Updates!

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Hey, there’s this blog thing I used to write on. I should do something about that.

Not much going on in the world of gaming, theoretical or otherwise. The impending release of Player’s Handbook 3 (no, not this one) has me thinking again about making 4e work for supers gaming – I do loves me power point systems.  Still running one pretty loose 4e game (lots more talky talk than dungeon crawling), the one game I’m playing in that Bryant is running via Skype/MapTool is wrapping up, and I’m in another game that’s just about to start Revenge of the Giants. Oh, and playing in John’s “Howard Hughes’ Men of Action!” which is very loosely using Inspectres to for zany pulpy anthology-esque romps through the life of Hughes and his ancestors (we somewhat inadvertently started a zombie holocaust in revolutionary France. I say “somewhat” because that was actually our plan. That’s how it goes).

Oh and last week I ran a mostly paperless one-shot. I had my baddie stat blocks on paper but there were no books and no character sheets to be had. Characters were generated in the builder right then and there and transfered to iPhones using iplay4e (for 3 of the 4 players – the 4th just used the laptop).  With a little more planning I could have had all my monster stuff on a laptop as well and we could have used electronic dice rollers. This is gaming in the Future!

But today I want to talk about the latest round of updates for 4th edition.  Much of this round of updates is fixing loopholes or badly written bits that were being exploited by shall we say ingenious players for pretty astonishing bonuses. Which is causing much tooth gnashing and breast beating among the people who were enjoying the fruits of their minmaxing. But hey, I’m not one to tell other people how to have their fun (yes I am) so if it floats their boat and it harm none, let them do as they wilt.  All I ask for is a little perspective, please!

The bigger issue for me here is that coming up on two years in the core books are looking much like swiss cheese.  Having the Builder and Compendium updated regularly helps enormously in keeping track of what’s changed but I do most of my game prep on paper and not in front of a computer. When I’m choosing traps and setting up skill challenges I’m flipping through the DMG. Way back when I actually went through my PHB and DMG and wrote in all the errata in red pen. But now even some of that errata has been errataed and frankly it’s messy. A living, evolving ruleset like this doesn’t really lend itself well to hardcopy. And I wouldn’t hold my breath for WotC to bring back electronic editions of the books or update those regularly. There’s my dream: I buy an electronic copy of the PHB and for a small subscription fee get a new full book pdf for my iPad or whatever every couple of months, including all the changes.

So I think I’m instead going to do the next best thing. 4e is a very “crafty” game – pogs, marker tokens, pipe-cleaner AoE borders, custom maps.  This weekend I’m going to pick up a box of full-sheet stickers and an extra set of ink cartridges and then I’m going to print out the errata pages for the books I own/want to update (PHB 1 and 2, DMG 1 and 2 and the 3 Powers books. Don’t think the MM or AV updates are necessary as that stuff can be accessed easier through the online tools), cut up the blocks as necessary and slap them into the books. Looks to be about 42 pages.  Don’t know if the new errataed pieces will fit in neatly – that’s my greatest concern.  I’ll post some scans or something to show what it looks like.

Next week (and I’m going to try writing something each week here) some reflections on whipping up an Epic level one-shot, including lvl 25-30 pregens. Whee!

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One Response to “Updates!”

  1. Theron Says:

    My method for errata in the past has been to buy some little file folder dots (available at Office Depot) that are basically colored stickers the size of a hole punch) and use them to mark an errata’ed section of the book. I keep a printout of the errata and refer to it if I hit one of these passages.

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