Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Bowtruckle

A bonus post for this week. I was planning to convert one Fantastic Beast into a D&D monster every week, but the Bowtruckle was an easy construction. A cute creature that has a great deal of charm in the movies, but its essentially a magical stick insect with slightly sharped claws:

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Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Billywig

At first I thought the Billywig was going to take two minutes to turn into a D&D monster. It certainly looks weird – essentially a chubby mosquito with helicopter wings on the top of its head – but I thought it would just be a simple stat block for a tiny insect.

Then I had a proper read of what that sting does:

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Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Basilisk

This one’s a tricky monster. For one thing, the Basilisk appears in D&D already. In that case, it’s a many-legged, angry-looking reptile. Imagine a blue Komodo Dragon with extra legs and spikes and the ability to turn those that look their way to stone.

The second issue is that the Fantastic Beasts Basilisk is a tough little gigantic monster. Harry Potter obviously has the ultimate plot armour when he goes up against the big snake in the basement, but oh boy, was he stupidly lucky. A stare that kills instantly, venom that kills in minutes, and scales that reflect spells…

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Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Ashwinder

Not everything in D&D – or Harry Potter, for that matter – is designed to kill the characters. There’s a creature called an Almiraj, which is basically a rabbit with a unicorn horn. There’s also this thing called a Flumph, a curious little floating aberration with the threat level of mouldy marshmallow. There’s also Awakened Shrubs… which are shrubs that are smart enough to talk… because sometimes you want your players to fight a dragon and sometimes you want them to have an awkward conversation with a bush.

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Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Acromantula

Before going back into lockdown, I noticed that many young students were reading Harry Potter for the first time. It’s no surprise of course, but it was lovely to see a wave of new readers discovering the series. I seem to find myself revisiting the series too – I’m currently listening to Potterverse, and I often catch parts of the audiobooks my wife is re-listening to.

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Why should YOU play D&D? Reason #4

One of the main reasons to do anything with a group is the moments created. Whether we’re gamers, sporty or other manner of socialite, time spent together leads to those shared, spectacular events that either make great stories, or personal, you-had-to-be-there moments. Nothing, in my opinion, generates these moments like Dungeons & Dragons. Continue reading “Why should YOU play D&D? Reason #4”

Why should YOU play D&D? Reason #3

People play games for different reasons. Some people play to win, to fulfil their need to triumph through a show of skill, logic or chance. Others play for the simple joy, unphased by who wins, uninterested in the finer points of the rules. For many, games are simply something to do with friends enjoying the social side.

That last point was the basis for my second reason for why I think you should try out Dungeons & Dragons. It is one of the most sociable games out there. I also believe that the other factors above are especially true for D&D; it can be played competitively or for the simple fun of playing a game.

Which leads me to reason #3:

Reason #3 – It has Something for every kind of Gamer.

Even if you take away the social side of gaming and strip away the inevitable fun that comes with playing any good table-top game, D&D at its core is something that can appeal to all gamers. No matter how or why you play games, Dungeons & Dragons has qualities that will appeal to you.

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Why should YOU play D&D? Reason #1

Maybe you’ve only heard of Dungeons & Dragons in passing. Maybe a friend or two are badgering you to give it a try. Maybe you’ve only experienced the stigma of a game that is supposedly only for the nerdiest of nerds. Maybe you tried it in your youth years ago but have lost touch.

Whatever your standpoint today, if you are a gamer in any capacity (video or board game), enjoy storytelling or creativity, or you just like hanging out with geeky people, you should give D&D a try. If you need convincing, or want convincing, here’s the first reasons to try, and usually the main factor in why people choose not to:

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How do you become a ‘Grown-Up’ Gamer?

Hello internet, it’s been a while. Ten months since my last blog in fact. There have been many reasons for the long pause: my marriage last August; the extensive renovations on our new home; the workload that comes with being a teacher, and other very grown-up things. For a few months I wasn’t even really playing video games, never mind blogging about them.

I have, of course, started gaming again. I’ve hardly made up for lost time, and the amount I can play has adjusted. The last few months have led me to the startling conclusion that I am, in fact…

a ‘grown-up’.

The way I game has changed gradually over time, but it’s only this year that I have truly embraced the fact that the way I play needs to be altered. Maybe you’ve been through a similar experience? Perhaps you have yet to feel a change. I’ve found a few ways to adapt gaming to suit my adult life.

  1. Become more selective.

When I was younger, if two decent games were the same price as the game I really wanted to play, I would go for the two games. It would pass the time until the newer game dropped in price, and the older games often turned out to be better than expected. Besides, I’d get through all the games I wanted to play eventually.

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