Traps are a classic part of Dungeons and Dragons, so much so that entire books have been made about them. They grown to be ever more complicated through the years, always adding more pulleys and strange fail safes in an effort to confuse and trick the players. Until recent editions, they were one of the big reasons you always had a thief in the party, as no one else had a chance to notice them.Continue reading “Traps. Who does this to their home?”
It’s game night. You’ve spent hours upon hours crafting your magnificent story. It is intricate, spun with many webs of intrigue, desire, and deceit. The player’s are going to hang on your every word, and they’ll need too. Every detail is important. It’s tough being this clever…Continue reading “When Players Cancel”
I’ve been on the fence about grabbing this book for a while. In theory it promises a lot of things that I love: Castles, stewardship, and Heroes becoming more than lone adventurers in the world, . It becomes less about dungeon delving and more about leadership. I’ve read other books that tackle these issues, however, and rarely are they satisfying. Often, they’ll be needlessly complex without pay off. Either that, or they aren’t meaty enough, glossing over the difficulties inherent in ruler ship. I know that is a tall order to fill, but I kind of want both. I want it to be complex and comprehensive, but I want it to flow easily within the already established rule set.Continue reading “Strongholds and Followers”
The players have latched onto some NPC you never meant them to care about.
What comes next?
It’s easy to engage your players. Just make them do the work.
Have you made your own campaign world? Let’s give it some holidays to celebrate!
Most people glorify the long running D&D campaign. We all love the Lord of the Rings, right? The default mode of play seems to be the vast world spanning quest of epic proportions, saving the universe from an antagonist with unimaginable power. Every game just serves to move along a huge overarching plot. Personally, I love this.
Some one rolls dice, you get hit, you lose hit points. You run out of hit points, you’re dead. That is how D&D works.
What are hit points, though? Most people view it as a relative measure of health. You get stabbed, your health decreases. You get stabbed again, the process repeats itself. Eventually, you just run out of health.
What I’m proposing here isn’t a new concept. I know I got the idea from reading about it somewhere else many years ago. If I could remember where, I’d give it some credit. It was an idea that really stuck with me, though. Hit points actually represents a number of things: health, how tired you are, the strength of your sword arm… hit points ultimately show how close you are to death, but not necessarily health. Continue reading “A Different Take on Hit Points”
“I rolled a 17. Does that hit?”
“Yeah. Roll for damage.”
“Okay, that’s… 8 points of piercing and 6 points of radiant damage.”
“Okay, next player…”
Sound familiar? Combat starts and the game suddenly becomes just a long drown out battle of dice rolling, especially when all your flashy powers are used up. It feels sterile and players can quickly become bored if they’re just waiting to roll above a certain number. How can you keep combat fresh and keep the players engaged?
Nothing beats sitting around the table with your friends and playing games. It’s great to be face to face and riff off of each other, planning out rounds on a grid board and playing off of each others jokes. Share a drink or two and you have a nice low key evening full of adventure with, hopefully, some of your favorite people.
Sometimes your people aren’t in the same town, however.
Mental health has a stigma surrounding it. We all know this. It’s a tough thing to talk about, which makes it a tough thing to deal with. I’ve urged many a friend to open up and spent a good amount of time letting people know that their feelings are valid and that they aren’t their anxiety. Sometimes just being heard makes it a little better, takes the edge off. Sometimes talking about it helps.
I’ve found this advice much easier to follow when I’m on the listening side than the talking side, however.
By now, we’ve started season two of Tales from the Tower on Twitch. We’re playing World Wide Wrestling, a game about being a professional wrestler. We’ve had a blast getting together costumes and creating the back stories for this little world. I’ve personally spent a lot of time on YouTube watching old matches and promos for research. While it’s been a lot of fun, I’ve also learned some things.
Wrestling has some great villains.
I just want to start off by saying that there are very few wrong ways to play an RPG. If you and your players are having fun and everyone is comfortable, you are doing it right. From hack and slash dungeon delvers to in depth method acting role players, its all valid. Its a game. Have fun.
That said, I’ve often seen people talk smack on alignment. They find it limiting and hindering to their role playing. If their character wants to save a town and then kidnap its children all in the same day, than by Rerox’s beard, they should be able to do it. Who in this life can really just be summed up by two words?
Many people see the dungeon as the corner stone of any good D&D game. It’s right in the name, for Rerox’s sake. Heroes go down into unknowable depths to kill things and get loot. The farther down you go, the more powerful the baddies. It’s a reoccurring trope. It’s also something I moved away from for a long time.
The game has evolved greatly over the years, largely in terms of play styles. D&D became less about about “kick in the door” and more about the story. As a game created by a bunch of war gamers, this was quite the transition. This was not Dungeons and Dragons original vision. There was a column Gary Gygax wrote for Dragon magazine that advised against becoming too much of an actor, as it would take away from the game portion of role playing games. I can’t find it for the life of me, but it was fascinating. If anyone has an issue number, drop me an e-mail.
I’ve been on a bit of a roll when it comes to GMless games, especially of the solo kind. Last week, I talked about a dungeon crawl engine. This time, the game is more like a choose your own adventure book, but with dice.
And cosmic Horror.
And Existential terror.
You know, the good stuff.