I Read Some Things: Week of February 2nd, 2015

Reading List

I read some things this week. After the jump, you can read them, too.

Wizards of the Coast’s R&D team released Unearthed Arcana: Eberron, the first in what will be a series of mini-playtests for D&D 5E supplemental material. It includes rules for three races (Changelings, Shifters, and Warforged), one class (Artificer), and one Feat (Dragonmark), as well as rules for the Dragonmarks of each house, and Action Points. When I say “mini-playtest” I want to emphasize playtest; the Artificer is a severely underpowered Wizard tradition, the Warforged is identical to the final D&D Next playtest packet, and none of the races follow the +2/+1 ability score bonus pattern of the rest of the PHB races. Here are two better alternatives from Eberron creator Keith Baker: Artificer and Warforged.

Popular virtual tabletop app Roll20 has released a minor update. It’s nothing too exciting in advance of their major Q1 update, the Update of Holding. The more exciting announcement out of Roll20 is actually a job posting: they’re looking for a paid GM to host live broadcasts via Twitch. In addition to the usual GM qualifications and 15 hour a week commitment, Roll20 is prioritizing candidates with Adobe Photoshop/Illustrator  skills, video/audio production experience, and Roll20 expertise. Which is to say, I’m woefully underqualified.

In other virtual tabletop news, Pinnacle Entertainment Group announced a number of new features in its Savage Worlds rules set for the Fantasy Grounds virtual tabletop platform. I haven’t played Savage Worlds online, and I haven’t used Fantasy Grounds in 10 years, so I’m curious which platform has better support for the system… readers?

Here are some very bad ideas for showing your DM appreciation, courtesy of Wizards of the Coast. You want to show your DM that you appreciate the effort he puts into his games? Show up on time, focus on the game when you’re playing, and talk about his game (with him!), even when the session is over. DMs just want to know that people enjoy their game and like their stories… And for players not to spill beer on their books.

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