I’ve talked about this before. It’s essentially the origin story of why I love and play Dungeons & Dragons, similar to what I have on the about us page. Being Mother’s Day, thought, I wanted to write about it again here because there are just those days where I miss my mother a lot, and this is certainly one of them.
I haven’t had much of a chance to put up as many posts as I would like, and a big part of that is due to the amount of work I’ve been putting into a massive Dungeons & Dragons project that will eventually (hopefully) see the light of day – we’re pushing for fall of 2018. Of course, this will all depend on a range of factors, and one of those is my ability to take care of a bunch or preproduction and production stuff. But that’s not really the focus of this article. This is about my experience with Inkarnate, an online map making tool.
If you love playing Dungeons & Dragons, Starfinder, and other tabletop roleplaying games, you are going to want to help keep your game master sane and happy. After all, they are doing all of the behind the scenes work to help make the game as fun as possible. While I’ve been quite lucky with the players that I’ve had (at least over the past year or so), not all GMs are quite so fortunate. So, players out there, if you want to make sure your GM is happy, there are a few things that you can do.
In the last article, I talked about some tips for those who were new to DMing and gamemastering. I thought it was appropriate to follow up with a quick bit of advice for Dungeon Masters who are now players in campaigns whether they are run by experienced or novice DMs. As the title states, don’t be a backseat DM. What does this mean though?
Since the dawn of roleplaying games, there has always been a shortage of gamemasters. Everyone loves to play, but people tend to be somewhat reticent when it comes to sitting in the DM’s chair for one reason or another. Sure, there’s more work that goes into planning a session on the DM’s part than the players’, but it is also highly rewarding. Watching people partake in stories that you’ve created, and watching their characters grow and develop is fantastic.
You get to create storylines and adventures, become the NPCs and the monsters, and develop your own world if you wish (or play in one of the campaign settings already in place, such as Forgotten Realms, Eberron, or Tal’Dorei from Critical Role.)
Of course, there’s also the elements of fear and doubt that creep into the mind when you’ve never been a DM before. You are afraid of getting it wrong.
Don’t worry. It’s not as hard as you think. I’ve written about this sort of thing before, but it bears repeating. Being a DM is honestly not that difficult once you get rolling, and the tips below can help to make it even easier.
I've only recently started down the path to minis for Dungeons & Dragons, and I still don't use them in all of my games. I started with some of the pawn sets put out by Paizo, which were of a higher quality than I had initially anticipated. Then, I started to fall down the rabbit hole even further, and I began to look at the many different mini options out there, including the prepainted minis from Pathfinder, along with Nolzur's Marvelous Miniatures. They were all relatively cheap, and I figured I could grab a few here and there and then eventually learn how to paint (still working on that last part).
I had also heard of a popular company called Hero Forge, which allows people to make custom minis for their game. I loved the idea, but it's a costly venture. I spent about $35 for a single mini (a birthday present of the half-orc fighter Pesci, my friend Erin's character in a game we play set in Tal'Dorei). Let's look at some photos of Pesci and images of some other minis for a comparison.
More news (a lot more news) has been released regarding the upcoming D&D book Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes, but rather than having me dissect it all and write out a long winded post regarding the book, I thought I would provide you with a video of Dragon Talk from Wizards of the Coast. Hosted by Greg Tito and Shelley Mazzanoble, with guests Kate Irwin and Jeremy Crawford who are working on the book, the video delves into much of what we can expect when we get our hands on the book at the end of May.
I have to say, I'm even more excited now than I was when the first information was released.
Some great news from the folks at Wizards of the Coast! They just announced that there will be a new book releasing on May 29, 2018, called, as you saw in the title, Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes. While we don’t know a whole lot about the book quite yet, I’m already looking forward to it based on how happy I’ve been with Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, which I find myself perusing and using more and more often.
Back in the day, the crew I used to play with would be six or seven strong most of the time, and that’s what I was accustomed to. Today, I generally run much smaller groups for D&D, Star Wars, and other RPGs. In fact, it’s often just four in total, including me as the DM. There are both good and bad things about running a small group. Let's look into it.
Tables can make the life of a Dungeon Master a lot easier, and I have always been a big fan. They can allow the GM to come up with exactly what they need on the fly
Since I feel there can never be too many tables, I thought I might put up a very simple table from time to time that you can take and use in your own games. Depending on whether people find these handy or now, I will try to add a new table of some sort every couple of weeks, and I will try to switch things up a bit with different types of tables for different sorts of games (modern, horror, etc.). For now, though…
A couple of weeks ago, I decided to come up with what I hoped would be a fun one-shot that would take place in Matt Mercer’s Tal’Dorei during the holiday of Winter’s Crest. I wanted to add a few holiday special tropes along with some beloved Critical Role characters for the PCs to possibly interact with depending on just how things went for them and the decisions they made.
I ran it for two players, as the other player from the usual Tal’Dorei campaign was unable to attend. It was a single session of about five hours or so. By all accounts, it was a success… a weird and sometimes funny “success”.
I thought I would provide a brief outline of the adventure here without any stats or too much to detract from the story, and so you can more easily adapt it if you would like to run the adventure at any point. You can scale the foes up or down to meet your party’s needs in terms of number, health, etc.
Spoilers: If you or any of your players watch Critical Role, and you haven’t finished the adventures of Vox Machina, there are spoilers in the content. Be warned. This story takes place about six or seven years after the final episode. That said, I think those who have finished the series will have a good time with the story, although there’s a hell of a lot of fan service… some might not like that. Also… this post is long. Sorry about that.
Have you given Tales from the Loop a shot yet? I love the whole theme of the setting (weird crap happening in the 1980s, kids involved in investigating the mysteries, an excuse to break out some old music, etc.) and am getting ready to run a game in a week or two. I have also been wondering just when they would release a new book for the setting. Fortunately, the wait is over.
Recently, I put up an article on items that DMs and GMs might like as a gift. However, I don’t want to leave out the players. I also figured I should do it before the holidays, even though these are great gifts no matter the occasion. After all, a gamemaster wouldn’t have much to do if there were no players. So, here’s a list of some items that you may want to consider picking up for some of your favorite roleplayers out there. While they might not need all these items, they can be a lot of fun.
Check out 5 great types of gifts for tabletop RPG players.
It’s always a good idea to keep the GM happy. After all, the Gamemasters are crafting stories and adventures to keep you and the rest of the party entertained for hours at a time, often pulling characters, locations, and stories out of their derriere to help keep things moving. It’s a fun job, but a big one, so why not express thanks to that wonderful Dungeon Master, Gamemaster, Keeper, or Storyteller in your life. I’m not saying it’s going to stop a terrible fate for the characters in your party… but it couldn’t hurt.
So, here are five gift ideas that you might want to give to your DM this holiday season.
I love the idea of using miniatures and tokens in games like Dungeons & Dragons and Starfinder. However, it’s not something that I do very often. In fact, the only time I’ve used any type of minis or maps recently has been in a couple of Star Wars games that I’ve run, and then on Roll20, of course, since it’s so easy to do. Before that, I hadn’t used any since the third edition of D&D. Even then, they were my DMs minis and terrains, not my own.
Why haven’t I started using minis and terrain? Well, there are a couple of reasons.
In yesterday’s post, we talked about some of the benefits that can come from having your children play tabletop RPGs such as D&D. Today, I wanted to write just a bit about some of the different game systems and settings that tend to be nice and easy to use, even for those who are just starting out. So, let’s have a look at some of these roleplaying games that would work well for kids, as well as any new player for that matter.
Roleplaying games, whether it’s Dungeons & Dragons, Star Wars, Starfinder, Cypher System or anything else, really can be for just about everyone. If you are on this site, then there’s a good chance you feel the same way or you at least want to learn more about how RPGs can affect kids.
There’s something magic about these types of games. They pull you away into a new world or into the setting of your favorite book or movie. I feel that they can be great for people of just about every age (why not have people in retirement homes start playing to keep sharp? It's better than sitting and staring at the television). Let's check out some of the best reasons kids should play.
So, as an RPG addict and unrepentant diceaholic, it was only natural that I pick up a copy of Xanathar’s Guide to Everything… not to mention a load of other stuff to play and review on here eventually. Now that I’ve read through a large portion of the guide, I thought I would do a brief review, letting you know a bit about what’s in it, what I think about it, and whether it might be right for your gaming table or not.
I’ve become a huge fan of Critical Role and have been following the adventures of Vox Machina for a while now. So, it’s only natural that I would be excited about the campaign book to come out to learn a bit more of what goes on in Matt Mercer’s head. Mercer, along with James Haeck, wrote the guide, which is populated by some gorgeous art straight from the Critter Community.
Perhaps you are creating a full campaign in a horror setting, such as Ravenloft, Call of Cthulhu, or Shadow of the Demon Lord, or maybe you are just getting a one-shot ready to give your players something new to experience that’s outside of the normal sci-fi and fantasy genre. Horror in tabletop RPGs has a lot of potential… however, it doesn’t often go as planned, and the fear doesn’t really get under your player’s skin. There are some things you can do to change this.