Duergar, erinyes, sahuagin, and yuan-ti: how to say it

I love etymology and lexicography. I even specialized in it at uni. So this post is a bit of nerd-out for me: an unofficial pronunciation guide for D&D.   A few disclaimers: There is no standard way to transcribe pronunciation. Well, actually, there is – the International Phonetic Alphabet – but it’s probably not fair … Continue reading Duergar, erinyes, sahuagin, and yuan-ti: how to say it

Core Rules You Never Knew

5th edition is simpler than previous editions of D&D, but it still has considerable depth built into its ruleset. Even after playing for half a decade, there are niche rules that still catch me out from time to time. That’s what this post is all about. This week, I’m mainly looking at Chapters 1 to … Continue reading Core Rules You Never Knew

Nine reasons why counterspell is not as annoying as you think

A couple of months ago, I ran a Twitter poll asking ‘Which of these is the most annoying spell in 5e D&D?’ The options I gave were banishment, counterspell, and forcecage, with a fourth option for ‘something else’. It is striking that out of 66 votes, more than half were for counterspell. I can’t say … Continue reading Nine reasons why counterspell is not as annoying as you think

Hack the game: improved skills in 5e

D&D is more popular than it has ever been. Part of the reason for this is fifth edition itself, which in many ways streamlined the game without losing the flavour that made it ‘feel’ like D&D. I am generally very happy with the changes 5th edition made to the game but feel that skill checks … Continue reading Hack the game: improved skills in 5e

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?

Four Problems with Fantasy

Don’t get me wrong: I love fantasy roleplaying games. After all, I do write a blog about Dungeons & Dragons. But I also believe that fantasy, and D&D in particular, is not without its problems, some of which can be fixed, or at least mitigated. In this article, I plan to run through four issues … Continue reading Four Problems with Fantasy

Is D&D art?

A few months ago, following an interesting discussion on Reddit provoked by my post on creating awesome characters, I put the following question to Twitter: are roleplaying games an art form? In hindsight, it might have been better to ask, ‘can roleplaying games be an art form’. Perhaps the wording would have made a difference. … Continue reading Is D&D art?