Sometime after the Spellplague in 1385 DR, the Purple Dragons determined that a large number of Whelunians were secretly Shar-worshipers, and the current king of Cormyr feared Wheloon was a front for Netherese spies. The king decreed that it be transformed into a prison city, all those inside sealed in by brick and magic and prisoners for life. Suspected worshipers of Shar, Shadovar sympathizers and spies, and any others who offended the crown were put over the wall and left to survive on their own. By 1479 DR, Wheloon was a dark prison city, no longer a trade hub, and the streets were controlled by gangs of thugs.
- Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide – for dms
- Forgotten Realms Player’s Guide – for players
- Cormyr: The Tearing of the Weave – hardcover super-adventure for characters from 4th to 8th level. The adventure pits the heroes against the evil agents of Shar and Cyric as they plot to corrupt the worship of Mystra, goddess of magic. The adventure begins in Cormyr, but the characters must also travel to the Plane of Shadow to thwart the villains’ machinations.
The Shadowfell, sometimes simply called Shadow, is a parallel plane from which necrotic energies and shadow magic stem. It exists as sort of a counterpart to Feywild in the sense that it is a reflection or “echo” of the Prime Material Plane except that it is a bleak, desolate place full of decay and death.
The Shadowfell was created in 1385 DR when Shar, having successfully arranged Mystra’s death, bound the energies of the Negative Energy Plane with the Plane of Shadow. Since then, the Shadowfell has existed as a center of Shar’s power as well as a transitory place for dead mortals on their way towards judgment on the Fugue Plane.
- Manual of the Planes 4th edition
- Keep on the Shadowfell – A D&D adventure for characters of levels 1-3. A ruined keep that was once a bastion of good in the realm. This keep overlooks the Shadow Rift, a dark scar in the world that was once a gateway to the Shadowfell but has been dormant for many years. Now, an evil cleric of Orcus, Demon Lord of the Undead, seeks to re-open the gate.
- The Shadowfell: Gloomwrought and Beyond – boxed set is for Dungeon Masters interested in taking their heroes on excursions to the Shadowfell, as well as Dungeon Masters looking for a sinister setting in which to run thrilling urban adventures.
In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, the Tressym is a magical beast. They are winged cats, about the size of a housecat, with a pair of feathered, leathery wings extending to a 3 foot wingspan. They have owl-like faces, and a fluffy ball of fur and feathers at the end of their tail.
They are highly intelligent and sometimes kept as pets and familiars by good wizards. In the wild, they can befound in warm and temperate land. They are chaotic good in alignment. They speak Common and their own language, tressymspeak, which is based on purrs and growls
Villagers in Eveningstar feed tressym and try to prevent the worst of their vandalism and aerial catfights. At the same time, they try to prevent any large-scale or magically-assisted trapping and capturing of them. The locals value tressym for their owl-like rodent control in the fields. In the wild, they can be found in warm and temperate lands
Blackstaff (novel) by Steven E. Schend – There’s a Tressym called Nameless and is a familiar to a character in the book
Fantasy/Sci-Fi Trope: Introduce creatures that are just like familiar everyday animals or animal hybrids) that the audience will recognize but in a fantasy (or sci-fi) setting, and give them funny names. Speaking of which….
- An owlbear is depicted as a cross between a bear and an owl, which “hugs” like a bear and attacks with its beak. Gary Gygax created the owlbear, which was inspired by a plastic toy made in Hong Kong along with other monsters such as the rust monster and the bulette. It was first introduced in a 1975 Greyhawk supplement
Without a Dev tracker its a harder to bring you DDO news. Here’s a list of links leading to Dev latest forum posts individually. Some devs don’t have posts linked to their profile; I suspect its because of issues with the new forums.
Doublestrike / Doublestike
Doublestrike gives you a percentage change to take an additional attack with your main hand melee weapon. If you have a 6% double strike then you will get a bonus attack roughly 6 out of 100 attacks. It does not impact ranged attacks, spells, off hand attacks, or attacks using special animations (like cleave, trip etc…) It will affect special attacks using standard animations such as smites or ki strikes.
The number of sources of doublestrike is small compared to many other bonuses you can get, but there are still quite a number of them in the game. Stacking rules for doublestrike have never been entirely verified by devs. It seems that differently typed double strike bonuses will stack and same type bonuses will not. Untyped bonuses only stack if they are from a different source, aka a weapon will stack with a feat will stack with an enhancement, but two feat bonuses without types will not stack. If they do not stack then you should get the largest bonus.
You can see your current double strike bonus by hovering over the BAB icon (its red) in the character sheet Stats page.
Types of Doublestrike in DDO
So lets go over the different sources of double strike and group them by what should not stack and order them from largest to smallest
Mystery Shield Bonus – An untyped 4% for using a shield
Competence Bonuses – Fighter Weapon Alacrity capstone (fighter 20) 10%
Sacred Bonuses – Paladin Zeal spell (level 14 pally) 10% (no scrolls, self only, temporary)
Insight Bonus – Monk Windstance 2.5%/5%/7.5%/10% levels 1/6/12/18 respectively
- Shield Mastery / Improved Shield mastery 3%/8% when using a shield
- Timeblade (longsword) 3% / Epic Timeblade 6%
- Hellstroke Great Axe 3% / Epic 6%
- Cutthroat’s Smallblade (shortsword) 3% / 6% with tier 3 upgrades
- Swashbuckler (shield) 3% / 6% with tier 3
- Alchemical Weapon (any) Teir 2 Martial Air 6%
- Antipode, Fist of the Horizon (handwraps) 6%
- Bard Warchanter 2 Inspire Recklessness song 5% (level 12)
- Way of the Sun soul set bonus effect +6% (temporary)
- Epic Spare hand (belt) 3%
Untyped type Class Feats/Enhancements
- Natural Fighting 6% (druid level 9) can be taken up to 3 times for 18% total
- Ranger Tempest 3 (level 18) 5% when wielding two weapons
- Rogue Opportunist feat 3% (level 10)
- Fabricator’s Bracers with Combat Infusion 5% (temporary)
Untyped epic Destinies (seem to stack with non epic sources)
- Sentinel : Legendary Shield Mastery 6% when using a shield
- Legendary Dreadnaught: Lightning Mace 15% bonus after Vorpal strike for 6 seconds
- Grandmaster of Flowers: Hail of Blows 3%
- Grandmaster of Flowers: running with the Wind 3% (in wind stance)
- Shadowdancer: ShadowTraining 4 3% (certain light weapons only, temporary)
So who can have the most double strike?
Druids are king of full time double strike, but shield base builds, monks and two-weapon fighters are in the top ranking for doublestrke efficiency.
- +18 if you take three levels of natural fighting: 18%
- If you use a shield you can get +8 from shield mastery (another two feats) and the +4 base shield bonus giving you 30%
- Legendary shield mastery stacks for another 6% taking you to 36%
- +3 Twist Hail of Blows for
- +18 for natural fighting
- +5 for second tier wind stance
- +3 from Hail of blows, and +3 from Running with the Wind
- +6 from an item for
Each could squeeze in temporary bonuses from Shadowndancer and Combat infusion for a short term max of 47% though it would be quite unreliable to get it and only last seconds.
After the druids you would have shield using fighters and paladins, then non druid wind monks.
Anything you can do that bumps attack speed will also enhance double strike. Monk unarmed and Druid wolf forms both have faster than usual attack animations, Rogues and Fighters can get combat speed boost enhancements (also available in the dreadnaught line).
Ultimate double strike build? Probably a half orc Druid with a splash of rogue and or fighter wielding a shield in wolf form.
Thanks to the DDOWiki and SteeleTrueHeart for their hard work in collecting and testing information about Doublestrike!
Cookies and Cakes are back for 2012 Festivult! Here are the list of cookies and cakes for this year’s Festivult in December 2012. I’ve included the whole list, including the three new cookies and the four updated ones. My favorite is still the Taken Cookie, followed by the Kobold Cookie. What are your favorites? Enjoy!
|Spinner of Shadows Cookie||Enveloping Swarm|
|Lolth, The Spider Queen Cookie||Lolth’s Blessing: +2 Profane attack and damage, +3 Profane PRR, +5 Profane Unviersal Spell Power. You can buy this cookie with winter motes at the alter.|
|Updated Cookies & Cakes|
|Lamannia, the Twilight Forest Jelly Cake||Vigor|
|Shavarath, The Battleground Jelly Cake||Enchant Armor|
|Queen Lailat, the Marilith Cookie||Blade Barrier|
|Suulomades Cookie||Shocking Weapons|
|Arraetrikos Cookie||Meteor Swarm|
|Black Abbot Cookie||Stoneskin|
|Black Abishai Cookie||Remove Fear|
|Blue Abishai Cookie||Blur|
|Green Abishai Cookie||Neutralize Poison|
|Hezrou Cookie||Infernal Power|
|Red Abishai Cookie||Protection from Energy: Fire|
|Succubus Cookie||Mass Charm Monster|
|Velah, the Red Dragon Cookie||Cometfall|
|Warforged Titan Cookie||Titan’s Grip|
|White Abishai Cookie||Fire Shield (cold version)|
|Xyzzy Cookie||Bee Breath|
|Stormreaver Cookie||Call Lightning Storm|
|Kobold Cookie||Wondrous Power: kobold jumping powers & a purple crystal. Used in Collection Challenges.|
|Lord of Blade Cookie||Wondrous Power: Adventure Area Slayer Boost 10% for 30 min|
|Medusa Cookie||Flesh to Stone|
|Taken Cookie||Wondrous Power: it will make you look “Absolutely Fabulous”|
|Toven d’Cannith Cookie||Radiant Forcefield|
|Daanvi, the Perfect Order Jelly Cake||Defender of Law|
|Dal Quor, the Region of Dreams Jelly Cake||Wondrous Power: Diseased, but gain some spell points afterwards|
|Dolurrh, the Realm of the Dead Jelly Cake||Death Ward|
|Fernia, the Sea of Fire Jelly Cake||Fire Shield (fire version)|
|Irian, the Eternal Day Jelly Cake||Sunburst|
|Kythri, the Churning Chaos Jelly Cake||Hound of Chaos|
|Mabar, The Endless night Jelly Cake||Wail of the Banshee|
|Risia, the Plane of Ice Jelly Cake||Ice Storm|
|Syrania, the Azure Sky Jelly Cake||Jump with Feather Fall|
|Thelanis, the Faerie Court Jelly Cake||Prismatic Spray|
|Xoriat, the Realm of Madness Jelly Cake||Otto’s Sphere of Dancing|
Skein of Shadows by Marsheila Rockwell
Continuing the story that began in The Shard Axe, Sabira finds herself drawn into an expedition into the Underdark, where she discovers drow intrigue and dire secrets.
Yes, all you gamer geeks out there. March 4th is worldwide GM Day, a day where we recognize the hard work and dedication of our GMs. Our game masters who spend hours planning the dungeons our adventurers crawl through. Those brave souls that let us use those uber-kewl new feats we found in some little-known supplement. Those dedicated individuals who, even though we have destroyed their detailed storylines over and over, continue to try and bring us a story anyway.
In 2008 of the same day, “The Orginal DM” Gary Gygax passed away. In the 1960s, he created an organization of wargaming clubs and founded the Gen Con gaming convention. In 1971, he helped develop Chainmail, a miniatures wargame based onmedieval warfare. He co-founded the company Tactical Studies Rules (TSR, Inc.) with childhood friend Don Kaye in 1973. The following year, he and Dave Arneson created Dungeons & Dragons, which expanded on his work on Chainmail and included elements of the fantasy stories he loved as a child.
GM’s Day is the brainchild of the folks at Enworld.org, once of the most popular gaming forums on the net. What started as a little net appreciation for GMs turned into an annual event. It’s an excuse to buy your GM a bribe so he or she won’t smite your character outright. Pamper your GM with a gift of games, beer, snacks, and/or hug!
I failed my Strength Check this week and took 1d10 damage from an evil moving box this week. My cleric told me to rest as much as I can while my back heals. This means no pushing, pulling, lifting, driving, typing nor mousing (too much) until the swelling goes down. Sadly this means no DDO nor DDOcast for me this week. We have a lot of things lined up, but we’ll just have to save them for the following week, and present them to you live on Sat, Feb 11th.
Thanks to everyone who’ve already wished me well! And thanks to everyone for understanding, we’ll be back soon enough with your favorite DDO news! How could we not with U13 just around the corner this Feb 22nd!
In the mean time, enjoy this little cartoon by our friend Stan! over at http://www.10x10toon.com
Rich Baker @ Wizards Community Blog
Today, Wizards of the Coast eliminated my position. I have unfortunately been let go, after more than 20 years of employment with TSR/WotC.
Rich was at the forefront of Wizards of the Coast’s range of Forgotten Realms and core Third Edition D&D accessory books, and author of several novels set in and below Faerûn. He also answered questions about the Forgotten Realms at the Wizards website’s forums – see the below external links. He also headed design on the 4th edition D&D iteration of the Dark Sun Campaign Setting, along with numerous other credits for that edition of the game.
Also rumored to be let go was Steve Winter who joined TSR in 1981 as Games Editor.
Right on schedule WotC:
- Dec 2000 WotC Layoffs @ TheForce.NET
- Mar 2001 WotC Layoffs @ Salon – WotC Center in Seattle Closed
- Sept 2002 WotC Layoffs @ RPG.NET
- Jan 2003 WotC Layoffs @ The Seattle Times
- Dec 2005 WotC Layoffs @ Steve Jackson Games Forums
- Dec 2008 WotC Layoffs @ GameGrene.com
- Dec 2009 WotC Layoffs @ ENWorld
- May 2010 WotC Layoffs @ ENWorld
- July 2011 WotC Layoffs @ ICV2 (Also on ENWorld)
You can follow the Dec 2011 Layoff discussion at ENWorld’s Forum.
Nearly an annual trend ever since Hasbro acquired Wizards of the Coast in 1999 and it looks like there are not many of the old D&D guard on the permanent payroll.
From of Hikaro of ThePCGamingVortex, great for new players! You can subscribe to his channel here!
New looks and new features!
- Add to Cart buttons have been added that will allow you to add items to cart without leaving the current page.
- ‘Quick Buy’ has been added to enable instant purchasing of a single item, eliminating the need to go to cart to confirm.
- Recent Buys are now on the Store homepage so you can quickly locate your personal favorites.
- Category arrows are now in the Browse menu to visually indicate that a sub-menu will appear when clicked.
- List View is a new viewing option that allows you to view over 7 items at a time when browsing.
Day 2: Expo Hall, Uber Mice, Interviews and Boardgames!
In the morning we left to have brunch at the Hurricane Café at Keith Baker’s Eberron meet’n’greet along with Marcy Rockwell and her hubby, Alex. I’m really a shy person, so I didn’t talk much and Sig was far more interested in food! Marcy formally introduced us to Keith, who is a really nice guy and very talented. I’m very glad to have met him; maybe I’ll have more courage to talk next time. We set up an appointment with Keith to interview him later that day, and then quickly left to take Marcy to her book signing at the Turbine/WB booth.
We wandered the Expo Hall looking for new games and boy did we find games! After all, we had to make up for lost time due to yesterday’s camera machinations.
- Desus Ex, which is now on sale on Steam
- Borderlands 2
- Fire Fall
- Orcs Must Die
- Batman Arkham City
- Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. SKYRIM! OMG SKYRIM!
- Guild Wars 2
- Gotham City Impostors
- Bioshock Infinity
- Prey 2
Sig also walked away with an Uber gaming mouse that looks like it could double as a futuristic death weapon. This one is called Cyborg R.A.T. 9 gaming mouse by MadCatz. This mouse is rated the best mouse by Maximum PC magazine because of its highly customizable body and programmable buttons. Sig got it for that same reason why MaxPC loved it.
Following that, we had a quick interview with Keith Baker who was just fresh from viewing Artificers and the Lord of Blades raid in the DDO section of the WB/Turbine Booth with Fernando. We also caught Marcy Rockwell signing her new book, The Shard Axe. While at the Turbine boot we saw a few people running the Crystal Cove test to win a DDO Lifetime Membership prize. It’s a 4 Player contest and the winners all get the Lifetime Membership. After Marcy was done signing her books at the booth, we met up again to do a quick interview with her.
We got to touring more of PAX areas, which took longer because it’s spread out over all floors of the convention center, the convention annex across the street, the Sharaton hotel to the west, and the Paramount Theater to the north.
Most notable area was the Paramount Theater: this year PAX did a smart thing for its main attraction events and took over the whole theater. The city actually blocked out a whole street just for the line for events at the theater. A freaking whole street just for A LINE! People tell me that the wait was up to 2 hours just to get in for these crazy super popular events.
The Convention center’s Annex is actually another building across the street and was taken over by Halo Fest and Table Top games run by Wizards of the Coast. Halo Fest is amazing! They turned a single floor into a museum of Halo and mini lecture hall. And of course there were kiosks where you could play all versions and variations of Halo. Wizards took over 2 floors and dedicated one to Magic: The Gathering and the other to D&D. In the afternoon, we played a D&D encounter and The Legend of Drizzt Boardgame.
Floor Six of the convention center is where we found PC-Consoles-Tourny-Freeplay in addition to Mini-Dealers/Expo Hall and the PAX 10 indie games booth. I was really looking forward to trying out all the PAX 10 games, but I twisted my ankle trying to avoid crashing into other people. We did find a strange booth called “Church Games,” which I think is a religious gaming group (I think I’ll leave this one to Sig to explain).
Somewhere along the way I sprained my ankle, and decided to call it early and head home to play some video games. I was kind of sad to miss my friends I had planned to see at PAX, and I really wanted to take a look at the Guild Wars 2 panels and attend the party. There’s always next year though!
Artificers & Update 11 Dungeons and Dragons Online News
By now you’ve probably heard that Artificers will not be free nor “earnable” through favor for VIP account holders. This is true and Fernando did tell us this during our interview with him. I can totally see why people would be pretty annoyed by this and feel like they are being strong armed into paying for something they would otherwise expected to get for free (such as the Monk class or Favored Soul). Now if you are budget minded, then waiting 3 or more months for a new toy while others play for it will suck a lot of the fun out of the thing and leave you feeling cheated.
Sig himself didn’t like this idea, and he too knew fans would be up in arms about it. Design wise, it makes sense that Cannith favor would unlock the class, but making it unavailable when the class comes out is not a good call in his opinion – at least not long term.
I have to be honest with you though, I will be buying the Artificer when it comes out and had planned so before I won my Lifetime membership. When I heard the news, I wasn’t annoyed personally, but I knew many DDO fans would be. Both Sig and I have Turbine points saved up and the 1K points that we’ve gotten for a couple months have been great. We’ve easily gotten our money’s worth in points and it’s nice to unlock on all servers.
I also have to say that knowing both Tolero and Jerry now works for Turbine really changes things for me. There are fans of DDO working as employees of Turbine. Jerry and his wife are expecting a new baby. Knowing that the money I spend on DDO will go to them in some way and that makes me really happy. Also meeting the talented developers makes me want to give money to them, so I can see what new stuff they can come up with. Heck, if I had enough capital I would invest in Turbine.
There’s a saying: “Its OK to not like things, just don’t be a jerk about it.”
Overall, I would say if you don’t like it let them know and why, but don’t be a douche bag about it. Tell them what you were expecting as a DDO VIP player. Heck, tell them what you were expecting as premium or free player. But don’t forget to tell them what you did like about what they’ve done in the past and why you liked it. Perhaps if you ask nicely enough, they’ll do it again.
Stay Tuned for Day 3 Report!
Okay I think I’m done for now. I’ll do another write up tomorrow on PAX, for now I have to take some meds and put ice on my ankle.
Hey #DDOcast Listeners! Here’s our Schedule for PAX this year!
Friday, Aug 26th:
- 10:30am – 11:30am >> PAX Keynote w/ David Jaff
- 11:30am – 12:00pm >> At the Turbine Booth Hanging out while Marcy Rockwell signs her new book, The Shard Axe!
- 12:00pm – 1:00pm >> Interview with Fernando Paiz on DDO on the WB/Turbine Booth #932
- 1:30pm – 2:30pm >> IGN: GameScoop Live Podcast
- 2:30pm – 3:30pm >> Roam the Expo Floor & Look for new games!
- 4:00pm – 6:00pm >> DDOcast Meetup @ Taps Bar & Grill on 6th & Pine
- 7:30pm – 8:30pm >> Movin’ On Up: How to Make It in Video games Journalism
- 9:00pm – Late >> Warner Brothers/Turbine PAX Party!
Saturday, Aug 27th
- 10:00am – Noon Brunch with Keith Baker!
- 12:00pm – 1:00pm >> The Agony and Ecstasy of RPG Writing
- 1:00pm – 2:00pm >> Guild Wars 2: Designing a Cooperative Experience
- 2:00pm – 3:00pm >> Irrational Games
- 3:30pm – 4:30pm >> The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- 3:30pm – 8:30pm >> Play a game with anyone
- 9:00pm – Late >> Arena.Net GW2 Party @ their new pad!
Sunday, Aug 28th
- 10:00am – 12:00pm >> Roam the Expo Floor & test out new games!
- 12:00pm – 1:00pm >> G4, X-Play
- 1:30pm – 2:30pm >> Pitch your Game Idea
- 3:00pm – 4:00pm >> D&D Through the Ages
- 4:00pm – 5:00pm >> Gaming is a Lifestyle
- 6:00pm – 8:00pm >> St. Andrews Bar & Grill @ 7406 Aurora Ave
- 8:00pm – 9:00pm >> Try and record DDOcast Episode 231
Just announced the sculpter this morning on the Gary Gygax memorial Facebook and Twitter feed.
Stefan Pokorny, founder and chief sculptor of Dwarven Forge, volunteered to sculpt the Lake Geneva memorial. Stefan is beyond excited – as a lifelong fan of Gary’s this is a dream come true for him.
Stefan is a medieval fantasy devotee, and an avid Dungeons and Dragons enthusiast. Stefan is a classically trained, professional painter and sculptor. He’s won several awards for his fine art sculptures.
His company, Dwarven Forge, produces some of the best miniature terrain ready to use in any table-top RPG or mini-game.
So a number of our friends are going to GenCon, and though we can’t make it this year. I’d like to offer some suggestions on where to go and what events to see. Read More below!
Disclaimer: I’m going to brag a bit. You know, just to get it out of my system. And then I promise to move on to what I’m really trying to say. So if you don’t like bragging farts, stop reading here and feel free to skip down to the next section if it pleases you. So I’ve been playing MMOs for about 12 years now. I do not have enough fingers on my hands to count the number of closed betas I’ve been in. I consider myself lucky to be invited to test so many MMOs. Today, I don’t do much beta testing. I sometimes miss it, at other times I’m glad I have the free time to do other things.
Cannith Crafting: A Live BETA
So when Cannith Crafting was put on the live servers in a BETA format, it was the first time I’ve heard of a MMO subsystem being tested in such a fashion. It’s highly unorthodox to release sub-systems into the live arena, but in the case of the Cannith crafting system I can understand why, what they had to gain (and potentially lose) from doing it. There are also some interesting unexpected results from using this method of “live” beta testing.
The Reason: Not Enough Testers
In huge games like WoW (nearly 12 million Players) or even Aion (3 million players), the response to a beta-testing call-to-arms is astounding. Typically a percent of the player base are also closed beta testers and able to see content months in advance (but only after rigorous NDA agreements are signed). If we assume that only one half of a percent (0.5%) MMORPG’s population are close beta testers that would be nearly 60,000 beta players for a game like WoW. (1)