Arena of Valor Hero Guides – Thane, Taara, Mganga [AOV Stats]

Something I’ve been contributing to over the last month is writing hero guides for upcoming MOBA Arena of Valor. The new website, AOV Stats (by ZAM), just went live this week. You can see my work here, with three guides of mine up so far.

Arena of Valor is a mobile free-to-play MOBA that’s huge in China and Europe. It’s scheduled to release in the U.S. later this month.

It’s basically a slightly watered down, mobile-friendly version of League of Legends or DOTA 2. There’s ranked play, items, lanes, etc. It’s actually a lot of fun and I definitely don’t normally play mobile games.

I’m continuing to master more heroes and crank out guides. The website is still brand new and very much a work in progress. It’s eventually going to get fancy graphics, widgets, and videos. Keep this game on your radar if you enjoy MOBAs.

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DMs Guild Review: Something Smells Fishy

A press copy of Something Smells Fishy was provided for the purposes of this review.

Designed by: Phil Beckwith
Published by: P.B. Publishing

d&d“Something Smells Fishy” is a murder mystery adventure designed for players of 2nd – 4th level. It takes place in and around the small fishing town of Lartan near Waterdeep, though you could drop it into any coastal town, and concerns a missing shipment of fish that soon becomes deadly.

It’s 30 pages long, with a suggested runtime of 8 hours, and provides DM and player maps of both the town of Lartan and a mini cave-dungeon that represents the action-packed climax.

The story is divided up into four parts, which are supposed to take place over the course of two days. It’s heavily railroaded and designed to give players both clues and misdirection regarding a case of missing shipments of fish, the town’s primary export.

The DM will need to become familiar with several important NPCs, whom the PCs are designed to confront and interrogate at multiple times throughout the story. It’s a very role-playing heavy adventure with a simple but fun mystery plot and easy-to-run enemies and locations, making it a nice low-level, light combat adventure. Continue reading “DMs Guild Review: Something Smells Fishy”

The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 3 “Monsters” Recap

Where’s my Episode 2 recap? Turns out Polygon will not be running weekly Walking Dead recaps this year. This news came a bit late, which meant my recap for episode 2 had been submitted and even contracted, but probably won’t be published. I’ll be resuming weekly recaps here on my website, but alas episode 2’s recap will remain in limbo.

The Walking Dead continues with its all out war storyline, much to its benefit. We’re on the third episode and we’ve covered maybe only an hour, as we continue to see Rick’s offensive strategy play out in three different fronts.

Well, two fronts anyway. Once again the Kingdom group with Carol and King Ezekiel have little to show but stirring speeches from Ezekiel, along with a montage of mowing down saviors using obvious ambush tactics. They get there comeuppance at the end of the episode, and we’ll get to that in a bit. Continue reading “The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 3 “Monsters” Recap”

Hand of Fate 2 Review [PC Gamer]

Read the full review at PC Gamer

My Fame score was too high. When I drew the Infamous card again, I was faced with a choice: fight my way out of an angry mob of peasants, or submit to a trial by fire. I opted for the latter and was presented with a rotating beam of light along a pendulum of moving blocks. When I failed to stop the marker on the right block, the Dealer cackled with glee. My heart sank as he drew Pain card after Pain card and my health dwindled into nothing. I should have murdered the damn peasants.

Hand of Fate 2 is, like the original, a world literally made of cards. The campaign is presented as a world map divided into 22 challenges, or levels. These challenges provide specific objectives, and rules, and dying fails the entire challenge. Each challenge places a series of cards facedown on the table, like a digital board game. You move your token from card to card with each one revealing a new encounter that could mean potential gold, food, loot, or combat.

Read the full review at PC Gamer

Ranking All 21 Games of the SNES Classic Edition [Pixelkin]

Read the full list at Pixelkin

In lieu of a traditional review I’m going to do something a bit different with the SNES Classic Edition. I’m going to rank all 21 games included in the retro 90s emulator.

The SNES Classic Edition is a great little product that nails the original design of the console and controllers. It’s not without flaws: the short cord range (about 5 ft) can be a big annoyance, and in order to change games and use the rewind and save-state features, you have to physically push a button on the console. But those features also add a lot of modern convenience to classic games, greatly improving accessibility.

As the front-runner for greatest console of all time, the Super Nintendo had some pretty good games. The SNES Classic Edition does a near-perfect job of drawing from a wide variety of genres and gameplay styles to represent some (though not all) of the best games of the era.

Read the full list at Pixelkin

D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 28 Recap

We let our fireballs do the talking when we descend upon a tribe of barbarians at Beorunna’s Well.

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Previously on “Storm King’s Thunder”

Note: recording was split due to technically difficulties, and YouTube no longer has Video Editing.

We were almost within shouting distance when I noticed the barbarian shaman wasn’t just waving her arms – she was casting a spell. Before I could pull up on the hippogriff I saw blinding light all around me.

I waved my hands reflexively, nearly losing my grip on the flying mount. My eyes stung but the lights quickly evaporated. My hippogriff mount merely shook its bird-like head a few times.

I glanced over at T.I.M. who nodded back at me reassuringly, followed by some obvious gestures. Those barbarians were clearly not willing to talk.

We quickly flew down to the ground, but before we could close in on the barbarians, a bright beacon of light glowed in the night sky like a red sun. I glanced up and just made out Bryseis atop her hippogriff, aglow by the burgeoning ball of fire held between her hands, a wild grin on her face.

I could hear her cackling even from over 100 feet away. It was all I could do watch in stunned silence as the Fireball dropped like a rock onto the barbarian horde in front us.

I’ll never forget the shouts and screams, followed by the smell of vaporized snow and melting flesh. Through the haze I saw more than half of the tribe become enveloped in fire, reduced to puddles of ash and bone. The shaman’s screams echoed throughout the sunken chamber.

The cackling stopped suddenly. I looked back up to see Bryseis’ hippogriff, a shadowy flapping figure in the night sky, but no Bryseis. An object rolled off the beast’s back and began plummeting toward the ground.

It was a potted plant. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 28 Recap”