Friday, April 30th
If you haven't yet read it, our Heroes of Hesiod adventure—aimed at teaching kids a bit of Dungeons & Dragons fun—you might want to try it out with any of the young, aspiring gamers you have in your life. The adventure's been reported on Penny Arcade, as well as on the The Escapist, Wired.com, and other blogs.
Nina Hess also interviewed the author of Monster Slayers (the forthcoming book behind the adventure). And over on the D&D Book Club Group, a host of other authors discuss both their favorite excuse not to write, as well as the 7 bad habits of highly effective writers.
Speaking of Penny Arcade—the two winners in the Child's Play auction recently made it over to Wizards of the Coast to collect their prize: a D&D game with Chris Perkins. In addition, various members of R&D (Any Collins, James Wyatt, myself: Bart Carroll, Steve Winter, Shelly Mazzanoble, and Jesse Decker) stopped by throughout the afternoon to participate as the game's monsters (note: gargoyles flying over the heroes then turning to stone form and falling on them=awesome). We certainly hope Andy and Kristine had a good time as well… though surely they never expected to be attacked by a piñata.
And finally, new D&D T-shirts are available at J!NX—including a rust monster and goblin shirt showcasing art from Jared von Hindman!
Trivia, Advice, and Pitches
Tuesday, April 20th
Our thanks to the folks at Seattle Geekly for hosting last week's sword n' sorcery trivia night! Think you can beat the Wizards? It shouldn't be too hard—our team managed a meagerly 33 out of 50… and then only because Chris "Conan" Youngs managed a perfect score in the Conan questions. To our surprise, the name of the cyclops in Krull was not "Uno", nor was Arnold Schwarzenegger's character in Red Sonja named "Blue Albert". Nevertheless, we stand by those answers.
In other news, the D&D Book Group asked its authors about their weapon of choice. Eye beams? Bastard sword? For more writing advice, Susan Morris blogged on how to write a kick-ass fight scene (we presume for any fantasy novel, not for a Kick-Ass movie sequel). For magazine submission advice, Chris Sims blogged several examples of successful pitches at Critical-Hits.com.
Finally, we'd like to point to the following D&D-related story, published in The Christian Science Monitor… and written by Fantasy Freaks author, Ethan Gilsdorf!
Thursday, April 15th
A reminder for those of you in the Seattle area… specifically north Seattle… even more specifically, the Greenwood/Phinney Ridge area (the borders between which continue to be hotly debated)—tomorrow night, Seattle Geekly hosts it's monthly trivia game at Neptune Coffee. This month: swords & sorcery—against Wizards of the Coast!
Speaking of trivia, Steve Winter is currently challenging the rules-minded among you to help him puzzle out the following queries, in Stump the Game Lizards:
Another reminder—this is your last chance to fill out a Creature Competition: Encounters bracket! As of tomorrow morning, you'll no longer be able to submit your bracket and see how your picks compare against the ongoing voting.
Tuesday, April 13th
Just a reminder, folks—get in your brackets for the Creature Competition: Encounters. This Thursday (the 15th) will be your last chance to complete and submit one!
Then, come back each week to vote for ("buff") creatures in each bracket—just click on the Tournament tab after submitting your bracket to reach the voting stage. Those little black diamonds you see indicate which creatures you've chosen to advance (not that you necessarily have to vote for them).
First round of voting ends this Thursday as well. We won’t predict any winners at this stage, but we will say that the closest match right now appears to be Vlaakith v. Lady Vol!
Plus, one more story of D&D in the news, this time from the Toledo Blade.
Polls Now Open!
Thursday, April 9th
Creature Competition: Polls Now Open!
And away we go! Voting has begun in our Creature Competition: Encounters! Who will move on, folks—Meepo? Splug? Lum the Mad? Warduke?
Here's how it works. First, make your picks to complete your tournament bracket (and this is the last week to still do so). Each pairing features two creatures going to head-to-head: whether in combat or popularity, essentially you're choosing the favorite creature you'd like to advance and see featured in D&D Encounters. When you're satisfied with your choices, click Submit Picks.
Each week, you'll come back and "buff" (that is, vote for) the creature you choose in each pairing. Winning creatures will advance based on the total buffs a creatures receives, as well as a bonus percentage based on its fan favorite nominations (how many submitted brackets picked it as the ultimate winner), and—since there's always a bit of madness in these tournaments—a slight randomizing element (each creature will also receive 1-20% additional votes, determined by a random d20 roll).
After 6 weeks of voting, we'll announce the ultimate tournament winner. Plus, when we're down to the Final Four, R&D will choose one of these creatures to be featured in Season 3 of D&D Encounters.
Make Good Your Escape
Over at the Escapist.com, Greg Tito has an article on the roleplaying guide for new tabletop players, a good recommendation for anyone who's ever said, "I'd love to play D&D but I don't know how. I don't want to ruin it for everybody."
And our friends at Penny Arcade, having wrapped up a successful PAX East, are planning a bit of OD&D action. And, as we remain ever impressed with his campaign creativity, grognardia.com describes the cult of Turms Termax, and the secret of the statues' heads.
April Fools and Norwescon
Thursday, April 1st
Only one of the following products is real:
This weekend also sees Norwescon 33 roll into town! R&D's Bruce Cordell and Richard Baker will be in attendance, including at the following events:
- Richard Baker: 4 PM Friday, Autograph Session #1
- Bruce Cordell: 1 PM Saturday, Autograph Session #2
- Bruce Cordell: 5 PM Saturday, Cascade 3, Key of Stars, Book 3 of the Abolethic Sovereignty
Build a Better Adventure
Friday, Noon, Evergreen 2
What makes a good adventure? One that players can’t wait to continue; that they spend their off-time thinking about and planning for until they play again? Join our gaming panelists in a discussion of how to design better adventures.
Erik Mona, Richard Baker, Bruce R. Cordell, James Jacobs
Forgotten Realms: Past, Present, Future
Saturday 11 AM, Cascade 8
Since 1987, this campaign setting has grown and developed, generating over two hundred novels, dozens of computer RPGs, and a host of adventures and gaming supplements. Join our distinguished group of gaming professionals as they discuss the Forgotten Realms and their parts in developing it.
Jeff Grubb, Richard Baker, Bruce R. Cordell
Novelization of a Game
Saturday, 9:00 PM, Cascade 8
Many video games today have accompanying fiction which often provides a more detailed storyline of current events as well as past or future action. Many role-playing games have companion series of novels expanding their worlds with characters and cities and events that become canon in that setting. Join our panelists as they discuss how a game’s setting is translated into a novel that, in turn, gives back to the game.
Jeff Grubb, Richard Baker, Saje Williams