Magic: the Gathering – EDH (Commander) – Heartless Hidetsugu

Heartless HidetsuguI love playing casual EDH (commander) with my friends, primarily because of all the janky, stupidly, amazing things you can do with the nearly unlimited pool of cards available.  Being singleton format makes this difficult – no playsets of anything – only one of each card (except basic land).  I’ve been running Tymaret, the Murder King recently and had lots of fun, but I was thinking of building a Voltron-esque commander deck last night and, whilst browsing through my Legendary Creatures, came across Heartless Hidetsugu.

This card is particularly hilarious, because it’s capable of insta-killing all opponents and ending the game in one swing.

Imagine this scenario – Heartless Hidestsugu can be tapped to deal half life total damage to all players, rounded down.  Combine that with a card like Dictate of the Twin Gods, which doubles damage, and we have a scenario where all players lose 100% life in one shot.

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Note-oriety, or, the Benefit to the Dungeon Master of Keeping Extensive Campaign Notes


Dragon by Symatt

For my second session (read about the first here) I initially attempted to get the group back on track somewhat. Despite them initially siding with the kobolds, after an attempt to loot the already looted town, they decided to head to the keep. This involved an amusing betrayal of their new kobold allies. Drenched in kobold blood, they showed up at the keep. This was good for me as in retrospect I had been keeping very few notes, and the closer to the module they kept the easier it was to recall what they had done later.

Note: a very minor Hoard of the Dragon Queen spoiler ahead… Continue reading

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Creating a sense of Immersion in Roleplaying Games

Jacques Linard - The Five Senses and the Four ElementsWe have previously talked about using all the major senses in your roleplaying game – that is, referring to the sounds, smells, describing the way something feels etc. in order to expand the impact of your narrative and pull your players into your game. But why stop at description? Perhaps there’s ways you can bring the different senses to the table in real, tangible form? Can we use the senses to create a much more immersive experience by adding physical elements to the gaming table? Continue reading

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D&D: Rewarding Creativity in your Players

.pngThe best feature of a pen-and-paper roleplaying game, over an MMO or other more structured game, is the ability to be creative. But DMs vary significantly in how creative they allow their players to be, often through concerns about the letter of the rules, or creating imbalances. Here’s some thoughts on how to open things up a bit without breaking your game.

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Enter the Dragons


Dragon by Symatt

It has become clearer that the longer I play Dungeons and Dragons and create my own world for future use, the fonder I become of all things draconic. Even the latest Magic: The Gathering expansion is Dragon related. D&D has a nice variety in their dragons, good or bad, and I have been perusing the various wikis and subreddits, combing for more information. If Wizards come out with a Dragonomicon for 5E I will be all over it like a red dragon on a pile of gold.

Dragons, like people, are too often divided by colour. Unlike people, they tend to be defined by their colour. This is a case where you really can judge a book by its cover. They each have their own alignment, preferred habitat and breath weapon. Thankfully, the DM is god, so there’s nothing to stop you from making your blue dragon live in a forest fortress instead of the desert if you so desire. So far though, I prefer to stick to the stereotypes as written. Continue reading

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Terry Pratchett Passes Away

terry-pratchettIt is with great sadness that we learn today of the passing of Sir Terry Pratchett, well loved author of the Discworld series of fantasy novels. Pratchett, who has been suffering with Alzheimers has finally succumbed to this affliction at age 66. Pratchett has been a huge influence to all of us at Dice of Doom. In particular his characters of The Night Watch have been so memorable and important to us. Many of our roleplaying campaigns have had ‘Pratchettian’ elements to them. It is hard, at times, not to see his great humorous art of story telling shaping the way we around our tables tell our own stories. In a very personal way, he has changed our lives for the better. Continue reading

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Magic: the Gathering – Tiny Leaders

Thassa, God of the SeaMy group is in the process of preparing for our Gathering the Magic tournament, which is the main way we celebrate each new release – a fatpack draft event where we create 60-card decks from our boxes and smash them against each other to see who wins. The prize is an additional, extra-super-duper-shiny new fatpack.

Now… after the fatpack challenge we normally follow it up with other random games. Sometimes we run massive multiplayer commander matches late into the night. Sometimes we run tribal themed decks and see what kind of constructed mayhem we can raise. This time, however, we’re going to try the relatively new Tiny Leaders format.

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You gotta have faith…

dwarven cleric by symatt

Artwork by Symatt

When I started creating my first character for Dungeons & Dragons I quickly settled on a dwarven fighter. For some reason dwarves were my favourite, images of warhammers, armour and quaffing copious amounts of ale just seemed right up my alley. As for the class choice, well I prefer to have my dwarves casting from a mold, not casting spells. When I got the opportunity to join another campaign, I decided on trying out one of the caster classes for a change. Continue reading

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Running a Roleplaying Game at Work

I have a confession to make. For the past 2 years I have been playing role-playing games at work. It all started rather unexpectedly. I was heading to lunch when I noticed that someone who I vaguely knew reading a fantasy novel which happened to have been used as a setting in a roleplaying game. While making small talk I mentioned this fact to him. Lo and behold, it just turns out he is a passionate role-player. For months afterwards we had awkward conversations about our weekend games and the genres we both enjoy. We often closed these conversations with “You know, we really should put together a game here at work.” Now, for me, this was one of those “Yeah, might be fun, but I’m not sure I really want to do it” sort of things. But suddenly this acquaintance of mine announces that he has spoken with several other people and they’re all keen.

“How about you GM for us next Wednesday?” Continue reading

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Help us build our next Campaign World

help-us-create-our-campaign-worldThis last weekend I came to a sudden and awful realisation: I hated the campaign that I had spent hours and hours creating and had just started with my group. I couldn’t bring myself to prepare for the weekend’s session. I dreaded having to run yet another game in that world. This loathing of the setting that I had put lots of precious spare time into led to massive writer’s block. The group were assembling in front of me around the table and I had nothing prepared… Continue reading

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