As if Super Mario Bros. Crossover wasn’t awesome enough already, there’s an update coming in a couple of days that’ll make it even better. I won’t lie to you, I’d give my best friend’s firstborn child if this came to consoles, handhelds, or even my iPhone. Of course, that’ll happen when pigs fly, and so it’s BACK TO THE LAB! These gene’s aren’t going to splice themselves! [From Kotaku]
I am not a Naruto fan. I have never watched a single episode of the show, read a single page from the manga, or played a single one of the video games. I never intend to change any of these things. However, I couldn’t watch this trailer for a game and not be struck with a “wow, this is exactly the right medium for this sort of thing” moment. [From Joystiq]
What!? D&D 4th edition animated shorts? WHY AM I ONLY FINDING OUT ABOUT THESE NOW? Oh wait. Probably because I’ve completely wasted the fact that my wonderful fiancée has a subscription to D&D Insider and haven’t bothered to look at the website since we first downloaded the character builder over a year ago. Shame on me, because some of these are quite amusing. Here we see how Demogorgon is handling the switch to 4th edition, and watch as the Gnome adapts to being a player race again (Francis has a bit of a backstory, having been introduced in this slightly less funny, but nonetheless enjoyable prequel). [From Wizards of the Coast]
Ahh Commissioned Comics, you never cease to amuse with your wonderfully illustrated gaming-table hijinks. If you’ve played DnD, you’ve probably been here before. You’re faced with a task so stupidly easy that failure is unimaginable, yet your DM insists you roll and against all odds your die comes up 1. With a cackle your DM rubs his hands together in glee and proceeds to describe the botch in full detail, usually at the cost of your characters dignity. Personally, I love using this mechanic to inject a bit of humor into my games, but not everyone is keen on this adaptation of the rules. From the comments on this comic:
Always the irritating thing about games like that. Even though in Real Life there is no way in heck except through a freak accident that it would happen, you will miss or hit yourself.
The thing to remember as a DM if you choose to implement this mechanic into your games, is that you have to do it well. It’s very easy to annoy your players by requiring rolls on “un-botchable actions” (lol crit fail on roll 2 walk - you faceplant lol) but sometimes, it’s nice to remember that even our über-heroic character’s aren’t perfect. O (the comic’s author) explains:
…sometimes we just suck. I know I’ve missed that trash can I was standing right next to plenty of times. Sometimes destiny just doesn’t want you to be happy. If you do just happen to botch the roll, it doesn’t mean that your character can get killed or anything like that. It just means that something funny happens and the situations that come from those botches frequently make for some of the best role playing I’ve ever seen take place at my table.
That last line is by far the most important, and it’s one that I can echo from personal experience. Every now and then it’s nice to see how players (and their characters) react to a little bit of unexpected (and occasionally humorous) adversity. Of course, do these sorts of “freak accidents” really happen 5% of the time (as in, the chance of rolling a 1 on a d20)? No, of course not. But when has DnD ever been about realism? So long as the botches are reasonable, and they don’t detract from the game (let’s face it, making an ass of your players in the final encounter against the big bad guy of a multi-year campaign is just spiteful), I think it’s great. Besides, as O said:
…the Game Master also needs to have his fun, right?