Hipsters & Dragons

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

Category: Tips for DMs (Page 2 of 4)

Exceptional Weapons (from 2nd to 5th edition!)

There was a mechanic I loved from 2nd edition that concerned ‘Weapon Quality’ and it was introduced in the Complete Fighter’s Handbook, a wonderful splat book that had rules for every martial aspect of the game from weapon specialisation and combat maneuvers (possibly giving rise to 5e’s Battle Master maneuvers) to warrior ‘kits’ that look […]

The Polearm Master Feat is Crazy Good!

The halberd, glaive and pike: the legendary choice of arms used by heroes such as… erm…. wait…. no, just hang on a minute…. let me think… Ok, nobody. I can remember, even decades ago, looking at the weapons table of my 2nd edition Player’s Handbook and thinking: “What’s the point of these ugly, impractical weapons […]

37 Adjectives To Spice Up Your Monsters

I was reading the excellent Sly Flourish newsletter recently, aka the Lazy Dungeon Master, which delivers his latest blog post in my inbox. The post discussed what was the Minimum Viable Preparation Needed to Run a D&D Game. One of the subsections of the post dealt with monsters, and how anyone can dip into the […]

Size Matters: Let’s Buff The Big Fellas

One thing that has bothered me, almost since day 1 of playing 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons, is how little size matters in combat, and how the prodigious Strength of monsters such as ogres, trolls and dragons is barely reflected in the game’s mechanics. Now, I get that D&D is a fantasy game, in which […]

Memorable NPC Name Generator

As any Dungeon Master will attest, but particularly any who write and publish their own adventures, coming up with vaguely credible names you don’t hate for all your NPCs is a major pain in the @&$€. Something I’ve found myself leaning into recently is the classic ‘epithet + noun’ formula for NPC surnames. Names such […]

Jumping (Beyond The Rules)

It’s a core feature of any action movie… the moment(s) when the hero has to jump across the river, rooftop, lava, chasm, pile of bad guys they just sent flying, viper pit, vat of acid, or whatever other obstacle stands in between them and their goal. Often the consequence of failing these jumps would be […]

The Harder They Fall: Revising Falling Damage for 5e

So I was thinking about falling damage recently, and specifically about how little danger falling represents to characters of a certain level, no matter how high the drop. The rules given on p.183 of the Player’s Handbook simply state that a character 1d6 bludgeoning damage for every 10 feet it falls, to a maximum of […]

Dodge & Disengage: Do They Need Tweaking?

Few players at my table ever remember to use the Disengage and Dodge actions, which is probably why it’s taken me about four years to realise they are way too powerful. Or, at the very least, they are immersion breaking. I can get on board with someone managing to extricate themselves from a fight by […]

Not The Dreaded DC 15…

On page 174 of the Player’s Handbook there’s a table of Difficulty Classes for ability checks that goes a little something like this… DIFFICULTY CLASSES (PLAYER’S HANDBOOK) As you can see, to succeed on a Medium difficulty skill check you need to roll a 15. What’s my problem with that? It’s way too difficult, that’s […]

Drinking a Healing Potion in Combat (New Rule)

I was watching this video, by the excellent Dungeon Dudes, when I realised there is an issue on my table that hasn’t been resolved satisfactorily to my mind. That of drinking a healing potion in combat. The official rules state that drinking a healing potion requires an action. But when you consider that this means […]

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