Category Archives: Tips

Don’t File Away Those Old Characters Just Yet

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

Turn A Character’s Death Into An Opportunity For Adventure

Character deaths are often inevitable in a fantasy roleplaying game. Maybe the Dungeon Master set up an encounter where the characters face certain death hoping the players will avoid it and it backfires. Possibly the players overestimate their own abilities and ignore strategy when encountering an enemy. Whatever the cause, the loss of a character is tough for a player. They invested time and imagination into bringing their fighter or cleric to life. They don’t want the character to be dead. Fortunately, in a fantasy RPG like D&D death is not a permanent condition. If a character has died within less than a minute, Revivify can be cast by a 5th level Cleric or a 9th level Paladin (hopefully they aren’t the character who died.) When time is less of a factor the Raise Dead spell can bring a character back to life provided that the party contains a Cleric or Paladin of 9th or 17th level respectively. Death can also be cured by the 5th level Druid spell Reincarnate, but that involves the character’s soul entering a new body which may be a completely different race. In cases where the party doesn’t have the appropriate level magic-user help must be sought elsewhere. Continue reading Turn A Character’s Death Into An Opportunity For Adventure

Making A Warlock Work

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

Don’t Give Up On Playing A Cleric

I’ve been hearing something disappointing lately; many players don’t enjoy playing a cleric. Clerics seem to be viewed as a necessary part of a group, but they are deemed by some as being an inferior class. The argument goes that their magic skills aren’t as powerful as a wizard and their fighting skills aren’t as good as a paladin. I have even heard of groups that completely eliminate the class altogether. Why bother including them when some healing potions can easily replace them? This is a shame since playing a cleric can be a lot of fun. I would even go as far to say that they are one of my favorite classes. I believe that building a cleric allows the player to flesh out a character’s personality much more than a class such as a fighter or a paladin. All the player has to do is ask themselves some questions about the cleric they are creating. Continue reading Don’t Give Up On Playing A Cleric

3 Ways to Give Players Money That Will Damage The In-Game Economy

220px-JosephWright-AlchemistThe economy in a fantasy roleplaying game is interesting. Traditionally we think of these worlds as using currency such as gold pieces or silver pieces. Unlike modern currency whose value is tied to a belief in the strength of the economy these currencies achieve much of their value because they are made of precious metals. Strip away the crown or dragon markings on a platinum piece and it is still a piece of platinum. Platinum is a rare element and thus has value. This is the same reason that a diamond has value. This makes a fantasy RPG economy fairly easy to throw out of balance; one simply has to devalue the currency by making precious metals less precious. This isn’t something I would recommend approaching willy-nilly in a game, but it can be done. Here are three ways to give players money that will damage the in-game economy. Continue reading 3 Ways to Give Players Money That Will Damage The In-Game Economy

3 Ways For Players To Earn Money In Game

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

One-Shot Adventures- The Possession

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

This Means War!

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!

In Defense Of Secret Dice Rolls

I am fairly particular about how the dice are rolled in a role playing game. A DM or a player that doesn’t agree with my preferences can make or break a gaming session for me. One of my big pet peeves when it comes to dice are secret rolls. For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, secret dice rolls are instances where the DM rolls the dice, often on behalf of a player, and doesn’t immediately reveal the results. Secret dice rolls can create a needless barrier between the players and the DM. That’s why I usually avoid them. However there are instances where secret dice rolls make the game more realistic. Here are three examples. Continue reading In Defense Of Secret Dice Rolls