The Daily Wizard

Well it’s been awhile since we posted some Wizards of the Coast news. So here is a recaps of some recent activity including todays. It looks like it has been pretty busy over there at WOTC and cannot blame them at all with what I see. They are just churning out product after product and taking the time to tease us along the way.

– You can find an excerpt from Draconomicon: Metallic Dragons. In this excerpt WOTC discusses a dragons lair for 7th level adventurers. How iconic is that? Been awhile since I slayed a dragon.

– Holy stat card Batman. WOTC has posted all Dungeons & Dragons Miniatures RPG and skirmish stat cards. Pretty wicked eh? They are totally printable and legal. Catch is you need the actual mini’s but I think that was a given. Still good to have extra support.

– To celebrate the release of The Ghost King novel, WOTC has some cartoons which are really hilarious to look at to celebrate. Well I am not sure if it’s celebrating or mocking but it’s still goofy and funny.

– For those into D&D miniatures WOTC has a third preview and fourth preview for Savage Encounters.

– The maps for Dragon 170 are out now so go grab them fast

– There is a look at what is coming in November and beyond featuring Bart Carroll

RPGHub Reviews: Garruk Vs Liliana

I was out with Mrs S on the weekend. We had both had a rough day with mini Carl and all the joys that parenting can bring. So I looked at Mrs S and said “Let’s go get some magic cards”. And that was pretty much it that led us all the way to the store. Once there we browsed their assortment of Magic: The Gathering stock. I originally had in mind to go and buy some Shadowmoor cards as it had a lot of red and black. I thought it would beef up that particular deck if not build up my individual black and red decks.

Then there it was..On the shelf…was it a Planeswalker…a Black Planeswalker. Damn did I need one of those. And not only was it one Planeswalker but two. One was Liliana for the black and the other Garruk which was green. So what brought these two together in one package and what was the price of this mystical artifact.

Have beckoned our man servant at the store we had him bring the box over. Low and behold this was a new duel package released only two ago. It was two tournament sized decks that contained a Planeswalker for both the black and green colors. It was apparently put together to show how powerful a Planeswalker and their cards can be.

Being on the Magic scene I knew that these two Planeswalker cards on their own would fetch between $10 – $15 each easily not to mention whatever else was in the deck. Speaking of which there was also eight rare cards for each color as well which is awesome all depending on what you get. Six cards have new artwork to tempt your eyes. Suffice it to say we wanted to know the catch..the price. The catch was the pack was $34CDN. I was floored as just the two Planeswalker cards alone sold individually could pay for the pack.

Obviously we picked the pack up. For me alone the Planeswalker and additional black cards was an easy sell. Once home we ripped open the box and enjoyed our goods. The deck itself was well constructed. I had a very good level of creatures, lands, sorcery and even a black artifact. Mrs S had roughly the same mix of cards on her side with the green deck. I found the black deck to be particularly powerful with my ability to resurrect the dead from graveyards, instant death cards and other sorcery.

We decided to play a game with these pre constructed decks rather then carefully plan out and alter our main decks. They both did a very good job in use. I was hit more with special land cards and sorcery while I attacked with more instant kills and eventually resurrecting from her graveyard. I ended up winning this particular battle but the test was done. This deck was a great package.

Liked

Price: For $34CDN  you cannot go wrong in buying the Garruk Vs Liliana package. Two Planeswalkers and six rare cards alone and the price of admission.

Great Start: If your wanting a tournament sized deck to battle a friend then this is a great way to start. You have literally all you need and then some.

Art: I think this is a staple of all M:TG cards is the incredible art. Also of a side note is that both the Liliana and Garruk cards have alternate art.

Disliked

Nothing: I couldn’t find anything about this package that was wrong. It was so well balanced and put together it’s impossible to really break down one thing that stands out as bad. If I had to nit pick at anything it would be more at Wizards of the Coast for not advertising this more.

After this one package and after altering my main deck for black I actually feel confident that I could compete in a tournament and do halfway decent. I am very pleased with this package and what it has to offer and I recommend anyone to jump into this. Visit your store, grab this item as it’s sure to sell out fast enough. I am even tempted to pick up another package.

RPGHub Reviews: MTG: Zendikar Intro Pack

After spending some time with Magic 2010, Mrs S and me have been looking to broaden our horizons. Magic: The Gathering has had a multitude of expansions over it’s introduction.  Each setting or plane of existence (if you want to be technical) has it’s own cards to add with it’s own little flavor. Zendikar is one of those settings. It’s a plane which is quite hostile however there are riches to be won and mana that all planeswalkers wish to acquire. If you want more of a background information on Zendikar you can go here.

The introduction packs come in a box with pre constructed deck based on themes in Zendikar. For instance the introduction pack I purchased was for Mrs S as she plays blue as her primary deck and sometimes a mixture of green. So in Zendikar the paired up colors under a name. So for my intro pack it was called Unstable Terrain while others are Kor Armory, Rise of the Vampires, etc.

The box boasted a nice 41 card deck and a special foil card entitled the Sphinx of Jwar Isle and a 15 card booster pack. It’s a great way to get into the game and with the latest series especially if you are into the idea of dual decks. However unlike other series like Alara Reborn, Ravnica, etc you have singular colored cards. For those who are not familiar totally with Magic yet a card can be one of the five colors (Blue, Green, Red, Black, White) or sometimes the card can be a combination color like (Black, Red). It’s good to have a series that takes things back to singular colors.

The Zendikar series itself is a 249 card set which will introduce some new concepts like landfall, quests, ally’s and traps. While these are new features we haven’t run into their use yet so the jury is out on how well they balance out. However from what Mrs S used, she finds that it’s very good extension to her deck that she is building. I can say it’s working as cards like Mind Control are pissing me off. I might go get the Rise of the Vampires as it seem’s to have what I am more focused on. For more details on the products and cards involved check this out.

Liked

Art: As always the art is fantastic, I think this can be true of any Magic card out there. I have yet to find one I find even remotely unattractive.

Singular Colored Cards: When you buy the intro pack which contains a deck with two colors, the cards themselves are singular colored.

Price: For what you get the price I paid was actually pretty good. I even found it $3 cheaper elsewhere. That’s a lot of bang for your cash

Disliked

All you need is the intro pack: If I made cards and did an intro pack I would arrange things so you had to buy boosters of this new set to flesh things out. After we got the intro pack we realized we were just missing one card from the list for blue / green. And we may have just misplaced that card. We managed to get one in a booster we got for the heck of it but we realized why even bother getting the boosters.

So you want into Magic and the latest thing. I point you no further then a Zendikar introduction pack. Do your homework in advance. Check out the related products, what you feel would be your interest. At $12.99 even if your feeling your way around is a great way to get involved. You will not be wasting any money.

Life of a Wizards of the Coast employee

I thought this was pretty awesome. It’s a nice story about a Wizard of the Coast staffer named Shelly Mazzanoble on being suddenly sumped the role of Dungeon Master. Her story is quite funny though I can sympathize on some sentiments.

I myself DM’d very rarely. I had one long term game which went well. A short that people found fun and another one or two session game that people also enjoyed. However as a newbie DM I had high expectations of myself. People were used to a status quo so it felt like I had to live up to something rather then play for the fun. I still have that sentiment over the years. I think in a large part is that since we have moved to playing online it’s even harder to learn to game master. People have the internet at their tips so often players are yelling at each other to pay attention or sometimes were all just worn out from a days work so focus is not there. I also tend to stay in a particular genre however I am looking for something offbeat and just have fun.

Yeah ok that was totally diverging from the topic. Apologies and back to the internets I go

The Daily Wizard

Well Wizards of the Coast has some minor updates today.

1. A new side adventure for characters of 7th level and up is available. It’s entitled Treed

2. There is an excerpt for E3: Prince of Undeath

3. For those Ravenloft fans or should I now say Shadowfell since thats the in thing, check out The Raven Queen to add a little diety / demigod action to your game.

October is generally a very good time of year for Ravenloft fans as Wizards has typically been very kind to the fan base regarding their setting nomatter what incarnation they are going with.

What Chris Perkins can teach all DMs

Coop, over at Pen and Paper Portal posted an interesting little tidbit about his experience playing with Chris Perkins from Wizards of the Coast:

Never say no. Never, ever. If the players wants to do anything, let them, just make sure they roll. A player wants to hide a bow in his shirt? Let him. If he rolls high, no one will notice. If he rolls low, he’s going to look like a fool. In the past, I haven’t flat-out told players “no” to anything, but I have let them know that their idea wouldn’t work. Chris never did that, and usually not only let us do whatever we wanted, but had it play out in a way that made sense to us.

This is such a truism about DMing or Game Mastering in general that it should be plainly obvious. Still, after running games for over 15 years, I’ve been known to forget this core principle. Perhaps it’s borne of fear of the game leaving your control, or something; but it’s easy to say no to ideas that you might not see the beauty of. Saying “no” is something I’ve consciously tried to steer myself away from over the past few years, and will continue to do into the future. And it’s something I’ve noticed while listening to the Penny Arcade/PvP podcast as well. Chris Perkins is a great DM, and often says yes to all the crazy ideas the group has, and the game is enriched by it.

Check it out at Pen and Paper Portal

The Daily Wizard

Well it looks like there are some tidbits going on at Wizards of the Coast

1. Check out on how to organize all your stuff. Pro tips here people!

2. There is a new campaign concept which can be brought into your game. It’s entitled the Chaos Scar. It seems like an awesome introduction, so go take a peek.

3. Well, it looks like the first adventure for Chaos Scar is out. It’s called Stick in the Mud

4. An excerpt from DU5: Sinister Woods is also available.

Seems like a good set of updates and I am very intrigued by this Chaos Scar concept.  Let’s see how it turns out

Penny Arcade/PvP Podcast, Series 3, Episode 6

Mike Krahulik, Jerry Holkins, Scott Kurtz, Wil Wheaton, and Chris Perkins continue their hilarious and awesome campaign. At times it’s a confusing cacophony of people talking, but it never fails to entertain. If you haven’t listened to any of these yet, then you should be sure to start from the beginning! Hit the jump for links for the whole series.

Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game Official Home Page – Article (Penny Arcade/PvP Ep6).

Continue reading Penny Arcade/PvP Podcast, Series 3, Episode 6