What’s the Crock Pot? Just a simmering bowl of lentils and herbs, with a dash of DMing observations. Don’t be afraid to dip in your ladle and stir, or throw in something from your own spice rack.

Laugh it up, fuzzball

Francis, the batted-around badger minion from D&D’s 4E promotional vid introducing the tiefling as a core player race, makes an appearance in the promotional posters provided to game stores and other retailers. He’s waaaaay up in the upper left corner (recently returned from a drop-kick, apparently). It’s good to know the gnome and his little friend weren’t completely forgotten by Wizards of the Coast as the release date approaches. And yes, even we fellow gnomes get the joke.

One hit wonders

Minions are 1 hp monsters designed to reduce record-keeping in 4E combat. And that’s a good thing. Less record-keeping, that is. But is the 1 hp monster really revolutionary, or just instituting a longstanding DMing best practice? I mean, you can make any monster a 1 hp monster, if you desire. I’ve had easy-to-dispatch minions for years, though I usually have them run away after first blood rather than outright kill them. But then, I’m the merciful sort.

Red shirts required

The only problem with disposable villains, unfortunately, is the idea of disposable allies. Instead of attracting a cohort and devoted followers, will PCs now be inclined to hire out their own 1 hp minions — but with a devil-may-care attitutude toward their fate? Does D&D need a host of red-shirted hirelings? Aren’t most PCs — you can call them adventurers, if you like, but mostly they’re tomb raiders and other despicable sorts— callous enough without giving them cannon-fodder to play with? On the other hand, chess players are pretty ruthless with their pawns …. something to think about.