Tag Archives: D&D

Once Upon a Delve

I could wax lyrical about the delve format of adventure design. I could talk about its use as a three-act play with exposition, obstacle and climax forming a framework for a tightly packed single session. I could talk about how it makes Games Masters of all of us where even the laziest player in your group can throw together an easy to run session packed …

The International Dungeons & Dragons contest! Win the Red Box, Rules Compendium, Heroes of the Fallen Lands and Dungeon Tiles!

Well, this is something a bit new for us!  We’ve gotten a number of authors who are writing authoritatively on Dungeons & Dragons 4e!  I’m very excited by this prospect because D&D 4e represented a big gap in Troll in the Corner’s collective RPG knowledge.  Now that’s remedied it’s time to spread the D&D …

Gaming with Kids: Kingmaker Session #4 (The Gold Mine)

Our fourth session picked up where session #3 left off and saw the addition of a new player, bringing the total number of kids involved in the roleplaying activities of the after-school club to a record 18!  Thank that I have a few older students willing to DM this year (both appear to be doing a great job BTW). The fifth player in my group is playing an elven…

4E AP: Osirion Session #8 (The Lost Tomb)

Session #8 saw the addition of a new player to our group who happens to be a colleague of mine; although he had never roleplayed before, he had all the other geek “credentials” so I figured he would fit right in and decided to extend the invitation which he took me up on. Since he was brand new to the…

Putting the Swing Back in D&D

Some time ago, I experimented with lowering the hit points of monsters and increasing their damage in an attempt to speed combat along.  In the process, I learned an important lesson.  Swing is fun! I define “swing” as the unpredictability of a conflict, and the ability of a single roll to shape the entire outcome of the conflict. …

Dungeon Design in 20 Minutes

If your gaming group is anything like mine, you’ll someday find yourself sitting around a table not wanting to play your normal campaign due to a severe lack of VIP’s, that is to say, Very Important Players. Now, if you’re anything like my gaming group you will refuse to quit! Within minutes, someone has pulled up the Character Builder and is pumping out “…

If knowledge is power, your skills are your army

What your PC knows can say much about who he (or she) is. More, even, than their choice of character class as they can help describe how your character acts, where they came from, and their whole outlook on life. Their character class tells only a small part of the story, while their skills may well reveal all. Each character in…

Dungeons & Dragons story in the New Yorker

D&D is the subject of a new piece of fiction in New Yorker magazine. Check it out here.

An Introduction

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Tracy Hurley, also known as Sarah Darkmagic in a number of online circles. In terms of playing, I’m a relative newcomer to Dungeons & Dragons. My very first game was about a year and a half ago and my introduction was pretty brutal. Sarah, my character, joined the party right outside of the waterfall in Keep of the …

Review – Kingmaker, Volume 4: Blood for Blood

Blood for Blood marks an important transition for the Kingmaker PCs, transforming them from adventurers who run a kingdom on the side to rulers who adventure to protect their kingdom. They find their nation under assault and must strike back at their neighbor – all the while maintaining their kingdom’s position and even expanding it. The adventure takes PCs from 10th to 13th level. See here, here…

Character du Jour: Theros Cordellian, the Godsthief

The greying sergeant scratched his head while the merchant raved. Last night, his store had been raided. This in itself wasn’t unusual, especially with the trollwar making generally honest men turn to illegal activities just to survive. What was odd was how little was taken. While the merchant wrung his hands and moaned that the gods themselves had deserted him, his staff busied themselves taking …

Game Master Tool Illustrated: Plot Flowcharts

Today I want to share a simple and fast way that makes planning easier. I was going through old gaming papers recently and came across a partially crafted plot flowchart. This would be a short plot in Myste Cryk, a home-base type campaign that ran 2005-2006. As the blog carnival for September covers preparation, I thought I’d roll out a picture of this…

Bringing back that old school style

You know what the biggest difference is between Fourth Edition D&D and previous versions? Layout. The D&D Essentials line goes a large way toward proving this – it’s a re-presentation of the same rules we’ve seen before in 4e (barring a few tweaks and improvements along the way), but in a much improved package. Same rules, different design. That’s all. The question though is whether …

Gaming with Kinds: Kingmaker Session #3 (Perlivash & Tyg)

Our third session was an abbreviated one due to one missing player and another who had to leave early. However, it moved the story ahead nicely and set up a major showdown between the group and the bandits. Meanwhile the other group (you might recall there are two separate 4E groups who are working together but adventuring separately), was back in session, taking on …

Mass Combat with D&D 4e – The War at Large

In my previous article , I talked about using military formations to create the epic feel of high level heroes taking on hundreds of regular soldiers.  That’s good for a single encounter, but not for much more.  Now I want to talk about epic pitched battles over vast terrain. It’s time to go to war! War in the D&D universe is …

Castle Ravenloft (the Boardgame)

Do you like boardgames with a lot of pieces?  Do you like D&D?  Do you like Ravenloft?  Then you will probably be pretty pleased with this board game! In case you don’t know, Castle Ravenloft is a board game produced by Wizards of the Coast, the same guys that bring you Dungeons & Dragons.  The game is loosely based on an old AD&D module of the same name…

What shape are your squares?

My squares, Grey? Well…… they’re square. The clue is in the name. Squares are square, right? Ah, but they don’t have to be. When it comes to Fourth Edition D&D, those battlemats, dungeon tiles or whatever else you use are marked off in some subtle or unsubtle manner with one inch squares. That’s the general assumption behind miniatures play in the…

Cleric Token Set Review

Last March, the table-top gaming world was pleased to learn that Wizards of the Coast and Gale Force Nine were teaming up to release a new line of accessories for the Dungeons and Dragons game. I’ve used Gale Force Nine products in the past, particularly during my miniature painting and kit-bashing phase. I’ve always found the quality of their tools be great and I was eager when …

Dark Sun Campaign Prep – the Challenges of Starting a New Game

The opportunity to start a new campaign is usually both a challenge and joy for most GMs. In the planning of my new Dark Sun campaign, the challenges appeared first. I had been wanting to start a new game for quite some time, and I had intended to run Star Wars Saga Edition. To that end, I purchased nearly the entire set of …

4E Starter Set: Actual play with photos

My 8-year-old son and I played through the “Your First Encounter” section of the Starter set’s DM’s Book using characters we created using the solo adventure in the Player’s Book. He’s playing Ruflin, elf rogue, while I am playing Nero, dwarf fighter. I acted as DM and player (which works well when playing with younger players since …