Introducing Star Wars: Edge of the Empire

Beautiful book.
Beautiful book.

Now that my gaming table is complete, I have started up a new campaign and our group has selected Star Wars – Edge of the Empire as our system. Expect numerous posts in the future about the gameplay, mechanics, and other issues that arise while playing the system. The first item I wish to discuss regarding Edge of the Empire is a great idea that was introduced to our group by our DM (and licensed Lucasfilm artist), Grant Gould.

During our first session, our “pitiful little band” met to create characters with the guidelines provided by the Core Rulebook. This process lasted a couple of hours as we traded ideas on how to balance our three-player party. I stuck with an early character concept – a cross between an interrogation and medical droid who had parts of his memory wiped and was stolen from Black Sun. Now the droid, EIT27, has been reprogammed to help instead of harm, and somewhere deep in the circuits of his chrome brain are essential details on Black Sun operations. The rules allowed me the flexibility to take skills in multiple Careers to build a Droid who could function both as a healer and techno-savvy brain for the party.

With character creation completed, our DM turned his laptop around and told us to gather around the screen. Click below to find out what he showed us!

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Ego Check: Spencer Estabrooks, Creator of One Hit Die

I did not realize what was missing in my life until I received a press release for One Hit Die, a new webseries that combines “the journey and adventure of a Dungeons & Dragons game with the intimate aside interviews of The Office.” I quickly followed the link, watched the first four episodes of the series, and fell in love with the concept. Considering how much of my blog is dedicated to navel gazing the various levels of communication involved in roleplaying games, One Hit Die is a critical hit on my sensibilities.

One Hit Die LogoI reached out to the creator of One Hit Die, Spencer Estabrooks. He has directed numerous short films in the past and was able to fund One Hit Die by earning a grant through the Alberta Foundation of the Arts. He is in the process of raising funds to advance the show, and was kind enough to share some of his time to discuss the genesis of the series – and some of the wonderful moments in the first four episodes currently available online. Before reading the interview, I suggest you first watch the first four episodes, which will be time well spent!

When previously asked about your inspiration for the series, you responded, “It came out of a desire to relive my early Dungeons & Dragons gaming experiences . . . we always had a lot of inter-party treachery, and I thought it was fun, and wanted to do a show based on that.” How would you describe the world of One Hit Die, and how does it relate to your early gaming experiences?

I grew up in a small town, and we played D&D and other games with very eclectic people. Everyone played with different ambitions, but it started to get fun when characters passed secret messages to the DM. It went like this:

  • Player A passes message to the DM
  • Player B asks, “What was that?”
  • Player A responds, “Your character wouldn’t know.”
  • Player B grumbles

Which is why I like focusing on the characters in One Hit Die, not just on their class and race. I started with the four standard classes, because what’s interesting is how people play them, and how that effects interactions with others.

So to sum it up, One Hit Die is not about games as much as it is about how people play them.

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The Decoupage Dungeons & Dragons Gaming Table

Before moving away from my Dungeons & Dragons gaming group, I enjoyed the unique privilege of routinely playing sessions on The Ultimate Gaming Table. The purveyor of the “Avenger” table also hosted a huge assortment of miniatures and terrain, and I no longer have those tools at my disposal. The task I set for myself – now that I’m firmly on the ground in my new surroundings – was to purchase or build a gaming table for my house.

My new gaming nook.
My new gaming nook.

I briefly flirted with the notion of buying one of the amazing Geek Chic tables for the targeted gaming space. Even their “less-expensive” models are north of $2,000 so while it was fun to daydream about the Emissary in my house – it was never a realistic option. As I was lamenting the cost of a gaming table in a conversation with my wife she provided the following support, “I will help you decoupage our old table.” I began to think about how her idea might provide a “gaming” table that was not just a space to draw grids and maps but a proclamation of my nerd interests and a celebration of artwork I adore from old D&D modules. The following post provides a step-by-step guide for how to build your own eye-popping, inexpensive gaming table for less than $50 through the wonders of decoupage.

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