November 15, 2011

The Lich-Queen's Beloved

This autumn has been a series of wrap-ups and finale's for me and my campaigns. Immediately on the heels of the 4E Modern campaign's conclusion, my group and I jump back to our long-running 4E D&D campaign, now just breaking into epic tier, and conclude the long-standing stories there by wrapping up all the loose ends over the course of a Level or two.

When it was published, I was inspired by Rodney Thompson's "Adapting the Lich-Queen's Beloved" article on DDi. The article goes to describe the author's experiences converting a treasure of an adventure from a (slightly) older edition to 4E and the benefits thereof. The experiences described felt very Fourthcore to me, very much in line with the kinds of adventures I like to run and play in. If you haven't already, please go check it out, as well as the link to the original 3rd Edition adventure. After reading it, I did, however, find myself a little disappointed in the lack of full stat blocks and enough details to really run the adventure in the 4E milieu. I imagine Rodney did what most of us do; print out what you got and wing it! That is a fantastic methods, which often leads to a lot of improv and creativity, but that's not what I wanted.

So when thinking about things and reading the original Lich-Queen's Beloved (LQB), it struck me as a perfect basis of design for creating the capstone to wrap up my D&D campaign. Hence, I have developed a fully written up 4E D&D conversion to LQB, taking many cues from Fourthcore in general and the Fourthcore Armory specifically, going so far as to develop Rumor Cards for my players.

[4E Modern] Middle East Adventure

Retired general, Moshe Dyan

My 4E Modern campaign is coming to its natural close, having been planned out to be a short romp of only 3 Levels. To finish, I decided to convert one of my favorite DDi adventures to the Modern system and aesthetic, Rob Schwalb's Bark at the Moon. To get a better understanding of the 4E Modern adventure, please go check out the original D&D adventure here.

Some highlights:
* An NPC Henchmen, whom my group thought looked like (and thus became) Rebecca Black
* Modern era terrain hazards, such as landmines, machine gun nests, and barbed wire
* Two new Modern era afflictions, Radiation Sickness and Roid Rage, mechanically akin to diseases
* Nuclear weaponry
* Magical assault rifles
* Dude with an eye patch
* A threat to plunge the Middle East into war, just before peace has finally been reached

WARNING: This conversion to Bark at the Moon is a farcical and irreverent look at Israeli-Palestinian relations. It is a touchy subject of which I am no expert. If you feel at all strongly about Middle East issues, just go ahead and please, do not read this adventure and get pissed off.

The adventure is formatted in my own 4E Modern style, so you'll see creatures' attacks listed as flat, static values instead of a modifier to a die roll. I also abbreviate some attacks and don't write out completely in full the "Hit:" line etc., on most attacks. If you've been following 4E for any length of time, this should all appear sensible and easy to read, but I wanted to throw a note out there explaining that, while I do know how the official stat blocks are supposed to be constructed, I have chosen not to for brevity on the printout.

This adventure is suitable for 3rd Level Agents.

Download the adventure here!

November 12, 2011

[4E Modern] My campaign, summarized

Recently, I have run across the sad, and all-too-common, news that one of my players in my regular gaming group would have to leave us for real-life pursuits of quests and defeating of personal demons. While it is always sad to see someone have to leave, the silver lining is that it opened up a seat at the table for one of my friends who's been itching to get in on our action. To help welcome the new guy, also Steven, I asked the other players to write up a short introduction about their 4E Modern character and what they've done. The idea here being to give Steven an idea of what the party was like, and the tone of the campaign; so that he could mold a fun character for himself to play that meshed well with the group on multiple levels.

I have to say, my guys are just absolutely great. I've decided to share the best of the emails, below, to illustrate the hilarity, hijinks, and total fun nonsense that happens at our 4E Modern games. Seriously, all this ridiculous stuff actually went down in our game, and it was fun, and easy to run for the Dungeon Master. So much of this didn't make any sense, and was totally over the top, but none of that stuff mattered. Point of my post: here is an example of why you shouldn't ever get worried about the story in your roleplaying games making absolute sense. Pond-shallow plot lines are absolutely perfect. "We want to kill the Overlord because he is bad." and "Let's kill the Goblins and take their stuff" are classics for a reason.

November 4, 2011

Up On A Soapbox - Apathy

Apathy runs rampant in my generation, and especially among gamers. It sickens me.
How often do you talk with someone and they describe their feelings as "meh"? A lot, right? Meh is worse than a negative feeling. Meh is boring, and boring is the absolute last thing I want creeping into my game. I'm going to guess that I'm not alone in this regard. This  kind of non-comittal attitude permeates far too much in our dealings, and intrudes far too rudely into the RPG world.