Tag Archives: D&D

DMing 101: Start small

This week’s DM advice is primarily aimed at anyone looking to begin their first campaign, although it’s just as useful to experienced DMs. The advice, which comes straight out of the 4E Dungeon Master’s Guide: (p. 142), is  Start small .  By this I (and the DMG) mean, set your campaign in a well-defined, specific area or region. Ideally…

Down and Out in Old Dungeon Town

Picture, if you will, a small village. Just like any other village there are streets and alleyways, shops and homes, open spaces and meeting places. People live here from all walks of life – the poor and lowly & the rich & powerful alike. There are the butchers, farmers, priests and leaders all tossed into the melting pot of village life. Now put a lid on it and site …

Build an Essentials Rogue, today!

The preview of the final build from the D&D Essentials line is up, and I’m geekgasming that this is (drumroll please……) The Thief . Yes folks, the Thief is back . For too long have the lightly armoured sneaky types belaboured under the misnomer of “Rogue”. Time to reclaim their true title and status as Thieves. Whether there’s forty of them breaking into a Sultan’s palace or one trying…

Pulling That Lever: The Selection Of Leaders In RPG Societies

Nobles from ancient Mede Okay, so for the first time since we started this online magazine/blog, one of us has missed getting a post up. Johnn struck problems with his planned post at the last possible moment, and then tried to rewrite it but missed the deadline; thought that he would be able to get it up a day late, …

DMing 101: An introduction

Welcome to the first installment of my new weekly advice column, DMing 101. Since it’s the first installment I thought I should include a little introductory explanation about the purpose and nature of the column first. My goal is to provide tips and advice to new 4th edition D&D DMs – or those still on the fence – in easy to digest chunks. These will be…

Build an Essentials Cleric, today!

We’ve had the Fighter & Wizard , now it’s the turn of the Cleric to take centre stage. As before we’re looking at how to create a simpler starting character using only the PHB and the design decisions evident in the D&D Essentials line. The end result should be a set of Archetypal characters which would serve to introduce any new player (or old player still …

4E AP: Osirion Session #5 (First Contact)

The fifth session marked a bit of a change, format-wise because rather than pushing the hereto missing player’s character in to the background by having him wait at the camp, I created a simplified NPC version of him (following the guidelines in the DMG2) for the characters to take along. We did this for two reasons: The first was to preserve the possibility, for now, for…

Build an Essentials Mage, today!

Last time we looked at how to create something like the Essential Knight using only content from the Player’s Handbook. This time it’s the turn of the Mage, a specialist Wizard formally educated in the ways of spell casting. Can we do the same thing, and create a leaner, simpler magic-user using only the PHB? Of course we can! But first, I’m going to go…

Dungeons & Disney du Jour: Princess Pauline

“Jest look at her. Prancing through this stinkin’ dungeon like it’s some fairy tale palace, all singin’ and dancing’ fit to burst. It’s no surprising the monsters hear us comin’ a mile away. What I want to know is how come she never gets hit. I mean, look at what she’s wearin’! A ball gown! D’you see, Sir Gallant? D’you …

Build an Essentials character, today!

The good folks at Wizards of the Coast have been teasing us in recent weeks with information about the new character builds provided in the D&D Essentials line. So far we have seen builds for the Cleric , Wizard and Fighter with each one giving us more of an insight into the design decisions they made while putting Essentials together. I’m liking what I…

Build an Essentials character, today!

The good folks at Wizards of the Coast have been teasing us in recent weeks with information about the new character builds provided in the D&D Essentials line. So far we have seen builds for the Cleric , Wizard and Fighter with each one giving us more of an insight into the design decisions they made while putting Essentials together. I’m liking what I see so far, and wonder …

Review – GameMastery Face Cards: Enemies Deck

The GameMastery Face Cards Enemy deck is the latest in Paizo’s line of playing card-sized play aids. They are designed to be handed out by GMs to give their players a face to put to the names of major NPCs. Most of the faces come from Paizo’s previous adventure paths and thus are perfectly suited for GMs running one of the adventure paths. For example, King …

Good Monster Hunting

I’m re-reading the veritable Call of Cthulhu Keeper’s Companion Volume 1 . This is an excellent tome and a terrific read regardless of your system of choice. The first chapter is Good Cthulhu Hunting by Sandy Peterson & John B Monroe and it summarizes 10 best practises for wise Call of Cthulhu investigators. The advice it gives strikes me as equally applicable to adventurers regardless of genre, so I’m…

Adventurer’s Toolbox – Immovable Rods

Image by: SoulRider.222 I figured I would take some time away from my convention coverage to begin a new series. As I’ve played RPGs over the years, I have run across items that I begin to feel that any player/character with an innovating mind can use and use well. To that end, I’m going to call this series The Adventurer&#…

4E AP: Osirion Session #4 (The Desecrated Shrine)

Here’s the AP report from the fourth session of our ongoing 4E D&D campaign. Session Summary A few nights after reclaiming the monastery the group had finally recuperated enough to move forward with the next phase of their mission. Almah’s major domo, in the mean time, I spent the days watching Kelmarane through his spyglass and sketching the village’s layout. With…

4E AP: Osirion Session #3 (The Old Monastery, part 2)

Our third session picked up immediately where session #2 ended: the group was gathered in the monastery’s chapel having defeated the major infestation of pugwampis calling it home. Session Summary The group continued to carry out a search of the monastery, with Amaruq volunteering to climb up in to the choir loft and have a look at the pugwampi nest. While there were no signs …

Sharktopus!

I posted up a quick challenge on Twitter: “First blog with 4e stats for a Sharktopus wins a no-prize!” . Deadorcs from Initiative or What replied speedily and in style with this statblock direct to my inbox, complete with permission to for me to post it up here for y’all to enjoy. Which means, by the terms of the competition, I win …

Shadowland : it begins with the horses

Did you know that up to around 1900 there were about two million free-roaming wild horses across North America? I didn’t. That’s a lot of horses. Given that frontier fantasy worlds echo much of the Old West in style (and certainly given 4e D&D’s Points of Light premise), I’d expect it to be much the same there with whole herds of wild horses roaming…

Is WotC ever going to update the DDi Adventure Tools?

It’s now been over a year and the DDi Adventure Tools continues to be going nowhere. The Monster Builder is still a beta version and, as far as I can tell, has seen no added features in a long, long time. As it stands now, it’s not even particularly useful it’s a pain-in-the-ass just to export monsters from…

Review – Sly Flourish’s Dungeon Master Tips

Today’s review is Sly Flourish’s Dungeon Master Tips by Mike Shae. It’s available only in electronic format (as a PDF, Kindle eBook, ePub, or MobiPocketBook) for $7.99. Here’s how the author describes the book: You’re a good dungeon master. You’ve read both Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition Dungeon Master’s guides. You’ve run a few games. You pick…