Building the 3D Lair Assault

It all started with Google+… I’d got a bunch of pre-cast Hirst Arts tiles and bricks from various sites around the country. The quality of them were shocking, badly cast, full of bubbles. I did the best I could with them, and made up the sample rooms Hirst Arts show on their site. I put some minis in them and they looked cool, well worth the effort of cleaning the bricks up, gluing and painting them. I posted pictures of these onto G+ and Mike Mearls saw them. We discussed the buildings and how I’d love to make the upcoming Lair Assault in them if it was feasible.

A couple of days later, a pdf of the adventure arrived in mailbox. The map was custom, and awesome. And more importantly, totally doable in the hirst arts stuff. I had a handful of tiles left over, so I built a couple of the rooms to test the size of them…

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What was the Drowathon

In 2012, with D&D Next announced, and a public playtest imminent, Wizards of the Coast announced a year long product schedule, the Rise of the Underdark – a drow themed set of 4e sourcebooks and supplements, minis, and adventures in the Encounters and Lair Assault program.

It started with the Sun Never Rises, a level 1 dungeon crawl through an ancient temple, written by Shawn Merwin. Like many of his adventures, this featured fully detailed pre-gens, as well as multiple ways to avoid combat and progress through the rooms.

Using the relationship we’ve built with WotC, we decided to support the launch of the product schedule with a tweetup event, the Drowathon!, We ran 4 tables of the adventure, and 2 of them were built in 3d…

For more details on how we supported the event, check out our (now defunct) promotional blog here: http://ukdnddrowathon.wordpress.com/

UKT4, the tweetup that wasn’t…

Last year, I met with the tweetup team, and we hashed out ideas for UKT4. The concept was for a multiple table race across the jungles of the Isle of Dread, culminating in a massive battle against the kopru and Demogorgon…

We set to work on preview adventures that would be run locally before the main event. We started thinking of ways to deal with the massive battle… The freebie that was planned for the event was a home made Isle of Dread gazetteer, a 32 or so page booklet detailing the island and providing 4e material for it.

And then real life got in the way…

We all got buys, our jobs taking up all our time, and at the same time, WotC released an updated Isle of Dread as part of the D&D Next public packets, and product support for 4e was withdrawn.

And so the concept of UKT4/UKX1 (x1 was the original product code for the Isle of Dread…) was dropped, and UKt4 was a normal tweetup a few months later.

I’d love to revisit this idea, and might do when D&D Next is officialy put on sale. In the meantime, why not enjoy the teaser trailer we made for the event: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_I4ifhpC2I

And the 4e version of the fan gazetteer, which, as you can tell, quickly out grew its original intentions: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/11072793/TheIsleOfDread.pdf

UK D&D Tweetup 4

For Immediate Release: Tuesday 29th Jan 2013

UK D&D Tweetup 4

The 4th annual UK D&D Tweetup, a D&D 4e mini event will be taking place in Leeds this spring. The event, which is organised mainly by D&D players on Twitter, will give some of the UK’s best dungeon masters and players the chance to get together and play D&D in the historic surroundings of Leeds City Museum.

The event will be held on Saturday 16th March, between 11am and 4pm at Leeds City Museum and will cost £5 to enter which includes a free gift and a strip of raffle tickets which will give you the chance to win some amazing prizes, donated by some well-known and some less well-known companies in the RPG world.
Started in 2010, the UK D&D Tweetups are a not-for-profit set of events run annually, and organised and promoted via Twitter. They are designed to allow the best of the UK D&D scene to meetup, chat about the game they love, and play in games that push the boundaries of what is expected from D&D 4th Edition. The Tweetup events attract a lot of industry support, with raffle prizes donated from household names in the RPG scene like Wizards of the Coast, Paizo, Kobold Press, and this year is no different, with big name companies like TSR Inc donating several copies of their new Gygax Magazine to the prize fund, but also support from the unrecognized heroes of the genre that make kick ass products, such as Unknown Tome’s Trial of the Underkeep, Dias Ex Machina Games’ Ultramodern4, and Enhanced4e.

There has always been a mix of homebrew games, and official material from Wizards of the Coast at the tweetups, with the tweetup’s being priviledged to run the first international session of Shawn Merwins’ excellent Karalels Revenge and also the first international public playtest of the earliest iteration of the ‘D&D Next’ rules. In the past,the homebrew games have seen the characters shrunk to the size of mouse and face off against huge cats, had the players attempt to board a flying ship, and fight a blue dragon in his lair surrounded by smoke and flashes of lightning.

This years games see two freelancers for Kobold Press, Rich Green and Paul Baalham take up the mantle of Dungeon Master, with Rich showing of his political and story driven Parsantium campaign setting, and Paul demonstrating Kobold Press’ detailed and unique Midgard campaign setting, using the recently released Midgard Bestiary and Defenders of Midgard player supplement. Tweetup veteran, Symatt returns as a DM for the 4th year running, while organiser Adam Page steps up to run a murder mystery game set on a massive 3’x5′ map.

This year, the tweetups move from their previous location of Mondo Comico in Nottingham, and travel north to Leeds. The events will take place in the conference rooms of the Leeds City Museum, a beautifully restored Grade II listed building located in Leeds city centre on the edge of Millennium Square, a short walk from the train station. A £5 entry fee covers the room hire and insurance, a free gift, and a strip of raffle tickets for the prizes. Additional strips will be £1, with all proceeds going to Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
Additional Information

What: The 4th annual D&D mini event, organised by twitter, giving some of the UK’s best DM’s and players a chance to meetup and play.
When: Sat 16th March, 11:00-16:00
Where: Leeds City Museum, Millennium Square, Leeds, LS2 8BH
How Much: £5 entry fee, with free gift, and strip of raffle tickets.
Contact: Adam Page, adam@leedsdnd.co.uk, @adampageuk
Signup: http://www.facebook.com/events/477185702319052/
Systems Supported: D&D 4e

A Last Call for Teams

With the Best of British D&D event in 11 days, we’re putting the final touches to the trophies, prizes, and goodie bags for the teams. In addition, we’re finishing off the background material and map that will be sent out tomorrow to the team leaders.

As such, we need to get the exact amount and names of the teams right, so this is a last call for teams for this event. If you’ve not told us you want to field a group, we can’t provide you the info, and there won’t be a goodie bag for your team.

Please note: you can still turn up on the day, but we cannot guarantee a space at a table or other members to form a team.

The Best of British D&D Challenge

The uk’s finest D&D 4th Edition players are invited to descend upon Mondo Comico in Nottingham (http://mondocomico.wordpress.com/, one of the UK’s best FLGS, with the best public play space), on Saturday, September 3rd, 2011, for the UK’s first Annual D&D Challenge.

This event, for teams of 5 experienced D&D 4e players, is organized to both crown the UK’s best D&D players, and highlight the launch of WotC’s latest and greatest tactical encounter challenge, Lair Assault.

In your 3 hour slot, your team of 5 characters will get to experience the most devious and difficult encounter design that the minds of industry stalwarts like Mike Mearls can muster. Die too soon, and you can use your remaining time to retry, take too long, and an in-built limit in the encounter will defeat you.

Each player at the event will get a pack of Neverwinter Fortune Cards, which are recommended to improve your survival, and there will be trophies for the team with the best back story, the highest scoring team, the quickest dying team, and prizes for the highest scoring players.

In addition to the standard Lair Assault packs being used, WotC have given us the go ahead to use a full 3d version of the dungeon, which really brings to life some of the awesome terrain features that Mike Mearls and Greg Bilsland have incorporated into this encounter.

Enjoy this little teaser: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97PWVGh1W60