PAX East tagged posts

PAX East is over, but the Avacyn Restored Spoilers have only just begun!

PAX weekend resulted in five new cards being debuted for Avacyn Restored (along with the basic lands), but today marks the official start of previews! Now I know you’re not hear to read my ramblings about the cards, so without further ado – here they are!

From the mothership:

As always, you can find our complete Avacyn Restored Visual Spoiler.

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PAX East Avacyn Restored spoilers!

So I attended the PAX East Magic: the Gathering panel and got to see first hand some brand new cards for the next set – Avacyn Restored! Two new keywords got debuted:

Soulbond (You may pair this creature with another unpaired creature when either enters the battlefield. They remain paired for as long as you control both of them.)

Miracle X (You may cast this card for its miracle cost when you draw it if it’s the first card you drew this turn.) – this comes with a new frame!

Oh and one more thing, check out next fall’s set:

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PAX Events for Tabletop Gamers

The official PAX East schedule has been revealed and it is looking pretty good, but what is really exciting is how many of the panels are shaping up to be about tabletop gamers! Below is a list of all the panels that I’m hoping to get to, but I know that will be impossible because of some overlap.


How to Start Playing D&D
Cat Theatre
Friday 1:30pm – 2:30pm
Let’s face it, all those rulebooks and funny-shaped dice can be intimidating. What do I roll to kill the goblin with my sword? What does Magic Missile do again? Why is that gazebo attacking me? The truth is that all tabletop roleplaying needs is a creative gamemaster and some players willing to go on an adventure. We’ll help you make sense of esoteric game manuals so you can stop just lurking on RPG websites or hearing about other gamers’ campaigns and start actually roleplaying. If you used to play D&D in the 80s or you’ve trouble with a male-centric hobby, we’ll show you how to find a group that matches your playstyle and gets you back into gaming. New dungeon masters can learn how to form a group, while we’ll show all prospective players that there’s no reason to be afraid of rolling a few dice on a Friday night.
Panelists include: Greg Tito [Games Editor, The Escapist], Ethan Gilsdorf [Author of Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks, journalist and critic for New York Times, Boston Globe,’s GeekDad], Alex Guzman [RPG Networker / Game Organizer, Bad Wrong Fun], Shelly Mazzanoble [Author of Everything I Need to Know I Learned From Dungeons and Dragons., Wizards of the Coast]

Design an RPG in an Hour
Merman Theatre
Friday 2:30pm – 3:30pm
We’re making a pen and paper RPG, and you’re invited to the design meeting! During the panel, you’ll address the problem-solving and analytical questions required to design a successful game in a seat-of-our-pants, fast-paced environment. During the discussion, we’ll cover the basics of game theory and how to outline, centered around an example you’re participating in.

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Dungeons & Dragons schedule announced for PAX East!

Wizards has just released their schedule for PAX East including all the events planned for Dungeons & Dragons (I can’t wait to play some more real life D&D and deflect to the opposing side mid-game). But I think everyone is excited to play test D&D Next.

PAX East is taking place April 6 – 8 in Boston and is a fantastic convention about all kinds of gaming. Tom and I will be there too! But enough about us, here is the schedule:

New to D&D

Event Runs Description
D&D Learn-to-Play Friday 11 am, 1 pm, 3 pm, 5 pm;Saturday 11 am, 1 pm,
3 pm, 5 pm, 7 pm, 9 pm;

Sunday 11 am, 1 pm, 3 pm

Want to learn how to play D&D 4th Edition? We’ll teach you all the basics, and send you out on your first adventure! Everything is provided for you, and you can even keep your character.Length: 2 hours
D&D Board Game
Open Play
Friday & Saturday 11 am, 1 pm, 3 pm, 5 pm, 7 pm, 9 pm;Sunday 11 am, 1 pm, 3 pm Want to play a D&D game without a DM? Do you like cooperative games? How about head-to-head Euro-style games? Or strategic wargames? Come with your friends to play any of our D&D-themed board games all weekend long! Choose from Castle Ravenloft, Wrath of Ashardalon, The Legend of Drizzt, Conquest of Nerath or the all-new Lords of Waterdeep!Length: 2 hours

New and Experienced D&D Players

Event Runs Description
Rise of the Underdark:
The Sun Never Rises
Friday & Saturday 11 am, 1 pm, 3 pm, 5 pm, 7 pm, 9 pm;Sunday 11 am, 1 pm, 3 pm Her Radiance Dareen Travaskyr has led the Temple of Lathander’s Light for many years, making it a source of good and civilization in the otherwise wild Daggerdale. When the priestess received a vision urging her to create a powerful icon against an impending darkness, she employed a group of adventurers to complete her divinely inspired tasks. But evil has spies everywhere. Now, the party of heroes might be the only thing standing between forces bent on a grisly fate for the temple’s inhabitants. This short adventure is designed to introduce the players to the threat presented in the War of the Spider Queen D&D Encounters season. Players who complete this adventure have a chance to gain some benefits that they can carry over to the characters they play in the new D&D Encountersseason.Length: 2 hours
D&D Convention Delve:
Lair of the Dread Witch
Friday 11 am – 11 pm;Saturday 11 am – 11 pm;

Sunday 11 am – 4 pm

In the deep forest, a place of dark power lies, its corruptive influence seeping into the lands beyond its borders. Can you contain the threat of the Dread Witch, and stop her rituals before all falls into darkness? A 1st-level D&D convention delve with characters provided. Play as often as you like and earn tokens that can be redeemed for prizes!Length: 1 hour per adventure

Some D&D Experience Recommended

Event Runs Description
Playtest Special:
D&D Next
Friday 7 pm Join in a public playtest of the next iteration of the Dungeons & Dragonsgame at PAX East. Play in an adventure with characters provided, and give us your feedback to help guide the future of the D&D game! Players of any editions of the game are welcome to participate. All participants are required to sign a non-disclosure agreement.Length: 4 hours
D&D DM’s Challenge:
The Elemental Chaos
Saturday 7 pm What stirs in realms beyond the world awakens, and adventurers are needed to combat the agents of chaos and destruction! The DM’s Challenge is a special one-time event running only at PAX Prime. DMs bring their best and most dangerous 7th-level Elemental Chaos-themed adventures for you to conquer; rate your play experience to determine the best adventure of the evening! 7th-level characters are provided.Length: 4 hours
Lords of Waterdeep Tournament Sunday 11 am Come try out the newest offering in the D&D board game line with Lords of Waterdeep! This Euro-style resource game casts the players as the Masked Lords of Waterdeep, each recruiting adventurers to complete various quests and achieve their own ends. The tournament consists of a 2-hour entry round, with each table’s winner advancing to a 2-hour final round to determine the PAX East champion! Winner and finalists receive prizes. 4 hours total for players reaching the final round.Length: 2 hours/round

Ask the Dungeon Master

Friday 4/6, 6 pm – 7 pm – Wyvern Theatre

Being a great Dungeon Master requires a variety of skills. Part referee, part storyteller, and part actor; the art of the Dungeon Master is in combining these talents to become a superhuman, D&D-propelling package. Join D&D staff members Mike Mearls, Chris Lindsay, and Chris Youngs as they discuss various tips and tricks to bring the best adventure to your players, as well as ways to make them equal participants in the story. A Q&A session will follow the panel discussion.

The Future of Dungeons & Dragons

Saturday 4/7 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm – Wyvern Theatre

The next iteration of Dungeons & Dragons is on its way! Join D&D Senior Manager Mike Mearls in a Q&A about the next D&D, and how the open playtest is using fan feedback to help shape the future of the game.

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An Interview with PAX East DM Challenge Winner Matt Brenner

Among the many gaming events Wizards of the Coast hosted at PAX East, one stood out amongst the others as being particularly special. In what is becoming a staple of the large gaming conventions, a Dungeon Master’s Challenge was held. A one night only event that challenged anyone to craft a one – shot adventure based on specific parameters – to be played over a four hour period. The competing DMs would have to provide all the materials, setups, minis, characters and other things they would need to run the game. In the end, one person would be declared the winner.

Over 20 DMs eventually entered, and excitement was so high for the event that potential players had to be turned away because there just were not enough spots available. After many hours of adventuring, with the parties all engaging in adventures to challenge and defeat fearsome dragons, Matthew Brenner (on Twitter @mjbrenner) emerged victorious, scoring the only perfect score from his group of gamers. The scoring was based on each table of adventurers scoring their DM on several parameters meant to measure the creativity and fun factor of each game.

After his victory, we sat down with Matt to discuss the challenge, how he got started in gaming, and his own tips for running a successful game.

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Of Dice and Men: The Play that Conquered PAX East

Of Dice and MenBack in March I had the chance to attend Pax East. Between play test sessions with the soon to be released Dark Sun campaign setting, I made time for gaming panels. Among them was one that involved a stage reading of a play called  “Of Dice and Men.”

I have to admit, a play about Dungeons and Dragons sounded a little too good to be true (I mean, look what they did with the D&D movie), but if they were brave enough to bring it to the hive of geekdom that was Pax East, it was at least worth giving a chance. I was blown away, and it ended up being my favorite part of the entire weekend.

A stage reading involves the actors moving around stage with binders, reading their characters from the script. There aren’t any costumes or set pieces to speak of, but other than that, the players act out the performance as it otherwise would be done in a full production. Meanwhile, another person reads the stage directions and settings aloud in a narrator-like fashion.

Normally I wouldn’t spoil the plot of a movie or theater production, for fear of diminishing the experience for anyone that sees it. However, in this case I’m going to make an exception, because there just isn’t anything else out there right now like “Of Dice and Men”. To understand how great it is involves knowing the story. What follows is a semi-spoiler filled explanation of the plot.

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