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

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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

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

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.

DD-Logo

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