[Brittanis] What *IS* Dark Arthurian Roleplaying, Anyway?

Cross-post from the newly-live Brittanis.com website.

What is Dark Arthurian Roleplaying, Anyway?


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D&DNext: Please Stop Whining, 4E Fanboys

This is what people reading your comments see in their heads. Really.

Ahh, the shoe is on the other foot and the whining and nerdrage from the 4E fanboys can be heard throughout the internets. Thing is, if they’d actually READ the rules, they’d realize that 4E is all over the place in there.

So here is what I see: a conversation about 5E comes up, and before you can count to 20 (seconds or posts, depending on your conversational medium), somebody who loves 4E and only 4E pipes up about how their version of the game is getting screwed. They complain that all the 4E elements of the game are going away, and they have no love from the designers. Usually here is where some comment about “4E is going to the way of the dodo in favor of pandering to crusty old grey-haired grognards who whined all the way through the last edition” comes up.

I have a couple things to say to these kinds of folk:

1) You now understand first hand how the AD&D/3.X loyalists felt when 4E was launched. Think about that– the feeling that you have right now, they have had for the entire life of 4E. You should probably think about that. 

2) YOU ARE WRONG. If you’d actually stop and take a look at the playtest rules, you’ll see 4E all over the place in there.

  • fully differentiated class mechanics– each class has a specific job and is GOOD at that job.
  • Hit Dice– not EXACTLY the same thing as Healing Surges, but they give the character the ability to heal themselves without any outside aid– something no other edition has
  • Themes & Backgrounds– not part of the official game until 4E
  • cantrips and at-will spells: many of these are exactly the same as their 4E counterparts, just without the pretty green bar and flavor text
  • the fighter’s ability to deal damage on a miss– this might as well be a 4E at will power, too
  • FEATS being very small, concise pieces of rule that modify another rule. 3E had feats, but they were entirely different in scope.
  • The designers have said REPEATEDLY that the crunchy tactical rules WILL BE INCLUDED IN THE CORE GAME, but they’re not ready for playtest yet. The designers have also repeatedly said that there will be several iterations of playtesting, and that the tactical rules will be in there at some point.
  • Likewise monsters– read those descriptions again in the playtest booklet. Several of the monsters have 4E-style abilities (you’d call them powers) that I’ll bet no other monster has. Even if they don’t, with such simple statblocks, I have no doubt that creating a monster from scratch is going to be super easy. And again, the designers have said that the monster rules are undergoing a major overhaul right now. We should see something different in the next iteration of playtest.

And there is a lot more, but really– the bones of 4E are in there, just as much as 1E, AD&D, and 3.X are in there. As far as I am concerned, it’s a remarkably successful mashup.

And one more thing: THIS IS A PLAYTEST. If you’re so pissed off that you feel 4E isn’t being represented, make sure you say so in the playtest feedback AND DO SO IN AN INTELLIGENT, CIVILIZED MANNER.

Contrary to popular internet opinion, this qualifies as neither intelligent nor concise.

I guarantee you that, “5E iz teh suxxors! I’m never giving my money to Wizards ever again!”whilst incredibly ironic to those of us who have been around for more than 1 edition — won’t get you anything, and won’t make anyone listen to what you have to say. Make your case in concise language in the playtest feedback forms, and use specific examples. That’s why it’s a playtest— so everyone can speak up and get their opinion heard. But if you come across as a douchebag (like many of the 3.X fans did at the beginning of 4E… never forget that this is a cycle, folks), you comments will have about as much weight as those of a douchebag should.

Which is to say none.

(oh, and if this is your first time to my blog and you’re feeling inclined to write a flame about how I’m just a grognard and I hate 4E, I suggest you read through my backlog of posts before you prove yourself to be exactly the kind of asshat I’m talking about in the post above. I *WILL* mock your stupidity.)

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RPG Dice Tower Molding Part 1

So if you haven’t been paying attention, I’ve got a bit of a Semi-Secret Project going on. Once the website is up and running, I’ll go full-on public with it, but for now, I’m still putting the pieces together slowly, one at a time. One of the pieces of that plan happened today, and I’m going to share it with you.

Part of what I’m working on is a Small Business, tentatively named Lionheart… something. Might end being Lionheart Crafts, or Lionheart Smithy, or… any number of other ideas, but one of the main things I want to be offering is custom crafts made for gamer type folk, and in order to do that I have to learn how to mold, cast and sculpt stuff in order to facilitate that endeavor. Which, while being deployed to Afghanistan, is a bit of a challenge. I have decided to work on the skills and knowledge necessary for the work while I’m here, in my free time. That way I’m ahead of the curve when I get home stateside and can jump into production…that’s the plan, anyway.

So today– Memorial Day Monday which also happens to be my 32nd Birthday, I decided to really get started on that project. The first thing I have to learn how to do is make a silicone mold of an item. I am, at heart, an uber-geek, so I figured a tower of dice would be really appropriate. For this project, I’m using the Smooth-On Starter Kit I acquired from The Engineer Guy— I’ve got something like 50 emails back and forth with their customer Service department making sure all of this would work getting shipped to A-stan, etc. Great people.

Tower of Dice in the paper coffee cup I’m using as a mold box










Next step is to put a light coat of Mold Release (to keep the silicone from sticking to the dice) on the dice tower and let it dry.

Ease Release in its handy-dandy spritzer bottle.










Next gets to the cool part– the liquid silicone. Chemically, the silicone that will eventually make up the mold is a two-part equation, in this case measured by volume: 1 unit of Part A (blue) and 1 unit of part B (pink) are measured out into separate cups. As soon as they are combined, the chemical reaction starts, so it pays to measure first and pour once (to steal a carpenter’s adage.)

Part A and Part B liquid components of silicone mold making material. Measuring into separate containers and pouring into a single mixing container ensures accuracy.








After the component materials are measured, you pour them into a single mixing container together and then stir…










And then continue mixing for three minutes. It seems like FOREVER, but when you stop having steaks of individual pink and blue in the liquid and have a uniform lavender color, you’re doing it right.

Once the components start mixing, you’ve got about 30 minutes of working time before the silicone begins to really set up. So, it’s pouring time!!

Pour into the lowest part of the mold. This lets bubbles surface easier. With a slightly conical coffee cup as a mold box, this wasn’t really an option for me, so I just did the best I could. This is a Proof of Concept, after all. I’m not all that concerned with getting it “perfect” yet.

Pouring the lavender liquid silicone into the mold box, covering the Dice Tower on all sides by 1/2″.










More pouring… also, showing off my tattoos from Done-Rite Tattoos in Kansas City. Ben there is an AMAZING artist, and his work on my arms is almost a year old but looks BRAND new. The sword handle is perfectly straight when my arm isn’t bent.

More pouring– and arm tattoos!









Now… we wait. For 16 hours, for the silicone to solidify and cure. So tomorrow morning, I’m going to see how well I followed the directions, and then hopefully pour some liquid resin epoxy into the mold and make a replica dice tower!

The whole process outlined in these pictures took me less than 30 minutes. Once I have practice, I can see it taking less than 10 minutes.

Stay Tuned!! 

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Brittanis Sneak Peek…

Coming soon to an internet near you… 

(web design courtesy of Christopher B. Nelson, the best money I’ve spent yet on the Brittanis project. In all seriousness, if you’re looking for AMAZING-quality web design and equally impressive customer service, get ahold of this guy.)

image copyright 2012 Live Action Gaming Entertainment

image copyright 2012 Live Action Gaming Entertainment










image copyright 2012 Live Action Gaming Entertainment




So that is a sneak peek of what I’ve been working on the last couple months. More to come in the next few weeks!