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Author: duncan (Page 1 of 14)

The Secret Ingredient to Great D&D…

Designing and running truly fantastic Dungeons & Dragons scenarios time after time ain’t easy. More often than not your instincts and tools will help you create a great gaming session… but sometimes what sounded cool in your imagination doesn’t spark the game into life, the players lose interest and the session falls flat. I’d be […]

Stunning Metal, Sharp Edge & Gemstone Dice Sets

Cast your mind back to the first time you played Dungeons & Dragons. If your experience was anything like mine, then you were spellbound not only by the game itself but also by the mysterious and beautiful polyhedral dice, that came in all sorts of varieties of number of sides, shapes and colours. I was […]

How To Run Urban Campaigns in D&D

While cities in Dungeons & Dragons are jam-packed with adventure potential, it can be much harder for DMs to find the drama in an urban setting, versus that of the dungeon or wilderness. This is largely because the Dungeon Master’s main tool – monsters – can’t be deployed with the same frequency and credibility in […]

How To Run An Epic Gladiatorial Adventure

The other day I saw that Sly Flourish answered a question on his RPG talk show about running gladiatorial arenas in D&D. Given that I dedicated 1.5 years of my life writing an epic 300-page arena adventure, I figured this is probably a topic I should also address on my own media! Especially since writing […]

Healing Potions That Scale & Are Easy to Remember

I was thinking about healing potions the other day (as any 40-something responsible adult does), and I believe I came up with a pretty good solution to the two big issues that healing potions suffer from in 5e D&D. The first problem is, famously, that they don’t scale at all, and your humble, standard issue, […]

Zone of Tedium… The Truth About ZoT!

Recently, I have run two big trial scenes in two separate D&D campaigns. The first led to one of the most dramatic sessions I have ever run (or so the players who took part told me!), full of twists, turns, revelations and surprises. The second was full of prevaricating, repetitions, belligerent brow-beating and farcical pretence. […]

How I Fixed “Too Much Gold And Nothing To Spend It On”…

It’s a common lament in 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons that players accrue bags and bags of cash, but have very little to spend it on. Inquisitive players start to wonder why they bother delving into dungeons, or accept life threatening missions, to amass more and more gold, when they can’t even spend the coin […]

Dirty Jobs: An Urban ‘West Marches’ Campaign

If you’ve been playing Dungeons & Dragons for any reasonable length of time, you may well have heard the enigmatic phrase ‘West Marches Campaign’ dropped into your D&D discourse. What is a West Marches Campaign? West Marches was the solution of Dungeon Master (and game designer) Ben Robbins to the age-old issue of RPG scheduling […]

Designing & Running Heists in 5e D&D

“Heists don’t work in D&D!” retorted my friend and fellow Dungeon Master, when I announced I was excited to get my hands on Keys from the Golden Vault. It’s a common refrain, usually followed by: “You should try Blades in the Dark!” According to its many detractors Dungeons & Dragons is, in fact, a terrible […]

Lessons from Bond: Designing & Deploying Lieutenants

Last time I was in the UK, I picked up a 1958 edition yellow-leafed pocket-sized paperback of Diamonds Are Forever by Ian Fleming, which I later read on various beaches of the Costa Brava over summer. I was impressed with Fleming’s punchy, authoritative prose and I enjoyed the gritty, down-to-earth plot of Bond exposing a […]

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