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The QueueJan 8, 2020 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: Panic Mode

Hi. I just woke up. Let’s do this.


Off-topic D&D Q4tQ: What’s your favorite official adventure/sourcebook for D&D? Any edition, but I’m looking for TSR/Wizards-published material.

Okay, I have a few answers. While I really like the Baldur’s Gate Descent into Avernus module they recently put out for 5th Edition, my two favorites are Paizo’s Shackled City adventure path for 3.5, and the classic AD&D series that started with Temple of Elemental Evil, continued in the Scourge of the Slave Lords and finished up in the Queen of the Spiders module. These big, big modules were all compilations of older module series, and together they were an epic campaign that would take your party from 1 to 20, and that was back when that was a feat.

The Queen of the Spiders module in particular starts with your party confronting an invasion of hostile hill, fire and frost giants and then discovering that the infamous Drow are returning to the surface world and heading down to confront them, ultimately leading you to the web of Lolth, their demon goddess and Queen of the Demonweb Pits. It’s got its problems — making the Drow a dark skinned cult of matriarchal spider worshippers, for example — but still it’s a ride when you’re running it. A few updates and it’s still a pretty awesome module all told.

But if you’re looking for a solid, easily updated, and endlessly inventive series of modules, there’s In Search of Adventure. It’s a compilation of the best of the original Dungeons and Dragons module series for the basic set, and it is trivial to update it to the current game. And it’s just a lot of real fun. I heavily recommend it.


Q4TQ: A week from today we’ll be neck deep in new content. What lore bits do you hope to see/learn most about?

What will happen to players who kept N’Zoth’s gift? That’s my big one. I want to know what the price is going to be. What did N’Zoth get out of it, and what happens to players who go into that fight with that thing on their heads? How is that story beat resolved? I’m dying of curiosity here.


Could we just kill allied races as a means of adding new races to the game? Just give us the content we already paid for when we purchased the expansion. Like we used to implement new player races. Retail has more than enough hoops to jump through in the name of increasing player time logged in.

Dear God, why? I love Allied Races. Finally, unusual new skins and customization options, and all you have to do to get them (if you want them) is play the game? I’m behind on unlocking the Horde ones, because I haven’t particularly wanted to play Horde this expansion, but that doesn’t bother me at all. It’s a choice I made and one I stand by. I don’t find playing the Horde storyline fun, so I don’t have those options, and that to me is a completely acceptable trade off.

Likewise, I’ll have Mechagnomes on day one. I don’t really understand why, at a time when WoW Classic is so popular and so astonishingly grindy, that people are upset at being asked to get a couple of achievements and a rep grind or two that you’ll be doing anyway to unlock a race that brings more customization to WoW. I mean, I get that you’d rather they were all just available as soon as they were done, but I really think this approach lets people decide if they’re interested enough to do the work. I hope they don’t take your advice and axe them.

I like Allied Races. Even the ones I’ll never play. And I absolutely do not buy the argument that if you don’t get the Allied Races, you’re not getting what you paid for when you bought the expansion. It’s like saying if I don’t want to join a raid group I’m not getting what I paid for when I don’t get that sword I want for transmog. Buying the expansion means I get to play the expansion. If I want the stuff I get through playing it, then I have to actually do that.


Speaking of (allied) races, for you D&D fans who also like Magic: The Gathering, there have been many races introduced via the worlds of MtG. Some of my favorite are the Kor, Kaladesh Dwarves, and Vedalken.

What are some of your favorite non-standard races in D&D?

Well, keep in mind I’ve been playing so long I remember when Gnomes were a newfangled addition and Halfling, Elf and Dwarf were character classes, so for new Goliaths and Dragonborn are new fangled additions, but for me it’s usually Eberron or Dark Sun stuff. I love Warforged and Muls.

One of my favorite characters was Kasshan, a Mul who’d been bred as a weapon by a wizard clan living in an underground bunker. He was a party animal, determined to enjoy his life while he could because he knew he couldn’t have kids or otherwise leave a legacy behind, so smashing things and making new friends was his whole raison d’etre. He was the polar opposite of the brooding antihero — he’d see a group of people fighting for their lives against impossible odds, throw himself into helping them, then invite them to the most debauched watering hole he could find — which, on Athas, wasn’t easy.

My Warforged Paladin Sun’s Heart is one I still remember fondly. They were chosen by Pelor, and they absolutely loved spreading the message of the Sun’s light and mercy and defending those weaker than themself from evil. Abhorred undeath but didn’t automatically assume undead were evil — nuance was important to Sun’s Heart. They died holding off a dragon so that the party could escape and come back later to kill it. When they tried to raise Sun’s Heart later, They refused — they’d earned the grace of Pelor, and it was a good way to finally stop fighting. This wasn’t an Eberron campaign, because as you know Pelor’s not a god on that world.

But man, I’m pretty much always down for a weird concept. I’ve played Githyanki, I once spent several months playing a Lizardfolk who multiclassed as a Fighter and Wizard so he could punch people and then cast Burning Hands at them.


QfTQ: I don’t know if it has been asked before, but why does Drustvar have an Aurora Borealis? It is nowhere near Northrend, where you can justify having it, being the northernost continent..but Drustvar is souther than the Broken Isles on the map. Or is it just some witch stuff?

The answers to your question from the Queue were all pretty much on point — in real life, the Aurora Borealis can occasionally occur in locations closer to the equator, and of course there’s the Aurora Australis in the south as well. And of course, Azeroth is a magical fantasy world with dragons and a sleeping Titan using the world as an incubator, so who knows?

But I’m also going to ask a very simple question — how do you know it’s an Aurora?

Those lights in the sky could be anything. The planet itself talking to you. An encroachment of the Twisting Nether. Just because something looks like a terrestrial phenomenon doesn’t mean it is.

No, you forgot what day it was and that you had the Queue today. Anyway, thanks for the questions, y’all. Kalcheus, I didn’t answer your villain question because you’d already gotten an answer, but it was an interesting discussion, and I suspect Mitch might pick it up if you ask it again.

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