Our final session: playing Dungeons & Dragons in a pandemic

‘If you want a remote Dungeons & Dragons player during these grim times, let me know. Happy to make like Geri and re-join the band.’ My brother WhatsApped me this message on a Sunday morning at the end of March last year. It was the day before Boris Johnson announced a national lockdown. Three days … Continue reading Our final session: playing Dungeons & Dragons in a pandemic

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

How to run D&D with no combat

The next official 5e adventure, The Wild Beyond the Witchlight, is set for release in two months’ time. It has been promoted as a ‘wickedly whimsical’ trip to the Feywild aimed at characters of levels 1–8. As part of this year’s D&D Live, Mica Burton chatted about the adventure with Chris Perkins, who said this: … Continue reading How to run D&D with no combat

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

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!

Metagaming is dumb: how to fix it

As with the term ‘rules lawyer’, there is considerable disagreement about what ‘metagaming’ actually means. The 3rd edition Dungeon Master’s Guide says that metagame thinking is ‘any time the players base their characters’ actions on logic that depends on the fact that they’re playing a game’. It gives the example of a player who assumes … Continue reading Metagaming is dumb: how to fix it

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