Rōnin 浪人 – Fighter Subclass Out Now!

Rōnin 浪人 – Fighter Subclass is on sale now on the dmsguild.com! Click here to go to the store page!

Rōnin, Fighter Subclass

What does this package include?

New Subclass for Fighters

This subclass is intended to give a taste of the legendary Rōnin to any campaign. This subclass introduces various Dōjōs with vastly different techniques, which one will your character join?

Motionless Sword Dōjō

The Rōnin trained in the Motionless Sword Dōjō is a master of defence, being able to move his sword and deflect with it in an instant.

Boundless Strike Dōjō

The Rōnin is trained in the Boundless Strike, they are able to penetrate even the thickest of armours.

Dragon Blade Dōjō

The Dragon Blade Dōjō specialises in emulating dragon fire and utilising it in their attacks.

Volatile River Dōjō

The Volatile River Rōnin moves in such an erratic manner that their movement becomes unpredictable to their opponents.

Exotic Weapons

7 Weapons have also been included to give this package more flavour for dungeon masters and players to enjoy.

Lore and Author Guidence

Lore and background suggestions for the Rōnin subclass, lore for each of the featured Dōjōs and setting suggestions.

Crusader Kings 2, A Grand Strategy With Grand Gameplay

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It has been well over two years now since the release of Crusader Kings 2 since the release of Crusader Kings 2, and where it is not unusual for games to have DLC this far past the release date, let alone from a small publisher, Paradox Interactive has achieved what few have with their game, a market standard. I might be painting a grand picture of CK2 at the moment, but this is a grand strategy game that treats the player like an adult. The game was not the same at launch however, it is easily arguable that it is a different game, CK2 has evolved.

In the beginning, there was not  much difference between Europa Universalis 3, from a very similar textured map of Europe and the Paradox Interactive UI which is common to many of their grand strategies you could almost think you are looking at the exact same game. However, where things differ are at the very core of Crusader Kings 2, the character and dynasty system, which in the grand scheme of things (see what I did there?) it is the very core of Crusader Kings. So why is now the time to buy CK2 more than any other time? The answer of course lies with the unrivalled diversity in playstyles, different governments, religion systems, and progression the game now offers. The way Crusader Kings plays through its early game, forging a dukedom out of what counties you can take, right through to the late game, the creation and expansion of an empire is both challenging and balanced.

So why would you buy CK2 over another grand strategy, like Civilisation 5, which is based on a similar premise, of changing history, when CK2 only covers the early to late medieval period, and Civilisation 5 covers the combined history of mankind. Or perhaps a AAA game like Rome Total War 2, where you can actually command the battles on the field, and just to be fair, another Paradox Interactive game, Hearts of Iron: Darkest Hour. From hours playing each of these games, I have found that they fumble over core parts of the grand strategy experience when trying to accomplish all of the essentials of a good game of the genre.

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The primary draw to CK2, diplomacy is based on the relationship between the two rulers, based on their personality traits, their religion, their cultural background, their dynasty, their ambitions and most importantly your own personal diplomacy with them. Wars are resolved when the goals of the attacker are fulfilled and the defender surrenders, or the defender beats off the aggressor. In Civilisation 5, over the 200 hours I have played, wars are fought usually until the enemy is completely decimated, the AI will very rarely sue for peace, and when they do, they have significantly reduced forces from what they had at the outset of the war.  Diplomacy between civilisations is very limited and military alliances serve very little purpose unless it is with another human player. Where Civilisation gives the player ultimate freedom to declare war on whomever they want for no given reason, the Hearts of Iron series is setup so that is very difficult to deviate from the historical timeline and declare war on another nation outside an event, certain requirements must be met, all the planets must align perfectly and the sacred text must be read… you get the picture.

Of course calling allies to aid you in war is a much similar case in Civilisation and Hearts of Iron: Darkest Hour if you have a military alliance with them, which again, in HOI: Darkest Hour, it is difficult to accomplish, for example with Nationalist China, you cannot join the Axis, as Japan automatically declares war upon you in the early game, and trying to shift your political stance towards the communists or the allies is very difficult in the same manner as I explained before. Which is where the beauty of CK2 comes in, alliances are formed by family ties, of course, the more brothers and sisters you have the more alliances you can form with other lords however the caveat is that all your brothers and sisters also have a claim to your lands, which leads to more challenging invasions of your lands by their sons and daughters, or a disgruntled brother with a twenty thousand man army at his back. What I’m trying to get across here, is that CK2 is deep, and everything you do has a consequence now, or later on.

The dynasty and character system is unparalleled in this game genre, no other grand strategy has the same amount of decisions or depth at the character level. Your choice in your council also directly effects what influence your court can extend to your own lands and other lands, often, as a child ruler, you can find that your council and regent will ruin what your previous character did in one foul swoop, by lowering taxes, levy rates or crown authority. Breeding and bringing up your heir can be a rewarding prospect, especially if you manage to get a child with the strong or genius traits.

Ok, here is the troubling point about Crusader Kings 2, the price point, on steam, it is £30 or your regional equivalent, all the DLC with it is £98, chop off unit skins, portraits and music, and it is still going to set you back £70 and to a potential buyer, that is very steep. Fortunately CK2 comes up in every Steam Summer Sale, and there is a demo available. The multiplayer mode is extremely fun, killing off your friends dynasty by intrigue and assassination, allying with them to divide and conquer or undermining each other at every turn is enjoyable, but with a few disconnection and desync bumps along the way. Ultimately, CK2 is currently the best grand strategy on the market currently, so if you are looking for a medieval grand strategy, this is the game to look at.

I recommend getting the Old Gods DLC if you are going to get any of them when buying the game, overall it is the biggest and best DLC that expands upon Norse and other cultures hugely, while extending the game length significantly.

Dying Light, A Great Zombie Survival Open World Experience

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Dying Light must be one of the most fast paced open world games I have ever had the pleasure to play, the developers Techland, who made the original Dead Island in 2011 return to the genre after four years. This time round they have created a parkour free running zombie survival game that is both challenging and frightening, especially during the game’s night cycle, where you are hunted by fast and powerful zombies.

Looking back at Dead Island, I cannot help but see similarities between the games style, not just the gruesome zombies. The graphics have been brought up to the next gen level, the devastated city of Harran and the surrounding area is beautiful at a from a distance and grisly up close, corpses littering the streets, most of them walking. Every asset is detailed and textured extremely well, and the game runs smoothly.

The crafting system is great, being able to craft different weapons and tools like homemade grenades. Melee weapons degrade however, and more than once I was left in difficult positions when my weapon broke half way through fending off several zombies, thankfully, in Dying Light, you can climb, run and jump on anyone and anything to get around.

The main storyline follows Kyle Crane, an agent sent into the infected city to retrieve sensitive files for a government organisation, story aside, Dying Light shines  in its open world exploration, I spent hours doing side missions, collecting crafting materials and discovering the games Easter eggs.

Privateer Press, reveals special edition sculpts for WARMACHINE: TACTICS

Privateer Press has shown-off its new limited edition sculpts today for Warmachine: Tactics.  If you have not heard of Warmachine before, it is basically a steam-punk, magical, industrial revolution era, skirmish based table top game. Privateer Press successfully raised USD $ 1,578,950 on Kickstater last month to create a PC And Mac playable game with a campaign and multiplayer, which looks like it will essentially be the current table top game in digital form.

Today they released these pictures of limited edition sculpts to users who donated through Kickstater.

Commander Sturgis
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Sturgis the Corrupted
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Gastone
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Games Workshop Roundup – Warhammer Online, Gamesday UK & Dark Elves?

Warhammer Online to end on December 18th


Warhammer Online is ending its eight year run it announced in a message from its development team. The Online Games Workshop licensed MMO has be in decline for the past seven years after it was released by Mythic Entertainment in 2008 after being plagued by server load issues in the its RvR system and numerous bugs and class balance issues.

The message from the developers said: “Unfortunately, as with all licensing deals they do eventually come to end and on December 18th, 2013 we will no longer be operating Warhammer Online.” Warhammer Online who enjoyed a 300,000 subscriber base in February 2009 then refused to give any more subscriber numbers after that point, possibly because Mythic Entertainment was to be sold off to Electronic Arts in June 2009.
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ats of War Alliance on Karak Azgal 2011

In 2010 Community Manager for Warhammer Online Kai Schober said in response to a post I made: “Apart from the obvious financial aspect for the company and the chance to have someone to fight against, is it really important for you how many subscribers WAR has?” Well apparently it is important, because if you aren’t making money you make a loss and loose the IP… At the time Kai Schober “didn’t care to ask” about the subscriber numbers at the time, perhaps it was this lack of business acumen on the Warhammer Online team that has led to its own end.

Games Day kicks off this week in Birmingham England
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Games Day is this weekend on the 29th September. I have been to a few of these over the last fifteen years, each year it has gotten better and better,  this year there are a many things I’m looking forward to seeing. The Games Day model this year is disgustingly brilliant, literally the best Games Day model I have ever seen.

I’m hoping to see much more in the way of Space Marine wonders this year, especially as the new Codex was released recently, last year we saw a full sized Drop Pod and Rhino on display, and a full chapter of the Ultramarines on display (as models).

Armies on Parade should be fantastic this year, some stores standards are a bit lackluster, but I believe that it seems that every year they get better. Golden Demon is also good, but I find that the ceremony is always a bit rushed, I would like to see a presentation by some of the Games Workshop developers just before, perhaps outlining some of their plans for the next year.

Fully Licensed Partners… Looking forward to meet the new kids on the block! Since THQ and Bioware Mythic will not be showing their faces there, THQ who unfortunately went out of business, (I highly doubt Mythic will, or there will be stocks and rotten fruit made ready at my expense). Full Control who have made a faithful (to the rules) game of Space Hulk, which I welcome with open arms, it is a solid playable game which could use some polishing. Nomad Games will be appearing also, I had not heard of them before until I saw Talisman announced for the end of the year, which will be on iOS, Android and PC this winter, I’ll ask if it will be on Steam. It sounds like it will be very much like Warhammer Quest I will make sure to ask them some more revealing questions and perhaps get some hands on experience of the game.

We may be seeing some new Fantasy models and a new codex this Games Day…

You are prey. (Dark Elves Preview?)

Yup, probably Dark Elves judging by the art and  it being for Warhammer Fantasy. I was under the impression from last year’s Gamesday that it would be Wood Elves this year, but again, Wood Elves and Bretonians seem to be untouched. I suspect we will be seeing a completely plastic army and new codex for Dark Elves, but I suspect we will be seeing more this Games Day.