June 24th, 2008

Tea - Cures What Ails Ya

Design Challenge: A World Without Spiders

This post is rated PG for mild Dungeons and Dragons Fourth Edition content. Reader discretion is advised.

Myself and several members of my gaming group suffer from varying forms of aversion to insects and arachnids. In my case, at least, it's bad enough that I have to avoid pages in books that contain pictures of the creeps; I can't even look at a picture without freaking. There, stage set.

I'd like to remove spiders entirely from my next game setting, but it's one thing to arbitrarily say "there's no such thing as spiders"; it's another to have their absence make sense. Spiders fill an interesting ecological niche in the real world; they're predators that prey on scavengers, they don't have any real predators of their own, and they can co-exist with humanity (if the humans can stand them). I can't fully grasp the impact that the simple absence of spiders would have from the world, and while there are other predators of small bugs (like bats), they don't fit quite the same profile.

Compounding this problem is that I've been considering setting my next game in D&D 4th Edition, specifically using the stock setting material... and there's a whole evil goddess and her pet race that's devoted to spiders. Tossing all of that out and distributing her domains among other evil gods is an option, but it seems like the most drastic approach. I'm wondering if there's a better way.

I'm currently toying with the idea of making Lolth the "Demon Queen of Bats" instead; bats do fill a similar niche, they're equally stealthy and love the underground, giant bats can be used as mounts, and heck, demons have bat wings! Seems like a good fit to me.

What I want to hear from you folks is - how would you remove spiders from a game world? What would replace them? What CAN replace them? Any other ideas you might have would be much appreciated.

4th Edition Wizard question

A 6th level wizard has 4 Utility powers in his spellbook, 2 second level and 2 sixth level. now does he/she/it have to prepare 1 of each level or could they prepare both 'slots' for the day from a given level (since they can only use 2 utility spells a day).
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    Maaya Sakamoto - Yoru

Keeping your dice happy

I'm just wondering what people use to cart around their dice? I used to use the old fashioned Crown Royal bag for most of my high school years. I then started using felt pouches I got at ren faires. Currently I'm using some nice knit bags that my wife made for me ( http://teawithfrodo.etsy.com if you want to see what she made; gotta love geek girls).

I hate to admit it but we even have his and her's dice bags because she is convinced that if her dice come in contact my dice my bad dice rolling will spread to her. She's a big believer that happy snuggly warm dice roll better.

So what are you carting around dice in and what "odd" dice rituals do you have?
Shadow person

4E Pattern

I spotted something about the way 4E characters are structured in terms of their power source and their role in a party. Here; I'll draw you a table.

Character Classes and Roles
Power Source
StrikerWarlock?????Rogue, Ranger

What, do you imagine, would go into the boxes containing the question marks? I can see a future PHB expansion here ...
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