Friday, June 18, 2010


This blog is intended to be a repository for my thoughts regarding the relaunch of my campaign world, Auracrux. I suspect the primary function of this blog will be a place for me to think out loud and measure my own progress towards a fully realized playable millieux. Secondarily, it will serve to update those of my players who are interested in getting more information about the revival of Auracrux.

I expect to post more information similar to the invitation packets sent to my players, including updates on history, geography, notable persons, etc. Furthermore, I plan to make some blog posts about my evolving game philosophy, reflections on the system, theme, etc.

In this first post, I would like to discuss a major decision in the form of Auracrux: Rebirth. I have chosen to use 4th Edition D&D as the rule set for this game, despite Auracrux's origins as a 1st Edition AD&D game. This choice might have surprised some who remember my distaste for the grind that seemed to take hold at Paragon tier.

That distaste did motivate me to return to AD&D. Last winter, I attempted to run The Temple of Elemental Evil in AD&D for a group of folks locally in State College. Though I believe everyone involved got a small measure of enjoyment out of the game, it was not the wonder I remembered. There were a lot of questions about why things worked certain ways, or even disagreements about basic positioning and its meaning for mechanical resolution. I found that I was unable to justify many of the arcane rule sets governing life in Gygaxian D&D. In my own mind, AD&D is a complicated whole that produces a fun and complex game world. But it requires a great deal of complicated charts, tracking of minutiae, and player/DM hostility to bring that result about.

On the other hand, 4th Edition, for all its warts, is an accessible straightforward attempt at creating a fun game. I learned a great deal in running my first 4e game, and have since spent a lot of time reading others' reflections and advice. Also, I am currently playing in a 4e game run by my friend Jon. This game has been enjoyable, simple, and tactically engaging. 4th Edition does a great deal of the work for the DM, and this shows at the table.

The main points in support of 4th Edition include simple encumbrance, built in tactical decisions, general lack of ambiguity, and lack of time consuming minutiae like spell memorization and item saving throws. At some point in the future I will blog about how I plan to address the only major con of 4e (in my mind), the danger of grind.


  1. Dan,

    I thought you might be interested in this:

    It is basically bare-bones mapping software that spits out JPGs, kind of like HexMapper. I like it.

  2. Thanks. I was actually browsing the blogs you link on your site the other day and saw this. I'm interested in trying it out and seeing how it might serve as a starting point for maptool use.