Tabletop Review: Starfinder Roleplaying Game

A press copy of the Starfinder Core Rulebook was provided for the purposes of this review.

Over the years Paizo Publishing has carved a successful name among tabletop roleplaying fans, releasing dozens of Pathfinder rulebooks, supplements, full campaigns, and modules.

Starfinder represents Paizo’s first entirely new roleplaying system since Pathfinder’s release in 2009. In many ways it’s a science-fiction version of Pathfinder, expanding on those rules (which is itself largely based on D&D 3.5e) while adding a few unique twists of its own.

Starfinder draws upon the best sci-fi archetypes, stories, and concepts from across media to create a full-fledged, detailed universe rife for adventure. Continue reading “Tabletop Review: Starfinder Roleplaying Game”

Cosmic Star Heroine Review [Pixelkin]

Read the full review at Pixelkin

We’re supposed to “reach for the moon” in our goals. That way if we fall short we’ll still land among the stars. That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense given that the nearest star is several light-years farther away than our moon. But the point is sound.

Zeboyd Games’ moon is represented by classic, beloved 90s Japanese RPGs such as Chrono Trigger, Suikoden, and Phantasy Star. It’s a big reason I backed the game on Kickstarter several years ago. To take on some of the best RPGs in gaming with an indie budget and two-person development team is a daunting challenge. While Cosmic Star Heroine falls short in some ways, it still lands among the stars as one of the best games I’ve played this year.

READ THE FULL REVIEW AT PIXELKIN

Mass Effect: Andromeda [Pixelkin]

Read the full article at Pixelkin

It’s been five years since the release of Mass Effect 3, and a controversy surrounding the ending that proved the passionate fanbase could turn on a dime. BioWare would infamously take this vitriolic feedback to heart, eventually releasing post-launch patches to update and tweak the ending. The ending of the trilogy is still one of the most divisive and sour notes in gaming, brought on because the Mass Effect series has become such an important cultural phenomenon for gamers.

So it shouldn’t be a surprise that the fangs came out for Mass Effect: Andromeda.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT PIXELKIN

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 56 Recap

We survive a flameskull caucus, rescue some prisoners, cross a bridge of fire, and battle cultists within a shrine.

Streamed, recorded and uploaded every week. Subscribe for our weekly adventures. Join us live on Fridays at 10pm Eastern/7pm Pacific!

Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

This week we delved further into what is easily one of the most well-designed dungeons of a very dungeon-heavy campaign. While the other three elemental dungeons do feature their own unique quirks and interesting layouts, too many of them simply look like the same caves the PCs have been trapsizing through for weeks. Earth and Air are particularly egregious.

I’m glad we saved the best for last. The Weeping Colossus is the shortest of the elemental node dungeons but packed with dangerous hazards, cool enemies, and tons of lava. This week our party made it from the first room to the final one in the span of a single session. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 56 Recap”

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 29 Recap

The party survives an ambush and takes on the leader of the Crushing Wave cult with help, then betrayal from their lizardfolk allies.

Recorded every Sunday night, uploaded on Mondays. Subscribe for our weekly adventures!

Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

Holy crap my players are powerful. Like Polymorph the captured rogue into a giant ape that kills everything, powerful.

D&D’s always had a weird balance that revolves around attrition. Creatures are given a Challenge Rating and DM’s have a tool to calculate how to make encounters Easy, Medium, Hard, and Deadly depending on the type and number of enemies.

But that assumes a “well-rested party.” Much of the challenge of D&D comes from fights taking a gradual toll on the party’s resources. It was a tricky balancing act, particularly in dungeons.

5E lets the party Short Rest to recover some abilities. If the party does that right before a major boss battle, they’re sitting much prettier than an otherwise easy or medium fight that’s at the end of a long string of encounters. See for example the near deadly fire elemental encounter near the end of Scarlet Moon Hall.

For this week’s session the party tackled their biggest boss battle to date – the leader/prophet of Elemental Water Gar Shatterkeel, and suffered nary a scratch. I even threw an extra force of reinforcements at them, AND had their lizardfolk allies turn on them afterward.

frysquintThe PCs defeated them all.

Nary a scratch.

 

 

Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 29 Recap”

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 27 Recap

Reaching the water section of the Fane we battle killer fungus and water weirds, and parley with a tribe of lizardfolk. Then it’s on to the Temple of the Crushing Wave!

Recorded every Sunday night, uploaded on Mondays. Subscribe for our weekly adventures!

Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

What do you do when you a have a string of interconnected dungeons, all of a different level, and no built-in way to stop your players from stumbling into them? Sit back and watch the chaos unfold.

When it comes to DMing, I’m far better at planning than ad-libbing. My skills at rolling with the punches have steadily improved, and it’s a very necessary skill to have to run a tabletop RPG.

That being said, I try to see where players are and what’s ahead and plan accordingly. These last few sessions have been extremely difficult in that regard, due to the dungeon layouts in “Princes of the Apocalypse.” I’m having to construct entire large dungeons every week as my party hops through them haphazardly. It’s fun to see which directions they take (seemingly at random!) but hell on my stress levels. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 27 Recap”

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 24 Recap

The party goes toe-to-claw with an Umber Hulk, fights off a swarm of ghouls, and defends against air cult reinforcements.

Recorded every Sunday night, uploaded on Mondays. Subscribe for our weekly adventures!

Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

At its heart Dungeons & Dragons is all about the dungeon crawl. Many groups might get more enjoyment out of role-playing with townsfolk or uncovering a mystery. But at some point, everyone’s gotta throw down inside a labyrinthine maze of danger and traps.

One of my favorite things about “Princes of the Apocalypse” is how cool and varied the dungeons are. Surprisingly my players skipped over the giant underground pyramid to explore the Northern end of the Temple of Howling Hatred. I can’t blame them. If I get a giant “GO HERE” main quest update, I try and go everywhere else first! Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 24 Recap”