How to build a warlord in 5th edition

4th edition was much maligned, and not always unfairly. But it introduced several cool things to the game, one of which was the popular concept of the warlord a core class. How can we recreate the warlord in 5th edition? Defining the warlord The 4th edition Player’s Handbook defined the warlord as ‘a commander who … Continue reading How to build a warlord in 5th edition

Last chance to see: extinct (?) D&D monsters

5th edition has been out for nearly seven years now, which is nearly as long as the edition I ‘grew up’ with, 3rd. Going back through the 3rd edition Monster Manual, it’s interesting to see how many creatures have made it into 5th edition – and which ones haven’t. This article is a review of … Continue reading Last chance to see: extinct (?) D&D monsters

Happy birthday, Scroll for Initiative!

7 June marks one year since my first post on the site. And what a year it’s been! I want to say thank you to everyone who has commented on, shared, or subscribed to the site. What started as a vague idea last summer has since grown into something that brings me much joy. I … Continue reading Happy birthday, Scroll for Initiative!

Forgotten dragons, part two: metallics

This post is the second in a series in which I go back through D&D lore and show you how you could adapt some of the ‘forgotten dragons’ for 5th edition. Last month I focused on the lost chromatics: brown, purple, grey, orange, pink, and yellow dragons. Today I am going to look at the … Continue reading Forgotten dragons, part two: metallics

Forgotten dragons, part one: chromatics

The 5th edition Monster Manual has ten true dragons: five chromatics and five metallic. True dragons become more powerful as they get older. There are also ‘lesser dragons’, like faerie dragons, pseudodragons, and wyverns, but that’s a whole other topic. How much do you know about the other true dragons? In this series, I’m going … Continue reading Forgotten dragons, part one: chromatics

Gods in D&D

Do you have deities in your campaign? How many? What are they called? What are their portfolios? Are they active in the world or mysterious and withdrawn? For some DMs, deities are one of the most enjoyable aspects of world-building: a fun way to define their setting. For others, gods and demigods are just a … Continue reading Gods in D&D

How Medieval is D&D?

In my previous post, I examined the origins of the 5th edition Monster Manual and concluded that D&D was much less ‘European’ than might be supposed. Of the 215 monsters I looked at, around half, maybe more, originated elsewhere, and many, perhaps a third, were an invention of the game itself. I see this claim … Continue reading How Medieval is D&D?

Where Do D&D Monsters Come From?

There are some quite contentious claims out there about the origins of D&D’s creature catalogue. Was D&D inspired primarily by Tolkien and European folklore, for example, or was it more international? How many monsters did Gary Gygax invent, and how many are based on real-life mythologies?