Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Drow Attack!

First and foremost, the folks who run Endgame Oakland are awesome. I was in there yesterday and mentioned how hard it is to find copies of Keep on the Shadowfell, the adventure I was planning on using to start my middle schoolk D&D game. In response, the Endgame staff gave me a copy of Web of the Spider Queen, one of the latest D&D Encounters packs, complete with maps.

Now, I know that Web of the Spider Queen was a promotional product, made and distributed for free by Wizards of the Coast, but it still takes a special kind of businessperson to think of that, especially when it offers him no direct profit. My hat goes off to Endgame, and you should all give it a visit the next time you're in Oakland.

Moving on to the content of Web of the Spider Queen.

So far, I think this is something I can use. I'm a little concerned about how much of the art focuses on drow booty. I'm more than a little concerned about, you know, the black elves being evil, and you can tell they're evil because they're black. On the other hand, there's a fun plot and an endboss who really chews the scenery, uttering memorable lines like "I'll eat your hearts for the trouble you've caused me!" I can have a lot of fun with that guy, and the kids will enjoy fighting him.

There are two problems that are real stumbling blocks.

The first is relatively minor. There's a random treasure table - I like those, as callbacks to the days when magical items were part of the weird shit that happened to you as an adventurer, rather than an anticipated and controllable part of your progression - but about a third of it is stuff from Mordenkeinen's Magnificent Emporium... which I don't own. I'll pick it up if I can find a used copy - I'll hit Endgame's used section on Thursday - but I won't buy it new. Well, that's disappointing, but I can always fudge it using content from one of the other rulebooks I do own.

The second is just a little bit bigger.

Page 9, end of the first session, the characters get a sending from Elminster. Mother. Fucking Elminster. I have no time for bearded God-damned Mary Sues in my D&D games. I am also not tying myself to the Forgotten Realms. I'm going to have to invent some other suitably super - but not spotlight-stealing, thank you very much - wizard type to replace him. Then I can kill him at a later date and manipulate my players' little emotions.

Sometimes, being a good DM means being a bad person.

Anyway, tomorrow is the first session - wish me luck!

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