PCs destroy him and the other priests, and run the risk of religious persecution route?

Again, maybe its the unfamiliarity with the psionics, but I can't see running this guy, or his scheme.

If the judges are looking for strong, original, knowledgeable fantasy writing, though, this qualifies as a strong entry.

Grimcleaver wrote:
Metamagic rods feels arcane, and civilized. Her stuff feels too much like it's for utility and not enough like it's for flavor. It'd be nice to have seen some stuff that was a load more savage and awful.

That is my only sticking point with this submission. Keep it swampy, icky and slimy.

The layout is confusing, but that isn't what I'm looking at- heck, I don't have to edit you!

Sure, the overall motivations can be cliche', as some have said, but I think a well-executed cliche' is very useful- plenty of room for the creative use of NPCs, minions, red herrings, and there's a sense of simplicity and familiarity. That makes her easy to use in a game and build a story around.

I've read 6 so far and this has one of my votes...at this point.

This concept is a one-trick pony. Unless the PCs are the rich and powerful that she targets, how do I use this villain in my campaign? "People all over town are missing hands...find and stop this menace!" I don't think that cuts it as CR 15 encounters or stories.

A band of thieves and assassins secretly led by a nightmare? Awesome, but should have dozens of hooks, motivations and schemes. That's a big hole in this submission (and this round).

Writing that drips with flavor.

Gutsy submission for regarding the format, concept, and psionics.

A DM has to do a little work to use it in a campaign, creating hooks and motivations that tie the villian into the story.

Poem drew me in- I'm a Boomer fan because of writing like this.

Mothman wrote:
I like gritty, really evil villains who do horrible and evil things … but, I’m not sure that such things are always appropriate for published games, and I have major doubts on topical, emotional, evil and modern real life things like suicide bombings being introduced to my game. I think this is just a little bit too real and topical at the moment.

Ditto. There are enough fantastical things to do in gaming without bringing in a borderline tasteless element.

Find another way to have the ghoul eat the flesh of the holy-men he's off'ed.

Look at the 'writing exercise' thread here. Others are posting their 'entries' there for critique and just for kicks. I imagine that there will be a thread for each round's wannabes.

Mothman wrote:

Cool! I look forward to seeing it - hope some others will post theres as well.

I will try to post by the end of the week. The reason I didn't enter is because I've been too swamped with work and life stuff. Even if I was fortunate to advance into round 2, there's no way I could meet those deadlines- pressure!

I love your 'entry', Mothman. It has a definite feel to it...a taste, even. Its like Lemony Snicket's world meets D&D- I love the medieval/industrial feel to it. You made no mention of dominant races or racial conflict. The world seems so bleak and hopeless that racial differences are trumped by misery. Love it. Cool, original situations for a DM to use immediately in a game. Unique idea without being weird or unplayable.

This would be in my top 5 had it had been in this round.

And yes, I like the DM secrets as you have them. More...interactive that way.

Dungeon #146, Russel Brown's The Muster of Morach Tor is a 4th level adventure set in the Evermoors. I love the North and Nesme', where the adventure begins. This adventure has a classic D&D feel to it also.

Effect. Cause and effect.

Effect is a noun..."something that is produced by an agency or cause; result; consequence".

Affect is a verb..."to act on; produce an effect or change in:".

I'm an advocate of the smaller arcs connected to form one complete 1-20 in a generic/default D&D world.

That said, if I could have an AP wish come true, it would be set in a Norse world with some dips into more temperate and underground locales for variety.

Forgotten Realms- rich history, depth of the politics and ecology, level of detail, I love the mix of medieval grit and fantasy magic.

My second favorite would go to George RR Martin's world of the Song of Ice and Fire series- the Westeros. Mmmm, savory...

Dungeon 133, 'Ill Made Graves', by Kevin Carter. Classic D&D feel.

The speculation is fun. A few thoughts:

1. Yes, the economics of a product are a consideration.

2. The impetus for creating any of the new editions was to organize revamped rules and errata. Once there's enough to demand (by necessity, really) a whole new PH and DMG.

3. Classes stay, but as previous posters have mentioned, with much more customization. Base class + various options at each level, as with what are termed 'substitution' levels now. ipods, myspace, blogs, on-demand TV...this is the 'customize' era. D&D will reflect that. Who needs a prestige class when you can build a character with those qualities/skills/feats PLUS any others you choose. Go ahead and build your mounted, charging, spell-casting paladin (as opposed to a formal paladin/sorcerer/cavalier).

4. The tech tie-in at its launch. 4e will be very comprehensive in terms of its technology, as Kyr posted:

'An orchestrated simultaneous launch with: a series of novels, a computer game, and a movie (TV show) in the setting, would probably be the minimum to launch a setting with the kind of momentum required to really reinvigorate the game - and get a lot of new people into the game and elevate it popularity to the next level.'

Why dismiss anything? The dry-erase battlemat becomes a table-top interactive 'smartboard', complete with touch-screen menus of tables for quick-reference, downloadable, customizable maps and minis and area of effect templates. Pop in a card and bingo- dungeon map with multiple levels and secret doors at the touch of a pen (stylus). Table-top touch-screen technology. Those big, heavy rulebooks with hundreds of bookmarks? Bye-bye. Touch-screen PHB.

Sound far-fetched? I'm a HS teacher, and my classroom an 'interactive whiteboard' instead of a chalkboard. Many of you have probably seen them. I put up a PowerPoint presentation and use programmable buttons to open other programs, saved websites, etc. and I'm thinking, 'boy, this has some D&D applications!'

5. No computer die-roller, though. Gotta use real dice. Forever.

Well, the query is off to Dragon and I feel great. Time to reload...

Thanks for the words, gang.



I'm sending in my first set of queries to Dragon. Do you feel like I do when you compose a query? As I'm writing it I find myself thinking, 'yes! These are creative, unique, and chock-full o' info for players and DMs alike. There is no way the editors won't like these!'

Am I setting myself up for disappointment? (I think I know the answer...)


Thanks for the prompt attention, I appreciate it!

September issuse, I believe. I teach, so school and coaching began and my gaming took a hiatus. Finally getting around to this now. Can I still get one? It was in the middle of my subscription.

Thanks for your attention.

Daughter, 5; Son, 2. Daughter was way into princess and make-believe and knights, so I did what any good D&D parent would do- roll up a character with her, gave her some cool spells and equipment and a mini and we played. Her character and my DMPC had to save a kidnapped dog from an ogre in a cave. Surprised her with 2 wolves on the way. I kept the rules very simple, fudged a few rolls and we had a blast.

Planting the seeds...

I draw from similar inspirations like several above posters. George RR Martin's series A Song of Ice and Fire is also wonderful- many characters, medieval sound to them, various cultures. He likes to take a common name and tweak it to sound archaic (or D&D-ish): Tommen, Gregor, Eddard, Davos (Tom, Greg, Edward, Dave). Neat idea'r.

Dragon Editors,

What is the policy on updating 1st and 2nd ed modules? What about expanding 'sample encounters' from a sourcebook (ie Hordes of the Abyss) into a full-blown adventure? I'm not asking you to condone plagarism, of course. But what is acceptable?

What most posters are saying about the lack of prep time is true. Remember to make time for yourself, just like your wife should for herself (hopefully some new grandparents will be around to help you out with that!). My playing time is down to about 3 hrs each Thursday night, but it is MY time. The other 21hrs, 6 days of the week will belong to your newborn.

You may also want to check out playing via an online/play by post/chatroom campaign, through rpol(dot)net or somesuch. No travel time, you're still at home and can get together a decent gaming group. I wasn't optimistic about the online game at first, but it was the best solution for the family situation. Email me if you want more info about it. rjjr(at)yahoo

Congrats, by the way!

Me (DM) 34
Group: 4 players, all late 20s, early 30s

We play via OpenRPG each week and use a forum to keep the game going during the week. Myself and two others have a similar pattern of D&D playing: played as a young teen, game lost out to other interests in late HS and college; came back to gaming in late 20s (30 for me); trying to balance gaming and family and work and...

I actually found out about all the different editions to D&D through the Baldur's Gate computer game. That rekindled a spark and now I cannot imagine not playing.