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Posts with tag Dungeons-and-Dragons

Spiritual Guidance: Shadowfiends retire, more priest talent news from Mists beta

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Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Dawn Moore covers the healing side of things for discipline and holy priests. She also writes for LearnToRaid.com and produces the Circle of Healing Podcast.

Do you want to know the greatest and most amazing new thing priests are getting in Mists of Pandaria? It's a squid. Well, it could be an octopus, but I think it's a squid. It's called a Mindbender, and it's our new level 45 talent. The Mindbender is a flying, shadowy squid that serves as an improved version of (read: replacement for) our old pal, Shadowfiend. Our new squid friend does double the damage of Shadowfiend and thus returns twice as much mana. I can only assume the reason he can do this is because he latches onto the heads of our enemies and sucks out their brains, sort of like a Mind Flayer, the squid-faced monsters from Dungeons and Dragons with telekinetic powers. Mindbender, Mind Flayer ... That's right, Blizzard, I'm on to you.

Anyway, I imagine Squiddy will become the prime choice for healing priests in MoP because 1.) mana is mana, and 2.) the other level 45 talents are a bit lackluster. That will unfortunately mean leaving Shadowfiend at home, which is awfully sad, but I've painted up a scenario in my head where Shadowfiend tells me, "Look, Dawn, we've been raiding together for a few years now, and it's about time that I caught up on all the prime time television I've missed. There's Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and I've still only seen one episode of Game of Thrones. I need a break."

"OK, Shadowfiend," I say to it, "you can stay home this expansion."

"Thanks, dollface," it responds with Don Draper-esque charm and winks an eye at me I never knew it had.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Transmog your way to a roguish look

I used to play a lot of Dungeons & Dragons in college, back when v.3.5 was all the rage. At the time, a series of companion books was being released with titles like Complete Adventurer or Complete Divine; these books listed additional abilities and classes that players could use to expand upon the core classes in the original D&D rule books. Warlocks, for example, were added in Complete Arcane as a spin-off from the mage core class. Instead of using classic D&D mage spells like Magic Missile, they used invocations, which the book provided.

What I liked most about these books is that they made you think outside the box about your class. A warrior wasn't just a guy with a sword and a lot of armor proficiency; he could be a swashbuckler of the high seas or a graceful, dancing dervish. Both classes were warriors, but they fought in distinctively different ways.

So when it comes to WoW and transmogrification, I think a lot about the possible archetypes certain classes could have and try to explore those in different outfits. Leather wearers, for example, don't always have to look like members of the Defias Brotherhood or the audience at a Grateful Dead concert. They could also be mud-splattered bandits, solitary rangers from the Hinterlands, or sneaky Warsong scouts. Oddly enough, today's outfit might just work for all three.

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Filed under: Transmogrification

The Queue: The one with the dungeons and the dragons

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Today's edition is being published from alternate universe -- one in which coffee is expensive, sheep are extinct, and Nixon is on U.S. currency. With Mike Sacco busy managing his foul-smelling, short hair, your host for today will be Gov. Fox Van Allen.

Everyone remembers their first role-playing game. For some, it was World of Warcraft. For others, it was Pokemon. For me, it was a game of Dungeons & Dragons at summer camp.

Sure, it wasn't what you'd consider a traditional game. A lot of the monsters we fought had fart-based powers, and one of our quests involved finding magical berries that would give us the power to touch breasts. Our first (and only) game devolved into an uninteresting mess, and we gave up after being trapped in a poorly designed maze.

Still, we did get to roll dice all the time, which I found to be really cool. And not just regular dice, either. Twenty-sided dice. Whoa.

ZeroDesu asked:

When is Fox Van Allen going to do another Queue segment? I do so enjoy his writing style. And his fashion style. He's just one very stylish man in general. (Yes, this is just shameless prostrating in hopes that he'll read this and do The Queue tomorrow because of it.)

Today! Shameless prostrating before Fox Van Allen always works. But only on Mondays, because everyone else hates writing queues on Mondays.

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Filed under: The Queue

All the World's a Stage: We don't need no narration

All the World's a Stage, and all the orcs and humans merely players. They have their stories and their characters; and one player in his time plays many roles.

Throughout my career as a roleplaying columnist on WoW.com, I've been talking about roleplaying as a way to tell stories, but last week a comment by Zombie, as well as those made by a few others on the same topic, caused me to think about roleplay stories in a new way. Perhaps what we roleplayers do isn't actually storytelling so much as it is character development through interesting and somewhat disjointed anecdotes.

There's really no beginning, middle, or end to a roleplayed character in WoW. Instead, what you get is a mishmash of events and experiences, which you may then string together into a story in your mind if you like. But even if you don't, you can see that most of us don't really expect for a narrative to develop from a clear beginning, through various plot developments, and finally lead into an exciting climax. There is something else roleplayers want to get out of their experience, even if many of us have trouble articulating exactly what it is.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Breakfast Topic: The Madness of Multiclassing

Oh yeah, I'm totally a multi-class battlemage. It's awesome.
So a reader recently asked us a question: Why doesn't WoW allow multiclassing? It's a staple of many a Pen and Paper roleplaying game, and certain MMOs, such as DDO Unlimited, do offer it as an option. Why not WoW, our read wished to know.

Honestly, it's all about balance. Games like Dungeons and Dragons are generally built from the ground up to support multiclassing. Each class has its synergies, and multiclassing its own rules, and there's a limited frame in which they work which works with the whole concept of multiclassing. With WoW, you have 10 separate classes so minutely balanced that even the slightest outside influence can shift the balance of power in class representation and role. With millions of players, each of them expecting to be able to fulfill a certain role and be competitive with everyone else, and each class balanced around a very specific set of skills and equipment, adding multiclassing to WoW would require such an extensive redesign that it would make Patch 4.0 look like a hot fix.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Classes

The Daily Quest: Dave Arneson rolls a 20


D&D co-creator Dave Arneson passed away earlier this week. While you might not have played D&D, know that he and the late Gary Gygax were the pioneers of this genre of games. I would not be surprised to hear from Blizzard on this in the upcoming days.

On a personal note, I ran into him around the age of 10 while in a St. Paul, Minnesota comic book store (Schinders, for those of you wondering). I was looking at Magic cards mainly, but he was browsing around and came over and talked with me when he saw I had turned my attention to one of the D&D 2e books. The clerk later told me as I was checking out who he was.

Filed under: News items, The Daily Quest

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a draenei

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the eighth in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class well, without embarrassing yourself.

The draenei are one of Warcraft's more unique contributions to the realm of fantasy fiction, the one player race without no real precedent in earlier fantasy worlds. These are not your typical elves, orcs and dwarves borrowed from Tolkien or Dungeons and Dragons; the draenei are tall, with hooves, tails, horns and even face-tendrils -- but they are noble and spiritual people, the last remnants of an ancient civilization of magic and beauty.

To begin thinking about what it must be like to live as a draenei, imagine how the human race might be many thousands of years into the future, maybe a quarter of a million years from now. Whatever technology those people might have would probably seem like magic to us. Our descendants might unravel the mysteries of biology to such a degree that they can halt the aging process and live as long as they want to. They may be able to tap on sources of power we haven't even imagined, and act with motivations and purposes we could scarcely understand.

The draenei as a people were once like this, 25,000 years before the setting of World of Warcraft. Even at that time, they were already ancient in their history and advanced far beyond what you and I might understand. Their world, called Argus, was a prosperous society full of great achievements and magical wonders, quite unlike anything we see today. They had a different name then, however -- they were called, the "eredar" -- a name which now upsets the draenei as a painful reminder of everything they have lost, the corruption, the betrayal and the near extermination of everything they have ever known and loved.

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Filed under: Alliance, Draenei, Lore, Guides, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Know your roots have changed; 4E launches a new world

Even while creative maestro Metzen experiments with making World of Warcraft unique among its fantasy peers, there's not much denying that WoW has some pretty solid roots in, and respect for, Dungeons and Dragons. You can see proof of that in the patch notes from 2.4, which were dedicated to pen-and-paper legend, Gary Gygax. Many of us cruising Azeroth have some experience with good old D&D. WoW has pretty strong, deep roots in D&D, and those roots changed with the newly released 4th edition.

What's new in the 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons? The class system is radically different, spells work differently, healing works differently, and fights work differently. Okay, it seems everything is pretty much different. But there's one big change that will probably make more than a few folks happy: no more Gnome PCs. Gnomes are now monsters, and not available for play in the core rules. A lot of the speculation about these changes is that D&D might be trying to distance itself a little from the World of Warcraft juggernaut.

It's a good thing Blizzard isn't still following its roots. I'm looking forward to my Gnomish Death Knight in Wrath of the Lich King.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items

Roleplaying is a wave of the future


When you look at games like World of Warcraft versus games like Dungeons and Dragons, you can see that in some ways they are just the same, while in others they are vastly different. Thematically, they're both about romping through a fantasy world having adventures, and depending on the kind of activity you enjoy most in your games, the actual content of either one can be very similar. The difference lies in the user interface: WoW takes over your computers screen and presents you with intensive graphics, while D&D relies on paper, dice, and your imagination.

While WoW is obviously a child of the early 21st century, all the practical tools used in D&D have existed for thousands of years. One might well wonder: "why didn't Plato (or any other suitably wise old figure out of history) ever think of putting together a dungeon adventure?" A recent Escapist magazine article asks that very question, and then provides us with a bunch of theories about what roleplaying is and why people do it. All these are interesting in themselves, but they leave me wondering "but wait... why didn't Plato ever think of it?" The answer I think the article is trying to give is that roleplaying is actually a form of social innovation that couldn't have existed before, because the culture and ideas to give it form hadn't developed until the '60s.

So tonight when you get home and log into WoW, especially if you are logging in to roleplay your character, remember that you are participating in an activity that is on the growing edge of human civilization. Just as, all those hundreds of years ago, it was a great innovation for the Greek playwright Aeschylus to bring two actors onto the stage at once as opposed to letting one actor and a chorus carry the show -- in our own era, the way players get together today to collaboratively create worlds, characters and stories with one another is a new and exciting innovation that never existed before. Roleplaying itself is one of many brilliant and beautiful examples of how society and culture continue to evolve and progress well into the the future... and beyond.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, RP

All the World's a Stage: Magical table, magical screen

All the World's a Stage is a source for roleplaying ideas, commentary, and discussions. It is published every Sunday evening.

As with many other people, my first experience of roleplaying was with a "tabletop" roleplaying game in high school. The older kids introduced me to Vampire: The Masquerade, and although I wasn't enthralled by the whole "bloodsucking" thing, I quickly realized that the basic activity was lots of fun, and I ended up starting my own roleplaying group with Earthdawn, a more traditional (yet surprisingly original) fantasy setting. Those games were my some of my happiest memories from high school.

In college I couldn't find many people who were interested in playing with me, and when I came to live and work in China after graduating in 2000, I thought that my roleplaying days were over for sure. You may imagine my surprise when in late 2007, I came across another foreigner here in Nanjing, discussing Dungeons and Dragons with his Chinese wife in one of my favorite restaurants. It turns out he needed another player for the group he has going here, and although his wife wasn't interested, I happened to appear, ready and eager to join up.

Originally I had thought that WoW would be the only way I could continue roleplaying while living in the far East, but starting to get back into my old hobby has given me a chance to see more clearly what the differences are between tabletop roleplaying and roleplaying in a game like WoW. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, and different people have their preferences. Both have a special value which is mainly derived from connecting creatively with other people.

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Filed under: Virtual selves, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

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