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Sunday, March 24, 2024

MtG Decklist - One Deck to Rule Them All


A few years ago, I was watching a video on The Commander's Quarters YouTube channel, and I remember loving the concept so much, that I had to grab the decklist in hopes of constructing and playing it. Unfortunately, my playgroup didn't really get into Commander until recently, so I never got around to building it.

I wish I could remember what exact video I watched about this deck, but I do know that it was posted years before WotC even announced that they were going to be making a LotR set for MtG. I would love to be able to find the video and rewatch it to see if my feeling on wanting to play it have changed.

If any of you happen to find the video, please post a link to it in the comments section.

Friday, March 15, 2024

YouTube Recommendation - Ginny Di


As my loyal readers know, I have been a TTRPG player since I was 10 years old. At the time of this writing, that means I have been playing TTRPG's for 39 years.

I have been on both sides of the fence; as a player and as a dungeon master / storyteller / game master. For several years, I was full of inspiration about enjoyed running games. Since the original release of Vampire: The Masquerade by White Wolf, I have been primarily playing storyteller games of the original World of Darkness. A few years ago, I started to lose my inspiration for fantasy RPG's and I really wanted to run a Dungeons & Dragons game.

I have the desire to be a DM for D&D, but the spirit is weak. So, with all this YouTube viewing that I have been doing recently, I have been trying to find something to get me back to where I once was.

From all the channels I have watched with D&D content, I feel that Ginny Di has been the most inspirational to me. I love her enthusiasm and her ability to entertain. There have been a number of her videos that have made me want to get back into that saddle and get a game up and running.

If you need some enjoyable D&D content with a fair amount of humor, look no further than Ginny Di.

MtG Decklist: Angels


When I was originally playing Magic the Gathering, one of my favorite cards was Serra Angel. Over the years, angels have expanded quite a bit and there are so many options available.

As you can guess, lifegain is just one of the major components of this particular deck. As of writing this, I had a recent game session where I played against another angel deck, and this is a screenshot of my lifetracker when the game ended.

In this specific game, I had the following card combination on my battlefield:

Brisela had several +1/+1 counters on it due to a level 3 Cleric Class that was also on my battlefield since early in the game. When Brisela was transformed, I exiled The Book of Exalted Dead to add the enlightened counter on it. Then I cast Aegis Angel and chose Brisela to be indestructible.

At the last few turns of the game, Brisela was doing 43 points of damage per attack. This has been the most monstrous combination I think I have ever played.

As with most of my constructed decks, it would not have been possible without the help of my ex-wife. While I pull a bunch of cards that I feel work with the concept for the deck, she helps to pair everything down into a manageable 60 card deck.

Saturday, March 2, 2024

AC1 The Shady Dragon Inn

Going through some of my favorite Basic-era books and games and I should really spend some time with another favorite, but one that became a later favorite.

AC1 The Shady Dragon Inn was one of the first accessories for the BECMI flavor of the D&D game. This book also has the distinction of being one of the first Print on Demand books that Wizards of the Coast would release for the old TSR catalog.

The book also has special interest to me since it features the stats for one of my favorite characters Skylla.

The book is 32 pages with color covers and black & white interiors.  The print version is perfect bound; so no staples.   The scan is sharp and clean and PoD version is easy to read.

The book features the titular inn, but really the main feature of this book is the collection of NPCs.  Designed to be a bit like the original AD&D Rogues Gallery.  This product though is a little more robust.  The Shady Dragon Inn write-ups include some background on who these characters are, more than just a collection of stats.  Maybe indicative of shift between the AD&D and D&D lines.

The characters are split by class.   In each case, we get a dozen or so individual characters of Fighters, Thieves, Clerics, Magic-users, Dwarves, Elves and Halflings. with art by Jim Holloway and Larry Day.  While the art helps, each write-up includes a brief description.  This all covers roughly two-dozen pages.

There is another section of "Special" characters.  These are the ones with TM next to their names. Such notables as Strongheart, Warduke, Kelek and of course Skylla.

There is a bit at the end about the Shady Dragon Inn itself along with some pre-gen adventuring parties based on level.  A great aid for DMs that need some NPCs.

The Print on Demand version includes the maps to the Inn as part of the print.  The main PDF does not have them, but they can be downloaded as a separate file.   There are PDFs and image files to print out to use with minis.  So with some minor tweaks, you can use this with any version of D&D you like.  The characters inside can be converted to 5e easily enough.

Ignore the saving throws, and recalculate the base to hit as 20 - THAC0.  I find that 22 or 23 -THAC0 actually works out a little bit better for 5e.

The maps are set to 1" = 5', so D&D 3, 4 & 5 standard.

The Print on Demand versions do not come out to 1" exactly, but when you buy the pdf you get the maps as files to print on your own.

While this book lacks the numbers of NPCs the Rogues Gallery does, it is superior in every other aspect.  Starting in an Inn might be a D&D cliché, but a product like this makes you want to embrace the cliché anyway.

Cerebus Vol 3: Church & State Volume I

 Title: Cerebus Vol 3: Church & State Volume I ISBN: 0919359094 Price: $ Publisher/Year: Aardvark-Vanheim, 1987 Artist: Gerhard Writer: ...