Lords of the Feywild

In this installment of Critical Hit: A Major Spoilers Dungeons and Dragons Podcast: Another month, and more emails with questions that need answers!

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Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

11 Comments

  1. Hello Critical Hitters!!!! And keep on trying to roll okay Brian!!! I shared this podcast with some of my friends and they loved it. One of my friends was very interested in DM-ing, so we put our gaming group together. Can we use the world that Sir. Rodrigo made because we want to make characters related to all your characters. My character is an elf that was abandoned by his tribe because unlike the rest of his clan he had darker skin, and black hair. *whisper* his dad is a drow *whisper* Trelle came along this young boy training with his 2 wooden short swords hitting makeshift dummy. Trelle being Trelle took him in as her own. Oh!!! HI UNCLE OREM!!!

  2. Hey, just listened to your mailbag episode and I’ve stopped for a moment after listening to the question about the different non-D20 games and which are your favorites.

    What are your thoughts about some of the others? I’m a big fan of both Dark Heresy and Mutants and Masterminds (which does GURPS much better than GURPS does GURPS, to my mind).

  3. Have any of the Critical Hitters played Dungeon World or FATE? I’d love to hear a session of one of those as a separate one-shot thing. I know you guys don’t have time, but I figured I’d ‘plant the seed.’

  4. Hey guys, I just wanted to say thanks for reading my question! Waiting for your reply on the show has been one of the many, many things that kept me faithfully following the tales of Orem, Randus, Torq, Ket, and Trelle. It has certainly been worth every moment, and hopefully you all will keep me company late at night in studio for many adventures to come!

  5. Great mailbag episode. I thought I would add some thoughts that came up while listening.

    To the question regarding 1st/2nd Edition monsters. There are indeed encounter tables in the Dungeon Master’s Guide (at least in the 1st Edtion AD&D). As far as having vast numbers of humans as enemies, reskinning was not a commonly used technique in the early 80s when we were playing first edition, but Rodrigo has taught me the value of reskinning monsters, and this would apply well here. Find monsters of an appropriate challenge level and think about how you could represent any special powers as magic items, strange weapons, or special training for their human representation.

    For making new character classes, reskinning is also an alternative here. Find a class that works mechanically the way you expect the new class would, then rename and reflavor the powers without changing their mechanics. Built in balance (well, as balanced as 4e gets) with the flavor you prefer.

    For INT based high damage, Warlocks are a great pick. However if the flavor isn’t quite to your liking, I would suggest a Wizard, either a Bladesinger or an Aracanist. While the Wizard is typically a controller, they can definitely be built as a striker, with Orem being a prime example.

    Another option is the Swordmage. Genasi for the race and Aegis of Assault can give you both durability and a good damage machine, including a decent multi-target attack at level 1.

    Thanks gang, for all that you do. Love listening to Critical Hit, and all of the other podcasts as well.

    • I think Essentials is great, and I’m sorry it wound up dragging 4th Edition down.

      I didn’t like the impression that it was built to feel more like past editions, by stripping most powers away from martial characters, while keeping them for spellcasters, and by getting rid of the warlord which rubbed a lot of people the wrong way with its non-magical healing (even though all the characters still have mundane HP recovery in healing surges).

      But, I came to appreciate the options. I like the striker fighter and the controller ranger and I really like the swordmage.

  6. Hey Guys,

    Love the podcast, long time listener. Regarding the question on the 4 systems, I wanted to chime in with a different perspective on the popularity of Pathfinder that has nothing to do with the ruleset. (an argument that dives down a rat hole.) To me one of the biggest pros of Pathfinder is the quality of their pre-built adventures and campaigns in comparison to what Wizards currently produces for 4e. I say this as a veteran of many 4e encounter sessions at local hobby shops. This wouldn’t apply to you as you have Rodrigo who is a master world builder but a barrier to play for many is the time/skill/etc. required to build a rich campaign. Wizards campaign material is mediocre at best often we found even with the sit and go encounter sessions a lot of stuff was missing and we needed to build out to fill large gaps in the story/adventure. (for a planned 3 hour session you would have 1 hour of material or things just didn’t connect right without work or the stats for npc’s/monsters just weren’t included in the material) The Pathfinder material on the other hand is rich, deep, and extremely well written. It’s complete all by itself. They make it very easy to run an adventure/campaign with branching paths and include all players/character types right out of the box. I feel this is a huge reason why Pathfinder has gained so much ground. Wizards seems to rely on you know the world or to have read the novels where Pathfinder delivers a complete world in each pack.

    As for the other systems, I find Cthullu to be unforgiving and often a good game on this system just ends with everyone dead. Often, it feels the players have no recourse. There are some settings based of Cthullu that I wish would be transferred to Fate or Storyteller.

    I love the Storyteller system especially for creating generic human adventures. I can see Rob’s point on the world not being very enticing but as a system I think it’s top notch for RP focused games because it gives the players and GM so much to work with.

    Keep up the great work. I enjoy every pod of casting.

    Jeff

  7. Hi folks,
    In principal, D&D 4e Essentials (remember when it was spoken about as version 4.5?) was extremely disruptive to my game. Around my table of 6, we had some Essential elements / powers, completely different character sheets, characters with / without aspects of their characters I was looking for – and on the flipside, my players were telling me “You should be using this monster from Essentials rather than than the original, as it’s “better”.

    I wasn’t prepared to hoof up the cash to buy what I saw was pretty much errata (but errata that didn’t have a universal neat-fit), which just exacerbated the frustration around the table. It muddied the whole picture, period; and was not delivered / explained well by Wizards.

    It felt like a marketing exercise, to continue the brand and try to evolve it.

  8. Hello Past People, just caught up with this episode and I feel I can speak about my own experiences in regards to the 4e/Essentials thing. I started on 4e, I’d known about 3.5 through the computer games like neverwinter nights and temple of elemental evil, but 3.5 was a bit over my head at the time. Discovered 4e when I was at university in 2008 and I have to say it’s great for new starters. When Essentials came out I gave that a look too. I’d not seen anything come in boxes except for the dungeon master’s kit and the monster vault however, all of the books I’d got were seperate.

    As to my thoughts on Essentials as someone who started with 4e, I think that it’s okay but I don’t like the fact that fighter types lose so many powers (most other martial types had stuff) when magic users remain non-vancian. I was at a DnD tweetup last year and had brought in an Essentials Fighter, I was just hitting stuff with my hammer whilst a ninja and a ranger were doing all sorts of cool stuff, which left me feeling a bit useless but there was a mix of Essentials and base 4e and they worked pretty well together.
    I think that essentials is a great way to get new starters onto 4e in particular but, like base 4e, a good way to get someone into RPG gaming in general.

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