Category Archives: Tips

5e Critical Misses Table

Apparently I rolled a natural 1 yesterday when I posted the 5e Critical Hits table as the Critical Misses table. Today I am posting the actual Critical Misses table. As with the Critical Hits table I am offering this up as an optional rule for your 5e Dungeons & Dragons game. Some of the results on this table are extreme. So make sure that your group is fully on board before introducing this into your game. Feel free to customize it in whatever way fits your game. Otherwise, happy gaming!

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Awarding Noncombat Experience

“Dragons! Shall we slay them for XP rewards?” “Nay, establishing trade routes is all the reward we seek.”

A few months back I wrote a post about why you should switch over from awarding experience points to milestone leveling.  One of the comments on that post was “I love math so I want to still use XP leveling, but I’m also building a campaign with little to no combat in it. How can I award non-combat XP?” The Dungeon Master’s Guide does cover this subject briefly under Creating Encounters (pg. 80) and Noncombat Challenges (pg. 261), but I am more than happy to provide my take on the subject. Continue reading Awarding Noncombat Experience

How to Save Money on RPGs

Many people new to RPGs are shocked at how expensive the hobby can be. With D&D books running around $50 a piece, many are wary to shell out that kind of cash. I would argue that investing in a roleplaying game is a much better choice than buying a video game. At least with RPG’s, the play is endless. Not everyone agrees with me however. Here are some ways to still be able to enjoy RPG’s without breaking the bank.
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The Desert Paladin

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The people who populate the vast  desert eke out a meager existence often lacking  fresh water and other things that those in more temperate climates take for granted. What they don’t lack is faith. Unfortunately, the larger religions do not do enough to serve all of their flock. Most desert settlements do not even have temples for the faithful to pray in. The members of these churches are forced to undertake dangerous pilgrimages to the larger cities in order to have their spiritual needs met. The desert sand cares little of the plight of these poor travelers. Many would perish among the dunes if not for the paladins tasked to guard them across the sands. Continue reading The Desert Paladin

Sun Tzu’s Art of RPG Combat: The Nine Situations

imagesAt long last, the final installment of Sun Tzu’s Art of RPG Combat. You can check out the first three parts here, here, and here. This part will cover Chapter XI: The Nine Situations. The Nine Situations refers to the nine different types of ground that an army may find themselves on during war. It is slightly similar to terrain, but it has more to do with a commander recognizing his position on the battlefield and taking the appropriate actions. Continue reading Sun Tzu’s Art of RPG Combat: The Nine Situations

Variant Method For Rolling Ability Scores

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The way that ability scores are rolled in D&D has always seemed a little strange to me. For a normal character with no bonuses the scores rolled with D6 should range from 3 to 18. This puts the mid point at a 10 which makes sense. An ability score of 10 or 11 provides no bonuses and carries no penalties. It’s average. The issue that I have is the scores that fall in the below average range. Continue reading Variant Method For Rolling Ability Scores

Sun Tzu’s Art of RPG Combat: Terrain

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We previously covered Chapter III and Chapter VI of Sun Tzu’s classic military treatise The Art of War. That means it must be time for Chapter X which covers terrain. Don’t try to figure out my system. Most DMs take terrain into consideration when running an RPG campaign, but we need to consider it as more than a tool for establishing the story setting. Terrain can also be turned into a weapon when running combat. Continue reading Sun Tzu’s Art of RPG Combat: Terrain

Sun Tzu’s Art of RPG Combat: Weak Points and Strong

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Welcome to the second installment in our RPG combat analysis of Sun Tzu’s military treatise The Art of War. In the first post we discussed Chapter III, Attack By Strategem. This post will take a look at Chapter VI, Weak Points and Strong. This chapter advises generals how to exploit the weakness of an enemy and how to use tactics to turn strengths into weaknesses. This second part is especially useful when running monster combat since the party usually has a strength advantage. Continue reading Sun Tzu’s Art of RPG Combat: Weak Points and Strong

Sun Tzu’s Art of RPG Combat: Attack By Stratagem

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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