From the DM’s Chair: Session 16, A Moth to a Flame

Shadowonthewall

WARNING: This blog is a long one. Oops.

The best experiences in D&D are the ones where afterwards both the DM and players sit back, relax and think ‘wow, that was awesome’. It doesn’t happen all that often, which is fair. A lot of things contribute to a session’s mood and how people enjoy a session. Sometimes, however, all you need to make a truly great session are a few basic pieces from your Dungeon Master’s toolkit: a simple outlined side-quest, an epic encounter with a twist in expectations and, with a little luck from your players, a chance for some great character development.

Welcome to From the DM’s Chair, I’m Shadowonthewall and today, we’ll be talking about the sixteenth session of my D&D campaign: Dorvine, and the lessons I’ve learned whilst running it. This week, we’ll be taking a look at an encounter in recent sessions that ended up…

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Now Arriving: Games of November 2018

Gamer Crash

Well, that was certainly a busy month, wasn’t it? October seemed to carry one new AAA release after another each week, and it doesn’t stop there. Even though it lost Call of Duty this year, November still has a ton of great games to look forward to. We’re not out of the woods yet, so hold on tight for another month of releases!

The Fallout franchise is back once again, though it may be a little different from what you and I remember. For the first time in franchise history, Fallout 76 takes the traditionally solo experience online for a multiplayer-focused experience. Sure, players can still play through the game solo if they want, but Fallout 76 introduces a shared world where the only other humans you see, are actual players.

After a delay out of the brutal release window of October, Battlefield V finally arrives. Taking a page from…

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5 Horror Video Games That Were More Trick Than Treat

TWO BEARD GAMING

Halloween is upon us once again. And while our ghoulish friends will be sitting at home watching their favourite horror movies, the rest of us will be revisiting our favourite scary video games. Well, mostly.

Some video games, it seems, were more fart than fright, shamelessly crawling back into the grave before anyone noticed how terrible they really were. It is those stinkers that we’re here to unearth today, maggots and all. So join us as we look back at 5 Horror Video Games That Were More Trick Than Treat – cue lightning and scary laughter.

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5. FRIDAY THE 13TH THE GAME (GUN MEDIA)

Friday 13th

We’ve already covered many of the problems fans faced when they handed over £30 to Microsoft in exchange for a copy of the hotly anticipated Friday the 13th game, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t remind everyone how bad the whole experience was one more time.

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Randomness and Luck!

The Solo Meeple

I thought I’d attempt something a little different this week, and write about a subject that often crops up at the games table, randomness and luck. I have put together my own theories about these two things, come up with my own definitions, and given some examples; but whatever I think, as long as I get you thinking about them, then I’ve achieved my purpose and will be happy with that.

Randomness and luck are terms often associated with tabletop games, but what do the actually mean?

Randomness – ‘The quality or state of lacking a pattern or principle of organization; unpredictability.’

Luck – ‘Success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one’s own actions.’ Or, ‘Chance considered as a force that causes good or bad things to happen.’

That’s the Oxford Living Dictionary definitions; let’s examine things a little closer.

As it’s a solid concept, let’s…

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Unexpected Horror: When Games Betray You

AmbiGaming

You know how it goes… You’re all settled in for a nice gaming session with one of your favorite, not-scary games, when all of a sudden bam you’re in this situation that gives you the creeps you’d have never expected in your favorite fill-in-the-title game. Sometimes the area turns out to be a lot of nothing, and the game is either purposefully or not-purposefully feeding on our well-honed fears exploited by horror games. Sometimes it’s an Easter egg.

Sometimes it’s supposed to be just creepy enough to let you know something is going wrong and push the narrative along a desired path. But whatever the reason, you’re now on an unexpected creep-tastic ride you weren’t planning on. Here are eight unexpectedly creepy sequences in games that are overall not creepy, and a little delve into what makes them so adrenaline-inducing.

Thanks to LightningEllen, one of AmbiGaming’s Patrons

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Nostalgia Lane: Castlevania Symphony of the Night

Bio Break

One of my favorite game series back on retro consoles is Castlevania. From the first game, with its pulse-pounding soundtrack and lethargic whip action to Super Castlevania IV on the SNES, I adored the tone and fun of these hunted house games. Things seemed to go off the rails with the N64 game, but the PlayStation brought it back in style for the surprisingly amazing 1997 game Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.

Poorly translated and pretentious as all get out, SOTN was nevertheless an astounding action-RPG. This time around, players jumped into the shoes of Dracula’s son who had to explore his dad’s castle and put an end to evil, etc. While the game started players out with high stats and powerful equipment, after the first boss battle we were all knocked back to a weakened state with minimal gear and had to scrounge and explore and grind to get…

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The Sapphire Vault

Dyson's Dodecahedron

Home to foul goblinoids now, the Sapphire Vault appears to have been part of some larger structure at one point – the construction of which is significantly beyond the skills of the current inhabitants. Access to the vault is via one of two small caves on the cliff-face – the smaller cave being about 12 feet above the larger and used primarily as a look-out for invaders, looters, and adventurers.

The Sapphire Vault The Sapphire Vault

Once past the rough entrance of the cave, the walls of the vault are covered in bright blue tiles – although many are cracked or missing from ages of abuse. Three major chambers exist within the vault, two of which are used as living areas by the goblinoids and the furthest one from the entrance claimed as the domain of their priest-king.

The goblinoids have not discovered the secret cave and passage from the southern chamber to…

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