New spellcasting mechanic: the Mana Check

By default, D&D uses Vancian magic, and has done since its earliest days, more or less. Vancian magic is where spells are prepared in advance and can only be used a finite number of times. It is sometimes known as ‘fire and forget’ magic, or, more disparagingly, as ‘utility belt’ magic. The term ‘Vancian’ comes … Continue reading New spellcasting mechanic: the Mana Check

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

Far Cry in D&D

Ubisoft I have recently been playing through some of the Far Cry games, and it occurred to me that much of what makes the series distinctive could also be fun in a D&D campaign. On the face of it, this might be surprising. The Far Cry games are first-person shooters: D&D is a collaborative fantasy … Continue reading Far Cry in D&D

Review: the Cypher System in Play

Monte Cook Games Yesterday evening, my friends and I played a Cypher System one-shot. None of us had played the Cypher System (or Numenera) before, although all five of us have experience of roleplaying games generally. Two days previously, we had agreed to try a post-apocalyptic genre: dystopian London in the near future, with a … Continue reading Review: the Cypher System in Play