Archive for the ‘DnDNext’ Category

Tales From The Front Line: Critical Absences – an unresolved question

This entry is part 2 in the series Tales from the front line

This entry is part 2 in the series Tales from the front lineThe Context Saxon, one of my players and a fellow GM who has contributed guidance through ATGMs on a number of occasions was telling an anecdote the other week about what transpired in the D&D 5e campaign that he plays in. It seems […]

Leave a Comment

Ask The GMs: Some Arcane Assembly Required – Pt 2: Sourcing Parts

This entry is part 2 in the series Some Arcane Assembly Required

This entry is part 2 in the series Some Arcane Assembly Required This question comes from GM Roy, who wrote: “I need some inspiration to create cool names for spell components. I have 5 [scales of rarity = Mike]: Common (flesh, breath, water, dust) Uncommon (earth from a cemetery, humanoid blood) Rare (head of a […]

Comments (5)

Ask The GMs: Some Arcane Assembly Required – Pt 1: The Sales Pitch

This entry is part 1 in the series Some Arcane Assembly Required

Material Components don’t have to be a dirty word. They can be a rich source of color, flavor, and adventure even while avoiding the excessive paperwork.

Comments (5)

Random Encounter Tables – my old-school way

This was originally intended to be part of my recent article, Pieces Of Everyday Randomness, but it quickly grew to dominate everything else in that article. So I’ve extracted, edited, and enhanced it into this stand-alone piece. Some people are really opposed to the concept of Random Encounter Tables, aka Wilderness encounters, aka Wandering Monster […]

Comments (1)

Pieces of Ordinary Randomness: Random Techniques Of Chance

The Twists haven’t stopped yet! This month’s Blog Carnival, hosted by Campaign Mastery, isn’t finished yet!. The subject is still “With A Twist” and it covers anything about Surprises, the Unexpected, etc. I started with an article on the rules interpretation of Surprise, and followed that with a two-part article looking at types of Plot […]

Comments (1)

Ask The GM: Seasoning The Stew (making races feel distinctive)

Today’s question comes from all the way back in June 2010 – I’m sorry it’s taken so long to answer it! The question comes from Brett, who wrote: “I am an extremely new DM, but I have played for 7 years now. I am looking to put my players in conflict with Drow. At one […]

Leave a Comment

The Loss Of Innocence: Some unexpected insights

I was watching a documentary on the roles of Women as portrayed on Television the other day, and it yielded a couple of unexpected insights – one into modern society, and the other into the edition wars that have plagued D&D over the last few years, and the divide between “new school” and “old school” […]

Comments (6)

The Gap In Reality: Immersion in an RPG Environment

Our special effects gurus get better all the time, and at the same time, their product becomes more affordable with improving technology, making it more ubiquitous in entertainments. I first wrote about the impact of this phenomenon back in 2009, when I asked Are Special Effects Killing Hollywood?, a question which shed a new light […]

Leave a Comment

Value for money and the pricing of RPG materials – Part 1 of 2

I’m going to step aside from the usual practice of talking to GMs about how to improve their game for a few weeks in favor of what used to be a popular subject around the watercooler-analogue – and still causes game companies angst and sweaty nights, even today: the perceived value-for-money of game products. If […]

Comments (9)

What does “Old-School Gaming” really mean, anyway?

I’ve been hearing a lot of comments lately about how WOTC are pandering to the grognards who pine for a return to the days of old-school gaming. One person with whom I have corresponded on the subject through Twitter suggested that the divide was too great for it to possibly be bridged, and that WOTC […]

Comments (29)

On The Edge: Implications of the D&DNext Advantage mechanic

Only a short article this week (at least in terms of word count) because there is easily five times as much work beneath the surface! A few weeks ago, I read a really interesting analysis of the mathematics of the D&DNext advantage mechanic by the Online DM. And yet, there was a disconnect between that […]

Comments (10)

The Ultimate Disruption: The loss of a player

The death of a player naturally forces a GM to reassess his campaign and plans. But this sort of tragic event is not the only reason why this might become necessary – a player might move away, or might simply tire of the campaign and want to play something else, or might even give up […]

Comments (2)