Tyranny of Dragons Online Comic – Entire Series (Complete)

Read all 10 pages of the completed series by D&D in one location…

The biggest and most exciting year for Dungeons & Dragons hits a pivotal moment as the Tyranny of Dragons storyline kicks off. This rich new narrative challenges players to rise up against hoards of evil dragons, including Tiamat, the most fearsome dragon in D&D’s history!

D&D 5e Carnivorous Plant

Last week I wrote about Monsters & Traps for a D&D 5e Jungle Adventure. An interesting bit of feedback I received on Facebook was that I missed Carnivorous Plant. To update Carnivorous Plant for D&D 5e, I could just use Vine Blight, Roper or Shambling Mound, but I wanted something that was relatively stationary with a challenge rating around 2. The D&D 5th edition Monster Manual does not have such a creature, so I had to look around for ideas and build my own. One Carnivorous Plant presents a tough challenge at low levels or a challenging trap like encounter for higher level PCs with a group of these plants surprising them.

Miniatures – Kids Building Characters with LEGO, Imaginext and More

SHAWN: James Walls has written a guest post about the kinds of miniatures he uses while gaming with the kids. Check out his mini bio at the bottom too. There is a gallery at the bottom that I added a couple of my own LEGO shots too.

When Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition crashed onto the gaming scene in the summer of 2000, I, like many other AD&D 2nd Edition players, was at a severe disadvantage.  After years of playing a game well-suited for “theater of the mind” style combat, D&D 3E’s rules were geared towards miniatures play, and my collection at the time was quite meager.  All I had was a dozen Ral Partha pewters (mostly dwarves), a half-painted Mordheim collection (mostly Skaven), and the Hero Quest board game.

Maybe it was just the groups I played with, but I received a fair share of complaints from my players for this puny collection.  “Green orcs?  Again?” was a common moan at my table.  When Wizards of the Coast finally released pre-painted plastic miniatures I spent at least two-hundred dollars snatching up randomly assorted boxes for both Dungeons & Dragons and Star Wars.  Eventually I drifted away from my miniatures collection when I switched from Dungeons & Dragons to Savage Worlds.  Indeed my D&D figures didn’t fit the steampunk campaign I was running, but more importantly I had shifted to becoming an online gamer.  Maptool worked just fine for most of my games and I thought I was completely finished with miniatures in role-playing games.

Until I turned my kids into gamers!

Top 14 Old School D&D Modules

So there have been a TON of modules that were created by TSR for Dungeons & Dragons over the years. The list is truly amazing once you see it, because of all the work and time that went into each adventure module. If you don’t believe me, check out a compiled listing here: List of Dungeons & Dragons Modules

There were some modules that weren’t as fun as others, and

The Bard Class, Part Five

The Bard Class, Part Five

At last, we come to Act V in the drama of the Bard. The narrative arc to date has been… more of a picaresque than anything, with movements in many conflicting directions, often contradicting earlier developments. In Act I (OD&D and 1e), we established the conflict: what the hell is this class? Is it a pseudo-wizard with reduced-but-potent casting

Holy Waters: Oath of the Waves Paladin for 5th edition

Aquatic Paladins

The fight against corruption and evil doesn’t stop at the shoreline. Paladins who follow gods of the ocean, such as Poseidon, or who are born among marine races, often follow the Oath of the Waves. As with other marine classes, aquatic paladins focus on training with piercing weapons such as spears, tridents, and short swords, as well as crossbows. Their armor is rarely made of metals, unless they are enchanted. Instead, their armors are composed of unique species of leathery seaweed, scales, chitinous plates, and shields made of turtle shells. Those few aquatic paladins that rely on mounts choose large predators such as sharks and killer whales, or rarer beasts such as giant sea horses and hippocampi.

Survivalist Gaming: The Survival Skill

Like most skills in modern role playing games, ‘survival’ is something of a catch-all (though not so much as that most rolled skill in Pathfinder and Dungeons and Dragons 5e – Perception). This is totally fair; too much granularity gets in the way of fun. Basically, the ‘survival’ skill (in conjunction with perhaps ‘knowledge nature’) is utilized for doing ‘outdoorsy’ stuff; tracking, avoiding the worst effects of inclement weather, and whatever. More often than not, someone should have it to track the bad-guy through the forest, but other than that it won’t come up.

Which is too bad, because a character skilled in Survival would be able to do amazing and interesting things.

So what should the survival skill actually cover? How can players (and GMs) make better, more interesting use of it?

Kickstarter – DemonWars: Allheart

R.A. Salvatore has created another Kickstarter, and this one is for the expansion to his DemonWars RPG. His first kickstarter for DemonWars: Reformation was a huge success in 2013 and raised $80k. DemonWars: Reformation focused on the Abellican Monk for players, and had Rogues in the appendix. He was able to produced the RPG and it was distrubted in the summer of 2014.

The second book, DemonWars: Allheart, expands options for players to play powerful Allheart Knights, and creates a system that allows for single players.

Currently they have $13,700 pledged of the kickstarter’s $50,000 goal and 22 days left.

Kickstarter Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rasalvatore/demonwars-allheart

Also there is support with the game at the DemonWars forums: http://www.demonwarsrpg.com/forum/.

System Agnostic: The City of Salt in Wounds

New Website for Salt in Wounds!

Back in 2004 on the RPG.net D&Dish forums, Thomas T. suggested the idea of a city built around the D&D monster the Tarrasque – which, for those not in the know- is an unkillable Godzilla monster with wolverine like levels of regeneration. (It also serves as the standard unit of measure for min-maxers ie they build hypothetical characters that are > 3TU*.) The basic concept for the city is that, discovering that they were unable to kill the beast, a party of heroes figured out how to contain the monster; chaining and anchoring it with unmoveable harpoons. A fortress was built around the chained creature, and a schedule of ritualized butchering was instituted to keep the creature from ever regaining enough strength that it could break free.

*A TU is one Tarrasque unit.

Within a generation, the wardens of the Tarrasque began to realize the incredible value of its butchery; the meat, bones, shell, horns, not to mention seemingly every excretion & fluid it was capable of producing all had value for purposes both mundane and magical. Food, material for crafting, and the most potent alchemical reagents for poisons, medicines, and other more exoteric creations – the Tarrasque provided it all. The flow of these goods has transformed a tiny fort into economic powerhouse, ruled by elites with a ceremonial vestiges of their former mission but now wholly focused on growing their own coffers. With money, comes competing factions, new risks, and the potential for the making of the greatest tragedy of the 5th Age.

I stopped reading the forum thread after a few entries, not because the posts weren’t great (they were, and judging by the length of of the thread there must be gold there) but rather because I wanted to make my Tarrasque city, because my brain was already obsessing, and I wanted to provide as much insulation for that process as possible.

I really want to make this thing as a commercial project but can’t (I have no way of getting in touch with Thomas T. and of course I don’t want to steal an idea). Probably, I’ll have a variation significant enough to publish on its own someday (like a town built around the corpse of a dead god that’s still regenerating). In the meantime, I wanted to get some of my thoughts out on paper (errr… pixels),

The thread made a composite Tarrasque city and you can view the pdf here.

This is a sketch for my tarrasque city: The City of Salt in Wounds.

The City of Salt in Wounds

Lawful Evil Metropolis

Statistics – Corruption +7; Crime +4; Economy +15; Law –6; Lore +3; Society +8

Qualities – plagued, notorious, cosmopolitan, tourist attraction, prosperous

Danger – +15

Government – Oligarchy

Population – 55,000 (Incredibly diverse)

Approaching the City

Everyone knows how the City of Salt in Wounds (formally the fortress and the city it has become is SalziWUUn, or ‘binder of god’ in the old tongue, but almost none refer to it as such except during official ceremonies and on documentation) came about. But for those who have not visited the city in person, it is hard to conceive of the scale of the place. Hard to understand how wholly the economic engine of butchering the bound… read more here!

The DM’s Screen – Benefit or Burden?

In recent days, the DM’s Screen for D&D 5th Edition has been released and this has brought up some interesting discussions around my tables. Over my D&D career, I’ve played with dozens of Dungeon Masters of both sexes. Some were experienced, some were green, others were comfortable in the big chair, and some were not. Regardless of their disposition, I have found the debate over using, or not using, a DM’s screen to be a topic on which many people have a strong opinion. Some say it’s a prop that allows the DM to separate themselves from the rest of players and thus gives them an air of superiority and mystery; others say that it’s tool the DM can use to keep their notes, numbers, maps, and other various items out of sight and private; and there are others who say the DM’s screen is nothing but an excuse for the DM to fudge rolls, change outcomes on the fly, and cut down on PC-DM interaction. I say that all of these people are correct and for both good and bad reasons.