Thursday, June 3, 2010

D&D: I Put on My Robe and Wizard Hat

So I had originally planned to do a Warhammer 40k tabletop gaming intro series, but an opportunity came to me to play Dungeons & Dragons. I know right? The nerdiest of nerd stuff, but I would be a liar if I said I never had a longing to play at some point. The thing that always eventually turned me off from the idea was that none of my other friends expressed any interest when I would ask them about D&D. So even if I did buy all the books required to play, I wouldn’t have anyone to play with. That was the other problem, the books. Not only would it have cost a small fortune to buy them all, there was then the avalanche of having to read them all.

Recently, I’ve been following a different tabletop RPG, Deathwatch, by Fantasy Flight Games which lets you role-play as a Space Marine in the Warhammer 40k universe. I realize that Deathwatch is a very different setting and will have a different rule set from Dungeons & Dragons, but playing D&D will give me some insight into the game type to see if I even like it. I’ve often wanted to be the Dungeon Master since they control the narrative of the game. I fancy myself an amateur writer, so if anything; it would allow me a chance to work on my writing skills to create custom narratives to play. For this time around though I’ll simply be a player.

Anyway, during a World of Warcraft raid some guild members were talking about an application called Maptool. After asking about it, I came to find out that it was a program they were going to use to host a Dungeons & Dragons campaign online. As I said earlier, I’ve always been curious, so I jumped at the chance to play since they still had room in the group.

Having never played before, I got myself a copy of the Fourth Edition D&D Player’s Handbook. I haven’t finished reading it yet, but I’m currently on Chapter 6 – Feats, out of 10 chapters. The book is 317 pages, but it’s actually a pretty easy read if you take it chapter by chapter. The longest chapter is 4, which is Character Classes and is 122 pages. The reason for it being so long is because each class’s powers for all 30 levels are listed after the class description.

A lot of the material is already very familiar to me since I’ve played many a video game RPG such as Never Winter Nights and NW2, which actually used the D&D 3.5 system. So characteristics such as Strength, Dexterity, etc, and stuff like Fortitude saves or Feats aren’t alien concepts to me, which is really making tabletop easy to pick up. Playing tabletop D&D also gives me a chance to actually see the nitty gritty of the math and concepts of the role-playing genre at work and in its original form before it became integrated into video games. In a way, it’s like a history lesson in the development of video games, and hopefully should prove useful one day since a career in video game programming is my dream.
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Work in Progress

Work in Progress
Counts as Lemartes

WIP Automarine Test

WIP Automarine Test
What Optimus Prime would look like as a Space Marine... wow my highlighting sucks >.<