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AICN TABLETOP: BATTLESTAR GALACTICA!! EXCLUSIVE LOOK AT THE NEW DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS CHARACTER BUILDER!! FULL FRONTAL NURDITY!!

Published at: Nov. 14, 2008, 8:20 a.m. CST by merrick


Hola all. Massawyrm here.

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: THE BOARD GAME

I don’t have cable. Seriously. The last time I had cable I remember thinking “Hey, I wonder if that new Ari$$ show is any good?” So, no. I have never watched the new Battlestar Galactica. And yes, my friends have all told me how awesome it is. But if I can’t get it with rabbit ears it isn’t something I’m apt to see. Which is kind of where I find the time to write 2000 word columns on tabletop wargaming, not to mention the time to play them. So when I sat down to play Fantasy Flight Games newBattlestar Galactica The Board Game for the first time, I had very little knowledge of the show – which is very much a part of the game (but fortunately not one required to enjoy it.) The game was pretty highly anticipated in fan circles. When FFG dropped a number of these at Gencon earlier this year, they sold out immediately and their price (of the few people were willing to let go of) in online auctions shot upwards of $200 a piece. The game streets for $50. Well, this week it is finally out and it is pretty much a MUST for boardgame fans. BSG is a cooperative social strategy game. The premise of it is simple. You play a member of the crew of the Galactica as do all of your counterparts, and you must work together to solve crisis after crisis that befalls the ill fated ship. Your objective is to complete a number of jumps and reach your final destination before you run out of resources. Trouble is, at least one of the players is secretly a cylon interloper who is secretly sabotaging skill checks and making decisions that could directly result in the loss of fuel, population food and water. But who’s the cylon? Who keeps blowing skill rolls? And did Harry just decide to avoid the skill check because he’s an idiot, or because he’s working for them? If the Galactica makes its final jump, the humans win. If they run out of resources beforehand – the Cylons do. The result is a paranoid “He’s a cylon! No SHE is!” that feels like a cross between NUCLEAR WAR and, well, PARANOIA. Deals are made, kibitzing occurs and no one knows who to trust. And it’s a pretty damned good time. >You can check out a basic video explaining the concepts and showcasing the game here. If you’re a tabletop boardgame player and BSG fan, this should be pretty high on your list of things to get. This is also great for fans of cooperative play who delight in social manipulation and treacherous play. This one’s gonna get a lot of play here at the casa.

DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS CHARACTER BUILDER

This is the one the naysayers and the haters aren’t going to believe. It is counter to their entire argument; a product so cool, so consumer friendly and so all encompassing that it makes it very difficult to argue that it is the product of a money grubbing, corporate entity interested only in your pocketbook. How could a simple character builder be that kind of product? Let me lay it out for you. I’ve played with it, I love it. And I CANNOT WAIT for the full beta to be ready and available. And just this past week I got to sit down for half an hour with one of the developers and pick his brain about what is to come. Eight years ago, when you bought your copy of the Players Handbook (PHB), it came with a Demo CD of the Character Generator – a neat program that allowed you to quickly and easily build characters using the rules available in the PHB. It was part of a proposed series of programs called MASTER TOOLS. And it is one of the most infamous boondoggles in gaming history. Master Tools was ultimately never released, replaced with the all too quickly slapped together E-TOOLS that was never half as good as its free, online, open source predecessor PC-GEN. Having learned from their mistakes on the last outing, special care has been taken this time around, and a very tech savvy group of gamers have come up with a way to make it. The Character Builder is the very first application in the promised Digital Initiative (or DI) – a series of computer based tools to expand the gaming experience. As of right now there are three major proposed tools. The Character Builder, the Character Modeler and the Virtual Tabletop. Once completed these applications will be the trifecta of your D&D experience. Kicking it off, the Character Builder is exactly what it sounds like. It is a program that lets you make a character very quickly, very easily, and get this…without the need of a book. Thus begins what makes the CB so damned cool. As you click through making your selections, beginning with race then moving to class – each and every choice is offered with full detail. You click on dragonborn and on the side of the screen is the stat block taken right out of the book. The entire entry including artwork of the race all the way down to suggested racial names are offered for your perusal. Don’t know which race to play yet? Just toggle through and compare. Now do the same with classes. Every last scrap of info is there. But wait. What is that? Genasi? Warforged? Swordmage? Those aren’t in the PHB. And that’s where this goes from being a handy tool to one of the single most inventive, brilliant, borderline batshit crazy ideas I’ve ever seen a major gaming company do. Once this thing is fully operational, the character builder will be updated monthly to include EVERY SINGLE WOTC BOOK. Forgotten realms, Eberron, every last issue of Dragon and Dungeon magazine. Everything. The books come out on the third Tuesday of the month, and their hope is to have the CB updated the very next Tuesday. Every available book will be at your disposal as a player. Remember that stupid idea they floated about needing product numbers from the back of the book? They’ve scrapped that. If you’re paying for the DI, you have access to it all. Hold on. I know what you’re thinking. Sure, Wyrm, it’s available during character creation. But you’re still going to need the books to play with those abilities, unless you copy it all down by hand. Nope. You know how the last page of the current character sheets contain power cards for you to write down all the numbers and wording? Well how cool would it be if when you printed out your CB character sheet, it also printed those cards for you, complete with all the math filled in and the word for word description from the book? Yeah. It does that. You choose your race, your class, set up your stats and go through the normal process of character creation. But CB fills in all the blanks. You choose which at will powers you have and CB has filled in the math, as well as shown all its work (in case there are in-game questions), and it explains everything and anything that needs explaining. If you choose a feat that adds +1 to all of your electricity attacks, CB is going to add that in for you. Making the process even smoother is that CB removes any and all irrelevant choices. When you go to select feats, only those feats which you qualify for will be available. Thinking of multi-classing? Only the multiclass feats that your stats allow will show up. And the format is indicative of having been crafted by players. Feats are presented in toggle switch categories like class feats, racial feats, weapon proficiencies, etc. It even offers suggestions based upon your race and class to help beginners notice some optimized feats. The speed at which you can generate a new character is incredible. This weekend I had WotC freelancer (and my current DM) Ari Marmell over for our weekly game and we went from concept to printout in under five minutes – creating a Gnoll Paladin of an evil god complete with equipment. Leveling up has never been easier. Click the level up button, choose the level you’re up to and it will tell you what is available to you at this level. Not to mention once again plugging in all the appropriate numbers from hit points to all of your new skill modifiers. It also affords the ability to create house rules for your own campaign and stipulates on the sheet whether the sheet is PHB legal or houseruled (for use in pickup games and RPGA events.) So if your group has a modified rule set or been involved in so sort of reward that has given you a free feat or a stat bump, the creator can compensate. Everything is here. Equipment, magic items, rituals. If it exists for a character in a book, it’s ready for you to put it on your character. There are even a number of tools that allow you complete control over how your character sheet prints out, including a space saving horizontal format for players with limited table edge space. You can even go in and unlock all of the stat blocks and move them around to order them to your taste. If you’re like me and don’t like the Attack or Damage workspace on the front of the sheet, movie it. Or hell, delete it entirely. CB will let you. This is especially perfect for the DM that wants to keep track of certain stats and defenses of yours, without needing an entire character sheet. Just print him up one with everything he wants. All three of the applications from the DI are designed to work together – at least to a certain degree. The Character Modeler, for example, is designed to plug right into the CB. Make your characters appearance with the modeler and the image can port right onto your character sheet. And the character and model plugs right into the Virtual Tabletop. Each application will be housed and run on your own system rather than being web based applications, so you can use them without always needing internet access. You’ll still need internet access to update the builder, but running off of a laptop at your lame, wifi-lacking buddies place won’t prevent you from making a new character. It also affords a real time character sheet that you can type in and modify if you’re a laptop loving player. Keep track of hit points, healing surges and power use without harming a single tree. The CB is currently in a limited beta and will soon be opened up to a full closed beta. Following that will be an open beta and the plan is to be fully up and running at its full operational capacity by the release of PHB 2 (which is currently slated for March.) Once it is it will be available as part of the D&D Insider subscription – which is digital Dragon and Dungeon magazine articles (bundled together as a PDF at the end of the month) and access to all of the DI tools. This marks the beginning of a great trend. This thing is exceptionally player friendly, loaded with so many bells and whistles that few will end up using them all. But most importantly, it is moving towards offering a digital bookshelf to players, offering something to them and further expanding the way WotC can deliver new content. The character creation and leveling up experience just got quicker, easier and more enjoyable. This app changes everything. It delivers on an eight year old promise in every way we had hoped for. I CANNOT wait for the full beta. Dear god, I cannot wait. Until next time friends, smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em. Massawyrm
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Readers Talkback

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  • Nov. 14, 2008, 8:19 a.m. CST

    yessss

    by TiNSeLToWN TeRRoR

    coolness

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 8:27 a.m. CST

    BSG-The Blowdryer

    by redfist

    get your pre ordered at amazon.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 8:45 a.m. CST

    Third! Massawyrm's lack of cable or satellite makes...

    by Leafar the Lost

    ...culturally retarded. It really does. Also, he won't be able to watch free TV when the government ends that next year. Have you got your converter box yet, Massawyrm? Your review have some flaws. First, I can't believe that you have never seen Battlestar Galactica. I really can't believe that someone who regularly writes reviews for AICN has never seen the show. It is one of the best TV shows currently on air, and I don't mean just in the Sci/Fi category. I would argue that it is the best Sci/Fi TV shows of all time. I think that having cable or satellite is a neccessity, unless you are some right-wing idiot redneck who lives in a trailor somewhere and f's his cousin. As far as the DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS CHARACTER BUILDER, I am not that much of a geek.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 9:48 a.m. CST

    hmm - sounds like it may help bring me back to D&D

    by VAwitch

    pity it probably won't work well w/ v3.5, which is what most people are still playing. But it is nice that I, the very occasional player, don't *need* to by the PHB, simply read up on what's changed from my 3.5books to v4. <P><P> BSG game looks interesting; may be a great holiday present.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 9:59 a.m. CST

    A Hole Nutha Level of Dork

    by Baron Karza

    16 sides of dice were not enough.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 9:59 a.m. CST

    creating magic items?

    by jamestewart007

    How does creating magical items work with the builders? Is there a list of every single combination? Or do you have to build them as well? How is creating multiple character sheets?

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 10:11 a.m. CST

    Is this only available via subscription to Insider?

    by Eyegore

    Because if so then no thanks. D&D insider is a huge rip-off, and has already show itself to be this generation's 'most infamous boondoggle of gaming' in that it was promised to be fully functional when the PHB was released, and it's still not, even with the approach of PHB2 (which in itself is pretty outrageous as it's been what? six months since PHB1??). D&D4E is all about the wizard's of the coast epic money grab. Whatever merits the new system have are buried under this greedy top-layer based on the idea that if people will pay $15 per month for world of warcraft, they should be paying that much to wizards as well, and that in my opinion is one whacked out expectation on their part that can never be justified.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 10:19 a.m. CST

    And yeah, no cable TV? WTF?

    by Eyegore

    Massawyrm, you need to check yourself, seriously. Never seen Battlestar Galactica? That's insane. You could at least download the episodes and get with the current culture that you address with your articles. Saying things like 'I don't have cable TV and never saw Battlestar Galactica' is not something to be proud of, and really hurts any credibility you might have as an entertainment reporter.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 10:52 a.m. CST

    Massa's D&D articles got me to GM for the first time

    by dastickboy

    I've roleplayed for about the last 15years, and for periods on and off before that, and never had I GM'ed just due to the fact that I found it all a bit intimidating. After reading the D&D4.0 articles by Massawyrm the ease of use really piqued my interest, and I can safely say that Massa has been right on the money. Everything in the books are laid out in a straight-forward manner but without sacrificing depth. Rules and concepts are kept together, if they are spread across different sections in the books then the page numbers are referenced. I'm playing with a group that have been roleplaying together even longer than I've been a part of the circle and this system has re-invigorated their interest in playing. And now this character builder is total wish fulfillment on my part, I was looking for programs or excel sheets that would carry out this work and it seems like WOTC read my mind! My only concern is the subscription required.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 10:56 a.m. CST

    A Life Without BSG

    by My Mom Is A Whore

    You poor, poor man.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 10:56 a.m. CST

    Also...

    by dastickboy

    I'm not sure I agree with the WOTC money-grab conspiracy. The PHB, the Starter set - even the 1st level adventure Keep on the Shadowfell all give you enough detail to run games without need additional collateral. If WOTC were THAT cynical you'd be having to pick up the PHB in episodic volumes and only via their website.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 11:07 a.m. CST

    Thanks, Massawyrm!

    by Archive

    Are they planning on offering an entirely bookless, miniatureless digital package? That would push me over the edge into 4th ed, most definitely.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 11:30 a.m. CST

    P.S.

    by Archive

    On Montag, I GM my firtst game in at least four years... Aeon Trinity. I'm very excited.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 12:01 p.m. CST

    Massa, me thinks you're full of it

    by maddox

    You said, "...it makes it very difficult to argue that it is the product of a money grubbing, corporate entity interested only in your pocketbook."<p>...but then you forgot to mention that this incredible character builder costs an ADDITIONAL monthly fee to use (or the DI bundle package that includes an .pdf magazine subscription).<p>The subscription plan to get everything is supposed to cost $15/month. That's $180 a year to use these online services! Also, despite what you insinuate, you are still going to need the books to play. The DI Tabletop will not do anything but let you move models around and roll dice.<p>$40-$?? on books + $15/month = money grubbing, corporate entity interested only in your pocketbook. If I am completely wrong on this, please tell me. I want to believe, but I think you want to believe more than anyone.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 12:40 p.m. CST

    Yes, Maddox. You are wrong.

    by Massawyrm 1

    <p>First of all, I didn't forget to mention that this is part of the subscription. You'll find it towards the end of the article. As to what it is "supposed to cost", no one knows yet. It's all guesswork based upon the statement that it would cost roughly what online gaming costs. You're definitely in what we all think is the right ballpark, but we'll see once everything is up and running.</p> <p>Most importantly, you are wrong on the necessity of books. Subscribing to the DI means having access to everything a player needs to create a character with the ever expanding material. A DM need only have the three core rulebooks and whatever he feels he needs or wants to run his campaign. With the DI he's getting 120 pages of new material a month for that $15 (half a books worth.) If you want to buy a $30 book a month or two like I do - then that's your choice. But it isn't remotely necessary. I would argue that you could run an awesome campaign with only the cores and DI alone.</p> <p>However, if you somehow feel that spending between $15 and $60 a month on your hobby is an outrage, you need to calm down, take a deep breath, and find a new hobby. Or hobbies. Because gaming, movies, and oh yeah, cable television all cost well within, if not beyond, that range. Oh, and stay way the hell away from Warhammer 40K. You couldn't afford it.</p>

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 12:45 p.m. CST

    I'm an older nerd and

    by vaterite

    I haven't played in about fifteen years, and I was curious what WOTC is? This online character creator sounds exceptionally useful. I was trying to explain character creation in gaming to my wife the other day, and I remembered what a pain in the ass is was to die, because we had to pause for half an hour while I created a new character. Of course maybe it annoyed me the most because I seemed to be the one who always died in my games........

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 12:45 p.m. CST

    PS

    by vaterite

    I'll assume this thing doesn't work on macs...

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 12:48 p.m. CST

    He doesn't have a DVD player too

    by performingmonkey

    That would explain why he's never seen Galactica. Fuckerzzz.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 1:08 p.m. CST

    If you want a great board game...

    by Reelheed

    I'd recommend the following:<p> Settlers of Catan, Carcassone, Puerto Rico, Caylus and Agricola.<p> Settlers is a great intro into board gaming. It has a bit of luck and a bit of skill so you get better with each game but newbies always have a chance.<p>

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 1:52 p.m. CST

    Vaterite: WOTC =

    by VAwitch

    Wizards of the Coast. The company that makes the card-game Magic:The Gathering, bought TSR sometime in the mind-90's iirc. WOTC then got bought by...Hasbro I think? <P><P> And as someone who has played some kind of P&P RPG non-stop for 19 years, yea - character creation can be a pain. and tough to explain to a non-gamer. Now, if only Palladium Books would get off their butts & create or authorize a character-builder for their stuff (at least RIFTS).<P><P> Sounds like a good idea, but the cost... may or may not be worth it, for the casual gamer. If "sharing" an account is fairly easy, then perhaps (me & my main co-player/GM splitting cost would be worth it).

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 1:54 p.m. CST

    Yes, Massawyrm, you are wrong...

    by Leafar the Lost

    ...about everything. Why the hell would I pay $15.00 a month for DI when I am already paying it for WoW? This is what WOTC, or Hasbro, is trying to do and it isn't working. It you want to compete with WoW, then make your own massive, multiplayer game and compete. Don't try to turn a pencil & paper role playing game into something it isn't. That is why most of the players are staying with 3.5. They don't like getting ass-raped with DI. You need more than just the 3 core books to play. To get access to other classes you are going to have to buy the upcoming PHB II and other books. So, they want you to buy a $30.00 book every month AND subscribe to DI. No thanks, assholes. I have a life, a job, satellite, and no extra money to piss away on D&D and useless Warhammer games. Take William Shatner's advice and Get a Life, Massawyrm! You are wasting it on D&D...

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 1:59 p.m. CST

    missing out on a golden era of television

    by turketron

    No television? Hey, i can understand that. In the age of the internet, episodes of any popular TV shows can be seen in their entirety, whether by downloading from legitimate services like itunes, or non-legitimate places like blogs (that use services like rapidshare, etc), streaming sites, IRC, or torrents. But you've never been curious to check out BSG? Not even on DVD? This leads me to believe you've never seen other great shows from this generation, which are too numerous to list.<p><p>Weirdly enough there was this redneck guy who called the local talk radio station in Orlando today who talked about how he was totally self sufficient (in preparation for armageddon) and how he didn't use electricity (except by running an extension cord from his neighbors for when he needed to work on his car) and had eaten nothing but turtle and a bit of fish for the past 4 months. To each his own I guess...

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 2:03 p.m. CST

    So now there's a subscription fee?

    by DarthJedi

    Fuck WOTC! Fuck them right in the ear! I will NEVER pay to play anything I've already paid to buy. I can guarantee that WOTC has alienated a large part of their fan base with this decision. D&D pretty much is a lost cause now anyway. I'll stick with 2nd Ed, where I don't have to pay a monthly fee to play. FUCK WOTC!!!!

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 2:34 p.m. CST

    Darth Jedi

    by Massawyrm 1

    WTF are you on about? The subscription fee is for Dungeon & Dragon magazine and the online tools. You no more need a computer and a subscription to play than you a surround sound system to watch movies at home. It simply expands the experience. Nothing more. Take your meds.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 2:54 p.m. CST

    Massa, you are not full of it

    by maddox

    Upon further review, the DI tools are included in the subscription as you say. I was under the impression each tool was an additional fee. I was wrong.<p>P.S. Warhammer 40k is the end-all-be-all. I just never considered I'd be spending as much on D&D as 40k. I know I don't HAVE to spend that $180/year, but no one HAS to play with minis either - yet who doesn't?

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 3:18 p.m. CST

    I'm on about

    by DarthJedi

    there being a subcription service to a piece of software that should be a buy once thing, not rape the customer indefinitely. Typical move by this company. They've done a few cool things (new minis being one) but have overall fucked up what was once a great game and I'm pissed about it like a lot of other people. And what's with that personal shot bro? Did I say anything about you or direct any comment towards you in that post? I'd say take your own advice. But then again, it is AICN.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 3:40 p.m. CST

    Darthjedi -

    by Massawyrm 1

    <p>It wasn't a shot as much as it was a "calm down." I mean, saying fuck Wotc once is one thing, twice with all caps? Re-lax.</p> <p>I can feel you on the subscription bit, save for one detail. The D&DI is to be updated with new material every month - all the stuff from Dragon, Dungeon and all the books. I don't think it is the tool they are so much charging for as the steady stream of content.</p>

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 3:42 p.m. CST

    maddox

    by Massawyrm 1

    Yeah - each tool for an additional fee would be a rip.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 3:45 p.m. CST

    D&D Character builder sounds cool

    by STLost

    This character builder sounds really cool, and brings RPGs into the 21st century by using computers to complement your tabletop gaming experience. I was thinking about making something like this for Star Wars d6, but it's an enormous endeavor, and I just created a dice roller program when I rpg'd on IRC. <p> And cut Massawyrm some slack on the cable tv thing. I haven't had satellite since January (and for a couple of weeks in august) and I don't really miss it. I actually fell less stressed out about not having to worry about watching tv and getting my money's worth. I get my local channels (4 or 5 in HD) over the air, and couldn't be happier, limiting myself to 5-6 shows to watch during the week. I don't have to find time to watch a DVR and can enjoy time with the family or doing other activities.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 5:04 p.m. CST

    You have a computer. You can watch Galactica. Same with DVD.

    by kronos6948

    Hell, they're on NBC.com pretty much the day after they air, if you're worried about legalities. As far as old eps, they have this wonderful world of DVDs, where you can play them if you have the special DVD player. C'mon, Massawyrm...If you wanted to see it, there's ways of watching it. It seems more like you're really just not interested in watching it.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 5:37 p.m. CST

    No Cable

    by Toonol

    Be sure to get your coupon from the feds for a free digital converter box.<p> I haven't had cable for five years or so. You don't really miss it. But even I've seen BSG. Geez.<p> Maybe Massa can't download it on his dial-up?

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 5:53 p.m. CST

    Glad I met you at BNAT9 last year Massawyrm

    by KnightShift

    You're an excellent writer and reviewer. Having the pleasure of talking to you a bit at Butt-Numb-A-Thon 9 last year and knowing what the voice behind the words is like, makes reading your stuff all the more fun :-)

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 6 p.m. CST

    D&D Insider information...

    by Leafar the Lost

    I have copied the following from the D&D web site: When you subscribe to D&D Insider, you get complete, instant access to every feature and tool currently available: Dragon and Dungeon magazine content—about 120 pages of all-new material, with updates posted several times a week—and a PDF compilation of every issue at the end of the month Full access to the D&D Compendium, regularly updated with material (and rules text) from every D&D rulebook and online magazine article. Bonus Tools that will help you spend less time prepping for your game and more time playing it: the Encounter Builder, Monster Builder, and Ability Generator Access to the Character Builder Closed Beta. Building and leveling your characters will be easier then ever before—try it out now with 1st-3rd-level characters. System Requirements. $4.95 per month (12 months for $59.40) $6.65 per month (3 months for $19.95) $7.95 per month If you actually play D&D 4.0 everyday, like Massawyrm, then it is worth it. However, if you are not a roleplaying geek, then it is wasted money. Also, the fact that Massawyrm has a computer with internet access, and he has never watched Battlestar Galactica (which he can download) leads me to believe that either he is seriously distrubed, or he is full of shit. I am leaning on my second choice...

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 6:46 p.m. CST

    I'm not lazy...

    by Gungan Slayer

    and can use a book to create my own characters, thank you very much.

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 6:49 p.m. CST

    I give this a month

    by catlettuce4

    ...at best, before the programs are available on Torrent sites, and it won't take much longer for the upgrade packs are similarly available. WotC had a pretty airtight system when it was online only (an annoying as hell system, but secure). I also bet it'll be several months before we see a *Nix version of the tools (if we ever do). Why complain about the price when you don't have to pay it?

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 7:55 p.m. CST

    Maybe this means there'll be a Ridley Scott BSG movie

    by BrandLoyalist

    It's a board game now - can't hurt

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 8:07 p.m. CST

    Pays for D&D content but not for Cable

    by nilus

    So let me get this right. You will pay a monthly fee to access D&D content but you won't pay a monthly fee to get cable. I'm a huge nerd and I love RPGs(although I am not a fan of D&D 4) but I wouldn't pay a monthly fee for any of them(considering I already bought there books). Cable on the other hand is a must. And as others have said unless you live in a cave its not like there isn't any other way to see BSG. DVD, iPhone, Computer, At least check out an episode of the thing. I do agree that the new BSG board game is awesome. I just hope they put out an expansion to let you play with more people. Its a bit complicated but a great party game. Like a complex are you a werewolf. Its fun for fans and non fans alike

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 8:34 p.m. CST

    A serious question for Massawyrm

    by Eyegore

    Do you get free review copies of the D&D4E books, and do you also get a free subscription to D&D insider?

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 8:59 p.m. CST

    nilus/eyegore

    by Massawyrm 1

    <p>Nilus - It's not the money. It's that when there's not always something on television, you get a lot of work done. The show intrigues me. But I know the minute I sit down to watch it I'll end up having to watch all 4 seasons.</p> <p>Eyegore - I get review copies of some of the books (but no subscription to D&DI) as well as review copies from a handful of other game companies. At this time I get nothing from GW.</p>

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 9:01 p.m. CST

    Shadows over Camelot

    by ColonelAmerica

    That BSG game is basically a lift of the premise for the excellent Shadows Over Camelot. In that game you play as Arthurian Knights, and again, one is a traitor to the Round Table. You have to cooperate on quests, fight duels, defend the Castle, but the traitor will try to spread the other knights so thin that eventually one of the quests will fail and Camelot will fall. Check it out, its a great game: http://tinyurl.com/5a9d6j

  • Nov. 14, 2008, 11:16 p.m. CST

    massawyrm

    by dingus khan

    a good way to get many, many insults hurled at you (in good faith) is to admit on this site to never having watched BSG. <p> i can't say anything about it that hasn't already been said. <p> watch it, sir. you'll never regret it. <p> EVER.

  • Nov. 15, 2008, 12:18 a.m. CST

    Thanks for the reviews, massawyrm

    by Eyegore

    I forward them on to the guy in our group who buys D&D4E stuff. I have a real hard time cutting WoTC or D&D4E any slack, not because it's a terrible system, but for all the shenanigans WoTC has pulled with this latest edition. They have divided the community of players with this radical MMORPG inspired edition that costs more than ever before, and the community of developers who write software and even game adventures and supplements. Anyone who wrote software, supplements, or adventures for 3E is required to give that up if they want to work on D&D4E. It's all in their legalese, EULA crap. My favorite software that is used to create characters for 3E is called DMGenie, and the developer of that software has been forced to make the choice to either abandon all his current customers who still play 3E in order to work on a version for 4E. He chose to stick with 3E, like many other minor publishers. He's making a stand. We're making a stand. Most of us. If WoTC would stop the shenanigans, we could all get along some day but not until WoTC cuts the crap.

  • Nov. 15, 2008, 11 a.m. CST

    D&D 3rd ed

    by Redmantle

    My group has stuck with 3.5. I've just invested too much damn money into 3.5 to not be able to use the crunch of the books. I can create any character I can envision, and we know the rules set. Yeah, I was curious about D&D, but there is still active support for 3.5, things like Kolbold Quarterly and the like- and i for one am glad! Cancelling Dragon and Dungeon as paper mags? Awful. I used to enjoy going to the bookstore, flipping through the Dragon mag, and seeing if there was any content I liked. If I liked it, I'd buy it at the mall, and read it while I ate at the food court. That's done with now. Pity.

  • Nov. 15, 2008, 2:51 p.m. CST

    by Leafar the Lost

    It just amazes me that anyone can live in the 21st century and not have either cable or satellite, especially someone who writes reviews for AICN. I can understand if someone is out of work and cannot afford it. I can understand if someone is a religious fanatic and doesn't even have a TV and computer in their house or apartment. HOWEVER, we know that Massawyrm is not any of those things. So I can't get past the fact that he doesn't have cable or satellite, but he does have Internet and a subscription to DI. Either he is lying to us, or there really is something wrong with his mind. Also, he should watch the last 3 1/2 seasons of BSG; season four is not over yet.

  • Nov. 16, 2008, 5:31 p.m. CST

    D&D 4 sucks and so does Massawyrm

    by d_fens1969

    Good God, why is this on a movie site, anyhow? People who say WoW is a better investment of your entertainment dollar are right--bring on the death of D&D 4 and devote Massawyrm's space on this site to something, anything else.

  • Nov. 16, 2008, 8 p.m. CST

    Ok point taken Massa

    by DarthJedi

    But this subject is near to my heart and I can't help but get pissed over what this company has done to this game since 3E came out. I know I'm not in the minority either. Well, maybe here on this site I am, but look on any RPG site and read what the majority of fans and long-time players were saying about 3E & 3.5 and what they are now saying about 4E. It isn't pretty bro. There are A LOT of people pissed off over what they're currently doing to the game. I'm just one of many. BTW Massa - Please keep up these columns. I really enjoy reading them, even if I don't agree with them most of the time.

  • Nov. 16, 2008, 9:29 p.m. CST

    DarthJedi

    by Massawyrm 1

    <p>Keep in mind, the rants are the screams of the angry minority. They are loud, they are pissed and they are a cliche. this happens upon the advent of virtually EVERY new RPG edition. It happened during 2nd ed. And it's happened on dozens of other games. It is not new, it is not different. And most importantly is in no way indicative of the majority. Look up the various sales figures for 4E. they dwarf 3E dramatically. Look over at Amazon - the 28th most ordered item of the year is the $105 box set. And that doesn't include the sales of the books individually. For the first time in history a D&D book made the New York times bestseller list. And the converts just keep coming - as they always do.</p> <p>Just because the angry keep screaming is in no way indicative of the majority of the majority who don't have the energy to argue with the lamers who continue to sit around and bitch rather than, you know, getting on with their lives.</p>