Monday, May 12, 2008

Recent Changes to My Gaming Life

Well, to start with, I recently moved to Atlanta which pretty much immediately ended my campaign and gaming history with my friends in Gainesville, FL. We toyed around with the idea of gaming online using MapTool, but most of them were disinterested in that idea. Conveniently, one of my former players lives right around the corner from me; she and her husband had moved up a couple of years before us. She was already involved with a gaming group and so I was able to pick up another game with them. That only lasted a couple of months though due to another recent and major change in my life.

My wife is pregnant!

At the time of this post, she is 25 weeks. As such, I've had to spend less time nerding out and more time helping her around the house with things and getting our home ready for a new tenant. So what to do next? Well, with 4e around the corner, I'm considering a switch for multiple reasons.
  1. There is going to be a feature called DDI which will include the following:
    1. Online versions of Dragon and Dungeon Magazine
    2. Online game table with customizable miniatures and VoIP
    3. Online database of all rules as they are published in various supplements
    4. $14.95 monthly, $12.95 a month for 3-month subscription, or $9.95 a month for annual subscription; that's cheaper than spending at least $20 a month on a hardcopy
  2. Setting supplements will consist only of campaign guide and a player's guide.
  3. Playing could occur in smaller time spans of an hour or so before bedtime online at home rather than driving back and forth to someone else's house
  4. The new rules are designed to reduce the work of the DM, and having the content from the magazines online as well as online character creation tools that use that database almost turns the work into none.
The other upside is that my cousin (who also has a three-and-a-half-year-old and a 4 month-old daughter) and a mutual friend are interested in learning to play D&D. The new version and online tools could help them to get a quicker handle of the game and with creating characters. Being able to play online also makes it easier for us to get together without having to lug my stuff to my cousin's house or him having to juggle time with wife and watching the girls. The downside is that it increases their cost of buy-in. A new 4e book and the online tools adds to the expense. I already have a spare v3.5 PHB that I'm loaning to them, and so their cost of buy-in is minimal. Additionally, they are eager to start right away. Switching to 4e means they have to wait 3 more weeks or so and then I have to learn the new rules then before playing. Oh, the dilemmas of a D&D nerd.