I don’t know if you’ve noticed by now, but I’m a little bit of a D&D fan. I’ve had my gripes and groans about 4th edition as every Tang-swilling, Cheetos-munching, I’m-a-real-boy-dreaming super-nerd has. Let’s be real: with each new system, people are going to have issues and problems with any and all aspects of the game and will finally admit, in the tangled throws of an exciting dungeon crawl, that, “Okay, this ONE feature of the game is kinda badass. But don’t tell anyone, especially Ricky. He’d kick my ass if he knew I was praising the game.” Secretly, even Ricky, the stalwart, Ã¼ber-DM who considers anything after AD&D blasphemous to even speak of… even Ricky finds something to enjoy about the new system. Chances are, he probably loves the whole system for each of its parts and cries each night alone in his basement/dungeon/rumpus room. All seriousness aside — and the above scenarios are real, you know it’s true — 4th edition recently has released some great features for the game, and I thought I’d take some time during my normal article to highlight them.
1. D&D Encounters: Every Wednesday Night!
Do you find yourself a little bored at the end of Hump Day? If so, head on over to your closest hobby or game store and hop into this sensation that’s taking off. A little while ago, Wizards of the Coast announced D&D Encounters, one epic adventure per week for those willing to play. The more you play, the more you solve, the more you win! D&D provides your store with everything you need: the maps, tokens, and adventure module. All you have to do is sign up and show up and be prepared for adventure. THIS is the new feature about which I’m most happy — D&D is owned by Wizards of the Coast, which is a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., a GAME and TOY company. What are they going to emphasize? Playing together. There has long been a barrier, I believe, between the elite denizens of tabletop enthusiasts and regular gamers who play their games on top of a table. There is — and may always be — a difference therein. However, Wizards and D&D are really trying to make the game more accessible to those who, in the past, may have just looked past it because they felt intimidated (this is the truth, I believe, not that they find it dorky or geeky — everyone’s a geek about something). Encounters is a great way to help bridge this gap; the company itself SENDS the modules and everything needed to the gaming store, the locus of interaction between peoples. My insane schedule has precluded me from hopping on this gaming bandwagon as of yet, but I’m about to change that. Currently, the Encounters game centers on Dark Sun, giving us all some sweet spoilers of the much-anticipated campaign setting due out this August. So, hit up your local gaming store folks and jam into the sweet hours of the night with others who share your dedication to live gaming.
2. Monster Manual 3: Time to Piss Yourself