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Gabe / on Wed, Feb 18 2009 at 10:25 am

New D&D Podcast!

I was really happy to hear so many people come up to the booth at New York and say they enjoyed the D&D podcasts we did. That was my first time ever playing Dungeons and Dragons and I had a great time. People have asked me why I never played before that and I guess I just had some misconceptions about what D&D was. The more I talk to Tycho about what previous editions of the game were like, the more I’m glad I came in when I did. It sounds like a lot of the stuff that might have turned me off from the game was stripped out for 4th edition. Obviously I’m not an expert but my impression after talking with Tycho is that they’ve made a significantly more accessible game. I think it was the new 4th edition rules combined with where I was in my tabletop journey that made D&D really appeal to me. The tabletop journey I mentioned is actually sort of interesting. I’ve been thinking about why I was sort of primed for D&D and if you trace it back through the news posts you can see that it starts with Pokemon of all things. 


I discovered Pokemon back in 2007 with Diamond and Pearl. My affection for the DS game lead me to try the card game which was simple by CCG standards, but extremely fun. This was really my first experience with a tabletop CCG and I was hooked. As I got more and more into the game I started to feel like I could go for something with a bit more meat on it. I remembered that Blizzard had sent us some starter decks for the Warcraft TCG and so I roped Kiko into giving it a try with me. We got sucked in and pretty soon I had a group of friends meeting at my house every week for cards. Playing against each other was fun but the WOW card game actually had something called raid decks that proved to be even more exciting. A raid deck is basically an adventure deck full of cool locations and monsters that is played by a single person. The rest of the party each play their hero deck and we work together to beat the raid. It works pretty just like the PC game in that your party needs to have a tank, healer and DPS. In fact the card game is built so well that I was actually able to construct a deck that matched my WOW character exactly. I had a resto druid deck that played exactly like I expected it to. In fact thinking back on it now I’m still blown away by how well they managed to model all the PC game spells and effects with cards. The party dynamic was just spot on. 

Anyway, playing these raid decks it turns out is a lot like playing D&D. You have one guy controlling all the monsters and you have a party of adventurers working together to beat them. It was very easy to make the transition between the two and I found the added freedom that D&D offered to be really exciting. I still love Pokemon and I’m excited about picking up Platinum next month. I’m also still a big fan of the WOW TCG and plan on attending the Dark Moon faire again should it ever come back to Seattle. But right now I feel like D&D is sort of the natural end point for my tabletop journey, like this is what I was trying to get to all along. 

When WOTC asked us do another set of podcasts we jumped at the opportunity. I was thrilled to step back into the roll of Jim Darkmagic alongside Tycho’s Omin Dran and Scott Kurtz as Binwin Bronzebottem. We even got our good friend Wil Wheaton to round out the party. The first episode is live now and you can grab it here. If you’re new to D&D I think they’re fun to listen to and they give you a good idea of what the game is like. If you’re already playing it you might be interested to see how Wil’s Avenger plays. This is one of the new classes that will be released with PHB 2 next month. It’s a divine striker for those of you that know/care what that means. 

So check out the the D&D site to grab the first episode. Each one is also accompanied by a piece of art from either Scott or myself. We had a ton of fun recording these and I hope you enjoy them.

Also, we made a new shirt. If you liked this comic you might like it.

-Gabe out


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