One thing that really bothers me are when DMs who don’t put any effort into running their combat encounters. They fill their campaigns with monsters that act more like vending machines for XP and treasure than real opponents. Intelligent monsters rush headlong into combat against the group without any hint of a combat strategy. This is unrealistic and it makes for boring combat. DMs don’t need to be retired generals in order to run great combat, but learning some military strategy can really benefit them. To this end I want to look at one of the most well-known texts of military strategy, Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, and highlight the lessons that can be applied to RPG combat. Continue reading Sun Tzu’s Art of RPG Combat: Attack By Stratagem
On a bookshelf somewhere in your house, tucked in between a dog-eared copy of an old Player’s Handbook and a copy of the Unearthed Arcana is a binder. It may be a simple cardstock pocket binder or it could be a fancy Trapper Keeper, but their purpose is always the same. They are a retirement home for old characters. From the first roll of a D6 during character creation we invest our time and love into these imaginary heroes. We guide them through epic adventures against impossible odds, but, like all things, their journeys eventually come to an end. It’s a sad inevitability for an RPG PC. They all fall victim to reaching max level or a player’s desire to run a new character. But, these characters don’t have to be put to pasture. They can still serve a valuable role in ongoing quests for glories . . . as NPCs. Continue reading Don’t File Away Those Old Characters Just Yet
A few events in my life over the last week inspired me to write this blog post. First off, I took my daughter to Books-A-Million on Saturday to replace a book that she left in Las Vegas. While she perused the children’s book section I took the opportunity to check out the small RPG section in the store. Two products drew my interest: the 5th Edition Shadowrun Core Rulebook and the Pathfinder Core Rulebook. I was seriously thinking about picking them up, but ultimately decided not to. A few days after passing up on those books I finally downloaded all of the Torg content that I had purchased from the Bundle of Holding sale. It ended up being nineteen different PDFs that were included in that bundle. I put all of these documents directly on to my tablet with the other RPG downloads that I have. Continue reading Why Isn’t There More Digital 5E?
After spending some time thoroughly reading through the character class options in the 5e PHB, something that really sticks out is the Warlock class. The Warlock is a magic user who gains access to spells and other powers by making a pact with a powerful entity, but not a god like a cleric or paladin. The player can choose from one of three entities as a patron; an archfey, a fiend or a Great Old One. Each patron has their own set of benefits they bestow on the player. It’s clear that the Warlock is not as powerful in magic as a Wizard or a Sorcerer. The Warlock spell list is not as expansive as either of those two classes. The Warlock also uses different rules for spell slots. This means that a Warlock character will never have the ability to cast as many spells as a Wizard or Sorcerer.
Continue reading Making A Warlock Work
I was listening to the n00b GM episode of the Gamerstable podcast the other day. It was mentioned that introducing money into a campaign can be a tricky proposition for a GM. You don’t want to give too much money to the players, but you also don’t want to deny them money since they will eventually want to purchase items. If they don’t have the money to do so they may lose interest in the game. A GM needs to be able to provide the right amount of money to the party without just handing out money. Unfortunately, the classic trope of looting dead monsters is pretty lazy since it is unrealistic for goblins or orcs to be carrying around bags of gold. Here are three ways a GM can fill the PCs pockets organically in a campaign. Continue reading 3 Ways For Players To Earn Money In Game
The holiday season is upon us and no matter your preference of holidays it is a great time to give or receive gifts. Children and adults alike are busy filling out wish lists for the gifts they want. Tabletop gamers should be no exception. With that in mind imagine what the perfect RPG gift would be for you. It could be a new system, an adventure or even some dice that deliver a mild electric shock to the player when they roll a one. Post your ideas on Twitter using #RPGWishList and I will share the best ones this weekend.
It was revealed about a year ago that Warner Bros. had acquired the movie rights for a Dungeons & Dragons adaptation. The studio is pushing forward with development on a movie that will not only attempt to erase the memory of the 2000 Dungeons & Dragons flop, but also launch a potential franchise. Early word is that the film will be built off an existing script based in the world of Gary Gygax’s early miniature game Chainmail. While Chainmail is notable for its influences on the game Dungeons & Dragons would eventually become it seems an odd choice to base a movie off of. This seems like the studio is heading down the path towards repeating the failures of the first film. So what’s the solution to creating a successful Dungeons & Dragons film and launching a potential mega-franchise? I have some ideas.
Continue reading How To Make a Great D&D Movie
Long campaigns are a staple of tabletop roleplaying games, but many players don’t have the time to commit to these endeavors. One-Shot Adventures will provide adventuring hooks for stand-alone adventures that can be ran through in one or two gaming sessions.
It’s hard to think of the Halloween season without thinking of horror movies. A classic subsection of horror movies is the demonic possession movie. We all know the story behind films like The Exorcist; an innocent is taken over by an evil power from beyond our realm and men of faith must answer the call for aid. A demonic possession story lends itself well to a fantasy roleplaying system and can provide a nice break from killing kobolds. Continue reading One-Shot Adventures- The Possession
There comes a time when, no matter how well developed your characters are, no matter how exciting an adventure is and no matter how great your group of players is, your fantasy set RPG sessions may get a little stale. There are many ways to liven up these sessions, but one that I enjoy is fighting a war. There are plenty of preexisting tabletop games that allow you to command space armies or medieval armies, but what I’m suggesting is taking established PCs and having them command troops on the field of battle or survive the siege of a castle. The introduction of armies will give your players the opportunity to use strategy and be rewarded for it. Plus it can be a refreshing break from slaughtering kobolds and raiding treasure chests. Continue reading This Means War!