Friday, June 21, 2019

Team RBG 2.0 & the Swim Across the Sound


As many of you know, I'm competing in this year's Swim Across the Sound to support St. Vincent's Hospital's Cancer Center.  The Swim is a 15-mile open water event that starts in Port Jefferson, NY, and finishes on the far side of Long Island Sound in Bridgeport, CT.  Team RBG 2.0 is entered in the Classic (No Wetsuit) category, which means that we'll swim as a relay, taking half-hour pulls while a boat motors slowly alongside us.  We have a team of legitimately talented swimmers -- Andy and I both swam for the Army Swim Team, Class of 1995, while Chris and Stephen are experienced triathletes (and Navy vets).  However, we'll have the tide against us this year, making this a serious challenge.

We're going to beat it, though, and we're going to beat cancer, too.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

The Disappearance of Jaxon Carrows

Over the past several months, the port town of Breakwater Bay has lost a number of small fishing boats.  The disappearances have put the local fishermen on edge, so when Captain Jaxon Carrows and his boat Salty Dog go missing, the Breakwater Bay town council approaches the party to find out what’s happening.  Over the course of their investigation, the party discovers a sahuagin cult moving into the local waters, opposed by a tribe of lizardfolk.  The lizardfolk make good would-be allies if the party can convince them of the value of an alliance.
The Disappearance of Jaxon Carrows is designed for a party of four to five player-characters of 3rd or 4th level.  It’s meant as a one-shot, running from four to six hours depending on your pace of play.
Note.  This adventure is based loosely around the Ghosts of Saltmarsh adventure Danger at Dunwater.  The changes I’ve made change Dunwater’s overarching plot idea into a slow reveal mystery.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Dan’s Rules of Writing

I never thought that I would need to publish my "Rules for Writing," but here we are.  I've found myself in an editorial role often enough of late that having a few rules written down will--hopefully--make explaining how to write a little easier.

Got thoughts?  Let me hear 'em.

Rules are after the jump:

Friday, June 7, 2019

D&D: Swordmage Revisited

Dungeons & Dragons’ 4th edition had a huge array of classes divided up into four main party roles--Leader, Defender, Striker, and Controller.  The different classes allowed for different expressions of core party responsibilities within a wide variety of potential character themes.  Leaders healed, Defenders were tanks, Strikers assassinated single targets, and Controllers shaped the battlefield, generally through area effect burst or blast-type spells.  The upside of this was that not every party had to have a Rogue or a Cleric in order to pick locks and/or stay alive in combat.  The downside was that over time, a lot of 4e’s classes started to look basically alike.
5th edition is generally more like 2e than 4e, but it hasn’t gone completely away from 4e’s role versatility in classes.  The game’s current edition offers a few ways to tank like a Defender, for example, in the Fighter, Paladin, and even Barbarian classes, and the Bard and Cleric are still both designed basically in the Leader role.  However, there still not a great way to tank with an arcane class, and though this is far from a game-breaking failure, it is an issue that Wizards of the Coast (WotC) has tried to address.