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Pokemon Play and Collect Event May 13th May 10, 2017

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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Toys R Us and Nintendo have announced they will be hosting a Pokémon Play and Collect Event Saturday May 13th.  Trainers who attend the event will be able to demo Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon. During the event, Toys R Us will be giving away an exclusive poster, a TCG collectors album, and an exclusive Alolan Vulpix foil TCG card. The first fifty people to attend will also receive a free Eevee figurine.

I’ve attended a few of these Toys R Us Pokémon events over the past two years and this one looks like it’ll be the best one yet.  The event will take place from 1-3PM. You can read all the details about the event here and here.


Free References and Tools For Dungeons and Dragons Fifth Edition May 10, 2017

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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If you’re like me, you’ve probably been hearing musings from your friends and peers about this game called Dungeons & Dragons for years now.  It’s ruleset has been used as a template for countless Western RPGs for decades, and now that it has published its 5th Edition, its publisher has been pushing hard to get new players familiar in the game.

If you want to learn how to play D&D you’re in luck because Wizards of the Coast, the official publisher of Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, is offering tons of rulesets and tools for new players completely free of charge. It’s the perfect way to learn how to play the game before deciding if you want to pay money on the core retail books.

You can find links to PDF files for the Basic Players Guide and Basic Dungeon Master’s Guide here.  You’re welcome to read them on your smartphone or tablet, and I know of plenty groups that will accept players using digital references. However, if you’ve got access to a printer or a local office supply store, you’re fully allowed to print out all the pages of both PDF files containing the Basic Rules.  If you’re going to print the rules, I recommend setting your printer to print them double-sided in full color. Trust me on that, printing double-sided uses less paper and including color makes reading the pages easier on the eyes. They’re a little too thick to staple together but as you can see here, the pages can be three-hole punched to fit in any three-ring binder you want.

The catch is that because these rules are free they do not contain everything.  Races like the Tiefling, classes like the Druid, and enemies like the Succubus are not included in the free rules while they are in the full retail core rulebooks.  That having been said, players are fully capable of using these free rules to help them in creating a new character and playing the game alongside others who have paid for the retail books.

If you want to play you’re going to need a character sheet and Wizards has you covered there as well!  Wizards allows players to print out and even copy character sheets, so you can download PDF files of several different sets of character sheets (blank and pregenerated) here.  Here’s a look at some of them.

5th Edition character sheets are compatible with players using either the Basic Rules or the full Player’s Guide. We’ll be taking a closer look at them below.

Under normal circumstances, a regular 5th Edition character sheet is made up of three pages. The first and second pages (which I recommend printing in a double sided format) are for writing down important information like player stats, current inventory, abilities, and character appearance.  The third page is only used for spell casters and is not needed unless you’re playing as a character who can cast spells.  You’ll use those normal character sheets if you’re playing D&D at home or with friends in a private game.

The character sheet website also includes master PDF files for every pregenerated character sheet included in the 5th Edition Starter Set, and those can also be reprinted. I prefer using copies of documents rather than the originals, so I was happy to find Wizard was hosting those files as well.  If you want to see everything that’s included in the Starter Set, check out our unboxing here.

So now that you know where to find the rules, you know where to get the forms you’ll need to create a character, all that’s left is dice.  Wizards of the Coast won’t give you game dice for free (although you will find a set of dice in the 5th Ed Starter Set), but we can help you out if you don’t have any dice. While a set of dice isn’t that expensive to purchase (you can see our review of a set of seven Chessex Gemini dice here), there are other free tools you can use instead of dice.

The iPhone’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa voice services have random number generators that you can use to substitute for dice rolling.  To get your device to do a roll, just tell your digital assistant, “Roll *number of dice* D-*type of dice*”.  So if you need your Echo to give you a single D20 roll, you would say, “Alexa, roll one D20.”  Don’t use a plural word when asking to roll multiple dice, as that can confuse the systems. So if you want to roll two D6, you would say, “Alexa, roll two D6.”  It’s a little slower than actually having dice, but it’s still pretty cool.

Some of this information will probably be updated as D&D Beyond goes out of beta later this year. Hopefully this information was useful to all the new players interested in playing D&D 5th Ed. You might have noticed a different kind of character sheet in the picture above marked with the Adventurers League watermark. That is a special character sheet we’ll be discussing more next time.

How to Get a Final Fantasy XIV Free Trial May 10, 2017

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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If you’re like me, you’ve probably heard a lot about the multiplatform MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV, but you want to try it out before putting down some money for the game.  Well, I’ve got some good news for you because Square Enix is now offering a free unlimited time 30 level trial for new Final Fantasy XIV players!  You can check out all the information about it here.

First up, you’re going to need a Square Enix account to sign up for the free trial, but you can actually create one for free. If you happen to use something like the Final Fantasy Portal App (and if you don’t you totally should) the account you created for the Portal App it should work fine.  It only takes a few seconds to activate your account, and from there you can choose the platform you want to play on.

This free trial works on the PC and PS4, and you can chose to play the free trial on the platform of your choice.  If you choose to play on the PC, you can download the demo client from the website. If you want to play on the PS4, you will need to download the free trial client off the Playstation Store.

Depending on which platform you choose to play on, you’re going to get prompted to download an updated installer the first time you run the trial.  When you finally get prompted to log in for the first time, you’ll get three boxes. You’ll need to sign in your Square Enix User Name (not email) and your password. Unless you’re locking your account with a Square Enix Token, you won’t need to include anything in the third slot.

After you complete your first login, grab a Coke because it’s going to take a while to install all of the extra game client data and patches before you can play.  If you’re like me and you upgraded the hard drive on your PS4 you should be fine.

The free trial doesn’t have a time limit but it have a level cap and will restrict access to certain areas. If you enjoyed the trial and want to explore the full game, you can unlock it by buying the full game client digitally.

Final Fantasy XIV is out now on the PC and PS4.