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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My First Dungeon Mastering Mistake, Or, The Unexpected Virtue of Backgrounds

hoard of the dragon queen coverI am new to tabletop roleplaying games. Despite a lifelong love of games of all kinds, I only just picked up playing D&D with the release of 5e. Dungeons and Dragons always interested me, and I was looking for an opportunity to play. Luckily, when 5e rolled around, several friends gained an interest in trying it out, so we roped in RupertG to DM a group of new, inexperienced players. It was clear from the outset that this game was easily as fun as I’d hoped, and I like to think we didn’t frustrate our experienced DM too much with our amateur tomfoolery. [ed: they didn’t]

After some fun sessions it became clear this was an itch that would require a belt sander, so in addition to the game we were currently in, we started 2 other games, both to cater for others left out of the RupertG run campaign, and also just to get in more games than our conflicting schedules allow. I am a player in one of them, a campaign that began with the Lost Mine of Phandelver starting set, and the DM of the other, which is using the Hoard of the Dragon Queen module. The reasons I chose this can be summed up as follows: 1) I love dragons, and, 2) this has ‘Dragon’ in the title. Since I haven’t finished creating a (dragon filled) world of my own, I figured this module would be a good place to start my foray into the Mastery of Dungeons. Continue reading

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Magic: the Gathering weekend at the beach

ProgenitusWe’re away at the beach and we invited friends to join us for a weekend of gaming and beach shenanigans. I won’t talk about the beach, since this blog is about gaming, but I will talk about what my group was doing in Magic: The Gathering.  The weekend went well for me, with my Modern format Red Deck Wins defeating all who tried.  All up, it had six wins and zero losses.  It’s a tweaked version of the Standard format ‘Turn 3’ deck I posted a couple of weeks ago.  The problem with the deck has nothing to do with performance and everything to do with fun – or lack of it, in this case.  Red Wins is a pretty much purely mathematic exercise in maximising damage output using as little mana as possible and ending the game as early as possible.  There are ways to counter it, but in general I prefer mid-range games which allow all players to have a chance to play their decks.  It’s more fun (and educational) to play longer games and to see how other players construct their decks.

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On Identity in Roleplaying: A Rumination on the Self, the Other and Socially Mediated Ethics

How much does one play oneself in a roleplaying game? In my experience I have come to understand that the answer is “quite a lot.” For the majority of characters, there are identifiable bits of your inner self which you bring out and play with. This is the kind of thing which happens when your friends around the gaming table begin to notice you playing the same type of characters over and over again. Continue reading

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D&D: Shaking bad habits out of new players

dungeons_and_dragons_40_ampersand_flat_thumb.pngI’ve been running a game where all the players are D&D noobs. But most of them have played MMOs, other computer RPGs, or even have read D&D novels, and some of this comes with some bad habits that need shaking once they play the real thing. So what are some of the more problematic bad habits that you will encounter?

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[Modern] Budget Boros (~$40 Magic: the Gathering deck)

SilenceWoah, there, wooooooah. Slow down. That’s better. Much better.

Lately, I’ve been playing against a lot of fairly quick decks filled with enchantments/instants/sorceries and getting swarmed with 4/4 angels (Luminarch Ascension). While I would normally just exile or destroy the enchantment, they protect them with shroud (Greater Auramancy) – making it impossible to target or remove the spell. How, then can I slow my opponent down enough to get fatal damage through? By slowing down their spellcasting! I’ve chosen to use Boros for this, rather than a Blue/Red counterspell/control/burn theme.

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