We're hoping this column becomes your window into roleplaying design and development—or at least the way we approach these things here at Wizards of the Coast. We'll handle a wide range of topics in weeks to come, from frank discussions about over- or underpowered material, to the design goals of a certain supplement, to what we think are the next big ideas for the Dungeons & Dragons game. All of this comes bundled with a healthy look at the people and events that are roleplaying R&D.
It’s been a long, strange road—but we’ve arrived, at long last, at the final vote in our You Craft the Creature feature. For those of you with us since the beginning, we appreciate your participation, from all the rounds of voting, to the submission of special abilities, to the submission of your written concepts. This is the creature you’ve created, and we hope you’re as excited as we are to see it appear in a future sourcebook.
But now, there’s still one more vote to take place. Below, you’ll find the three concept sketches our artists have generated for Codename: Baker, based on its written concepts and other selected details. So, the question before us—which one garners your vote for how Baker will look?
(Click on the images below for a larger view.)
Which is Baker's final art?
By now, Monster Manual IV has since released, and regrettably we never did provide the final set of answers for 06/23’s From Concept to Sketch article. As you might have guessed, the following sketches:
Finished art for these, and other Monster Manual IV creatures, can now be viewed in our Art Galleries.
Humor at the Gaming Table
It’s been awhile, so while we wait for your votes to come in, we wanted to share the following tales of mayhem, laughter, and mirth.
The Best Laid Plans
As it turned out, the bartender had a surprisingly high AC and the barbarian did nothing. Now, my rogue's character sheet said chaotic neutral, but my heart screamed chaotic good so I didn't really feel like killing anyone; still, I also could see this getting ugly, so I snuck around, flanked and sneak attacked the bartender, killing him.
There was a riot.
Within no more than twenty minutes, one of the largest cities in the DM's complex and prodigious world burned to the ground.
The Worst Laid Plans… Same Result
Our adventuring group had been the target of numerous orchestrated attacks. When we finally uncovered who was responsible for sending out the assassins, we went to deliver a retributive strike against the local thieves guild. This was almost certain to be a suicide mission.
A typical enough plot element, we bribed some teamsters to pack our characters into crates, and got ourselves smuggled deep into the fortified compound. Once inside, we proceeded to dish out retribution against any bad guy we could find.
Our party’s monk spread out in search of the guild leader, and eventually did locate him by dropping onto a balcony. The monk was confronted by seemingly insurmountable odds, and hopelessly outnumbered.
Through sheer dumb luck and brazenness, in one surprise round, the monk managed to grapple the guild’s Master Thief, spring off the balcony with him, and fall to the courtyard 40 feet below… plopping the bad guy right at the feet of the rest of the party. The monk even managed to cushion the fall by wrestling in mid-air so that the bad guy was on the bottom. Needless to say, this was a battle changing move. By the time we departed, the house was a smoldering ruin.
Be Careful What You… Well, You Know the Rest
I’m Here! Kill Me, I’m Here!
When I was generating the character, I considered the rest of the party and determined that if my character didn't become a very good interrogator himself, torture would come to the minds of about half of the characters. My character therefore took a very disturbing, but completely non-evil, image. He wore a full giant’s skull as a helm, plus many different types of skulls hanging off his belt, around his neck, etc.
My sub-giant’s interview method was to just watch the prisoner be asked questions by other members of the party. When they didn't get the answers they wanted, they'd turn to my character and say, "You can have him, he's useless to us."
No prisoner held out very long after my character silently started feeling along the contours of their skull. Perhaps a little outside of tenants of "good", but definitely not evil.
If It Looks Like a Kobold…
Taking on the character of a semi-intelligent kobold I answered: "I, M'dok."
My group looked at each other puzzled.
"We just want to know your name."
"I, M'dok! I, M'dok" I screamed angrily.
"Alright, alright! You're a duck!"
Overheard at the Gaming Table
"We charge in the room as quietly as possible!"
PC#1: "The orcs are revolting!"
PC#1 to PC#3: "Sorry we had to kill and raise you, we couldn't afford the entrance fees."
"Give us some box text unless it takes a round."
Party cleric: "I don't have malpractice insurance," (after rolling a 1 on a Heal check).
"Strangely enough, the gnome bard is more intimidating than the wood elf with a knife at the guy's throat."
"She's semi-attractive for a half-orc", said the dwarf.
DM: "You hear laughing."
PC #1: "Well a druid can make a jackass out of himself at 5th level."
NPC highwayman, "That'll be a 25 gp road safety tax."
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