One to beam up for Star Trek Adventures live streaming game

There are so many awesome tabletop roleplaying games i want to play! On top of that, several fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons campaigns i’m itching to run or play. Plus my ongoing Spelljammer campaign – now supported two separate parties of adventurers.

One of the games i’m really excited about is Star Trek Adventures from Modiphius Entertainment. i’ve been a Star Trek since childhood, getting hooked on the original series i watched with my mom.

When Star Trek: The Next Generation hit the airwaves i was 10 years old and dutifully watched it every week. i thought it was so cool and often daydreamed about being on the show. Not as a person living in the Star Trek universe though – i wanted to be on the set as a cast member!

As future series rolled around, my interest continued but certainly waned. i dabbled in Deep Space Nine, watched the premiere and a few episodes of Voyager and caught one or two episodes of Enterprise. The newest series, Discovery, is exciting and fresh. i’ve seen all the movies, in both the prime and Kelvin timelines, too.

But TOS is still the best. There’s a distinct quality to the series episodes that doesn’t carry over to any of the other entries in the franchise. Along these lines, there’s a fantastic fan-created program called Star Trek Continues produced by the nonprofit charity Trek Continues Inc. My preference for TOS remains strong in Star Trek Online, as well, where my Vulcan captain and all the crew proudly wear TOS uniforms despite the vast variety of options. Continue reading

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Playing D&D with Class: Wizard

Coming up with a great backstory, personality, motivations and goals goes a long way toward making memorable D&D characters. But when it comes down to the nuts and bolts of what you can do, it’s all about class.

Consider it your character’s vocation, calling, profession or craft, a character’s class picks up where their backstory leaves off, giving them the skills and abilities they’ll use on their life of adventure.

Rather than analyze the mechanics of each class, extolling the benefits of one option and admonishing the suboptimal drawbacks of another, what you’ll find in this “Playing D&D with class” is the usual musings that accompany any topic and hopefully some insight into different ways to approach the various classes in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons.

As a longtime player and DM, i’ve never put much emphasis on mathematical optimization, and when it comes to making characters i’m a purist – multi-class characters have never appealed to me. Instead, it’s always been about the concept, the who of a character more than the what.

As classic as they come

The original Dungeons & Dragons game published in 1974 established wizards as the preeminent wielders of magic. Then called the magic-user, they are noted as potentially the most powerful characters in D&D, with a caveat – the road to power is long and arduous. Survival was questionable. Continue reading

Cantrip: Adventure Journal from Table Titans flawed but still fun

Writing brings me great pleasure. i don’t mean the sort of writing here at The Long Shot or over at Nerdarchy.com. Or the kind to prep for a Dungeon & Dragons game. Or the writing i’ve done as a journalist, either.

Not exactly anyway.

Most times, writing takes place on a computer, like i’m doing right now. And while i certainly enjoy this immensely, what i’m talking about is the physical act of writing. Putting pen or pencil to page is a soothing experience.

Whether jotting notes for any of the above activities, making to-do lists or creating a nightly checklist for tasks to accomplish at my muggle job as a page designer it’s relaxing to commit words to paper. Watching the pen flow across a blank sheet, translating my thoughts to symbols, is kinda Zen-like for me. Continue reading

Cantrip: D&D Beyond boosts the game to new levels

DDBeyondi love D&D Beyond.

Let’s get that out right away. The digital toolset from Curse working in close conjunction with Wizards of the Coast puts the entire fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons experience at your fingertips. i’ve got the Legendary Bundle and proudly subscribe at the Master tier. Continue reading

Rich Lescouflair melds D&D and sci-fi with Esper Genesis

With so many awesome RPGs on the market these days, the options can get overwhelming. As a dyed-in-the-wool Dungeons & Dragons fan i’m always and forever going to gravitate towards the world’s greatest roleplaying game, currently in it’s fifth edition. Each edition is better than the one that came before. (For those keeping score that means fourth edition, too – it’s a great system!)

Not withstanding a Tales from the Loop Mystery i want to tell, and an upcoming Star Trek Adventures game with some friends from Nerdarchy, i’ve got a lot of D&D on my plate. Tomb of Annihilation has arrived and beckons my group to the jungles of Chult, my tag-in DM’s game gives me a chance to play one of my favorite characters of all time, and another player is cooking up a monster hunters campaign for us, too.

On top of all that, our long-running primary campaign borrows heavily from second edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Spelljammer lore.

Running the campaign brings me immeasurable joy,  both in the fact it’s still going on – defying the threat of campaign fizzle – and evolving into a vibrant setting now supporting an offshoot party of adventures!

The secondary party takes a step away from traditional fantasy elements and magic-accounts-for-everything nature of Spelljammer to take advantage of two very wonderful 5E-powered RPG systems.

One of them – Esper Genesis by writer, game designer and world creator Rich Lescouflair – came to my attention via Twitter. Although i am embarrassed to say Esper Genesis slipped past my radar, my immediate response to his tweet was of course yes, yes i DO need some [more] sci-fi in my D&D 5E! Continue reading

D&D Campaign vs. Adventure?! Trials and triumphs of a full-time nerd in a part-time world

D&D campaign

“The Docks of Bral” [Art by deviantart creator SilverbladeTE]

When i first started writing a weekly column for Nerdarchy, the focus was on the ups and downs of finding time for Dungeons & Dragons amid the challenges of adult life. Things like full-time jobs, mortgages, families and other responsibilities make coordinating schedules for several people a complex game itself.

That series will continue here, and with my D&D gaming group approaching our one year anniversary it’s a great time to examine one of the biggest hurdles we’ve faced. Continue reading