Dice of Doom Podcast 009: DDI Character Generator Online, Dragon Age, Dealing With Absent Players

Dice of Doom PodcastThis week we discuss the move of D&D Insider’s Character Generator to the web which allows Mac users and Linux users to access this excellent tool. We also discuss our experiences playing Dragon Age and our thoughts on the system. For our main discussion we look at dealing with absent players. Frequently groups will experience missing players from the gaming table. How the party deals with this can have a significant impact on the campaign, the game and the players involved. We look at ways to handle this often common situation.

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About RupertG

RupertG has been playing roleplaying games ever since he discovered Dragon Warriors at the age of 12. Since those days he has played many different RPG's, collected not insignificant Dwarf and Tomb Kings armies for Warhammer Fantasy Battles and even worked as a games designer in the heady days of the late 90's building a CCG. Now he runs a gaming blog and is a participant in the Grand Gaming Experiment
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  • lightning

    Talking about getting a weapon knocked out of a hand reminds me of my first character that i actually ever played with. He was a drow ranger and carried like 6 different swords 10 hand crossbows 2 heavy cross bows 20 daggers and everything was considered disposable

    • http://diceofdoom.com RupertG

      Yeah, I remember doing that too… :)

  • lightning

    and my favorite method of dealing with a missing player is the characters best friend’s player plays the character or the players best friend plays the character

    • http://diceofdoom.com RupertG

      We’ve used that method in the past too to some success recently. We had two players who were playing twins. When one couldn’t play, the other twin would take over.

    • lightning

      I always love playing a character with someone when our characters have some sort of previous relationship it makes for interesting roleplaying

    • Anonymous

      Much like our last D&D 4E campaign. Marmadoc had a sister. They had the whole love/hate thing going on. Lots of fun. Two other characters were also siblings – a much more convivial relationship. Yet they were somewhat aloof, mystical. We all came from the same little village, so I wrote a history of playing practical jokes on them. It made for some interesting RP.

    • lightning

      In one campaign i played me and another guy did twin dwarf brothers. He used a war pick i used a 2 handed maul and we killed lots of things and we never ventured more than like 20 feet from each other lol

    • http://www.tamsinhowse.com Miss T

      As one of the players who was one of the twins, we set it up pretty well. The other player knows the rules very well, which I don’t, so we complimented each other as players well, but we also kept our characters very tightly knit and picked all our stats as complimentary (we were both Wizards), what one couldn’t do the other (almost) always could.

      While it worked very well, I do feel we were cheating the system a little bit.

    • http://diceofdoom.com RupertG

      That’s not really cheating, it’s story based application of min/max’ing :)

      But in all seriousness, there’s nothing wrong with that sort of story driven character creation. While you did make selections for your characters based on complimentary considerations, that sort of thing creates a very memorable type of experience for the players.

    • http://diceofdoom.com RupertG

      That’s not really cheating, it’s story based application of min/max’ing :)

      But in all seriousness, there’s nothing wrong with that sort of story driven character creation. While you did make selections for your characters based on complimentary considerations, that sort of thing creates a very memorable type of experience for the players.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not finished with the podcast yet, but a note on the character generator: I expect the reason that Wizards didn’t use HTML5 is because there’s no protection from their code being stolen. ‘View Source’ suddenly allows anyone to hack up the editor to their liking — while you or I might like this, I can imagine Wizards, in paying someone to generate the program for them, does not. I’ve heard this argument about a comic that uses flash and the artist says: “I don’t want it to be that easy for someone to steal my work.”

    Also, if it truly does ask you “What would you like to do? Would you like to strike or lead?” Then I hate it. It furthers the WoW-ification of D&D, which I still think is a terrible idea. Further, why can only some classes “be the leader”? That’s idiotic — why can’t a rogue be “a leader”? I hate this classification of the classes — they are already classified! *rage rage rage*

    • http://diceofdoom.com RupertG

      There are ways to protect your source code with HTML 5. The main issue that you are referring to is the protection of media content, which is more problematic. Videos and images are easily stolen from HTML 5 sites, so that could be a consideration with the design, true. Being the open minded kind of guy that I am, I hadn’t even considered that…

      They do put you through the ‘what kind of character do you want to be’ step in development, but it’s not as bad as we might have first feared. We’ll have a review up in the next day or two that will cover those sorts of things.

    • http://diceofdoom.com RupertG

      There are ways to protect your source code with HTML 5. The main issue that you are referring to is the protection of media content, which is more problematic. Videos and images are easily stolen from HTML 5 sites, so that could be a consideration with the design, true. Being the open minded kind of guy that I am, I hadn’t even considered that…

      They do put you through the ‘what kind of character do you want to be’ step in development, but it’s not as bad as we might have first feared. We’ll have a review up in the next day or two that will cover those sorts of things.

    • lightning

      I classified all the classes the first time i looked at d&d rules.

      Rangers = op
      Rouges = aite
      wizards = baller
      everything else = ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh kinda pointless

      Thats just my opinion and yes i can support it and i know that my views to the classes are very skewd and 99.99999999999999999999999999% of people probably disagree with them.

      But the point is you cant not classify the classes in some way even if its mental

    • Anonymous

      There’s a difference between mentally classifying the classes beyond their name and encoding it into the rules. “This is a Defender character” says to me that if I am ‘defending’ with a non-Defender character, I am playing the game incorrectly.

      Sure codified rules abound in 4E (and all those previous), but when Wizards try to tell me how to play my character, I respectfully (and oftentimes disrespectfully) disagree.

    • lightning

      Ok yeah wizards shouldnt tell anyone how to play their character. Otherwise you cant have a priest whose class is actually ranger or any other wierd thing that i want to do where i make the characters class ranger