Back and Boston Herald Anti-gamer

And we’re back! I’ve been MIA for a few months really (wow it goes fast).  Between work, family, and a general high-level of entropy in my corner of the Universe, gaming just hasn’t been able to fit into my life of late (other than reading on odd blog here or there). That being said, we’ve turned a corner and a little bit of space has opened up…so we’ll snatch it and add some gaming back into the mix.

One of the topics that I read of late (in blog posts by The Ogre Lair Times and  Purple Pawn) was the “revelation” by Boston Herald staff writer Laurel J. Sweet that the U of Alabama shooter was a gamer….It seems equally coincidental that she also studied biology, watched TV, and wiped her own ass (sources close to the aledged shooter indicated that her ass-wiping activities dated back to childhood, but declined to be quoted as the investigation is ongoing and they were not authorized to speak with regard to said ass wiping), and voted for Barack Obama……all, subversive activities that obviously led to her murderous rampage. All sarcasm aside, I declare:

Shame on you, Boston Herald! You’ve sunk to tabloid status in my book. Any journalistic organization worth its grit wouldn’t have posted such a sensationalist piece, especially since there have been studies that refute any link to violent crime/suicide and role-playing games….other than to reduce them.

~AoB

D&D 4E SRD Release Details….They’re Charging for it at first.

4E Logo It is pretty much common knowledge that D&D 4E is coming out this year. The question in all the small-press d20/OGL people had in mind was, “When will we get the new SRD?” Well, WotC has answered that…It seems like a bit of a kick in the teeth to me. Anyway, it is being discussed both on the WotC boards and EN World.

For convenience, I’ve also included it below.

~AoB

D&D 4th Edition System Reference Document and OGL Designer’s Kit

Wizards of the Coast has developed a new, two-phased release structure for the Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition System Reference Document (SRD) and Open Gaming License (OGL).

Phase One

The first phase of the 4th Edition developer materials release will be marked by the January 2008 availability of the OGL Designer’s Kit. This kit is designed for independent publishers looking to obtain early access to 4th Edition rules in order to develop compatible products to release just after the 4th Edition launch. These publishers will pay a one-time fee of $5,000.00 USD for access to the OGL Designer’s Kit, which includes first looks at the 4th Edition rulebooks, the SRD, final galleys and more.

The OGL Designer’s kit includes:

  • Pre-publication versions of the 4th Edition rulebooks:
  • 4th Edition Player’s Handbook
  • 4th Edition Dungeon Master’s Guide
  • 4th Edition Monster Manual
    • Pre-publication version of the System Reference Document (SRD)
    • Open Gaming License (OGL)
    • License Guide
    • FAQ
    • Registration Card
    • Updated documents as the rules are finessed and finalized
    • Final galleys including typeset text and artwork
    • Advanced copies of the finished core rulebooks

    Developers purchasing the OGL Designer’s Kit will receive updated pre-publication versions of the 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons core rules through the time of launch. They will also receive the right to publish OGL products on August 1, 2008, five months earlier than the general public.

    Parties interested in the OGL Designer’s Kit must possess a business license and execute a Non-Disclosure Agreement prior to contract communications.

    Phase Two

    Wizards of the Coast will release the second phase of the developer materials on June 6th, 2008 with the free, public availability of the Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition SRD and OGL. The SRD will be live immediately upon release. The OGL will go-live on January 1, 2009.

    For further information contact linae.foster@wizards.com.

    FAQ

    Q: Why are you charging for the OGL Designer’s Kit?
    A: We want to encourage publishers who are serious about the business of OGL publishing to create compelling, quality products to complement the hard work we’ve put into creating 4th Edition material.

    In that spirit, the OGL Designer’s Kit helps to establish a minimum bar for early entry into the OGL publishing world. We feel that publishers and developers with a proven track record of creating quality products will be able to cover the cost of the OGL Designer’s Kit and continue to create new material for 4th Edition.

    Q: What about new publishers that can’t afford to pay for the kit? Won’t they be left out?
    A: All of the material included in the OGL Designer’s Kit will be available for free starting on June 6, 2008. Parties who find the cost prohibitive can begin developing their products at that time.

    Q: Can anyone purchase an OGL Designer’s Kit?
    A: Interested parties are required to possess a business license. Wizards of the Coast reserves the right to limit participation in this program as appropriate to the business.

    Q: When can I start publishing OGL products?
    A: Purchasers of the OGL Designer’s Kit can begin publishing their OGL products on August 1, 2008. Other publishers may begin publishing their OGL products on January 01, 2009.

    Q: Why do I have to pay to publish an OGL product for 4th Edition?
    A: You don’t. Starting in June, the core rulebooks will be available on shelves everywhere, and you can use those books to craft your OGL product for sale on January 01, 2009.

    Q. What about the d20 license? Will that still exist in 4th Edition?
    A: We are making the OGL stronger by better defining it. We’re rolling certain elements that used to be in the d20 license into the OGL, things like community standards and other tangible elements of the d20 license.

    ~AoB

    Vin Diesel on D&D

    Vin Diesel from I’ve heard for a long time that the actor Vin Diesel was a D&D player, but really hadn’t looked too much into it until this evening. Here’s an interview I found.

    That got me thinking a bit about Celebrity Gamers and this list of suspected and confirmed Celeb Gamers at on Matt Forbeck’s Blog. It turns out a lot of celebrities and famous people are gamers. Besides Vin Diesel; Wil Wheaton, Robin Williams, Kevin Smith, Sean Ashton, The Barenaked Ladies, Curt Schilling, Daryl Hannah, Dave Chappelle, Elijah Wood, Jack Black, Weezer, Marcy Playground, Stephen Colbert…and who knows who’s still in the closet.

    Can’t you picture George W. and Dick getting together to put down a couple of goblins?

    GWB (DM): DC, will you roll for initiative damn it?

    DC: What’s your hurry Dubble-ya?

    GWB: You know I’ve got that web conference with Putin in an hour. He’s gonna want to play Star Fleet Battles again. I want to wrap this up before then so I can have a clear head for that. Last time he handed me my ass…His Klingon Birds-of-Prey totally mangled my Federation Dreadnought. Now roll.

    DC: Alright, alright. I got a 9 + dex bonus + the ring…15

    GWB: Ok, you beat the terroists….I mean the kobolds. What are you going to do?

    DC: How many are there?

    GWB: There’s like 8 or 10 of them. One of them has a backpack and looks like he going to run toward you…

    DC: Damn, I bet there’s alchemists’ fire in that backpack….a suicide-bomber kobold! I shoot him with my crossbow!

    GWB: Ok, roll to hit.

    DC: 26..no 27. Total of 27. Does that hit?

    GWB: You betya. Roll damage.

    DC: 8, is that enough?

    GWB: Yep. You totally skewer that dirty little, suicide-bombing, salad-tossing, communist kobold bastard! And he goes down like the chump that he his.

    DC: I yell, God Bless America…

    GWB: Dude, your character’s not from America….he’s from Greyhawk City, remember…

    DC: Oh, right….can’t we change that, I didn’t expect to be fighting suicide-bomber kobolds….

    GWB: Ok, ok…I see your point. Let me note that down……Cheniakus the Mountain Dwarf is an American….

    DC: From Colorado. That would make sense for a Mountain Dwarf, right.

    GWB: Good thinking….Colorado. Ok, what about the other 8 kobolds?

    DC: I get out my +3 Axe of Uber-cleaving and charge…

    GWB: Shit, this is going to be fun…

    You can see how that might go….

    Make a Will Save...I had thought that I was all creative in coming up with the Bush D&D thing, but apparently, it is old news. When looking for a suitable GWB/DC image online, I found this image….apparently from their regular weekly game.

    In any case, it is good to see the hobby holding, however tenuously, in this age of Massively Massive Online Games of Eternal Doom, Destruction, and alternative economies of scale.

    ~AoB