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Tuesday, September 22

Dungeons Masters Can Make Fake Choices for Players, But Should You?

Eventually, every dungeon master winds up guilty of illusionism: You offer the players a choice that seems to matter, and then rearrange the game world so all the options lead to the same outcome.

How to Avoid Being a “Defensive” GM

To be defensive is to react with an overprotective mentality to a situation that perhaps doesn’t warrant it.

Design Evolution: Bolstering Magic

I love looking at the design evolution from Unearthed Arcana to finished product to see what kind of tips we can learn from the pros. This week, we have that opportunity with the Path of Wild Magic Barbarian, whose Magic Reserves class feature became Bolstering Magic

To Avoid Racial Monoliths in World Building You Need To Think Small

Most of the time, humans are going to get a wide variety of cultures and languages, ethnicities and religions… and then the non-human races are just treated as variations on a theme.

Monday, September 21

D&D Monster Monday: Specter

It’s mobile, defensively-gifted, and potentially devastating. What more could you want from an undead menace?

Making Combat Engaging

D&D is a complex game, though, and, handled badly, combat has the chance to become repetitive, frustrating, or tedious. How, then, can we make combat as exciting and evocative as it should be?

Quick and Simple Guide to D&D 5e Damage Types

In the middle of combat, one of your players, the Barbarian, “Would like to rage”. Great! So now they get a whole slew of bonuses, one of them being resistance to slashing, piercing, and bludgeoning damage. But…What exactly does this mean?

Lancer: Inside the cockpit of the mech RPG looking to a positive future for roleplaying – and the universe

Co-creators Miguel Lopez and Tom Parkinson-Morgan on drawing from classic sci-fi and moving away from D&D’s “old racist shit”.

Sunday, September 20

Milestones and Experience Points

I have recently been thinking about why I prefer using Experience Points to Milestones.

Simple Guide to 5e Schools of Magic

The bane of my existence as a DM is when a member of the party can cast “detect magic” either at-will or as a ritual.

Expanding the Trinkets Table

The trinkets table is used by a variety of backgrounds to give characters something interesting to have in their possession, but at 100… or even 500 more, sometimes you want something unique that doesn’t quite fit.

Worlds of Design: Escaping Tolkien

Some world builders get “trapped by Tolkien” as I like to put it. They think elves must be like Tolkien’s (even though those aren’t traditional), dwarves must be like Tolkien’s, etc.

Saturday, September 19

Creating Terror without Being a Jerk

Music, temperature, isolation, and lighting all contribute to horror.

Let’s Talk Tactics – Utilizing Cover

Cover comes in many forms, yet we as players never seem to use it.

How Difficult is “Too Difficult”?

Let your players know when you start a campaign that it is okay if they fail. That some of their characters may die, but they can keep playing.

Triage 101: Five Ways To Get Players Unstuck

If you’re trying to give guidance to the group, but don’t want to put them on the Plot Express, here are a few things you can try.