It's that time again! Dragon Plus Issue 7 is out. Let's roll up our sleeves and put on our pointy wizard hats.
You can read this issue here.
As always, I am focusing on the tabletop D&D stuff in this issue. There's also articles about the Baldur's Gate expansion, the Tyrants of the Underdark minis game, and more. Each of these articles is gigantic and seem like they are full of useful material.
My biggest beef with the first bunch of issues of Dragon Plus was that it felt shallow. That is no longer the case. Each article is well thought out.
Letters From The Editor
Matt Chapman talks about how he watches about 16 hours of streaming D&D games per week. Wow. He actually uses the phrase "celebrity DMs." What a weird time we live in.
I kind of feel like I should be checking these shows out, but it feels like a significant investment of time. This is coming from a dude with piles of free time!
Dice Camera Action: D&D as Entertainment
They also talk a bit about the weirdness of having people watch you play. I imagine it must be quite nerve-wracking. I suppose the watchers who don't like it will just leave.
I'd like to see another article that describes what a streaming session is like, from setting up the software to wrapping up. What kind of technical glitches can happen? What kind of feedback do you get? Do you need a tech person there? That kind of thing.
The Journal of Ezmerelda D'Avenir
The journal starts off like this: "In the event of my death, it is my wish that someone take up a sharpened stake of silver and bury it in the chest of Strahd von Zarovich, who I believe to be a grand progenitor of vampires, and possibly the first of their kind. "
That's pretty awesome. There are passages on vampire spawn, Strahd, and holy water.
If you have a player in your Curse of Strahd campaign who is up for reading in between sessions, you might want to have the heroes find this journal.
In my opinion, the group should meet Ezmerelda at around 6th level. So I'd say the group should find her journal on the road to Vallaki. Maybe she was attacked by wolves, was wounded and staggered off, inadvertently leaving some of her stuff behind.
Making Madam Eva
|My Madame Eva Twitter Fortune|
The best quote from this is: "Determined to capture Barovia's dank vibe..." I have to work "dank vibe" into a real life sentence.
These developers have made other apps, including this weird one:
"Neither of which is as weird as Kazemi’s killer app. Every month $50 worth of goodies turn up at his door, purchased by an automated shopper that randomly scours Amazon for him. “Everyone loves that thing but me because we have to live with the stuff it sends,” says Stanton..."
So.. what does it buy? I don't understand why anyone would want this.
Unearthed Arcana: Gothic Heroes
This has a .pdf with rules for you to make a revenant character (!), as well as some new builds. There's a monster hunter and the inquisitive.
They suggest the idea of letting a slain character rise up as a revenant. That's pretty awesome.
Community: Is No Fun, Is No Blinsky
This article is loaded with creepy Blinsky toys. Some of them even get art. Really fun stuff, very useful!
Mike Mearls talks about some of the best stuff from the DMs Guild so far. He talks about:
- Blood Magic: A mechanic that allows casters to burn hit dice for special abilities.
- Book Of Beasts: Stats for a number of demons from previous editions that I like, including the gnaw demon and the blood demon.
- Battle for the Undercity: A collection of three short scenarios to drop into a city campaign.
Return to Ravenloft
This was a pretty awesome issue. No article can touch Ed Greenwood's Barovia tour from last issue, but this has plenty of useful stuff. You get a heck of a lot of material for free.
I personally would have liked to see an article detailing possible encounters with Strahd in Curse of Strahd. That seems like a part DMs are struggling with. But I am thinking that this publication really isn't about articles like that.
This issue is worth looking at, just for the walkthrough map alone.