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

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Cantrip: Unearthed Arcana Getting Extraplanar

autumnelfFifth edition Dungeons & Dragons is truly like a fine wine, getting better with age. Every day that goes by, something about D&D invigorates my creativity, inspires new ways to approach and play the game, and strengthens my belief that the current stewards of the game are manifesting a golden age for the worlds greatest roleplaying game.

Today, D&D players received a present in the form of the latest Unearthed Arcana, the series of official Wizards of the Coast playtest material, completely free from the D&D team. Continue reading

Cantrip: What’s Up with the Wizard in D&D?

D&D wizard

A wizard as seen in the fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons Player’s Handbook. [Image courtesy Wizards of the Coast]

Wizards in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons have been on my mind a lot lately.

A number of factors contribute to this.

  1. The next Playing D&D with Class post focuses on the wizard
  2. My main character when i get to play D&D is a wizard
  3. Awesome Gale Force 9 D&D Spellbook Cards: Arcane arrived and now rest snugly in their spellbook binder
  4. A Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition Facebook group thread got heated (imagine that!) after someone asked for opinions on a “basic spellcasting class” for their significant other to play as a new D&D player
  5. i notice “wizard” almost never comes up in discussions of favorite class or multiclass builds

i began to wonder what was up in the world of D&D arcane magic.

For all that i see criticisms of the sorcerer class, it sure pops up often in build advice and among player favorites.

On a side note, i’d like to start adding content more regularly and since i lean towards longform writing i’m going to tag these shorter posts as Cantrips. Seems fitting, since i write about D&D quite a bit. Cantrips are quick, easy spells and these will be quick, easy posts. Continue reading

Playing D&D with class: Fighter

Coming up with a great backstory, personality, motivations and goals goes a long way toward making memorable D&D characters. But the nuts and bolts of what you can do get determined primarily by class. (Race and background play a role though, too.) Consider it your character’s vocation, calling, profession or craft, class picks up where backstory leaves off, giving skills and abilities for a life of adventure.

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

As a longtime player and Dungeon Master i’ve never put much emphasis on mathematical optimization. And when it comes to characters i’m a purist – multiclass characters have never appealed to me. Instead, it’s always been about the concept, the who of a character more than the what. Continue reading

Getting back to my roots

What a year 2017 has been so far!

After moving back to my beloved hometown of Cleveland, Ohio from sweltering Austin, Texas i laser-focused on a few life goals.

Squad goals! If by ‘squad’ i mean myself

One lofty ambition was becoming debt free. Mission accomplished! (Not counting the consolidated school loan i’ll likely take to my grave.) Savings sustained massive damage and frivolity was curtailed, but monies owed are no more.

Another priority was getting back to my roots as a tabletop gamer. This goal has enjoyed great success throughout the year. In Austin, the tabletop gaming community was a lifeline to a social life in a new city after moving there alone for my muggle job in journalism. Every night of the week was game night at one of the city’s many hobby shops. The gaming culture is strong in there.

Dungeons & Dragons Adventurers League and a steady diet of board games reinvigorated my lifelong love of tabletop gaming, and i brought that passion back to Cleveland. Friends were cajoled into forming a fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons group, which is still going strong. Aside from our main campaign, we’ve played several one-shots and even welcomed a new player to the hobby. He’s already taken a turn behind the Dungeon Master’s screen and started a secondary campaign for the group. Continue reading