Hipsters & Dragons

Because roleplaying is social, creative, fun… and kinda cool!

Category: DMs Tips (Page 1 of 5)

Should the Shield Spell Be Banned?

After watching Treantmonk’s superb subclass ranking series I was excited when the rules-savvy vlogger published a video in which he claimed to ‘fix D&D’ with just three house rules. I was left absolutely flabbergasted when the first of these rules was to remove the shield spell from the game! Wtf? If I was going to […]

The 9 D&D Quest Types

I’ve seen people argue that there are only three fundamental adventure types in Dungeons & Dragons: Fetch, Kill and Discover. However, you won’t have to wrack your brains too long to think of a story that falls outside those rather narrow restraints. The blog Master The Dungeon proposes seven core quest types: Fetch, Kill, Escort, […]

Exhaustion for Death, Devilry and Derring-Do

Not so long ago I quoted exhaustion as being one of the 15 reasons I love 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons. Given the often deranged mental gymnastics we have to do to make hit points make sense, it’s great to have a second, separate mechanic that measures life force, and moreover one that – unlike […]

Temple Rituals: An Alternative to High Priests

You know the scene. The corpse of the hero lies lifeless on a cold temple slab, his pale flesh lit by flickering orange candlelight. Meanwhile, the fate of the known world lies in the hands of the priests whose orations to their god represent the only chance to bring this chosen warrior back into the […]

Dual Wielding: An Elegant & Balanced Solution

The Dungeon Coach is one of the best D&D 5e homebrewers out there, in my opinion, and in this video he talks about the inferior damage output of two weapon fighting (aka dual-wielding) in 5e, vs. two-handed weapon fighters, and why he feels that’s unfair. After all, both these offensive styles require using both hands […]

Confessions of a Rogue: I Hate Sneak Attack!

It took me all of five seconds to pile in on various feats and class abilities I felt were too deadly when I first started this blog in 2016… but it’s taken me five years to tackle 5th edition’s most commonly-occurring damage spike: sneak attack. The reason being, of course, that when it comes to […]

Stripping Your Players of Plot Armour

When I wrote Dragonbowl, on top of writing the storyline, I found myself including little bits of advice that DMs might profit from in their bid to extract maximum drama from the adventure. Perhaps the most interesting was a box out about plot armour. And the reason it’s interesting (for me at least) is because […]

The Four Ways to Start An Adventure

A while ago, I proposed six alternatives to the overused trope of starting your D&D adventure in a tavern. When M.T. Black recently asked his Twitter followers what fun variations they had seen to the “you all meet in a tavern” adventure beginning, I shared my article and then condensed my six alternatives (plus the […]

Describing Spells Like Matt Mercer…

Ever since I watched Matt Mercer DM in Force Grey, I’ve been thinking: wouldn’t it be cool to have a list of Mercer-esque descriptions for all of D&D’s most common incantations to hand come game night? The chance of me being able to ad-lib something as evocative as Matt’s description of tongues, when the target’s […]

Does No One Search for Secret Passages Any More?

Back when Dungeons & Dragons was about clearing out dungeons, there were some tasks that players performed in EVERY room they entered, more or less in this order. Search for traps / hidden monsters Loot the corpses of dead monsters (having killed them) Search the room for additional loot and Search for secret doors / […]

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