How do your sessions start? Many groups find it helpful to start with a recap of the previous session. But who should deliver it? The DM – or the players? Option 1: the player recap In some groups, summarizing the previous session is a job for one of the players. There’s a lot to be … Continue reading How to nail a fantastic session recap
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
In D&D, playing a spellcaster is fun – as a player. As a DM? Not so much. Sometimes, in fact, running an NPC spellcaster can be a real headache. Fundamentally, NPC spellcasters use the same spellcasting rules as player characters. They have a spell list. They have spell slots, sometimes lots of them. But is … Continue reading Fixing NPC spellcasters
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
Being a DM is hard. Players interact with the game world, and you create that world. Without you, there is no game. That’s a lot of pressure! Prepping for a session can take a lot of out of you creatively, especially if you are already tired from work and life stuff. Sometimes you need a … Continue reading D&D inspiration
Most D&D campaigns begin at 1st level. Because of this, it can be hard to create an adventure that feels fresh and original. It is also the deadliest level of D&D, and a relatively ordinary enemy can kill an adventurer in a single blow. In this article, I look at how to plan a 1st-level adventure that is fun, exciting, original, and not too challenging.
How big is an ancient dragon? How tall is a cloud giant? What is the wingspan of a roc? How big is an ancient dragon? How tall is a cloud giant? What is the wingspan of a roc?
This post was difficult to write, for a number of reasons. It’s ironic, but writing about comedy can be distinctly unfunny. Is there anything more humourless than picking apart a joke to explain how it works?Comedy is a matter of personal taste. Take my comedy touchstones, for example: films like Monty Python, Airplane!, Anchorman, Four … Continue reading Humour 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
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