Nov 26, 2008

A D&D Lego Moment: Centaur

As a big fan of LEGO and D&D, it would only seem fitting that one influence the other.

The Centaur (Male)



(Note: This design is not completely mine, I did make some slight mods to versions I'd seen elsewhere online).

Nov 23, 2008

Comics - The Worlds of Dungeons and Dragons (Issue 2)


Cover A

Cover B

Dark Mirror (FR); The Legacy (DL)

The second issue of this comic finishes up both stories stared in issue #1.

Once again, I won't go into too much detail on the Forgotten Realms story, other than to say that I liked this more than part one. There was more action and twists here, while the first part just seemed to be a straight chase. I didn't like the art for Nojheim (the goblin); he looked too much like Dobby from the Harry Potter books and movies.

For the Dragonlance story, this issue picks up with Raistlin and Palin alone in the archmage's laboratory, while the portal to the abyss is still open, awaiting the arrival of Takhisis.

In the laboratory, Raistlin tries manipulating his nephew to embrace the quest for magic power above all else, as Raistlin had done years before. On the other hand, Palin tries to convince his uncle to close the portal and come back to Solace with Caramon and himself.

Raistlin reveals that he will keep the portal open and that he now plans to serve as the mortal ruler of Krynn once Takhisis conquers the realms. The archmage also reveals plans for having Palin serve along side and even training Palin's brothers to serve Takhisis as generals in her army.

Realizing the true nature of his uncle, Palin struggles to close the portal himself, also sending Raistlin back to the abyss in the process.

Afterward, it is revealed that Palin had never actually been in Raistlin's laboratory or the abyss; the whole thing was an elaborate illusion, and served as Palin's Test of High Sorcery. Dalamar reveals that the ruse of Raislin's return was created to trick Caramon into bringing Palin to one of the towers.

As Caramon and Palin leave the tower, the spectral guardian in front of Raistlin's laboratory offers Palin a gift. Claiming it's from Raistlin, the guardian offers the new white robe mage one of his uncle's most prized possessions, the Staff of Magius.

Commentary

I really like the art for this issue. The panels really had some great angles and a lot of attention to detail, and really helped enliven what is essentially two characters talking. Also, the expressions on Raistlin's face really help show what's going on in the archmage's mind.

Overall I thought this was a good adaptation of the story. For Dragonlance fans, this was an important tale when it first came out. It was the first time the setting jumped forward in time to the "next generation" and laid to rest fan speculation that Raistlin was not really dead. Also for fans of the Dragonlance D&D rules, this shows a lot of the little challenges that an apprentice mage goes through during a Test of High Sorcery, including the ethical dilemma's that help determine what color robe the mage will afterward.

But as a story, I don't think this was the best one to start off with for Dragonlance. Overall, not a lot really happens. While there are a couple of twists at the end, I found that only somewhat satisfying. I can certainly think of better Dragonlance short stories, and even a few involving Raistlin, that I would like to see adapted before this one.

On the other hand, this story and art are infinitely better than any of the DC/TSR comics I've reviewed so far. All said, I think this anthology book is off to a great start, and I look forward to other stories from other D&D worlds in future issues.

Next time, I'll return to my reviews of the DC/TSR comics, continuing with issue #13.

(P.S. Sorry for the off schedule posting, due to some real life events, I lost track of my own schedule!)

Nov 18, 2008

Did You Know? 18

In the first edition Dragonlance Adventures handbook, pcs on Krynn could only be a max of 18th level?

The rules stated that if a character went beyond 18th, the PC would leave Krynn for some other realm.

I always figured this was an attempt to keep power levels somewhat under control, as opposed to Greyhawk (and later the Forgotten Realms) where plenty of NPCs exceeded 25+

Nov 17, 2008

Blogging on the phone

I just installed a new app on my iPhone so I can blog.

Now the big question is will I write more of less?

Nov 10, 2008

Video - D&D PHB PSA

Another video series I stumbled on, "D&D PHB PSA", is a sometimes funny collection of skits relating to D&D. The general idea is that on each episode, a few people (iconic D&D character types) talk about issues personal to them.

The first episode features Mialee, Jozan, Gimble, and Lidda in "confessional" style interviews. Note, some of the later episodes have a bit of NSFW humor. Creative Juices, the group that produces the series, currently have about 40+ episodes on-line, with each running around 15min each.

Nov 7, 2008

Comics - The Worlds of Dungeons and Dragons (Issue 1)


Cover A

Cover B

Dark Mirror (FR); The Legacy (DL)

For this new comic series, Devil's Due Publishing, which have successfully adapted the Drizzt books from The Forgotten Realms setting as well The Chronicles and Legends trilogies from Dragonlance, took that same idea and applied it to an anthology series. Since there are literally hundreds of short stories published for the various D&D worlds (including Ravenloft, Spelljammer, and Dark Sun in addition to FR and DL), they created this book as an outlet to adapt those works into comic form.

For their first issue, they feature two of the most popular characters across all the D&D settings, Drizzt and Raistlin. Cover Art A might lead you to think that this would be some kind of "crossover" story featuring both characters, but a quick scan inside the book clearly shows that the two main characters are in two separate stories.

This issue contains part 1 (of 2) of the FR story "Dark Mirror", which appeared in the anthology "Realms of Valor", and part 1 (of 2) of the DL story "The Legacy", which appeared in the anthology "Second Generation".

Since this a Dragonlance focused blog, I'll skip an in depth review of the FR story, but will say that I liked the art for this story, especially Guenhwyvar, and the ogre leader. The combat sequences had interesting panel angles and layout.

The second half of the issue was devoted to the Dragonlance story "The Legacy". This story focuses on Caramon, Palin (Caramon's son), and Dalamar. Palin has been studying magic this past years and is now almost ready to take his Test.

The wizards of the Order of High Sorcery fear that Raistlin is not dead, but merely waiting to inhabit a new body; Palin's body. Caramon, on the other hand, believes his brother to be dead, based on a vision he believes was granted to him by the god Paladine. Even still he journey's with Palin and Dalamar to the Tower of High Sorcery in Palanthus, to confront and defeat his brother if needed, to protect his son.

Inside the tower, all three stand before Raistlin's laboratory, but the spectre that guards this place will only allow Palin to enter. Upset at his father for never understanding his devotion to magic, Palin goes in alone.

In the laboratory Palin finds all manner of items, including books and scrolls Raistlin left behind. Among this he also finds The Staff of Magius, one of Raistlin's prized possessions, and the Portal to the Abyss.

Just then a hand pulls Palin through the portal. In the abyss, he finds his uncle Raistlin being tortured by Takhisis. When she leaves, Palin frees the black robed mage and leads him back through the portal to Krynn.

As Palin warns his uncle to close the portal before Takhisis enters Krynn, Raistlin laughs with a sinister grin on his face, seemingly willing to leave the portal open.

- end of part one -

Commentary

I really liked this first issue. I thought the writing was very good, with Palin coming across as the young child trying to be seen as a man in his father's eyes, as well as Caramon as the loving, protective father. The art for this story was beautifully done, with great detail inside the Tower at Palanthus, as well as the characterizations for Caramon, Palin, and even minor characters like Justarius and Dunbar. On the other hand, I didn't like the portrayal of Dalamar; he didn't look at all like an elf to me. Also the landscape for the Tower at Palanthus makes it look like the tower is out in the countryside, when it's actually within the city proper. This is a minor quibble, since all the action takes place inside the tower, not in the streets of Palanthus.

It's been a while since I read the original short story, so I'm not sure how closely this follows the original source material, though I think some characters have been dropped and new scenes have been included. Again, this comic is following the basic premise of what I remember.

Overall this is a great first start to this new series, in two weeks, I'll be reviewing the second issue to complete my review of this story. After that I'll return to my ongoing review of the DC Dragonlance comics.

Nov 6, 2008

Video - Fear of Girls

Stumbled across a new game-related web series, Fear of Girls. I've only watched the first episode and was cringing and laughing the whole time.



Right now there's only two episodes, but #3 seems to be on the way.

Nov 1, 2008

Quick Update

Sorry about the lack of updates to this page recently. I've been out of town for the last few weeks without access to a computer. I had planned to schedule a few items over the month, but I ran out of time before I could get anything ready.

I should be getting back on to some kind of regular schedule shortly, starting with the review of the new Worlds of Dungeons & Dragons comic as well as updates of my ongoing game.